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TV Recap: ‘Outlander’ 5×7 – “The Ballad of Roger Mac”

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Caitriona Balfe and Same Heughan in "Outlander"

Outlander” wastes no time getting started. Cue colonial American style opening theme and music of “The Skye Boat Song.” … Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone…“

In 1771 Hillsborough, Fraser’s army waits for war to start. Roger (Richard Rankin) sings “My Darling Clementine” to little Jemmy. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) assures Roger she and the baby will be safe staying with family in town. Roger thinks about losing his father during WWII. He does not want to leave Jemmy and Brianna like that. Who would? But he must leave them to fight. Goodbye, Roger Mac.

While the men wait for war in tents at Hillsborough, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) lay in bed together. It is his 50th birthday. If he is 50, we all have nothing to worry about.

Later that morning, Jamie and his men stand before the Governor and some other war hungry red coats. Jamie expresses his concern the Regulators will be slaughtered because they are just farmers. The Governor has little sympathy. Roger shows up a tad late and falls into ranks. And lo and behold, Isaiah is there too. (Remember, he was the married kid who got his girlfriend pregnant and was snuck out of town by Jamie, Claire and Roger back in episode 4). What is he doing here? His girlfriend’s Dad still wants him dead. Can they fight side-by-side?

Apparently, there is some funny business going on across the river. Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and the Regulator Rebellion have destroyed some British supplies. The enemy will be engaged. But Reverend Caldwell, who is with the Regulators, does not want bloodshed. He brings a list of grievances to the Brits, and the Governor tells the Reverend he will give them his answer by tomorrow. But he’s just pretending to placate- he is dead set on war.

The Regulators are so bad at hiding, their position makes it all the way back to Brianna in town. Brianna’s memory of American history is top-notch. She remembers the outcome of this battle, and she rides to the camp to let the others in on her bit of knowledge.

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Caitriona Balfe and Sophie Skelton in “Outlander”

Claire comes across Jamie in a stream, bathing, posing in his 50-year-old glory and ceremoniously cutting his hand.

Brianna arrives at the camp. She knows the Regulators will lose horribly, and this battle helps spark the American Revolution. Jamie wants to get word to Murtagh. Maybe this will convince him not to fight? Brianna is not too sure. This battle must happen in order for America to “become” America. But could the spark that starts the Revolution occur elsewhere? Claire seems to think so. Roger says he will deliver the message to Murtagh, and he heads off.

Murtagh gives an impassioned speech to his men about the glory of blood on the ground. Roger gets Murtagh’s attention and informs him glory will not happen tomorrow. Roger wants him to tell his men they must wait to fight. Murtagh does not seem too sure.

The Governor has made his “decision.” He writes to the Regulators, and basically tells them to give up and fall at his mercy. Murtagh reads the letter aloud to his men. The letter makes the group more angry. I’ll bet. Murtagh tells Roger he talked to his men, but they still want to fight.

While defeated Roger is heading back, he randomly bumps into a woman he met months before on a ship. He tells her about the upcoming “one-sided” battle and urges her to tell her husband of their impending doom. The husband shows up and does not take kindly to Roger talking to his wife. Jealous husband alert. Roger chose the wrong wife to talk to about the upcoming battle. Roger gets his ass (and nose) kicked.

Back at the camp site, Jamie worries about Roger. And to make matters worse, the Governor wants him to wear a red coat. Jamie dons the coat and looks sick to his stomach. Jamie goes to Claire and lets her know there is no word on Roger. Claire wishes her husband luck and love as he heads off to battle. Jamie gives a lackluster speech to his men. He does not want this to be a massacre. Nevertheless, the fighting begins.

Claire and Brianna are busy in the medical area when two men carry Isaiah into the tent. He was shot in the chest by the angry Dad. And to make matters worse, the Dad destroys Claire’s penicillin vile. Damn.

Meanwhile, the red coats are ravaging the Regulators. Rather than fire his weapon, Jamie just pushes people around. Jamie is about to get shot by a man when Murtagh comes up from behind and knocks the man out. At that moment, one of Jamie’s men shoots Murtagh. Jamie grabs him in disbelief and lowers him to the ground. Jamie is angry with Murtagh because he released him from his oath of protection back in episode one. Murtagh sweetly says he would never betray Jamie’s mother. Murtagh dies in Jamie’s arms.

Jamie becomes a little detached from reality. He and a few other men carry Murtagh to the medical tent. Jamie tells Claire to save him, but everyone knows he is gone. Jamie begs Murtagh not to leave him. We’d beg too. He’s been a great character these past five seasons.

The Governor wants to celebrate the victorious battle, but Jamie is not in the mood. Obviously. The two have an intense back and forth. Brits always sound so smug. Jamie tells the Governor he has paid his debt to the crown. He throws the red coat on the ground. He is done with the British.

Jamie, Brianna and Claire go in search of Roger. They come across three men hanging from a tree. One of the men looks to be Roger, but is he?

What did you think of the seventh episode, “The Ballad of Roger Mac?” Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by Jessica White

Jessica White studied film and theater at California State University, Sacramento graduating in 2009 with a B.A.. Upon graduation, she shifted her focus towards healthcare and became a dentist, graduating from the Oregon Health and Science University in 2017. She is actively serving in the United States Navy overseas, but continues to feed her passion for the visual arts, her first love.


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