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TV Recap: “Outlander” 5×6: Better to Marry Than Burn

Outlander Season 5- Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan

As of late, the world seems in turmoil. Let’s turn to a new episode of “Outlander” for a much needed distraction. Cue colonial American style opening theme and music of “The Skye Boat Song.”… Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone... “

A carriage speeds down a dirt road, obviously heading somewhere and fast. Two redcoats stop the carriage carrying a younger Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy), her husband and daughter. The redcoats check the carriage and are about to let them proceed when a case of gold is discovered. Things go from bad to worse when shots are fired. The two redcoats end up dead, along with Jocasta’s daughter. They have no choice but to leave her on the side of the dirt road. Jocasta can only grab a blue ribbon from her hair. What a brutal way to start the episode.

In the new world, a blind Jocasta sits with a blue ribbon. Her soon-to-be husband, Mr. Innis, presents her with a small gift. His affectionate gift seems to fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes). This marriage does not seem a source of much joy. Later, Jocasta signs a document giving all of River Run to Jeremiah.

Roger (Richard Rankin) and Brianna (Sophie Skelton) did not travel to River Run for Jocasta’s wedding. Jemmy has a cold, and Roger wanted to stick it to Jocasta for insulting him back in episode one. Their lazy weekend takes a turn when they notice a lot of locusts on the property. Bugs on a farm is a problem.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) feels guilty about Jocasta marrying someone other than Murtagh. But Claire (Caitriona Balfe) tells him to try and enjoy the weekend. Murtagh (Duncan Lucroix) will either show or he won’t. Together they watch guests dance, including their friend Lord John Grey (David Berry). Every woman in North Carolina has eyes for John, but he couldn’t be less interested. Remember, he’s gay. They talk with the Governor, who announces he is moving with his wife to New York. The Governor also brags about his new laws banning groups from organizing. This guy sucks.

Back at Fraser’s Ridge, the town folk wants to burn Jamie’s crops before the locusts take over all of the lands. Roger tries to calm the crowd and explain the risks of setting a massive fire. When Roger is unable to provide a good plan, the crowd becomes even angrier. Roger is on the hot seat.

Claire and the Governor’s wife are by themselves talking when a man named Phillip Wylie enters the party. He’s all dressed up and has his sights set on Claire. When the Governor’s wife leaves to run interference, Claire overhears two women discussing Dr. Rollins’s article in the paper (the one Claire wrote). How to not get pregnant is be a big topic of conversation. Mr. Wylie catches up with Claire. He is a bit much to take.

Roger and Brianna desperately try to come up with a plan. Then Roger remembers a story his father told him when he was a boy. They can set small fires to create enough smoke to cover the fields so the locusts won’t land. Eureka. Roger begins to make pots filled with shit and mud to create “chimneys.”

Claire cannot seem to get rid of Mr. Wylie. He corners her again, and after piling on the compliments, tells her he knows a man who can require rare and exquisite items. Claire asks if he is a smuggler. Mr. Wylie seems insulted, but not that insulted. Claire may have some use in him after all. He admires her two wedding bands, and Claire gets Mr. Wylie a little liquored up. She asks if he could help with Jamie’s “whiskey venture.” Mr. Wylie drops the name of his smuggler acquaintance. Mr. Bonnet, anyone?

At Fraser’s Ridge, the Chimneys produce massive amounts of smoke. The question is, will this work?

outlander scaled
Starz’s “Outlander” actors are posing for Elle Magazine.

Quickly, we return back to Claire and the gross Mr. Wylie. The two are in the stables admiring his horse when Mr. Wylie begins to feel frisky. He lunges at Claire, who throws him down, just as Jamie comes in, knives out. Claire stops Jamie from killing him, but not threatening to kill him. Once Wylie leaves with his tail between his legs, Jamie and Claire compare notes on Bonnet. How can they get a “meeting” with the smuggler now? Jamie asks if Wylie likes to gamble. A plan is afoot.

Back in smoky Fraser’s Ridge, the locusts fly onward. It appears to be working. Truly a secondary story.

Jamie catches Wylie sulking in the house. He suggests they play a game of cards. If Wylie wins, Jamie doesn’t tell everyone what happened, and if Jamie wins, he gets Wylie’s horse. Wylie laughs it off and says he’d rather have gold. Jamie tells Claire he wants to bet Frank’s gold wedding band. Claire won’t give up her ring. Claire asks Jamie who he is doing this for. Trying to make a point, she gives Jamie both of the wedding bands. The stakes are definitely high. He better not lose.

Roger’s idea saves the fields. Everyone is happy and has much respect for Capt. Roger MacKenzie. 

Back in River Run, Murtagh shows up and is reunited with Jocasta. He gives her a necklace and asks her to wait for him. Jocasta is pretty upset. It is the night before her wedding, and he is still a wanted man. They kiss, but their romantic moment is cut short. Jocasta will marry Mr. Innis. Jocasta tells the story of her daughter’s death. Her life in the new world was made from the gold that killed her daughter. Jocasta believes her blindness is her punishment. She was already married to a man who thought he could change the world. Murtagh says he won’t risk her happiness in the same way. But Jocasta maintains she will not marry Murtagh. This scene is a heartbreaker.

Jamie finds Claire in the stables. He is proud, drunk, and still has the rings. But Claire is not pleased. How could he risk losing their rings? Insults are thrown, and then clothes are thrown. These two can’t stay mad at each other for too long. After, Claire wishes she had seen Wylie’s face when he lost. Jamie tells her Wylie was about to cry, but they traded the horse for a meeting with the smuggler. Bonnet will be meeting with Mr. Alexander Malcolm. Jamie admits he wants to see Bonnet dead. Claire asks Jamie to promise Bonnet will never take another thing from them again. Jamie promises and places both rings back on Claire’s ringers.

On the day of the wedding, the Governor tells Jamie it looks like the war will happen. They must be ready to go in a fortnight (In case we didn’t know- two weeks). War, here we come again. Also, Bonnet finds out his son now owns River Run. Two pieces of good news to end the episode…

What did you think of the sixth episode, “Better to Marry Than Burn?” Are you watching “Outlander” this season? 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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