Warning: This article contains spoilers for Outlander Season 5, Episode 5, “Perpetual Adoration.”
If Claire could time-travel anywhere right now, we could really use her in 2020. I’m pretty sure she could kick Covid-19’s ass, and it would be called the Clairona Virus, ammirite? (Real talk though: If Claire was here, she’d tell all of you to stay home and binge Outlander from Season 1).
Last episode, Jamie and Claire got drunk, danced, made out in the woods and saved a few lives. Bree’s PTSD about Bonnet got worse — probably because she and we know that he’s on his way to the Ridge. This episode reminds us Claire is a time-traveler and was structured in the same way, Marty-McFlying us back and forth from the past and future.
Claire Discovers Penicillin!
Claire finally finds her penicillin. And Marsali (Lauren Lyle) is the first one she shares it with. Marsali screams, “Lord have the mercy!” Then she and Claire scream, “Eureka,” even though Marsali has no clue what that means. It’s a vacuum cleaner from the future Marsali, you’re welcome. Sidebar: Marsali is perfect. And Claire and Marsali’s surrogate mother/daughter dynamic is one of the best dynamics in Outlander. Somewhere Marsali’s mother, Laighaiore, is sticking a pin in her Claire voodoo doll.
Claire & Bree in the 1960s
Claire flashes back to herself in a church in the 1960s, and we get a nice Jamie and Claire relationship montage as Claire’s voiceover talks about time. We return to a scene with Bree and Claire when Bree (Sophie Skelton) is in college. Claire tells Bree she lost a patient who had an allergic reaction to penicillin. This is a bad sign. Eek, one of those twins — Josiah or Keziah — is going to have a reaction I think.
Bree & Roger’s Pillow Talk
Bree and Roger (Richard Rankin) are in bed having finished some sexy time. But he’s complaining to Bree that Jamie sent him home. Weird pillow talk dude. Roger then jokes about starting his own university, and then the pillow talk goes from weird to geeky. Bree likes the idea and says she can teach math. But Roger shuts it down and says he has to honor his pledge to Jamie.
Jamie & Lefty — Best Friends Forever?
Jamie meets up with his fake best friend, Leftenant “Lefty” Knox, who’s playing darts with Murtagh’s face as the target. Lefty gives Jamie a note from Governor Tryon and tells him Tryon is pardoning the regulators. Jamie puts his tiny glasses back on to read it over and tries to hide his excitement. Lefty is kind of annoying. He might be my new Roger. He tells Jamie he’s so thankful they are BFFs, but then he ruins the moment by saying he might know where Murtagh is and can’t wait to murder him. Jamie, “Crap.” His fake best friend forever really loves murder.
The Scottish Patient, Starring Claire
Over in the 1960s, Dr. Claire busts a Scottish patient, Graham Menzies, for smoking. She tells him he needs to get his gallstones removed. He says, “You have some Scottish in you.” Claire doesn’t let on that he’s right. She tells him where she’ll make the incision and he says, “It’s but one more scar, nothing worth brooding over.” This stops Claire in her tracks. Because this is exactly what Jamie said to Claire in Season 1 when she was stitching his ribs after a knife fight.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate that Caitriona Balfe looks good in every decade they drop her in. Not many people can rock a bob and a bum roll. (I basically just wrote Claire’s Tinder description).
A Tonsillectomy With a Side of Penicillin
Claire tests to make sure Keziah (Paul Gorman) is not allergic to penicillin, then she and Marsali prep him for surgery. She brings over a big needle and tells him to drop his pants. And he’s like, “Worst. Date. Ever.” No, seriously though, he’s confused, but he does it. Marsali watches the butt shot up close. She’s just doing her homework, people. Lizzie is there, too. Claire asks her to hold the lantern. (I hope she gives her only one job because if anyone inspired the phrase “You had ONE JOB,” it’s Lizzie).
Claire starts the surgery. This is, legit, an awake tonsillectomy. Claire does not eff around. Keziah is scared. SAME. Claire cuts him, there’s a lot of blood and Lizzie winces. SAME. Okay, I appreciate Lizzie in this scene, she is all of us.
Voila! Claire finishes the surgery. Is Kesiah about to have an allergic reaction?! No, he seems fine! In fact, he loved it so much that he asks Claire to do it on his bro.
A Gem for Jemmy
While trying to get Jemmy to stop crying, Roger finds the gem Bonnet gave Bree. He recognizes it and flashes back to when he was on the ship with him. (PS: this unneeded flashback was a full two minutes wasted. Yes, I timed it). Bree returns and Roger confronts her. She confesses she spoke to Bonnet in jail. Horrified, Roger asks if she kept the diamond as a gift from Bonnet?! She explains she kept it for Jemmy, so he could go back through the stones. Roger is irate; he picks it up and says, “Why did he give it to you?!”
Bree admits she told Bonnet the baby was his to comfort him, since he was going to die. Wait Bree, what gurl?! No, no, no. (Though Bree is entitled to feel however she feels). Roger looks befuddled. Bree says, “They were just words,” as she apologizes (?!) to Roger and Rog says, “Words have consequences.” Classic Roger-overreacting-scene incoming. He yells at Bree that she knew all along the child was Bonnet’s and let him believe for months, then spits out something about their wedding and the blood oath. Okay, Roger YOU SUCK AGAIN!!
Roger whines how she’s never said the baby’s his and Bree is like, “How TF would I know that,” and he’s all, “But what do you truly believe?” Silence. He storms out. Bree is devastated. Roger, please keep in mind your wife is a sexual assault victim. And screaming at her about this is abusive. Let’s do a quick review on why Roger is the worst.
- When Claire and Jamie rescued him and told him Bree had been assaulted and was pregnant, he did not go back with them!
- He’s weak. Mentally weak. Roger, you might be able to go through the stones, but you certainly don’t have any. He blames Brianna for everything that doesn’t work out for him, rather than supporting her.
Remind me again why we’re supposed to like Roger and Bree together? When did they actually fall in love? Anyone? Because their evolution has not been developed enough. There is a solution to fixing this though and we’ll get to that later.
1960s — Claire and Mr. Menzies
Claire’s at the church after Mr. Menzies has died. Wait, stop. Claire is wearing glasses. She doesn’t have glasses currently. Does time travel give you 20/20 vision? Explain yourself, Claire. Were those 1960s glasses purely for decoration? Well fine, they looked spec-tacular on you. Claire tells the priest that Menzies reminded her of someone she lost. The priest says, “No one’s lost, that’s not forgotten.” And, of course, Claire thinks of Jamie. This episode reminds us again that Jamie and Claire were separated for 20 years! Seriously, 20 years?! That was too long, Diana Gabaldon, you brilliant writer. Too long.
Roger Almost Shoots Claire
Cut to angry Roger hunting in the woods. He’s about to shoot when Claire emerges from the bushes. (She’s herb hunting as Claire does, of course). Roger is momentarily funny. “Claire! I probably would have missed you, but still!” At least, he also knows he sucks.
Is Caitriona Balfe/Claire reverse aging? Time travel must do wonders because this herb hunting look is really working. Claire then shows us why she is the soul of this show, and might be the best mother-in-law ever. She asks Roger what’s wrong and tells him that marriages aren’t easy. Roger says, “But you and Jamie (are perfect).” Correct, Roger. She says, “Well, Frank and I had a very complicated marriage.” Okay, Roger is only likable in scenes with Claire.
Claire tells him they made their marriage work for Bree’s sake — aka, “Suck it up and make it work for the kid.” Roger asks if she regretted lying to Bree about her real father. Claire says that she didn’t, because Bree felt safe and loved by two parents. She tells Roger not to be careless with the time he and Bree have together — which I take to mean, Claire is asking Roger to sing less. The mother-in-law chat works wonders. Roger apologizes to Bree and offers her chanterelle mushrooms he found. Apologize, but make it mushrooms.
Bree Tells Roger Bonnet Is Alive
Roger freaks when Bree tells him Bonnet is alive and may have seen Jemmy. Bree tells him that Lord John confirmed it at the wedding. Roger says something annoying like, “I won’t ask you to explain why you didn’t tell me (chauvinist alert) because as soon as we know that Jemmy can travel, we are leaving and Bonnet won’t matter.” What if evil Stevie Bon Bon can time travel too, guys? Has anyone but me thought of that?! Bree looks scared.
Claire’s Patient Dies
Claire tells Menzies that he reminds her of someone she met in Scotland who she lost touch with.
Menzies says, “He must have been a fool.” To which Claire replies, “If he was, then I was equally so.” Claire tell him she’ll get him started on penicillin. Bye, bye Menzies.
The next morning, Claire learns he died and yells at the nurse for not calling her. Honestly, I would not want Claire yelling at me. I’m sorry Claire. I didn’t even do anything and I’m sorry. Claire’s best friend, Joe Abernathy, finds her at a bar. She admits she got attached to her patient. Joe tells Claire he can tell she’s heartbroken. Aww, we all need a Joe.
Jamie Plays Chess
Lefty explains everyone gets a pardon except Murtagh, because Tryon wants to make an example of him. Lefty tells Jamie he can deliver the pardons and then go home (yes, Jamie-Claire-reunion incoming). Later that night, Left asks Jamie to play chess. Excuse me, chess is Jamie and Lord John’s thing. Don’t cheat on your bae, LJG, Jamie. (But as we all know, Lord John wants more than chess from Jamie, as Caitriona Balfe pointed out on Twitter).
As Jamie and Lefty play, Lefty declares, “Oh Jamie, there’s no one I’d rather be in battle with than you.” Man, Jamie sure knows how to reel the boys in over a game of chess, eh? Someone arrives and gives Lefty info on Murtagh, Jamie’s one eyebrow goes up. It’s the transcript of the prison roll after Culloden! Omg, Jamie’s name will be on that list. Shit. Shit. Shit.
Jamie: You’ll find my name on that prison list.
Okay then. Interesting move James, checkmate? Lefty looks in the book and sees something!
Lefty: Omg Murtagh has the surname, Fraser!
Jamie: My godfather.
Lefty is shook.
Lefty: You released those men!
Jamie: Murtagh Fitzgibbons is a good man.
Yeah he is! I hope Jamie murders Lefty.
Jamie: I will never see my kin hunted like dogs when they are trying to protect those who need it.
Lefty: Tryon will hang you!
This is a very tense chess game!
Lefty pulls out a very large knife and says he’s calling the po po. Jamie’s not fazed by this. Lefty turns to the door. Jamie grabs him, slams his head against the wall and chokes him to death. Bye, bye, Lefty. This bromance was always doomed. Jamie locks the door, lifts the body on the bed and changes him into his PJs. He throws the roll into fireplace, closes the chimney shoot, and then grabs the pardons. This scene is very suspenseful and Jamie looks evil hot. He escapes through the window and finds a tiny little cat, who meows at him. He tells the cat he’ll throttle it, if it’s not quiet. Jamie Fraser, kitten killer?! Okay, Jamie you might like killing too much. Jamie grabs Fergus and is like, “Let’s GTFO.” They leave as Knox’s dead body is brought out.
Jamie, Claire & Adso
Finally, Jamie returns to Claire. Note: This happens 50 minutes into the episode! Outlander, don’t make me repeat myself. They hug and he tells her to be careful. She thinks he’s been hurt, but he’s like, “No, girl I got you a cat.” He tells Claire he’s named the cat Adso, after his mother’s cat. Ok, this kitten is the cutest. Claire loves her new cat. And Sam Heughan holding it, let’s just say this guy could probably hold a live pterodactyl and make it cute.
Chemistry alert: One thing about Claire and Jamie, when they see each other, they still have that youthful joy most couples only have the first few months of a relationship. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are so damn good. How do they still look at each other after 6 years as if they’re the only two people in the world?
This was a strong episode with big story moments. They could have left out some scenes to dedicate more than 4 minutes of Jamie and Claire together. At what point in the season do Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan officially become producers? It might be next week. Something tells me we’ll see a lot more Jamie-and-Claire-together scenes.
Here’s what we hope for upcoming episodes:
1. Bree, Jamie, and Claire scenes — this mother-daughter-dad trio hasn’t had a lot of scenes since the wedding and the bee hunting episode. Brianna’s and Roger’s characters shine more when grounded to Jamie and Claire. Bree’s best scene to this day was when she first met Jamie. Sam Heughan and Sophie Skelton killed that. Recommendation: Cut things like Bonnet flashbacks and Roger songs, and focus on the family dynamic. Bree has her parents with her for the first time in 20+ years. Show us the fam, fam.
2. More scenes with Jamie and Claire with Fergus. Balfe, Heughan and Cesar Domboy playing off each other would be great. Let’s not forget, Fergus is basically Jamie and Claire’s son, making him Bree’s brother.
3. Roger needs to be made likable or send him back to the future, without Bree.
Next episode: *Spoilers* Claire and Jamie have a fight and she takes off both her wedding rings. She does not look happy. And this episode can’t come soon enough! Oh yeah, Governor Tryon yammers about how war is coming. And Roger and Bree seem to be dealing with a gardening problem and bugs.
Outlander has already been renewed for Season 6! Find out what other shows have been renewed in 2020.