I have forgiven Outlander for the last episode — because this episode was everything. Everything. In fact, it is safe to say it is one of the best episodes of the entire series. There was not one wasted minute. All 59 minutes were worth it. Phenomenal. Here’s why:
Marsali and her Ma
The episode opens with Claire checking a very pregnant Marsali. Marsali says, “I’m so glad you will be here to share it with me, not as my physician, but as my ma.” Omg. Marsali called Claire her ma. Somewhere Laohaire’s head is exploding. (And I’m clapping, like a slow clap). Claire looks like she will cry and I might have tears too.
Remember how they began as enemies? Marsali called Claire a “whooo-ore.” That’s how Marsali says it!
Jamie Surprises Bree & Roger — And Then They Surprise Him!
I was going to title this section, “Roger and Bree Sitting in a Tree,” to refer to them making out, but then it’s really too soon for tree jokes about Roger. So Roger and Bree are in bed and Roger’s getting frisky with his wife. But then Roger sees Jemmy, who is grinning and Roger says, “Shit.” Bree-blocked by Jemmy. Can Jemmy be president? Honestly. He is my favorite. Jemmy then continues to be the legend that he is, and says, “Shit,” but with a smile. That’s my President.
Then all of a sudden another Bree-block! Jamie comes knocking at the door, yelling for Roger and Bree to get up. They are naked, and when Jamie comes in, he and I SEE TOO MUCH of Roger’s Mac, if you catch my drift. (Roger definitely caught a drift).
You guys, five minutes into to this episode and it’s already better than all of season 4! Jamie quickly realizes he may have interrupted sexy time. He powers thru and says he needs a hunting buddy and looks at Bree, but she’s like, “Sorry Da, I want to go dye shit. But Roger is avails and ready to roll.”
Jamie is like, um ok. Clearly, Roger was the 8th choice on his list, and Jamie says what I believe to be the funniest thing he will say all season. “I need able-bodied men… and abled-bodied you are.” (As he and I flash back to Roger’s Roger). Jamie and I will never unsee that!
The Boys Go Hunting
Roger, Jamie, Fergus, Young Ian and one of the Beardsleys are hunting together. Is it me or does Jamie Fraser look like he and the boys are about to drop the best mix tape of all time? I wonder if Fergus will speak at all in this episode.
Jamie comes upon a huge field of buffalo. He shoots and misses. Sends Roger ahead so he can reload his gun and then gets bitten by a snake. OH NO. He weirdly kills the snake super fast. JAMMF has never looked more attractive to me right now. Jamie Fraser, Snake Killer. But let’s be honest, that snake probably injected him with poison. I feel worried for and attracted to Jamie…Very confusing. Claire and Jamie run into snakes way too often for my liking.
Roger looks at Jamie’s snake bite, declares it’s venomous, and that he’ll have to cut it and suck it out. Wow. These two are about to get a lot closer. Hi dad-in-law! Jamie hands him a knife, but not before disinfecting it with alcohol as Claire would do. His wife taught him well. (I am mildly sad Jamie didn’t say, “Wee little beasties.” If that could be a ringtone, maybe I’d download it, I dunno.)
Roger cuts him twice. It’s very bloody. Ew. And then he sucks the poison out. Jamie gives him the alcohol for a fun mouthwash. Shout out to Richard Rankin for keeping Roger’s voice scratchy and raspy. Not only was he exceptional in the last episode, but his performance in this one shows Roger’s continued pain. We also get a glimpse into Roger coming back to life a bit. Jamie sends Roger to find the others and Roger grabs the snake head before he heads out.
Claire has a Little Mom Chat with Bree
“It’s a good day for dyeing,” Lizzy tells Claire and Bree. Well, that’s a terrible omen, Lizzy. Claire’s like, “Hope you mean the clothes girl.” There’s humor in every scene this episode. Who wrote this script? It’s excellent. Shaina Fewell, hat tip to you.
Bree asks Claire if she always knew she wanted to be a doctor. Claire explains it wasn’t an easy path and no one opened the door for her. Bree expresses that she can’t be an engineer in this time. Claire then describes herself as a doctor and witch and tells Bree, “If I were to lose you or Jamie, I wouldn’t be whole but I would always have that.”
Claire asks Bree, “Is this about you or Roger?” I’m glad Claire called this out. The daughter of Claire F-ing Fraser needs to not think so much about Roger, Roger, Roger. Bree needs to be highlighted as much if not more. Her mother is a god damn witch, time-traveling, feminist doctor.
Claire says, “You’re an engineer, Bree. Whatever they call that here, you have to find a way to be that.” Bree asks what Jamie is and Claire says a laird, a husband, a father. (Yes, show, we want to see more of that please and thank you). Claire assures Bree that if going back to the future isn’t possible, both she and Roger will find their purpose.
By the way, Claire’s rocking her iconic headband again. Twitter fan @sandyhilligoss said it best, “Can someone tell me why Claire looks so beautiful with that head scarf on but when I wear something like that I look like I’m suffering a blow to the head?”
Jamie, Roger and the Dead Snake
Roger looks lost in the woods. He’s also walking incredibly slow. Run, Roger! Or at least brisk walk it, man. I do not have faith in his GPS woods skills. And neither does Twitter fan @marinakhalili who may or may not compare Roger to Kermit the Frog. Poor Roger can’t scream so he starts shooting his gun. Weirdly, not up in the air, which is safer Roger. I am worried about Jamie. Roger is like Dora the Inept Explorer.
Rollo comes rolling in like Lassie back at the Ridge. Bree and Claire see all the boys return except Jamie and Roger. Fergus says maybe they decided to make camp. Claire looks worried.
Roger returns to Jamie who has built a fire, cooked the snake and is now eating the snake. Jamie says, “Fair is fair.” Seriously, snake bitten Jamie is funny.
Jamie tells Roger his lips and fingers are numb. Jamie looks worried, and his leg does not look good. Roger tells him to rest and they will leave at first light. This is a bad idea. Jamie starts to look like actual death – he needs Claire. He asks Roger if he knows the last rights. Roger says, “You’re not going to die.” Roger is a bit too chill. Jamie says, “If I die, you have to kill Bonnet, he’s alive.” And Rog is like, “I know da-in-law, Bree heard you at our wedding.” Pause, please: Jamie is near death. And Roger is not doing enough. Roger, we take two steps forward, then two steps back.
Roger then tells Jamie he doesn’t know if he can take another man’s life. Bro. Come on. Stop being such a librarian. Historian. Whatever. Think of it this, way, you shoot Bonnet and he’s history! You love history. Problem solved!
Jamie is like you must murder him. Then reveals he blames himself for all the terrible things Bonnet has done, because he set him free. He begs Roger to kill him. Jamie cracks a joke about Roger being a professor, then throws up. He tells Roger, “If I am to die tonight, promise me you will look after Claire and the Ridge.”
Roger tells Jamie vengeance is dangerous. And Jamie warns that Jemmy has River Run, and Bonnet will try and claim Jemmy as his own. Jamie tells him Bonnet is garbage and there is “a fine line between a monster and a hero.”
Then the sweetest, snake-induced thing happens: Jamie tells Roger, “I blamed you for not coming back to Bree immediately, but I’m glad you’re here.” Awww. Roger says if you want me to kill Bon Bon, you have to teach me how to fight. Then Jamie passes out.
The next morning, Roger has made a stretcher out of twigs and is dragging Jamie on it. Impressive. Roger says he’s lost, again. Jamie teaches Roger how to use the wind and sky to find his way home. He tells Roger, “If I die, make Claire go back with all of you, if Jemmy can travel through the stones. Tell Bree, I’m glad of her and give my swords to the bairn. Tell Claire ‘I meant it.’” Uh oh, this sounds like Jamie is giving his own eulogy.
Jamie’s Condition Worsens, Roger Walks Faster than Before
Roger is crying and says a prayer for Jamie. Jamie and I both officially like Roger. It happened at this very moment. One of us is passed out and dying, but the other one is not. I am of sound body and mind, sans snake bites.
Ian and Fergus scream for Roger and Jamie in the woods. But Roger can’t scream back. So he hits a tree with a stick. This episode is so exciting. Jamie looks very dead. But then Rollo rolls up and licks his face and the boys bring Jamie back to Claire.
Oh crap. Claire doesn’t have a working penicillin poker! Remember that rat b*stard Brown broke her syringe! Claire says as a surgeon she’s never seen anything like the snakebite. Uh oh. If Claire doesn’t know, we are all screwed. Mainly Jamie though. Claire then yammers on about an autopsy and basically says, “You look terrible.” Jamie says, “You should work on your bedside manner, Sassenach.” Jamie is still very funny! Even on the brink of death.
Claire tells Bree, “Stay with your father.” (Heart bursts a little). This might be the longest Bree and Jamie scene since the wedding. And it’s only 5 seconds. Enjoy it.
Marsali and Claire have a doctor-med student consultation. Marsali says, “Is it bad?” And Claire is like, “YES, betch!” She tells Marsali they need to get maggots to eat the dead flesh, and says if his leg turns gangrene she will have to — but Marsali stops her. Claire says she’ll make a penicillin soup, which won’t be as effective orally.
They need that damn penicillin. I don’t want Jamie to die or lose his parts. Ugh. I knew Jamie shouldn’t have bragged about having all his parts in that birthday tent!
Bree is sitting by Jamie’s bedside and Claire looks very concerned. She gives him the penicillin soup (Outlander, if you’re going to do soup, then turtle soup is preferable), and she says lucky for you this doesn’t have to be injected into your bum. Jamie is still being funny. They both are. But then Jamie sees the saw.
Claire sits with Jamie and he says he knows it’s bad because she’s not yelling at him. This is why this show is so good. Jamie says, “You think I’m dying.” And she says, “Fine you fool, why didn’t you look where you were going?” But Claire is scared. So is Jamie.
The Scottish Patient – James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser
Jamie freaks and grabs the saw and says, “No way.” Claire says, “I don’t want to do that but if it’s a choice between your life and your leg.” She tells him to give her the saw. He refuses. And then they have a fight, sort of. Jamie tells Claire he’s made his choice. She doesn’t look happy.
Bree and Roger are in the woods looking for maggots and Roger fills Bree in about Jamie’s Bonnet convo. Then one of the Beardsley boys finds some maggots.
Oh then Lizzy and little Jemmy (my President), are hanging out when a huge buffalo rolls up. Okay this episode is like Animal Kingdom meets We Bought a Zoo and I’m here for it. But this big guy looks threatening. Bree sees it near Jemmy and calls it over. Claire sees it too and then runs inside. And then that big buffalo races at Bree! Oh Jesus.
Sidebar: Outlander’s official account called this episode, “The One With the Animals,” in response to a Twitter fan @frasersansa’s video where she edited the Outlander opening in the style of Friends.
Back to the buffalo, it rams into and flips Bree just as Claire brings out the biggest gun and shoots the buffalo. Okay, so is this whole family just really good at shooting?
— Jess Loves Sophie💟 (@LOutlander) April 18, 2020
Bree is gonna have a back ache people. She’s gonna wish she brought some ibuprofen through those stones. How does she get up like a huge buffalo didn’t just level her? Maybe it’s adrenaline.
Then Jamie crawls out naked onto the porch to make sure his girls are okay. What. Is. Happening?! Stay in bed, Jamie. Claire agrees, and says, “What were you thinking?”
As this episode goes on, Sam Heughan looks younger with each scene as Jamie gets closer to death. Is he Benjamin Button?
Marsali delivers the maggots, then Roger comes in and says to Jamie the maggots won’t hurt but they will tickle. Omg. I LIKE ROGER. What just happened? Jamie does too. He tells him he’s a great comfort and you see it in his eyes. Then we see a shot of the maggots on Jamie’s leg and I didn’t need that. Season 5 loves maggots. Claire tells Bree that his body is defeating the venom, but the leg infection is BAD. She says if there was just a way of getting the penicillin into his blood stream.
Roger sits with Jamie. And Jamie says, “I need to sleep in my own bed.” Jamie looks even closer to death. Roger replies, “Ferrying you about is becoming an everyday occurrence.” This episode has everything: Jamie and Claire, family moments, sadness, suspense, maggots, snakes, buffalo, and a lot of humor.
Claire’s Difficult Decision
Claire tells Bree the thought of amputating Jamie’s leg makes her sick. Claire says she might have no choice but amputation, but that Jamie made her promise she wouldn’t. “At least he will be alive to be mad at you,” Bree says as she tries to comfort her mother. Claire replies, “But every time he looks down it will be a reminder that I did it to him. That I didn’t keep my word.” If it comes down to it, there is no way Claire is not amputating that leg, promise or not.
Jamie Disappoints Young Ian
Young Ian and Roger move Jamie to his bed. And Ian says, “Why are you not letting Auntie Claire heal you?” Jamie replies, “What good would I be with one leg?” And Young Ian does not like that. He says, “Would you ever say that to my father or Fergus?!” Young Ian for the win! Top that JAMMF. He doesn’t stop there, he tells Jamie he’s too proud and that his father (who is missing a leg) and Fergus (a hand) are more courageous than him. Man this episodes lets everyone shine. John Bell’s Ian is back. Sure with less hair, but he is back. Ian tells Jamie “I used to wish you were my father and now I am ashamed of you” and then he walks out.
Claire notices Jamie is gone. How did they move Jamie without her seeing? How big is that damn ridge?! This big. Claire finds him and she’s like, “What the H is going on?” And Roger Mac runs. Hilarious. He actually ran because he was afraid of his mother-in-law. Honestly, every moment of this episode is excellent.
Claire looks at Jamie, who then says the cutest thing ever for a dying man. “I had to move, because I won’t have you sleep in the surgery, on the floor. You’ll sleep wi’ me.”
Fergus and His Father
Then something happens that hasn’t happened in a long while. Fergus has lines! Young Ian tells Fergus that Jamie doesn’t want to lose his leg and is not taking the news well. Fergus says, “We try not think about what we lack but about what we have.” Fergus then calls Jamie his father. Fergus is amazing. They need to show him more. Preferably with Claire and Jamie together. He’s basically their first child and the show hasn’t shown that bond enough. Or Bree and Jamie’s.
Jamie Dies & Claire Brings Jamie Back to Life
Claire asks Jamie how he’s feeling. And he replies, “Like a bag of moldy tripe with maggots.” Very specific. Jamie’s got jokes the entire episode. She says, “Only you’d laugh on your deathbed.” Claire asks him if it hurts and he tells her he feels tired. He tells Claire to not leave him. She says she’ll never leave him. Then Jamie says, “Touch me, before I sleep.” And he passes out? Dies?! What? No. No. Did Jamie Fraser just die?
Claire freaks as she feels Jamie’s cold body and pulse. Then Claire gets naked on top of Jamie and gives him, um, a hand-job back to life? Wow. What a wife. Gurl. THIS SCENE. Only Jamie and Claire would find time to have sex (ish) before one of them dies! Claire sexed Jamie back to life They don’t teach that in med school kids. She is an exceptional physician.
It’s a very good scene, and orgasms are good for your immune system people! Better than amputation. How do you like her bedside manner now, Jamie? Seriously, this makes snake bites very appealing. Get bit, get sex? And let me just say, Claire is very fast and good at her “job.” Claire handles the Jamie situation very efficiently.
Now that’s what I call hand-fasted. Sorry, Bree and Roger, Bree’s parents taught the class on this. A masterclass on the Art of Handfast. Really glad Bree didn’t walk in on her parents because hi, embarrassing. “Just performing southern CPR on your Da, nothing to see here!”
This might be one of the most beautiful scenes in this show. That ending aerial shot of them in particular. Props to Annie Griffin for directing this episode. Whoever thought of that last shot deserves an award.
Hang this in the Louvre pic.twitter.com/B9xREC55ma
— Call Me V 🐉🔥 (@senoritav76) April 19, 2020
Claire and Jamie have more sexual chemistry when one of them is on their death bed, than most people have when they’re fully alive. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Seriously, you’ll probably need a cigarette. (Don’t smoke, it’s bad).
I'm glad I'm not the only one rewatching that scene right now.
— SaraScofield72 🖤💚#Outlanderstan (@SaraScofield72) April 19, 2020
Some of the best reactions to this scene, came from Twitter fans. @IAmNotTrisha declared “My funeral is next week, you’re all invited. Invite the cast.” @RaelovesOL called it, “The greatest scene to ever go down in Outlander history. Oh my God, I am so not okay.” Rae is not okay! And @beaauchamp_ comes in with an amazing Game of Thrones meme, “Death coming to claim JAMMF: “Hi.” Claire’s boobs: “Not today.” And @LOutlander said this is the scene that Sam Heughan may have hinted about last year. Watch what he had to say. Twitter fan @erinmangerer expressed how she felt about the last 3 episodes in one simple, amazing photo. For those of you who like to watch the show when it’s released at midnight on the Starz app, follow along with the #OutlanderatMidnight hash on twitter, you will not be disappointed.
Bree Saves the Day
The next morning, Jamie and Claire wake up, and he tells her she can take his leg when the time comes. Thank you, young Ian. Back at the cabin, Roger is holding the snake head souvenir he brought back, and Bree looks at it and sees the fang. Lightbulb!
Meanwhile, Fergus and fam are in the woods and Marsali goes into labor! Ok, this is too much medical drama for Claire. She can only heal (wink) one patient at a time, Marsali! Fergus says, “I need to fetch mi’ lady!” And Marsali is like, “No time, my French boo.”
Claire gets ready for the amputation and gives Jamie something to knock him out, and asks where the hell everyone is. She tells Jamie to pray. Where is Bree?! Claire picks up the knife and her hand is shaking. Bree bursts in and says, “Snake fangs have beautiful engineering!”
Claire: “What?” Then she realizes Bree has made a syringe!
Jamie: “Is that the same snake?”
Roger: “Fair’s fair.”
This episode makes me so happy. Claire and Bree fill Bree’s DIY, L.L. Bean syringe with penicillin and inject Jamie with some good ol’ Claire-fashioned penny.
Bree holds Jamie’s hand as Claire injects him and then they have the sweetest most disgusting family moment. “Beautiful engineering indeed,” Claire tells her daughter. She has never been more proud. I love the Frasers. Even you, Roger. Man we’ve come a long way. Remember when I made a list about 10 things I hate about you?
Claire goes to see Marsali and Fergus tells her they named the new baby, Felicity. Remember in Season 3, when Marsali asked Claire about birth control. (Well, the 17th century version at least). Now her births are out of control. Ammirite? Claire should have had that talk with her son too, Fertile French Fergus.
Jamie and Claire
Roger Mac is asleep by Jamie’s bedside. Did he take the night shift? It’s the cutest. He might be the best son in law. Roger tells Jamie he wants to see Jamie kill Stephen Bonnet.
Later, Jamie is in bed with his tiny glasses. And their tiny cute cat. Claire sits by his side and says, “You tried to die on me.” He tells Claire he knew she was the one thing that could bring him back. Yeah, she was. She asks him, “Why did you choose to stay?” “Because you need me.” Claire replies, “Not because you love me?” Jamie says, “Whether we are together or not, I will always love you.” “Whatever the reason James Fraser, you made the wise choice.” And it ends with them kissing. Jamie Fraser kisses with his eyes open people. He does not want to stop looking at her ever.
the only thing that could bring him back pic.twitter.com/OHd5skcwhn
— charlotte (@frasercait) April 19, 2020
This is an exceptional episode that viewers will re-watch many times. Some fans already have. Because it’s just that good. I didn’t think it was possible to top episode 7, but this just did, becoming one of my favorite episodes ever. The strong female bonds in this show, in particular Marsali and Claire were on full display. They’re like if Thelma and Louise went to med school instead of off a cliff. And Bree was finally the MVP she was always meant to be. As Twitter fan @belladamenoir said, “Bree could literally run this ridge.” Even Outlander book series writer, Diana Gabaldon declared it one of her favorite episodes. Now that’s a serious stamp of approval.
Sam Heughan has been shining this season. First in “The Ballad of Roger Mac,” and now this one. He is heartbreaking in one moment, funny in the next. And Caitriona Balfe’s Claire is a beacon of strength in every single scene. Together, these two are the reason to watch this show.
Next episode: *Spoilers* – Bonnet is here. I repeat, Bonnet is here. And it looks like it all goes down on a beach. Son of a beach! He looks uber evil. Claire screams, “Bree, run!” Bonnet definitely is holding Claire hostage. Eek. Roger and Jamie seem to be attacking people and Roger declares, “He’s mine, I will take him.” Pretty sure, Roger changes his mind about that whole killing Bonnet thing.
There are only 3 episodes of Outlander left. Possibly for a long time. Because of this damn pandemic. Stay at home, people. So we can get more Outlander, sooner rather than later.
Before you go, if you love Outlander you’ll love these books.