Outlander keeps getting better. The further it gets into Season 5, the closer it gets to the Season 1 vibe. Last episode, which was one of my two favorites ever in this show, Jamie almost died, Claire brought him back to life, Roger stepped up and Bree saved the day — and her dad’s leg.
And this week delivers yet another riveting episode, which had me holding my breath the entire time. Except for the time I paused it to pour a glass of wine. Buckle in, for 59 minutes of pure entertaining stress in this bona fide epic episode, or rather Bonnet-fide. That’s right: Bonnet is back and he’s worse than ever.
Bonnet in a Brothel
Bonnet meets with that little weasel lawyer, Forbes in a brothel. Forbes warns Bonnet that he shouldn’t be “trading commodities of a female nature.” Is Bonnet a pimp now? He spends most of this meeting eyeing a prostitute across the room. Forbes tells him if he wants his son, he shouldn’t be doing this. I ask again, how does Weasel lawyer know that Jemmy might be Bonnet’s? How? You know who that Weasel is? He’s the Peter Pettigrew character in Harry Potter. A rat. Forbes assures Bonnet that young Jeremiah will be with his father, and asks Bonnet when he’ll be paid. Bonnet says once I have my son there will be an accident for Jocasta and her bride groom. Oh! This lawyer is Jocasta’s lawyer! He’s the jilted douche. The one Bree didn’t pick! Of course this is about a man who can’t take no for an answer. So Jocasta needs a new lawyer.
“To Catch a Bonnet” — Jamie and Claire Put Their Plan into Action
Fam Fraser is having a lovely lunch where Jamie, Claire, Bree and Roger discuss murdering Bonnet for the greater good. They’re so cute. Claire says she doesn’t trust Philip Wylie, Panto man, to keep his word. Jamie says he thinks he will. Claire responds, “What if he doesn’t?” And Jamie says, “Well, I’ll be dead.” Too soon, Jamie. We have not yet recovered from your last brush with death, though it did bring us probably one of the best Jamie and Claire scenes in the entire series. Claire created a new form of CPR. The C stands for Claire. The R stands for Resuscitation, and I’ll let you figure out what the P stands for.
Claire is not digging Jamie’s death jokes. But then he says, “If you find the time, make Wylie suffer for it,” and Claire smiles. She loves good murder humor. Bree looks at her parents with heart eyes.
Young Ian joins them, looking like a mini James Fraser. He’s going to be Mr. Alexander Malcolm. Ooh, this episode is very suspenseful and it’s only 6 minutes in. Jamie tells Claire that if he, Roger and Ian don’t come back in two days, go back to The Ridge. Claire’s like, “If you don’t return we’re coming to find you.” Jamie looks hella proud. She ain’t a regular wife, she’s a “cool wife.”
It’s funny when Jamie tries to tell Claire what to do. It never goes well for him. Watch Caitriona Balfe impersonate Sam Heughan’s Jamie, in this funny video where a fan called out this exact situation.
Claire & Bree — Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Claire and Bree head out in town to talk to a local glass blower. They show him a drawing of their syringe. He says this is rather small. That’s what she said. Claire replies, “The smallest things in life are the most useful.” That’s what she said. Did she though? (They really set me up well, I’m sorry).
He asks them, “Aren’t syringes made out of brass?” Claire says, “Well I prefer to use this easier to sterilize, err I mean clean.” He looks perplexed. I love when Claire slips up and uses her future speak. Cue montage of Claire doing this at least once a month since season 1.
Glass blower is in. Claire and Bree are the cutest time-traveling-syringe-making mother daughter duo ever. Bree asks when was the hypodermic needle invented. Claire responds, “Not for a while. But I need one. Your father has a knack for almost getting himself killed every time he gets out of bed. I swear that man is like a cat, 9 lives, if not more.” Oh shit. As they’re walking, someone is watching them. They don’t reveal who but pretty sure it’s Bonnet.
Jamie, Roger and Ian Wait for Bonnet
The boys arrive at Wylie’s landing. They look kind of badass. But Roger has so many weapons on his belt. Okay, just last episode he said he wasn’t into violence, guns etc. and now he has 45 weapons on his belt.
Jamie says Bonnet will probably come with sailors and it’s their one chance. (Aka, don’t mess this up boys).
Claire Takes Her Daughter to Work Day — aka The Beach
Bree and Claire are walking on the beach. I FEEL NERVOUS. Oh, they’re looking for shells and sponges for Claire’s surgery. Of course. That’s why I go to the beach too. Someone. Is. Watching. Them. Cue creepy music. Outlander will not let us have nice things!
— Kreidy Giantsbane (@kreidy_b) April 26, 2020
Roger tells Jamie he wants to kill Bonnet. Now Roger, I like you, we came a long way in the last episode. You, me and Jamie. Jamie and I like you now, but you really can’t aim, man. Exhibit A and Exhibit B.
Jamie and I have the same reaction. But Roger says, “I’m doing it, Brianna is your daughter but she’s my wife.” That argument falls kind of empty for me. Jamie says, “Don’t hesitate. Kill him the moment you have the chance.” Then Jamie and Roger make a boy pact. Jamie says, “If you get killed, I’ll avenge you.” “And, I you,” Roger responds. This is an adorable bromance now. Then they split up, which makes me concerned. Mainly for Roger.
Back to Claire and Bree on the beach, a huge whale jumps out of the water and then six more. Claire and Bree, whale watchers. Then they both say how much they loved Moby Dick. Cute mom-daughter book club moment happening on this beach. They reminisce about racing on the beach when Bree was little. And then they start racing each other. Omg guys, this makes my heart hurt. Twitter fan @marjorie_pr says it best. Finally, we are getting family scenes. Why isn’t Jamie here? He would no doubt race Bree. Fraser beach marathon? Yes, please. Bree says, “It’s not easy in a corset.” Claire says, “I’m too old for this running sh*t.”
Here’s what that marathon would look like. I don’t know who made the Jamie and Phoebe from Friends running gif, but whoever you are, you are a legend.
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) April 26, 2020
This is too perfect, something bad is about to happen. Bree decides to walk in the water for a bit and Claire says she’s going to look for more shells. No girls! Do not separate on that beautiful whale beach!
Son of a Beach
Back at Wylie’s landing, Ian, Jamie and Roger see some men arriving. It’s basically three men on a boat meet three men not on a boat. We then cut back to Bree and Claire on the beach. I already know, Bonnet ain’t on that boat, because he’s on that beach.
Claire is in a field channeling her best Julie Andrews Sound of Music look. The hills are alive. She and Bree wave to each other. This perfect moment. Eek.
The boys learn Bonnet is not there. He had business elsewhere. Hello, let’s name that beach “Elsewhere.” The sailors go in the shed then Jamie beats the crap out of them. Even Roger gets a good barrel shot in! He actually throws a barrel at someone. One guy almost stabs Roger but then last min Jamie saves him. Roger is like, “What took you SO LONG DA-IN-LAW?!” And Jamie is all nonchalant, “You were doing so well, dinna think you needed the help.” They interrogate the sailors and asks where Bonnet is. Jamie is amazingly menacing in this scene. But WE KNOW WHERE BONNET is!
Claire bends down to pick up a god damn seashell. And Bonnet reveals himself, “The sea lives inside every shell,” he says. Sea creep.
Claire whips out her tiny gardening knife. Where’s her gun?! Bonnet says, “I never forget a face. Neither you nor your lovely daughter’s. She seems to have inherited your beauty.” Weird time to flirt. You sociopath. Then he asks, “Where’s my son? Does he resemble his handsome father?” Claire is angry. Like Mom angry. Where she will cut you if you threaten her babies. She spits, “You don’t have a son.” He says Bree told me I do. Pause, I’m kind of mad at JAMMF. Knowing Bonnet is on the loose, why would they leave Claire and Bree unprotected?
Then Bree comes running around the corner giving Bonnet a chance to grab Claire and put a knife to her throat. Claire screams, “Bree, RUN!”
Claire yells at her to go! But Bree says, “I’m not leaving you.” She quickly grabs the pistol from Claire’s basket. Ooh Bree with killer moves! Claire says, “SHOOT HIM!” He threatens to cut Claire’s throat. Bree says, “Wait!” Bonnet says, “I’ll let her go if you come with me. I want you and my son.” How romantic, you psycho. Claire ain’t gonna like that. Omg. The next few seconds are super stressful! Claire elbows Bonnet hard and gets free from him so Bree can get a shot! Bree shoots! Damn it, the pistol is empty. Bonnet knocks Claire out, Bree rushes him, and he knocks her out. This isn’t good. Two knocked out ladies on a beach with an actual crazy person. Twitter fan @IAmNotTrisha’s video reaction to this scene is worth watching. She is us. We are her. This would be the time to get another drink.
Claire wakes up alone on the beach, with a very bad headache. She screams for Bree. She gone, girl. Claire finds Brianna’s boots and belt. That man took Bree barefoot? Sick.
Brianna wakes up with an equally bad headache and sees Bonnet. He’s all, “Would you like some tea?” Oh cool, that’s how he courts women. He assaults them, then throws them a tea party. Please kill him now. Twitter fan @heughanverse agrees with an important cat gif. Bree asks where they are, and he says, “Safe. You’re on my island.” Sorry? Did Bonnet win the lottery last we checked. He has an island? Bree’s like where is my mom? Bonnet says, “I left her on the beach.” You, son of beach.
Bonnet then says, “Can’t we just let bygones be bygones.” No b*tch, we can’t. Bonnet is wearing some actual cray cray pants, when he gives Bree a chest with creepy dolls, a gift for their son. He says, “We made him. I want to do right by you and him.” Seriously, the dolls in that chest are very scary. Like a bunch of small little Phillip Wylies! He says creepily, “I have something for you too.”
Mom and Dad to the Rescue
Cut to Claire galloping on a horse. She runs into Jamie, Ian and Roger and says, “It’s Brianna!” I’m not going to ask how she found them so fast. Though if anyone would have good 17th century GPS skills, it would be Claire.
Bonnet Woos Bree — Blech
Bree comes out in a fancy new dress that Bonkers Bonnet gave her to wear. Oh look, he’s set up an insane romantic dinner for the two of them. Run, Bree, run. He asks, “Am I supposed to pull out the chair for you?” Seeing this weird psycho try to be nice is unnerving. Bree looks unimpressed. He asks her to please sit down. Please let her kill him. And then eat dinner as if nothing happened.
Their weird one-sided date continues and Bonnet says, “What I need is something I can’t buy.” And Bree snaps back, “A moral compass.” Yes, girl. There’s Claire and Jamie’s daughter. A little Sassy, nach.
Bonnet says, “I want to make sure our son knows how to get on in the world. Show me how to be a worthy gentleman. And no harm will come to you.” Then he plays the true typical psycho card. “You saw something in me. You’re drawn to me. Fate has brought us together.”
Okay. I won’t deny that was a fateful night when she saw him holding her mother’s wedding ring. But what he did was horrific, not fate. Bree looks sick. He says, “Fate has brought us together to be parents to Jeremiah.” Bree says, “You know his name?” And he’s all, “Of course, let’s eat!” Worst date ever. Then Bree says, “Elbows off the table.” Ooh, she’s turning him into a little Eliza Doolittle. (Or Pretty Woman, whichever analogy you prefer. This is like if Pretty Woman were remade as a horror film).
Bree and Bonnet’s Book Club — Bonnet Breaks Down
Their date progresses to the bedroom. “What now,” he asks. Eek. Stress level a solid 10 right now. Good time to pause and refill your drink. But Bree has a genius idea. She says, “Read to me.” He looks mad. Oh gosh, unsay it Bree! Bree realizes and says, “If you can’t read I’ll read to you.” Wow, she is very good at this mental warfare!
She tells Bonnet, “You can’t make someone love you.” He says, “Can’t you learn to love me? For the sake of our son?” This is a very good, unsettling scene. Props to Sophie Skelton and Ed Speleers. Outstanding.
Then Bonnet comes up way too close behind her. I DO NOT LIKE IT. Six feet apart, Bonnet! Pandemic parameters are what we’re needing right now. Social distance your a** back, Bonnet. Speaking of social distancing, Twitter fan @catsandkilts re-mixed the Outlander theme song to be more social-distance friendly.
He reveals to Bree that when she told him in the jail that a piece of him would be left on this earth, he couldn’t explain how that made him feel. “Will you teach me how to love?” Very Beauty and the Beast vibes, but not in a fairytale way. She says I’ll read to you and thankfully, he backs away. Worst book club ever.
Okay just a note, you will need several stiff drinks for this episode, as Twitter fan @hailey_beaupre learned.
— Hailey Beaupre (@hailey_beaupre) April 26, 2020
Twitter fan @nichole_bain showed how she and her husband watch stressful Outlander episodes. Is that a JAMMF blanket? Why yes it is.
How we watch #Outlander … thanks to my 14yo daughter for the cozy blanket. I figured since he was feeling a little emotional after 5×10, he could use the snuggles. #outlanderatmidnight pic.twitter.com/n3LQF8YSYU
— Nichole Bain (@nichole_bain) April 26, 2020
Bree opens a book called, “The Art of Husbandry,” by Jamie Fraser. (No, not really, but if he did write a book, that might be it. High-five, feminist JAMMF). Bree starts pretend-reading the story of Moby Dick.
Gotta say, she isn’t great at fake reading. Only Claire’s daughter would memorize Moby Dick! Bree tells him this is Jeremiah’s favorite story and he asks if his son loves sea tales. Yes, you evil sea wank. Jemmy loves everything! Except large buffalo.
Bonnet loves this story so much that he lies down on the bed. But he can’t wait and wants to know how it ends! Spoiler-alert-Bon-Bon, up in this joint. So she tells him that the whale wins and Ahab dies. He looks unhappy and very triggered. He says the sea is a monstrous place. Oh! Remember in season 4 when he told Claire he was most afraid of drowning. He tells Bree he’s afraid of the sea. Ed Speleers is very, very good. Chillingly good. Wow. I wish he was a good character so I didn’t want him to be killed. But he’s not, and I do. Oh well.
He says, “You don’t think less of me?” And Bree wittily responds, “I could never think any less of you.” Smart girl. Bonnet has tears in his eyes and asks if Jeremiah gets scared. Bree says he needs his mother and Bonnet says he never had a mother or father. Such a powerful scene. Skelton and Speleers are brilliant. He makes Bonnet terrifying and sad at the same time. She makes Brianna sympathetic yet scared. He asks Bree how she comforts Jeremiah. And she says I would go to him and hold him and Bonnet grabs her. Bree says, “A lady would say goodnight and go to bed alone.” And thankfully psycho says, “I look forward to saying, ‘Good morning’.” Wow he’s crazy.
What’s for Breakfast Bon Bon? Terror with a side of Trauma? Cool.
Bonnet has breakfast brought in and the waitress is the prostitute he hooked up with in the opening scene. What’s going on? Bree decides to play along. She’s really good at this. “Where will we live? Here?” Bree says she needs to tell Jeremiah about him on her own, and that fate will bring them back together. Oooh, good girl use his creepy words against him.
She says she misses Jemmy. He agrees and says while she goes he will find them a place with a bedroom and room for their son. I hate him. And he says we’ll seal it with a kiss. Poor Bree. She nervously kisses him.
And then he turns back into a psycho, and says that kiss was fake and flips on her. He grabs her throat. And then the prostitute comes back in and he tells Brianna I’ll show you what you’re missing. Trigger warning scene.
He proceeds to throw the woman down and have sex with her while Brianna watches. The prostitute smiling during this does not help. Poor Brianna. Super traumatic. This is almost as if he’s attacking her all over again. Her PTSD just took 10 steps back. After they’re done, the prostitute says, “For a few extra I’ll have some fun with her and you can watch.” Luckily, Bonnet says, “No.” He tells her to not let Brianna out of her sight.
Ultimately, Bonnet’s pride has been hurt. There’s a quote by Margaret Atwood, “Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.” Bree waves from afar. Bree tries to get the prostitute, Eppy, to help but she’s very unhelpful. Bonnet comes back in and ushers Eppy out.
Roger and Jamie find Wylie sans panto make up and fake mole, and say you must tell us where Bonny is. Roger holds a knife to Wylie’s throat, and pretty sure Wylie pees a little. Wylie quickly reveals that Bonnet hangs out at a brothel.
Claire & Jamie Go to a Brothel
Claire and Jamie go to the brothel together. Lol. The brothel ladies are like, “Hmmmm, different having a husband and wife coming together.” (Poor choice of words). Unimpressed, Claire says, “We’re not here for that. We’re looking for Stephen Bonnet.” Eppy looks down at the ground.
Side note: Claire and Jamie go on the funniest errands together. Hi, weird Beardsley cabin with goats episode, which was one of my favorites this season. Aww, remember when Jamie and Claire lived at a brothel for a hot second in Season 3, and Claire didn’t let that go for two seasons. She’s still mad about it.
Rage at River Run
Weasel lawyer Forbes drops by to visit Jocasta. Jocasta’s new husband is a nice kind teddy bear. Jocasta tells Forbes she wants to give away her fortune to her family. Good thing she can’t see, because Forbes has absolutely no poker face at all. He is freaking out. Jocasta starts listing off how much money everyone is getting. She gives Marsali and Fergus 100lbs, 200lbs to young Ian. Forbes responds, “He’s been living with the Indians!” Oh hey, racist. Weasel says he’s writing it down but he’s super upset and questioning her at every corner. Jocasta! Get a new lawyer girl.
“Brianna and Roger 1000 pounds!” That’s it, that’s the straw that breaks the weasel’s back. Jocasta is like sorry Gerald or whatever lamebot’s name is, “I had hoped Brianna would have picked you.” This little worm. Jocasta says, “Lizzy 25 pounds,” and Forbes flips, like really flips and says “You can’t get give away my money!” Omg is he going to kill Jocasta?! YES. He smothers her with a pillow! She knocks the bell down and Ulysses comes in for the chokehold win!
Every scene in this episode is so terrifyingly exciting!
Jocasta is okay. Phew. Unclear if Ulysses killed weasel. He might have. It sounded like a solid neck snap.
Claire’s Card Trick
Back to Claire and the brothel. Eppy denies she knows Bonnet. And Claire sees her walk funny and says you have this medical condition. She tells her I know why your leg hurts. Eppy is like, “How did you know?!” Claire says, “I’m a healer and you’re in a great deal of pain.” Then Claire does a very cool card trick, and shows her she needs a cobbler to make her shoe that’s higher, the size of the stack of cards. Eppy says I can’t pay for new shoes. And Claire pulls out money and says I’ll help. Eppy says, “Why?” Claire responds simply, “When someone is in need and you can help, you help.”
Eppy tells her where Brianna and Bonnet are. Claire Fraser people, from healer, to card dealer, to heeler, as Twitter fan @kreidy_b calls her.
— Kreidy Giantsbane (@kreidy_b) April 26, 2020
Ian, Roger, Claire and Jamie get on a boat. Bree, don’t worry, your ridiculously hot parents are bringing all the guns.
Bonnet Sells Bree — Everything’s Just Beachy
And back at Hell Island, Bonnet is selling Bree to a man. Ugh. Stephen Bonnet, sailor, psycho, sex trafficker. The buyer sizes Bree up and checks her teeth. Ew, weirdo. Tooth fetish?! She bites down and he punches her in the stomach. He winds up to slap her, but Bonnet says she’s not yours yet. He then offers 6 pounds and Bonnet says deal. (Btw, 6 pounds is about 7 US dollars today.) They bring Bree down to the beach to complete the transaction. Man, beaches are just not good for this family! No beach vacations for the Frasers. Twitter fan @TinyTunney captured this in two photos. And @axisnebular responded by calling Claire a “sandy, traumatized, goddess.” I see no lies here.
— SA7AH (@TinyTunney) April 25, 2020
All of a sudden the Frasers storm the beach. Roger goes after Bonnet, Bree breaks free and Claire and Jamie run to her. Jamie says, “You’re safe.” (Minus the trauma, this is an adorable Fraser moment).
Creepy buyer dude runs to his boat. I wish they had shot him or at least taken his teeth out. He’s actual garbage. Roger and Bonnet roll down the hill fighting and then ROGER BEATS THE BONNET OUT OF STEPHEN. And it’s very satisfying to watch. But I want Bree to shoot him. Please and thank you. They tie him up and then there’s a very cool shot of all the Frasers looking down at Bonnet. Messed with wrong fam, man.
Bree is much nicer than me, it seems. She wants him to be judged according to the law. (I promise I am not murdery in real life, but this show brings it out in me). Murder, she wrote. It me.
Claire is like are you sure? Mama knows best Bree. Let her kill him, which is what I wanted from the beginning. See #7. Claire is very good at healing and killing. And whiskey. And Jamie. And CPR.
Jamie and Roger say Tryon still owes them for accidentally hanging Roger. Claire looks down at Bonnet and honestly if she could kill him with her eyes, this would have been the moment. And then they actually show Bonnet’s punishment. Death by drowning. As the water slowly rises, Bonnet screams. Hours later, he looks up and his expression drops. Bonnet is shot in the head, and on the other side of the gun is Bree. Brianna is a very good shot. Like mother, like daughter. Buffalos and Bonnets had no chance. “Was that mercy or did you want to make sure he’s dead?” Roger asks and Brianna doesn’t answer.
Brianna proved what we’ve known all along, she is the daughter of Jamie and Claire F-ing Fraser. Yes, girl. Brianna then hands Roger her gun. “Hold my gun” is the new “Hold my beer.”
This was Sophie Skelton’s episode. Her strongest work in the series. The last time we saw her shine like this was the day Brianna and Jamie met for the first time. Skelton played the duality of Brianna in these Bonnet scenes with perfection. She went head to head with Speleer. Literally. Played his head games and then her character shot his character in the head. She’s always been ahead of the game. She’s got a good head on her shoulders, that Brianna. Too much? Fine, I’m heading out.
The episodes that focus on Jamie, Claire and the family seem to work best where they all play off of each other, and they are all a part of it. Weaving Brianna and Roger in with Claire and Jamie leading is the secret to this show’s success, it does ensemble incredibly well when it leaves Jamie and Claire at the center. Unlike that season 4 episode aptly named, “Down the Rabbit Hole,” which didn’t feature Claire or Jamie at all, this episode allows Skelton’s Brianna to shine but with the leading support from her parents. Claire and Bree’s beach walk was the episode’s moment of zen. Still missing from this season are substantial Jamie and Brianna scenes.
With only two more episodes left — insert actual tears here — Outlander just keeps on getting better. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan became producers this season, more so around the halfway mark, and wow it shows. It really shows. This season has seen standout, especially episodes 3, 7, 9 that are some of the best of the series, which is not easy to do in the fifth season of a show. This Bonnet storyline was actually from Book 6, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes.” Which is a first for the show that usually sticks to one book per season.
Remember when Outlander used to be 16 episodes a season? Bring that back for Season 6, Starz. Because this upcoming Droughtlander is going to be too long for everyone. Cast, fans, the world. Give the people what they need.
And just when you think you can calm down because this episode is over, next week’s promo is even more stressful.
NEXT EPISODE: Spoilers — This episode looks terrifying. TERRIFYING. Outlander book series writer Diana Gabaldon penned this episode so it is sure to be good. Claire says, “Ulysses, have you given any thought as to where you might go next?” And he says, “Now that I’m a murderer?” I really want Ulysses to be part of Claire and Jamie’s band. Then Claire runs into her surgery room, screams “What’s the meaning of this?!” And somebody gets stabbed! Jamie runs to light the Fiery Cross, but Claire is not with him. Something bad must happen to Claire. These two cannot catch a break. Also, Claire’s hair is grayer. Is Outlander about to time jump us? I don’t really want that, because remember that 20-year separation/time jump? I can’t let it go, I’m SORRY.