Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for Outlander Season 6, Episode 4, “Hour of the Wolf.”
We finally learn what happened to Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire’s (Caitríona Balfe) nephew, Young Ian (John Bell), when he stayed with the Mohawk at the end of season 4. And wow, it’s a lot. Outlander loves to spread out the pain for its characters, and this time it’s Young Ian’s turn. He runs into his past. Literally. And not in the Claire way — he and Jamie can’t travel like that. Only horses for these boys. Luckily it’s not all Ian’s pain; this episode is also bookended with Claire and Jamie joy. And let’s just say being in their 50s has not slowed these two down. At all. They’re still the same little randy bastards they were when they first got betrothed. While Ian and Jamie are on their road trip back to Ian’s past, Claire decides to teach her new medical apprentice, Malva, a few medical tricks and uses Lizzie and Josiah as baby ether mice. Also known as, test subjects. Correct, Claire puts people to sleep. I don’t mean she’s boring. She literally is trying to put the Ridge to sleep with her magic ether. This episode will make you laugh and cry with an underlying current of anxiety. Because, Outlander.
Young Ian gets a haircut
We flashback to Young Ian from season 4 when he stayed with the Mohawk, so Roger would be freed. Roger seriously owes him. Oh, wait, Roger did save his life last season during their super depressing camping trip, “Two Sad Boys in the Woods.” Back to the flashback, this is the ceremony where Ian becomes one of the Mohawk. He gets a super painful haircut. Not since Felicity cut off all her hair has a haircut meant so much. Young Ian is named “Wolf’s brother.” He seems happy and makes googly eyes at a young lady.
Jamie and Claire skip breakfast & Major McDonald is rude
Outlander comes in hot for the episode 4 opening. Jamie and Claire are ahem, just finishing… breakfast in bed. There’s no food. Yes, sex. After they finish, Jamie says “Greased lightning?” Pardon me, sir? Equally perplexed, Claire says, “What?” “Were you not thunderstruck there at the end?” he replies. Ugh, they’re so cute. Claire asks, “Did I teach you that phrase?” Proudly he says, “I’ve heard you use it.” Then she explains, “That particular phrase means extreme speed. Not lubricated brilliance.” LUBRICATED BRILLIANCE! I believe Claire just gave Jamie a sex Oscar. (Now I will never hear the song, “Greased lightning,” the same again, thanks Claire). Also lol to Jamie thinking “greased lightning” is his Malcolm MacKenzie. Frisky Frasers: not your regular grandma and grandpa, people. Jamie replies, “I can be fast too, but not first thing in the morning.” Then he says, “There are worse ways to wake up,” and they start making out. But some annoying person sneezes loudly, interrupting what was about to be breakfast number two and Claire says, “Yes, there are.” Turns out, their house guest Major McDonald is allergic to cats. Jamie says, “Let’s stay in bed,” and they are about to have “brunch” when allergy cat man sneezes again. Stop cat-blocking them, Major McDonald! Claire tells Jamie, “We should go down or the Major will have eaten all the honey cakes,” and Jamie kisses her. Doesn’t look like he cares about honey cakes. Or at least those honey cakes. Come to think of it, maybe Major McDonald was fake sneezing to drown out the sex sounds of his noisy neighbors. Claire, Jamie, we be knowing how loud you two are. See seasons 1-6.
Twitter user Marie suggested: “He needs to ask Bree to invent soundproofing. For reasons.” That conversation would go over well. “Hey daughter, can you soundproof our bedroom? No reason. Cool thanks.” Cut to Bree. “Ugh barf.”
Important to note how well Outlander is handling showing Jamie and Claire’s intimacy following her attack. They go from frisky Frasers to chatty Frasers. In fact, their conversations are often just as intimate as the actual love scenes. And the joy and laughter that this couple has consistently worked into love scenes since season 1 cannot be matched. They are the only two who can laugh and coit at the same time. That’s called multi-tasking, my friends. Twitter fan Elle noticed the pattern of Claire laughing and mocking Jamie every time he says something hilarious during sex. Like in season 1 after they finished, and he says, “What does f*cking mean?!” Which she had called him in during their very first fight. Claire, always the teacher, “It’s what we just did.” Lesson over, James. Til sext class. Next. I meant next. ‘Til next class.
Fraser family shoot out
Jamie assigns Fergus a job to do out of town. He tells Fergus he has faith in him, but he must find faith in himself. Fergus thanks him for saving his life. Jamie continues to be the best dad. Are we worried that it’s a little too early to send Fergus off on a business trip? We are. But it’s also nice to see Fergus not drunk. Where was Marsali this episode? Did she get caught in Bree’s giant wheel? Somebody check on Marsali, please.
Bree, Roger, Jamie, and Young Ian are shooting their new shiny guns. Turns out Roger has been practicing. Reverend with a Rifle: The Roger MacKenzie Story. Brianna leaves and Jamie follows her asking her what’s wrong. Ooh, finally a Jamie and Brianna scene. Brianna is sad because it won’t be enough to save the Cherokee. She tells Jamie the government forces the Cherokee off the land and many will die. “Didn’t seem right to know and not tell you,” she says. Yes, time-traveling daughter from the future, you did the right thing. You would think Roger, who’s like really into history, would have thought to bring one history book when he traveled to the past. What did he pack? Nothing.
One note about Jamie and Brianna’s scenes in the last two seasons: They seem too transactional, instead of showing their bond. The only scenes in Outlander history that focused on their bond and relationship are when Jamie first meets Brianna and then when Jamie and Brianna went hunting for bees, as one does, and then Claire, Brianna, and Jamie ate honey together. But this is season 4. Sometimes the show focuses more on developing Jamie’s bond with Roger and Young Ian than his daughter. And considering he missed out on 20 years of her life, it doesn’t track that we wouldn’t see them making up for lost time. This is Jamie Fraser, the only person he loves as much as his wife is probably their daughter. So let’s see it. Give us Bee-hunting, the sequel.
Young Ian’s sad story
Young Ian sees his former Cherokee brother, Kaheroton, and does not look happy to see him. He tells Jamie about the girl he loved whose name he couldn’t pronounce, so he called her Emily. (I’m going to throw a little shade at this, sorry. It’s not okay to not be able to pronounce someone’s name and hence assign them a name that’s easier for you to say, but let’s move on.) We see how Ian and Wakyo’teyehsnonhsa met, a little meet-cute at the river. Then they got married and pregnant. She asks him, do you ever miss your home, and he says what Jamie said to Claire in season 1, “You are my home.”
Okay, gotta say, I don’t love that. I think that’s pretty unique to Jamie and Claire and feels weird to have young Ian say it. They could have done something else. They should give couples that aren’t Jamie and Claire their own moments and lines so comparisons to Jamie and Claire won’t be made. Because that’s a battle Jamie and Claire will always win. And hence, diminishes the other couple. They’ve done this with Roger and Brianna, too — made little Jamie and Claire recreations. And they cannot be recreated.
Back to Young Ian and his wife, we can tell something bad is going to happen. She wakes up in a pool of blood. We learn young Ian’s daughter died in childbirth. He never saw her. His wife got pregnant again and had another miscarriage. They send young Ian away back to his people. They claim his wife wanted this. She tells him, “It is what must be,” Translation: “It’s not me, it’s you.” Kaheroton is standing beside her and there’s an implication they end up together. Ian says, “He was my friend, my brother.”
Ian asks Jamie if he should have fought harder — and would Jamie have left if it had been aunty Claire. Jamie says, “It’s not the same lad.” And quite frankly, did I not just say that?! Don’t compare yourselves to Jamie and Claire. But I get why Young Ian asks his uncle that. He feels guilty for leaving his wife.
Claire Fraser’s ether party
Back on the Ridge Claire’s having a small gathering with ether. Correct, Claire’s putting people to sleep. Remember when Jamie and Claire joked about putting everyone to sleep when she first showed him the ether? That was a joke, Claire. (But again, I actually do endorse this, put ‘em all to sleep, including that cat-blocker).
She’s teaching Malva how to do the ether while she operates. And they’re going to test it on Lizzie and Josiah. Suckers. They look terrified. Claire Fraser loves showing people her medical tricks. And she really loves having an apprentice. Malva seems pretty excited about this. Omg, what if Malva uses the ether against Claire? Claire! Don’t be teaching your tricks to tricks! Okay fine, Malva isn’t a trick but there is definitely evil lurking beneath the surface. Lizzie goes under first. As soon as she’s asleep, Claire slices Lizzie’s finger with a blade! Like it’s just another day at the hospital! CLAIRE. Malva looks way too excited that you can cut into people without them feeling it. Jessica Reynolds again is skirting this innocent-psycho line really well.
Lizzie wakes up and is all, “I’m ready! Ether me.” Josiah is up next on the magic ether ride. Lizzie asks where does the soul go and Claire is like, “Oh you simple little lady, he’s not dead, just asleep.” How does Claire Fraser call Lizzie an idiot without calling her an idiot? Watch this scene. Lizzie is not an idiot for the record, but she is responsible for Brianna’s slap-a-thon in season 4, and the confusion that Roger was Bonnet. And this cannot be stated enough.
Malva says, “It’s like we killed him and brought him back to life again. I know why my father says this is Devil’s work.” We see yet again how messed up Malva is from her dad’s misogyny and abuse. Are they endangering her by letting her in on all of this? Or themselves. Yes, Claire. Yes. Josiah wakes up and is like let’s get the ether party started. Is Claire creating ether addicts?
Ian learns Kaheroton is now married to his wife, and they have a son who is walking. Betrayal brother! They begin fighting and Jamie and the drunk annoying whisky man grabs Kaheroton and pulls a knife on him! Oh no. Ian! You’re a white man attacking an Indian man, this will not go well for the Indian man. A duel breaks out and Jamie tries to make peace. But whisky man says a challenge has been accepted. Ian, this is all your fault. You’re the Lizzie in this situation. (I know, I need to let it go. Fine, I forgive her.) Dearest reader, she did not in fact forgive her.
Jamie goes to sit with Ian, and Ian reveals that his ex-wife and Kaheroton have a son. “But why did God take my daughter?” And then Jamie says what we’re all thinking, “My daughter Faith…” And we’re weeping. He goes on to say, “She was also lost, I never held her either.” Young Ian clearly has never heard this, he looks shocked. “We shall ask my daughter to look for yours in heaven.” Jamie Fraser. No words. If you got through this scene without crying, sorry you are dead inside and have no soul. It’s rare that we get to see Jamie and Claire talk about their first daughter, Faith. Which is probably emotionally better, because every time they do, it’s hard to breathe from all the weeping.
“My daughter Faith, she was also lost. And I never held her either. I dinna have an answer. Only at the end of life comes death. And after death, we come home to the Lord..
We shall ask my daughter to look for yours in Heaven. I ken she'll find her there.”
— SA7AH (@TinyTunney) March 27, 2022
Young Ian gives Kaheroton a gun saying he wants him to have a fighting chance. He responds, “If I die, go to her and my son.” Gosh, men are so stupid. Or you could just not duel, you yahoo. The Cherokee chief tells Jamie, “Bear killer, we wish to fight with you.” Jamie reveals to him, “the women in my family see in dreams what is to come. My wife and daughter say your people will be taken from this land in 60 years.” Jamie hopes his descendants can maybe escape and live. The chief asks Jamie, “This wife of yours, did you pay a great deal for her?” Jamie replies, “She cost me almost everything I have. She was worth it.” That’s right, she was! Jamie Fraser writing hallmark cards in 1770-whatever. Swoon again.
The stupid man-duel begins, and Jamie being the voice of reason, as usual, urges them to reconsider. They both say nope. This is young Ian’s fault. But he quickly redeems himself when he sees whisky man turn early to shoot his baby mama’s baby daddy. It’s confusing! It’s a love triangle people! Anyway, he saves Kaheroton. And Kaheroton doesn’t shoot wimpy whisky man. Ian gives the wedding bracelet back and says, “God chose you to be with her.” Then he throws the first gift she gave him in the river. So I guess he’s divorced officially. So much easier than lawyers.
Quick Lizzie/twin update: Every single episode this season, Lizzie and the twins have been flirting. She really likes double dating (with herself). Or she can’t tell them apart. Because I cannot. So this is not the dating life I would choose, Lizzie. Though it is convenient. One’s away, then Lizzie can play. Okay, girl, you’re onto something.
Jamie & Claire’s roll in the hay
Malva watches Claire write in her medicine recipe book. Gosh, Claire is so cool but too kind. She lets Malva look in her book. Aww, Malva is really cute with Claire. She tells her that her brother thinks Claire’s book is a witch book. Malva says she finds her book (and her), “enchanting.” Then Claire sees Jamie has come home. She lights up when she sees him pulling into the stables. Again, Balfe and Heughan have chemistry with each other when they’re not even in the same room. Like, that is the look of love. Claire Fraser. And Jamie Fraser. Defining love. Again. Seriously guys, stop it.
Claire meets Jamie in the barn and they’re clearly about to have a roll in the hay. Oh heyyyyy. By the way, is this episode the super pregnant love scenes that Balfe told us about at the premiere… hmmm? Side note: are Jamie and Claire the inventors of the phrase roll in the hay? I say yes. Don’t at me.
Jamie tells Claire Ian told him everything. But he doesn’t have the strength to tell her now. Good thing because she has other plans — plans that will require, um, strength, Jamie. Jamie tells her he can’t be two things at once — to be on both sides. It’s pulling him apart. He decides to resign as Indian agent. Then she starts taking his clothes off. That is exactly how to celebrate a resignation by the way. He says time to change horses. (Ahem, she’s about to do just that Jamie). There’s a horse riding joke in here but I will not make it. Will not. Twitter fans @New_Sasha and @jammfcomfort captured the magic of this scene in their tweets.
And then they have sex and Malva is watching them! I knew it! Little weirdo. Malva out here playing “I Spy” with Claire and Jamie’s butts. Like she’s really watching them. Claire is actually low-key hilarious in this scene in how much she wants to have sex. Jamie’s all concerned and she’s like, “Yeah, yeah, war, shmwar, blah, blah, blah, I know, but can we just have sex in the barn like the good lord and Malva intended?” And then it ends. No Outlander, I need more. Also they’ve had Jamie and Claire do it every single episode this season except one so far. And twice in this episode. Just a quick sex count for you. Doing the tough math for the people, you’re welcome.
Before you go, check out the all-time best ‘Outlander’ episodes you need to watch.