As we said last week, Outlander loves to toy with emotions, and it certainly continues to do so in this week’s episode ‘Freedom and Whisky’.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) was last seen in Helwater where he worked as a servant for the Dunsany’s and got himself into a situation which led to the birth of William, Jamie’s son. As Willie began to grow, Jamie realised he must leave before anyone noticed the boy was his so he said a heartbreaking goodbye to yet another child of his. Meanwhile, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) resided in Scotland with her daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) as they continued their search for Jamie. Unfortunately they reach a dead-end so Claire decides to give up and return home to Boston.
In December 1968, Claire and Joe (Wil Johnson) operate and Claire takes risks to ensure everything is seen to. For Brianna, she’s back at college, however, she’s not paying attention and when her professor pulls her aside, he says she’s failing all her classes. After surgery, Joe notes this look Claire has, the same one she had after returning from Scotland and asks if she met a man. She mentions a man who’s “as Scottish as it comes” with it being “as serious as it comes” with Joe exclaiming “fuck fate” to Claire’s talk of not being able to be together.
The Jolly Ol’ Roger
We’re treated to some 60’s music, which really felt out-of-place for the series and quite jarring, but with the music came Roger who’s knocking on the door of the Fraser/Randall household. He interrupts an argument between Brianna and Claire, except the surprise and happiness Brianna shows upon seeing Roger was incredibly sweet. Claire reveals Brianna wants to withdraw from Harvard and move out so Brianna storms off and promises to see Roger later.
Feeling awkward, he tries to leave, but Claire insists he stays. The two sit down for a meal and he talks about Christmas not feeling the same without Reverend Wakefield, however, Claire says he didn’t only come because of that which causes Roger to become a little sheepish.
Roger announces he has some news to cheer Claire up and reveals he continued searching for Jamie and found an article written in 1765, which includes a line Claire used to quote to Jamie. She questions it, but the name Alexander Malcolm is used as the publisher. She flies through a whirlwind of emotions as she can’t leave Brianna so she asks him not to tell Brianna about it.
Bones and Bitches
Claire visits Joe who is examining a set of bones found in a cave in the Caribbean and Claire is filled with the sense the woman was murdered 150 years ago. Joe queries Claire’s remarks and discovers a neck bone shows a dull blade to the neck would have most likely been the cause of death. He then continues to ask about her man and she reveals he is Brianna’s real father, to which Joe isn’t surprised by as he knew Frank and Claire weren’t the perfect couple. He asks if she still loves him and if there is a second chance, she should take it.
Meanwhile, Roger sits around watching Dark Shadows when Brianna drops by and invites him to an event at Harvard as they are naming a fellowship after Frank. It is there Claire runs into Frank’s mistress Sandy, and the two women are left alone so Sandy rips into Claire about Frank being the love of her life and how selfish Claire was by forcing Brianna and Frank to live a lie.
Time For More Truths
After leaving, Brianna asks who the woman was as she remembers how Frank looked at both Claire and Sandy the same. Claire tells Brianna the truth and she immediately jumps to the conclusion Frank must have hated her since she looks so much like Jamie. Brianna then asks if Claire resents her since she is the reason the two had to part, but Claire dismisses both of these questions.
Claire then tells Brianna about the pages Roger found and Brianna wants her to go back to Jamie. The pair later sit down and have a heart-to-heart about the fact they may never see each other again, however, Brianna says Claire owes it to Jamie to let him know about her.
Claire becomes concerned he may have forgotten her or doesn’t feel the same, so she visits Joe to get a second opinion. She asks if she’s still sexually attractive, to which he replies with, “you’re a skinny white broad with too much hair and a great ass. He’ll be in heaven when he sees you Lady Jane”.
Preparing For The 18th Century
Roger and Brianna give Claire a box of old coins they found at antique shops so Claire will have some money for when she gets there. Roger then gifts her with a pocket =book about Scotland’s history to aid any issues she might face again. Claire admits she took some scalpels and penicillin from the hospital and Brianna gives her another gift—a topaz necklace to help her get through the stones.
Claire says she’ll need some 18th century clothes, and with that, she announces she’ll be making her own. Cue the montage of her fashioning her dress whilst the 1966 Batman theme song played over the scene—and no, that’s not a joke. I don’t know what the creators were thinking when adding this music in, especially the freaking theme song.
Claire touches up her hair to cover up the greys and completes her dress, which is made out of raincoats to help with the rain and she even created secret pockets to help transport all her goods. She takes Brianna’s blouse to wear and says her goodbyes as she won’t allow them to come to Scotland. Brianna asks to give Jamie a kiss from her whilst Claire gives her the Fraser pearls.
After Claire waves goodbye, Brianna wipes her tears and brings Roger his “American Christmas” in the form of a lobster roll and Boston cream pie. Roger gifts her with a copy of A Christmas Carol, which Frank and Claire used to read to Brianna, and she responds by kissing him again followed by reading the story to him.
Heading Home To Jamie
Claire steps out of the taxi, and on to the cobblestones of 18th century Edinburgh, which was quite surprising as one would assume we would see Claire travel through the stones once more. She’s directed towards A. Malcolm Printer and Bookseller and touches the sign as she walks up the stairs.
Upon entering, Jamie begins talking to who he assumes is Geordie and Claire is completely in awe of the sound of his voice. She slowly walks towards him with his back facing her and simply says, “It isn’t Geordie. It’s me.” Jamie begins to slowly turn around and he’s taken aback by the sight of her and as she begins to smile more, he faints.
Outlander, you’ve outdone yourself. Whilst I questioned the fact if we would see Jamie as the episode began to lag quite a bit, you did exceed my expectations. I must admit, Brianna has become somewhat tolerable in comparison to the past few episodes as we finally got to understand her situation and feelings a little better, so perhaps other fans may be finally feeling some sympathy towards her. Despite her and Roger’s story seeming a little neglected, there is definitely some sparks there so it will be interesting to see if they pop up in their time now that Claire isn’t with them to pull the story towards them.
As for Claire and Jamie’s reunion, I became quite concerned when the music swelled as she was about to knock and it seemed as thought it was about to cut to black, but when she stepped inside, my heart soared. Even though we had only seen Jamie in the last episode, it was beyond exciting to hear his voice just as Claire was hearing it for the first time after twenty years. The brief scene between the pair was so full of tension and emotion, it felt strange to laugh as he fainted with Claire reacting in shock and the episode cutting to black.
The episodes so far this season have been quite consistent with one another, but now that the pair are reunited once more, will the series resume its regular pace and overall feel like the past seasons? How will Brianna and Roger fit in? When will we get to see other Outlander characters? Will we see Jamie’s butt in the next episode? These are all the burning questions that we need the answers to.
Outlander unfortunately returns in two weeks, but we will be treated to an extended episode! Tell us what you think of ‘Freedom and Whisky’ in the comments below!