Despite some concerns about where this episode left off, and where the next one will go, I thought this was another terrific outing. We’ve had a nice string of three now – dare I hope that the three left this season will continue the run?
The Deep Heart’s Core, taken from a William Butler Yeats poem that was ultimately not used in the episode, really was an apt title. How deep does love go? Can the wounded heart find peace? Does the universe offer second chances? This episode truly was about the opportunity to recover or regain something, for many of our characters. The new relationship between Jamie and Brianna – can that trust be found again? Can Brianna accept that this man she was coming to love as her father really had her best interests at heart, and that he truly will do everything in his power to make this terrible mistake right? Speculating here, of course, but can Murtagh find another love so late in life, with someone who knew him well when he loved her sister? And most importantly, what decision will Roger make – to escape this hell he’s been dropped into, or find his way back to Brianna and forgo the easy out he’s just discovered?
BUT FIRST…. a bit of puzzling trivia. When was the faucet invented? The opening credits show a hand turning a faucet at the whisky still, but a quick Google search seems to indicate that faucets weren’t really invented until the mid-1800s. It makes a nice visual, but I don’t think it’s at all accurate. (If you have other info, leave a comment below!)
And before we talk about the episode, here’s the poem that the title is taken from – I sure would have liked to have seen the piece that Toni wrote that went with this poem (watching the couple of minute “Inside” piece after the ep, that’s what she and Matt mentioned). I love the way this relates to the discussion Jamie and Brianna had about Claire being content in her garden, and how Frank always said she was likely to leave them and go away to live in the forest.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W.B. Yeats, 1865-1939
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There’s midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
Brianna – Second Chance for Honor?
Jamie has his subtle moments, but this wasn’t one of them. Could Brianna have fought off Stephen Bonnet? The answer, quite honestly, is no, as Jamie shows her. Just telling her wouldn’t be enough – and throughout the books, there’s more than once instance where he recognizes that she’s a “show me” kind of woman. He has to recreate some of the fear and anger she would have felt at that moment in the tavern – so he deliberately makes her mad.
The scene was a little short, the lesson abbreviated, but Brianna got the message. And I liked that she asked him about Black Jack, and what he thought he would have regained by killing him – and if her honor wasn’t worth getting back in the same way. This reminded me of the discussion between Jenny and Jamie, when they reconciled at Lallybroch, again over a discussion of indignities suffered at Randall’s hands. Jamie’s learning – a woman’s honor and love is worth no less than a man’s. Sam and Sophie were both terrific in this scene, as comforter and comforted. He has had enough tragedy in his life that he understands when you can fight back, and when you can’t – and Brianna has lessons to be learned.
That nightmare Brianna has – Roger back with her, turning into Bonnet and a replay of the rape – how horrible! I completely jumped with Roger turned into Bonnet – perfect!
Jamie – Second Chance at Trust?
“What have you done, Jamie Fraser?” What indeed. He’s gone off half-cocked, but he thought he was in the right – from the bad information that Lizzie provided. And now listening to Bree tell him that no, she had gone with Roger willingly, and Jamie assuming that she had been lying all along – that slap!! Hot heads all around, no? But when Jamie finds out that it was Stephen Bonnet who had violated Brianna – you can see it in Jamie’s face. What had he unleashed when he set Bonnet free that night? In the review of the season’s first episode, I talked about moments that have ripples throughout multiple storylines, and here is another – Bonnet’s freedom cost Claire her ring, Lesley his life, and now, Brianna’s honor, her relationship with Roger, and Roger’s freedom.
This scene was so well done – Ian’s horror, Claire’s disgust and anger, Brianna’s exploding anger, and Jamie’s overwhelming guilt – you can just feel the tension and the boil! The unspoken agreement between Bree and Claire that it was the right time to let go of the secret, Claire slamming Jamie’s ring down on the table, and Jamie’s quick realization of what that meant. All four of the actors in the scene were fabulous, and the scene worked so well!
Jamie now has to make good on his vow to return Roger to his daughter – the trust between two people who have known and loved each other a long time, between parent and child, can be more easily repaired because of a track record of promises kept. The trust between two people who have only recently met and have never before had their relationship tested is so tenuous and fragile – and Jamie has so much more to lose if he doesn’t succeed.
Just a quick note – I loved Ian’s heartfelt proposal to Brianna. He’s obviously a puppy in love – and I’d say she’s out of his league, but knowing how he grows and matures, and what a bit of a brat she has been, maybe not. But “it’s nice to have a cousin.” Jamie’s “Get off yer knee, ye eejit,” was too funny.
Roger – Second Chance for ….?
While we’ve had two episodes in the last two season with characters wandering seemingly hopelessly through the landscape, this didn’t have the same feeling. Of course, it did feel like a bit of a callback to last season’s scene with Lord John pulling Jamie behind him on the way to Helwater. But the difference here is that Lord John was doing it to try to improve Jamie’s life, and the Mohawk don’t at all care if Roger’s life is improved or destroyed. But Roger’s determination to survive this, and “get back to my wife,” as he tells the other captive, is evident. Beaten, bruised, dragged – he isn’t willing to give up. “I can’t die – not here, not now.”
And his chance for escape comes, after falling over a bit of a cliff, and prying the rope off of his wrist – OW!!!! We all knew what that buzzing noise was, didn’t we. Where did that COME FROM?? Roger now has a decision to make – and oh, how well it showed on his face. No words, just choked sobs – does he return to the 1960s and try to forget? Is that just an impulse coming out of his pain? He had said that he intended to get back to Brianna – why is he even tempted by this monolith in front of him? But there he is, hand outstretched (and we’ve seen that before, but what else is he supposed to do, bodyslam the thing?). Does he jerk it back, push it forward? Will the choice be taken away from him by being recaptured?
And WHY is this happening NOW? Yes, in the book, Roger comes across this stone – but it happens at a much later point, after he’s gone through an incredible amount of pain. Then, you can understand it, knowing what he’s been through and what he learns. Here though? TV Roger has proven himself to be a bit more fickle, and frankly, a bit of a jerk lately, so an “oh, screw this” isn’t really too far out of character. But the Roger I fell for in the books would never consider leaving, at this point in his troubles, and I’m quite bothered by this choice from the writers. Brianna is Roger’s driving force. To even have it look like he could leave her is unthinkable.
Murtagh – Second Chance for Love?
This is all completely speculation, of course. Murtagh’s story at this point has no roadmap, since he’s definitely dead in the books. But having raised him from the dead, so to speak, the writers have to find a suitable path for him. And because there’s an important character missing in the show, which could cause several big storylines to stumble, fans have been wondering for two seasons now if Murtagh would take that character’s place and allow those threads to come to life.
Murtagh had been in love with Jamie’s mother Ellen, who was Aunt Jocasta’s sister. Is it too farfetched to think that our silver fox would see in the grande dame of River Run an echo of the girl he loved? Jocasta has, in previous episodes, talked about how difficult it is for a woman to run a large plantation because of the lack of respect that the men from around her. Is Murtagh the answer to Jocasta’s need for a male presence at River Run? Keeping it all in the family, so to speak, since Claire and Jamie declined on moral grounds? Will Jocasta fill some kind of space in Murtagh’s life, as far into it as he is, for love and stability? Of course, we know there’s not really any such thing as stability in Diana’s books, don’t we, and that the course of true love – or good enough – never does run true.
But I loved the twinkle in his eye as he came over to kneel beside the blind Jocasta, and she held his hand, knowing the shape of it from watching him court her sister so many years ago. This change, resurrecting Murtagh, is one that I’m really happy about. Murtagh is very different from the book to the show, and while I admired him in the books, I absolutely love Duncan Lacroix’s portrayal. He’s Jamie’s fierce guardian angel, not hesitating to agree to track down Bonnet and bring him to Jamie, knowing exactly what will happen when he does. He’s held secrets, given counsel, and followed Jamie without expecting anything in return, all for the love of his mother – and then, of course, for his love of Jamie himself. As far as I’m concerned, he deserves better than the life of a Regulator, hunted and at war. I guess we’ll see!
The Outlander Gab on the Air
Join us Tuesday nights, 9 pm eastern/8 central to chat live about the episode! You never know who might be part of our discussion. We’ll chat about this episode, and Caitriona’s fresh loss at the Golden Globes tonight – what do awards really mean? How important are they for the show’s future and/or prestige? Call in and give us your opinion! Listen live, or to replays of previous episodes, by clicking here.
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