Outlander: Heartbreak is No Piece of Cake, Plus Sam’s Q&A- Review, Episode 511

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Fans were very excited for this episode – it was written by Diana herself, which automatically elevates it into another category. As one friend said recently, “at least we know the characters will get to speak in their authentic voices for an hour.” But just having Diana as the named writer for this episode didn’t mean that she was able to head off and change some of the directions that the series has gone – she still had to abide by decisions made in the past and the story arc that had already been determined. We had hoped that she would be able to bring in some of those “fan favorite” moments we had been missing – and she did! But I can’t help but be a little confused about where we’re going, since the show has taken such liberties with the timeline. And that’s this week’s theme, separation – Roger and Bree from the Ridge, Lizzie from Bree, Jamie and Claire from secrets, and Outlander books from Outlander series.

I’ve felt that this season has been generally excellent, but right now I can’t tell now what’s going on – major storylines are gone, and we seem to have skipped to near the end of book 6. What will season 6 look like? Will we jump directly to book 7? I hope some things are clarified in the season finale next week! Like – where did Bree and Roger end up? The confusion on their faces in that scene leads us to believe that they’re not where they think they are – somewhere in the south in the 1960s (we don’t know where that stone circle is – since it took them 2 weeks to get there). There’s a mossy stone structure of some kind behind Roger that we see before they leave –

And it’s still there after, looking, as best as I can tell, exactly the same –

Did the traveling fail, perhaps because it was the wrong time of year? Because they couldn’t get Jamie and Claire out of their minds? Who or what is Jemmy running to? That would be a very interesting development, if they learned that despite having gems and a stone circle, there was a component that they still had to figure out! Yes, we saw Ian totally amazed, reaching for the rocks himself, but we don’t know how long it takes from “takeoff” to “landing” – would they have gone into a nothingness for a period of time? It could even have been as short as 30 seconds or so – and then whoosh, they’re right back where they started! Tell me in the comments what you think! Now I’m anxious to know what happened to them (and so help me, if we have to wait until whenever the definitely delayed season 6 starts, I’m going to have a hissy fit).

Individually, I thought several other scenes were particularly well done. The opening scene, coming across the burnt out cabin with the dead family, and the person that Roger had help along – this had been such a powerful scene in the book, and Diana translated that beautifully to screen. Were they victims of the Brown’s “Committee of Safety”? Either refusing to help or refusing to pay for protection?

Anything in this episode with John Bell was great – I loved the scene about the hot stone, and seeing it crack when Jemmy holds it. Oh, clues!!! This was Otter Tooth’s “tikkaba,” his presumed “ticket back” to wherever had had come from. The Mohawk were afraid of this large stone, and what Otter Tooth had told them.  “The Mohawk think that the one who has the stone has the power to see what will come to pass.” Jamie and Claire telling him that Claire is a time traveler was wonderful. “As I told ye once,” he says, “I like not to ask questions. But I have some for ye now.” He’s been carrying that little book around with him for months and hasn’t given it to them – but this is the right time, when this strange event with the stone happens. “Who, or what, are ye?” “I knew ye were a fairy, Auntie.” Ian accepts, even if he doesn’t understand. I’m sure he has even more questions now!!

I’ve been surprised that we haven’t seen anything in the past several episodes with questions about why Ian left the Mohawk. It’s obvious that his pain hasn’t lessened. And tonight, we got tantalizing bits, as Ian asks Claire, and then Brianna, to take him with into the past, presumably so he can make right some of the issues that led to leaving a life he so obviously loved. How hard it must have been, and how well it showed on Ian’s face, knowing that there were people who could go back in time, but he couldn’t!

Lionel Brown, with Claire in the surgery, strikes a chord with her when he says, “you think a father’s got no right to seek justice for his daughter’s who’s been dishonored?” She’s lived through the same thing with Jamie, Bree and Bonnet. What’s the difference? Really, only one of the degree of “dishonor.” But this isn’t the end of Claire’s problems with the Browns, and it doubles back at the end of the episode.

And didn’t you tear up for Lizzie, when Bree told her that she would have to stay with the Frasers? She had been so excited to go, “even if it will be colder there.”  But you can truly see her distress as she says, “You’re the one that saved me. I’m meant to be with you. Always.”  (In a Parade magazine article, Diana says she did not write that scene.) All the goodbyes in this episode – Lord John, Lizzie, Ian – really were heartbreaking. Will they really have been goodbyes, or will Roger and Bree have to have an “oops, changed our minds” moment? (Although, lol, as much as I love Lord John, he’s sure at the Ridge a LOT. Does he just circle the area on his horse waiting for an opportunity to pop in? It’s not an easy or short trip from Mt. Josiah, his – William’s – own plantation.)

Some of the sweetest moments were scenes with Jamie – like holding his adorable grandson Jemmy on the horse. These tiny moments are gems. Another was when Jamie shares the secret of William’s existence with Brianna, and tells her that “I never thought I’d see ye, but I kent ye were there. And I was a husband, and a father. And now, I’m a grandsire. And even though I may never see any of you again, you have made my life whole.”

Many “fan fave moments” were included in this episode, like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich (she really carried this with her on the plane from Boston to Scotland and out to the stones??); the microscope and the sperms. Of course Diana can do these better than anyone else, but some of these almost felt tossed in there because Diana was writing the episode. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t want to do without them – but these individual pieces contributed to the sense of the episode as a whole being disjointed. Tying the pb&j to Roger and Bree leaving was sweet, though. Sandwiches weren’t really part of the cuisine at that time obviously, as Jamie eats his with a fork and knife – another one of those micro-moments that make Outlander interesting.

 

And the end of the episode gave EVERYONE a jolt, I’m sure – after Lionel Brown sees Dr. Rawlings’ name on Claire’s medical kit, and connects her to his wife’s refusal to share his bed, and after Jamie has refused to help with the Committee of Safety, the gang comes back and kidnaps her. “The bad man took grandmama,” Germaine whispers to Fergus. And Jamie runs to light the cross, to summon help for the most important battle of his life – the battle to get Claire back. This event in the books was searing and frightening, and makes me anxious for next week!

 

What’s coming up in the season finale? I’m concerned about the direction of a couple of the plot lines, but we never really know with this show. Writers and cast all say that the finale is satisfying, epic and game-changing – we’ll know soon enough, and then we’ll be starting what could be a VERY long Droughtlander. I’d rather believe we’ll be end on a pleased – not necessarily happy – note instead of being upset with how the season ends. So to finish off, here’s the Q&A tweets that Sam did last night during the episode’s airing, sponsored by Canada’s W Network.


Q What would Jamie do in the future if he could travel forward in time?
A He can’t! Gabs would DEFINITELY have something to say about it…. Also, did you love her writing this ep! So good.

Q When could we watch @ClanLands? And will it be worldwide broadcast? Thank you!
A You’ll find out soon….

 

Q Any Idea as to when season 6 will begin production?
A We were supposed to start this week. We have scheduled for Fall. Will just have to see.

 

A Saying goodbye before the Battle Alamance. And Jamie’s 50th Birthday “present”…

Q Where are Bree, Roger & Jem? Did they land on the moon?
A Hmmm guess you’ll have to find out!

Q Do y’all have an idea of when @SassenachSpirit will be expanding to more states in the US? Whiskey is one of the few spirits I haven’t tried, so I’m trying to patiently wait for it to be available in Tennessee.
A Another release this fall. Already more states added!

Q have you seen the finale now and do you stand by it being one of the best finales you’ve done so far? did you cry
A It is one of the most “stylised”… it’s terrific!

 

Q Are you working in other projects this year? Can you tell us something?
A Obviously hard with current situation. But @ClanLands  and prepping for @Outlander_STARZ  keeping me busy!

 

Q when is SAS: Red Notice coming out?
A Hopefully this year!

 

Q  (from W Network) How do you think Jamie would be handling quarantine right now#Outlander   clan, we need your thoughts on this one too!
A He’d be fine. If he had Claire. Not sure what else he would need?Thoughts?

Q What would would your #Journeycake be?
A Oh good question!!! Mmm, peanut butter from the jar, a beer, fish n chips.

 

Q however do you cope with the wigs – my scalp itches just thinking about it…. how do you deal with that when wearing them for hours?
A They’re awful. Glue and itchy, especially when midges get under them, like torture. But cool how it changes your image. Useful tool

Q I’ve read in @CigarSpiritsMag (congrats for the interview!) that you like to smoke cigars, do you like to smoke cigarettes as well?
A Only the occasional cigar on special occasions. But I enjoy them, usually with @MrStevenCree

Q How soon will you be getting your own Whiskey & Lulu? (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s donkey)
A Hahah I wish @Schwarzenegger would let me hang with them. I have the whisky….

 

Q Can you tell us anything about your Scottish ancestry? Did your ancestors come from Denmark? Were they Vikings? When & where did they settle?
A Interesting, have been researching it currently… Scottish/French/German and a little Norwegian

Q Was there a scene this season where you and Caitriona couldn’t stop laughing?
A Yes… a couple. We were very naughty. I think we got in a little trouble. I think… Brownsville…

 

Q Do you say your Gaelic lines thinking about their meaning or do you just memorize the sounds?
A Always the meaning. The prayer was one example. So great to have Gaelic in the show. Need more

Q It’s obvious the impact you and @caitrionambalfe have had this season as producers, what’s the most difficult decision you had to make as a producer so far?
A Probably ep12… you’ll see!

Q Do you think you have learned everything about Jamie?
A No, each season, each ep we learn more. Ep12 no exception

 

 

Q Snake bite scene – was it make up on your leg or a separate ‘piece’ attached? Did it take long to prepare those scenes?
A My leg. Probably an extra hour in makeup. @wendykempforbes  is a genius (and gore lover!)

Q (from W Network) We love seeing Jamie and wee Adso (our favourite cast member addition this season)! Did you get to spend a lot of time with him on set?
A Not enough.. @caitrionambalfe  tends to win him over with treats

Q (from W Network) Finally, we HAVE to ask…Can you give us any hint as to what we expect from the season finale next week?
A Expect the unexpected. It’s gripping and a tough ep. Let’s hope the Frasers make it together….

 

 


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Erin Conrad