Outlander and Claire have the roundtable fired up for this week’s “Freedom and Whiskey”!
Outlander episode 4 was a Jamie (Sam Heughan) episode. So brace yourself everyone because episode 5 is practically Jamie free! What are we going to do? Anyway. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is slicing and dicing on some people and she’s pretty badass at it. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is at Harvard failing out. Joe Abernathy (Wil Johnson) wants details of what exactly she was doing in Scotland and she gives him some sketchy details about a mystery man from her past but he totally gets she’s hiding something.
Roger (Richard Rankin) drops in for a surprise visit to Brianna and Claire and interrupts a massive fight. Turns out Bree is dropping out of Harvard and moving out and Claire isn’t too happy about it. After a dinner with just Roger and Claire he tells her he’s found Jamie. Instead of being overjoyed at the news she’s totally pissed because she’s closed the door to her past, or Brianna, or something.
The next day in Claire’s office Joe is unpacking some bones and wants some help figuring out a cause of death for his anthropologist buddy. He thought it was a slave but clairvoyant Claire thinks she’s a murder victim just by touching the skull. Gross. Joe tries to pump Claire for more information and she confesses that the Scottish guy was Brianna’s real father and Bree is messed up about it. She still loves him and Joe tells her to take her second chance.
At a memorial/fellowship dedication to Frank, Roger and Bree talk about architecture and how a person’s history influences them. Candy/Sandy confronts Claire about ruining Frank’s life, and Bree thinks it’s a swell time to unload on Claire as well. But the two of them have a heart to heart and Claire tells Bree how much Frank loved her. And Claire did too. Claire shows Bree the book pages and then Bree says she doesn’t need her anymore and encourages to go back and find Jamie, which Claire decides to do but not before asking Joe if she’s still hot. Joe assures her she is.
For Christmas Bree and Roger give Claire all sorts of useful 18th century things. Claire then sews an 18th century dress to the Batman theme song and dyes her hair before she has to say her final goodbyes to her daughter. She gives her the important documents and Jamie’s mother’s pearls and they share a tearful goodbye. Bree makes Roger a lobster roll to distract herself from the fact that her mother left forever.
Then Claire is back in the past! In Ediburgh where Jamie is! She sees the sign! She goes into the print shop and there he is! He mistakes her for his employee but she says it’s Claire and he turns around! Their eyes meet! It’s happening! And then Jamie faints.
Whew! What did our roundtable panel have to say?
Andee (@andeesings) – Writer for TV After Dark, lover of tacos and David Bowie in Labyrinth.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – I’m Jamie. I only watched the whole episode once, but I watched the last 10 mins SEVERAL times.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – enjoys books, movies & tv, loves traveling & food.
Dee (@OL_America) – Educator, mother of two sons, and Outlander enthusiast. Just returned from a trip to Scotland to get in touch with my roots.
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – An NYC TV/Film Professional but above all Outlander addict. Check out my fan blog/vlog www.theurbanoutlander.com
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – A numbers girl who loves a good book
1) We finally see Claire doing what she does best- being a doctor! And Joe Abernathy seems properly impressed. What did you think of finally seeing this huge part of Claire’s life?
Andee (@andeesings) – It’s about time! All the time we’ve heard about her and her commitment to being a doctor, healing people, her capabilities, and we had never seen it! I could’ve used more earlier, maybe her being separated from Bree and choosing her job over her or… something. It’s just one more way I think Claire was really cheated in the first half of the season.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – It was a nice touch finally seeing Claire be a badass in the OR, but it felt more like an afterthought considering how little time they’ve given to that side of Claire this season. And did anyone really think the patient wasn’t going to make it?! It was anti-climactic and kind of boring.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – You go Claire!! It was a great to see Claire doing a surgery in this episode. Claire wanted to make a difference and her determination paid off.
Dee (@OL_America) – Medicine is Claire’s calling, and she is practically compelled to practice the art of healing. I do mean “art,” as in Master Raymond arts. We see a little bit of her metaphysical level healing skills as she performs surgery and helps Joe assess the skeletal remains. (Those skeletal remains represent foreshadowing for book readers!)
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Great to see Claire be very “ER” this ep. All that Brianna neglect really amounted to something.
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – I’m not feeling Claire & Joe being besties on the show. Certainly not enough to ask him if he thought she still had sex appeal for her ex lover. I found both actors to be extremely flat. But then again the script left little for them to embrace together. God love the 1960’s when drinking whisky in your hospital office was acceptable.
2) Bree is failing out of school and finally drops out and moves out. Tell us about the conflict this causes conflict between her and her mother, and while you’re at it talk about all of the conflict between Bree and her mother this episode, from the adversarial to the just plain sad.
Andee (@andeesings) – Oh Claire and Bree. The problem is they never showed Claire being absent from Bree’s life, or even bonding more with Frank. So really Bree just comes off as snotty and obnoxious. What parent wouldn’t be upset their kid is dropping out of Harvard?! The only thing that made a lot of sense was Bree really needing some time and space after Frank’s death. The fact that the professor seemed surprised she was failing is pretty stupid. Her dad died, dude. Give her a freaking break.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – I don’t really feel much of anything when it comes to pretty much any scene with Bree and Claire, mainly Bree. I’m not a huge fan of the character and I think Sophie was one of the worst casting decisions ever so it’s pretty hard for me to get emotionally invested in Bree or anything she says or does.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – Any parent would want to have their child have the best and succeed and Claire she only wants what she thinks is best for Bree. Any kid that is being pressured into doing things they don’t want to do resent or rebel against their parent. In Claire and Bree’s relationship there was always that gap between them. Most of the time to me, Bree is just a spoiled brat who just wants her way. Understandably I feel for Bree in her “wanting a break” after knowing that your life was partly a lie. You can see Bree just pushing back and Claire trying to reach out by now openly telling Bree what she feels and why she does things. In the beginning it was just both of them lashing out and little by little mending the gap between them when they both started to try to understand one another. You had to feel sad for them both that they had just as short time together in having a closer relationship and now they have to say goodbye.
Dee (@OL_America) – The adversarial nature of Claire and Bree’s relationship has been a problem for me until the later books. Personally, Brianna has been a difficult character to like. Mother-daughter relationships are often tough, but Brianna is often unnecessarily disrespectful to Claire. Yes, she has had to face a shocking truth, but otherwise she has led a pretty privileged life. Sometimes we just have to put on our big girl pants and move on. Also, I don’t think she actually moved out of the house, as we see her taking out a single box. We have no other info about it. It seemed to be a threat more than anything and maybe she just stayed the night with a friend. I doubt she ever actually really moved out of the house.
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Now that Frank is gone and Claire is out of the “Time Traveler Closet”, they finally have to deal with each other. This is when Claire can really be there for her daughter but of course the bird wants to fly from the nest. Without realizing it, Claire needs Brianna’s blessing to leave and then they finally have a better connection.
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – Quite frankly, I found most of the conflict centered around Claire. When did she become so filled with self doubt? Of Course Bree was feeling lost and alone. She was grieving. Her mother had chosen to lie to her all of those years and Bree needed a little distance to figure her own shiz out. The script offered them limited time to create angst & emotion. Bree may have been daddy’s little spoiled girl, but she also possesses her mother’s stubbornness & free will. Claire seems to have lost most of that. The writers didn’t have to turn our girl Claire into a cold self-conscious wimp so that Bree could find maturity and send her mother off to the stones. I waited most of the episode for Claire to regain her girlie balls.
3) Surprise! Roger arrives on a surprise Christmas visit with the news that’s he’s found the proof Jamie is alive. Claire isn’t particularly pleased- how did you feel?
Andee (@andeesings) – I’m always on board for Roger showing up. And they’ve made him such a loveable dork. I also think Sophie Skelton’s chemistry is better with Richard than anyone else on the show so it’s nice to see them interact I think he elevates the scenes he’s in.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – I love when people randomly show up during the holidays when I’m in the middle of an argument. Ha! Nah, I was happy to see Roger and loved how excited he seemed about the information he had discovered. That was a lot for Claire to take in and I can’t imagine all the things she must have been feeling, I thought her reaction was pretty normal. She had been trying as best as she could to move on and then Roger comes in and totally shakes her world up. Even if you haven’t read the books, the audience knows she goes back to Jamie so it was like “Okay Claire, have your moment and then get your sh*t together and be happy damn it!” Haha!
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – If I were Claire I would feel a bit annoyed and mad too. When you already had your hope and heart crushed and disappointed before, I would not want to feel the same way again. I too would be thinking about my reality, my child who is there with me and being resigned to my life. But in the tiny hole in my heart I would be so happy and excited.
Dee (@OL_America) – Claire is surprised to see Roger, but I don’t believe she is really upset about the surprise visit. It’s just that his timing is a little off, arriving right in middle of a huge fight. However, Claire does seem slightly upset with Roger when he shares his news about Jamie. Claire sometimes has difficulty with self-analysis, and she responds harshly to Roger because his news puts her in a position where SHE has to make a tough decision in a tough time. (Note to Roger: Always call ahead!)
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – I like the change that Roger comes to Boston unannounced. He serves as the buffer between Brianna and Claire (anyone care for a whisky?). He’s adorable but the time line doesn’t add up. It’s 1968 and he finds proof that “last year” Jamie was alive in 1765??? Did I miss something?
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – Roger is such a cutie!!! Again, our heroine can’t seem to find those girlie balls. Why create so much self consciousness in Claire? Asking Joe if she sexy enough for Jamie? Her cheesy viewing of grey hair & crow’s feet in the mirror clearly showing her anxiety & self doubt. What happened to the Claire at the end of season 2 in that God awful “Gone with the Wind” scene? She seemed pretty determined to haul ass back through the stones then. I just don’t understand why production felt the need to give cheater Frank sainthood and tear Claire down.
4) Look, Candy/Sandy has returned. And she confronts Claire at what we’re going to call a memorial for Frank (even though we know it’s to establish the fellowship). What’d you think of that?
Andee (@andeesings) – It’s fine I suppose? I mean certainly the mistress scorned should get a long filler scene that allows her to tear apart the leading lady. But I’m sorry I don’t think Claire ruined Frank’s life. He made a choice. He wanted a child, he chose the child. So stuff it all, Candy/Sandy. Frank made his bed. He chose the kid, he didn’t choose you, and that’s where he got his love from.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – I didn’t think there would ever be something I dislike more than the redundant voiceovers but I was wrong! This whole scene was completely pointless and was just one last attempt to make Frank look like some poor victim. Gross! Claire didn’t need what’s her face to say anything about doing what she could to have one more day with the love of her life. Excuse me bitch, Claire has been living with that pain for the last 20 years. I hated the whole scene. It was lazy writing and a waste of my time.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – Why is she in this episode?? Was it to just let Claire know that Frank was somehow or part of him was still in love with her and that she was just not worth it ? I don’t think it was a necessary scene. I’m pretty sure Claire knew and felt that Frank loved her in some way until he died. I really don’t care if Candy/Sandy felt like Frank was the love of her life.
Dee (@OL_America) – Very poorly played, Candy/Sandy. How rude is it to confront Claire in such a setting, in front of YOUR colleagues and Frank’s daughter? You have some timing issues, girl. First Claire’s graduation celebration and then Frank’s Fellowship celebration? Were you raised by wolves? Regardless, Candy does make a good point, although she fails to see that it applies to herself as well. Did Claire waste all those years of her life in an unfulfilling marriage? Did Candy waste all those years in an affair with a married man she knew would never leave his wife? At least Candy made Claire think, and maybe the confrontation even helped her decide to go back to Jamie.
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Candy Sandy is all of us and by us I mean Frank Lovers. So glad she stuck it to Claire and I was NOT expecting that but so pleased. Yet through her tears and wish for another day with Frank, she echoes Claire’s sentiment for Jamie. Can we at least thank her for kicking her in the ass to go back to the stones (and pointing out that she’s selfish too)?
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – Completely inappropriate and irresponsible of production. I wonder how truly involved RDM was this season. I saw zero value in giving Mrs. Candy Randall more screen time as it could have been devoted to Claire & Bree or Joe or Roger. It’s just another moment for production to stab Claire in the back. Great surgeon but failure as a wife & mother. Sorry, failure Claire doesn’t exist.
5) This was a big episode for Claire and Joe’s friendship, finally! How did you like its development?
Andee (@andeesings) – Too little, too late. Even these scenes seemed tepid. No familial interaction between them so we could see why Bree would call him “Uncle Joe”? And Claire got so angry when she thought Frank was going to take Bree away and then left her a few months later, it would’ve been nice if she had asked Joe to watch her kid or be sort of a surrogate parent. Claire asking Joe whether or not she was still hot wasn’t really enough for me.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – We’ve only seen so much of Claire and Joe in action together so I don’t feel like this episode was anything special in regards to their friendship. Yea, he’s someone Claire can turn to when she needs an honest opinion about life and he’s a fellow surgeon, that’s about all we know about Joe. Hoping we get to see his character develop more as the season goes on.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – It was great to see the closeness of Claire and Joe now grounded with years of working together and having each others back become a trusting friendship. Their friendship was now at a point that you can ask a guy if “you’re sexually attractive” and be blunt and tell your secrets too. Great scenes with Joe (Wil) and Claire (Cait).
Dee (@OL_America) – I loved their friendship in the books, but the show obviously can’t give us the detail we get from the books. It would have been nice to see that relationship developed on screen, but that time would have detracted from other more important story lines, like the print shop and Jamie and Claire’s reunion.
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – I felt like their friendship development was really lacking all season so finally we have the last hurrah! I’ve decided that Joe might have a thing for Claire so may have embellished that she has a great ass. Our TV Claire has a wee ass but thanks Joe for making her feel better.
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – Wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to see Joe cautious yet adoring of Claire. Book Joe was in love with her. They had plenty of time to ditch Candy and let Claire & Joe be more than drinking colleagues. And what was the whole spidey senses thing Claire had going on with the skeleton? Even Joe seemed a little freaked out.
6) Claire’s leave-taking was a major book departure, from the sewing of her own dress to leaving Bree with Roger in Boston. Tell us all about it!
Andee (@andeesings) – Oh, the dress. I just don’t feel like there’s any way Claire would’ve been able to turn raincoats into an outfit even close to that good in one night. Sure she could’ve made Bree some costumes and clothing, but that’s crazy advanced. And in one night, or whatever the short time it took for her to make it? I would’ve bought her altering a dress into more of an 18th century silhouette with more pockets or utility or whatever. I’ve made an 18th century riding habit. It took DAYS and I had a pattern already altered to fit me, AND I had the help of someone REALLY experienced.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – I liked that Claire made her own dress. I did not like the Batman music, at all. It made the scene super cheesy and took something away from what Claire was doing. Overall, I thought the changes they made worked. There’s only so much they can pack into an episode. But maybe if they hadn’t included that BS scene with Candy they would’ve had more time for things that actually mattered. For example, I would’ve enjoyed a brief scene of Claire “borrowing” stuff from the hospital.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – I did not mind the departure from the book in this part. To me it really made a big change in the whole story. It was interesting to see Claire throwing herself and her well thought out ideas into making her dress. With Claire leaving Bree and Roger in Boston was giving her a sense of peace that when she goes the two people she cared about have each other to comfort and be with each other for support.
Dee (@OL_America) – Most of the departures from the books have been satisfactory and understandable. There are several changes in this episode, but none that bother me too much. My only concern might be Claire leaving Bree before the Roger/Bree relationship is fully established. In the book, Claire seems confident that Roger will be there to “care” for her long term. The TV relationship has been a slower burn.
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – The “Christmas Good-bye You’re Traveling Through The Stones Gift Give-Away” was a little much. I don’t really believe that Claire would make her own dress but it makes for an exciting visual (I really did not like the Batman theme). Her goodbye to Brianna was emotional though Bri seemed to get over it real quick. I liked the transition from cab/carriage to stepping into the puddle.
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – I finally caught a glimpse of our girl Claire. The one who lived rough in Scotland and cooked dinner in her 1940’s fireplace. I embraced the book departure because it felt good to see Bree & Roger having a little chemistry. Stepping out of the cab into 1700’s Scotland was one of the best & most imaginative moments I’ve seen on TV in a while. I didn’t even mind Claire’s voiceover.
7) This whole episode was Claire & Bree’s story. Describe how you feel it was handled?
Andee (@andeesings) – To put it bluntly I was a bit bored. The development of Claire was so not there for me. She just seemed like a foil for others.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – Again, I didn’t get too emotionally invested in what was going on between Bree and Claire. Sure, I got choked up at one point but that had almost 99% to do with my own mother/daughter issues. Maybe if I cared more about Bree I would have cared more about Claire leaving her to go find Jamie. I just wanted Claire to get to Jamie, that’s all I cared about in this episode.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – I know it was a way of mending their differences and it was a goodbye for both of them. It was a little dragging and sometimes on the brink of boring. But at some point in the end … I cried for both of them.
Dee (@OL_America) – I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, there is only so much that can be covered in each episode for each sub plot while adequately advancing the main plot. On the other hand, we miss some of the finer details we get from the books. We must realize that we can’t get the word-for-word book story onto the screen. I would rather forfeit some of the details rather than sacrifice the more important main story (Claire and Jamie).
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Since the end of S2, they’ve had a lot of conflict. Because we don’t see any scenes of Frank and Brianna connecting, by the time Brianna is an adult the emotional impact of Mother and Daughter arguing or finally resolving their problems and Claire leaving, doesn’t carry much weight for me. Things have been rushed this season and some of the emotional aspects of certain relationships got lost. Everyone is just waiting for Claire and Jamie to reunite.
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – Haven’t I said it all already? Hah!
8) The episode didn’t end with the bell! Jamie’s back, and we’ve got a two week break before the reunion we’ve all been waiting for! So go into detail about how you liked that and then tell us what you want to see from the big reunion in two weeks!
Andee (@andeesings) – The light in Claire’s eyes when she went up those steps and stared down at Jamie. It was SO. GOOD! And Jamie fainting added some levity which is great because I love feeling two emotions at once. When two actors really sell something it really is awesome. The reunion? I want to see everything! I can’t wait to see Jamie hear about Brianna and just finally get to just BE with Claire after all that time.
Jamie (@jamiesrule) – I was so happy the episode didn’t end with the bell!!! Hearing Jamie’s voice gave me goosebumps and it felt like an eternity before he turned around. Cait did a stellar job of face acting, that chin of hers is amazing! She captured so many emotions in a short period of time. It was the best 10 mins of the whole episode, probably the whole season so far. Ending with Jamie looking up at Claire and then fainting was the best little cliffhanger going into the brief break. I cannot wait for the reunion. I want some Jamie and Claire sexy time and I want it bad! No shame! Haha! And I am looking forward to Claire telling Jamie about Bree, I think it will be a tear jerker.
Maggie (@mrhvilla) – Yes!!! Claire opened the door.. loved it that it did not end with the bell !! I was hoping it would not end with the bell because it would be too predictable a cliffhanger. Two weeks wait I can handle. I’m a sucker for self torture and that longing will just add to my excitement to actually see the next episode (even though I have read the book). Loved hearing Jamie’s voice towards the last 4 mins of the show. ALL the feels that Cait and Sam had that just showed on their faces. The longing and unsureness of Claire and the surprise and disbelief in Jaime. Cait and Sam made me cry and laugh and made my heart explode in the end. Personally I loved the way they ended that episode. LOVED IT! Side note: My hubby laughed so hard when Jamie/Sam did that graceful fall to the floor. It was just missing the part where Jamie says “you’re real”. I would love to see Jamie and Claire trying to make up for lost time with each other, Claire showing Jaime Bree’s pictures and of course be united in everything else. Just doing it. The second honeymoon. 🙂 Just the whole lot of reuniting. Add to shopping list – more wine or whisky in the next two weeks.
Dee (@OL_America) – We were so afraid that the episode would end on a cliffhanger, the doorbell. Thanks to the production team we get to see Claire and Jamie lock eyes and the highly anticipated faint. We see this from Claire’s perspective, and in a recent interview Matt B. Roberts says the next episode will begin with the scene from Jamie’s POV. I’m so excited to see this iconic scene from both perspectives. Thank you, Matt!
Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – I was anticipating that the scene would cut to black when the bell rang but huzzah! We get to see their reactions which was more than I originally thought. The show did a great job of building the anticipation and having you on the edge of your seat. It’s what all the viewers have been waiting for! In the two week hiatus, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the hot sex scene (thanks ep 6 teaser!) and Jamie crying when he hears and sees a pic of Brianna. Also looking forward to Jamie and Claire tell their stories to each other and seeing their reactions. Will Jamie tell her about Willy? He better! I need that drama!
Mags (@maggiehenry_) – I want to see some intimate & smexy sex seems with Claire & Jamie. I’m going to be irritated if they have two episodes of awkward sex especially after Jamie & Geneva. The emotion on Claire’s face gives me hope for the true reunion in two weeks. Damn you Starz, two weeks is just wrong!
Final Verdict: Outlander was a bit of a snooze for some but garnered loads of love for the last five minutes
Whoa those last few minutes were absolutely incredible, the whole roundtable can agree! Well, that and almost everyone didn’t like Candy/Sandy. Looks like the jury is still out on this Claire-centric episode which has us split right down the middle! But everyone agrees that we’ll all be there, whiskey in hand waiting for what we’ve been waiting for for over a year. Claire to be with Jamie!
Outlander returns in two weeks Sunday, October 22nd at 8/7c on Starz!
Mixed reviews this week, but next week should be HOT!Every week we do a detailed review of Outlander, and we do a roundtable with a rotating panel! Interested in being on a future roundtable? Give Andee a shout on twitter!