The Minister’s cat is a….

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’d never really bought Rik Rankin as Roger…until tonight, but more on that later.

First up, Fiona!!!!  Isn’t she a cutie.  Is it just me or despite egging Roger on about Brianna and her finance being upstairs toting salt and champagne to bless their new home, Fiona would climb Roger like a tree if she thought she had a chance at more than friendship with him.

Segue waying from adorable girls we move on to women two hundred years back in time.   The scenes between Jocasta and Jamie were poignant.   An aging woman all alone with her only hope of family leaving because of a way of life she cannot fathom is wrong.  The Outlander napalm is back in good form, it didn’t have to fall to do damage, only sit and shimmer in the eyes of a man who once again has to tell family, a mother figure at that, good-bye.

Speaking of men, I’m so in love with young Ian I can hardly stand it.  Still too young to realize just how much he doesn’t know, he leaps into manhood with the most terrifying of tasks…writing a letter to his mother telling her he’s not coming home.  Does Jamie think Ian’s a man?   I think it’s more likely Jamie thinks it would be easier to wrestle an alligator than make young Ian go home.

That brings us to Claire.  I loved it when Jocasta called Claire out on how she holds Jamie back.  I think Claire’s temper rises because she knows the mistress of River Run is correct.   Yet Claire still pushes forth with the plan to sequester Jamie behind a printer and sets off for Woolam’s Creek with the awfully cast John Quincy Meyers and the wonderfully cast Clarence while a forlorn Jocasta looks on.

We skip 200 years to the future to travel of another kind – a road trip with American chips and chocolate malts and a rousing rendition of “The Minister’s Cat” that had me pulling out the dictionary more than once.    Roger and Brianna are following the same path trying to find themselves as a couple as her parents traveled trying to find their home.  Brianna thinks Roger’s pretty, even with ketchup on his cheek and Claire’s daughter is every bit as forward as her mother when it comes to matters of the heart.

Another foray to the past and instead of Dairy Queen, Jamie, Claire and Young Ian are being fed tales of the native Tuscarora and Cherokee.   I couldn’t enjoy this segment thinking how much more entertaining it would have been if Meyers had been cast correctly and didn’t sound like my college Art History professor.  Ian is impressed at Meyers prowess with Indian women, excited about the fact that Cherokee women decide who they bed and marry.  Foreshadowing perhaps?

I loved watching Jamie as they traveled along.  Last week, we saw him defer to Claire’s upset over slavery, but as he traveled along, his head was held just a little higher, his shoulders squared and determined.  Despite Claire’s misgivings, Jamie is falling in love the majesty that is America.  His mention of Woolam’s Creek as they sit around the campfire holds the slightest dread and he ponders whether Claire wouldn’t be happier somewhere she knew better.  Claire wants them to make a home together and the two set out while miscast John Quincy takes Ian on to introduce him to the ways of Cherokee gals.  They talk of their daughter and the man that raised her, which raises a storm and a playful mention of the reunion night Jamie and Claire spend in a brothel.  As they stop to tend to the horses, for the first time this season Claire asks Jamie what he wants.  Does he love printing?  No, but he’d do it to make her happy.  This leads to one of the most favored lines in all of Outlander.  No wonder Jamie’s shoulders are so broad and strong, he carries a lot on them.   Personally, I’m glad I don’t have to think of Jamie laid to rest under a tree with the raccoons gnawing off his toes.   As so often with our erstwhile couple, a precious moment ends with Claire heading off to do something stupid.

Back in the future, Brianna is starting to understand what her mother saw in a Highland warrior.  We see the young couple having a day of fun and dancing with numerous off-handed mentions as fate tries to clue Brianna in on the fact that Roger’s a catch.   When Roger serenades Brianna, Sophie Skelton does the best acting I’ve seen to date as you watch as she falls more under the Mackenzie’s spell.  After the goodnight kiss, who can blame Brianna for wanting to hold on to the moment?  Anybody else think Jamie and Claire will show up in that book she gave Roger instead of a newspaper?

Roger is shocked but elated when the blouse hits the deer’s antlers and their rather clumsy drop to the rug reminded me of Brianna’s parent’s wedding night, or the reunion night 20 years later when passion and smooth moves don’t always go together.  Roger puts the breaks on because he’s in love and wants marriage or nothing at all.  Brianna is a modern woman and of a different mind.  She grew up feeling the effects of a loveless marriage and is skittish of the home and wee Mackenzie’s of which Roger waxes rhapsodic.

Then the fight begins and this is the moment that Rik Rankin became Roger Mackenzie for me.  The pain that brought me to tears while reading the books was so eloquently portrayed by him that I found myself reaching for the tissues.  The moment during the calling of the clans, when Roger hoped to be announcing his dreams for the future was sad and poignant as he realized he was alone.  I hope Brianna didn’t strand him at the gathering, although I’m sure neither of them looked forward to that long silent drive back to Boston.

Back in the past Clarence shows up sans Claire…seriously why was Jamie surprised?  Soon the deluge begins and Jamie’s riding around in the rain and dark, finding spooked horses and trying to make his screams for Claire rise above the thunder.  Claire meanwhile has found a skull and being the doctor that she is, all thoughts of survival and howling wolves are forgotten while examining the bones.  A light in the darkness isn’t Jamie…is it an Indian or a ghost?  With the same hatchet mark in the back of his head as the skull, I’m going with ghost.

Claire’ finding the skull and ghost Indian comes a lot sooner and in a far different scenario than the book, but I liked it.  I will say though that if I heard wolves howling in the distance, I’d be dumping the skull and hightailing my butt up a tree.   Did the Indian wear Claire’s shoes and stomp around the forest in order to lead her to safety?   Pretty lucky the ghost and Claire wore the same size shoe huh?  Jamie doesn’t seem surprised to her tales of ghosts, neither does he seem surprised that the skull belongs to someone like Claire, he’s just happy to have her back.  On a slightly more supernatural note, did anyone else feel like the ghost Indian set Jamie and Claire on the path to the ridge?

Then comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the discovery of strawberries and all that it means.  Jamie is besotted with the beauty of the land (despite that awful composite of three very distinct and very separate landscapes.  Really what’s going on with the green screens this year?) and Claire, perhaps listening to the echo of Jocasta’s words decides to push aside her fears of the future and stands beside Jamie as he embraces something more than begin sequestered behind a printing press.   We’ll call it Fraser’s Ridge.   Welcome home Jamie & Claire.




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