They sang us a sorrowful song … a reflection on Outlander 5.07 “The Ballad of Roger Mac”

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Once asked to describe what her books were about, Diana Gabaldon responded, “History, warfare, medicine, sex, violence, spirituality, honor, betrayal, vengeance, hope and despair, relationships, the building and destruction of families and societies, time travel, moral ambiguity, swords, herbs, horses, gambling(with cards, dice, lives), voyages of daring, journeys of the entire body and soul, you know, the usual stuff of literature.”  It seems this week Outlander on Starz decided to portray the same in one single episode.  JHRC was that an amazing hour of T.V.  This episode was indeed like a ballad, a poem set to music, full of vivid, visceral, shocking, tender, and moving stanzas.

There were some fantastic words of dialogue spoken this week, but the words that are still reverberating for me are words that were spoken by Jamie in episode 5, “It was all for naught”.  All the efforts, the planning and plotting, Jamie’s balancing act between loyalty to the crown and those he loves and cares for, Claire’s search for penicillin, Murtagh’s fight against tyranny, and Roger’s acts of bravery,… were all for naught.

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“But, just in case, do you know the words to Clementine…”

The first stanza of this ballad begins with Roger’s voice.  He sings to wee Jem as Bree looks on, a bittersweet family vignette.  This season I have noticed that Bree is ever mindful of others’ feelings.  She takes care to hide her fears while she sets about reassuring her husband, who is one of the most woefully underprepared soldiers I have ever seen.  My granddaughter recently was sent to Ft. Jackson for National Guard training.  She writes of what she is asked to do and what she is being taught. She is being prepared to be a soldier, it is a strenuous, rigorous and lengthy education.  Roger has none of this to fall back on. He has not the training nor the mindset to be a Captain in this war. This is nothing he wanted or could ever have imagined.  Roger’s life as a professor has not prepared him for the harsh reality in which he finds himself.  “If we were back in Oxford in our time, we would be making our lunch boxes and seeing each other off to work”, observes Bree. They are hell and away from tweed jackets and faculty cocktail parties.  He is headed off to war with nothing, but a desire to survive.

We are reminded that Roger himself is a war orphan. He says that he barely remembers his own father and worries that Jem will not remember him should he die in this battle.  Bree once again reassures him and Roger makes the kind of joke we often make when the truth makes us uncomfortable.  I loved the nod between Bree and Roger so reminiscent of Jamie and Claire in moments like this.  In the true definition of bravery, Roger feels the fear but does it anyway. He gave his word to Jamie and…himself.  As Roger leaves, Bree gives him an encouraging albeit tremulous smile. But, after the door shuts we see her real feelings, the dread in the pit of her stomach, and we wring our hands with her.  She has a right to be fearful.

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“The world and each day in it is a gift. Whatever tomorrow brings, I am grateful to see it.”

The scene in the tent came straight out of the books and straight into my heart.  The intimate moments between Jamie and Claire were perfection.  Sam and Cait were able to portray the ease in this relationship, how easily they move from light-hearted banter to seriousness, to the physical expression of what they feel, and the complete trust they have in each other.  One of my favorite lines from the “books”, did not make it to the screen, but this scene reminded me so much of those lines.

“…to have you with me again_ to talk wi’ you, to know I can say anything, not guard my words or hide my thoughts_God Sassenach” he said, ” The Lord knows I’m as lust-crazed as a lad and I canna keep my hands from you _ or anything else_ ” he added wryly, ” but I would count that all well lost, had I no more than the pleasure of havin’ ye by me, and to tell ye all my heart”…. Diana Gabaldon Voyager

They are safe in each other’s arms, able to be themselves without fear.  Time has only deepened their love and need for each other.  They truly are each other’s soul, each a half of one whole.

In this stanza,  we find Jamie, like Roger, also has his father on his mind.  He stares at his hand in wonder as he realizes he will soon be older than his father was when he died.  I’m not sure the “viewers only folks” will place the same significance on Jamie staring at his hand as I do.  In the books, Jamie often looks at his damaged hand, a symbol of his strife and Claire’s redemptive power.  He has lost it all and with her return gained it all back.  What was once a useless mangled mess is now only a reminder that he survived to live and …love.  Each day now is a gift.  Little does he know how much grief and loss tomorrow has in store.

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“There will be a day when you and I will part again, but it willna be today.”…

We once again see Jamie going to war for other men’s purposes, but he is doing so because he must, there is a lot at stake.  He is facing friends and family across the battlefield.  And so, he prepares himself.  I continue to be so grateful that the show continues to feature Jamie’s faith as it is inextricably part of him.  Jamie’s faith, is syncretistic in nature, a perfect blend of the old ways and his Catholicism.  He gives reverence to both simultaneously.  The scene in the creek was a perfect example.  He calls to his dead Uncle, war chieftain of clan McKenzie, for help in the upcoming battle and then crosses himself in blood.  Quite frankly, I find Jamie’s brand of Christianity to be…beautiful.  It fits.

Every stanza in this poem that deals with war reminds me that despite the difference in time and methods of battle, what was once true is still true.  As he tells the proud young possum hunters, “War is killing…nothing less.  If you think of anything, but your own skin, you’ll be dead by nightfall. You canna waver.”  And, the passage of time hasn’t seemed to change the fact that sometimes people who are supposed to care about serving others only care about themselves. Tim Downie’s perfectly portrayed Governor Tryon, a politician whose choices are informed by his concern for his image and legacy, made my skin crawl.  He is not interested in doing what is best for the country and its people.  He doesn’t care about peace or compromises only whether or not he has been insulted and how to feed his need to punish those who would dare to stand against him.  He is resolute and will force others to bend to his will including Jamie.  It was painful to see Jamie put on that redcoat so …incongruous.  Jamie’s mortification and struggle to comply was subtle but obvious to anyone who cared to look and Tryon was watching.  I’m still amazed by Sam Heughan’s ability to emote.  I felt the weight of that red coat on his shoulders. And, Claire’s reaction to seeing him so adorned was perfection, she stopped dead in her tracks and quietly uttered what we were all thinking, “JHRC”.  Her empathy was expressed and they share a tender moment of understanding. Jamie shares his concern for Roger and then before he goes off to fight, he gives a wee gift to us book lovers, “There will be a day when you and I will part again, but it willna be today.”…sigh

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“…I know, but I’m the only one that can do it…”

Time travel rears it’s ugly head in this next stanza and is the impetus that moves the plot forward.  This change from the books expertly blended the Murtagh story-line with Roger’s.  It put him in the enemy camp where he, unfortunately, needed to be, ” I’m the only one who can do it.” The scenes of Roger with Murtagh rang the same notes as in the book when Roger met with Herman Husband, the leader of the regulators.  He was trying to broker peace and save lives.  This is the caring and compassionate man I know from the books.  And, it is that same caring and compassionate nature that gets him into trouble in the very next scene.  Being a man out of time may have proved fatal for Roger. He forgot where he was, what the rules were, and what the men of this time were capable of.  He hugged his multiple great grandmother.  At least, in his mind, that was who she was.  Innocent, completely innocent, but no way to explain.  The Ballad of Roger Mac is a song of woe.  The irony.  Roger is about to be hung by his own grandfather for hugging his grandmother.

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“We are not here to kill our brothers…”

And it was all for naught…those words kept coming to mind as I watched the end of this ballad.  Despite Roger’s bravery behind enemy lines and Jamie’s efforts to guide his men’s actions, they could not control what was about to unfold.  There was too much fodder for fate to feed on.  There was too much room for coincidence and foolish mistakes.  It all came crashing down.

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I was called back to the last time Jamie said goodbye forever to someone he loved. He danced Murtagh to the base of the tree as he had once danced Claire to the stones. “Do not be afraid.  It does not hurt to die”, were Murtagh’s last words to his godson.  Be they uttered at Culloden or in America, they were still as impactful.  This was a devasting loss for Jamie.  I was not surprised that he took him to Claire, that he demanded that she heal him, book lovers will recall a scene where Jamie’s sister Jenny demanded the same of Claire. He needs Murtagh to keep his promise to never leave him.  His grief is great and she understood.

What followed was a natural progression.  We saw angry Jamie, angry at having to play by other men’s rules, angry at the crown that had caused so much pain in his life, anger at injustice, and tyranny, angered by senseless violence and loss.  He is a changed man. This was the moment Jamie became a revolutionary.  As painful as it was to watch Jamie put on that red coat it was worth it to watch him take it off and throw it on the ground at the shallow man’s feet, “You and I both know what really. happened here today…”.  Jamie proclaims his debts paid and his obligation to the crown at an end. I could not help but be overwhelmed by how steep was the price he paid and how much more dear that debt was to cost him.

We then see a grief-stricken Jamie fall to his knees by the campfire, holding his heart with the blood of his Godfather on his hands.  He stumbles to his feet and suddenly sees his daughter staring off into the direction of the creek and it is as if a switch is turned off.  His battle face is back on.  I suspect he knows there is more, more loss and grief to face this day.  They all go looking for Roger, but it is if they are all dream walking, moving through a waking nightmare.  From a tree, the white flag of truce half out of his pocket hangs Roger Mac…it was all for naught …and all fades to black.

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PS. I see you Graham

 

 

 

66 thoughts on “They sang us a sorrowful song … a reflection on Outlander 5.07 “The Ballad of Roger Mac”

  1. Nancy

    I will read through your words again and again and appreciate your every thought in them. You make our Outlander world seem real and alive. I guess it’s because it is. Thank you, Beth, for staying with us in this journey. This episode was the most emotional for me in a long time. I wanted to say how much last week’s episode about Jocasta’s story was filled with such grief. It physically hurt to watch. They surely captured grief, loss and love this week. Thanks Beth. Be well, be safe.

  2. Kathryn Havemann

    I’m surprised that everyone, most of all Roger, is so worried Roger will die in this battle. By the laws of time travel, since he was alive when he met Bree and Claire in the 1960s before he came through the stones, he cannot die 200 years in the past. That was the whole reason Claire wouldn’t let Jamie kill Randall, believing Black Jack was Frank’s ancestor and killing him would mean Frank couldn’t exist in the future. Why has no one else mentioned this glaring fact?

    This episode was certainly one of the very best but I have to admit that Sam apparently cannot cry. In both this episode and when he told Murtagh earlier that he was free of his oath and had to disappear, Sam’s attempts at sobbing were no more than him forcefully huffing out a breath. This surprised me as Sam is such an accomplished emotional actor. Your thoughts?

    • Nancy

      Wow Kathryn. Your comment is certainly surprising given the amazing content of this week’s episode. For those who have not read the books will always be interested and surprised by how plot lines evolve. That you question Jamie’s tears and pain??? Sorry for you. Jamie is a man of strength. His tears and emotion might not have been ok for you, but I felt them. I undoubtedly feel I’m not alone in this. Hey

    • Floria Taylor

      Kathryn, I understand what you are talking about when it comes to Sam’s lack of tears. I have to remind myself when watching this show that in the time it was so instilled in boys and men that women did the crying not men. My mom died of lung cancer in ’06 only 5 weeks after we all found out she had cancer. My father instilled in my brothers those same beliefs, boys and men don’t cry. I watched as my bothers struggled to keep those deep in your heart tears at bay until they could get off alone somewhere where no one could see their shame. So, yes, I too think that way sometimes when watching this show, Sam can’t show that emotion on set, only to remind myself it is probably the time the show is set in and not Sam.

    • They hadn’t all agreed that the spark of revolution could be ignited elsewhere. Claire realized that she was perhaps wrong about waiting until Frank was conceived.
      As to Sam and his emotions I totally disagree. He cannot let himself break down in sobs; he is on a battlefield. When he told Murtaugh to leave, I saw the tears in his eyes and it was the caught sob that was the knife in my heart.

  3. pjbriglio

    As I sit and watch PBS Garth Brooks: Gershwin Prize, I am sobbing like a baby because of Episode 507. It was such an emotional episode. The loss of Murtaugh broke my heart and I truly didn’t expect the hanging of Roger Mac to happen yet. (I’ve read the books so knew it would be happening at some point). To be honest, every week after an episode airs, my heart is heavy for a day or two. I haven’t got a clue when this series ends. I want to watch Jamie and Claire forever. Thank you Beth for your follow up blog, you always capture the essence of what I am feeling when the credits role. Until next weekend, as our Governor in Michigan said, “Stay Home, Stay Safe.”

  4. Claudia Krage

    Beth, what a wonderful recap! You expressed so much of what I was feeling as I watched last night. This episode has to be right at the top of my list with The Wedding. I felt the TV rendition of Roger’s interaction with Morag was better than the book. I loved Roger and Murtaugh together. Sam knocked it out of the park, his acting was wonderful. He said in an interview the feeling of wearing that coat was powerful for him and I could tell. My only negative is that I was not thrilled with Graham McTavish playing Buc MacKenzie. That wig was awful and he is clearly older than is reasonable. Maybe TV only viewers will only be distracted by the wig. Hats off to Toni Graphia for writing this episode and to Sam for an award winning performance!

  5. Sherry Watson

    “Jamie’s faith, is syncretistic nature, a perfect blend of the old ways and his Catholicism. He gives reverence to both simultaneously. … Quite frankly, I find Jamie’s brand of Christianity to be…beautiful. It fits.”
    Amen! That blend is a particular favourite of mine throughout the books. Lovely thoughts as usual, Beth. Thank you.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your take on this very emotional and exceptionally acted episode. I didn’t much like last week’s Outlander installment, but I’m very happy the series seems to back on track. I think you’re right on target with your insights. For me, when Outlander is at its best, it’s also timely, melding past and present. You brought that home very effectively, in my opinion, when you wrote: “… the passage of time hasn’t seemed to change the fact that sometimes people who are supposed to care about serving others only care about themselves.” It made me think about those who are truly serving heroically in our own very troubled time, as opposed to someone who only seems to care about his own image, to the detriment of all. Thank you, Beth, for your thoughtful blog.

  7. Linda

    Beautiful words, Beth. Thank you that I could revisit 507 in your review that explained each scene so well. I love how Sam made Jamie cry at the print shop, how he cried as Ian leaving him to live with the Indians, how Jamie cried losing Murtagh. Sam shows us this man’s deep joy and sorrow.

  8. Lorraine Grzena

    I don’t cry easily, but this episode made me pull out the tissues. When was the last episode that affected me to this height of depression, but also gave me an appreciation for the acting and story line?
    Sometimes when watching my brain sees more of S&C than J&C. However, 507 captured my J&C side through out the entire episode. I felt the presence of Producers Sam’s and Cats influence throughout.

    Thanks again for your thoughts on 507. You were right on the money.

  9. Laura Michael

    My thoughts still linger heavily on last weeks episode, “Better to Marry Than Burn”. The introduction of the episode coupled with Maria Doyle Kennedys soul crushing performance of Jocastas grief personified as she recounted the deaths of her children after Colloden rank, in my mind, as one of the best in the series to date. So much of early Outlander wondered if the loss at & subsequent devastation following the loss at Colloden could be changed and/or avoided somehow. Maria Kennedy achieved time travel by transporting the ugly, very personal reality of what that loss meant to the Highland culture. For the first time, I have a deeper, more personal & empathetic understanding of what happened.

    Then in true Outlander style, the script flipped to something I was very surprised to see – angry sex between Claire & Jaime. Something they’ve usually shied away from. Apologies to all who disagree but I was glad they finally let this play out. I found it to be very honest & very refreshing, right down to Claire’s pouty lip. Enough said.

    Now onto “The Ballad of Roger Mac”.

    I enjoy Richard Rankin’s (Roger’s) singing whether they be 18th or 20th century renditions. Growing up in rural Wyoming we learned many songs like Clementine. And, like your granddaughter, I was also in the National Guard (Air), and trained over 20 years to serve my state & our country in their time of need. The National Guard is the longest serving military in our nation’s history as we see in Outlander that our first soldiers were members of local militias. And, like Roger, they were often ill prepared for the battles that lay before them.

    In his press briefing today NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo quoted FDR: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Without that very courage of our colonial forefathers & mothers who could say what we might be today?

    I’ve always enjoyed performers that know how to use body language as effectively as they can recite their dialogue. Sam Heughan excelled in that this episode. Jamie’s disdain for wearing a “redcoat” was never said but could not have been more obvious, it became his personal hair shirt.

    The intimate dialogue between Claire & Jaime before he once again took the field of battle, to me, spoke volumes:

    Jamie: Will you wish me luck then?
    Claire: Well I can’t let you go without saying something.
    Claire: I suppose good luck will do.
    Claire: I love you soldier.
    Jamie: Good luck will do.
    Jamie: I love you does so much better.

    I’ve been thinking for a long time about how to say goodbye to Murtagh. Lord knows it had to happen sooner than later I suppose. Murtagh was the first person in 18th century Scotland to find and rescue Claire from BJR at the creek. Duncan LaCroix had such a great beard in season one, how could you not love him? Impossible! I have wept very real tears not only for Outlander but for myself. Duncan LaCroix (Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser) I am going to miss you, truly.

    One last thing & then I’ll go. It appears that this season’s viewership is down from previous seasons. That’s a real shame. For some time now I’ve hoped that they’d be able to capture that season one magic. From what I’ve seen of season five so far, I’d say they’re well on their way.

    • kanicks

      As a book reader and die hard show fan, I too have awaited the return of the season one magic, Laura. I think many have been. We’re just so grateful that we have a show I guess. Getting to watch Caitriona and Sams work each week is a joy, even if they are not getting the kind of scripts that truly allow them to shine. Finally we got a chance to see script worthy of Maria Doyle Kennedy’s ginormous talents and this week was Sam’s turn.

      But, I believe the answer to regaining viewers rests in the solution of having the right show runner and commitment from the network . Executives who understand the story at its core, and more importantly the adaptive process to a science. A show runner who’s superior creative instincts match their understanding of what makes great TV storytelling. I believe this becomes a challenge, and not an easy one as we see with many hit shows, usually after year 2. One show that seems to have managed this particularly well, but failed epically with it’s final episode, was Game of Thrones. Commitment from the network partner must also be rock solid. Great writing is a hallmark of any critically acclaimed creative endeavor. The elements stated above were woefully absent in the last season.

      I believethey’ves lost some people because the show’s writing has been inconsistent episode to episode, and has lacked the vision and the spirit of excellence of the original season. While a course correction seems to be taking place, despite Maria’s lofty performance, last weeks episode certainly did not inspire confidence in the faithful. However, this weeks episode gives one hope at least. There is a vast amount of content competing for eyeballs on TV these days, if Starz and it’s show runners want to win viewers back, it’s as plain as the nose on your face. Go back and commit to the same vision and excellence of Seasons 1-3 and the critics will do the rest. You have 2 of the brightest stars and some of the juciest source material in the TV universe. All you have to do is not screw it up!

      • Laura Michael

        Thank you for your considered reply Kanicks.

        I feel the need to say that following last season I had shed myself of all things Starz – Outlander. I struggled through season 3 and constantly felt the need to hit the eject button during season 4. The only thing that got me through those 2 seasons was rewatching episodes from season 1 to remind me why I cared about the show in the 1st place. I had no intention of watching season 5 or at least not until the entire season had aired so I could just watch them when/if I ever decided to.

        I am a book reader but almost never comment on the book vs show because that usually either leads me &/or others down rabbit holes. The one exception I made was last season’s episode 7 which, I’m pretty sure, needs no explanation.

        I agree with you Kanicks, the show is chock full of talent. Sam, Caitriona & all of the crew are a hardworking, talented group of people who care about this show & are committed to excellence. The 1 and only reason I was willing to give the show another look – Sam & Caitriona are finally producers of the show & have a voice in what happens with their characters. And, it may be wishful thinking on my part, but I think that’s why this season looks more polished & has some of that season 1 magic back.

        I could not agree with you more about show runners. I cannot add anything more to what you said so very well.

  10. Yvonne

    Thank you Beth for so aptly putting in to words all the emotions that this latest episode made us feel. I’m still trying to process it all because I was so taken by the perfection of the cast, writing & production on this one.. As you have said, it contained so much & all were vital & important to the continuing story line & also connected & completed some past incidents.
    As you say the Murtagh story was so skilfully woven here that as a book reader myself, I had no qualms about the inclusion. Another outstanding performance from Sam not only during his beloved Godfather’s death but throughout the whole episode.
    I too was thrilled to see the tent scene & Jamie’s reflections played out by both Cait & Sam perfectly. Also a favourite of mine from the book. I loved Claire in this episode because we saw the melding of efficient,medical Claire in equal parts with a softer & emphatic Claire that the previous series did not often manage. This is the Claire I care about.
    Rik has grown in to the Roger role in a more comfortable rhythm at last & he & Sophie seem to have also found the true essence of Roger & Bree’s relationship now. It will be hard to see this quality continue to the end but I sincerely hope it does.

  11. The scene where Murtagh is shot and falls into Jamie’s arms made me think back to ep. 301, when Black Jack and Jamie end up in their odd death dance on the battlefield. I didn’t think at all of Jamie dancing Claire to the stones, but that the man Jamie loved the most and the one he hated the most both died in his arms.

    • Laine Andrews

      In time, Jamie may come to see the fact that his substitute father Murtagh died in his arms with a last exchange of loving words as a blessing. What pained him in the past was that he was imprisoned when his father died and could not pay his respects. On the other hand, in both cases he feels that he’s partially guilty in their death.

      In the book, Murtagh died at Culloden fighting at Jamie’s side so there was no cause for guilt.

      Because I’ve criticized the TV writing in the past, in fairness the team deserves kudos for giving Murtagh a longer story and life line in response to viewer demand but bringing it to a close with the same poignancy as the novel’s death scene.

  12. Anne

    Thank you so much for your words. This was an outstanding episode as were your thoughts about it. Thank you. I have yet to find any appropriate words. I weep at the parallels of war, courage and leadership between this episode and our present. This episode has brought those tears to the surface.

    Stay home, stay safe

  13. Roberta Rohwer

    I get so involved in each episode… some more than others. This being one of ‘those’. I literally came out of my seat when Murtagh was shot. I don’t think anyone could have been prepared for that. I felt every nuance in Jamie’s pain… and every bit of hate and anger given to Tryon… I felt the same. Thank you, Beth, for once again putting words to my feelings. It makes it all easier to understand. I continue to wonder at the determination of our forefathers… we are so spoiled in our time (sort of)… it brings continued hope for the future. May we all survive the week without Outlander.. and the evolving current situation of our world. Stay safe….

  14. Barbara Merrill

    Thank you for an always insightful review. I have read Diana’s books for 20 years and they still are my go to books. I knew Murtagh need to go sometime in the series but was nevertheless shocked when it happened. I felt the grief. And poor Roger, totally out of time. I have been rereading Fiery Cross to stay ahead of series and poor Roger never seems to catch a break from the hanging onward. Last thought – this stuck with me “too much fodder for fate to feed on”. Great writing Beth!

  15. Adi Tamir

    For some reason I couldn’t enter my comments. I just want to thank you for the great work you do each week. You always add a layer that gives everything more meaning. Episode 507 was very appropriate in these times of great loss and pain. Loss and pain are part of life always. That’s why Jamie looks forward to whatever the day will bring – because it means that we are still alive. In this month of Corona my father passed at the age of 97 and my first grandson was born. Death and Life – Good and Bad always. Be well and Safe Beth. Adi Tamir

    ________________________________

  16. kanicks

    Beth, One of the most poignant and beautiful recaps I believe I have read on any platform, so thank you for that. I think I can safely say that this is the most authentic intimate Jamie and Claire scenes filmed since Season Three. Strait from the book, as you noted. What would have made it truIy perfect though, was if they had kept the original source material you quoted. They were amazing in that scene, don’t get me wrong, but I think Cait and Sam would have made perfect prose of Diana’s unmatched romantic dialog had they just written it as she put it down in the book.

  17. Hi Beth, your write up is brilliant as always.
    I was so disappointed with episode 6 I was beginning to lose interest in Season 5 until this week’s episode. OMG it was amazing. So much dialog directly from the books some quotes were not from Fiery Cross but I loved every one of them. The whole episode had me holding my breath – what can I say Sam’s acting was superb the best scenes he’s had since Season 1 and Wentworth. Jamie’s anguish and anger so well demonstrated when he threw the redcoat at Tyrone’s feet. All bets off and debts paid in full to the English crown that had always treated him with contempt. Murtagh’s death was so unexpected and it was heart wrenching to see the effect it had on Jamie. That being said I’m happy Murtagh is finally gone. Much as I loved Duncan they should have let him die on Culloden Moor.
    Poor Roger going off to war so out of his element and so unprepared. I loved the surprise of seeing Graham show up as Buck, that was a well kept secret.
    With the cliffhanger ending and no new episode next week I thank God I’ve read the books. They can’t kill Roger off – they wouldn’t dare they know what would happen to them and it wouldn’t be pretty.

  18. Sharon G Pekuly

    Dear Beth, Thank you,as always, for your beautiful posts. This year I decided to save watching the season until the last episode airs to binge watch as a treat during self distancing in my home in NYC. I’m not worried about spoilers-for me they add to the enjoyment. And your work will guide me to be mindful of deeply emotional parts of the episodes. Your posts are so heartfelt that makes me happy to have both the series and your words to look forward to in these fraught times. May uou and your family stay healthy.

  19. Laine Andrews

    Finally, the show captured a love scene in its fifth season that amplified Jamie and Claire’s near perfect falling in love in the first season. Within the tent was mature love that was sexy BECAUSE of their age and combined experience, not all of it together as a couple. Seldom do movies or TV shows show older couples whose tenderness and long deep regard for each other translates into va va voom. Applying a saying about length of friendship to sexual attraction, “Old is gold”. And with this larger than life pair who have overcome every obstacle including time to be together, their spiritual bond MUST continue to be expressed by their flesh as their marriage vows described. “You are blood of my blood and bone of my bone, I give you my body that we two may be one, I give you my spirit till our life shall be done”.

  20. Judy Arnel

    I totally agree with what has been said by so many here. I was gutted. Rocked to my foundation and all I have seen is the death of Murtagh.. Your recollection of the story is always brilliant.. In the comments… Kathryn Havemann said that Roger cannot die because he was alive in the 60’s….. HE was NOT alive in this time in the time he was in the 60’s. They are different times future before, past now… He sure can die in the past. Nothing of his life and death in this time changes that he was alive in the future before he ever went to the past.. Frank would not have been born, they thought, if BJR his purported father was killed… Roger is not his own ancestor.. it affects none of the future should he die.

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