Those Damn Stones…a Reflection on Outlander 5.11 “Journey Cake”

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No, no, no, no, NO!!!!!  I kept mumbling to myself from the very first scene where Bree and Roger realize Jemmy is a traveler. The looks of realization and its import were on everyone’s faces and the significance for each of them weighed heavily on my heart. “Don’t go”, I mumbled, “please don’t go. ‘

The Weight on Each Heart and the Lump in Each Throat

Maybe it is the time in which we are living, but the importance of family is uppermost in my mind.  Last conversations, last hugs, last goodbyes, and last…”I love yous” are probably on all of our minds.  I feel for those separated from their loved ones, unable to be there to comfort and console or to say their last “I love you”.   It makes you want to hold close all those you hold dear and yet, we cannot.  Families are scattered and untouchable.  I have seen my children and granddaughters on a screen which is a blessing to be sure, but I have no idea when it will be safe for me to actually be with them.  They exist, right now everyone is in a safe place and managing their circumstances and I am grateful, but Lord I miss them.  This episode reminded me of what it is to love, the pleasure, and the pain.

Bree Trying to Be Brave

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I don’t believe she wants to go, not for a minute.  When I watched her interact with Roger discussing their departure, I once again mumbled to myself, this time  I whispered: “Where thou goest I go”.  What weighs heavily on Bree’s heart is leaving her mother and father and all those she has learned to love balanced against her marriage and her promise to her husband.  We know he is right, it is a dangerous place.  In the books, Bree often fears just how quickly her child or anyone she loves could die.  She muses that even something as simple as diarrhea or a cut could take them from her.  She knows there is a war coming and Roger will be expected to fight and even though he has made great strides in becoming an 18th-century man, she knows he isn’t ready.

She knows that becoming who she was meant to be will be difficult if she stays and maybe even impossible.  Being a person with knowledge and attempting to use that knowledge, even for the betterment of all, is risky just ask her mother. She knows that Roger is right.  They weren’t meant to live this life.  They interfered with the fates by deliberately going through the stones, but leaving means saying goodbye most probably forever.  They haven’t played it up much in the series, but traveling through the stones is supposed to be painful maybe even deadly and there are no real guarantees you will end up where you want.  Which, if I had to pick a bone with the story, makes me wonder if their reasons for risking the stones were strong enough.  In the book, they leave because their new baby has a problem with her heart and will die without the surgery she can only get in the future.  To me, that was a real reason to leave your family and risk death, and the only reason I can see Bree leaving her mother and father, and quite frankly, the only reason Roger would ask her.  But, the powers that be decided to go this way, so I’m suspending my disbelief and just going with the reasons given and believing they were worth the risk. Who am I kidding…she would have never left.  Every time she looks at her mother, her father, or even sweet Lizzie, we see her swallow against the lump in her throat.  She doesn’t want to go, no, no, no, no, NO!  She knows what it was like to leave her mother and believe she might never see her again.  And, now Jamie too? Nope.

Roger Has Only Wanted a Family

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On a deeper level, he is probably right.  It is dangerous and they weren’t meant to live this life.  He is a college professor, she is an engineer, but right now, they are neither. I love that he acknowledges that they won’t necessarily be safe in the future, only safer.  But, I was back to mumbling again, “How do you know”, I groused.  I’ll admit it seems logical, but I’m pretty intuitive and my intuition tells me an unsure future might not be worth losing the value in their present life.  They are loved and cared for and surrounded by family. I’m not sure the trade-off is worth it.  I know Roger is only looking out for his family.  He tells us all he has ever wanted is for them to be a family and he thinks that the future is where he can best take care of them. I know it weighs heavy on his heart that they will be leaving Jamie and Claire, but like Jamie, he will do the hard stuff to protect his family and in this case, the hard stuff is leaving.  The irony is that I think Roger is becoming a man capable of living in the 18th century.  He is understanding what is required, as evidence by how he took charge in the Bonnet situation in the last episode, and how he helped the poor burned girl to her final sleep instead of allowing Jamie to do it.  Just when he is fitting in, he decides to leave.  A man who only wants them to be a family is …leaving his family.  I don’t believe he really wants to go either.  I think he thinks he is doing what is best for Jemmy and Bree.

Lizzie is Loyal

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Bless you Lizzie, your incredulity was mine.  But, why?  They have all been with Bree and Roger through good times and bad.  Faithfulness and loyalty are rare and yet, the Ridge seems so full of it.  Good friends are hard to find and I have no doubt that Lizzie would be Bree’s friend until the end.

Ian Understands

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Ian knew his Auntie was a fairy!  I laughed at this and was relieved that someone else knew the truth.  I always felt that they should have told the elder Ian and Jenny long ago, it would have caused them a lot less grief.  But, I suspect they already know that Claire is more than a widow from Oxford.  We suspect that Ian believes that the future might hold the answers he is looking for and it weighs heavy on all our hearts that Claire has to tell him it is impossible.  He needs his family around him.

Fergus and Marsali

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This goodbye was foreshadowed.  Marsali sat on the porch steps and told Ian how she was grateful for having found family and a place to.belong. “What will your parents do without you?”, she asks.  I’m sure she is projecting some guilt over leaving her own mother and sister.  She understands the hole Bree and Roger will leave and how hard it will be to live with.

To Claire It Seems Like an Eternity

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I can’t even imagine.  As I’ve written before, to have loved and lost is painful, but to gain that love back only to lose it again must be unbearable. The heaviness of Claire’s heart must make every breath a labor.  Her logical brain knows what Roger’s knows.  The future is probably safer and filled with opportunities they will never have if they stay, but her heart needs her family around her to love and to hold.  When she stood in that hallway watching Brianna say goodbye to the folks of the ridge, I understood what she was feeling, arms wrapped around herself.  She doesn’t want to stand in the way, but it hurts not to beg them to stay.  How does she even begin to accept this, to say goodbye again?

The chance to make them peanut butter and jelly “journey cakes” was a wonderful touch.  In a world of things, you cannot control, you grab on to those you can. It’s why we are ALL baking, LOL!  I remember when a particular granddaughter had a devastating disappointment, circumstances were out of her control and mine.  She hurt and it hurt me that she hurt, so I made her favorite food and took it to her.  Hey, it’s what grammies do and we are darn good at it!  Claire is creating a happy memory for her and for us, bridging a gap between the future and the past.  Jamie’s cutting the sandwich with a knife was perfectly in character and made me smile. Claire tearfully looking at her portraits was every mother and grandmother ever who miss their children. The whole episode was just …touching.

Jamie’s Life is Whole

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Of all of Outlander’s character’s that I love to love, I feel the worst for Jamie.  I have never felt Jamie very difficult to figure out.  His desires are pretty simple.  He wants to love and protect those he loves.  He wants to be a husband, a father, a grandfather.  He wants to be a man his father and his heavenly father would be proud of. Jamie thought he had lost his chance to be any of those things, but then Claire came back through the stones. His joy upon her return was only increased by the knowledge that his daughter lived.  Suddenly, he began to gain everything he never thought to have, he gave Fergus his name, added Marsalis, Ian, and Murtagh to his ever-growing family.  He was carving out a place to be, a person to be, and a home to call his own.   And then,…a miracle,…his lost daughter is suddenly in his arms, his reason for everything, the embodiment, the proof that his life, his sacrifices were not in vain.  His blessing.  Watching him play with Jemmy on the horse, his bearing his shame to let Bree know she had a brother tore me up.  But, when he found out they were leaving in a week? Sam Heughan once again tore my heart asunder when he showed us how Jamie struggled to be strong for Bree and then told her she had made his life whole.  God, I’m crying as I type this!

and Wee Jemmy

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I’m sure everyone has their theories, mine all revolve around wee Jemmy.  Here is what I know, it isn’t just gemstones that steer time travelers.  They also have to have someone to go to.  I think Claire ended up where she did because she and Jamie were meant to be together and the second time she knew why and to whom she was going, but Bree and Roger?  Bree traveled through the stones the first time because she had a purpose, she needed to tell her parents they were in danger, and I think she desperately missed her mother and wanted to meet her father.  She was angry at Roger for going through the stones to find her because she needed someone she loved to go back to and NOW how were they supposed to get home?  So, I’m back to my original belief, they don’t really want to go.  Everyone they love is on Fraser’s Ridge and Jemmie, little double-bundle of power and mystery doesn’t know anyone or any place other than the ridge.  Hello, the house.

57 thoughts on “Those Damn Stones…a Reflection on Outlander 5.11 “Journey Cake”

  1. Shopping Jam

    Totally agree that Brianna would not leave her mother and Da without a very good reason. What they have shown us so far does not rise to that level for me. And I felt at the end like you, that the travel through the stones has direction guided by who you have in your mind. All Brianna can think of is Claire, and Jamie, so my hope is they have traveled through the stones only to return to the same spot shortly thereafter. It would fit with canon – though a bit of a ploy for plot. I wonder how DG felt about writing this part which is clearly NOT her version. And if they are returning to where they started, then there will be one more reason to stay put for the time being!! I must say the tv show missed an opportunity in Ep 510 to ‘find’ another portal of stones, leaving us wondering in Ep 511 where Roger, Bree and Jemmie were headed to, as so far no mention of any stones found in America (that I recall at least.)

    Loved your review.

  2. MC

    Hi Beth. This episode brought me back to caring so deeply about our family. Thank you for writing in such a positive way. Some bloggers are so critical. If only all the old and new characters could be at Frasers Ridge. I am still shaken by this episode. I’ve read most of the books and cannot figure out what they are doing with Roger, Bree and Jemmy. Jemmy clearly ran to someone he knew. I want to believe they stayed where they were with Ian, but Ian saw them disappear. What was Roger so struck by?Who was Jemmy running to? Can you tell us what your thoughts are without spoilers? I really wouldn’t mind them but others might. Can anyone else speculate what they think is going on???

  3. judy52sa

    Can’t imagine that their attempt thru the stones will be successful….there’s nothing to return to other than the potential of a ‘safer’ life and the modern accommodations of pursuing a career for which they both prepared. But no family calls to them….everyone they love and care for is at the Ridge. Secondly, there is no Mandy yet. And certainly, there are departures from the book content in adaptations, but with Diana writing this script, I would doubt this would have been overlooked. My bet is that they wake up and see their same 18th century home or as close as they can get to it..perhaps even Ian standing at the bottom of the hill with the wagon, waiting to see if their journey thru the stones was truly successful.

  4. eataylo1

    All the feels, Beth. I was so looking forward to this episode that Diana wrote!! Throughout season 5 the one wrong note I kept feeling was the stated intention that R and B would go back thru the stones as soon as they could and I knew that the writers had moved this decision up from where it occurs in the book, just like Bonnet’s death and Claire’s abduction. But the logic is faulty as you’ve pointed out. Without Mandy it doesn’t hold together and I suspect the trio really doesn’t go anywhere and I resent the PTB winding up us book readers just to get their jollies. Diana has told us how she writes in short pieces and agonizes over where each piece belongs as she’s finishing up her books. I think it’s madness that the show runners think they can just interchange pieces and not lessen the story’s inner cohesion!!

  5. Thank you, Beth! I feel much the same. Most tissues used so far this season. The farewell with Lizzie…oh, my word. I bawled! I think Bree, Roger, and Jemmy are still at the circle. The stones tossed them back where “home” is, where family is, etc. You KNOW that The Ridge and their family were IN there thoughts when they passed through the stone. AND, Jemmy obviously knew where they were. He ran away from his parents toward someone he recognized. He’s WAVING at the person. I have re-watched that scene multiple times. I might have to eat my hat, but I say they are right when/where they were when they “left”. – Dawn

  6. Holly Towns

    Great article! It made me cry to read it and remembering the episode. Then it made me cry to think we may not have the Outlander show forever.

      • jshipleyj

        But not now…so much to cover in future seasons, even if we only have 6 or 7. My intuition tells me that Sony/STARZ won’t be making any decisions beyond season 6 until they see where our world comes out of this pandemic.

  7. Anne

    Thank you for this, beautifully insightful as always. As for Roger, Bree, and Jemmy…. We will see, in a week! But I do wonder why they would spend so much of the episode on their good byes if they didn’t actually leave in the end. I go round and round in circles speculating about this which is an absolutely wonderful, and needed, distraction from life in lock down! Lol. Love them for it!

  8. Cynthia Dianne Manning

    Beth, your reflections were beautiful – evocative and insightful. Poetry. My take is … well, more prose — and production oriented as my background is theatre.
    First and foremost, huge acknowledgement to Diana Gabaldon for writing this episode. It showed her artistry as it was full to brimming. Character driven BUT with a plot that I hesitate to embrace. Very confused as DG tweeted that Roger and Bree leaving was NOT her idea!! Nonetheless, the scenes were well-crafted and well acted though tumbled upon each other.
    The opening of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was carried through the entire episode – it was an image that provoked genuine sentimentality, joy, and humor. (IE – Jamie’s line upon eating that it would be useful to seal envelopes and mending boots … though I thought his eating with a knife and fork was a bit cheap).
    The first scene was so difficult to watch and kudos to the young actress but it felt strange that Jamie had to call for Claire – Dr. Claire Fraser would be right with them looking for survivors. Interesting choice to have the minister to be (Roger) putting the child out her misery and the warrior (Jamie) saying the prayer.
    I wasn’t entirely sure why suddenly Ian has the opal stone BUT adored the excellence of the Jemmys in this scene and in the rest of the show. Interesting to note that Jemmy seems to have been given more lines than Fergus! One of the first episodes this season where I was once again appreciative of Bear’s music. Loved that he brought back a variation of the incantation of the stones during scenes about time travel
    Adored the fleshing out of the relationship of Claire, Jamie, and Ian when he questions them about the truth of who and what Claire is. Oddly, I wished the scene had just been Claire and Ian. I understand why Jamie was there -the Latin in Ottertooth’s diary)(although MDs in 60s often studied Latin and Greek because medical terminology was derived from those two languages). And yes, Claire seems to need permission from Jamie to share her time traveling. BUT. It might have been nice to have him sit on the floor to listen to her, do a time lapse of an in-depth talk, then end scene with Ian asking if Claire might help him go back. The scene with Ian, Bree, and Claire was purely for Ian’s denied request and otherwise not necessary. (Looking for tightening of storyline that might have allowed best scenes to breathe more).
    Scene with Bree and Roger was sweet – especially the thought that Jemmy’s response to stone might be proof of Roger’s paternity and Roger’s starkly honest line that we are “not living a life we were meant to”. What was so easy about the scene — little vernacular turns such as “We can’t go poof”. Still, considering the enormity of the decision perhaps it should have been less easy.
    Ah, the window scene … and special praise for Claire’s lovely preparation for bed and her look when she sees he has fallen asleep. But, praise the Lord, he does finally wake-up!! Alas, it did leave some dissatisfaction. One – Jamie is kissing Claire’s shoulder when he mentions she tastes salty and asks if she has been crying. She would have been sobbing for her tears to have made it down to her shoulder. Kissing cheek, perhaps?? I might have preferred less smelling and more … well, more. However, it was charming and especially endearing when she slapped his bum. “You could raise me from the dead for this …” great reference to Claire’s bringing him back in Episode 9 – would have loved interaction rather than leaving it out there. Now, I don’t necessarily mind the choice of sexual pleasuring… though I am sure that a plethora of women will rage that Jamie didn’t take his shirt off – (understand the burden on actor for required scar prosthetics) BUT he could have dropped his trousers … and Claire was burning up (in every which way– were they implying menopause??) so why not have her slip removed and her naked torso bathed in moonlight … BUT thank you for the breeze that blew her hair as she leaned back in ecstasy.
    So, of course, we then must have one of the most delightful scenes EVER with Jamie looking at his own “spunk” through Claire’s microscope. Someone posted DG’s entire book scene and I see no earthly reason they could not have included in its entirety. It was still wonderful but less so. I DID LOVE that Claire took Jamie’s teacup to drink while watching him … and her looks!!! Reminded me of what Cary Grant once said of Irene Dunne: “When you think you’ve got a scene going, and it’s all yours, Irene can just move a finger or an eye or give a nod of her head and steal it.” You go, Caitriona!!!
    FINALLY, a scene between Bree and Jamie!!!! It didn’t quite hit the way I expected it would. Not sure why. Nicely written, nicely acted. And yet …perhaps my reservation was the scene was all about Jamie and Willie. Jamie has one week before Bree leaves. I would have preferred that his attention was on HER. Perhaps when talking about how much Willie, Bree, and he looked alike – Jamie could have said, “Others see me in you but when I look at you, I see your mother and I kin no better sight in all the world.” Since there is no Jamie and Roger parting scene, perhaps they could have discussed Roger. Jamie: “I dunna kin if what I’ve tried to teach Roger will be of use where ye are going.” Bree: “Da, it will be. You have shown him who he is in a way our time never could. And you’ve led me to love him even more.” Also, it would have been nice if the scene ended with action. What if Jamie said (no wanting to end time with his daughter but not sure what more to say): “My hand is itching a bit to practice my shots. Would you join me? Give me one more chance to challenge the best marksman on the Ridge.” Bree: “You’re on, Da. I won’t be giving you back your title just yet.” And scene ends as they head out together.
    Note: This episode was again around Bree/Sophie. She had scenes with her Da, Lord John, Marsali, and most touchingly Lizzie. Lizzie scene was lovely but, if I were her, I might have left out mention of rape – considering her part in Roger’s ordeal!! What stunned me is that there was no scene with Claire. There was a moment when Claire watched Bree saying goodbye – and you saw a wave of emotions pass over Claire’s face. She made us understand her restraint – holding in her sorrow to make it easier for Bree. Then, they happened upon each other alone and there was a Claire hug … absolutely no one in this cast or on screen, hugs like Caitriona Balfe. And yet, sometimes, I think writers and producers take Cait for granted and give her moments not scenes — moments that seem like scenes because of the myriad of emotions the actress expresses sans words. Still. She deserves more. Also, LOVED Bree and Roger watching Jemmy with Grandsire Jamie on horse – a lovely echo of Jamie with his son William at Hellwater. BUT where was Claire’s moment with her grandchild??? It could have been so simple to have Claire carrying Jemmy and lifting him up on the horse. Being seen by her daughter and son-in-law as well. Of course, the actress is such a favorite of the toddler(s), he might have refused to get on the horse and stay with his “Tele Granny.”
    Roger and Ian scene nice – though unnecessary. Lord Grey and Bree … well, they have a special relationship which is always nice (maybe too much so) to witness. “You are impossible not to like.” I seem to recall that Lord Grey said something similar to Claire in Season 4? I do wish that SOMEONE would acknowledge that Bree is every bit her mother as well. SEE ABOVE -Jamie. Or imagined short good bye between Roger and Claire – VERY MISSED as Claire has been Roger’s ally, friend.
    Roger comes into surgery. Claire is cleaning up – her back to Roger.
    Roger: Do you have something for breaking hearts?
    Claire hears but does not turn around.
    Roger: I wanted to thank you. (Pause) You see me. You’ve always seen me. It’s been. I … I –
    Claire: (Turning around) Thank you, Roger. If it wasn’t for you, I would not be here. (Smile) But then neither would Bree and you. (Shared laugh) Thank you for coming after Bree.
    Nothing more can be said. Roger bows to Claire.
    Claire: (pointedly) Captain McKenzie (She turns away from him to hide her emotion. Roger heads out the door but stops and turns around.)
    Roger: Claire, when I see you – I see how much of you is in Bree. She carries you always. (End Scene).
    So Bree, Roger, and Jemmy arrive at the stones after two week travel. They go through. They come out. Little Jemmy immediately leaps up, sees something or someone, and starts laughing and running towards what he sees. The foreshadowing in Ian’s playing with Jemmy in earlier scene guides me to suspect that it is IAN and they have not left Fraser’s Ridge … they have been drawn back because of Claire being in danger. Hence, Roger’s “What the devil …” IF that is the case, this whole storyline would ultimately anger me BECAUSE we know what is coming and what is coming has been relegated to the finale when it deserves more!! This episode’s prolonged goodbyes will have been for naught. It also reminds me of the arbitrary storylines that took up space throughout the season.
    Final Scene: Nice touch to have Claire repairing a man’s shoulder EXACTLY as she did when she first met Jamie … and really the first time she saves his life. (If she hadn’t stopped his highlander gang from inflicting further damage, Jamie would have been worse off and left behind). I was incensed that writer|producers had Claire ridiculously yelling “Jamie” as she was being taken away because she KNOWS he is nowhere near. Much stronger to have had her still yelling something about Marsali. It is this seemingly minor, poorly considered last moment that gives me pause — as it was the lead into the finale.
    Final Note: Sam Heughan tweeted tonight that the finale will be “Unexpected, tough, gripping, stylized.” Forgive me – if panic alarm is always set off when Outlander references “stylized.” Claire’s whole ordeal in the book is written with such complexity … especially the aftermath — those who appreciate fine acting have been waiting for Caitriona Balfe to fly! I certainly hope that Toni Graphia gives her wings.

      • Cynthia Dianne Manning

        As I said, my background!!! I watch initially from my heart and then usually the second viewing sends my mind racing. What I adore about your thoughts – they reach for the soul. Bur please let me know if my viewpoint isn’t quite what you are looking for on your site. I would completely understand … though I will still keep reading your posts!!

    • Sharon

      You need to apply for the job of one of Outlander’s show writers! Bravo! You have done some great rewrites here and analogies of what was done!

  9. Terri

    As usual a wonderful assessment of the episode! Isn’t it interesting with our families apart, missing our loved ones ,arms aching for our grandchildren that this particular episode hit home.. straight to the heart. I’m sure when this was being filmed the outlander company never imagined how this episode would resonate with the world and I wonder if the tears I shed last night were for the show or myself. Thank you Ms Wesson

  10. Betsy Spada

    Thank you so much for this wonderful write-up…it is beautifully written and expresses my feelings (I’m also a Grammie) perfectly. I was in tears reading it. Thank you, thank you.

  11. Cathie Ferro

    Oh Beth, reading your wonderful insightful summary of last night’s episode made me cry all over again! I have watched it 3 times now, sobbing each time. Have read all the books & side books as well.

    It doesn’t help that the timing of our viewing this episode is during the pandemic. I am alone at home with my animals. My 91 year old mom suffers from COPD & now dementia. She doesn’t understand why none of us come to visit like we did before. Luckily she is at her own home with a perfect caregiver and we have zoom, facetime, etc. to connect with her. My grown kids are far away. So indeed, this episode touched many heartstrings.

    Leaving Mandy’s heart condition out of the episode was the crux of the problem to me. Why leave the only family they both have then? I too suspect that Roger, Bree & Jemmy are right back at the rocks with Ian. For all the reasons so many of you have cited. So Mandy’s existence may happen yet, next season.
    It was a beautiful episode. Although I bet Diana was biting her own tongue throughout. Would have loved to have seen the proper burial of those swimmers mentioned. HA Ha

    Cynthia, I loved your ideas in your comment. Reading everyone’s blogs & comments makes me feel like I am ‘home’ with my wonderful Outlander family. Thank you.

  12. Oh boy, this episode left me in a confused puddle.
    I was all over the place my heart breaking for them all. I’m still not convinced Bree, Roger and Jem ended going to the 20th Century. They were all thinking of Jamie and Claire and how they hated to leave them I’m hoping they just went in a great big circle – a gal can hope.
    I agree with you Beth the MacKenzies reason for leaving was very weak. Neither of them really wanted to leave and I doubt Jem did either. Going, as they did in the book because Mandy needed lifesaving surgery made all the sense in the world but this didn’t.
    I left my family and home when I was 22 to come to Canada. It was a wrench but I don’t recall feeling “that’s it, I’ll never see them again”. It never occured to me at just how much my parent and brother would miss my daughter and I . I don’t think I could have left if I’d been mature enough to see that.
    I too miss seeing my Granddaughters there is Facetime but it’s not the same. I’m going to become a Great Granny in July and it would break my heart to think I would never get to hold or cuddle little baby “Oggie” as I call him.
    I love my family dearly and this Pandemic has made me see just how much I love and miss them (and they only live a 10 minute drive away).
    Season 5 has been a real roller coaster that’s for sure.

  13. Ginger

    Thanks for your thoughtful blog, Beth! I always enjoy reading them and marvel at how you can write them so quickly — and with eloquence!

    My husband thinks they see a car — like a mini parking area by the standing stones, and thinks they’ll just have Mandy in their present. Hopefully we’ll have some resolution next week as who knows when they’ll be able to safely film season 6. This may be an epic #droughtlander!!

  14. Adi Tamir

    I love every word that you said about episode 511. The whole thing made me so very sad. They should not have left – but where did they land? I didn’ t read the books so I have no idea. They started to belong and that is more important than safety. We are safe these days sitting in our homes and not connecting in any meaningful ways. I had my first grandson on March 18 and I have not been able to really touch him and love him the way I want. My father died on March 5th and I have not been able to cry and morn properly because of this. We, as human beings need much more than safety – we need each other, we need to hug and kiss and love each other. We can’t do this now. Brianna and Roger and Jemmie gave that up – I don’t get it.

  15. annie5nomus

    What a powerfully written blog. Your thoughts about family separation are especially poignant at a time when so many of us are isolated from our own families. The parting of Claire and Bree , in fact, carried so huge an impact on me that I had to stop watching for almost the entire day so heavily did I sob. Several years ago, my daughter died of breast cancer. As she breathed her last, I held her in my arms. I could feel her leave. Watching Claire suffer this parting drove me to that moment when my daughter left. I’m glad I was watching by myself because such was my grief that no one could have calmed me. It was hours before I could get back to that episode. Perhaps it was cathartic. I am reminded that we all bring our own experiences to the literature we read, and it affects us all differently. Thank you for your beautiful blog. It goes beyond discussions of Outlander.

  16. The episode centered so intently on “goodbyes” – farewells to those you live and connect with most. Those people and inanimate things that mean much to you are important elements in determining “when” you land. Also, there was that short little scene with Young Ian, who now in possession of the knowledge that one can actually “turn back” time, desperately wants a do-over. Could they have gone back just enough that this would make this possible!? I don’t understand all the timey wimey technical aspects, so maybe not.

  17. Arlene M Coleman

    Thank you so much. I’m disappointed that we didn’t see where Brianna, Roger and Jemmy landed. Doesn’t look like Boston to me!

  18. Laura Michael

    Many thanks as always Beth for your very insightful & heartfelt commentary.

    Once I realized that Diana had written this episode I relaxed into it and allowed her to tell her story, albeit through the lens of an adaptation. When it ended & I reflected on it, I revisited previous books & episodes for the first time in awhile. I thoroughly enjoyed little Jemmy, what a delightful child. And I am so glad young Ian has returned despite the trauma he has yet to share. At times I have grumbled about Diana’s seemingly unending ability to describe a scene but was so grateful for the rich tapestry she wove into this episode. Jamie & Claire sharing their secret with Ian, Jamie & Claire sharing their love for each other, Claire showing Jamie his “busy wee strivers”, finding a solution for Ulysses and so much more as I think on it. Was I sad about Roger, Brianna & Jemmy? Yes & no. Life is change as we have been most painfully reminded this year.

    Guided by her hand & knowledge of her story,
    I found this episode to be uplifting & reassuring – until the end. Ah well, nothing’s perfect.

  19. Maire Cate

    I was definitely looking forward to this episode and knowing that DG wrote it just added to the anticipation. And for the most part I enjoyed it and I loved your description and thoughtful comments. As others have written the reason Bree and Roger left seemed insufficient, even as a contrivance to move the plot forward it was weak. I just hope the writers manage to pull it all together for the final episode. I honestly admit that if it is revealed that Bree and Roger are still in the same place AND time I will feel cheated as if they were merely toying with us. I didn’t want them to leave, not this way, it was an emotional ride and I bought into it. I wondered why they didn’t have Jemmy develop some malady that required modern medicine to treat. I have read all the books several times so I know the role Mandy plays in future events.
    I hope Ginger’s husband is right – that Jemmy sees a car or something – but I hope they made it to future.

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