Spoiler Warning: The following discusses detailed plot points from the Season 4 episode “Savages.” If you haven’t had a chance to watch the episode yet, go back through the stones and return once you have.
Greetings, sassenachs! Had a chance to tune in for this week's episode yet? If you need to refresh your memory, last week's ep promised a whole lot of settling in while hinting at the possible devastation to come for Jamie and Claire (so a whole lot of the same for them, based on their track record). Fast-forwarding to the somewhat present, Roger's discovery of the Frasers' whereabouts in colonial North Carolina proves to be a bridge back to Brianna after their falling out, but he soon discovers that she's journeyed across the pond to try and reunite with her mother. Twist! Let's dive into the latest happenings together, shall we?
We're jumping ahead a bit since the last time we saw our favorite couple, and it appears that Jamie’s made good on his promise to build Claire a house on Fraser’s Ridge, complete with hat-eating pig chilling in its own pen and lots of wood accents that are surely not a fire hazard in the slightest, nope. These two are permitted at least one tender moment before going their separate ways this week — Jamie's heading back into town on landowner business, while Claire's off to deliver a baby. It's all in a day's work for our colonial-era power couple.
Jamie’s sneakily swiped one of his mother’s candlesticks to take into town (my guess is to have a new ring made for Claire to replace the one Bonnet stole), but sadly the silversmith is not around. His wife, on the other hand, most definitely is open for business, and the looks she sends Jamie (as well as her remark about serving him “a hearty piece of pie”) give whole new meaning to the term thirst. If a dripping wet Scotsman showed up on your front doorstep, you might rethink your marriage vows too.
Meanwhile, Jamie’s having a hard time finding willing Scots to take him up on his offer to help settle the land given to him by Tryon, and as he soon comes to learn it’s the threat of rising taxes that discourages them all from agreeing to the commitment. Considering all those hints Tryon was previously dropping about Jamie enforcing some rules, maybe it’s no surprise that he can’t get any takers yet, and maybe he’s going to have to learn the hard way that taxes always seem to go up.
The biggest surprise of this episode, hands down, has to be the return of none other than Murtagh, looking very much the silver fox these days and running his own blacksmithing business in North Carolina! What has he been up to? Where has he been! So many questions! We learn all that and more soon enough, but when Jamie finds out how much this local blacksmith has swindled Ian out of for a bit of last-minute mending, he goes to confront the man — only to find his long-lost bestie! This reunion is almost as sweet as Jamie and Claire’s was last season, and it definitely brought a healthy tear to my eye (as well as Jamie’s). Oh Murtagh, you old coot, how we’ve missed ye.
Smithing isn’t the only pie Murtagh’s got a finger in, as we soon learn; he clues Jamie in to the existence of a group of disgruntled settlers — known to history as the Regulators — who are meeting to prepare an uprising against what they perceive to be unfair conditions and corrupt officials, including Tryon himself. And Murtagh is basically their de facto leader. It’s not quite revolution, not yet, but it’s certainly a precursor — and Jamie can’t sign his name to it, not without risking Claire, or Ian, or the land in his possession. And so old friends are left at a crossroads, at least for now, although Jamie makes a point to mention he won’t try to stop Murtagh in his efforts.Claire
Once Jamie departs, Claire’s burgeoning relationship with the Cherokee woman and healer Adawehi proves to be beneficial when she finds herself having to de-escalate a potentially violent situation. After delivering a baby to a nearby family of German settlers known as the Muellers, their patriarch becomes incensed when he discovers a group of Cherokee taking water from the creek outside the house for their horses. The two parties nearly come to blows via musket fire, but of course, it’s Claire who has enough clear-headedness to eventually neutralize the hostility — mostly on Herr Mueller’s end, because the Cherokee instantly recognize her as the wife of Jamie the Bear-Killer.
Even though Claire’s been left under the watchful eye of Rollo (who really is a pretty great alarm for trouble, bless that good boy), and the show makes a point to show her going through her morning chores of feeding and chatting with the various animals under her care (including a pig destined to become “a Christmas pork chop,” in Claire’s words), I can’t help but feel like something’s going to happen with her being all alone out on the Ridge.
My instincts are soon proved correct; a week after Claire delivers the Mueller baby, she receives shocking news: The baby, her mother and her uncle have all contracted measles and died. Claire is prepared to grab her bag of meds and head out to tend to the surviving members of the family, but she’s quickly warned that Herr Mueller, incensed with grief, blames her for their deaths, convinced that they’re a result of her interference with the Cherokee. With Jamie and Ian still making their way back home, Claire’s left to face a new kind of threat all on her own, with no one but Rollo and a musket as backup, trying not to look as unsettled as she feels.
When Herr Mueller finally does show up on Claire’s doorstep, he looks more like a man defeated than a man out for blood, but the more he talks the more it becomes apparent that he blames the Cherokee for the deaths of his family. Claire realizes with nothing short of horror that he has taken matters into his own hands, avenging his children and grandchild by wrongly murdering Adawehi, and she turns him away with barely muted fury before grieving the loss of her new friend. The Cherokee quickly seek their own form of justice, though, and as Herr Mueller returns to his land to find his home ablaze, his wife dead, he’s soon shot through with arrows himself.
Claire wakes in the morning to the sound of Jamie calling her name, and it’s a reunion filled with relief as well as sadness, but someone else rolls in shortly thereafter: It’s Murtagh, and it looks like he’s going to be sticking around for a little while, thank goodness.
Brianna and Roger
Back in 1970s Inverness, Roger’s on the search for Brianna, trying to figure out if her reference to “visiting her mother” is more than just a metaphor; she’s nowhere to be found but has left a letter behind for Roger.
As for where Brianna is, exactly? Well, as she soon explains in the letter, Roger didn’t have to warn her about the fate of her parents; she’d found out that info for herself, and now she has to go back in time to warn them. She tells him not to follow her, though you know he’s not going to be able to let her go that easily, even across time, because this show runs on the fuel of love. Based on the last shot of the episode, it looks like time-traveling does run in the family after all, but where and when will Brianna end up now that she's gone through the stones?
- Adawehi might not be the only one with some prescient ability; Jamie tells Claire he’s had a dream about Brianna so vivid that he was able to glimpse her birthmark, one he’d never seen even in the pictures Claire had brought him.
- Once again, Jamie’s wearing his spectacles for what turns out to be barely longer than a minute this week, but oh, what a glorious minute it is.
That’s it for now, Outlander fans! Feel free to sound off in the comments about your favorite moments this episode, as well as your predictions for where this season will go, or tweet at us over at @Syfyfangrrls. What will happen to Jamie and Claire's tentative relationship with the Cherokee after this latest devastating event? Will Brianna be able to track down her parents in the past? I have a lot of questions, but mostly my biggest reaction is still YAY, MURTAGH. See you next week!