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Outlander - Better To Marry Than To Burn - Review

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In the season opener, Jocasta informed Murtagh that Duncan Innes has asked for her hand in marriage and that she has not yet provided him with an answer. She has given Murtagh the opportunity to speak up, to ask her to decline the proposal but the obstinate Scotsman was not brave enough to confess his feelings. So, Jocasta returned to River Run set on marrying Innes. She has no love for him and Mr. Innes is very aware of this. Even Ulysses knows that this marriage will not make her happy. Jocasta, however, is not looking for happiness. She just wants a "wee bit of peace“. That is enough for her. It has to be.

The day before the wedding an unexpected visitor shows up. Murtagh. Tyron, the very man that wants to see him dead, is currently at River Run to attend the wedding and still, Murtagh came to see Jocasta. That’s the insanely stupid, incredibly romantic gesture I have been waiting for the entire season. Murtagh drops down on one knee and asks her to wait for him, to not marry Innes. Jocasta is tempted, so very tempted but she has lost too much in life already. She cannot be with a man who would sacrifice everything for his cause. And she believes Murtagh would, just like her late husband did. To make Murtagh understand she tells him how she came to be in the US, how this castle she is living in was built from the gold her daughter died for. She has lost everything to the Jacobite cause. All her children were killed. She had to leave her daughter’s corpse lying in the mud. Her heart was torn apart over and over again. Murtagh was not aware of half of what she had gone through and attempts to comfort her. He assures her that he would never risk her happiness for one of his causes. However, he also indicates he wants to return to his fellow rebels and finish what they started. He is already risking her happiness. Jocasta asks him to leave. He confesses his love and walks away.

Murtagh: "I love you Jocasta MacKenzie. This world may change but that will never change. I only wish I had been brave enough to say it sooner."

How about we ignore the unwritten rule that actors over 45 can only be supporting characters and ask for a spin-off starring Jocasta and Murtagh? These two certainly have lots of interesting stories to tell and Duncan Lacroix, as well as Maria Doyle Kennedy, are shining in their roles every single second they appear on screen.

Expectedly, Jamie and Claire have also made their way to River Run for the wedding. They too are aware that Jocasta is anything but in love with Innes. Jamie wishes his aunt and Murtagh could find a way to be together but knows it cannot happen. How about they all travel through the stones and finally have a happy life in the 1970s? Too much to ask? Probably.

During the celebrations, Claire and Jamie meet Phillip Wylie again, a wealthy plantation owner, who they have already had the displeasure of meeting in season 4. The aristocrat is particularly interested in Claire and keeps following her around wherever she goes. He is stalking her really. Claire unmistakably lets him know that she has no interest in him but stops trying to get away from him when she finds out that Wylie is doing business with Stephen Bonnet. Wylie might be their way to get back to the rapist. The plantation owner, however, is not interested in anything but Claire, crosses one line after another and even ends up physically assaulting her. He starts kissing her and probably would have raped her then and there if Claire had not managed to push him away forcefully. This is when Jamie walks in on the situation and pulls a knife. Had Claire not talked him down Jamie might have sliced his throat. He lets Wylie walk away. Claire then informs her husband that Wylie has connections to Bonnet. The couple realizes they have to try to get back in Wylie's good graces. It's their best chance of getting to Bonnet.

Jamie comes up with a risky plan and persuades Wylie to gamble with him. If Wylie wins he gets Claire’s wedding ring from Frank if Jamie wins he receives Wylie’s award-winning horse. Claire is beside herself with anger that Jamie would dare to simply give away her wedding ring like that. Wylie is aware of how much the ring means to her and purposely asked for it, it's his way of revenge. Claire eventually hands over her ring. But she does not only remove Frank's wedding ring but also the one Jamie slipped on her finger many years ago.

Claire: "If you are going to take this... then you might as well take both of them."

Thankfully Jamie wins the game and Claire gets both her rings back. He leaves the horse he won with Wylie but in exchange, asks of him to establish a connection to Stephen Bonnet so he can do business with him. Wylie falls for Jamie and Claire's little plan. Revenge on Bonnet is almost within their reach now.

Jamie and Claire's argument, however, is not resolved yet. Claire is still angry about the wedding ring and after a few hours of gambling, Jamie is drunk and incredibly stupid. He actually hints that she is to be held partially at fault for Wylie's assault, after all, she is a woman. I was very thankful when Claire hit him. A very justified slap in the face.

Back at the Fraser’s Ridge Roger is left in charge. A fact none of the settlers are particularly excited about. Just like Jamie, they do not deem Roger a competent leader who can manage a crisis. This time, however, Roger is able to prove them wrong. When a huge swarm of locusts is about to destroy all their crops, Roger remembers that in a book his father used to read him, people were fighting the insects with smoke. He orders people to set up several small fires to create an overwhelming amount of smoke. Turns out smoke really does drive away the locusts. Most of the settlers' harvest is safe and they now won’t have to worry about feeding their families come winter. The settlers now deem Roger their new hero.

Toward the end of the episode, we witness Jocasta’s lawyer inform Stephen Bonnet that Brianna’s son was just made the sole heir to River Run. Right before her wedding, Jocasta signed the document that made her decision official and her lawyer had nothing better to do than to look for Stephen Bonnet and tell him all about it. Despicable human beings. Both of them.

Let’s hope Claire and Jamie find Bonnet way before he even has the chance to abduct little Jemmy.

The episode ends with Governor Tryon announcing that the regulators refused to take the pardons. He wants Jamie to return to the Ridge, gather the men he recruited and go to war. Even though Claire told him this war was going to happen Jamie still seemed to have a small shimmer of hope that a battle could be prevented. Now, however, all hope is gone. War is coming.

At the end of this review, I would like to point out that Outlander has failed yet again to properly discuss the topic of slavery. I sincerely hope this will be addressed sometime in the future.

Let us know what you think! What did you enjoy most about the episode?

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