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Outlander - Monsters and Heroes - Review

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Roger has recovered from his trauma of almost dying surprisingly well. He is more or less back to his old self when Brianna pushes him to join the men of the ridge on a hunting expedition. A herd of buffalo was seen nearby and the people on Fraser's ridge sure could use its meat, fur, skin etc. Roger and Jamie separate from the group and of course this is when Jamie gets bitten in the leg by a poisonous snake. Roger reacts quickly and sucks on the wound to prevent the poison, or at least some of it, to get into Jamie's bloodstream. It very much amuses me how both men must have despised this necessary action. Like it wasn't already bad enough they were alone in the woods together, the universe made sure they had to share some body-contact on top of it. Hilarious!

Roger tries to find Ian, Fergus, and Josiah to ask for help getting his father-in-law back to the ridge. He walks around the woods looking for them but there is no sign of the men. Roger's non-existent sense of direction sure did not make this task any easier. I was surprised that he actually found his way back to Jamie.

As it is getting dark Roger and Jamie decide to spend the night in the woods (not that they have much of a choice anyway). Jamie is getting worse by the minute and slowly starts to realize that this might be it, he might die. He asks Roger to promise him that he will find and kill Bonnet. The rapist might find a way to take Jemmy away from him and Bree to get to River Run. The man has to die. Roger is overwhelmed, he doesn’t know if he can take a life. And even if he could bring himself to do it he would need Jamie to teach him how to fight first. Roger does not take his father-in-law's condition particularly seriously.  After all, he saw Jamie and Claire's obituary with his own eyes and it clearly stated they died in a house fire and not from a snake bite. What Roger does not consider, however, is the fact that with their presence in the 18th century Claire, Brianna, and he himself keep altering history every single day. Jamie's death through fire is not necessarily a fixed point in the future. And considering that Brianna traveled back in time with the sole intent to prevent her parent's death Roger probably should know that.

The next morning, Roger builds a wooden stretcher and drags Jamie through the woods hoping he will find his way back to the ridge. Jamie is doing really bad at this point and Roger is starting to ask himself if he was wrong not to worry. The older man gathers all his strength and asks Roger to make Claire and Brianna go back to their own time if he dies. They all should return to the 20th century. It’s safer there. Roger does not argue. It was his plan all along to return to his own time with his wife and son.

Ian, Fergus, and Josiah suspect that something must be wrong when Jamie and Roger's horses return to the ridge all by themselves. They immediately start looking for the two men and thankfully find them fairly quickly. They hurry back to the ridge to get Jamie to Claire's surgery where she could heal him.

Claire, however, has no experience with snake bites. There is no antidote and she can’t even inject penicillin into his veins as the only syringe she brought with her from the future is broken. The penicillin broth she administers barely has any effect at all. She asks the settlers to go and find her maggots. The insects would clean Jamie's wound by eating the bacteria and the dead tissue. It takes some time before anyone could find the insects and once Claire puts them on her husband's wound, the infection is already too deep for the maggots to really make a difference. If they cannot find a way to administer the penicillin into his bloodstream she’d have to amputate his leg. Jamie is aware that this is what Claire plans on doing and makes her promise that she’d let him die rather than cut off his leg.

When Ian finds out about the fact that Jamie chooses death over living with “half a leg” he is livid. He always admired Jamie. Sometimes he even wished Jamie was his father. He thought him to be one of the most courageous men he knew. But now he realizes that his actual father is way more courageous than his uncle. His dad came home from war with just one leg yet he carried on with his life while Jamie just wants to give up.

Ian: “I'd never thought I'd see the day I'd be ashamed of you, uncle.“

When night breaks in, Jamie asks Claire to join him in bed. With Roger and Ian‘s help, he had moved from Claire’s surgery to their bedroom. He wants to sleep in one bed with Claire. After all, it might be the last time. The penicillin broth is not helping, his infection keeps spreading. He is pale and cold. And for a moment it looks like he is actually about to die. Claire begs him not to leave her, to stay. His voice is very weak when he asks her to touch him. She undresses, presses her body against his, and touches him. Her presence, her proximity is what keeps him alive.

Jamie makes it through the night. When Claire wakes up he tells her that he wants her to do whatever is necessary to save his life. If that means she has to amputate his leg then so be it. Ian‘s little speech did get to him after all. Thank god. We really couldn‘t have Outlander without Jamie, could we?

Claire prepares everything for the surgery. She has no time to lose. If the infection spreads she will not be able to save Jamie. She is already holding the scalpel in her shaking hand, ready to cut, when Brianna and Roger barge into the room. Brianna built a syringe! Eureka! (fun fact: Bree actually built the syringe out of the snake that bit Jamie. How amazing is that!? ) Claire can now inject the penicillin directly into her husband‘s leg. No amputation needed!

Brianna building the syringe is not only life-saving for Jamie but it's also a huge revelation for her personally as she has previously thought there was no way she could ever be an engineer in this time and age. Actually, though, people with her skills are desperately needed. Her profession just doesn't really have a name yet.

Once the penicillin is in his bloodstream, Jamie recovers rather quickly. He informs Roger that he no longer has to fulfill his dying wish. Now that he is getting better he can kill Bonnet on his own. Roger, however, wants to come with his father-in-law when he takes on the monster who keeps ruining their lives. Roger and Jamie’s relationship has entirely changed over the last two days. They almost seem like old friends now. There is suddenly respect where only a few days ago none has been. It's a little miracle!

When Claire checks on Jamie he tells her about his near-death experience: His heart slowed down and the pain faded away. He saw a passageway. It would have been so easy to simply walk through to the other side. But Claire’s presence kept him alive. She brought him back. His love for her made him stay.

Jamie: “Whether I’m dead... or you. Whether we're together or apart... I will always love you.”

While Jamie was on his deathbed, Marsali, Fergus, and the kids are out in the woods when all of a sudden the woman's contractions set in. The baby is on its way and there is no time to get back to the Ridge. It's her third child, Marsali knows that this baby is not going to wait for long. So she delivers her daughter in the woods. What a badass woman!

While this episode, like pretty much the entire season, still focuses mainly on the male characters, it also highlights the strength of the women of Outlander. Marsali delivers her baby pretty much all by herself, Brianna builds a syringe out of a snake, and Claire is the badass doctor who keeps tampering with history. I want to see more of that, please!

Feel free to share your opinion on the episode in the comments below!

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