Previously on Outlander, “Common Ground”
Claire and Adawehi are having a Cherokee-to-English vocabulary lesson by the river while they collect herbs for medicine. They make small talk as best they can, and it’s nice to see Claire finally have a friend, even if it’s a friend that she can barely speak with.
Holy shit, Jamie’s made himself a house! It’s got glass windows and it’s full of furniture–he’s been a busy man. And Fraser’s Ridge looks like it could shape up nicely once he and Young Ian return with some more people who want to actually live there. Considering he’s giving away 100 acres at a time, they should have zero problem finding plenty of nice Scottish families (with nice Scottish girls) who want to try their hand at building their own house, hunting and farming their own food, and generally trying to not die in the wild. Actually, 100 acres doesn’t seem all that enticing when you say it like that…
Which must be why Jamie won’t even charge rent until the houses are built and a harvest is coming in. That could be at least a year away! He’s super smug delivering that “exciting” bit of news to his prospective tenants, but let’s be honest: they could just as easily die in the middle of the woods before any of that happens. It looks like the farmers are just as aware of their mortality, because every single one of them turn down the offer. What’s really going on is that they all had farms before but were so overtaxed that they gave them up rather than pay the crooked tax collectors. They’re not willing to go through all of that again, even with Jamie’s promise of low, low taxes.
While Jamie and Ian are recruiting, Claire and Rollo are making house calls and delivering babies. A sweet German family who lives in the hundred mile radius has a brand new granddaughter, but damn if it doesn’t make Claire all weepy for missing her own baby. The family names the baby Klara in honor of Claire; if Claire’s the only healer in the mountains, that place is going to be rife with Klaras in a few years. There’s a tense standoff over water rights between Herr Mueller of said nice German family and Tawodi of the Cherokee tribe that has been living there for years, and Claire does her best to diffuse the situation by asking the Natives to go water their horses somewhere else. No one dies, so I guess that’s a success, but if Mueller thinks he owns the river and all the water, I’d bet dollars to Pfannkuchen that he’s going to get an arrow through the chest in the very near future.
Since all of the menfolk are away, it’s up to Claire to keep the house running by doing all of the chores until the sun sets, then gulping down whiskey and hanging out with the dog. 250 years apart and Claire and I basically have the same Saturdays.
When she finds the Pastor Gottfried frantically banging on her door one afternoon, she learns that most of the Mueller family has died of the measles, and Herr Mueller is how do you say… insane. He blames Claire for letting the Cherokee contaminate his water, and now must not be the time or place for Claire to point out the irony of natives giving measles to anyone at all. Pastor Gottfried is so concerned for Claire’s safety that he makes sure she has her rifle before he gets the hell out of dodge, because Mueller is no doubt coming for her.
Come for her he does, but only to make sure the measles didn’t take her, too. The poor man has lost his entire family in a number of hours, and it’s given him a touch of the crazy. He believes that the Natives cursed his family with the pox, but it’s not until he hands Claire the scalp of Adawehi that we find out that the man is 100% out of his mind. It’s hard to say if Claire thinks this is all her fault, but if she’d let Tawodi shoot Mueller by the river then we’d only be short one sweaty bigot instead of a sweet old lady healer.
It’d be safe to assume that the Cherokee want revenge on Mueller for skinning their granny’s scalp, so it’s no surprise when fiery arrows light up the Muellers and their cabin. It seems like an act of revenge, but maybe it’s actually self-preservation: if they kill Patient Zero, the pox will die with him. It’s just a bonus that the guy was also an asshole.
Jamie and Ian are trying their best to get back home, but with car trouble and a surly blacksmith charging time and a half for a new bit, it’s going to be a minute before they can get on the road. Jamie makes a quick stop to give the blacksmith a piece of his mind about the hourly rates he charged, and hot damn it’s MURTAUGH!!
Murtaugh’s been indentured for twelve years, not far from Woolam’s Creek, and once his master died he was sold off to the smithy to learn the trade and become a silver fox. He’s as excited to hear that Claire is back as I was to see Murtaugh, and just when you think they’re about to leap up and run to Fraser’s Ridge, Murtaugh gets all ominous about the “grave work” he has to stay and do in Woolam’s Creek.
It’s just a secret meeting where the town Scots meet up to talk shit about the tax collectors and get themselves all worked up. They’re practically firing up the torches and polishing the pitchforks when Jamie realizes he might need to back slowly out of the room. He and Murtaugh can’t see eye-to-eye: Jamie can’t join the Regulators and keep Claire safe, and Murtaugh can’t move to Fraser’s Ridge and still spur this revolution. They part on good terms, it seems, but Murtaugh has that glint in his eye when they say goodbye, and it’s not long before he shows up in Claire’s garden for a happy reunion. Maybe he can leave the revolutionizing to the young kids.
A couple centuries ahead in time, poor dear Roger is on the hunt for Brianna, even though she has a 10-day and 207-year headstart on him. That’s going to make her extra hard to catch up with. She did leave a letter for him with the innkeeper, who handed it over to Roger instead of waiting the year that Bri requested. The letter tells him that Bri somehow found out that something terrible is going to happen to Jamie and Claire. She has to go back in time to warn them, and whatever happens he shouldn’t follow her. Which of course means that Roger is going to follow her, if he can…
Outlander S4E5 Review Score
Outlander – S4E5 – “Savages” | Starring: Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe