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Outlander: Freedom & Whisky

Yes, we all want Claire to go back to Jamie right the heck now. But leaving her daughter, a successful medical career, flush toilets? Not a small decision to make.

It is now December 1968. After Claire decided to stop searching for Jamie and get on with her life, Roger showed up in Boston unexpectedly with interesting news: he'd just found Jamie under yet another alias in an Edinburgh print shop. And Claire had to decide all over again. What about her life in Boston? What if this printer isn't Jamie, after all? If it is, what if he doesn't love her anymore? What if, god forbid, he's married to someone else?

Most importantly, how can Claire leave her daughter in another century, possibly forever?

If Brianna had been selfish, if she had asked Claire to stay, Claire would have stayed. But in an attack of new found maturity, she didn't. Maybe that had something to do with Bree realizing at the fellowship event that Frank had cheated on Claire and had been far from perfect, or that Bree's initial career choice of history might have had everything to do with Frank and nothing to do with herself. To her credit, Bree told Claire that she loved her but didn't need her, that it was time for Claire to follow her heart. Good for Bree.

Claire also confided in her friend and partner, Joe Abernathy, who gave her the same advice: "If you have a second chance at love, you should take it." Of course, Joe had no idea that Claire might be leaving him forever. "Am I still attractive," though? Come on. Look in the mirror, Claire. Jamie will be older, too.

And then there was Roger, such a romantic. He wanted Claire to reunite with Jamie, too; after all, he made this happen because he couldn't let go of the research problem. When Claire was finding the decision impossible, he told her, "How can I help? What can I do?" Not judging, not telling her what to do. That touched a chord with me. A close friend did that for me once, when I was making the most important decision of my life.

The Batman montage was utterly adorable, one of my favorites in the series. Claire made an eighteenth century outfit out of raincoats (so smart, what with the rain in Scotland) complete with secret pockets for medical instruments and penicillin. Bree and Roger gave her Christmas gifts of old coins she could use, a history of Scotland and a topaz to explode when she went through the stones. Claire gave Bree the house and the bank accounts, and a resignation letter for Joe. And most importantly, the pearls Jamie gave her on their wedding night.

At this point, we didn't need to see the flight across the Atlantic, Claire's third trip through the stones, or the journey from Inverness to Edinburgh, because our hearts were already there. Suddenly Claire was walking down the streets of 1766 Edinburgh, and the print shop was actually easy to find. Claire walked in the door, and there he was. How perfect that she started shaking when she heard his voice, and that he was so shocked to see her that he literally passed out.

At first, I resented Jamie's absence in this episode. But then I thought about it. Really, "Freedom & Whisky" was about the lack of Jamie, about Claire not having any idea what he was doing with his life. Showing what happened to him in the two years post-Helwater would have felt jarring.

And at least he was in the last minute! It must have been horrible to wait a week to see the reunion when this episode first aired. For once I was glad I came to this series late. Next!


— The title card vignette was of a homemade ornament for Brianna's first Christmas in 1948.

— Talented at research, a fan of Batman and Dark Shadows, Roger is my kind of guy. Love the way he talks, too and not just his accent.

— "Freedom and whisky gang tegither." How lovely that it was Robert Burns, the National Poet of Scotland, that gave Roger the answer.

— In an obvious hint about an approaching plot point, Joe and Claire examined the bones of a two hundred year old murder victim from a cave in the Caribbean, a white woman in her late forties. Anyone we know? It cannot, and I repeat, cannot be Claire.

— All of the sixties entertainment and news was about romantic love, lovers reunited, and during the Apollo 8 scene, impossible trips. I guess Claire is going to miss the moon landing in 1969.

— I hadn't realized that Claire lost her jeweled watch the first time she went through the stones. We knew she had lost Brian Fraser's ring when she returned in 1948.

— I'm too practical. I kept thinking about how difficult it is to get a flight in late December these days. Would it have been that hard in 1968?


Claire: "There was someone. From my past."
Joe: "So he's Scottish?"
Claire: "As Scottish as they come."
Joe: "Sounds serious."
Claire: "As serious as it comes."

Brianna: "What would your posh colleagues at Oxford say if they knew you were rotting your brain on daytime TV?"
Roger: "Ah, those troglodytes wouldn't understand the travails of the House of Collins."

Roger: "That doesn't sound like the daughter of a historian."
Brianna: "Well, I'm not, am I? I'm the daughter of an eighteenth century highlander."

Sandy: "You threw away twenty years with him. I would give anything to have just one more day."
It was like Sandy was saying what Claire was feeling.

Joe: "How do you take a trip like that and come back to life as you knew it?"

Claire: "What if he's forgotten me? Or what if he doesn't love me anymore?"
Brianna: "You told me what you felt for Jamie was the most powerful thing you ever felt in your life. Has that changed?"
Claire: "No."
Brianna: "Then you have to trust it's the same for him. You gave Jamie up for me. Now I have to give him back to you."

Claire: "Am I attractive? Sexually?"
Joe: "It's a trick question, right?"

Joe: "You're a skinny white broad with too much hair but a great ass. He'll be in heaven when he sees you, Lady Jane."

Claire: "He's a good one."
Brianna: "I know."
I like Claire's closeness to Roger.

Claire: "When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles. I couldn't bring myself to believe that the perfect smooth expanse was no more than a thin film of water over solid earth. I believed it was an opening into some fathomless space and if I stepped in, I would drop at once and keep on falling."

Too massive a cliffhanger, but an absolutely wonderful, climactic episode. Four out of four lobster rolls with Boston cream pie,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. lisam, I started back in July. Watched all four seasons in just over a week, and then decided I had to fill in the reviews.

  2. I couldn't breathe during those last few minutes. Wonderful buildup until Jamie fainted dead away at which point I burst out laughing. What a perfect reintroduction.

  3. Billie, I also cannot imagine watching this over the course of several years having just binge watched 4 1/2 seasons in the past month! Some of the waits would have been impossible!

  4. Krisha, it appears that finally putting the first few seasons on Netflix has brought in a *LOT* of new viewers, including you and me.

  5. My brother had been telling me to watch it for awhile. I may have started episode one a year ago but never finished. He has subsequently told me he knew Jamie was my kind of guy. He wasn’t wrong lol...I am in his debt :). It took being stuck at home for me to give it another go. Needless to say I cannot imagine not having found this show and this couple!

  6. Okay, so I'm not done with this episode yet, but one thing is driving me crazy:

    Yes, Claire and Jamie's timelines sync up--always separate by 200 years. And kudos to Claire, Brianna, and Rodger for figuring that out.

    But why didn't they take that logic one step further and consider Gillian/Geillis? Claire knows when Geillis went through the stones (1968) and when she came out (before Claire's first trip in the 1940s). So Claire should have wondered whether she'd come through the stones at the right time, shouldn't she?

    Or is she just assuming that the stones drop you off in a particular time and then "auto-sync"? That the travel is unique to each person, not each trip?

    Anyway, I know I'm definitely overthinking this, but I don't understand why Claire isn't overthinking it, too. Maybe because she never watched Lost.

  7. Josie, there's an explanation for why Geillis and Claire jumped a different number of years, but I can't remember where in the series it is, or if it's just in the books. Your comment about Lost made me laugh.

  8. Oh, good! Just knowing there is an explanation is enough for me. :-)


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