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Outlander: Hour of the Wolf

Duality is a theme that is often explored on Outlander. Ian in particular has long been torn between two peoples and two families.

Flashbacks showed Ian "baptized" by the Mohawk and renamed Wolf's Brother, and his marriage to Wahionhaweh, whom Ian often called Emily. The words "Flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone" echoed Jamie and Claire's wedding ceremony, certainly not a coincidence.

And Ian was obviously happy with his new situation. He learned the language and did his best to fit in. Much as Claire is for Jamie, Wahionhaweh became Ian's home... until the stillbirth of their first baby, and the miscarriage of their second. Ian was ejected from the tribe and told his spirit was not Mohawk. Because the women choose, and how I love that, Wahionhaweh chose another husband, Kaheroton, who gave her a son that lived.

An unexpected encounter with Kaheroton while Jamie was bringing guns to the Cherokee gave Ian some much needed closure. For me, the most moving scene in the episode was when Ian finally told Jamie what had happened, and that he'd named his lost daughter Iseabaiil. Jamie asked his lost daughter Faith to look for Iseabaiil in Heaven. That was beautiful.

So was Jamie's decision to tell Chief Bird about the Trail of Tears, sixty years in their future, my second favorite moment in the episode. Jamie did it cautiously, simply telling Chief Bird that the women in his family see what is to come, which is actually true.

While I was happy with Ian's chance at closure and the return of actor Braeden Clarke, who gave an exceptional performance in season four's "Providence," Kaheroton's duel with Scotchee really didn't work for me. I suppose it was intended to emphasize that Kaheroton was honorable and Scotchee was not, as well as the unhappy fact that European settlers are already encroaching past the treaty line.

Meanwhile back at the Ridge, in an exceptionally enjoyable scene, Claire roped Josiah and Lizzie into helping her test her new ether so that Malva could be Claire's anesthetist... which made sense, except that Claire has already been testing it secretly on herself. It was unsettling that putting people to sleep made Malva feel like she had the power of life and death.

Malva (Jessica Reynolds) is a fascinating character. Clever and helpful, she currently has an extraordinary opportunity to apprentice to a twentieth century physician, but she can't quite shake her religious upbringing, and she won't tell her father what she is doing. And every time I find something to like about her, she does something creepy – like watching Jamie and Claire make love in the stables. There was something malevolent about Malva's body language. It didn't seem like innocent curiosity to me.

Book versus series

Again, nearly everything was straight out of the books. Wahionhaweh's second husband was another character, not Kaheroton, but I'm glad they brought Braeden Clarke back and the change wasn't important. Ian told Brianna, not Jamie, about his daughter Iseabaiil, and Brianna asked Frank to look after her in Heaven.

I thought shifting that moment to Jamie and Faith actually worked better. Especially following last week's emotional father/son scene with Fergus. Jamie is such a good father. Especially when considering the fact that Ian and Fergus aren't actually his sons.


— This week's post-credit vignette was two wolves running together in the water. In the end, Ian left the wolf head Wahionhaweh had carved for him in the running water.

— I also liked the use of Wahionhaweh's bracelet. Ian has often touched the bracelet, showing his continued preoccupation with the dissolution of his marriage. In the end, Ian gave the bracelet to Kaheroton.

— Jamie now has Fergus selling their trade goods.

— Great callback to Geillis. I was also wondering if the song Ian sang was the same as what he sang to Brighid in season three. Does anyone remember?


Jamie: "Greased lightning, huh?"
Claire: "What? Who?"
Jamie: "Me, I suppose. Were you not thunderstruck there at the end?"
Claire: "What, did I teach you that phrase?"
Jamie: "I've heard you use it, aye."
Claire: "No, that particular figure of speech relates to extreme speed, not lubricated brilliance."
Jamie: "I can be fast, too. Maybe not first thing in the morning."

Lizzie: (re: ether) "Where does the soul go?"

Chief Bird: "This wife you have. Did you pay a great deal for her?"
Jamie: "She cost me almost everything I had. She was worth it."

There were a lot of interesting elements and it was good to finally fill in Ian's Mohawk backstory, but I was mostly lukewarm about this one. Two out of four bracelets,

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

1 comment:

  1. "There was something malevolent about Malva's body language. It didn't seem like innocent curiosity"

    Yes! The actress is either really good at subtlety or terrible at acting. 😃


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