Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Outlander: The Happiest Place on Earth

Jamie: "If one day you should meet a very large mouse named Michael, tell him your grandsire sends his regards."

I daresay this was one of the best episodes in the series. Every scene blew me away.

It was easy at first to feel pity for Allan Christie, sobbing helplessly on his sister's grave about how he'd taken care of her since she was born, telling Claire that their unfeeling aunt had actually taken them to their mother's execution. I felt sorry for Allan right up until the moment he described Malva's "wee privates like a flower bud" and confessed what their relationship had been. It gave me chills. Malva was sleeping around to cover up her pregnancy by her brother. That poor girl never had a chance.

At least Claire learned the truth before Ian killed Allan. Malva had loved Claire after all, and had been coming to tell Claire the truth when Allan killed her. Did Tom know that it was Allan that killed Malva? Was Tom protecting Allan as well as Claire by confessing?

All three Christies are gone now. That surreptitious burial scene was just fascinating. Claire and Ian were digging away, trying to conceal Allan's body quickly, and suddenly there was Mrs. Bug, calmly offering to join in. Was Mrs. Bug honest that she believed Claire and Ian must have had a good reason for killing Allan? It felt so off. Especially combined with the appearance of all that gold in her possession later during the Big House scene.

And then, death to life. Brianna gave birth, with her husband and parents all there this time to witness the joyous arrival. "Born to Captain Roger MacKenzie of Fraser's Ridge and his lady, Mistress Brianna MacKenzie, a girl. Mother and child are in good health. The child's name given as Amanda Claire Hope MacKenzie." Published by Fergus in his newspaper. (We miss you, Fergus and Marsali. Come back!)

After an adorable tugging-at-our-heartstrings scene with Jamie gifting tiny Amanda with her own tiny horse, everything turned to crap in a second. (Much like the Allan situation in the graveyard.) Claire, speaking softly but not holding back, told Bree, Roger and Jamie the bad news about Amanda's heart.

This wasn't a "We should go back so Bree can go to MIT," or "We should go back to avoid the Revolutionary War because it's safer." No. This is "We must go back immediately or Amanda will die." Of course they had to go.

In Wilmington, as they were looking for gemstones to travel with, Brianna said "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ" as she happened upon Lord John with a young redcoat she knew immediately had to be her brother William.

That was a lovely scene to watch. Brianna smiled warmly throughout, taking this opportunity for exactly what it was, the only chance she would ever have to meet her brother. As if that wasn't enough, there was the heartbreaking moment when Jamie looked up and saw both of his children together for the first and last time.

Later, Brianna telling Lord John about Frank was lovely, and she was right. She loved her stepfather Frank; she loves her biological father, Jamie. One doesn't erase the other. It's not an either/or situation for William, either. He just doesn't know it.

It's so sad that Jamie and Lord John have reached the end of their friendship. Lord John is never going to betray the Crown, and Jamie swore when Murtagh died that he'd never fight for the Crown again. (Sadly, William is anxious to fight. On the wrong side.)

John giving Jamie that sapphire back twenty years later, just when Jamie needed it most, was pretty much perfect. It wasn't surprising that John had tears in his eyes as Jamie left the room. Maybe after the war, guys? This can't be the end for the two of them.

Practically everything in this episode came right out of the Gabaldon books. The director and actors did a beautiful job with the firefly scene; Brianna telling Jamie about Mickey Mouse and Disneyland was one of my favorite bits in the entire book series, and the television version did it justice. Jamie and Brianna were both calm, accepting that their parting had to happen, giving each other the gift of loving words, saying how important they were to each other, how magical, knowing that they might never have met at all.

I'd been sobbing for most of the episode by this point, but honestly, I had barely begun when we got to the actual departure at Okracoke. Claire said goodbye to Brianna forever, the two of them just looking into each other's eyes. Jamie telling Roger how proud he was of him was just as hard to take, considering how long it took them to build a relationship.

The Jamie/Claire scenes throughout this episode were so powerful, too, some of their best, which is saying a lot. On their knees praying for their granddaughter. Jamie telling Claire he'd dreamed of her under electric lights, and giving her a gem so that she could go with Brianna and Roger. (Of course, she threw it out the window.) Claire in Jamie's arms sobbing with grief.

All that, followed by an enormous cliffhanger. Wendigo Donner and his criminal friends showed up at the Big House, Claire's ether was accidentally combined with Brianna's phosphorus, and boom, like an exclamation point at the end of this amazing episode. So much for the Big House.

I am assuming that our lead characters Jamie and Claire survived. I bet Wendigo Donner and his buddies did not.


— The post-credit scene was an old home movie of Disneyland as Claire, Frank and little Brianna would have seen it.

— Where else have we seen gold in this series? Did Mrs. Bug have Jocasta's gold? Did the Bugs survive the explosion?

— We still don't know if Tom Christie is alive. After what just happened to Allan, Tom might not want to live.

— Lizzie and the Beardsley twins had a baby boy named Rodney. In the books, the twins were discreet about the situation so that most people didn't realize both of them were cohabiting with Lizzie. Clearly, less so here in the series.

— I hope the doctor Claire mentioned will be Joe Abernathy. It would be nice to see him again.

— The Red Falcon in Wilmington has become one of their regular locations.

— Jamie's son William Ransom is now an adult and played by Charles Vandervaart. His facial features and body type are much like Sam Heughan's, although his coloring is not. Actually, he looks like Sam Heughan and David Berry had a baby together. Good casting.


Roger: "God will have to wait."

John: "I do so wish that you could spend some time with him."
Jamie: "Dinna fash, John. It is enough for me having seen them together even once. For now, it is a picture in my mind always."

John: "Damn this war."
Jamie: "Believe me, even in silence, I shall remain your most humble friend."

Brianna: "It's this human-sized mouse with these big ears and gloves."
Jamie: "What? A giant rat? They let the bairns play with it?"

Jamie: "I'm not as brave as I was before, you ken. Not brave enough to live without you anymore."

Jamie: "For your sake, I will continue. Though for mine alone, I would not."

So much happened, yet the episode didn't feel overstuffed. Each event led to the next, and then to the next; it felt right.

Four out of four large mice named Michael,

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


  1. I really enjoyed your synopsis of sorts. You described everything I was thinking. I am looking forward to what happens next. Though I have read all the books twice, because the producers/directors have had to link some events from different books together; you never know what you are going to get (kind of like that box of chocolate everyone refers to). But this episode ticked off important core elements and there weren't any "birdwalks" filling up precious time needed to do this series of saga extraordinaire true justice. I am so glad for my kick-off Season 7 Outlander party, I gave my friends each an embroidered hanky (with blue forget me nots and heather), for I KNOW they were using them whilst watching episode 2! Good golly! I think Lord John's tears and Claire's despair dug deepest into my inner core. But every character tugged on my proverbial heart-strings- and oh so realistically. Especially that sweet scene in the woods with lightning bugs. I have found such sweetness in their father-daughter relationship and this scene spared no drop of golden honey goodness. The total episode was authentic Outlander. It rallied the fibers of everything wholesome, winsome, beautiful and tragic concerning Fraser's Ridge, its inhabitants and the base story that began with Jamie and Claire. Good gravy, applause is not nearly enough!

  2. Anonymous, I would have enjoyed attending your Outlander party -- sounds like fun. :)

    I've also read the books, more than twice, and knowing what's coming doesn't make me enjoy it all any less. I love how the producers occasionally combine things that originally arrived separately, and I love how the actors interpret these complicated interactions and storylines.

    The one bit about this one that I was sorry about was that we never got to see the night that the Big House was *supposed* to burn down, but didn't. It was one of the funniest chapters in the Outlander books. The producers have to pick and choose though, and I think they usually choose wisely.

  3. Oh, the look of revulsion on Claire's face during Allen's reveal mirrored that of viewers. Understand Ian killing Allen but was hoping Allen's confession would free Tom. Gotta love how Ian's in the background at-the-ready to spring into needed action.

    A beautiful episode. So many moments touched the heart. Jamie & Bree, Bree/William/Lord John, Jamie talking to baby Mandy about the foal, the gut wrenching scene between Lord John & Jamie, heavy with the unsaid. If we weren't sobbing enough, the good-bye scene.

  4. Bri finally getting to meet William was my favorite part. I rewatched it half a dozen times. Sophie, Charles, and David did a fantastic job. You can see Lord John internally screaming "Oh dear god in heaven..." as soon as he sees Bri in front of him, having no idea what might come out of her mouth. And the little head nudge William gave John when he was slow to make introductions. Like "Dad, introduce me to the pretty lady!" And Jamie finally getting to see his kids together! My heart!

    And then you can almost hear Lord John's heartbreaking when Jamie tells him they have to sever contact. It's almost as tear jerking as when Jamie releases Murtaugh from his oath. As John said, "Damn this war." This was a fantastic episode with a high rewatch value!

  5. Ugh, Allen's confession was hard to listen to. Anon, I agree that Claire's reaction mimicked mine. (And I loved Mrs. Bug's matter of fact response to finding them in the woods.)

    Even though I'd just finished the previous season, and so had been reminded of the pending "death" date, I was surprised when their house caught fire. Wendigo is just not a good guy, or a particularly competent guy, either.

    (I was thinking about Roger's prayer that Wendigo make his own way. Looks like God let him escape, but the Devil [which is linked to the matches--remember how controversial they were when Brianna invented them?] had his own influence, too.)

    Brianna and Roger, on the other hand, are so competent and assured. I'm one of those people who always has a large, full Mary Poppins purse filled with "just in case" supplies, even for a grocery run. Bri and Roger just took off to the future with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a couple of gems.

    This was a great episode.

  6. Are Jamie's future-seeing dreams the shows way of accounting for the moment in the premiere when he sort of appeared ghostly in the 1940s?


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.