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Outlander: Death Be Not Proud

This episode was sad and unsettling, but oddly sweet.

And that's because our four main characters, Jamie and Claire, Brianna and Roger, are now homeless. And yet so much of this episode was about returning to homes of the past. Because when you have to go there... well, you know.

Unsettled by so many losses and their most recent near death experience, Jamie and Claire still have each other and Ian, as well as the cabin, their first home on the Ridge. Jamie took the obit seriously and he had even picked out where their new house will go.

But not right away. Before the war heats up even further, it's the right time to take Ian back to his parents... in Scotland! We're going back to Lallybroch!

Meanwhile, in what, 1980? the MacKenzies were visiting Fiona and Ernie at the Reverend's place, Roger's childhood home. As nice as that was, though, the real kicker, and the most memorable scene in the episode, was Brianna and Roger driving up the road to Lallybroch. That scene gave me goosebumps. After the lovely visual transition of Jamie and Claire walking out of the barn as Bree looked at the arch at Lallybroch as if her parents were walking through it, I got another twinge when the real estate agent picked up the "For Sale" sign.

Why wouldn't Brianna and Roger jump at the chance to buy Lallybroch? Yes, it's a wreck and will probably take a lot to renovate, but it's her father's home and near Inverness, where Roger grew up. It would keep them close to Brianna's parents in spirit. It feels like it was meant to be.

The worst thing about this two-hundred-year separation is Jamie and Claire not knowing what is happening to Bree and Roger, and vice versa. This episode introduced a solution to that problem that's been mentioned before – Jamie's dreams. And the box of letters arriving at the Reverend's house with Jemmy's name on it is telling the MacKenzies what happened to the Frasers. Essentially, two-way communication.

Okay, maybe a bit too convenient. Especially since Bree doesn't want to read all of the letters now. But as a story device, I love it. I especially liked the confirmation that Bree's choice to go through the stones back in season four succeeded. She changed history.

Arch and Murdina Bug have been hanging about in the background waiting for their plotline to arrive, and it finally did. Turns out Arch, Dougal MacKenzie and Hector Cameron were the ones who took the Jacobite gold when it arrived too late from France. Arch had been stealing Hector's from his crypt every time he visited River Run. The Bugs thought they deserved the money, and maybe they did.

Then Ian, who had been skulking about eavesdropping, shot and killed Murdina, thinking she was Arch, when she shot at Jamie. Personally, I think Murdina deserved it if she was trying to kill Jamie, but Ian didn't take it well, and offered his own life to Arch at Murdina's funeral. Arch informed Ian that his vengeance would wait until Ian had someone more important to lose than his dog, Rollo.

There have been some dire scenes at that graveyard this season, haven't there?

As Jamie, Claire and Ian were leaving the Ridge for Scotland, Adso the cat, thought dead, popped up as a good omen. He was right at the border of the property where they had pounded in that first stake. As Claire replaced the stake, it felt a lot like the real estate agent picking up the fallen "For Sale" sign. I'm sure that was a little deliberate symbolism.

I hate the idea of Jamie and Claire leaving the Ridge (and Adso), but hey! We're going back to Lallybroch!


— The post credit scene was Jamie's dream of Jemmy going to the telephone to call him.

— The burned out ruin of the Big House was a visual kick in the teeth. I assume they didn't really burn the place down in real life?

— Jamie was in a kilt again. That's good, because we're going back to Lallybroch!

— Ian found William's burned and smudged portrait, and told Jamie he knew William was Jamie's son. That's good. Jamie and Claire don't have secrets from Ian.

— Making some of the gold into musket balls was so smart. Was that one of them in the box of letters? And Jemmy knows where the rest of the gold is. Maybe a bit more complicated than leaving a will.

— Lizzie is pregnant again, and little Rodney was nearly a toddler.

— I liked the bit about the guardian of the graveyard. Here's hoping Malva is at peace now.

— Jamie doesn't care where he is buried. Only that he doesn't outlive Claire.

— Book versus series: Again, pretty much everything was from the books.


Claire: "Well, it's not January."
Jamie: "Aye, and we're no dead. So much for our obituary."
Claire: "Bloody newspapers. Never get anything right."

Arch Bug: "Will you give me your hound to kill?"
Ian: "No. It was my crime, not his."
Arch Bug: "Aye. You see then. He's naught but a flea-ridden beast. Not a wife. When you've something worth taking, you'll see me again. That I promise you."
For a moment, I was really afraid Arch would kill Rollo. Not that Ian would have allowed that.

Claire: "Personally, I prefer Robert Frost. 'Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.'"
Ian: "No wonder you're fond of her, Uncle. She must be a rare comfort to you."
Jamie: "Yeah. She keeps taking me in. (to Claire) So I suppose you must be home."

Claire: "Jamie, you will always be enough."

While it wasn't as shocking as the previous episode, this one was deeply emotional and transitional and unlike anything else they've ever done and I very much enjoyed it. Would that make it four out of four gold musket balls?

And did you hear we're going back to Lallybroch?

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


  1. Yes, Lallybroch! Hoping for a respite from tragedy, but not likely. Knew precious Adso would show up & hope Lizzie takes him in since his home's gone or he finds cat friends in the woods. Lovely seeing Rollo again.

    The box of letters was too contrived. Oh, by the way, here's a box for you that's been in the house for 200 years, the house historian Roger lived in with his scholarly father.

    I must have missed something. How will Jemmy know where the gold is? Trust it shows up soon to help Bree & Roger with extensive Lallybroch renovations. Assuming Roger has inheritance from the reverend that Fiona has been overseeing & Bree has funds from Frank that somehow haven't disappeared with Bree & Claire disappearing.

  2. Anon, I think the box was held in a bank vault with instructions it be delivered on a certain date.

    I am so, so happy Adso didn't die, and I loved that he was right at the property line. As the proud servant of a cat with a strong territorial instinct, that felt very real to me. (Although I did wish they'd taken him back to Lizzie just in case he was disoriented. )

    During the funeral scene, the arrangement of Ave Maria, once the singing stopped, was so much like (or perhaps identical to) the version on my stepmother's Christmas Playlist that I got weird holiday vibes at a very inappropriate moment.

    1. A bit like the letter at the end of Back To The Future 2


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