Outlander is finally back! The show returns for season five with Outlander 5×01 “The Fiery Cross,” an episode that finally sees Roger and Brianna get a real wedding, while flashing back to Jamie and Claire’s wedding and the journey they took, and contrasting both while cementing the bonds of family.
In many ways, this is the episode season 4 should have provided, and didn’t. Not plot-wise, as the real wedding couldn’t happen before it they wanted to keep everything by-the-book (which, I will always argue Brianna’s fate was something they could have changed), but feelings wise.
Finally, Roger emerges as a sympathetic character, despite his differences with Jamie, or maybe because of them. Finally Brianna is allowed to be more than what happened to her. Finally Roger and Jamie get to bicker and bond. Finally Fergus and Marsali get to be part of this family, the proper way.
And more importantly, finally, finally, Jamie and Claire get the focus they deserve. They are, after all, the reason we started watching this show, the reason we still watch. Our north star. Outlander begins and ends with their relationship, and season 5 already seems like it understands than better than its predecessor ever did.
So let’s talk about “The Fiery Cross” as we discuss Roger, The Frasers and what comes next.
DID HE NOT DOUBT IT HIMSELF?
The fact of the matter is, Roger did doubt his feelings. He’d like to forget that, and he’d like everyone to forget that, but it’s not as easy. For us, as viewers, it’s even harder, because the show did very little to try to frame this from Roger’s POV, to make us understand why he was feeling the way he did. Instead season 4 painted Roger as a man who, somehow, ended up being more backwards than his 200 plus years older father in law.
Of course, Roger’s character was always going to be compared to Jamie, and that was always going to be a problem. Not because Jamie is perfect, he’s far from it, but because one thing we can say about Jamie Fraser is that he tries. He really, really tries. And he loves his family, and he would do anything for them – even listen and change.
Roger can get there, he can. I would just appreciate he stopped acting like everyone is being absurd for doubting him. I would also really appreciate like Brianna stopped acting like it’s perfectly okay that he walked away, since he came back. No, it isn’t perfectly okay. And she’s got enough on her mind with the Bonnet news to be suppressing any other feelings.
The show tried to pivot away from Jamie and Claire to a story about family in season 4, but it lost its way by making the story too much about Roger and Brianna, especially considering how unlikable Roger was, and the fact that Brianna’s whole season 4 story-line was about what someone else did to her.
If this episode is to be believed, balance has returned to the world of Outlander, and we couldn’t be happier. We live for the tender moments between Jamie and Claire, like the conversation before Brianna’s wedding and the looks during – and yes, of course, we live for the montages of them being physically intimate, too.
Let’s not forget, this is what drew us into the show. Five seasons in we’re not going to start changing our tune.
But more importantly, we live for the fact that in a world that increasingly gives power to the men and the men alone, Jamie has always, always shared his with Claire, to the best of his ability. When he’s got a decision to make, he consults with Claire. When something is happening, or is going to happen, that involves them both, she’s never learning about it after the fact. She was there with him, making the decisions.
That’s why we love the Frasers. And that’s a lesson the MacKenzies would do well in taking to heart.
THE FIERY CROSS
The problem of what Jamie has been tasked with doing, of what it means to hold the position he holds in the time and place he’s living in, were always unavoidable. But Jamie can’t hunt down Murtagh and have that problem be over, or at least delayed. That’s not a possibility.
So Jamie must do what he can to prepare for a war he knows is coming. To do that, he must rally the people he trusts, the people he loves, around him. He must use his knowledge as the advantage it is, in a way he never has been able to before, not to change the future, because as we’ve learned the hard way, that isn’t always possible, but to shape a better future for himself and for his people.
And that starts with making sure his tenants are loyal to him, not the Crown, because the Crown is going to lose this war. That starts with making sure he’s straddling the line without ever crossing it in a way that makes it unable to go back when needed. And that starts with making a statement about who Jamie Fraser is, and what being on his side represents.
Things I think I think:
- Aww Murtagh.
- This is an auspicious beginning, but also meant to underscore what Murtagh means to Jamie. And us.
- Are we like, supposed to be happy Roger is marrying Brianna? Because I still have PLENTY of reservations.
- I DON’T UNDERSTAND A WORD COMING OUT OF ROGER’S MOUTH.
- This convo is about as awkward as it needed to be.
- Aww, the ring.
- The contrast between the two weddings is good – especially as it reminds us that as well as that went for Claire, Brianna has it much better. She isn’t alone, and more importantly, she’s making a choice.
- “Did he not doubt it himself?”
- PREACH, JAMIE. PREACH.
- We’re getting more Jamie and Claire in an episode about two other people than we did in most episodes in season 4.
- I hate that Murtagh can’t be there.
- “It is a blessing you came to me.”
- My eyes are leaking.
- I got very little feelings about the actual wedding, though.
- Well, at least until Jamie’s look at Claire.
- No, the fact that he came back isn’t all that matters.
- I understand forgiveness, but don’t let him off the hook.
- HAHAHAHA Brianna’s face at the “when we go back”
- Fergus and Marsali have grown on me so damn much.
- Did we really need flashbacks to Brianna’s rape? We know what happened.
- “Like father, like son.”
- When I tell you I laughed.
- It’s amazing to see Jamie and Claire getting to take care of a baby, though. They missed so much with Bree.
- Roger IS trying, I’ll give him that.
- You won’t “stand in the way of her happiness”? Are you an idiot?
- Roger being all high and mighty with Jocasta is RICH, all things considered.
- It’s like people are treating you the way you deserve to be treated, Roger.
- THAT SCENE.
- You don’t have to claim him. He IS yours.
- Stand for all indeed.
- “Son of my name, and of my heart.”
- MY EYES ARE LEAKING.
- “I must do what I must.”
- Murtagh’s face when Jamie said “I release you from it.”
- He isn’t truly leaving, right?
- Sam’s acting at the end absolutely broke me.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of “The Fiery Cross”? Share with us in the comments below!
Outlander airs Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.