Outlander 5×04 “The Company We Keep” continues the setup trend, but it does so in the way we don’t actually mind: with enough attention paid to Jamie and Claire, with emotion and with the promise of other characters that we love finally, finally bonding.
Because, of course, Jamie and Claire are the reason we watch, and their moments together are always the highlight of every episode, but we also, at this point, five seasons in, want to see this family that they’ve created grow closer together, bond, become the unshakable unit we’ve always dreamed of them being.
Though that family includes Jocasta and Murtagh, as well as Young Ian, and that’s on pause for obvious reasons, it also includes Fergus and Marsali. Now, these two have taken a backseat in the past few seasons, there, but not really having that much to do with the main plot. Season 5 finally seems willing to remedy that, and this episode in particular takes great pains to give us interactions between Marsali and Bree and also Fergus and Roger.
It makes sense, too. Why wouldn’t Fergus and Roger get along, if in this militia business, in what’s expected of them, they will have to stand side by side? Why wouldn’t Bree and Marsali get along, if they run around in the same circles and their lives are very similar
Outlander has shifted in the last few years to focus on family – and though they haven’t always focused on blood family, they have placed a heavy emphasis on Jamie, Claire and Brianna. That has expanded now to include Roger, but it always included Murtagh, Fergus, Marsali and young Ian, to name a few. All of these people are family, despite the fact that some of them bear no blood relation.
Going forward, we still want this show to be about Jamie and Claire, but it doesn’t – it can’t be about their romance in the same way the first few years were. If anything, it must focus on their choices and that of their family, on what they do to, as Claire said in the voiceover at the end, make sure the good outweighs the bad.
Especially because we, the viewers, know even better than Claire that war is inevitable. What’s coming for them is coming. There’s nothing they can do to stop it. All they can do is play the hand they’re dealt the best way possible, and use the knowledge they have to their advantage.
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For that, however, they will need to be united. They will need the bonds these early episodes are building, and they will even need the ones these episodes have yet to build, like the one between Roger and Jamie, to become stronger than they are.
Yes, I have my issues with Roger. Yes, I’m mad about how he reacted. And yes, as a viewer, it’s understandable because the show didn’t give us enough of Roger’s point of view, never tried to make him relatable. But within the context of the show, as much as I understand Jamie, there’s also a bit of stubbornness to it. You hurt my daughter, and therefore, I will not forgive you.
Except, in life, you will get hurt and you will hurt others you love, and if everyone held that over your head forever, then we would never get along with anyone. Perfection is unattainable and it should not be the standard we ask of others – growth should be. And this season has shown us a Roger who isn’t totally comfortable, no, but who is trying.
What else can we ask for, really, but characters that learn from their mistakes? Well, emotional connections and a united front. Hopefully Outlander will deliver on those before it’s too late. Because as slow as the beginning of this season has been, we all know things are not going to be so calm come season’s end.
Things I think I think:
- I love that Fergus is second in command with Jamie gone. Because I love Fergus, okay? I love him.
- Even if he’s wearing that horrible green cloak.
- Okay, this is fun! Shooting.
- The way Fergus just jumps to protect Roger, gah. I don’t even like Roger and my found family feels are STRONG right now.
- Smart, Brianna. Smart. Move into the big house. Take precautions.
- I’m Fergus laughing in the background.
- A harlot?
- I hate the past. Oh, yeah, and the present too.
- But I love Roger and Fergus together more than I expected.
- Finally, Jamie!
- Of course Roger is out of his depth, though, to be fair, getting them drunk and waiting for Jamie to show up wasn’t that bad an idea.
- “Love makes fools of us all” indeed.
- Dr Rawlings, hello there!
- Claire trying to defend Roger is kinda cute.
- Bree needs to confide in someone, and if it’s not gonna be Roger, it might as well be Marsali.
- Fucking Bonnet.
- The fact that the show giving Bree and Marsali scenes together gives me life, though.
- Roger, Jaime has no reason to have faith in you.
- But yes, he entrusted you with Claire. Nothing matters more to him.
- This conversation about keeping the baby is both heartbreaking and tender.
- “Regret isnt’ reason enough”
- It truly isn’t, and for Claire to recognize that is HUGE.
- “I am grateful for every day we have.”
- We’d seen this in the trailer for the season, and I am SO glad she’s saying it in this context, not in the you’re gonna die in a battle context.
- I love they heard the gunshot and BOTH ran towards danger.
- This whole “love story” has me as eeeeeeeeeh as Jamie and Claire.
- And this is gonna come back to bite them in the ass, right?
- Especially considering this voiceover.
- “All you can hope for is that the good will outweigh the bad.”
- Oh, yeah. Bad is coming.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Outlander 5×04 “The Company We Keep”? Share with us in the comments below!