Do No Harm Ep 153

Season 4 Episode 402

“Do No Harm”

Directed by:  Julian Holmes

Written by:  Karen Campbell

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Summary:

Claire, Jamie, Young Ian, and Rollo arrive at Aunt Jocasta’s plantation, River Run. Aunt Jocasta extends every hospitality learning they were robbed. Young Ian and Rollo meet a wicked predator. We meet a mountain man. Claire’s sensibilities and beliefs are on edge. Auntie Jocasta hatches a MacKenzie style plan. There’s a party with the who’s who of the area in honor of their arrival. An incident puts Jamie and Claire between what’s right and what’s the law.

Themes:

  • Jamie is again in a down and out position and feeling responsible for it all.
  • Family matters and Jocasta needs an heir.

The Confusing:

The timeline isn’t discernible for how long Jamie and Claire’s stay is at River Run before the dinner party or the incident with Rufus and Overseer Byrnes. This is important to why Jocasta named him heir so swiftly without seeing him really acting administratively or performing the business management duties she needs help with. Jamie appears not to have looked at Jocasta’s business dealings until after the public announcement. Really? One discussion with Wolff and Jocasta following his business acumen from afar. He was laird of Lallybroch for a short time with Jenny and Ian doing most of the work, he worked for Jared in Paris for a short time, yet successfully, he was in hiding, in prison, working his sentence off, and then became a seditious printer and smuggler. His bonafides don’t add up without Jocasta seeing him in action.

The plot device of Jamie only learning about the difficult slavery laws of the colony AFTER the announcement to make him an heir and the incident between Rufus and Byrnes. Jamie knew about other laws and even the Regulators. Surely, he would’ve asked about slavery and all it entailed. He was so pie-eyed and Pollyanna about working to release them if he took on the running of River Run. It is a kind and right notion, but as we find out, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Squares and Round Holes:

John Quincy Myers the wild mountain man just happens to be on the property and is the one person who knows how to help Young Ian with the skunk perfumed Rollo. Then he goes poof, and we don’t see him again during the episode. This screams, “Hey viewers, he might be important later, and we wanted you to meet him now.” Secondly, he’s either ill-mannered or completely oblivious in speaking to Young Ian, a lad of 16, in such a way. Book readers, I think you get my vibe on this scene.

The Good:

Maria Doyle Kennedy as Aunt Jocasta Cameron. She convinces me she IS a MacKenzie through and through.  The other new faces Ulysses, Phaedre, Lieutenant Wolff, John Quincy Myers, and Farquard Campbell are also well cast and believable. I am always struck wondering what the experience is playing the part of a slave or a slave owner. Both cause my heart to ache.

Claire and Jamie being in partnership they can’t own slaves, how they proceeded together in trying for true justice, treating Rufus, and subsequently understanding his soul is what matters. They stand unified.

Young Ian’s sweet heart when learning about Jocasta’s blindness and his compassion for the American Indians as people and not savages. He also shows great steel as Claire’s surgical assistant.

Jocasta’s butler Ulysses speaking plainly to Claire about what is to come for Rufus if he lives and how saving his soul is better than what’s to come. He’ll be used as an example for the other slaves to obey. Jamie says the same thing to Claire when he realizes Rufus will not be allowed to live no matter what. I like how these conversations mirrored each other, one from each, a free man and a slave.

Claire’s loving and kind bedside manner connecting with Rufus as he was dying. We have seen her do this before to send a soul off peacefully and with comfort.

Finally, Jamie’s prayer as the clock strikes midnight, Rufus dies from the poison, and Jamie delivers the limp body to the waiting men. Jamie crosses himself and prays, “I’m bending my knee in the eye of the Father who created me. Pour down from heaven the rich blessing if thy forgiveness. Be thou patient wi’ us. Grant to us savior of glory, the love of God…And the will to do on earth at all times as angels and saints do in heaven. Give us the peace.”

Mixed Bag:

Claire’s unwavering belief that people should not be owned. Seeing her fight the need to save the young man and not to cause unintended harm, was a beautiful struggle to behold. Sometimes the right answer requires courage in action we can never see coming. The downside to this staunch and brooding belief is that she isn’t culturally aware or sensitive. Did she have to bludgeon the idea home over and over. It is revolting, but she could have found a way to not sulk around and find a way through the situation without inadvertently putting the slaves in harm’s way, and without threatening Jocasta’s home and land, which she did. SLAVERY IS UNCONSCIONABLE. History, when allowed, will speak it loud and clear without Claire being more entrenched and rasher in action because of her 20th-century beliefs.

I was struck hard at the closing sequence. I applaud the realistic and brutal portrayal of slavery as it was in the American Colonies. I believe we must confront the good and bad in our collective history through any and every medium. The entertainment industry is an important vehicle, especially when the simple and often harsh truths are allowed to be represented, and no agenda or politics get in the way. Time might heal some wounds, but others need intervention and social change to be righted even a little bit. That said, I do think like the theme of circles in episode 401, it was heavy-handed without allowing the viewer to make the emotional, ethical, and moral leaps on his or her own. Outlander viewers are by and large people who can critically think and get what the writers are trying to say.

The idea Jocasta would assume Claire to be a Quaker because of her abolitionist beliefs is simply odd. The Southern Colonies had slaves, the northern Colonies did not. For some reason, viewers REALLY, REALLY need to know that Quakers may be of importance to future storylines.

CORRECTION: There was slavery across the colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries. And the first organized group of white people to speak out against slavery was indeed the Quakers (The Society of Friends) who stood alone as a group for quite some time. I misspoke in my critique. With the exception of Claire’s speech, Jocasta may have been correct in this assumption.

Things to Ponder:

  • The color blue is seen throughout the décor and in clothing during the episode. Is it a nod to the indigo trade or something else?
  • Will we be meeting Quaker’s in the future?
  • Will we see more of John Quincy Myers?
  • Will Jamie take Governor Tryon’s offer?
  • Will we see Jamie in a kilt this season? He is free to wear one.
  • Have we seen the last of Stephen Bonnet?
  • Where’s Murtaugh?

Favorite Lines:

There are numerous warm fuzzies from the book regardless of who the lines were given. These stand out in particular for me.

  • We learn Jocasta has lost most her vision but has “now been gifted with hearing that would be the envy of many gossip, and the ability to scent truth from lies, if ye catch my meanin’.”
  • There’s been a run in with the scary and horrible skunk. Young Ian says, “It lifted its tail and sprayed a foul liquid from its arse.”
  • Jocasta says to Claire, “Jenny was right about you. You are a peculiar lass.”
  • When Jocasta adds definition to how Claire speaks her mind on all manner of topics whether she knows about them or not, Claire responds, “the same could be said for Jenny.” There’s the humor! Jocasta likes her fiery spirit.
  • Claire to Jamie after he tries to be positive about benevolent slave ownership and forging change, “Fuses often lead to explosions.”
  • Jamie’s response to Claire, “Aye, but when the dust settles, oftentimes the devil yer fightin’ is gone.” Mayhaps, he’s talking about Black Jack Randall?

Links of Interest:

Bottom Line:

It took me two viewings before I could get a handle on this episode. I think us devoted book readers need to watch more than once to firmly separate one from the other. We have the blessing and curse of knowing the material being adapted.  I like this episode for the most part. I’ve a few gripes so far this season: the choppiness in the flow scene to scene and episode to episode (why didn’t they discuss the ring being taken too), the sense of feeling rushed from one place to the next without taking time to savor or deepen important moments or characters, then slowing way down for one event, and being spoon-fed what the writers deem important. If the writing is solid, there’s no need to put the point on repeat.

Please share your thoughts and comments to 719-425-9444 or contact@adramofoutlander.com. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The entire Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit Outlander Starz on social media, like or follow: TwitterInstagramFacebook, and the official website. All photos are the property of Starz/SONY PICTURES TELEVISION INC.

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THE INTRO AND OUTRO MUSIC SEGMENTS ARE TAKEN FROM A PIECE BY DAMIANO BALDONI AT URL ON FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE. CURATOR: CCCOMMUNITY. COPYRIGHT: CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-NONCOMMERCIALNODERIVATIVES 4.0: HTTP://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-ND/4.0/

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American the Beautiful Ep 152

America the Beautiful

Season 4 Ep 401

Written by Matthew B. Roberts and Toni Graphia

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Summary:

Jamie, Claire, Marsali, Fergus, Young Ian, Lesley, and Hayes are in Wilmington, NC. There’s a hanging. Young Ian gets a dog. The Frasers are going to a party. They are broke and need to sell a gemstone for passage back to Scotland. A greedy pastor, flashbacks, and a stowaway complicate the burial. Assistance is given to an escaped convict. Jamie and Claire sleep rough. The Governor makes Jamie an offer. They decide to stay in America. On the way to River Run, there’s trouble.

Themes:

With good there is bad. There are opportunities in the new world, but there is also cruelty and opportunistic savagery that takes place against others in the process.

Circles have significance from the broader to the personal, impact lives, and are here to make a point this season.

The Good:

  • There is so much excellent dialogue to provide warmth to devoted Outlander readers.
  • Jamie stands out as a good friend and leader.
  • Claire’s humor and emotional range are coming into view. She’s less a constipated shrew and more emotionally rounded.
  • The choice to highlight Young Ian’s trauma after being scared and sexually assaulted by Geillis “The Bakra” Abernathy.
  • Rollo is joining the crew.
  • Marsali and Fergus are expecting a child. SURPRISE. Apparently, she likes sex quite fine and having a child won’t stop that.
  • Jamie’s gift of the medicine box for their 24th anniversary is a deep home run. He’s sentimental and knows Claire is not the type to want baubles and fancy things.
  • Ed Speleers gives an excellent performance as Stephen Bonnet, at once likable, over the top schmoozer, maybe kind, and then morphing into a malevolent mercenary he returns to steal Claire’s rings and the gems he overheard them talking about when he was a stowaway. He even murders Lesley when he fights back.
  • Caitriona’s performance during the robbery is stunning. With minimal sound, her emotions, facial expressions, and body movements scream volumes.

The Bad:

Jamie’s wig with bangs is hands down is THE worst thing in this episode. Claire’s wig and the funky North Carolina CGI are next in line. Everyone else’s wigs are fantastic. I just don’t get it. It seems the hair team is trying to mimic Sam’s hair before he donned a wig. Someone, PLEASE give Jamie an all over shoulder length wig that can be properly plaited. The utter distraction makes for difficult viewing.

Who the hell is Lillington and how did they get an invite to a party? It was an abrupt non-sequitur without context while they’re riding to the kirkyard to bury Gavin. Unless you’re a book reader, this came out of left field.

The So-So:

The hanging of Gavin barely ticked the emotional box because there was so little character development of him and Lesley even though they were at Ardsmuir and worked for Jamie in Edinburgh. Except for Lesley’s heartfelt tavern singing, and the shocking nature of his death, they felt superfluous to a storytelling end

Why was Jamie so determined for them all to go back to Scotland? Claire mildly talking him into staying is a bit off-putting.

Fergus being so mild and mousy and seemingly lacking the wit and fire his younger counterpart displayed is a slight turn off as a viewer.

The Funny:

  • The snarky dinner party guest Judith Wylie being jealous of Claire and trash talking her to Claire’s “whatever” face.
  • Jamie’s “more trees” response to Claire.
  • Jamie’s response to sweet devastated Young Ian, “What it comes down to is your cock doesn’t have a conscience, but you have.”
  • Young Ian to Uncle Jamie, “I didna ken. She’ll be saying it in Scotland won’t she.”

The Obvious:

Claire’s voiceover in the opening scene of native peoples building a cairn circle around a standing stone, Hey there! Circles of ALL kinds (nooses, wedding rings, the movement of clock hands, and planetary orbits) are super-duper important. Especially stone circles in America.” (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink). Then Stephen Bonnet focusing on the rings and the importance of an eternal circle. Then Stephen attempting to take Claire’s wedding rings.

Bottom Line:

Overall, I liked this episode and look forward to what’s coming. A lot of ground was covered to move the story along nicely. I don’t envy the task of adapting such detailed and lengthy work. Outlander viewers are pretty darned smart and don’t need to be spoon-fed foreshadowing, hit in the face with themes or points the producers and writers want to be certain we don’t miss. I promise, if the writing is good, viewers with getting it.

Please share your thoughts and comments to 719-425-9444 or contact@adramofoutlander.com. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The entire Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit Outlander Starz on social media, like or follow: TwitterInstagramFacebook, and the official website. All photos are the property of Starz/SONY PICTURES TELEVISION INC.

Join the A Dram of Outlander Community

Please share posts, join the discussions, and follow this website and social media sites listed below!

Facebook PageFacebook Group,  InstagramTwitterTumblrGoogle+

To financially support the podcast, go to my Patreon page.

Call 719-425-9444 listener/reader line to leave your comment or question.

THE INTRO AND OUTRO MUSIC SEGMENTS ARE TAKEN FROM A PIECE BY DAMIANO BALDONI AT URL ON FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE. CURATOR: CCCOMMUNITY. COPYRIGHT: CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-NONCOMMERCIAL-NODERIVATIVES 4.0: HTTP://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-ND/4.0/

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All Roads Lead to The Gathering Ep 149

Drums of Autumn

Chapters 68-71

Week 34

“All Roads Lead to The Gathering.”

Summary: Domesticity ruled the moment. Jamie and Claire drunkenly frolicked in the night. Roger and Brianna established married life. Duncan Innes came to the Ridge with a proposition. The family headed to the Gathering. The baby finally had a proper name. The Gathering hosted Scottish families from across the Colonies. A word from Young Ian was had. A Highland Regiment arrived. Lizzie got a welcomed surprise. Claire worked her pop-up clinic. Roger shared a private letter with Jamie. Jamie offered to return something special to Claire. Brianna clearly made her choice.

Inside the Chapters:

Chapter 68

Domestic Bliss

August 1770

Domestic bliss filled the morning and Claire thought about the night before when Jamie had invited her outdoors the night before (p1045, Nook). They wandered into the woods to intimately share each other under the moon before drunkenly going back to bed for an hour. They silently shared the memory over parritch under the acknowledging eye of Brianna. The moment was broken when Clarence announced a visitor. Duncan Innes arrived to invite them all to the upcoming gathering at Mount Helicon. The clincher for Jamie was being told a priest would be there and the baby could be baptized. Then Duncan embarrassingly dropped a bomb on Jamie; he asked permission to marry Aunt Jocasta (p1047, Nook). Duncan was a man of propriety and thought it only right to seek Jamie’s blessing because he was the next of kin and her rightful heir. Jamie gave his blessing and said they would dance at the wedding.

Chapter 69

Jeremiah

October 1770

The baby’s name had not been settled even though he was about five months old. The discussion went round and round as they traveled to the Gathering. Claire brought up Jeremiah and the nickname of Jemmy. This recalled the woman and her child from the Gloriana to Roger. He inquired to Claire if she remembered the name of his ancestor the changeling’s (William Buccleigh) wife. Claire obliged. The woman’s name was Morag Gunn. Her son’s name was Jemmy. Claire suddenly spoke of Geilie who had said they could travel through time to change things.

Chapter 70

The Gathering

We have arrived at the Gathering an incredibly long and detailed set of storylines that carry on well into the next book.  Claire reflected on the last Gathering she had attended at Castle Leoch nearly thirty years prior. Though the Clans and the old way of Highland life were dead in Scotland, the Clans gathered together in this place with pride. Looking for Jamie in the crowd, Claire spotted John Quincy Myers and called to him. He was there to sell his hides and trinkets. He was surprised on a trip up in the mountains to have seen Young Ian geared out like a Mohawk. Myers presented Claire with a small package from Young Ian.  Myers left Claire assuring her he would see her later. Jamie returned, and they read the letter together. Young Ian had been married to Emily, and they were expecting a child. Rollo had also sired a great many puppies in the village. Jamie, of course, ridiculed Young Ian’s use of Latin.

Claire observed every Scottish family from the Colonies up to Pennsylvania must be there with more arriving all the time. Due to the difficulty of travel, families would stay about a week or so. The next day Jamie made his way to where Lizzie was sitting and offered her a great surprise. Fergus has Joseph Weymss, Lizzie’s father with him. Jamie had purchased Mr. Weymss indenture contract and intended to burn it in the fire that evening.

Day three and Claire was almost overwhelmed with the amount of news, gossip, and Gaelic in the air. Roger though absorbed every detail and sound as he wandered about the grounds listening. The night before he had borrowed a guitar and sang for a crowd. Jamie being no fan of music decided to take the baby for a game of dice (p1054, Nook).

Claire had opened a pop-up medical clinic. She gave dietary advice trying to get the people to eat foods filled with vitamin C. She even had Jamie eating the dangerous nightshade, tomato in front of people on purpose to persuade them it was safe to eat. Instead of making dietary inroads, the others regarded Jamie supernaturally and that Himself, of course, could survive having eaten such food. Claire treated skin a family with a skin condition when a Highland regiment marched into view. Brianna and baby came up behind and asked if they were friend or foe. Did the Crown think this was a political gathering? Claire advised Bree to take the baby up into the rocks if anything happened. All around the men stepped in front of the women and children. Two men rode toward Jamie. The man dismounted and introduced himself (p1057, Nook).

Chapter 71

Circle’s Close

Roger had been waiting to get Jamie alone. He had a message for him. Jamie took the baby from Roger and invited him to speak. Roger explained he had to wait to go through the stones after Brianna left. Roger had stayed at the Manse, his family home while waiting. He found a letter and was not sure if he should tell Claire or Brianna about it. The letter was to his father the Reverend, and the seal of confession had been broken by the death of the writer and his father. Roger spoke the memorized letter to Jamie word for word (p1059, Nook). Roger knew the struggle of thought he had gone through carrying this knowledge. Frank could have chosen to keep the information to himself and not had the Reverend place the headstone that led Claire back to Jamie after Frank’s death followed by Brianna and Roger. With Brianna in the past having had a baby, Jamie’s bloodline would continue. Roger wondered if it was “interest on the debt owed?” Jamie finally spoke (p1063, Nook). Roger planned to tell Brianna but asked if he should tell Claire also. Jamie said under his pledge of honesty to Claire, Roger should tell her.

Day four and even more families had arrived. Each family had their campfire that filled the night’s darkness. Claire was reminded of the MacKenzie clan badge. She realized the burning mountain was a visage of a Gathering like this one representing togetherness. The motto, Luceo non uro (I shine, not burn) finally made sense to her too.

There was a large fire in the clearing families came to declare their presence including Jamie announcing, “The Frasers of the Ridge.” Claire sat with the sleeping baby in her arms. Jamie sat down behind her.  They watched Roger and Brianna in intent conversation leading Jamie to wonder if they were going to change the baby’s name again (p1065, Nook). After formally choosing to be husband and wife, Brianna asked Roger to go declare “the MacKenzies are here.”

We DID IT! We finished the Drums of Autumn read-a-long. 34 episodes over most of a year. Thank you for sticking with me as we followed our (my favorite) book friends further into their adventures. We met new people along the way and saw the painful and painstaking process it took for Roger and Brianna to be together. Young Ian is in the hands of his new Mohawk family. Lord John has become a friend to Brianna and reestablished his friendship with Jamie. He and Claire still tolerate each other. Roger and Jamie have entered a tentative relationship. Jocasta is marrying Duncan Innes yet has no heir in Jamie or Brianna. Stephen Bonnet is on the loose. Claire and Jamie are building a life and home for themselves and others in the mountains. We learned how Frank was instrumental in Claire, Brianna, and Roger going into the 18th century. Claire hopes the coming war will stay away from the Ridge. Beware after season 4 airs on television we will be starting straightaway on a read-a-long of the immense Fiery Cross.

What’s Coming up? The Space Between novella.

How can you participate? Send your comments to contact@adramofoutlander.com or call the listener line at 719-425-9444 by Friday of each week. If you’re reading ahead, you can leave comments for any part of the book too. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

 

Join the A Dram of Outlander Community

Please share posts, join the discussions, and follow this website and social media sites listed below!

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To financially support the podcast, go to my Patreon page.

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Any images are from Wiki Commons. Click on picture for attribution link. Featured image.

The intro and outro music segments are taken from a piece by Damiano Baldoni at URL on Free Music Archive. Curator: ccCommunity. Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Cowards Need Not Apply Ep 148

Drums of Autumn

Chapters 66-67

Week 33

“Cowards Need Not Apply”

 

Summary: Claire was annoyed with the rascally rabbits. Roger made his return. He performed a blood vow upon the baby. Jamie declared Roger and Brianna husband and wife by handfast. Brianna was timid around Roger. Claire tended Roger’s wounded foot. Roger convalesced at the partially completed big house. Brianna visited Roger daily. Claire released Roger from rest. Claire cautioned Roger to be careful. Jamie cautioned Roger not to be cowardly. Roger went to see Brianna. They talked and began to make their way back to each other.

Inside the Chapters:

Chapter 66

Child of My Blood

Claire was in the vegetable garden decrying the work of hungry and destructive rabbits. She found herself missing Young Ian and his dog. She was trying to get the new planting in before the weather turned cold. She needed a way to keep the rabbits from the nutrient dense and flavorful cabbages. She decided Jamie should urinate, like a mountain lion, around the garden would keep the hungry bunnies away. She headed toward the herb shed and noticed movement. She thought it was Jamie, but it was a man dark of hair and beard, in tattered clothing looking worse for wear. It was Roger MacKenzie Wakefield. He was happy Claire was the person he met first (p1019, Nook). The others were in the cabin. Jamie and Brianna worked on the house plans, while the baby slept nearby. Lizzie was busy spinning by the window. With the opening of the door, Jamie swiftly and loudly reacted before recognizing who it was who had entered. Brianna looked around wildly as she soothed the woken baby.

Jamie stood with the stillness of battle readiness next to Brianna as she nursed the baby. Roger’s own countenance echoed that of Jamie. They appeared to mirror each other to Claire’s shock. They were Vikings, the pair of them with Brianna rounding out the trio with flames in her eyes. Roger asked Jamie to cut his wrist (1021, Nook). In that one act, Roger adopted the baby as his. He asked what the baby was named, but none was given yet. Claire saw how different Brianna and Roger were to each other. It had been nine-plus months since they became handfast. Roger wanted to know if Brianna was his wife (p1022, Nook). Brianna wanted to know why he came back. Maybe for obligation and wanting, but he couldn’t tell her exactly. She asked him about the stone circle. It took him a long time to find it again. She explained to Roger what she wanted from a marriage (p1023, Nook). They were handfasted on September 2 of the prior year, for two and a half more months they would remain so then they could choose to stay together or not (p1023, Nook). The last remark or rather a threat caused a row between the two men after they went outside (p1024, Nook). As ever Claire attributed it to testosterone poisoning (p1024, Nook). Claire if it were only so easy to take care of testosterone poisoning.

Life on the Ridge was uncomfortable with the personalities and situations at play. The baby’s nightly colic caused Jamie to work on the new house with fervor. Roger helped with the other chores though his injured foot made it difficult. He refused treatment, but Claire insisted he must allow her to assess it. There were no signs of blood infection or gangrene. There were pockets of infection that built up and had been partially draining when he walked. She decided what to do and needed Bree’s help. Lizzie offered in her place out of remorsefulness and trying to make amends any way she could for her part in Roger’s trial. Claire bid Lizzie the task of taking the baby outside for some fresh air. Claire explained the procedure of draining, disinfecting, and debridement to Roger. She had Brianna hold onto his hands tightly. By the time she had disinfected the wound, Roger’s head was in Brianna’s lap, and her arms were tight around his shoulders. Claire went to the shed for a minute to get the rotting meat she had prepped a couple of days before. She placed the maggots into the wounds to eat away any dead tissue that remained. Claire had learned this type of debridement from her friend Nayawenne. She wrapped his foot and assured him the work of the maggots might tickle, but they wouldn’t hurt. If you would like to know more about Maggot Therapy, click here.

Claire went outside to wash the bowl. She met Jamie who was holding the baby. He had taken him from a crying Lizzie who was mourning the loss of Young Ian. This girl is gonna get #boycrazy soon. Jamie took Claire to show her of his progress on the big house. He thought Roger staying at the big house temporarily would be the best bet since beds were in short supply. They talked, and Claire told Jamie Brianna and Roger are getting to know each other again, and things seemed well between them.

Clever Claire had Brianna help her with Roger’s procedure. Brianna had to touch Roger and be near him. Why oh why did Jamie still think poorly of Roger? I haven’t puzzled that one out yet. Lizzie, damn that girl should feel all sorts of remorsefulness, though Jamie going full tilt “Operation Wakefield is a Rapist,” is all on his shoulders 100%.

Chapter 67

The Toss of a Coin

Roger was staying in the partially built big house while recovering from having Claire perform minor surgery on his foot. Brianna came to see him every day to bring food, water, and such. She had come without the baby and thought it was wonderful to have the rare alone time with her; she didn’t stay long because of the baby’s absence. Roger’s appetite had come back with ferocity. He gratefully ate what she had brought him in the basket. As he ate, Roger looked out over the land understanding and approving of Jamie selecting this site for the house (p1030, Nook). Roger pondered why he told her he didn’t know why he returned. He hadn’t known then (p1031, Nook). The jig was up. He figured out and appreciated Claire’s tactic in getting Brianna in proximity to and touching him when performing the wound surgery.

At the end of the week, Claire released him from recovery and cautioned him to not step on anything sharp. The baby had been crying all night, so no one got any sleep. Jamie planned on moving into the partially built house with Claire immediately. Roger took this moment to ask Claire’s advice about what to do based on Brianna’s behavior when he tried to touch her. Claire indelicately approached the subject (p1033, Nook). She told him to be careful. After Claire left, Jamie came bearing gifts of a razor and hot water. Roger was thankful as the beard itched terribly. Roger tried to make small talk as Jamie watched him shave. There was little use for a historian with a talent as a folk singer on an 18th-century mountain farm (p1035, Nook). Jamie lacked all subtlety in telling Roger Brianna, and the baby would be alone for the night. (Insert staring blue cat-like laser beams at Roger). Without being prompted, he gave Roger relationship advice (p1036, Nook).  That one sentence said it all, Brianna didn’t need a cowardly man. Jamie told him to go for it, tonight, there was no time like the present to convince her.

Roger initially heeded Jamie’s advice and went down to the cabin. He worked out ways to get her attention without scaring her. Then he thought to give up and to try again in the morning. Jamie and Claire thus even in the advice taking. He stayed and walked around the cabin a couple of more times. As if divine intervention, Brianna left the cabin to use the privy. He scared her saying her name. She was annoyed and told him to go away. He waited for her to return from the privy. At first, she chided him for walking on the foot before she told him to go back to bed (p1037, Nook). They are finally talking. #OnTheTrainToCommuncationStation She invited him into the cabin after the baby began to cry. She laid down to nurse and Roger sat on the nursing chair in front of the fire. The room was warm and had homey scents.

He watched and apologized for it. She didn’t care. To her surprise, Roger began to undress (p1039, Nook). She asked about the marks on his back. The scars had come from the Indians. He turned around. It had been dark when they were together the many months back, so this was the first time she was seeing him in the light. Which of them had changed more since that first and only night together? He sat down and wanted to know what it felt like to have the baby nurse. To show him what happened when the baby nursed, she popped the baby off and sprayed him with the fine streams of letdown milk. Yes, Roger like a squirt gun! Roger told her he wants her; she wanted him too. Roger took the sleeping baby into his arms and looked him over. Brianna thought he was trying to see the resemblance; he wasn’t. He wanted to have a proper look at the baby. Brianna brushed her hair while Roger examined the baby. He noticed how the foot reacted to his finger stroke. She explained the “Eau de baby” scent that babies have. It is intoxicating and helps keep parents from killing them. She’s not wrong. Babies are tough work. Brianna placed the baby back in the cradle.

Roger asked why Brianna stayed once she found out she was pregnant. She couldn’t leave without him. She allowed her gown to fall to the floor. He saw her in full nakedness. He delighted at seeing the colors upon her nether region. He wanted her. She wanted to know what Roger found holy. Their little family, nothing more.

What’s Coming up? Chapters 68-71 Drums of Autumn (DOA).

How can you participate? Send your comments to contact@adramofoutlander.com or call the listener line at 719-425-9444 by Friday of each week. If you’re reading ahead, you can leave comments for any part of the book too. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Any images are from Wiki Commons. Click on picture for attribution link. Featured Image.

The intro and outro music segments are taken from a piece by Damiano Baldoni at URL on Free Music Archive. Curator: ccCommunity. Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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New Life Ep 147

Drums of Autumn

Chapters 63-65

Week 32

“New Life and Returning Home”

 

Summary: Brianna was angry about Jocasta’s will. Lord John had a plan if he needed to help. Brianna feared how things would be between her and Roger if he came back. Only two riders returned. Brianna forgave Jamie. Claire assessed John. Brianna went into labor. Jamie and Claire supported her. A healthy baby was born. The Fraser’s and Lord John left River Run. They happily returned to The Ridge. Roger was coming. He was bearded, committed, and ready.

Inside the Chapters:

Chapter 63

Forgiveness

River Run, May 1770

Brianna was in a huff over Auntie Jo’s stubborn refusal to change her will. Lord John to Brianna, “Pot meet kettle.” John believed doing nothing was the answer (p997, Nook). John went on to explain if Jocasta died leaving the plantation to Brianna, he would buy her slaves and free them in Virginia, and she would return his money, thus fixing the problem. He slyly made another point along the way (p998, Nook). Brianna asked and inferred that Lord John could never care for a child who wasn’t his own, so how could Roger be expected to? He told her for the sake of the parent, and he’d been doing that very thing for some time. Brianna misinterpreted it to mean her he was caring for because of her father (p999, Nook). Upon deeper reflection, Brianna was worried about the intimacy between her and Roger (p999, Nook). I love the ease of their conversation and the sharp wit of Lord John. Brianna was raped, there is a level of worry whether or not she can sexually be with Roger. Could he accept her if he couldn’t touch her? Could she ask such a sacrifice of him? She knows healing can take place because of Jamie being able to have a full relationship with her mother. Brianna seems to hold onto the most negative outcome possibilities as a way to guard and prepare herself. 

Only two riders were seen by the servants, Brianna thought it must be Jamie and Claire.  So many thoughts were running through Brianna’s mind. “Was Roger not found? They found him, and he didn’t want to come back?”  She jokes to Lord John about him being her fallback. Lord John came up with other scenarios in which Young Ian and Roger rode separately from her parents. John proceeded to ask Brianna how far her remorse went for almost getting him killed (p1001, Nook). Out of the room, she flew to greet her father. Lord John was the wise and caring friend Brianna needed. Like Claire, Diana describes Brianna about nature, a storm cloud in this instance.

Cut to Claire as she examined Lord John (p1003, Nook). He asked after MacKenzie. She assured him Roger would be coming along later. Lord John is not convinced. Claire had faith in Roger returning. Without asking Claire opened John’s shirt to listen to his heart, lungs, and abdomen. Why would John be surprised by this gesture? She manhandles anyone needing medical attention. When she asked if he has moved his bowels, he downright refused to answer. John looked her over (p1003, Nook). I think he was admiring her and at the same time looking for anything to critique in a bitchy and catty way. Claire wanted to get a look at the trepanation site and was unusually delicate in the asking because she was curious (p1004, Nook). That line is quintessential Lord John. As Claire examined his head, she thanked him for helping Brianna while they were gone. John was pleased to have helped even if it cost him a hole in the head. John worried for the state of Brianna and Jamie’s relationship. Claire instructed him to look into the garden. All was well between the father and daughter. Claire thought Brianna would deliver soon and John professed his thankfulness at their return (p1004). At that, Claire returned the sapphire to John at Brianna’s request. “Jilted, by God!”.

Chapter 64

Bottom of the Ninth

Claire told Brianna labor is like a baseball game. It’s mostly boring with bouts of activity. I like to say it has phases. Most of the labor a woman has more rest periods than work periods until near pushing when the end of active labor requires more work and little rest to finish dilation and bring the baby down. Brianna mentioned beer and hot dogs in response. Jamie asked if he should fetch some small beer. He then asked about a hot dog. Claire explained it was sausage on a roll. Brianna didn’t want one. Jamie decided he should leave, but Brianna wouldn’t let him (p1005, Nook). Claire was gripped with worry, and her brain went haywire thinking of how she almost died when she lost Faith. By the way, that was a placental abruption that could not have been stopped or fixed at any time. She’d had a subchorionic hemorrhage in mid-second trimester that resulted in a full abruption in the sixth month of pregnancy. This problem had nothing to do with her ability to carry a baby or birth. They sometimes happen without injury or accident. Claire prepared in her mind for how she would handle various situations that might arise during labor.

Jamie was called into service to walk Brianna around the room like he would a horse with colic to help distract her and progress labor. Claire opened the windows and took a moment to inhale the freshness of the outdoors. The house was in full anticipation and readiness for the birth. Claire contemplated how little needed to be done to support normal birth and how little could be done if it went wrong. Brianna wanted to lie down after walking for a long time. The labor was getting more intense and organized. Claire didn’t think it would be much longer, though five minutes apart is usually early labor, and it could last another 5-12 hours on average. I love how Brianna clings to Jamie and calls him daddy. Brianna asked Jamie to tell her a story. He told her stories as she held onto him. Claire rubbed her back. They offered excellent labor support! Claire had Phaedre fill the room will candlelight to provide light since Brianna had started voluntarily pushing. Claire provided perineal massage with oiled fingers (not necessary, but usual for her training). The amniotic sac broke, and the waters splashed upon the bed and floor. The baby came down, and Claire felt the head with her fingers (p1010, Nook). Claire assessed the baby quickly, he was healthy and well. There was no sign of hemorrhage (p1010, Nook). WELL DONE! Claire waited to cut the cord until after the placenta which gave an opportunity for the baby to receive the blood back into him from the placenta. The house was abuzz. Jamie was crying with joy. Brianna was grinning and put him to breast right away. He latched without a problem and surprised Brianna with the force of it. Claire was crying too and realized it when she tasted tears when she smiled. The baby and Brianna were settled in, and Claire found Jamie (who had gone to tell Lord John of the birth). They kissed and afterward she noticed the marks on his hands from Brianna’s nails (p1012, Nook).

Jamie was trying to figure out if the baby resembled MacKenzie or Bonnet. Claire said it was impossible to tell right now and mentioned recessive genes. Jamie had no idea what she meant, she went on to explain the baby could be any color, and they wouldn’t know for sure who the father was and wondered aloud if it mattered (p1012, Nook). Jamie fell fast asleep, but Claire thought about why she said that phrase. It was something Frank always said (p1012, Nook). Peace swept over Claire, and she slept.

Chapter 65

Return to Fraser’s Ridge

Jamie, Claire, Brianna, nameless baby boy, and Lord John traveled together as far as they could. Lord John turned toward Virginia and William (p1013, Nook). The others kept on toward Fraser’s Ridge for another week. Though the cabin was in disarray, the garden was a mess, and everything unkempt, Claire was the most joyful she had ever been at a homecoming.

The baby not only didn’t have a first name, but his last name was also under question. They all called him a different nickname. Brianna was waiting for Roger to come before deciding what the baby would be called. Jamie was fed up with the waiting (p1014, Nook). Claire was cranky too since the baby had kept everyone up from crying due to a diaper rash. Claire was trying to fill out the baby’s birth certificate, she could fill in the date, approximate time, and who the attending doctor was, but no name as of yet. She and Jamie got sidetracked with names of Saints (p1015, Nook). Jamie goes on to tell her of the Saint against impotence. Claire hit another problem with the birth certificate; what last name should she put for Brianna? Fraser, Randall, or both? Claire decided to write both last names and to have faith Roger would come.

Roger was preparing himself to ride up the path to Fraser’s Ridge. He must have been a sight to see but didn’t think it mattered much. He passed through the clearing where he had met Jamie on that fateful day many months ago. The memory stabbed him, but nothing mattered because he was there.

What’s Coming up? Chapters 66-67 Drums of Autumn (DOA).

How can you participate? Send your comments to contact@adramofoutlander.com or call the listener line at 719-425-9444 by Friday of each week. If you’re reading ahead, you can leave comments for any part of the book too. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Join the A Dram of Outlander Community

Please share posts, join the discussions, and follow this website and social media sites listed below!

Facebook,  InstagramTwitterTumblrGoogle+

To financially support the podcast, go to my Patreon page.

Call 719-425-9444 listener/reader line to leave your comment or question.

Listen to this podcast!

Featured Image – By Ken Thomas – Public Domain

The intro and outro music segments are taken from a piece by Damiano Baldoni at URL on Free Music Archive. Curator: ccCommunity. Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/