Written for Television by: Toni Graphia
Directed by: Brendan Maher
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This week’s episode slows down to cover a short period of the Christmas season 1968. Don’t for one second think you can put away those tissues for holiday cheer. The struggles are real. The fear is spoken. The complexities of adult child and parent relationships are navigated.
We see Claire’s foundational determination and skill as a physician. We see her fragile and vulnerable, when she acknowledges herself as a woman with needs and desires. We see her as mother bear, fierce, tender, loving, and the willingness to be sacrificial. She’s been hurt and shut off the passionate and sexual side of herself. She’s lived for her daughter and her work. It’s time for her to live whole once more. She’s been “living half a life,” according to good friend Joe Abernathy. He’s correct. Go get him, Claire. Insert that fuzzy ear worm, Let It Go for Claire here.
Brianna has matured and grown through her father Frank’s death and the revelations in Scotland. She’s no longer the bratty girl. She sees herself as a woman in her own right. She sees her mother as a woman separate from being her mother. She knows she is grown and not only urges her mother to go, she asks her to go. Jamie deserves to know who she is.
Roger is not a knight in shining armor, he’s an orphan like Brianna. He’s a friend and future lover. He understands Brianna in a way no one else can. He understands her mother in a way no one else can either. He’s a kind, generous, and brilliant man, who happens to be falling in love with Brianna.
Joe Abernathy is a friend and wingman. Claire’s only friend throughout her medical school and hospital career. He is trustworthy and an advocate for Claire to live a full life. I expect, he will be there for anything Brianna needs. He can be like an uncle in my estimation. Did Claire tell him EVERYTHING about Jamie and her 18th century adventure? I think she must have.
The zinger in this episode was Candy, um Sandy, confronting Claire at an event to honor Frank Randall. She accuses Claire of being selfish and making Frank and Bree live a lie. She should have let him go. Claire offered Frank his freedom more than once. Does Sandy know this? Or is it her grief talking? Are we supposed to think Claire made him stay? What was the point of this confrontation? I think it’s a vehicle for Brianna to ask who the woman is. Also, for Claire to have clarity on what she needs to do.
There were some three beats to cement ideas in this episode.
- Brianna being an engineer, not a historian.
- Claire’s insecurities over her looks, sexiness, and age.
- Claire’s willingness to stay because she can’t bear to leave Brianna. She’s a good mother.
- Brianna urging her mother to go because she is an adult and can care for herself. She’s a maturing daughter.
I adored how Roger and Brianna looked like ghostly images in the window when Claire looked up as she left for Scotland. Then the light plays on Claire as she was in the cab making her look like she was transitioning to a new place from the 20th century. Finally, the puddle from the cab to Edinburgh was a brilliant transition. Combined, those images created a feeling of time travel without literally needing her to go to the stones onscreen. Bravo!
Lastly, Jamie and the print shop. You didn’t think I would forget about that did you? Claire makes it to Edinburgh and finds her way to Carfax Close. Outside the printshop you can feel her apprehension and excitement. She opens the door and he questions who is there. Following his voice, she says who it is. He looks up, she seems a ghost, and he faints. #DunbonnetDown. He crashes to the floor. She gasps. Fade to black.
SHE DID IT! She found him! We know he couldn’t have died from a coronary because there’re more episodes this season. And this isn’t Game of Thrones. George R.R. Martin might have killed Jamie off in front of Claire.
We laughed. We cried. We cheered. We grabbed smelling salts for Jamie. Anyone else out of your mind excited for episode 6?
What’s Coming up? Interview with Theresa Carl-Sanders, chef/author of Outlander Kitchen Cookbook.
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