Blood of My Blood – a phrase the Outlander fandom holds dear. It’s also the title of Starz’ Outlander season four episode six. Given how last week’s episode (“Savages”) ended, one might think it has to do with Brianna (Sophie Skelton). Well, let’s just see…
I must admit I laughed at the episode’s opening title card which shows Jamie extracting a snake from the privy (aka outhouse). The snake, being a highly rude and unwelcome sight when Claire first woke and went to the privy one morning, was very funny in the book. Not that the snake scared Claire, but due to several events that came after. I’m sad to say we don’t see them in this episode. We don’t see Ian (John Bell) this episode either, though he was present during all these events in the book. Ian and Jamie managed to knock the snake down into the hole beneath the outhouse in the book. But, on with the show…
We open with a surprise visitor arriving at Fraser’s Ridge. Lord John Grey (David Berry) rides up as Jamie (Sam Heughan) is sawing wood since there are always things to build right now on the ridge. Jamie and John head inside after John reveals he brought Jamie’s son, William (Oliver Finnegan), with him on his journey north to Virginia. John left William by the stream so he could speak to Jamie alone first.
At the stream, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) fetches water with Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) who’s helping by supplying her with buckets. They chat as they head back to the cabin and stop short when they encounter a distraught young William, Lord of Elsmere, with leeches all over his shins. Naturally, the lad wants them removed instantly and demands as much in his little Lord’s way.
Lord John tells Jamie he doesn’t think William remembers him. William was barely six years old when Jamie left the Hellwater estate. Jamie, of course, is emotional about the entire situation but agrees it might be for the best if the lad doesn’t remember him.
Jamie asks after Lord John’s wife which forces John to share the hard news that she died on the crossing from England to the Jamaican Governorship to meet up with him. Just as John and Jamie discuss his lost wife and how kind she was, Claire, Murtagh, and young William enter the cabin.
Claire’s very surprised to see Lord John there with Jamie. Being always the doctor first, Claire treated her patient without knowing anything about him; she was unaware it was Jamie’s son she was tending.
The room’s filled with a cloud of awkwardness, as you might expect. Murtagh meets his old prison master as well, not an occurrence in the book and obviously not one Murtagh welcomed or expected. To break the tension in the room, Claire takes the young Lord Elsmere out to treat the leech wounds.
John asks Murtagh to not mention that the time at the prison was the time the three men knew one another. As is typical with adults, it would appear much is to be kept from young William.
At dinner, the meal includes small talk about John and William’s travels. Lord John and William passed through Wilmington and stayed with Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) on their trip. The mention of the Governor building a larger house for himself sets Murtagh off. As was typical of the time period, many dinner conversations turned to taxes and corruption. (I see dinner conversation has not changed much in 200 years.)
Lord John had no idea Murtagh is leading the Regulators in that little part of North Carolina. Murtagh does the reasonable thing and leaves the cabin before more’s said than should be mentioned in front of young William.
William asks to be excused, code for restroom break, and is not overjoyed to hear he has to go outside to the privy. In the book, Ian took William out to see the snake in the privy and William fell into the hole… yuck! In the show, Jamie takes him outside to show him where it is. Jamie shouts something Gaelic to the stirring horses that triggers a memory in William. He asks Jamie if his name was MacKenzie. Jamie admits it is one of his given names. It appears the lad does remember Jamie after all.
Meanwhile, Claire and John are alone for the first time in the cabin. Claire, in her typical bold and forthright fashion, accuses Lord John of spying on Jamie for Governor Tryon. A practiced Lord holds his patience, and John changes the subject by offering to leave if their presence is too burdensome. Claire muses she only wished she had time to make appropriate accommodations for both Lordships. The elder and younger Lords take the cabin and our dear Frasers take the lean-to outside.
Outside, Jamie and Claire discuss William and how Jamie’s glad the lad remembered him. Jamie shares with Claire William’s first encounter with a horse at Hellwater. Jamie’s emotions are a mix of pleasure at seeing his son again and pain from the lad not knowing he’s his father. Jamie and Claire embrace, and the connection turns to other wishful alone time that’s long overdue. Jamie still must go inside to play chess with Lord John, so the couple’s still denied ample opportunity.
As Jamie heads inside, he finds Murtagh still angered by the fact Jamie kept up with their captor after all those years. Jamie grudgingly tells his godfather the lad is his son. Jamie asks Murtagh to keep yet another secret of Jamie’s to allow his son to stay safe and remain the Lord of Elsmere.
Jamie and John play chess and drink, and they run out of the good stuff. Jamie pulls down a bottle from the shelf and after one drink, Lord John startings coughing. The drink had a wee bite yet, given the lack of age of the brew, meant to eventually be whiskey.
Jamie glances at a sleeping William, and John asks Jamie if he’s content with his life. Jamie admits that basically yes, he is content in his own way, and is glad his son’s well cared for and safe. (How painful it must be to have two children and not be able to raise either one!)
The next morning as the Lordships are preparing to leave, Claire takes a good look at John. She notices John has a high fever and mentions that a measles epidemic has broken out. Lord John can’t leave; he requires care if he’s to survive the illness.
Jamie had the measles as a child and Claire had vaccinations, but young William could still get the dangerous disease. Jamie declares he’ll take the lad on a tour of his land to keep him away from the contagion. As you might expect, young William is not overjoyed by that news. He recently lost the only mother he’s ever known, and now he might lose the only father he’s known. The lad tries to give Jamie trouble before leaving, but that doesn’t last long. Jamie has his way of getting what he wants, by force if necessary. I could only laugh when the young Lord calls Jamie a lout.
As Jamie and young William travel along the border of Fraser’s Ridge, Jamie emphasizes the need to remain on their side of the border markings. William asks if the Indians are agreeable people. Jamie confirms they can be friendly but also turn fierce if provoked. (Can’t we all?) Jamie takes William to the overlook view of the ridge and it’s an amazing sight. Jamie’s happy William’s pleased by the view.
At the cabin, Claire treats Lord John for the measles. John and Claire briefly speak about his deceased wife. Claire reveals she’s not going to judge him or his relationship with his wife. Claire’s painfully aware of John’s feelings for Jamie, and obviously resents them. John remarks that Claire has to be upset by the fact he’s raising Jamie’s son instead of her. Claire, in turn, points out that she and Jamie had a daughter, Brianna, who’s far away in Boston. She had to raise their child without Jamie due to the battle of Culloden.
Being the bold and always candid Claire, she asks John about his reasons for coming to the ridge with William. John says it was to let Jamie see William, and Claire contends he used the lad as an excuse to see Jamie. John marvels at Claire and how open and painfully forthright she is in her manner.
Young William is busy fly fishing when he wonders why they’re not taking the bait. Jamie explains it’s the wrong time of year for flies and the fish know it. He should be fishing with a worm instead, but William finds the thought of touching a worm highly distasteful.
Jamie tells William how the Indians fish, and shows him how Highlanders did it. The gentle way they allowed their fingers to be the bait in the water. Bare hands and a tickle as Jamie calls it. William’s very surprised when Jamie pulls out a large bass just by using his hands.
The next order of business: deer hunting. Jamie instructs William on the right time to shoot a stag. He explains it’s best to kill, not just wound, the beast. As the deer comes closer, William’s able to put it down successfully. Jamie’s not going to let William leave off the duty of dressing the deer, insisting he cuts open the underbelly himself for the first time. It’s a fatherly instruction on how to do it properly.
That night as they eat, William turns mournful over the loss of his mother and possible loss of his father. Jamie helps the young Lord keep his dignity about the tears by making up an excuse that it’s a complaint of the stomach. He mentions Claire gave him medicine for that, and William reveals Claire gave him her word that his father would survive the measles. Jamie tells him to depend upon it then.
William demands to go back and see his father immediately. The boy blames Jamie out of fear that his father will die, but then no more is said as William lays down on his pallet and Jamie covers him up.
Jamie sits by the fire watching over the young Lord all night.
At the cabin, Lord John declares his head will surely split wide open. Claire is able to provide some relief through acupuncture. John’s at the height of the illness and could possibly die. People on their death beds tend to admit things that often they would keep to themselves, and John admits the shallow depth of feeling he had for his wife and how hard it was watching Claire and Jamie together.
Claire reminds John that he had to have known he could never have Jamie. John counters with the information that Jamie offered himself to John as payment to be William’s father. Naturally, that’s not welcome news to Claire. Claire’s only answer is that John should stop talking and rest.
Jamie wakes up to find William missing from his pallet. he follows the muddy footprints to a stream just past the boundary of his land, meaning William is in Cherokee territory.
William takes a fish from an Indian trap and as Jamie’s starting to scold him, some members of the tribe come up behind him. Jamie hands over the fish that William had on a stick, but they demand the boy pay with blood for taking the fish from Cherokee land. Jamie explains the lad is his blood, which means taking his blood is the same as taking the boy’s.
As they push the boy away and attempt to extract the intended blood from Jamie, William jumps in and says it was his fault and Jamie’s not his father. William declares he’ll take responsibility for the theft. The Cherokee respect the boy’s courage and only cut him on the side of the hand to draw blood. As the Natives leave, William turns and collapses in Jamie’s arms. The courage of his son probably saved Jamie’s life.
John apparently turned a corner toward recovery since he’s sitting up in bed. He offers an apology to Claire, and it’s time to reconcile their feelings about the situation. John informs Claire she was wrong, he had accepted the fact she and Jamie were married. John admits the satisfaction and love between Jamie and Claire is what’s painful for him. He knew his wife never felt that way about him, nor he about her.
John asks Claire if she knows what it’s like to be with someone and know you’re not the ‘right’ person for them. Claire admits she does and eludes to Frank during her 20 years away from Jamie. Claire then asks the painful question of John, whether he still has feelings for Jamie. John admits he does still have those feelings. Claire graciously points out that he does have something of Jamie: his son to raise.
Jamie and William head back to the cabin, and William’s riding on the same horse as Jamie. William asks about the day that Jamie left Hellwater and didn’t turn back to look at him as he rode away. Jamie admits he wanted to look back but didn’t want to give the lad hope he would ever see him again. Jamie left that day with the expectation of not having the chance to see his son grow up.
Jamie arrives at the door first to check if all is well with John. William runs in once the all clear is given and wraps Lord John in a big hug.
Claire tells John he deserves the same satisfaction in a relationship as what she and Jamie share. John smiles and attends to his horse to prepare to depart. Jamie helps William on his horse and is given John’s chess set before John and William take their leave. As they’re riding away, William turns back to look at Jamie. It’s a small but determined gesture to give hope they would see each other again someday.
That night leaves Jamie and Claire alone together on the ridge for the first time in a long while. Jamie’s helping Claire bathe…of course we know where this will go. Jamie grabs Claire’s hand that’s devoid of her silver wedding band. Jamie retrieves a wee object that’s a carved Scottish Thistle ring. The ring was originally what Jamie gave Claire in the book; he never did make the one from part of the Lallybroch key. Claire notices the inscription that translates into “give me a thousand kisses.” Jamie scoops her up out of the tub and takes her to the bed, determined to account for each and every kiss.
- Outlander season 4 opening title sequence
- Recap of Outlander season three “Eye of the Storm” finale
- Outlander‘s renewed for seasons five and six
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 1 “America the Beautiful” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 2 “Do No Harm” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 3 “The False Bride” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 4 “Common Ground” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 5 “Savages” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 7 “Down the Rabbit Hole” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 8 “Wilmington” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 9 “The Birds and The Bees” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 10 “The Deep Heart’s Core” Recap
- Outlander Season 4 Episode 11 “If Not For Hope” Recap
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