There are definitely a lot of savages in this episode, and none of them are members of the Cherokee tribe. We take a bit of a time hop in the past, bringing us into the winter of 1768. Claire and Jamie spend most of their time apart this week, which never bodes well for either of them. In 1971, Roger is desperately searching for the disappeared Brianna. All of them encounter others who are less than helpful, and some of them find their very lives in danger. Let’s break it all down further.
*Spoiler Warning. The following recap may contain spoilers for episode 405. Do not read further if you have not seen the episode and wish to avoid spoilers.*
Skin Score: 10/10. It’s the men who are driving the relationships this week. In 1768, Claire and Jamie’s cabin has been built and their little farm is thriving. Jamie and Young Ian are heading into town for a week or so to restock their supplies and recruit new settlers. Before they leave, Jamie tells Claire about a dream he had about Brianna and correctly identifies a birthmark that Claire has never told him about. The foreshadowing is so heavy here that it’s a wonder we can see the scene at all.
In town, Jamie and Young Ian’s luck goes from bad to worse. Despite passing out flyers and holding meetings, they are unable to recruit a single man to join Fraser’s Ridge. It turns out that most of the townsmen had been farmers before, but the corrupt and exorbitant taxes drove them back into the city. They are unwilling to accept such a risk again from a man that they do not know. Defeated, Jamie and Young Ian make one last stop to fix a broken bit before heading home.
The blacksmith agrees to fix the bit for Young Ian for the low price of Jamie’s entire purse. When Jamie finds out, he barges into the shop to settle the score. The look on his face when he realizes that the blacksmith is none other than his long-lost godfather, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser, is nothing short of pure joy. The two men quickly fill each other in on the important details of their lives. Jamie tells Murtagh about Claire’s return through the stones, Brianna, and the new land. Murtagh reveals that not only is he a Regulator, but he’s in charge of recruitment. He invites Jamie and Young Ian to join them. Jamie declines, but vows to not stand in Murtagh’s way. They part again on good terms, with Murtagh having a standing invitation to join them at Fraser’s Ridge.
On a much less happy reunion note in 1971, Roger is desperately searching for any indication of Brianna in Inverness. He tracks her down where she stayed- Mrs. Baird’s Inn. The very same inn that Claire and Frank stayed in on their second honeymoon to Scotland, when Claire first passed through the stones. Not realizing the connection or seriousness of the situation, Ms. Baird takes pity on Roger and gives him a letter from Brianna that she was meant to hold onto for a year. In the letter, Brianna tells Roger that she knows about what happens to her parents and that she’s going through the stones to save them. The last scene we see is her passing through the stones, wearing the silver bracelet that Roger gave her.
Sword Score: 10/10. While the men work on new and old relationships, Claire is handling business at Fraser’s Ridge. She meets with Adawehi, the healer for the Cherokee tribe, to learn new medicinal techniques. They bond as they share medical knowledge, each learning new words in each other’s language. Claire tells Adawehi about Brianna, and the older woman says that Brianna is near. Claire misunderstands this prophecy as well, and assumes that the woman is speaking metaphorically.
Then Claire is called to the Muellers’ cabin to help deliver a healthy baby girl. The family names her Klara, after Claire. Their happiness quickly turns to fear when a group of Cherokee arrives outside to water their horses in the stream. It enrages Gerhard Mueller, who believes them to be savages and thieves. When three members of the Mueller family, including baby Klara, die from the measles a week later, Gerhard blames the Cherokee for cursing his family. He murders Adawehi out of revenge and the tribe takes their revenge by killing Mueller and his wife and burning down their cabin. It’s a tragic loss of an entire family, all caused by prejudice and an unwillingness to learn. Sadly, it’s a tale all too common in early (& current) American history.
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