Outlander Season 3 Episode 5: Freedom & Whisky Review

Yes, it finally happened! They’re back together again! This bulk of the episode was a bit slow but it was necessary, building up momentum until the last scene that was definitely worth the wait.

Synopsis: As Brianna grapples with the life-changing revelations of the past summer, Claire must help her come to terms with the fact that she is truly her father’s daughter – her 18th century Highlander father. To complicate matters further, Roger brings news that forces Claire and Brianna to face an impossible choice. (IMDB)

Writer: Toni Graphia

Director: Brendan Maher

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 64mins

Set in around Christmas in 1968, we find Claire and Brianna, after their summer trip to Scotland, returning to their lives in Boston, with Claire returning to being a surgical doctor and Brianna going back to school at Harvard. However, both are still haunted by the events of what happened in Scotland a few months back, with Brianna failing most of her classes, which gives her the notion of waiting to drop out of school.

To surprise Brianna, Roger Wakefield ventures to America and stays over with Claire and Brianna for Christmas, so he can experience what he called a “American Christmas”. While he says he’s there for that, he secretly wants to be there for Brianna (who he and her are quite taken with each other). Roger also drops a bombshell on Claire. While Claire might have given up on finding Jamie, Roger didn’t as he continued to research where Jamie was and actually found him via a published article that he wrote in the 1700s, under the name of Alexander Malcolm (Jamie’s middle name). This means that he has survived all the aftermath of Culloden and is alive and well.

Unfortunately, having closed that portion of her life, Claire is conflicted about this news as she doesn’t know if she could handle it again. She believes that Brianna needs her during this point of her life. So, events follow, including Brianna and Roger getting closer to one another as well as a confrontation between Claire and Sandy Travers, who was Frank’s mistress. All of this culminates in a discussion between Claire and Brianna, who sort of nudges her mother to return to the past and to Jamie.

With Brianna’s blessing, Claire decides to head back to the past to find Jamie. She then spends holiday season with Brianna and Roger as she sort of patches up loose ends (i.e. giving her resignation at the hospital and giving Brianna the deed to the house as well as the bank accounts). We then see a tearful goodbye with Claire and Brianna as Claire departs for Scotland, but we also see Brianna and Roger spending a touching “Christmas” moment with each other. Their relationship will surely continue in further episode(s). We also see Claire make a dress for her journey to the past and the 1960s Batman song being played in the background which was kind of fun to hear.

The episode ends with Claire arriving back in late 1700s (roughly twenty years since she last left this era). The episode didn’t show Claire’s actual venturing back to the stone in Scotland or her passing through time as it cut in a way that was done in the first episode of season two. So, no big reveal, but it’s implied that she traveled back to Scotland and passed through the stone to arrive back in the 18th Century. The last scene was a great one, showing Claire finding and entering Jamie’s (aka Alexander Malcolm) print shop and coming face to face with a shocked and stunned Jamie who faints right in front of her.

As a side-note, there was one scene in tonight’s episode that was a little baffling. The scene in question showed Claire and Joe Abernathy discussing (and examining) a pile of bones that was uncovered by one of Joe’s anthropologist colleagues. It seems like a quite important scene as they both deduce that the bones are from a caucasian woman who lived roughly 150 years ago in the Caribbean, and was beheaded with a dull knife. Sounds kind of odd? Who is it? You’ll have to find out.

All in all, this episode was a slow-burner but gave us the reunion scene that many fans of both the book and the TV show were waiting to see. While it had some heartfelt goodbyes for Claire’s loved ones, it also showed that she was ready to leave it all behind and return to the man who she really loved and longed to be with, Jamie Fraser. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next episode as it will surely explain what happened to Jamie front the events of the last episode leading up to when he reunites with Claire. One thing is certain, Claire and Jamie are back together again and their future in the past is something that will be interesting to see be explored.

7.5 Out of 10

If interested, check out my movie blog @ Jason’s Movie Blog for my reviews of current movies.

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