Tonight, Outlander delivered what be the season’s most nuanced, introspective, but also fascinating episode. Buoyed by an outstanding performance by David Berry, we had a chance to dive deep into the reaches of Lord John Grey’s soul like never before.
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With that being said, we also saw in this episode Claire receive some rather-shocking news courtesy of Lord John himself … but we’ll get to that in a minute.
First, let’s talk about the circumstances that led us to Claire and Lord John being alone for most of the episode. Lord John first arrived with Jamie’s biological son William looking, presumably, just for a little bit of company on the way to Virginia. While there, though, the tension was thick between almost all parties involved. We knew about Lord John’s feelings towards Jamie and, beyond that, we also knew about how he and Murtagh would be on the opposite side of many issues politically. Lord John had less-than-favorable thoughts about the Regulators, who Murtagh was a part of. He was anti-government and Lord John, meanwhile, was a part of the British government.
Yet, Murtagh’s loyalty to Jamie is what kept the situation from erupting, and eventually Jamie went on to tell him that William was his biological son — though asking him to keep it a secret along the way.
More secrets come out
Right before Lord John decided to leave for Virginia with Willie, he fell ill with the measles. Because of that, Claire had to isolate him from Willie within the cabin. That led to Jamie and Willie being out on the land for days, left to live off the land to ensure that the boy did not contract the disease.
At one point during the treatment, William’s condition worsened and it was at that point some of the truth on his heart started to come out. He felt nothing over the death of his wife Isabel; instead, he went to Fraser’s Ridge just so he could remember how to feel something … even if it was pain. It was hard for him to see Claire, so happy and satisfied in her current situation, knowing that this is something that he would never have with Jamie. He also, right when he was near death, confessed that Jamie offered himself to him to ensure that William would be cared for. He didn’t accept the offer, but this was still new information for Claire to learn.
Eventually, Lord John started to recover and with that, apologized to Claire for his indiscretion and for some of his conversation. He still loved Jamie and was heartbroken over what was still very much out of reach. Yet, he also understood that this was his life. Claire admitted, as well, that she was jealous over the life that she didn’t have with Jamie in the twenty years that they were apart.
William and Jamie’s story
While Claire attended to Lord John back at the cabin, Jamie at times struggled with Willie out in the wilds. He was somewhat stubborn, a little bit bratty, and he was convinced that he was an adult when he was not. He did actually remember Jamie so much more than Jamie realized, so this was an opportunity for them to reconnect … at least for a time.
Then, things got a little bit hairy courtesy of Willie defying some of what Jamie told him as he went off into a forbidden part of the woods that was occupied by the Native Americans. These actions almost got them both killed, and what was notable was Jamie admitting that he was Willie’s father in hopes of sparing the boy’s life. William then denied it, and in pleading for his own life and recognizing his mistake, eventually the Cherokee decided to spare the two of them. They could go back home and reunite with Claire and Lord John, though we certainly do think that there are some conversations that Jamie and Claire are going to need to have now in the aftermath of what happened.
Was this the most significant of stories in terms of furthering the plot? We wouldn’t say that given the fact that nothing substantial really took place for Jamie or Claire at Fraser’s Ridge that changes their lives there — meanwhile, we also did not get all that much of an update on the state of things with Brianna now that she is (seemingly) back in the past. This episode was more about the emotional aftermath of decisions in the past and how some of this impacts their overall present. There were many a beautiful, poignant moment throughout here, including when Jamie presented Claire with the ring at the end of the episode. We also like the choice to not turn what Claire learned via John Grey into something larger and more dramatic. She understood his thought process in the moment and knew where his heart was now.
What did you think about Outlander season 4 episode 6? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: Starz.)