Outlander season 5 premiere review: A Fraser’s Ridge wedding

COMP images: OLS5_501_070519_0117, OLS5_501_070519_0119
COMP images: OLS5_501_070519_0117, OLS5_501_070519_0119 /

In the season five premiere of Outlander, Claire and Jamie’s family are all together in the new Fraser’s Ridge settlement — but how long can it last?

Outlander‘s season premiere begins with a flashback to Scotland (How we miss ye!) as Young Murtagh (looking very young through CGI magic?) promises to always protect and follow Jamie after his mother has died. Any longtime fan of Outlander will be moved by the scene and happy to see more of Murtagh and Jamie.

It’s also an important moment that foreshadows the key conflict of the season (as evidenced by the season four finale cliffhanger) which finds Jamie, as directed by Governor Tryon, having to hunt down Murtagh and his rebellion of Regulators.

Back in the present, everyone is getting ready for Roger and Brianna’s big day, and they all seem to be on even footing. However, it’s clear that Jamie still doesn’t fully trust Roger. (He left Brianna, doesn’t have way to earn money being a historian, and is generally sucky.)

But Jamie is committed to helping his long lost daughter as much as he can. So while Claire helps her daughter put the finishing touches on her hair and dress (something she never got to have), Jamie gathers the “something old, something blue” for the ceremony.

Thankfully, Brianna brought back the pearls that had belonged to Jamie’s mother that he gave Claire at their wedding, so he gives them to Brianna (full circle and whatnot).

And Fraser’s Ridge has come a long way, just in time for the biggest wedding 1700s North Carolina has ever seen. And all of our favorites are there:  Fergus and Marsali (and their 75 children), Lord John Grey, and Jacosta. (Of course, Murtagh is missing since he’s on the lamb.)

Outlander has certainly given into the cheese in its fifth season with a flashback of Jamie and Claire’s vows as Roger and Brianna say theirs, then a cut back to the present of the parents saying theirs in time with the children in case it isn’t clear enough that weddings are a mirror for the happy couples attending.

The wedding isn’t even over when Roger mentions going back and doing it over to Brianna, who is finally happy with both of her parents, her child, and the man she loves all in one place. Jamie may not always go about things the right way, but his intuition is usually right. Roger is the worst!

And, of course, Lord John Grey is there for a specific reason (aside from giving us updates on Jamie’s illegitimate firstborn son). Right after Claire tells Brianna that Frank would be proud, Brianna overhears him and John discussing Stephen Bonnet and the fact that he is very much alive, triggering PTSD on her wedding night.

Much like the cheesy montage during the wedding, there’s a cheesy montage the night of that intercuts the various couples having sex (including Jacosta and Murtagh in a secret cabin in the woods!) to the tune of Roger singing to Brianna on his guitar.

Outlander has always been a romantic show, but usually, the romance is played for drama, not schmaltz, which is a fine line to walk — but the tone of this week’s episode felt decidedly more Hallmark than previous seasons. Hopefully, the rest of the season will course correct.

Picking up on an unresolved thread from last season, Jacosta invites Roger to her pavilion for breakfast and tells him that she’s going to leave River Run to Jeremiah. Roger is indignant, so Jacosta responds that only a man who doubts the paternity of his child would be so angry.

I’m not sure what Jacosta’s ulterior motives are, but she is a delightful addition to the show and I’m glad they’re keeping her (and her insane flirtation with Murtagh) around. Only after being called out by Jacosta, Roger goes to find Brianna and the baby, pricking his finger and putting his blood on the baby’s forehead to claim him as his own. Again, Roger is the worst!

In the biggest swing of the episode, and one of the most Outlander-y moments in more than a season at least, Jamie suits up in his kilt and Highlander garb after being pressured once again by Governor Tryon (via a lurking band of Redcoats) to hunt down Murtagh.

“If Tryon wants a Scot, I’ll give him a Scot,” Jamie growls as Claire proudly watches him go, knowing he’ll do what he must.

Invoking the name of the episode, and the book the season is named after, Jamie marches out and sets fire to a wooden Celtic cross, drawing the wedding attendees and dwellers of Fraser’s Ridge out to see what he’s done.

Jamie says that there may soon be a time when they will need to fight, asking for their loyalty when it comes. And Roger, because he’s the worst, hesitates, but he is able to pull out the proper historical oath when Jamie calls him out because he’s a nerd. Ugh.

The episode closes as it began, with Murtagh and Jamie discussing their relationship. Murtagh builds a tiny set of stones as he talks, explaining that through the miracle of time travel, Jamie has everything he’s ever wanted. “I don’t resent ye for it. But I must do what I must. And ye cannot resent me for that either.”

Jamie tells Murtagh he could never resent him, but it isn’t safe for him there anymore, and releases him from the vow, commanding him to leave: “Go. Please. Be hard to find.”

It’s the most touching and affecting scene of the episode, but we know it won’t be the last of Murtagh Fitzgibbons.

Next. Natalie Dormer kills it in the trailer for Penny Dreadful. dark

What did you think of the Outlander season premiere? Share your thoughts in the comments below!