Outlander season 5 episode 3 review: In this world

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

In an odd bottle episode, Claire and Jamie face a brutal reminder of the grueling world they live in, and what that means for their family.

Last week’s Outlander saw Jamie closing in on his reluctant hunt for Murtagh while Doctor Claire found a new apprentice to help her make the 1700s a safer time. This week, Claire, Jamie, Roger, and Fergus depart from Fraser’s Ridge to gather a militia, while Bree and Marsali stay behind.

Doctor Claire is still in the house, and we open with Claire watering all of her moldy bread in bell jars and instructing Marsali in the scientific method (sort of). We also get a bit more insight into Outlander‘s perspective on time travel as Claire apparently tempts fate through voiceover:

"“Penicillin was one of those newfangled things I hoped would have a place in the past. And I was daring history to try to stop me.”"

Thankfully, the microscope has already been invented so Claire only has to screw with so much history.

I’m about confused about Jamie’s militia, I think because he himself is attempting to use it for dual purposes — to act on behalf of the Redcoats with the ability to turn against them. Claire herself describes it as ” a show of force to prevent war,” but the particulars of this won’t make sense to me until I see it in action, which is just fine.

The episode mostly focuses on Claire and Jamie in a weird little bottle episode as a set of enslaved, Scottish twins send the ever noble Jamie on a mission to find their papers (with Claire in tow). These kinds of storylines really just seem to remind us of how honorable and perfect Jamie is.

As a sidebar, Jamie tells Claire that Bonnet is alive and they’ve left Bree alone and unprotected. So, something bad is bound to happen there, right?

Jamie finds the Beardsley house, where the Scottish twins were enslaved and everything is apparently abandoned until he sees a woman inside. Creeped out, but still persistent, Jamie knocks and explains the situation. The woman says her husband is dead and they can have the twins. Jamie urges that they need the papers and basically forces his way inside with Claire, where the house is stinky and full of goats for some reason.

As the wife searches for the papers, Claire and Jamie exchange many a WTF look. Claire investigates the smell, knowing it’s not just the goats, and goes upstairs, finding Mr. Beardsley, who is very much still alive. Well, not very much. He’s hanging on by a wheeze.

Turns out, Old Beardsley had a stroke and has been lying in his own filth for a month. Using her incredible doctor skills, Claire deduces that the missus has been been feeding him and keeping him alive since then in order to torture him.

Claire, of course, wants to heal him, but Jamie pulls her aside to tell her they don’t have time for all of this. Mrs. Beardsley takes the opportunity to try to kill her husband outright this time and Jamie has to pull her off. In the struggle, her water breaks and Claire delivers her baby.

Claire has a sweet talk with her and tells her she can start fresh with her baby, but Mrs. Beardsley has been so abused she doesn’t see a way forward, or how anyone, including her child, can possibly be happy “in this world.”

Being olden times, Jamie and Claire get Mrs. Beardley and the baby tucked in so they can all rest there for the night. Once everyone is settled in, Claire tells Jamie she wants Brianna, Roger, and Jemmy to go back (forward) through the stones where it’s safer.

Jamie is upset, of course, arguing that though it might be hypothetically “safer” in the 1960s, they won’t be with their family. Claire, of course, isn’t convinced or persuaded by this.

Jamie wakes up, spry as ever, to the baby crying and realizes Fanny has gone. (Honestly, can you blame her?) She leaves behind the deed to the house and the servants’ papers. Jamie is in hardcore denial about the fact that they’re stuck with a baby now, but Claire knows Mrs. Beardsley is gone for good.

They prepare to leave with the baby, and Jamie tells Claire to go outside so he can deal with Beardsley: “I would do less for a dog, Claire.”

Almost in the role of a doctor, Jamie gives Beardsley a full recap of everything and has him blink once for yes and twice for no to make sure he understands. Of course, the poor man asks Jamie to kill him, and so he does. Jamie is nothing if not a man of honor.

It seems like the episode mostly serves as a reminder that the 1700s aren’t all the glamour they’re cracked up to be and that Claire, a woman of multiple decades, is keeping this in mind.

dark. Next. Outlander season 5 episode 2 review: A new apprentice

What did you think of this week’s episode of Outlander? Sound off in the comments below.