RECAP: ‘Outlander,’ Episode 509, Season 5: ‘Monsters and Heroes’ by Denny S. Bryce

Outlander
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Hello Frolic,

What a remarkable episode with so much emotion and fear of losing a loved one, it was everything I didn’t know I wanted from this week’s Outlander!

Frankly, I was unprepared for Monsters and Heroes. What was I thinking? N0 tissue paper handy, and NO hand on the remote to give me a break from the 60-minute (longest episode of the season, I believe, so far) emotional rollercoaster ride!

But enough prep talk, let’s get to this recap.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Summary provided by Starz: When Jamie is bitten by a venomous snake, Claire fears she may not have the resources to save him. Jamie asks Roger to complete an important task in the event of his death. 

The episode begins with Claire examining the seemingly always pregnant Marsali. The baby is in the position, and everything looks normal.

Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser and Lauren Lyle as Marsali Fraser
Photo: Starz. Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser and Lauren Lyle as Marsali Fraser

Next, we’re at Roger and Brianna’s cabin, where the couple is in bed with Roger being quite romantic. But sitting in his wee bed across the room from the couple is the cute blonde-haired Jemmy, wide awake and laughing. Roger responds with an “Oh, Shite” at the interruption. Of course, the next word out of the toddler’s mouth is—well, you know:)!

Surprise, Jemmy is not the only interruption—banging at the cabin door is Jamie.

Roger and Bree leap out of bed and, wrapped hastily in a blanket, Bree answers the door (before Jamie breaks it down) as a nude Roger steps into his pants. Eyeing Roger disdainfully, Jamie remarks that he needs his daughter, a good shot with a rifle, to occupy him on a hunting trip. Bree has work to do with Claire, but Roger is available. Chagrined, Jamie admits to looking for an able-bodied person to join him. He gives Roger a sideways glance before accepting him into the hunting party.

Photo: Starz. Sophie Skelton as Brianna MacKenzie and Richard Rankin as Roger MacKenzie

During the hunt, the men (which include Fergus and Young Ian) looking for meat decide to split up. 

The Men of Fraser's Ridge on the Hunt!
Photo: Starz. The Men of Fraser's Ridge on the Hunt!

The Jamie and Roger team find a herd of buffalo (thus explaining the appearance of buffalo in this year’s opening credits). Quick aside: I love every moment these two characters share scenes. Richard Rankin (Roger) and Sam Heughan (Jamie) are lovely together, whether fighting, cracking self-effacing jokes, or needling each other.

Anyway, the father-son relationship is developing nicely. Soon, the duo stumbles upon the buffalo herd. Jamie shoots, and Roger advances while Jamie reloads, but while Jamie is kneeling in the grass, he is bitten by a snake. Quickly, he kills the snake.

Roger examines the wound. He then follows Jamie’s instructions and cuts Jamie’s flesh with a knife and sucks out as much blood as possible in an attempt to rid Jamie’s body of the venom.

Roger is getting the job done until Jamie cries out, “Enough! You’ll drain me dry.” (The balance between humor and fear is perfect throughout the episode).

Jamie can’t walk. Roger decides to go and find the others, but before he leaves, he grabs the snake’s head. This act becomes important later.

Photo: Starz. Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Richard Rankin as Roger MacKenzie

We’re back at Frasers Ridge, and the ladies are dying cloth. Claire and Bree are talking about their “callings.” Claire, the doctor, and Bree, the engineer, discuss the importance of using their calling no matter the barriers to doing so in the time in which they reside.

Back in the woods, Roger is looking for the other members of the hunting party. He’s not having any luck and can’t use his voice to shout. Instead, he fires his rifle and then his pistol. For a Beta male character, he cuts quite the Alfa male figure (he just looked so good, standing wide-legged, with a weapon in each hand, stance:).

Quick return to Frasers Ridge and Rollo, the dog comes running ahead of the other hunters minus Jamie and Roger. At the moment, there’s no need to worry. They may have decided to camp for the night.

Jamie is cooking the snake over a campfire when Rogers returns. Jamie takes a bite out of the cooked snake and remarks, “Fair is fair.” Another one of many one-liners in this episode that made me chuckle.

Roger examines Jamie’s wound and is visibly worried. He announces they will head back to Fraser’s Ridge in the morning. During the night Roger tries to stay alert. Jamie is feverish and in pain but reminds Roger that Stephen Bonnet is still alive. Jamie gives Roger a deathbed order–kill Stephen Bonnet. Rogers doesn’t know if he can take another man’s life. He’s never killed before. Jamie explains how he blames himself for Bonnet’s attack on Bree since he set Bonnet free. He then adds a lovely line: the son must pay for the sins of the father. (Heart goes pitter-pat, here, because Jamie considers Roger his son:). By the end of the campfire scene, Jamie is asking Roger to take care of Claire, too, if he dies.

Young Ian walks out of the house at Fraser’s Ridge the next morning to find Jamie’s horse–now, he knows something is wrong.

Meanwhile, Roger has made some sort of shoulder harness, tow device to drag Jamie’s big body behind him. Soon, Jamie makes another deathbed wish that requires Roger to take Claire back through the stones once he and Bree determine if Jemmy can make it through.

The hunting party is now hunting for Jamie and Roger. Young Ian and Fergus lead the group, shouting for Jamie and Roger. Again, we are reminded of Roger’s inability to shout (his voice is still weak after the hanging). He grabs a stout branch and starts beating a tree. The dog, Rollo, is the first to find Jamie and licks his face a lot (shudder:).

Jamie is back at Frasers Ridge and Claire is examining his leg—he is extremely ill. Claire is concerned that his leg may turn gangrenous. She instructs the town folk to find maggots. Remember, her penicillin needle was destroyed, so she has no way of administering the antibiotic that could save Jamie’s leg and life. Desperate and since she has no needle, Claire gives Jamie penicillin broth.

In a very emotional scene, Jamie jerks himself upright in the bed and grabs the saw he had spotted amongst Claire’s medical instruments. He makes her promise she must let him die rather than cut off his leg.

Roger joins Brianna in the search for maggots. He tells her what Jamie shared about Stephen Bonnet being able to claim Jemmy as his own. The proof of fatherhood is that she gave birth to a child, which God would not allow, according to the 1700s laws and religion, as a result of rape. This also means Bonnet could claim Jocasta’s property, which has been left to Jemmy.

The next scene is one of my favorites of the season. A buffalo has wandered onto Fraser’s Ridge near the MacKenzie cabin. Jemmy is outside with Lizzie, but when Brianna spots the buffalo, she immediately runs in front of the beast and starts waving her arms and jumping to get the animal’s attention. The buffalo charges (Claire has run into the house to get a gun) and hits Brianna, who flies into the air. Claire shoots the buffalo and Bree hops to her feet and runs to check on her child.

Great news! The maggots are discovered.

Claire deposits the squirming, wiggling creatures into Jamie’s wound (huge shudder for this scene). Claire, however, still worries that the maggots won’t work since the infection is in Jamie’s bloodstream. She may yet have to take his leg to save him.

We cut away to Roger and Jamie, who wants Roger to take him out of Claire’s makeshift hospital ward to his bed.

Roger struggles to carry Jamie, but Young Ian shows up to assist. This is where Jamie is scolded by Young Ian, beautifully performed and deserving. Ian’s point is how dare you to belittle his father (who is missing a leg) and Fergus (missing a hand) by demanding that Claire let him die rather than take his leg to save his life. Well, played Young Ian!!!!

After this persuasive speech from Young Ian, Jamie admits to being stubborn (even selfish) in refusing to put his life above his pride.

Later, he urges Claire to join him in bed. He feels death is near and wants her at his side, feeling her touch one last time. And just like that, another heart-wrenching scene in an episode full of emotional scenes. Jamie stills and closes his eyes as if dead. Claire, in a panic, listens to his heart and pleads with him to stay with her. She strips off her nightshirt and lies on him, hoping her body will keep him from leaving her.

It takes a few stressful minutes, but eventually, Jamie takes a deep breath, and he is back!

At the cabin, Roger reveals to Bree that he kept the snake’s head. The sight of the animal’s fangs gives Brianna an idea.

In the makeshift operating room, Claire is about to remove Jamie’s leg. Young Ian is there to assist by holding Jamie still. Jamie has given her permission to take his leg, but Claire is struggling, hands shaking as she picks up the instrument she will use to make the first cut.

Ian gives Jamie something to bite down on, but then Brianna and Roger burst into the room. Brianna hands her mother the makeshift syringe she has engineered from the snake’s head. Claire can give Jamie a shot of penicillin!

There is hope for Jamie’s leg and his life. Days past and Jamie is better!

Roger is snoozing in the big rocking chair next to the bed when Jamie awakes. Now that Jamie lives, Roger Mac isn’t beholding to kill Bonnet with his own hands. Roger wants to join Jamie when he goes to Wiley’s Landing to kill him.

What was the biggest takeaway from this episode: Roger Mac and Jamie have grown quite close, and every scene with these two actors is heavenly!

Until next week and my recap of Outlander 509, Mercy Will Follow Me.

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