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Give her a mug, give her a shawl, give her everything – she’s mother of the century.
Give her a mug, give her a shawl, give her everything – she’s mother of the century.

Pop CultureJanuary 8, 2019

Outlander recap: Mother of the year, 1769

Give her a mug, give her a shawl, give her everything – she’s mother of the century.
Give her a mug, give her a shawl, give her everything – she’s mother of the century.

A tangled web of secrets and lies was revealed in this week’s Outlander episode, as the Frasers tried to right their wrongs. They also ate some mashed potato. Tara Ward recaps.

There are more reasons to love Claire Fraser than there are ginger curls on Jamie’s head. She has a collection of knitted arm-warmers to die for, she can whip up a life-saving tea in a matter of seconds, and this week her unwavering, rock-steady parenting skills proved once again that she’s the contender to take out the highly coveted award for Bree’s Most Reliable/Least Batshit Family Member of 1769.

Let’s be honest, there wasn’t much competition. Don’t get me started on Old Man Fraser’s reverse psychology to show Bree how powerless she was against Stephen Bonnet (throw that shit through the stones, ASAP), or Ian’s marriage proposal to Bree to make up for his involvement in beating Roger to a pulp, chucking him on a donkey and selling him to a passing Mohawk tribe.

I mean, some things just can’t be fixed by marrying your cousin. You know what does make things better? Baby goats. I mean, look! Look at their bouncy wee legs! JUST LOOK AT THEM, I BEG OF YOU.

We needed Fraser’s Ridge to be covered in a parade of dancing goats, as this episode was heavier on my heart than a prison door being stampeded by a herd of hairy cattle. Brianna and Jamie bonded over their shared experiences of sexual assault, while Roger found himself tied to a horse and dragged all the way to New York. It was a bad hair day, a bad pants day, a bad everything for old mate Roger.

Brianna was miserable too, as she agonised over her pregnancy. Claire talked through all her options, including surgical abortion, but Bree couldn’t decide. To help pass the time, mother and daughter reminisced about the cool stuff they missed now that they were stuck doing laundry in the 1700s. Cheeseburgers! Led Zeppelin! Flushing toilets! Yet another reason to love Claire, because flushing toilets are her jam.

My jam was the classic Fraser family dinner banter over a bowlful of mashed potatoes. Honestly, give me some Outlander potato-related content and I am fit to burst like a nice, plump Agria that’s been roasting at 180C for 45 minutes. Poke me with a fork and cover me in butter, I’m done.

Also fit to burst was Bree, who proved she was smarter than Bouton the genius pus-sniffing dog from season two. Once Lizzie spilled the beans that Jamie and Ian had beaten up the man she saw Bree with in Wilmington, Bree realised their victim was her beloved Roger, and all hell broke loose.

Pure, innocent, biscuit loving Roger. Roger of the sweet culottes, Roger of the impressive facial hair, Roger “you’re my wife, so you’ll listen to me” Mackenzie, who didn’t leave Brianna behind in 1769, after all.

Bree was angrier than the Minister’s Cat, and told Jamie to “go to hell” as the Fraser family secrets spilled out like a ginger waterfall of truth. Ian admitted he traded Roger for a necklace, Claire revealed she had her original wedding ring, and Jamie realised that Stephen Bonnet was to the Colonies what Black Jack Randall was to nails through hands, aka pure evil.

Then Jamie said a lot of bad words and tipped over a chair and I made this facial expression while my tiny brain tried to keep up with who did what to whom and why and also will there be any more mashed potato montages? Asking for a friend.

The Frasers were in the eye of a colonial shitstorm. This was worse than the time Mrs Crook served Jamie lumpy bannocks, and it was definitely more serious than when Jamie’s hair shrank mid-scene. How could they fix this monumental stuff-up? How could Jamie apologise for nearly killing Roger and selling him, and then persuade him to return to Fraser’s Ridge where there are neither flush toilets nor chocolate biscuits?


Just when they’d gotten back together, the Frasers separated again. Jamie, Ian and Claire went north to find Roger, while Bree, Lizzie and Murtagh rode to Aunt Jocasta’s, where Bree could be an unmarried, pregnant woman in safety and maybe score some of Jocasta’s awesome knitting. Lizzie would spend every free second apologising for her role in this almighty shitfest, while Murtagh vowed to hunt down Stephen Bonnet so Jamie can kill him in secret whenever he gets a spare moment.

I anticipate no problems whatsoever with this foolproof plan.

Roger didn’t need the Ginger Ninja to save his bacon, as he managed to escape the Mohawk by sliding down a bank and nearly decapitating his hand. Roger ran like the wind, only to find himself smack bang in the middle of a stone circle. Is this what happens when you take up jogging? Portals to another time and place just appear before your very eyes? Be right back, just putting on my activewear.

Will Roger stay or go? What does he love more, biscuits or Brianna? And will Jamie ever manage to put right what he put wrong? Of course he will, he’s Jamie flipping Fraser, bring on the dancing goats.

Read all of Tara Ward’s Outlander recaps here.

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