Keri Lumm reviews “The Ballad of Roger Mac” for Paste—you can watch the video above or read the transcript below:
The best episode this season just happened! Outlander gets an A!
If “Hamilton” hadn’t been such a hit, I’m not sure I would have believed that a storyline about the revolutionary war could be so intriguing.
The episode begins with Claire and Jamie snuggling in bed on his birthday, and the beginning of a battle with Murtaugh and his group.
It’s nice, it’s romantic. But y’all, Jamie does not look 50 in any real way. I just have to accept it. He even talks about how his parts all still work. Good news for Claire!
While everyone is preparing on the battlefield, Bree is safe in Hillsborough having sent Roger off to battle, but she ends up remembering something from school. A true miracle! She was lucky. She got to go to school!
She jumps on a horse and races to warn her parents and Roger that this battle will be the spark that starts the Revolutionary War.
Jamie wants to warn his beloved Murtaugh, but Roger decides to go instead because he will be less conspicuous.
He does find Murtaugh, but he will not be moved. Even though he knows Jamie’s family secret of time traveling, he just doesn’t know how to tell the men no, but also, you can see he doesn’t want to fight with guns against his godson.
Roger leaves and meets up with a fellow MacKenzie that he had met on the ship and saved. He tries to warn her about what is to come, and the two end up in a friendly hug seen by a jealous husband, who attacks Roger and knocks him out.
He is just always a prisoner it seems!
While Jamie knows he will be fighting his surrogate father, he thinks about his other surrogate father that he killed. He actually prays and asks him for help.
Meanwhile, Claire is busy working in triage with Bree, and they are wondering why Roger is not back. But war will wait for no one, except for Jamie to change into a redcoat.
It’s a little traumatic for Claire to see, but he felt he couldn’t get out of it.
Back in the med tent, Claire is thankful to have her trusty penicillin. The penicillin doesn’t last long, though, when Isaiah Morton is shot and his lover’s father is there and he crushes Claire’s syringe.
It’s not like she can go to CVS and get a new one.
In the battle, Jamie is feeling hesitant of course to shoot at his own countrymen. But eventually he gives in, and it is incredibly gruesome. I covered my eyes.
When the battle is almost over, Jamie comes across one of Murtaugh’s men and of course, does not kill him, but as the boy runs away Murtaugh steps out and is immediately shot by that young soldier.
Just as Murtaugh had planned it.
And Jamie has to watch him die. He carries an already-dead Murtaugh back to Claire and begs her to save him, but it’s too late.
Jocasta was right. He did exactly what she said he would do in the last episode.
Jamie is in agony. He gives back his red coat and mourns Murtaugh.
But while he wants to give into his grief, he cannot because he sees that Bree is in the midst of her own. Roger never came back.
Claire, Jamie, and Bree race to find him—and they do.
He is hanging from a tree.
And that’s how they leave us. I guess with everyone home on quarantine, at least now we have a good cliffhanger which will give us something to look forward to …!
Outlander airs Sunday nights on Starz.
Keri is a professional chatterbox who loves watching TV & movies, reading about pop culture, and gawking at any craziness on the internet. You can follow Keri on Twitter.
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