This week on Outlander it’s back into the wilds of colonial America for a Thanksgiving episode (well, not really, but it does involve white settlers invading Native American land and attempting to establish a hollow peace in a gross oversimplification of native customs, so basically yes).
Jamie has decided to sell his soul to the devil and goes to Governor Tryon to sign the land grant, bestowing 10,000 acres upon him, essentially making him the laird he was always meant to be. The governor has arranged a place for Claire to stay in Wilmington, but no, she’s going up the mountain with Jamie. Would we expect anything less? The governor warns Jamie to be careful with the men he selects as settlers on the land — he explains how regulators are stirring up trouble against tax collectors and refusing to pay, while the collectors themselves are often skimming money off the top. They also discuss the natives, those the governor refers to as Indian savages, as he frets about the similarities between them and the Highlanders. Jamie makes a show of being on the governor’s side, but his double talk about barbarism is clearly for the benefit of those watching at home.
Claire packs up her belongings in Wilmington to head back into the mountains, but first, she shares a moment with Marsali, who is missing her mother with the approach of her baby. Jamie advises Fergus to find as many Highlanders to settle as he can, particularly men from Ardsmuir. Marsali’s sadness makes Claire also miss Brianna and wonder if leaving her was the right choice because now she won’t be there for her when/if she has a child. It’s one of the hardest points to reconcile in Outlander — as a society, we’re used to prizing maternal devotion over personal romantic happiness, whether or not that’s fair, so it can sometimes be difficult to accept Claire’s choice to return to Jamie and leave Bree behind.
Claire, Jamie, and Ian begin to stake out the boundary line of Fraser’s Ridge. She teaches Jamie the words to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and they start to share a romantic moment, but are interrupted by Ian finding a perfect place for their cabin nestled between two trees. Jamie begins to carve the letters “F.R.” into a tree, while Ian marvels at the possible wildlife in the region and thoughts of lions and bears. They are interrupted by a menacing visit from the local Cherokee. Jamie makes a show of dropping his knife and trying to demonstrate he is there in peace. The natives turn to go.
We return to Bree and Roger’s timeline, now at Oxford in 1971. Roger is distracted by his thoughts of Bree and pulls out the book on Scottish settlers in colonial America she gifted him. The book opens to a random page and as fate would have it, it describes a settlement on Mount Helicon once known as Fraser’s Ridge. Dun, dun, dun…