The Four Tops - Reach Out (I’ll Be There)
Now if you feel that you can't go on
Because all of your hope is gone
And your life is filled with much confusion
Until happiness is just an illusion
And your world around is crumbling down, darlin'
(Reach out) Come on girl reach on out for me
(Reach out) Reach out for me
Hah, I'll be there with a love that will shelter you
I'll be there with a love that will see you through
Roger and Brianna continue their research at the Institute for the Study of Highland Folklore and Antiquities where none other than Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), known here as Gillian Edgars, is giving an impassioned nationalist speech of the White Roses of Scotland to a crowd of students. “Where are our rulers of old who knew how to look after their people?” She asks, “Where is our Bonnie Prince Charlie today?” Romanticizing Charles as a valiant touchstone in her speech, she rouses the crowd by claiming, “I am Bonnie Prince Charlie! You are Bonnie Prince Charlie!” Afterwards, Brianna asks Gillian if placing Charles on the throne would have just been “trading one king for another,” to which she replies that he was a Catholic and a Scot, thus his loyalty was to his people - which is kind of talking in circles under the guise of fervent rhetoric. “I like watching history being made,” Brianna says, so Gillian invites her to a rally later where “We’ll be making history.” This is one of many marvelous, contrasting lines of dialogue in the episode that writers Graphia and Roberts used to continue the theme of active and passive curation of history.
The historical spit-and-polish of Charles continues at the museum at Culloden, where a mannequin dressed in his formal plaid is much taller than the real man. “He could have been great,” Claire tells a tourist, “They’ve taken a fool and turned him into a hero.” All around her are artifacts from the battlefield, tangible reminders of the turning point when she left her heart behind for the sake of her child “even if it meant living the life I no longer wanted.” In a glass display case lay the hunk of amber with a dragonfly preserved inside that was given to her as a wedding present from Hugh Munro, apparently found on the battlefield (cue the sniffles).
Back at Culloden House, Dougal is enraged at his nephew’s “betrayal” of the cause and his people, and at Claire for using her feminine wiles to enchant and deceive. He offers to kill Jamie quickly “for his mother’s sake,” and is unrelenting in his anger as the two tall men fight in the cramped room. There is no victory in what ultimately happens: Jamie almost can’t bring himself to turn Dougal’s blade against him, so Claire has to press her weight against his shoulder to drive the blade through the man’s chest. Jamie's face is twisted in grief and shock and his body trembles as he begs his uncle’s forgiveness in Gaelic.
Up in the Reverend’s grungy garret, Roger and Bree pour over stacks of papers and journals, looking for evidence from 1948 that may explain the mysterious event between Claire and Frank. After spotting at least one rat, Roger sings a goofy “rat satire” to keep the rest away, while Bree finds a keepsake box with her last name on it, containing items from Randall family history. Among old photos of her parents, she finds the commissioning papers of Jack Randall in 1735, as well as a letter from Frank to the Reverend to stop researching Jack’s history. For a professor, it is interesting what Frank chose to pursue and ignore about the past - but he isn’t the first historian to do so.
Jamie hasn’t even had time to get off the floor when Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) comes in and sees Dougal’s body on the floor and the dirk in Jamie’s hand. Jamie pleads for Rupert to give him two hours to wrap up his affairs and then he will answer for his crime. Out of friendship, Rupert agrees, but says he will hold Jamie to his fate when he returns.
Leaving the museum, Claire ventures onto the battlefield memorial at Culloden, a “flat and boggy field” as Frank once described it, totally exposing the outnumbered and ragged Jacobite army to a better equipped and trained opponent. At the Clan Fraser marker, Claire does what she has waited for twenty years to do: tell Jamie about Brianna and say goodbye. “I’m not going to cry,” she tells the stone, “Because you wouldn’t want that.” She confesses her past anger at Jamie for making her “go and live a life I didn’t want to live,” but she also admits that she sees so much of him in Brianna. For Claire, the pain of her loss is constant, but she chose to use it to propel her forward rather than allow it to consume her, and she wants peace with the decision they made all those years ago: “Goodbye, Jamie Fraser, my love. Rest easy, soldier.”
Brianna was bound to eventually find the newspaper story of Claire tucked somewhere in the Reverend’s papers, and she figures out that her mother was pregnant with her when she showed up in Inverness, three years after being “kidnapped by the fairies.” Her world suddenly turned upside-down, the girl lashes out at her mother, accusing her of coming back to Scotland to reconnect with her real father, a man with whom she apparently had an affair. Brianna insists Roger stay in the room as she puts Claire under the spotlight, and watching his obvious discomfort between the two women drives a hilarious wedge in the intensity of the scene. “I need to tell you about him,” Claire solemnly tells her, “Jamie loved you very much. Even though he never met you, he loved you with all his heart, and he would have raised you if it hadn’t been for the battle of Culloden.”
I absolutely loved Murtagh’s reaction to Jamie telling him he just killed Dougal. It is priceless and he doesn’t give the couple a second to dwell in regret. Jamie works quickly, revealing a deed of sasine that will transfer the title of Lallybroch to Jenny and Ian’s oldest son, James Fraser Murray. This will ensure the land stays in the family should Jamie be executed for murder or killed in battle. Dated one year prior, it is Jamie’s Atticus Finch moment: that he knew the overwhelming odds he was up against in his quest to change history, but he tried anyway. Murtagh and Claire both sign as witnesses, her teardrop smudging the last few letters, and Jamie entrusts it with Fergus to deliver to Jenny and Ian. Ever faithful, Fergus does not want to go, but Jamie insists that it is “worth more than my life and yours,” and “no matter what happens here today, it is important someone remembers.”
Brianna interrupts the scene with another outburst, accusing Claire of concocting a fairy tale and using language that my own mother would have responded to by slapping the sass right out of me. Claire actually returns the word in admitting that Jamie’s and her relationship was intimate, and that he was “the love of my life” before gasping in surprise that the words actually came. Again, Bree struggles with what she can accept as truth, as Frank is dead (and her birth father), so her mother bears the brunt of her blame.
At Culloden House, Jamie and Claire say goodbye to the orphan they have cared for as their own son, and the sight of Fergus’s large eyes and curly mop as he leaves them hurts the heart. I couldn’t help but think of Fergus escorting Claire home from L’Hôpital des Anges, or playing spy for Jamie, or teasing Murtagh on the ways of women. His importance to them is most evident when Murtagh gives him a respectful bow before he leaves, and Jamie and Claire stand in the door frame and watch him go with the heaviness that comes from knowing it is probably the last time.
Roger takes Brianna to cool off at a pub and brings a very long, very detailed letter that the Reverend had written Frank years ago. Bree refuses to believe the contents of it (the audience doesn’t know what it says yet) and still chalks everything up to coincidence. Roger isn’t convinced that Claire is making it all up, and places importance not in his belief of the story’s truth, but in hers. Plus, it may bridge the distance between mother and daughter that Brianna has felt all her life.
Left alone in the Wakefield house, Claire discovers the pamphlet Gillian had given to Bree at the Institute and immediately recognizes her as Geillis. She sets out to warn her about traveling back to the past by visiting her house, where her husband (James Robinson) says he hasn’t seen her for weeks. His wife’s obsession with the cause is something he can’t understand and he attributes it to general ennui: “Why not just learn to type? Get a job if she’s bored?” Having been accused earlier of being a bored housewife, Claire doesn’t offer much sympathy to a man more fixated on the bottle than finding or communicating with his wife. Before she leaves, she sneaks a few of Gillian’s notebooks in hopes of finding clues as to her whereabouts. Incidentally, Gillian runs into Bree and Roger at the pub and tells them that she is leaving town to “further the cause.” “Don’t stop asking the hard questions,” she advises the girl, “That’s the way the world changes.”
Claire studies the notebooks by the hearth and realizes that Geillis focused on the “art and science of time travel,” and consulted texts on alchemy, gemology, metallurgy, folklore, and occultism from all over the world, trying to find the precise stones for protection or to be a conduit or amplifier of energy. Again, the symbolic eye is scribbled throughout the pages as Geillis searched for illumination. She also noted that she would need a human sacrifice in order to travel through the stones. Claire knows she needs to warn Geillis, if not to avoid traveling altogether, then to avoid her fate at Crainesmuir.
As mid-morning approaches and the Jacobite troops frantically prepare to march to battle, Jamie instructs Murtagh to organize and guide the Frasers of Lalllybroch away from Culloden and onto the road home. “No matter how righteous,” Jamie admits, “it was doomed from the start, and now it’s over.” His concern is for the men and their families, knowing his own is about to be torn apart. He tells Murtagh that he will see Claire to safety and then return to Culloden to die on the battlefield. His godfather then states very plainly that while he will follow orders to get the Fraser men to safety, he will return to fight and die with him, which is why Murtagh is amazing.
When Bree returns home that night, she still refuses to discuss time travel but is ready to hear about Jamie. Of course, when there is so much to tell, Claire is a bit stymied in the moment, but she promises to tell her daughter in time. Trying to assuage Bree’s anger over what she perceives happened to Frank, Claire promises her that she fought her feelings for Jamie and did not intend to hurt anyone, but her love for him was “the most powerful feeling in my life.” Bree is at a point where she needs to see her mother as a flesh-and-blood woman, who existed and loved and hurt before she was created, and that life is complicated in the choices it gives and doesn’t give. When Claire asks Roger about Gillian, he said she was leaving that night and Claire knows she is planning to pass through the stones. Though Brianna doesn’t want to hear it, Claire insists that she can warn her to avoid taking the path towards the stake in the 1740s, only it might threaten the existence of Roger, whom Claire found through genealogical research to be the descendant of Dougal Mackenzie and Geillis Duncan. I have to admit: when Roger says “I can’t just evaporate, I remembered Back to the Future and the time-space continuum and thought, “You’re wrong! Marty McFly began to evaporate before his parents made out at the ‘Enchantment Under the Sea’ dance!”
As soldiers swarm down the hill towards the wide, flat moor, Jamie and Claire hurry in the opposite direction. “Red Jamie won’t get far, but you - I can save you and I will,” Jamie says as he heads towards the horses. With the country at war, the ports are closed, preventing their escape. Jamie considers himself a dead man walking, and he would rather be killed in battle than hung or hunted by vengeful Mackenzies. Claire insists on staying and dying with him, but Jamie tells her he knows she is newly pregnant - a fact she had not even uttered and was shocked that he knew. With his hands shaking from cold, he presses their hands to her stomach and says that “this child is all that will be left of me, ever.” He asks Claire to think of the promise to spare Randall’s life, that she must return home, but to Claire he is her home, and to him she is his. “But now that home is lost,” he painfully admits, “and now you and the bairn must go to a safe place.”
As Claire, Roger, and Bree rush to Craig na Dun, Geillis throws a cigarette lighter atop her husband’s body that she has drenched in petrol and prepares to pass through the stone. In a nod towards her line from the witch trial at Crainsmuir, Roger remarks that the smell wafting down the hill from the burning body “smells like a f—king barbecue.” Claire shouts for Geillis to stop but she touches the stone and disappears in front of them all, finally convincing Bree that her mother was telling the truth. Both he and Bree hear the buzzing sound emanating from the stone, which grows larger when all three of them are in the circle.
Jamie and Claire finally arrive at the stones that will separate them indefinitely. Whenever Claire is about to lose or has just lost someone, as in “Through a Glass, Darkly” and “Faith,” there is a God’s eye or high-angle shot isolating her at her most bereft. In regards to Frank, Jamie gives Claire a message to give to him: “Tell him I’m grateful. Tell him I trust him. Tell him I hate him to the very marrow of his bones.” Claire insists that she is not ready and begs him to come through the stones with her, but he can not hear the buzzing and when he touches the stone, nothing happens. Besides, the motto of Clan Fraser of Lovat is “Je suis prest” which means “I am ready,” and Jamie is prepared to meet his destiny on Culloden Moor.
Still, he assures her that he will find her no matter how many years it takes or the suffering he will have to endure as punishment for the crimes he has committed, and that one day when he stands before God, his defense will be “Lord, you gave me a rare woman, and God, I loved her well.” Their last coupling
in the stone circle is quick and fierce, their embrace interrupted only by the start of distant gunfire. “It has begun,” Jamie says as Claire gives him their wedding gift from Hugh Munro, the dragonfly preserved in amber, to take with him. After repeating their wedding vows - “Blood of my blood/bone of my bone/as long as we both shall live” - one last time, Jamie gives her a ring that belonged to his father to hold until their child is old enough to wear it. It is the same one Claire thinks she lost in the grass when she travels back to 1948 in Episode 201, only the gemstone is still set in the metal.
When Jamie holds her against him, his breath catches and you can see his composure start to break. Slowly, they walk towards the stone in a dance-like embrace, never taking their eyes off each other. It isn’t until Jamie turns her around to face the stone, his left arm around her waist and right arm atop hers, tears stream down his face. “Goodbye, Claire” is the last thing he says before her fingers touch the stone.
At Craig na Dun, two centuries later, Brianna admits to Claire that she believes her. When she says that she only wants the truth from now on, she reminds Claire of Jamie telling her the same thing in the woods after Crainsmuir, and she asks Roger to show her mother the letter that Reverend Wakefield wrote to Frank containing research that he had requested, though Roger was unsure if the information ever reached Boston. Five soldiers survived the battle of Culloden and took refuge in a house before they were eventually shot. Out of five Fraser officers, only one survived: James Fraser. So Jamie survived Culloden in some form, whereabouts unknown at that point. As the rising run pierces the gaps between the stones and illuminates Claire’s blue eyes, she declares, “If that’s true, then I have to go back!”
The Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today
Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can't put it off another day
I don't care what others say
They say we don't listen anyway
Time has come today