Outlander Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: The Company We Keep
Want to relive Outlander Season 5 Episode 4? We do a minute-by-minute reaction to “The Company We Keep.”
[9:00 p.m.] Welcome back, friends! I trust everyone has taken no less than 27 showers since we last gathered in a desperate, cathartic attempt to recover from the squalor of last week’s house of horrors. But after reliving the hygienic lows via this “previously on Outlander” — and amid the backdrop of frantic coronavirus hand-washing reminders — feel free to tack on another then come back.
[9:02 p.m.] This little show of dexterity in the title card wreaks of Bonnet — a smell far worse than anything Fanny Beardsley could throw at us.
[9:03 p.m.] In a back country chock full of revolution, regulation and inevitable decimation (allll the -ations), you’ve gotta just shake your head and laugh that teenage love drama is the thing drawing the first bullets. Apparently Pat Benatar was onto something — love is a battlefield. Go figure.
[9:04 p.m.] “Lord give me courage.” I’d have soiled myself by now if I were Roger, so good on him for appealing to a higher power for help surviving his first struggle without the mighty Col. Fraser to save his out-of-place arse.
[9:05 p.m.] You can’t blame Roger for assuming that whisky could be a great (and quick) truce maker. While still adjusting to life in the 18th century, our academic friend is a quick study who has seen first-hand that whisky is a constant.
[9:06 p.m] I wish my family would greet me as enthusiastically as these ridge dwellers when I return home from a shopping spree with a trunk full of retail therapy.
[9:07 p.m.] Respectfully, Mrs. Bug — a gentleman he most certainly was not, and never will be.
[9:08 p.m.] The only thing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own skin is feeling uncomfortable in your own home. Considering all Bree’s been through and how her family’s home has provided a safe and soft place to land in the wake of her trauma, her expression says she knows that even that modicum of comfort has now also been violated.
[9:09 p.m.] Eh uh, sorry my man shagged your daughter — care for a dram?
[9:10 p.m.] “It’s tolerable, I’ll admit.” Mr. Brown, and also my son and his resting boy face nightly at the dinner table in response to what I’ve cooked.
[9:11 p.m.] Is it just me or does Fergus have a natural ability to class up any joint just by smoothly muttering a few sentiments in French? He’s been doing it since he was le bébé.
[9:12 p.m.] Since Roger’s such a God-fearing person, I’ll equate this first military test on a level he knows best: the very definition of baptism by fire.
[9:13 p.m.] Their family is intact and whole now, so it’s easy to forget the sadness and longing we felt at their not having parented all the stages of their daughter’s life together. But his seeing a baby cozied up against her looking as natural as she does in a medical setting — the perfect reminder that yes, always live in the present, but also honor the past and never take anything for granted.
[9:14 p.m.] Roger’s attempt to dissolve this battle destined for bloodshed underscores the old adage that you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. Keeping that straight while merely typing it out made me tired, so try actually pulling it off.
[9:15 p.m.] Jamie, check your disbelief for a moment and hallelujah with me that we’re only a quarter into this episode and the Outlander gods hath granted me my weekly wish — a crooning Roger Mac moment. Forget courage, Lord give me singing Roger. Lord give me singing Roger.
[9:16 p.m.] Holy babies, Batman. I completely forgot from the books the twins were that young. At 14, they’re basically eighth graders. Eighth graders who have served nearly their entire life as indentured slaves, who are now so grateful for a respectable fatherly figure they’re willing to sample their first taste of freedom from the front lines of a war. And not the Fortnite kind today’s teenagers are used to.
[9:17 p.m.] “You work fast, Milord.” Fraser, you owe me a drink. That dry jab just caused me to spray mine all over the keyboard.
[9:18 p.m.] It truly does take a village, and this moment of resourceful women diving in without intense question to help each other as women do — Outlander’s inadvertent celebration of International Women’s Day. I love the juxtaposition of how they’re calmly working together inside to get real things done whilst the men squeal and thrash about like angry pigs outside.
[9:19 p.m.] There are people scattered about in various states of drunken pinballing throughout this village and it’s still only taken Col. Fraser about three quick glances and less than a minute to realize some of his militia has gone missing. Apparently he’s not just the King of Men — he’s the king of ALL men. And also, Roger is that guy. The “well actually” guy. You know the one.
[9:20 p.m.] “Now what disarray have ye and yer cock brought upon our endeavor.” Col. Fraser to Morton in the 18th century, and also overheard in the 21st century during any recent sexual harassment deposition in the era of #MeToo.
[9:21 p.m.] Lad, I’m not entirely sure your heart was the body part that had a mind of its own without your say in the matter…
[9:22 p.m.] Make Yourself Hard to Find — the official Colonial America slogan of Col. James Fraser. Sew that on a pillow (or maybe find it soon on a graphic tee available in the Outlander Cast store? Wink wink, Blake).
[9:23 p.m.] Brace for impact, we’re about to get our first glimpses of The Fergus Effect.
[9:24 p.m.] I love the quick math Claire is calculating in her brain to understand just how many copies in circulation she’s going to have to seek out across the East Coast under the guise of needing kindling for the fire.
[9:25 p.m.] This merry village full of steadfast believers in the beauty of day drinking has got me thinking — is it too early to request the development of an Outlander theme park? If too greedy, I’d settle for an early release of the Season 5 soundtrack.
[9:26 p.m.] “Beauchamp, Randall, Fraser, Rawlings… you have another husband I should know about?” Col. Fraser hath done made it rain all over my keyboard just like his comrade Fergus.
[9:27 p.m.] You know what always ends superrrrrrrrr well? Dozens of men amped up on a combo of male ego and whisky… and carrying loaded weapons. But please, as you were.
[9:28 p.m.] Note the lighting of this scene. I don’t want to play devil’s advocate here, but deals negotiated in the dark where you can’t clearly see into the other’s eyes always strike me as concerning and bendable.
[9:29 p.m.] Sir, no disrespect to your village hospitality, but this woman’s no stranger to spending cold, dark nights under a blanket of stars with soldiers. She’s what we’d call a hearty plant in the garden. But as my closest friends often remind me, it’s okay for even the heartiest of plants to accept help and comfort every so often.
[9:30 p.m.] My husband travels a lot, so a bit of advice for Bree — this is generally the point in which the things that go bump and creak in the night cause me to race to the Disney streaming app for something fluffy to calm my anxious brain. If you’ve ever had the terrifying experience of losing sight of your child in a crowd for even mere seconds, you know it feels like a lifetime. Now imagine it within the “safety” of your own home. Ah hell, now I need Disney…
[9:31 p.m.] Marsali is the gal pal every woman needs. I’m officially putting in a bid for her to take a shift at my house (see above traveling spouse reference).
[9:32 p.m.] This woman has no clue how markedly she just upgraded the Frasers’ accommodations from last night to now. Ritz Carlton penthouse with fancy soaps like upgrade.
[9:33 p.m.] Claire, get the ice cream. Ice cream always helps in these situations.
[9:34 p.m.] And she’s pregnant. Welp, forget what I said. This goes beyond pint-of-dairy medicine.
[9:35 p.m.] Annnnnnd reason #1312 why Marsali is a badass, because we’ve learned by now every episode grows the list. Best teachable moment payout to a personal story… ever.
[9:36 p.m.] When I say I’m exhausted at the end of any given day, please smack me back into reality by reminding me that Claire’s job as all-around den mom and resident healer is truly never done.
[9:37 p.m.] STOP SEPARATING DAMMIT. And herein lies why I loved the last episode so much — because I knew their time together was likely short-lived. Sigh.
[9:38 p.m.] Roger, I know you’re new to marriage and military life so let us help you — now is definitely not the time to throw a smart-ass crack back at your father-in-law and commanding officer. Also, if this isn’t a textbook “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” moment, then I don’t know what the term means.
[9:39 p.m.] Writing (or drawing) letters and burning them is advice often offered by therapists for helping people release the pain and sting of old or festering wounds. Pour out through a pen what weighs you down, toss it into a fire, watch it go up in flames and, as it does, release it of its burning hold on you. Bonnet’s face has never looked more perfect than it does incinerating at Bree’s hand.
[9:40 p.m.] These grieving parents have room in their heart to love a baby from a space within it they prepared to have occupied by another. This is an unexpected but welcome mashup of my two favorite shows: a piece of This Is Us just warmed its way into the World of Outlander.
[9:41 p.m.] This episode is called “The Company We Keep,” and I for one love that we are keeping company with these men during their day of carefree shenanigans. They work hard, play hard, brave hard. And we know too well the coming days will not be spent the same.
[9:42 p.m.] Five seasons in, I had no idea how badly I needed a dancing Sam Heughan until this exact moment. And I’m certain those warm looks from Caitriona Balfe and loud cheers from the supporting cast and extras did not require script prompts.
[9:43 p.m.] These two are either headed to meet their Uber or about to treat us to a little moonlight delight. Either way, opting in. Subscribe.
[9:44 p.m. – 9:46 p.m.] We’ve witnessed so many private conversations in the history of these two that it’s hard to pick a favorite… until now. This one has just soared to the top of my list. His tender proposition to adopt this child so they could finally have the experience of raising a child together and her lovingly passing on it. Last week, we made care and death arrangements clear and this week we’re focusing on new life. It’s all circle-of-life sacred and has hit me so squarely in the heart that I will spare you my commentary and leave you to have your own emotional reaction.
[9:47 p.m.] Dear Outlander post-production team: please list whisky among the supporting cast in this episode’s end credits. Seems only fair given how large a role it has played.
[9:48 p.m.] “Nothing in this world is worth taking your life for.” Suicide is, indeed, a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Spoken from a years-ago personal trauma no one should ever experience that still travels to the surface for me in moments like this even after all this time.
[9:49 p.m.] Ahh young love. Somehow among a room boasting a scholar, a doctor and a decorated leader, Morton comes away the smartest of the bunch. Claire’s face for the win.
[9:50 p.m.] Despite my eye-rolling throughout this episode at the Romeo and Juliet nature of it all, I’m now rooting for these two. And in doing so, I’ll try to look past the ominous foreshadowing implied by their celebrity couple name: Mortally. Eek.
[9:51 p.m.] I’m always down for a Fraser plan — BUT ARE WE REALLY PARADING THEM DOWN MAIN STREET IN BROAD FRIGGING DAYLIGHT?! Me, watching this.
[9:52 p.m.] King of Men, I shall never doubt thee… this time.
[9:53 p.m.] I guess in this case, the Rolling Stones had it wrong — wild horses could drag them away. Last week’s pigeons set shackled spirits free; this week it’s horses doing the same for love.
Since I referenced our nightly dinner table early in the episode, I’ll expand upon our family routine here. While eating, we play a camp tradition game of “high, low, buffalo” to recount our day — share the high and low points as well as anything else worth mentioning (the buffalo). This season has already offered me strong early favorites for the high and low (looking at you, “Between Two Fires”), so this episode feels like the front-running buffalo. And not just to keep with the show’s animal imagery streak, but because my summation of the episode is this: nothing earth-shattering, nothing terrible, but some absolute gems among it all we’d definitely be remiss not to mention. Ergo, buffalo.
I’m ready to hear folks pan this episode, noting the unshakable feeling that we’re doing a lot of pit stops that have kept us moving at a sputtering pace on the forward progression of the overall storyline. But it’s not an issue for me (yet) as I’m enjoying the slow build to what we know will be a disastrously climactic, fast-paced (and emotional) finish. So if along the way, we meet some new friends, encounter some unique challenges and spend random days with our longstanding pals, I’m a happy Fraser’s Ridge camper. Soon enough, Claire could face the wrath of her Dr. Rawlings stunt, the Frasers will be separated, Bonnet will rear his rapist head and Jamie will likely have to make some devastating choices about Murtagh because there’s only so long you can live caught between two smoldering fires. So along the way I’ll take the welcome refueling of friends soothing each other’s nerves, women digging in to help each other, couples having the most important of life conversations and men headed for the most harrowing of times enjoying the whisky-fueled calm before the storm.
Until next week, friends…
If you’ve missed any of our Season 5 episode recaps, you can catch up with them here:
Episode 5.01: “The Fiery Cross”
Episode 5.02: “Between Two Fires”
Episode 5.03: “Free Will”
A complete library of recaps from Seasons 2-4 is also available here.