Outlander Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: Better to Marry than Burn
Want to relive Outlander Season 5 Episode 6? We do a minute-by-minute reaction to “Better to Marry than Burn.”
[9:00 p.m.] I feel a Murtagh sighting coming on this week — just what we all need right now — and hopefully not of the tar-and-feather variety. I’d love to praise our Silver Fox on his hide and [no] seek game prowess, but in fairness, we haven’t really been to all that many places since he received the “be hard to find” directive. Although I imagine it might feel like a million places to Jamie Fraser living between two fires, anxiously riding into each new stop hoping it’s not the one where he inadvertently runs into his godfather.
[9:02 p.m.] This week’s title card — my mind is wrestling between whether we’re about to attend one of those hipster creative vessel cocktail parties, or if we’ve just stumbled upon Outlander’s suggestion for a makeshift COVID-19 mask. If you can’t tell, there’s high probability my mind won’t truly escape into the World of Outlander this week.
[9:03 p.m.] Sweet majestic hills, we’re back in Scotland! YAY. But Culloden and Redcoats. BOO. Ohhh a young Jocasta! YAY. But why are we here? EEK. Outlander, you know you do this to us, right? Yeah, I thought so.
[9:04 p.m.] God save the King… and the stolen fortune? Oof. You daughter might’ve been the one to step in it, Hector, but this is allllll your doing.
[9:05 p.m.] Well that escalated quickly. A parent should never have to bury a child, and she didn’t even get to do that. If this gut-wrenching sequence (blue ribbon and all) is any indication, Maria Doyle Kennedy’s acting is likely to send me toppling over emotionally this episode. And not just because we’re all presently living on the edge and can’t help ourselves from falling.
[9:06 p.m.] Wait, this loveless marriage is actually going to happen? I mean, I’m a book reader, but that purist ship sailed lonnnnnnng ago when we kept Murtagh alive. #TEAMMURTAGH
[9:07 p.m.] And just when I didn’t want to like Duncan Innes on principle, he reels me in with his clear appreciation for the magic of lavender to calm frayed nerves and bring about sleep. I do love a man who speaks essential oils.
[9:08 p.m.] Bless his heart — did he just solicit her for down-the-road sex using a nature metaphor? You say gentleman, I say amateur. Original sentiment still holds: #TEAMMURTAGH
[9:09 p.m.] Ulysses, he’s hoping to afford her a wee bit of peace and something else if I followed his diverging rivers metaphor correctly.
We all need a Ulysses in our life, and not for any service* he provides. Because he cares enough to recognize who brings true light and joy to Jocasta’s eyes and to care enough to speak up against her living without it. You know how brave that was for a slave, no matter how familial a bond he’s forged with her, to interject his opinion unsolicited during this time in our history.
[9:10 p.m.] I’m not sure which is more beautiful and awe-inspiring — 18th century calligraphic penmanship or a bespectacled, aging James Fraser. Also, no offense to Jamie and his spread at Fraser’s Ridge, but wee Jemmy just inherited his own “big house.” Lil lad to his granddad.
[9:11 p.m.] “We can put a man on the moon but there’s no cure for the common bloody cold.” From your lips to God’s ears, Roger. And also, a little too eerily applicable to the current pandemic for my liking.
[9:12 p.m.] For the love of my sanity, can we just get more kittens and less end-of-days pondering?
[9:13 p.m.] I’m never one to turn down a good party and Aunt Jocasta is family and all, but I’m with Jamie… can we just grab a crab cake or two and get going? This affair’s a tough one to fake your way through thanks to the groom and the stiff guest list.
[9:14 p.m.] Can we get a recount on crowning this the “social event of the year?” Roger and Bree’s rustic fun style of hosting a wedding at home was more my speed. And yet, I do love that Lord John Grey is the refined party animal who makes the rounds at all. Is this the only way we’ll see him this season?
[9:15 p.m.] As if I needed another reason to adore Jamie and Claire as a couple… while the governor and his wife admonish others in public for upholding snooty titles, the Frasers are perfectly content to drop the BS formalities and refer to each other as Sassenach and Soldier.
[9:16 p.m.] Gov. Tryon just detailed a piece of legislation prohibiting 10 men or more from gathering under certain circumstances. Holy. Hell. For real right now? Greatest inadvertent PSA for social distancing.
[9:17 p.m.] I had such high hopes for Roger the leader there… he came in firing strong, then
petered Homered out (yes, that one again).
[9:18 p.m.] It takes 10 days on a horse to get to Aunt Jocasta’s?! Who knew! Sheesh, I feel bad now for the grief I used to give my parents on our 12-hour road trips to grandma’s house.
[9:19 p.m.] Oh, she said “repute.” I heard house of ill… and my brain immediately interrupted her with a WE’RE GOING BACK TO THE BEARDSLEY CABIN?!
[9:20 p.m.] Leave it, Claire. LEAVE IT. Heed the wise advice of Cher from Clueless.
[9:21 p.m.] Annnnd she didn’t leave it. Dear God, woman. You couldn’t just drink your drink and find the crab cakes? But also, I feel like these women might be the original cast members of The Real Housewives of Cape Fear.
[9:22 p.m.] I didn’t think mimes were supposed to talk? Also, this Wylie clown is making me want to go take a shower.
[9:23 p.m.] Wow, that’s a hell of a Pinterest-inspired yurt. Gov. Tryon’s shedquarters is more furnished and designed than some of the rooms in my permanent home.
[9:24 p.m.] I’m not entirely certain I’m following what’s going to happen next (and for the record, Jamie looks confused too)…
[9:25 p.m.] …but anything that weaves in “delayed justice” and “the choice of heaven or hell” doesn’t seem like it’s headed anywhere with rainbows and kittens.
[9:26 p.m.] “Here, I’ll handle this. You keep shoveling your shit.” Bree, and every capable woman since the advent of time.
[9:27 p.m.] But OF COURSE this sleezy party clown knows Bonnet. Me.
[9:28 p.m.] “A lifetime ago.” I love when Claire avoids lying about timelines and timeframes by skating on a technicality.
[9:29 p.m.] As it turns out, Mr. Wylie also possesses this skating gift. Notoriously unhappy temper is, again, technically correct… but talk about an answer that only pinky scratches the surface of Bonnet’s vile character.
[9:30 p.m.] “I’d love to show you my pride and joy” is an even less effective metaphorical proposition for sex than that river BS from earlier.
[9:31 p.m.] Mend a fence, LOL. Sweet Roger, you should know by now that the Frasers don’t do anything easy or casual.
[9:32 p.m.] Please don’t let this stable skeeze be the strong sexual content the show disclaimed in the ratings warning. If so, READ THE ROOM, SHOW. We need something other than sexual harassment or assault and Innes’ lavender to soothe our collective frayed nerves.
[9:33 p.m.] For real? You’ve got horse sh*t all over your back and you’re worried about how your hair looks?
[9:34 p.m.] This compromised position Claire put herself in is a tough reminder that there is no measure of length too great for what a mother will do to help her child — no matter the age, no matter what ails.
[9:35 p.m.] Biblical plague indeed, but now I just feel like Outlander is effing with us. Also, for what it’s worth, I preferred the blanketed sky of passenger pigeons in “Free Will” to the locust-laced one here. Not a bug person. Nope.
[9:36 p.m.] Quick fact check — someone actually slept with this powdered dude?
[9:37 p.m.] This wedding has had a garden cocktail reception, dancing and now gambling and we’ve yet to see any nuptials exchanged. I’m starting to feel like I cheated my guests at our wedding. Also, gambling then a wedding… is this where the idea for Las Vegas started?
[9:38 p.m.] Jamie, woof. This has nothing to do with her lack of trust in your poker game. If you can’t see the underlying meaning to why that ring can’t be compromised, let alone used as collateral to lure Bonnet — even as she vividly recalls for you how he tried to RIP IT OUT OF HER THROAT — then I might have to call you the jester of men for a bit. Just a bit.
[9:39 p.m.] Wow. When another couple starts fighting and uses their rings as a weapon (physical or verbal)— now it’s a wedding! #TeamClaire, for the record.
[9:40 p.m.] How fitting that facing and overcoming a biblical plague using knowledge gained from his reverend father is what finally makes Roger walk proudly and earn the respect of others.
[9:41 p.m.] It’s nighttime already? What the hell time does this wedding start?!? Special guest… oh my god, it has to be…..
[9:42 p.m.] Forget a white knight, the silver fox and all his charm are in the house. BOLT THE DOOR.
[9:43 p.m.] Um, I don’t think “wait” is the verb she was looking for on bended knee after all this time. Waiting is all she’s done.
[9:44 p.m.] “Christ.” Murtagh, and also anyone in love whose grand gesture apology of sorts couldn’t outweigh the riff or damage that elicited it.
[9:45 p.m.] Quick, someone create a new Outlander-inspired board game: Opinion, Reason or Question?
[9:46 p.m.] “…hear in a man’s voice that he meant all the right things… even if he hadna the right words to say” is Murtagh’s championing for a sixth love language to join the original five and I’m sold. It would certainly solve a lot of nonsense squabbling in our house. Also, she felt that kiss down to her toes. Swoon.
[9:47 p.m.] Quite the dig, Jocasta, and no, and we can’t fault you either. As much as I love Murtagh, when it comes to love, never settle for having to play second fiddle to an alternate agenda, motive, cause, you name it. She’s clearly in — all in — for him; why should she accept anything less for herself?
[9:48 p.m.] Just as I was admiring the warmth and decor of her room, her voice chimed in to remind me that she’s growing old in a palace made from the gold that took her daughter from her tragically. It just goes to show, don’t ever assume that because a person has wealth and privilege, they seemingly have it all and are exempt from pain. Hardship is defined as more than just financial.
[9:49 p.m.] I’ve never doubted Murtagh’s compassion or empathy. But in all the years we’ve known him, his rushing to comfort Jocasta, grief written all over his face, is the most physical he’s been in demonstrating the depths he can feel for another’s pain.
[9:50 p.m.] Poor Jocasta has surmised that her leaving her daughter dead on the road and never looking back is to blame for her blindness. If Claire’s earlier encounter in the stable was this episode’s reminder of a mother’s love, Jocasta’s reminding us just how debilitating mother’s guilt can be.
[9:51 p.m.] If I were Murtagh and knew I had access to a future-knowledgeable Claire, I’d damn sure be doing a gut check with her on my need to put all my chips in on the Regulators cause (and likely death), sacrificing with it the chance to finally having a love to call my own. Talk about a valuable tool in the toolbelt going unused. I’m just sayin’.
[9:52 p.m.] WHERE IS THAT DAMN KITTEN WHEN WE NEED IT?!? We’ve witnessed so many heartbreaks on this show over the years, but this one is cutting me wide open. Just because you know something is bound to happen, or is ultimately for the best, doesn’t make it easier to stomach. The heart wants what the heart wants. AND THIS HEART WANTS MURCASTA.
[9:53 p.m.] *LOLOLOLOL* — My husband, in the best way possible, through this whole lead-in, cheering that he knows after all this time what it means when Claire gets that look. Jamie does too, dear. As a book reader, I’d hoped they’d include this scene. These two exemplify how passion can come out in different ways, sometimes at the same time. Also, I’m glad we’ve got a better memory to take with us of Lucas and this stable.
[9:54 p.m.] And here’s Jamie, reminding us there’s also nothing a father won’t do for his child. Also, he truly is the King of Men to be able to put not just his ring back on her finger, but Frank’s too. I don’t think we’ve seen that before, have we?
[9:55 p.m.] Ew, Bonnet. Time to take another shower. Also, wait, the lawyer is a weasel? What’s he about to tell———NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
[9:56 p.m.] Now we’re fitting a battle into the wedding festivities too? I really did cheat our guests out of an all-inclusive affair.
Helloooo, Outlander! What an episode. This week we got to virtually travel — the only way to travel given the current state of the world — and to my favorite destination: Scotland! We took our second visit this season into the Scottish past, this time to better understand how the other half of our Murtagh-Jocasta pairing arrived in the physical, mental and emotional place they are today. Such a terrific move on the writers’ part to include Jocasta’s backstory as a lead-in and undercurrent that helped me fully appreciate why these two simply cannot be. Maria Doyle Kennedy and Duncan Lacroix’s superb talent and onscreen chemistry is palpable and that chemistry showed in spades during their emotional final parting. I’d been wondering how Jocasta would still marry Duncan Innes, as she does in the book, with Murtagh still firmly ensconced in her heart. I didn’t realize until now I needed more closure on these two than was had from their tent rendezvous in the premiere, so kudos to the producers and writers for responsibly and delicately tying up this loose end of our unexpected continuance with Murtagh. Sigh. We’ll always have this.
It’s been awhile since we saw Jamie and Claire ride out both extremes of their partnership in the span of a single hour — the bold, defined lines of maddening anger and impulsive passion before softening into a dreamy, colorful shade of shared perspective and solidarity. While much of what lies in store for them is unknown, these two always find comfort in knowing they can conquer the world… as long as they brave it together.
And then there were bugs. Ew, bugs. So. Many. Bugs. Bugs that served no purpose another than to have a B-story connection to life back at the Ridge and to show much-needed growth for Roger. I miss the days of our confident, witty scholar. Think back to how we was when we met him in 1960s Scotland — so nerdy smooth, confident and even stoic, when need be. It’s a solid reminder to give people an ounce of space and grace in adjusting to their world gone upside down before groaning (aloud or to yourself) about their behavior, mannerisms, weaknesses or how much they’ve changed from the person you knew. Think of how much has changed for Roger since we first met him. That he’s fared as well as he has given all he’s endured is utterly impressive. If we need a week of bugs to give him a platform to gain back some confidence and a sense of belonging, then bugs we shall have.
I generally feel stuck in place at the moment, unable to move. So thank you, Outlander, for picking up steam this week and indicating a true propulsion forward of this season’s story arc in the episodes to come given we are halfway through. Gulp. It’s so trippy to me how parallel these episodes are playing out with subtle nods to the changing times. We can find comfort, solace and knowledge in the oddest of places in any time, let alone trying ones. I, for one, am not surprised that I’m finding inherent nuggets of wisdom in my favorite show that are nestling themselves into all the nooks and crannies of my soul that need it most right now. I hope it’s doing the same for you, too.
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”
Episode 5.04: “The Company We Keep”
Episode 5.05: “Perpetual Adoration”
A complete library of recaps from Seasons 2-4 is also available here.
*My sincere thanks to a very insightful reader, Sandi, who corrected me on the improper inclusion of the word “indentured” to describe Ulysses. I’ve since removed it. I always welcome and appreciate any information that can help me grow and learn… keep it coming!