Blow by blow and sip by sip recap of Outlander Episode 603, Temperance. Your Wee Whisky Blogger took a wee bit of a family related hiatus, but never fear! We are back, and thirstier than Claire on her wedding day. We’ve got Moses baskets, and white-knuckle surgeries, and Creepy Malva, oh my!
This post may contain outdated language to cultural and disability descriptions that are used in the show. We use these terms to remain consistent with the verbiage used in the show and books.
Welcome back to another round of Wee Whisky Recap, this time we are diving into episode 603 Temperance.
Trigger warning: Episode 603 contained a graphic depiction of self harm/attempted suicide. This post will contain discussions of this topic.
The Roger Redemption Tour Continues (Gulp, Sip)
Tufty the Squirrel did not prepare Roger for this! Even on the second watch this scene had my heart beating out of my chest. It’s so unsettling seeing a poor baby floating in a basket on the rapids. (Gulp!) Roger did not hesitate a single second, and saved wee Henri, just in the nick of time.
“I baptize thee Henri-Christian. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. You hear that? His name’s Christian. He belongs to the Lord. You trouble him again, and Satan’ll pop up and drag you straight down screaming to hell!”
Both papa bear and minister Roger came out to play in this scene; you love to see it. (Sip!)
A Moment with Milady (Gulp)
“We’ll surround Henri-Christian with love, protect him, and make sure he gets treated like everyone else so he’ll grow up happy and –”
“And after he’s grown? Will he have a happy life? Marry? Provide for a family?”
“I don’t see why he couldn’t… or why he can’t be educated or learn a trade, be able to work at something.”
“Ah. Something. ( sighs ) With respect, milady, you have never seen the life of a dwarf.
And you have?”
“Oui… à Paris.”
The Art of Masking
Fergus opens up to Claire about his good friend, Luc, a dwarf in Paris who met a very tragic end. Fergus breaks down and shares the darker aspects of growing up in a brothel, which he has always made light of. In season 2, we saw a lot of this in his interactions with Murtagh. We knew on a surface level that he was placed in somewhat of a parenting role by the sex workers in the brothel, leaving no one to care for him until he pretty much adopts Jamie and Claire as his parents.
He teases and lectures Murtagh (pictured above with wee Fergus circa season 2) as if he is a peer, when the mere fact that he has any advice to give on relations between men and women speaks to a level of experiential knowledge no child of that age should be exposed to. He has always hidden behind a mask of glibness and bravado, however we soon learn that he carries loads of baggage from his past traumas, and the last thing he wants is for his son to experience anything like that in his life.
An Impatient Patient (Gulp,Sip)
Being socially awkward is one thing (we all have our moments), but being arrogant while being so is just another level of cringe. (gulp) Tom insists that Claire perform his surgery, she agrees it’s time and wants to use ether on him. The horror!
“It is the devil’s work to use such–”
“I thought just Highlanders were stubborn as rocks.”
“Stubborn as rocks?”
“Mr. Christie is refusing to–”
“Mistress Fraser insists–”
“God wants him to have the surgery, but the masochist is refusing the ether.”
Gulp for Tom being his self-righteous self, and take a sip for that little look Jamie shoots over at Claire.
Jeremiah was a Bullfrog (Sip,Gulp)
“Oh, thank you, dear Lord. You sent the minister.”
“What? I’m not exactly that, you know.”
First, Roger saves Henri-Christian, then he comes to the rescue of a damsel in distress from a “wee” bullfrog (sip). Roger gives Amy some wise and heartfelt advice and comfort. Roger still hasn’t learned eighteenth century boundaries (how soon he seems to have forgotten that time he “hung out” with Buck MacKenzie). I feel something brewing here, and it’s not the froggy milk. (gulp)
Spin and Vroom (Sip)
“You made this?”
“Evan Lindsay helped. He knows which wood works best.”
“I’ll work twice as fast. Then I’ll have more time for the bairns.”
“Hey. Hey. No more fighting, or no more vroom until tomorrow.”
Marsali deserves an extra sip for that skill with the wheel! Wow. I loved this sweet moment between Marsali and Bree; they are really turning out to be sisters. Their relationship is starting to remind me a bit of Claire and Jennys. They are women who are very different from each other, but are always there, and love fiercely.
Whisky and Mercy (Sip)
Tom may have refused ether, but he’s not shying away from whisky “the devil’s juice” today!
“A shame to waste that much whisky. ‘The right hand of the Lord is exalted.’”
“’The right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.’That’s appropriate, no?”
As much as Jamie is enjoying seeing Tom squirm in pain, he truly is helping him through it. I love that Claire wrapped up the passage just as she finished stitching Tom up, like a neat little bow.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
Devil with a Blue Dress on (Sip,Gulp)
Ian finds Malva being her cute creepy self, and very gentlemanly offers to walk her home. (sip for Ian being so adorable) The banter between the two starts off fun and witty, but turns dark in a hurry.
“And aye, we are all sinners, but… a young lass like yourself? Surely ye’ve done no wrong.”
“Looks can be deceiving.”
Malva casually drops that her mom was executed for witchcraft while being super creepy, herself, so yeah . . . looks like we’re headed for rainbows and unicorns, right? So she’s witched and ditched poor Ian and I fear it’s just the beginning.
Oh, I think this one is deserving of a very special kind of gulp, isn’t that right, Geilis?
Playing with Fire (Sip)
Jamie thought of the perfect punishment to teach the boys a lesson, but also show them that Henri-Christian is just a sweet little baby. It was so simple, yet brilliant. Pet the baby or pet the hot poker. Guess which one they universally choose?
Hey, kids, do your superstitions hold up in the face of 2nd and 3rd degree burns?
Didn’t think so.
“Henri-Christian also belongs to you, Germain. He’s your wee brother. He needs your protection. You understand?”
I loved this scene, happy tears for sure. The boys were all adorable and Jamie shines as Laird of the ridge and Grandpère. All the sips!
A Whole Man (Gulp)
“I said leave!”
“I am the man of this house!”
“Well, then you can come back when you’re acting like one. You promised me, Fergus Fraser! And I will have a whole man or none at all.”
Marsali is such a tour de force, her strength is incredible. She tries to be gentle and loving with Fergus, but he isn’t responding to that, and some tough love is just what the apprentice ordered.
A Hairy Situation (Gulp,Sip,Gulp)
“Your hair. There’s a great deal of it.”
“There is a great deal of it.”
(GULP) This part made me SO uncomfortable!
Disclaimer: My hair looks almost identical to Claire’s long, dark brown, very curly, unruly, albeit a bit less gray, but man this scene gave me the urge to search for a cap.
“Is there someone else in the kitchen? I heard you speaking to someone.”
“No, it was just the cat. And no, he’s not my familiar. It’s just a cat.”
Sip for Adso! So Tom doesn’t believe Claire is a witch, but believes in witches, glad we cleared that up!
“I wouldn’t expect anyone to keep still while I cut into their hand.”
“Not even your husband? He said you’d healed his hand for him. He didn’t squirm when you did it, though, did he?”
“You wouldn’t expect any man to do as well as him. I know that.”
Tom’s inferiority complex is showing here, big time. The more I see of Tom, the more I think he is truly jealous of not only who Jamie is as a man, but what he has as well, including Claire. (ugh . . . GUUUULP)
A Touching Moment (Sip)
The absence of touch is such a powerful and sad thing to think about. Jamie describes it in such a hauntingly beautiful way. Consider that ”touch-starved” is a whole sub-genre of romance tropes . . . as well it should be. Two years into a pandemic and so many are craving the simple tactile intimacy of the basest of human connections.
“I hungered for the touch of a hand. Only that. I longed for it. More than food, more than sleep.”
Jamie was lucky to have the memory of Claire and her touch to keep him going, but Tom, as Jamie said, turned inward. The result of this difference is greatly reflected by how differently the men currently live.
This entire conversation strikes me as particularly poignant in understanding character. I’m reminded of a line from the film ’Capote’, where Truman, acknowledging a shared traumatic childhood, says of convicted murderer Richard Perry:
“It’s as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day he stood up and went out the back door, while I went out the front.”– Capote (2005)
Charming Mr. Murray (Sip)
Malva and Ian are starting to look very comfortable with each other. Ian is again being his charming self, and seems to be smitten by Malva. I hate to love seeing them together. I don’t know exactly what’s coming, dear readers, but I feel it in my bones that it’s not exactly great.
“Do they mean something?”
“That I’ve done much that I’m proud of and much that I regret.”
“You’ve lived, then.”
“I have. There’s no sin in that, I suppose.”
“No. None at all.”
It looks like Malva is ready to live with Ian…
Fine Fiction (Sip,Gulp)
“Oh, it was distraction, to be sure. In such conditions, distraction is, uh, not evil, while it is, of course, more desirable to escape into prayer.”
“But… it drew the men together.”
Tom actually showed some humanity and humility in this scene.(sip) He was almost likable for a fleeting moment. Claire got Tom to agree to borrow the book, after a somewhat pleasant exchange. Tom must have some kind of internal buzzer limiting the amount of kindness he can emit each day. He bluntly mentioned that Richard Brown paid him a visit. (Gulp)
Grimm Fairy Tale (Gulp)
I dinna mean to be wed anytime soon, sir. We’ll manage well enough.
No? Surely ye’ve suitors. The lads swoon after you in droves; I’ve seen them.
Please, sir, ye’ll say no such thing to my father.
I willna. I was only teasing, lass.
This was a visually beautiful scene right out of a brothers grimm fairy tale, but it made me feel so uncomfortable. It felt like Jamie was flirting with Malva for most of it, and it really felt wrong. Maybe his son-in-law is rubbing off on him with being overly friendly with the ladies when they shouldn’t. Has he forgotten how much young ladies are enthralled by him?
Jamie, you know better!
I mean, you really should know better!
I know, I know, he wasn’t actually flirting with Malva. Maybe in this scene we are supposed to be seeing Jamie through Malva’s eyes. Perhaps he really was being overly friendly to get some information out of her.
Only time and future episodes will tell.
A Raging Quarter Day (Sip)
Why can’t paying taxes be this fun in 2022? It was fun seeing the residents of the ridge just hanging out and having fun. Unfortunately it wasn’t all ale and sweetmeats.
“Whatever you want to say to me, you might as well say it. You’ve been staring at me all morning. Staring at me like you stare at my son.”
What was said to Fergus about his son was completely vile, and they got what they deserved. I am so glad that both Lizzie and Tom (what?!) stood up for Fergus and the Frasers. This is the first time we have actually seen him act in a Christ-like manner.
Love and Protection (Gulp)
“To what lengths would you go to protect your innocent children?
You never know what you’ll be willing to do until–”
Triggering as this scene may be, it’s also undeniably heartbreakingly beautiful. There’s no getting around the skill of all involved in it’s execution, from the actors’ performances down to the editing and cinematography. Roger’s sermon acts as a narrative overlay to juxtapose the parallels and contradictions in parent/child relationships between Fergus and Jamie, and Malva and Tom. The latter completely humiliating and breaking down his own daughter, versus Jamie, doing anything he can do to save his son, and get him to understand the depths to which he is loved.
“Ye’re the only one who can show yer son what a ‘useless’ man like ye can achieve and how proud he can make his father. Ye dinna ken. But it’s you, not what you do or give or provide. It’s you we need . . . to come home.”
I can’t help but recall the scene of wee curly haired Fergus losing his hand, this almost mirrors it. That day was just part of the difficult life that brought him to this precipice. The Fergus we knew and loved is gone. He, with open wounds, both physical and emotional, will heal. He will be better and stronger than the man he was before. And most importantly he will be there.
Welcome home Fergus Fraser (Sip)
Oh my heart just about burst at the sight of Fergus coming home to Marsali and taking Henri in his arms and smiling down at him. I want to give the three of them a Momma Bear hug. I am so relieved to see them on the way to healing.
Tea Time (Gulp)
There’s no tea party quite like the Boston Tea Party. Hope the folks on the ridge like coffee. Major MacDonald brings the requested weapons, and news from Boston. It must have been so unreal for Claire to see the contemporary newspaper report on such an infamous event in American history.
“What does it mean, Sassenach?”
“It’s starting. The storm, the war… it’s almost here.”
And just like that . . . the Revolution has begun.
I rate episode 603 4.95 Drams
Slàinte Sips: 13
Grim Gulps: 12
This was my favorite episode so far!
My drink of choice for this episode:
Two shots of whiskey, fresh squeezed lime juice, light blue agave nectar to taste, over ice.
Until next week Sassenachs!