Since the episode has posted early on the Starz app, Keri Lumm reviews “The Fiery Cross” for Paste, which you can watch in the video above or read the transcript of below:
Outlander is back, and most of this first episode was like a warm welcome hug. We even get to see the now-colonial Jamie in a kilt!
And, on my goodness, he grew out his bangs! Bless the wig department. Getting a fringe is always a risk, and I’m glad they saw the error in their ways.
Love is in the air for the Fraser clan at the start of Season 5, as a happy Brianna is about to marry her time-traveling love Roger. Claire is helping her with her dress, and Jamie has put together her something old, something, new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence for your shoe.
And with that, the show turns to a theme, be it intentional or not, to surrogate fathers.
Jamie and Claire both speak about Frank, a man Jamie never knew, but who loved Bree in his stead, (and Jamie is, of course, her biological father whom she barely knows).
The wedding is warm and romantic and in a sweet moment, they actually flash back to Jamie and Claire’s wedding day, which feels wonderfully reminiscent, and is typical for married people to think about when they are at a wedding. It did make me wish that Bree’s dress could have been better, though. Claire’s borrowed frock was much more glamorous.
And of course, Jamie wishes it was a Catholic wedding.
He also doesn’t seem to really like Roger. He is weak in his eyes. When he is asked by the redcoats—yeah, that’s what I’m going to call them—if Roger can shoot, he seems embarrassed to admit that he cannot. (Claire of course has loved Roger for longer, and appreciates his scholarly bent.)
Lord John Grey is at the wedding, which helps to fill in the gaps on Jamie’s other child who is being raised with a surrogate father.
See what I am saying? Fathers and sons.
And it gets us going with a much needed reminder that Willie is still out there growing up. Lord Gray also lets Jamie know that Stephen Bonnet survived. Of course, Bree overhears this bit of news and is terrified.
Meanwhile, Marsali and Fergus seem quite happy together, and during the wedding night sex scene she puts his hand on her stomach to announce a new baby on the way. (I cannot believe there was no gender reveal party!)
The wedding night scene was a little weird. Roger sings a song from the 1960s, which is nice, and it is the backdrop for his night with Bree and Jamie and Claire get it on even though Bree and Roger’s son is crying. (They were on grandparent duty. So yeah, that’s not romantic.)
And while Bree is now upset because her rapist is alive, her dad Jamie is upset because he has signed a vow to the British, but they want him to kill Murtaugh. (His surrogate father…!) Murtaugh knows this, and is enjoying his sexy time on the wedding night with Jocasta. She may be blind, but this woman sees everything very clearly. She tells him that she has been proposed to, but he knows he will have to leave soon because the British want him dead.
And then we get to another separation. Jamie is going to have to leave to help the British for his 10,000 acres in North Carolina. But he wants his people to be able to fight for themselves, and so he goes into clan mentality, dons his kilt, and lights a cross on fire.
A Fiery Cross! Like the name of the book and this episode!
It made me have so many questions, but mainly: how did they possibly have time to make that and who did it?
Anyway, the cross is on fire and people come and swear allegiance, he calls Fergus up, “the son of his heart.”
I’m telling you. Fathers and sons.
Jamie finds Murtaugh and releases him from his vow to him and his mother to stay with him. He doesn’t want his father figured killed by people he is working with, and as he leaves, Jamie cries at his loss.
And then Roger cuts himself and puts his blood on his son’s head and claims him as his own in a blood vow …
If anything, this episode was about the love and bonds of family, even if you are not related through blood, which is a good start for Outlanders.
Keri is a professional chatterbox who loves watching TV & movies, reading about pop culture, and gawking at any craziness on the internet. You can follow Keri on Twitter.
For all the latest TV news, reviews, lists and features, follow @Paste_TV.