Outlander season 5, episode 3 recap: Free Will

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

Outlander gives us one heck of a scary and weird episode!

Outlander was really, really, really weird this week. And even that I feel is an understatement. For those of you who have read Diana Gabaldon’s fifth book, The Fiery Cross, knew this episode was coming. The Beardsley family saga within the world of Outlander is not a mystery to those who know all about it, but for the rest of us, things got weird fast when Claire and Jamie went to the Beardsley cabin.

This visit is prompted after they met Josiah Beardsley’s brother, Kezziah. You see, both of these brothers were property of one Mr. Beardsley. To free the brothers, Jamie and Claire decide to go visit this horrendous man but end up in a strange situation along the way.

Claire and Jamie arrive at the cabin and first stumble across Beardsley’s wife, Fanny. She was rather cryptic and strange, and would not let them in at first. Jamie declares that they are there to acquire the papers that say Beardsley owns Josiah and Kezziah. She doesn’t want to give them up, but these are the Frasers we’re talking about–they don’t give up either.

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But it’s not until the duo enters the house that they find themselves in the middle of a horror show. The house is filled with goats and a stench unlike anything else.

As it turns out the stench was of a man dying in his own crap–literally. It’s Mr. Beardsley who had a stroke while attacking Fanny, and since then, she’s left him lying there, half, if not mostly dead.

It’s hard to treat a man that is associated with some pretty horrible things, but Claire is the not type of physician that will ever let a person in pain just be. She decides to stick around for the night, and treat his disgusting bedsores (that was a gross scene!).

Fanny isn’t too pleased to see that Claire is treating her husband and tries to end his life before she can help him. During a mini scuffle, we learn that Fanny is pregnant after her water breaks. Uh, yeah we definitely did not know she was pregnant.

After a very vivid and graphic delivery scene, Fanny gave birth to a baby boy. But once we saw the baby, it was clear that it was not Mr. Beardsley’s child. The baby was black, and Fanny reveals as much saying that the baby’s father was a black man she slept with.


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Outlander makes it very clear that Fanny is not interested in keeping the baby, so when Jamie and Claire wake up the next morning, they find the baby and the papers, but no Fanny. As if things weren’t complicated enough for them, now they must worry about the baby with the impending war.

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Before leaving the cabin, Jamie performs a mercy killing and rids Mr. Beardsley of his misery. It’s a sad way to go, but it’s better than the alternative. Many would say he deserved to be left the way in the condition he was in, but Jamie is not about that life.

So while Jamie and Claire make it out of the cabin alive and well, and with an extra passenger, I couldn’t help but wonder if Brianna was okay. Come on, Outlander, she’s all alone with Stephen Bonnet on the loose!


What did you think of this Outlander episode?