Outlander season 5, episode 7 recap: The Ballad of Roger Mac

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

How are we feeling after this week’s episode of Outlander? Absolutely devastated.

Outlander sure knows how to break our hearts when we least expect it. Unfortunately, they pull a fast one over us this week in a shocking turn of events which I won’t get into just yet. This week’s episode was all about the battle between the Regulators and the British. Tensions were high and the stress over the unexpected was weighing on everyone’s shoulders.

But first things first, it’s Jamie’s 50th birthday! Dang, you are looking good for 50, Mr. Jamie Fraser. There isn’t much time to celebrate but don’t worry, Jamie and Claire got in a lovemaking sesh ahead of the big battle. It’s a good thing they did considering the hellish day that was to come.

Thanks to Brianna’s stellar memory, she recalls that the battle that is about to take place results in the Regulators’ defeat. In the hopes of convincing Murtagh not to fight back, Roger offers to go and talk to him. His hope is that Murtagh will take him seriously since he too is from the future, and he’s not as close as Jamie is.

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Unfortunately, Roger is unsuccessful in getting Murtagh to retreat, and when the next day arrives, the battle is all ready to take place. It’s a weird atmosphere because Jamie is forced to wear a red coat and fight against his fellow Scotsmen. I was disturbed to see Jamie in this form, but he has a debt to pay which determines his entire family and community’s future.

Meanwhile, Claire is back to her war nursing days and ready with penicillin to treat the wounded soldiers that will inevitably come in. My heart went out to Brianna who was worried about the fact that Roger had not yet returned. Did he get lost? Nope, sadly, he got caught up in some drama and was beat up and captured by a Regulator.

As the battle commences, many lives are lost, and it feels so uncomfortable. Seeing Jamie fight against other Scotsmen feels all kinds of wrong especially for a show like Outlander. It wasn’t right! As history dictated, the Regulators lost the battle, and the British were absolutely relentless with the remaining survivors. I hated seeing this taking place while Jamie was helpless in the face of it all.

But it paled in comparison to what would happen next. Before the battle, Jamie asked his men not to waver during the battle, and one certainly did not after he shoots Murtagh from a distance. Yes, sigh, Murtagh.

I wasn’t expecting it, and I know he’s already dead in the books, but it hurt more than I anticipated. And I think what makes it worse is seeing Jamie’s reaction to that moment. He held a dying Murtagh in his arms as his godfather spoke his final words. Unfortunately, Jamie couldn’t handle the truth of Murtagh’s death and was insistent on Claire treating him.

It does eventually hit him, but I don’t think it sinks in until he confronts Tryon. He’s filled with anger over the battle and what’s happened, and he considers his debt to the Crown paid in full. I’m not sure that will prove to be true, but for Jamie’s sake, I hope it is.

The episode ends on a haunting note as the search for Roger begins. The Fraser family stumble across a tree with three hanging bodies from it–but the faces were covered. Without seeing the faces, Jamie glances upon one of the bodies who he immediately assumes is Roger. Brianna’s shocked face confirms it but unfortunately, we don’t find out whether or not it was Roger.

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Something tells me Outlander isn’t going to take Murtagh and Roger away from us in the same episode. Sadly, next week there is no episode so we have to sit tight and wait two weeks until we learn the truth behind that cliffhanger.

Ugh, this is going to be a long two weeks.