Outlander S03 E05: ‘Freedom & Whisky’


I can’t believe this is already the fifth episode in season three of Outlander. I guess time flies when you’re having fun. At the end of last week’s show, it seemed that Claire was willing to move on without Jamie. Will she have a change of heart? Be forewarned, there are spoilers ahead.

It’s December 1968 in Boston. Claire is continuing her work as a physician, but her daughter Brianna isn’t faring as well. She is enrolled in Harvard, where Frank was a professor, but she is having difficulty. She is failing more than one subject, including history, but doesn’t offer much in the way of an explanation to the professor who brings this to her attention.

Claire has a confidant in her colleague, Joe Abernathy. A fellow doctor, she tells him about Jamie in a roundabout way, leaving out the time travel part. She says she was in love with a Scottish man, but they went their separate ways. Claire hoped that they would find each other again, but it hasn’t happened. She also lets him in on the secret that the Scot is Brianna’s real father. Joe, not knowing the entire story, thinks that if Claire has the chance for love again, that she should go for it.

It’s Christmastime, and Claire and Brianna are having a rather loud argument when the young woman tells her mother she intends to drop out of school and move out. Their squabble is interrupted by the doorbell, and Brianna is surprised to find on the other side of the door Roger, who couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Although he came all the way unannounced from Scotland, Brianna leaves, telling her friend that she will see him the following day. Roger awkwardly tells Claire that he will leave for his hotel, but she insists that he stay. The pair chat, with the young man telling Claire that he is looking forward to an American Christmas. While that may be true, Claire knows that he has an interest in her daughter, which she does not discourage. Not only that, but Roger has a Christmas present for Claire, in the form of an article that he found. As a historian, he determined that it was printed by Jamie under the name Alexander Malcolm only a year before, which means that Claire can time travel and find him. However, Claire is more upset than excited, because she would rather not know this bit of news. Besides, how could she leave Brianna when her child is going through turmoil in her own life? Roger tells Claire that he will not tell her daughter that he found Jamie.

Brianna brings Roger to Harvard to show him around, and to the soiree held in Frank’s honor, because the university is naming a fellowship after him. Just when you thought you saw the last of Frank’s girlfriend, Claire is awkwardly introduced to her by Dean Tramble. The woman who was planning to become the next Mrs. Randall is a professor at the school, who was one of Frank’s students.  The women are left alone when the dean excuses himself, and Claire listens too long to the other woman before walking away.


Brianna and Claire are leaving the ceremony when Brianna asks about the blonde lady. Claire tells her the truth, and her daughter has a bout with insecurity. Claire reassures her that she and Frank never regretted having her in their lives. Since they pledged to have no more lies between them, Claire pulls Jamie’s article from her purse. Her daughter tells her to go back to Scotland, but Claire wants to stay. There’s further back and forth between them, deciding if Claire should stay or go, when it’s finally decided that Claire will go back to find Jamie.

Gathered near the Randall Christmas tree, Roger and Brianna present Claire with gifts for her return trip to Scotland. Among the presents is a necklace with a topaz, Brianna’s birthstone. The doctor is planning to bring some medical supplies with her on her journey, hidden away in secret pockets in the outfit she constructs for her Scotland trip.

Before Claire leaves, she gives her resignation letter to Brianna to give to Joe, and presents her with the pearls that Jamie gave her on their wedding night. Looking out for her only child, Claire has the house and bank accounts put in Brianna’s name. I wondered why Brianna didn’t just go with her mother through the stones, but it turns out that Claire doesn’t want her to come.  Claire thanks Roger, because without him crashing their Christmas, she wouldn’t be making her way back to Jamie, and his romance with her daughter wouldn’t be rekindled.

This time Claire enters Scotland by stepping into a puddle as she exits a yellow cab, which I thought was a clever transition, considering Claire avoided puddles as a child because she thought she would fall through. She immediately asks the whereabouts of the printer Alexander Malcolm and finds him at his shop. What does a rugged highlander like Jamie do after he is face to face with the love of his life after a couple decades of separation? He faints!

I’m so happy they found each other almost as soon as Claire returned to Scotland. I thought the shop would be closed, or the man found inside would be someone other than Jamie. The next episode looks like the much-anticipated reunion fans have been waiting for. The good news is, it will be an extended episode, but the bad news is, we have to wait two weeks to see it. I can’t wait, stay tuned!


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