Outlander Superlatives: Episode 502 – Between Two Fires

If we’ve learned anything from Hamilton!, it’s that Colonial America was not a cake walk. When you add in the chaos the Frasers bring pretty much everywhere they go, you know that the relative peace of Roger and Brianna’s wedding was just the calm before a big old storm.

(For the record, I realize we’ve learned many things from Hamilton!, like how the ten dollar founding father didn’t know how to say no to this and how fast Daveed Diggs can rap, but this is an Outlander blog. An Outlander blog that will surely have many, many more Hamilton! references as the season continues.)

Like JAMMF on his quest to “find” Murtaugh, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, from squirrels to trousers to BREAD. Let’s discuss the outlandish drama in last week’s episode, “Between Two Fires.”

Episode MVP: Stephen Bonnet’s Wickedness

Truly, no one creates a villain as brilliantly as Diana Gabaldon, and the show knocks it out of the shinty field with its casting. Just when you think no one can be as chilling as Tobias Menzies as Black Jack Randall, you’ve got Ed Speleers strutting around as Stephen Bonnet. Can we just take a moment to honor everything he does with his face?

The Real Star of the Show: Brianna’s Coolness

I’m sorry, but if Brianna Ellen Randall MacKenzie isn’t the absolute coolest person to set her cute-booted foot in the 18th century, I don’t know who is. Look at these TROUSERS you just know she fashioned for herself. (I wonder if Claire told her about the time she wore pants as part of her Singing Sassenach traveling act with Murtaugh, and if Brianna was like, “Pants! What a brilliant idea. Lizzie, fetch me some cloth!”

And it’s not just the pants, but the whole look, with the jacket and the satchel and this super trendy cuff of the sleeve that can transition from the 1770s to the 1970s, for the time traveler who likes options.

And lest you think her coolness is limited to her outfit choice alone, THINK AGAIN. This woman is teaching her husband to serve and protect (and maybe win her da’s respect). Perhaps while Claire is writing her medical pamphlet, Bree can write A Guide to Being the Baddest Chick of the 18th Century.

And while we’re here, I’m going to note that these outfits are also fab. Bree is bringing it this season and I am here for it. 

Best Special Guest Star: BREAD

Is it weird that Claire baked 600 loaves of bread overnight in an attempt to make penicillin? Sure, but that’s Claire for you, and also MAN that bread looks good. It can’t all be for science, right? You know Mrs. Bug can churn out a mean vat of honey butter that would pair perfectly with a nice crusty slice.

Honorable Mention: That Squirrel

In part because it refused to be hunted, and in part because it allowed us to hear Roger say Tufty Fluffytail thirty times.

Dreamiest JAMMF: JAMMF on Patrol

Oddly, if there’s anything hotter than a bare-chested JAMMF, it’s a JAMMF dressed in about thirty layers of colonial garb as he sets out on patrol.

Something about this look just works for me. The tricorn and the long coat and the ponytail—was I born in the wrong century? Is there a chance of this look coming back or should I just start looking for the nearest stone circle now?

Also, can we agree that this horse knows it’s JAMMF’s horse and is parading through the colony with a certain swagger?

Oh, and shout out to this guy for holding onto his card-carrying membership of the JAMMF fan club. First to volunteer for his militia, first to follow JAMMF on patrol. He’s so glad he decided to live on Fraser’s Ridge. I wonder if he’s jealous that JAMMF is spending this whole ride talking to Knox because he just wants one second of his time to find out where he got that amazing coat and how his hair is always so shiny.

Most Brazen Claire Moment: Claire Fraser, Medical Examiner

Claire has literally learned nothing from her experience during the witch trial. My favorite thing about her conducting this autopsy is that when Bree knocks, she covers up Mr. Pharish’s face but leaves his guts wide open all over the table, all, “Come on in, darling. Nothing to see here. Shall we have some tea?” Same for when she calls Marsali in. “Before you react, let me explain, but before I explain, I’m going to show you this gaping dead body on the table, kay?”

Most Relatable: Marsali

My girl Marsali tells it like it is. By, “LORD have mercy, deliver us from evil,” I believe we all know she’s saying, “CLAIRE WHAT PART OF ME BEING A GOOD BUTCHER SO MY FAMILY CAN EAT MAKES YOU THINK I WANT TO CUT INTO DEAD PEOPLE WITH YOU?” The poor lass has her hands full working on the Ridge, popping out Fergus’s babies, and now she’s expected to be a coroner’s apprentice? You know she’s wondering how her life went from tongue twisters at Bree and Roger’s wedding to THIS.

Least Chill: Knox

This guy knows how to escalate a situation from zero to one hundred, doesn’t he? This Jack Black doppelganger spits at him and all of a sudden he’s got a sword through the stomach. I can’t help but think that Knox has some issues when it comes to being spat at. I mean, no one would welcome it, but when that one guy had the audacity to spit at him while he was riding through the woods with Jamie, his collar went up, and when Jack Black here was the second offender, it was like Knox had reached the last straw.

Worst Advice Follower: Murtaugh

Jamie: Make yourself hard to find.

Murtaugh: Cool, cool, I’m gonna holler through the streets wearing my jaunty cap, tarring and feathering people in broad daylight. Sound good?

Side note: Do you think Murtaugh misses Jocasta and their lean-to or do you think he’s too busy with his regulator friends to care? (I think the former. I think he’s channeling all of his heartache into finding every last feather he can get his hands on in North Carolina.)

What say you, Fraser’s Ridgians? Do you think Bree has more fab outfits in store? Do you think Jamie and Murtaugh will come face-to-face again? Do you think we can expect more of Roger’s memories of Tufty Fluffytail? Only time will tell! I’ll see you back here soon to discuss episode 503!


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