If you have not seen the newest episode of Outlander, turn back now. Spoilers do lie ahead. You have been warned.
Ok, I am still really loving the opening song.
As the episode opens, we see the group after Bonnet has attacked them. Jamie is bemoaning to Claire the fact that all Hayes got was a shallow pauper’s grave. Claire’s outfits have gotten more “American” this season. Less tartan and more gingham and checkers. Jamie is kicking himself and blaming himself for the Bonnet attack. He feels it is his fault because he is the one that helped Bonnet escape. This is not how I imagined River Run would look. A lot closer to the river than I thought. Jamie and Claire are worried about what Aunt Jocasta will think about them having no money. They finally meet Aunt Jocasta. Jamie introduces Claire to her. Ian introduces himself and hands her a bunch of wildflowers. That’s when we notice that something isn’t right. She doesn’t reach out and grab them. She tells them that it’s been a while since she has lost her sight. Ulysses is her right-hand man. He makes sure that everything is just so, so she can reach and grab it. They head into the house to have tea while Ian and Rolo stay outside to explore. Suddenly, Rolo and Ian return along with a horrible smell. Rolo has discovered skunks. Wow, the house is a lot fancier than I ever imagined it would be. Ulysses introduces them to their room servants and we get our first look at Phadrea. Claire looks outside the window and notices all the slaves out in the fields working. She is completely unnerved by the whole sight. John Quincy Myers and Ian give Rolo a vinegar bath at the edge of the river and he tells Ian about the Natives. He says that it sounds like Natives and Highlanders are a lot alike. Jocasta tells Jamie about the farm and the things that grow on the land. Claire asks her how many slaves she owns and she tells her 152 slaves work for River Run. Claire questions the happiness of the slaves. Claire tells Jocasta her thoughts on the owning of slaves.
Jocasta hosts a party to introduce the area to her nephew. She gathers the guests around her and announces that the party isn’t just to introduce Jamie but to also announce that she has been agonizing over who to leave River Run too. With the arrival of Jamie, she has decided to leave it to him. The next day Jamie is looking over the books for River Run. He tells his aunt that once he is in charge he wants to free the slaves. Farquad Campbell tells him the process of freeing them is a lot tougher than he thinks. Farquard gets more and more worked up as he explains it. Jamie and Claire rush to a medical incident in the woods. When they arrive they find a black man, Rufus, hung up with a hook through his chest and a white man with a bleeding ear. Claire takes Rufus back to the main house to perform emergency surgery.
Jocasta does not seem thrilled that they are trying to save Rufus. Farquad and Lt. Wolf are pitching a fit. They have ignored the rules of the land about Rufus and his treatment. Rufus comes through surgery ok. Rufus questions Claire about saving him. Why did she do it? Claire picks her mess up and heads into the hall. She runs into Ulysses who lays it all out for Claire. He tells her that all that can be saved with Rufus is his soul. The overseers will see to him being ripped limb from limb and then leaving his remains out as a warning for the other slaves. There are laws and hierarchy that needs to be followed and she has messed with that. Jamie goes and tells Claire that they have to turn Rufus over to be executed. His crime cannot go unpunished. Either he will be punished or the rest of the slaves are punished. They hear a sound and look out the window. They see a mob coming up the walk demanding Rufus to be released to them. They are pounding and banging on the door. They shatter a window as well. Jamie tells Claire to help Rufus like she helped his Uncle Collum. Claire is appalled, but Rufus tells her to do it. She makes him a tea and adds the poison to it. She helps him drink it. She holds his hand and asks about his family. She comforts him till the very end. Jamie carries him outside. They think he is alive still. The mob roughly puts a rope around his neck, drags him down the stairs and hangs him from the nearest tree.
This episode was so powerful. The whole owning of slaves as well as the punishment of Rufus for his “crime”. It all seems very, very over the top. The costumes are amazing. Jocasta is extremely elegant and her dresses are exquisite. The way that Ulysses sees to Jocasta’s every need is fascinating. The exact placement of everything so she knows exactly where to reach is a great detail. I can’t wait to see how they unfold the rest of the events that happen at River Run.