SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Savages,” the fifth episode of “Outlander” Season 4.
The fifth episode of “Outlander’s” fourth season, entitled “Savages,” picked up the pace dramatically, creating an intense roller coaster ride that highlighted two very different storylines for Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan), complete with an emotional reunion with an old friend.
In 1767, Claire was learning to communicate with Cherokee wise woman Adawehi (Tantoo Cardinal), who is the show’s version of Nayawenne from the book, and Fraser’s Ridge came a long way since the end of the last episode, so obviously, a bit of time has passed.
Jamie and Claire parted ways, with Claire headed for the Mueller homestead to deliver a baby and Jamie headed to town to find men for their settlement. Neither trip was without its problems. Jamie couldn’t find a single man to come settle Fraser’s Ridge, even when he offered potential tenants a rent-free agreement, due to the fact that the British were so greedy about taxing farmers that the men all decided working in town was a better set up for them.
With Claire, the baby delivery went well, but directly after, Herr Mueller (Urs Rechn) nearly opened fire at a group of Cherokee who stopped to water their horses at the nearby creek. Claire managed to diffuse the situation, but Mueller has some dangerous, prejudiced ideas about the Native American, so this conflict was far from over.
When Claire returned to Fraser’s Ridge, she worked the farm by herself, awaiting Jamie and Ian’s (John Bell) return, until one day when Pastor Gottfried (Albert Welling) showed up to tell her that the Mueller children and new baby just died of measles. Gottfriend said that Herr Mueller was so mad with grief that he blamed Claire and the Cherokee for the deaths and went out on his own seeking revenge. But Gottfried misunderstood. When Mueller showed up at Fraser’s Ridge, he was worried that Claire was also sick with the measles. When he saw she was OK, he broke down about his dead children and grandchild, furious about what he perceived to be a curse from the Cherokee. He then revealed that he “took care” of the “savages” and handed Claire Adawehi’s bloody scalp wrapped in a towel. He called Adawehi the Cherokee “witch” and yelled about the curse. Claire was furious and heartbroken, tossing him out.
That night, the Cherokee took their revenge on the Muellers, burning down their cabin and killing Mueller and his wife. But who were the real “savages” here?
Meanwhile, in town, Jamie sent Ian to find a blacksmith and in a gasp-worthy reveal, the blacksmith turned out to be none other than Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix)! At first, it seemed like Jamie might miss seeing his old friend because only Ian talked to him. But Murtagh charged Ian an exorbitant amount to fix the horse’s bit, so Jamie came to the shop to give the blacksmith a piece of his mind and instead found his long-lost godfather. It was a lovely moment, with so much unspoken emotion passing over the men’s faces.
However, Jamie quickly learned that Murtagh’s current political leanings could prove problematic for him. Murtagh was a Regulator, rebelling against British taxation and part of what would eventually lead to the Revolutionary War. Part of Jamie’s land grant included quelling unrest among the colonists, which put him at odds with his godfather.
But Jamie and Murtagh wouldn’t let a little thing like that come between them, so Murtagh agreed to forge Jamie a new ring for Claire out of Jamie’s mother’s silver candlestick (remember, Claire’s ring was stolen by Stephen Bonnet earlier this season) and to travel to Fraser’s Ridge to reunite with Claire, which was another lovely reunion in the episode. Murtagh only agreed to visit, however — he wouldn’t settle land granted by the corrupt governor, and he tried to get Jamie to join the Regulator cause. Jamie said no — at least for now. But at least they’ve all been reunited.
While most of the action was centered in the 1760s, there were a couple of brief scenes with Roger (Richard Rankin) trying to track down Brianna (Sophie Skelton). He learned she stayed at a bed and breakfast in Inverness for a spell, and she did leave Roger a letter, which the inn owner was supposed to wait a year to give to him, but she took pity on him and gave it to him right away. Over footage of Brianna traveling through the stones, Roger read the letter, which explained that Brianna learned of Jamie and Claire’s deaths and had to try to find them and prevent it.
With such an action-packed episode, the rest of the story should really come at viewers fast and furious now.
“Outlander” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.