SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Journeycake,” the 11th episode of “Outlander” Season 5.
In the 10th episode of “Outlander,” the show jumped the Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) storyline ahead in time, skipping quite a bit of cat-and-mouse chasing from Diana Gabaldon’s book series. Instead, it neatly wrapped up Bonnet’s part by getting ahead to when he kidnapped Brianna (Sophie Skelton). He was subsequently tried and ordered to die by drowning, though Bree showed him a bit of mercy and shot him before the sea took In Episode 11, the show’s penultimate episode of Season 5, the action stayed in the sixth book, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes.”
On the way back from a trip to Willem’s Creek for supplies and food, Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Jamie (Sam Heughan), Roger (Richard Rankin), and Brianna came across a burned-out cabin with only one survivor. (Though, the people were dead before the fire started). The survive was a girl Roger found outside who was burned over most of her body but still clinging to life. He smothered her to end her suffering, crying as Jamie said a prayer for her. As it turned out, this was just the latest in a string of similar incidents.
While there, Claire spotted a festering wound on Lionel’s (Ned Dennehy) leg and treated him for it. So when his wife needed to have her wrist looked at, Lionel brought his wife to Claire for treatment, too. In Claire’s surgery, Lionel spotted her medical supplies with the name “Dr. Rawlings” on it and put two and two together that the person writing medical advice in the paper was Claire, not a male medical doctor.
Meanwhile, young Jemmy was playing with an opal, which got so hot when he touched it, it cracked. He hurt his hand, sure, but the bigger implication was that he could travel through the stones. The Frasers knew they had to tell Ian (John Bell) what was going on because he was standing there to witness it all.
Once Ian wrapped his head around the idea of time travel, he asked if he could travel back in time to save his wife, but Ian, like Jamie, didn’t feel any heat when he touched the opal, which meant he would be unable to travel through the stones.
Instead, Bree and Roger decided they had to go back. They gave their land to Ian and he accompanied them to the stones after they told everyone on the ridge that they were headed to Boston for Roger’s new teaching job. Before they left, Lord John (David Berry) paid the ridge a visit, and Jamie took that opportunity to tell Bree about her half brother, whom she was dismayed she would never meet.
When Lord John left the ridge, he took with him Ulysses (Colin McFarlane), Jocasta’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) right-hand man. He had been in hiding after killing Mr. Forbes (Billy Boyd)) to save Jocasta. It turned out that Jocasta had long ago given Ulysses his freedom but he stayed because he loved her. However, even his freedom wouldn’t save him from being lynched for killing a white man, so he was now in hiding without a way to escape. Enter Lord John. He agreed to take Ulysses with him under the guise that Ulysses was his new manservant. Then once they arrived in England, Ulysses could be a free man.
So Lord John took off for England, and Bree and Roger bid him farewell, then shared emotional goodbyes with Marsali (Lauren Lyle) and Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and Claire and Jamie, whom Bree and Roger knew they would never see again. They then left with Jemmy and Ian for the standing stones. Ian was not going to travel, but he was there to help them reach the stones and return the horses afterward. Once there, the three of them held tight to their gems, approached the stones, and traveled… somewhere. The show did not reveal where Bree, Roger, and Jemmy ended up.
But back at the ridge, all hell broke loose while they were traveling to the stones. Lionel and his men returned seeking vengeance because Lionel blamed Claire for her advice about not getting pregnant, which caused his wife not to lie with him. The men cause an explosion at Jamie’s still to act as a diversion, then they came into the big house and stabbed Claire’s patient, Geordie (Gilly Gilchrist), knocked Marsali unconscious and kidnapped Claire.
When Jamie returned and found out what happened, he ran to the hillside and lit the fiery cross once again, declaring war on the Browns. The next episode is the season finale, which means the action is headed toward the showdown between the Frasers and the Browns that has been building all season long.
“Outlander” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.