We continue to move forward on Outlander. Claire and Bree receive an unexpected visitor that changes everything for them. The past is within reach but how will that change Claire’s future? Here’s our recap of “Freedom & Whisky”!
After deciding it was time to return home to Boston, Claire and Bree made the trip back across the pond, leaving Roger behind in Scotland.
At home, Claire is showing she’s an absolute boss as a surgeon. She manages to save the patient’s life even though no one else thought she had time to do everything necessary. It seems like Claire is settling in great, but then we get to Bree.
She’s in history class at Harvard, learning about Paul Revere and the lesser known rider that actually got the message across. I expect this to pop back up later in the series because…everything is important here.
Back to Bree, she’s just not into school anymore. After the loss of her father and finding out about Jamie, Bree’s grades have dropped and her professor is worried about her passing and being able to stay in the college at all. He tells her that he was a friend of her father’s (Frank) and feels an obligation to look out for her.
With everything that is going on in Bree’s life, though, it’s no wonder she feels adrift. Everything she’s ever known has been blown to bits.
After speaking with her professor, she goes home to an empty house. It’s obvious that she misses her dad (Frank) so much. She goes to the Christmas tree and looks at “Brianna’s First Christmas” ornament then faces her dad’s chair. She lays a hand on it as she walks past and sits on the arm of the chair as she opens a box on the end table. It holds Frank’s pipe and she picks it up and smells it.
Then she goes into the study and looks at pictures of her as baby with her dad and starts to cry.
I won’t lie. This made me tear up. Brianna misses her dad. He was ever present in her life, and this is why I can’t hate TV!Frank. He might have been a shitty husband, but he was a wonderful father to Bree.
The scene cuts to Claire at the hospital, speaking with Joe Abernathy (LOVE HIM!). He asks if she’s ever going to tell him what happened in Scotland and then proceeds to ask if she met a man. This prompts Claire to tells him a little about her past…a man that she had loved.
“I had hoped we would find each other again, but fate had other ideas.”
A nurse comes in and their conversation ends and Claire goes home to Bree.
The next day, a taxi pulls up outside their home and it’s Roger! He’s come all the way from Scotland with news and to experience an American Christmas, but what he walks into is something he didn’t anticipate.
Claire and Bree are arguing and he can hear them through the front door.
When Bree brings Roger inside, Claire is very surprised to see him, but tries play it off like a good hostess. Bree is having none of it, though, and confesses they were arguing.
Claire drops the pretense then and says that Bree has decided to withdraw from Harvard and move out.
“You expect me to come back to Boston and be who I was? I tried and it’s not working.”
Bree leaves and tells Roger that they’ll hang out the next day, and Roger tries to leave himself and escape the horrible awkwardness he stepping the middle of, but Claire tells him that he’ll stay there.
Later that evening their finishing up dinner and Claire asks if he’s been back to Inverness.
“No, with father gone, there’s nothing left for there except books and dust.”
Bree and Roger are both dealing with the losses of their father’s and being in those homes is too much to bear now. Claire recognizes this and says that it’s good he’s there, so he can talk to her about her loss.
When they move into the living room, Roger tells Claire that he has some good news for her…
He believes he has found Jamie.
Not really his name, but a line in a newspaper…
“For as has been known for Ages Past,
Freedom and Whisky gang Thegither.”
Even the title is something that Claire said she quoted to Jamie and when she tells Roger that anyone could quote Robert Burns, he drops the knowledge that Burns was only six years old in 1765.
He truly believes that Jamie wrote this because who else would know about those lines of poetry years before they were published?
Then there’s the other kicker…
The printer’s name is Alexander Malcolm. Jamie’s middle names.
This is all too much for Claire to deal with and she lashes out at Roger for bringing the past back up after she was finally laying it to rest.
“I could have lived the rest of my life not knowing. Twenty years ago, I shut the door on the past and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When you told me he had survived Culloden, I had begun to hope. I can’t go through that again.”
“But this isn’t just hope. This is real. You can go to Jamie.”
“And leave Brianna? With everything she’s going through now? How? How could I do that to her now? I’m her mother and she needs me. I cannot abandon my daughter.”
She tells him that she knows he meant well, but he can’t tell Bree because it will only confuse her more. Roger goes to his room and Claire ends up going to hers. She sits at her window, holding the necklace Jamie gave her at their wedding and smiles.
The next morning at the hospital, Joe is looking over a female skeleton that was found in a cave in the Caribbean. The person who found it wanted to determine the cause of death, so they sent it to Joe. Within a couple of seconds of looking at the body, Claire says that the woman was murdered. After looking at a couple more pieces of the body, Joe makes the same connection.
Someone tried to cut off her head with a dull blade, based on the way the bones are split.
Claire seems very cagey when asked how she knew it was murder, but Joe lets it slide and goes into more detail about the skeleton. They believe she was found in a slave graveyard, but this skeleton belongs to a white woman.
“Bones don’t lie.”
“Bones tell all. Now, what aren’t you telling me about your man in Scotland?”
Joe sure knows how to switch gears in a conversation, doesn’t he?
“He’s Bree’s real father and I told her when we were in Scotland. That’s the reason she’s struggling so much at the moment.”
“I’m glad you told me. That explains a lot. Do you still love him?”
“I never stopped.”
“No one thought you and Frank were Ozzie and Harriet. I’ve seen you live a half-life for fifteen years. If you have a second shot at love, take it. Brianna will come around.”
Back at home, Bree finds Roger watching Dark Shadows and gives him hell for his choice in daytime television. Roger really likes it, though, and he wants to know what’s going to happen.
He apologizes for dropping by unannounced and Bree says that she’s glad he did.
“I came for an American Christmas and lobster rolls and Boston cream pie.”
Yeahhh, I’m sure that’s all you came for, Roger.
Bree tells him that she can help him with those things, and that he should come with her to Harvard that afternoon to a Fellowship dedication in her father’s name. And she’ll show him around Harvard.
They finish the episode of Dark Shadows first, though.
Before actually going to the ceremony, Bree takes him on a tour of the grounds and they stop at a beautiful passageway. Roger is soaking up the history of the building…how many Presidents walked through there? How many conversations have been heard by these stones?
Bree is much more pragmatic. She thinks about how the arches are built and how each stone has its own job in shouldering the load to keep it up.
“That doesn’t sound like the daughter of a historian.”
“Well, I’m not, am I? I’m the daughter of an 18th century Highlander.”
And that’s when I noticed and Bree is wearing a blue and green plaid poncho. I gasped out loud.
Roger then tells her about how he doesn’t really remember his real father. There were some things out in the garage of his, but it was the Reverend that told Roger a story about his father that made his dad real to him.
“Knowing my father, helped me know myself. Everybody needs a history.”
“But how do you know it’s true? How do you know he didn’t make it up to make you feel better?”
“Does it matter?”
“But that’s my point. What is history? It’s just a story. It changes depending on who’s telling it. Like Paul Revere. Like Bonny Prince Charlie. Like my parents. History can’t be trusted.”
Bree and Roger are total opposites in some ways but absolutely perfect for one another.
They leave then and go to the Fellowship dedication. There they stand by Claire and Bree smiles as they talk about Frank and all the things he accomplished in his field. Afterward, she and Roger are having drinks and talking to other people and Claire is by herself.
That’s when Sandy approaches her and tells her that she should have let Frank go.
“All those years, you didn’t want him, but you wouldn’t give him up.”
“I don’t see how that’s any of your business.”
“He told me he stayed with you, but I always knew that a part of him was still in love with you.”
Before she leave, Sandy finishes by telling Claire she was selfish for making Frank and Bree live a lie for her and that she threw away twenty years with Frank while Sandy would give anything for one more day.
This woman has no idea what Claire has been through and that whole scene made me want Claire to defend herself, but she didn’t cause a scene. From the side of the room, Bree is watching as her mother holds herself together while Sandy walks away.
On their way home, Bree asks her mother who that woman was and Claire tries to brush it off as one of Frank’s former students. Then Bree says she remembers her from a trip to the bookstore with Frank.
“The way he looked at her? It was the same way he used to look at you.”
Claire tells Bree the truth
“Frank loved her. It went on for many years. He was planning on marrying her.”
“You told me that I look like Jamie. All those years, daddy had to look at me and see the man you really loved. He must have hated me.”
And that right there is what has been happening with Bree. Claire consoles Bree and tells her that Frank loved her more than anything, and that’s the absolute truth. When Bree questions if Claire resented her because the pregnancy is what caused her to have to leave Jamie, Claire tells her that’s not the case at all.
Since they’re not keeping secrets anymore, Claire takes out the copy of the newspaper Roger brought and tells Bree that Roger found Jamie.
“Then you can go back.”
“That’s not why I’m tell you this. My life is here with you.”
“I’m all grown up, momma. I can live on my own. I love you, but I don’t need you. Not the way I did when I was little.”
That night, Claire is watching Apollo 8 on television…
Joe asks how you can come back to your life after a trip like that, and Claire is clearly in her thoughts about Jamie and going back to him.
She’s talking to Bree later and tells her that if she goes back to see Jamie, there’s a possibility she won’t return.
“Can you live with that? Because I don’t know if I can.”
Claire talks about all the events that she might miss if she doesn’t get to come back, but Bree tells her that while it might not be easy, but it’s worth it.
“I’ve been trying to figure out if I’m more Randall or Fraser, but the truth is I’m more like you. If I can be half the woman you are, I’ll be fine.”
“I know you better than anymore.”
“You know who doesn’t know me? Jamie. You owe it to him to go back and I want you to go and tell him everything.”
Finally Claire lets her insecurities out, what if Jamie has moved on and forgotten her? Bree tells her mother that if they really loved each other like she said, there’s no way he could have forgotten her.
At the hospital, Claire gets Joe in his office and asks him another question that’s been weighing on her mind since she started to consider going back to Jamie…
Is she still sexually attractive?
Joe, in true form, tells her:
“You’re a skinny, white broad with too much hair but a great ass.”
He asks if this is about her man in Scotland and she tells him it is. Joe is proud that she seems to be going for it. Claire thanks him and as he putting on his coat to leave, Claire comes to terms again with the fact that she may never see Joe again either.
At home, they have Christmas and Claire decides what she’ll take with her on her trip through the stones. Medicine for sure and several other things. Bree gives her a necklace with her birthstone in it so she can go through the stones since she needs a precious gem to get through.
They ask how she’s going to take all the stuff she’s got, and Claire tells them she’s making herself a dress. She whips out her sewing machines and makes one with so many hidden pockets for all her carryons.
After looking at herself in the mirror for a bit, Claire decides to dye her hair and get rid of all the grey. As she packing up her stuff, Bree and Roger come in and notice what she’s done. Bree tells her that she looks beautiful, and Roger leaves the room to let them say their goodbyes.
Claire tells Bree that Roger is a good man then gives her a letter for the hospital, telling of her resignation and also turning over everything to Bree’s name. Just in case she doesn’t return.
Bree really wants to go with Claire to Scotland, but Claire doesn’t want her to go.
“The first time I went through the stones, I was terrified. The second time, heartbroken. This time I want it to be peaceful. If I had to say goodbye to you there, I may never go.”
Claire gives Bree the Scottish pearls that Jamie gave her and tells her that she can wear them on her wedding day, if she likes.
As they say their goodbyes, Claire thanks Roger for everything and they have one last drink and toast to “Freedom and whisky.”
Claire looks at the window where Bree is and they’re both crying as Bree moves away and hugs Roger and Claire gets into the taxi and heads for the airport.
At the house, Bree shares Roger their new American Christmas tradition of Boston cream pie and lobster rolls. While Roger gives Bree, A Christmas Carol.
She kisses Roger. When she pulls back, she begins to read while he eats.
In the taxi, Claire is nervous and the voice over begins to play…
“When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that the perfect smooth expanse was nothing more that a thin layer of water of solid earth. I believed it was an opening into some fathomless space and if I stepped in, I would drop at once and keep on falling. Even now, when I see a puddle in my path, my mind half halts though my feet do not and I hurry on. With only the echo of the thought left behind.”
When she steps out of the taxi, her foot splashes down into a puddle, but she’s wearing her dress and the streets are cobblestone! Claire has made it back to Scotland!
After asking for directions, she finds A Malcolm print shop and stops briefly at the sign then again at the door. The bell overhead rings, and Jamie calls out from the back, thinking it’s someone else.
Claire follows his voice and ends up looking down at him as he reads a page. After taking a few seconds, she finally speaks.
“It isn’t Jordie. It’s me. Claire.”
Just hearing the first part of her sentence, Jamie’s back straightens and he tenses up. When he turns to see her for the first time in twenty years, he looks to be in complete shock. Jamie reaches behind him to balance on the desk…then promptly faints.
I feel like a huge breath I’ve been holding has been released! They’re finally back together! The downside now? There is no Outlander next Sunday! Episode 6, “A Malcolm” will air on Sunday, October 22!
What did you think, Sassenachs? What are you most looking forward to now?
If you missed tonight’s episode, you can watch (or rewatch) “Freedom & Whisky” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.
For more of our thoughts on “Freedom & Whisky,” watch the latest edition of our weekly Outlander video review where we discuss Claire’s decision to go back in time, Bree’s identity crisis, and the preview of PRINTSHOP!