- Series Title: Outlander
- Season: 5
- Episodes: 12
- Discs: 4
- Network: Starz/SonyPictures
- Cast: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton
- DVD: Widescreen DVD (R1, NTSC)
This review contains spoilers for Season 5 of Outlander.
Season 5 of Outlander takes place entirely in Colonial America before the Revolution. The season is also very episodic, with no main goal or plot for the characters to move towards or try to accomplish. However, the series is still beautiful to look at with wonderful costumes and gorgeous scenary. Brianna and Roger marry and settle down in a house near Claire and Jamie to raise Jemmy (Jeremiah), Brianna’s son. Jamie finds he must honor his agreement with Governor Tryon, which means he needs to raise a militia and find and sort out the Regulators – a group of rabble-rousers led by Murtagh. Claire finds that her services as a doctor are sorely needed. She even trains Marsali as her assistant.
Jamie does the best he can to keep Murtagh safe while following Tryon’s orders. He manages to avoid one conflict and even secures a pardon for the leaders of Murtagh’s rebellion. But there is soon a new attack and despite Jamie and Roger’s efforts – Murtagh is killed and his men are routed. Tyron agrees to merely arrest the leaders and not kill them. But one of his men either doesn’t get the message or ignores it – and hangs three of the rebels, including Roger who had lost his badge marking him as part of the King’s Militia and who was on the wrong side of a creek in the middle of the battlefield, trying to win a last-minute surrender from Murtagh and company. Jamie, Brianna, and Claire find Roger though, and discover he’s not dead. It takes Roger several episodes to recover from his psychological trauma.
Back at Fraser’s ridge, Claire uses her skills as a doctor and she trains Marsali. Roger and Brianna are OK, especially once Roger recovers from his trauma. Roger and Jamie decide to go after Stephen Bonnet who has threatened Brianna again. It goes wrong and Brianna gets kidnapped. However, they rescue her, Bonnet is arrested, then executed.
Jamie also in leading his militia runs afoul of a large inbred family known as the Browns. Despite his best efforts to simply ignore them, their leader Lionel Brown raises some of his own men, storms Jamie’s home while the men are distracted by an explosion at his whiskey still, and kidnaps Claire. They drag her off and in the two-part finale, she is raped several times. Jamie raises his own men, and with Roger and Ian, he finds Claire and rescues her. He also has his men kill all of Lionel’s men. They then take the injured Lionel home to question him. Claire decides that while she cannot harm or kill her rapist – she doesn’t have to help him either, and leaves him to suffer in her surgery. Marsali decides that since she hasn’t made any oaths yet – she isn’t bound like Claire. She kills Lionel. Jamie drops the body off at Lionel’s brother’s house. At first, Richard Brown seems philosophical about it, but then he tells Jamie he’s basically made himself an enemy.
I didn’t like season 5 of Outlander as much as previous seasons. I’m not enjoying the Colonial setting as much as the seasons that are actually set in Scotland. I really didn’t like the last couple of episodes – we haven’t seen Claire victimized like this since season 1. In season 5, Claire, Brianna, Roger, even Jamie keep saying, “a war is coming”, which, yes, it is the case – but it becomes grating rather than foreshadowing. I liked the various stories of Claire trying to find ways to apply her knowledge of medicine with the limits of the time. Marsali has become an awesome character. And her relationship with Fergus is great too (it’s almost as romantic as Claire and Jamie or Brianna and Roger). But overall, with no clear goal to the season, nothing that our characters are specifically trying to accomplish – the season falls a bit flat. Still, Outlander is a show worth watching and I recommend it.