‘Outlander’: Jamie’s Hunting Trip Goes Awry in ‘Monsters and Heroes’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 9 of Outlander, “Monsters and Heroes.”]
Just when Outlander fans thought the show had reached peak drama with the death of Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and near-death hanging of Roger (Richard Rankin), the Starz series entered another dramatic chapter into its ongoing fifth season with “Monsters and Heroes.”
From another near-death experience to a crisis of career identity, there was no shortage of action. Below, we’re breaking it all down, but beware of major spoilers.
Opening up with an exam, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) checks Marsali’s (Lauren Lyle) progressing pregnancy and the apprentice tells the doctor she’s glad she’ll be around for the delivery, not just as a physician but “as my ma.” Touched, Claire gives Marsali a warm look as the scene dissolves into images of Fraser’s Ridge dwellers in their daily activities, dying clothes and completing chores. It’s autumn now, and Roger and Bree (Sophie Skelton) are back on track when we see them in bed together.
Waking up, Roger is alerted to the fact their son Jemmy is watching him kiss Bree and they quickly cover themselves, trying to shield the boy. This bliss doesn’t last long though because Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) soon pounding on the door, looking for Bree to join him on a hunt with her good aim. But she wants to dye some clothes, which she’d been planning to do that day with the other women of the Ridge, so it’s up to Roger to take her place. It’s clear that neither Roger nor Jamie are thrilled by the prospect.
Setting out with Roger, Jamie leads Ian (John Bell), Fergus (César Domboy), Josiah (Paul Gorman) and more men of the Ridge. When they come up with a plan to divide after catching a trial on their hunt, Jamie goes off with Roger while the other men go in the other direction. As they wander, Jamie and Roger discover a heard of buffaloes and believe they’ve hit the jackpot, but a missed shot sends the animals running and while Jamie reloads, Roger continues forward.
In his moment of pausing, Jamie is bitten on the leg by a venomous snake, and that’s when hell begins to break loose because it’s not good. In anger, Jamie cuts the creature’s head off, and when Roger inspects the bite, he says he’ll have to drain the poison. Pouring some alcohol over the bite, Jamie allows Roger to cut the bite and suck the venom out. After wrapping the wound, Roger tries to get Jamie on his feet again, but the poison’s already rendering him too weak, so he tells Roger to look for the others, and Roger takes the snake head with him.
Meanwhile, back on the Ridge, Claire is dying cloth indigo with Bree and Lizzie (Caitlin O’Ryan). When the mother and daughter are along, Bree asks if Claire always knew she wanted to be a doctor, and her mother says she knew her calling. Bree levels with Claire, essentially saying she doesn’t know what to pursue in this time so different from her own, but the mother says, “You’re an engineer, Bree,” reassuring her daughter to have patience. Claire adds that Bree and Roger will find purpose if they remain in the 18th century.
When the hunting party returns to the ridge sans Roger and Jamie, Fergus reassures his family that the men likely set up camp, unaware of the predicament they’re in. Back in the woods, Roger realizes the other men are gone and he returns to Jamie who is fading slightly as he cooks the snake’s remains to eat. In rougher shape with each passing minute, Jamie asks Roger what they’d do for a snake bite like his in the future, and Roger says, they’d inject you with something called anti-venom.
As they sit by the fire Roger reassures Jamie he’s going to live, mentioning the obituary — that claimed he and Claire perish in a fire — which sparked Bree’s trip to the past. If he dies then, he can’t die now, Roger asserts, but this doesn’t stop Jamie from sharing final requests, one of which includes killing Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers). Roger wonders if he could do it, saying he’s not sure he’s up to the task, but Jamie tells him it’s possible, revealing the arrangement with Philip Wylie (Chris Donald) to meet with Bonnet.
Jamie tells Roger the pirate wishes to claim Jemmy as his own, and he should prevent that from being a possibility. Roger agrees that perhaps he can, but Jamie will need to survive so he can teach him how to fight. The next morning Ian is walking the grounds when he notices Roger and Jamie’s horses returned without the men and so he along with Fergus goes on a rescue mission, eventually finding the pair in rough shape as Roger began dragging Jamie on a makeshift sled.
Once they’re finally home and in Claire’s surgery, she inspects Jamie’s wound which appears to be severely infected. Stepping aside with Marsali, the apprentice asks Claire how bad it is, to which the doctor says she’ll need maggots to keep the wound from turning gangrenous and they’ll try administering penicillin via a broth, but Claire worries that it won’t be effective enough since she no longer has her needle after Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy) crushed it at Alamance.
As Marsali sets off with the task of finding maggots, Claire and Bree sit by Jamie’s bedside as she gives him the broth. When it’s just the couple alone, Jamie knows it’s bad because Claire’s being nice to him, pointing out to his wife that she’d usually give him a hard time if it was something treatable. When he learns that amputation is a possibility in order to save his life, Jamie makes Claire swear she won’t do it, promising that she won’t cut the leg off no matter the cost.
Meanwhile, Roger and Bree take a walk in the woods, and Roger worries there was more he could have done but she reassures him that he did the best he could for Jamie. Roger then tells his wife about Jamie’s request to kill Bonnet and Bree brushes it off, claiming there’s more important things to focus on for now. Luckily, Josiah’s observational skills prove successful in the hunt for maggots when he finds a dead rabbit filled with the requested pests.
Before the maggots arrive though, more action takes place as a buffalo wanders into the yard at Fraser’s Ridge next to Lizzie and Jemmy. Startled by the creature, Lizzie screams and Bree makes a move to distract the animal from her family, waving her arms and drawing the buffalo to her. Eventually she begins to run but is bucked by the herd animal, and moments later Claire takes her shot from the porch and Jamie crawls out of his bed to see what’s taken place.
Once the maggots finally do make it to Jamie, Roger jokes that the bugs will only tickle Jamie and not hurt to which he says his son-in-law is always a comfort. This also serves as a point in time that Bree seeks an update from Claire, asking how Jamie’s really doing. Claire says that the poison is wearing off but the infection is beginning to take over, with amputation being the most likely option for survival without her syringe. And while amputating makes Claire sick to think about, she’s more upset Jamie’s unwilling to try it.
As for Jamie, he’s declining and he asks Roger to be brought to his own bed, so Roger and Ian help the man. When they hear Jamie say he’d rather die than go through life without his leg, Ian yells at him, pointing out his own father and Fergus as examples of amputees with full lives. Despite his stubborn nature, Jamie is forced to face reality as his nephew chides him. Eventually they leave Jamie in bed and Ian runs into Fergus who was coming to visit Jamie. Ian tells Fergus about Jamie’s opinion and how he was trying to protect the man who lost his hand from being subjected to Jamie’s ludicrous opinion, but Fergus says it’s important that they support him no matter what.
Back in bed, Jamie’s joined by Claire who tends to his needs and in an apparent daze, Jamie requests she touches him. It would seem that the request worked its magic for his well-being because by the next morning, Jamie gives her back the word of promising to not amputate, claiming he was wrong and he’ll do whatever is needed.
Back in their cabin, Roger and Bree look at the snake head which he kept after Jamie was bitten, and before letting it be burned in flames, Bree seems to get an idea looking at the creature’s fangs. Also in the woods, Marsali and Fergus are strolling with their two kids when she goes into labor. Unable to return home, Marsali calls for her husband to help with the birth. As all of the cliffhangers are being set off, Claire preps for Jamie’s amputation with Ian, but just as she’s about to cut into his leg, Bree bursts in the door and unveils a makeshift syringe fashioned with one of the snake fangs as a needle.
Calling it “beautiful engineering,” Claire administers the penicillin into Jamie’s wound and all is well. As for Marsali, she introduces the new baby to Claire as her and Fergus reveal they’ve named the baby Felicity. At Jamie’s bedside, he wakes to find Roger who feels the need to essentially say “I told you so” to Jamie about his survival.
Ending on a happy note, Jamie and Claire sit and talk as he recovers. He informs her that she’s the reason he survived because “you need me,” he tells her. When she questions if it was her love that brought him through it, he tells her no matter where, no matter how, whether they’re together or apart, he’ll always love her and not even death could change that, reminding us just how strong Jamie and Claire’s bond is. Will it be tested in the coming episode? Find out by tuning into Outlander next Sunday.
Outlander, Sundays, 8/7c, Starz