Welcome to Death Watch 1746 ladies and gentlemen!
While the great battle of Culloden will soon bring over 1,000 deaths (total) on both sides of the Jacobite rebellion, Outlander Season 2 Episode 12 focused on two: those of Colum MacKenzie and Alex Randall.
It wasn't just their deaths that were highlighted, but more importantly their respective relationships with their brothers and how each of them were viewed in the eyes of those they loved or who they were loved by.
We haven't seen much of Colum MacKenzie during Outlander Season 2. Seeing him now was rather bittersweet, as he'd had enough of walking this earth on his feeble legs.
Upon his arrival, it was obvious he was much weaker than usual, and even a good verbal sparring took a lot out of him.
His plan was to deliver the news he'd made his decision about the future of the MacKenzie clan. Somehow, I think Colum could have delivered the best news in the world and Dougal still wouldn't have been happy.
Until the very end of their relationship as Colum was dying behind him, we would never have known why, but Dougal had been disappointed in his brother since he was around eight years old. He always believed his older brother would be the strong one and someone he could look up to to be there for him.
Then Colum fell off his horse and never truly recovered. Of course, Dougal was a kid, and we can assume nobody ever really explained to him what was going on with Colum. Did anybody even know? Whatever happened in that moment drove all the feelings Dougal had for his brother totally wacky.
He never told Colum what he felt, and the very minute he got up the nerve to do it – on Colum's death bed – was the same time Colum decided he'd had enough and drank the yellow jasmine Claire gave to him.
I don't doubt Colum loved his brother, but he spent years never hearing loving words from Dougal's mouth. Why would he have held on just a while longer in the hope Dougal was getting ready to pour his heart out? Especially because Colum's decision to entrust Jamie as his son's (Dougal's son's) guardian did more harm than good?
Gosh, though, seeing Dougal realize he waited all those years, never saying a word and lost his chance was gutting.
That's the thing, though, about death. You never know when it's coming. If you care about someone, say it now. There may be no tomorrow. It's truly not as cheesy as it sounds. Trust me, it won't be when that person is gone.
Ironically, that's probably the one thing that Black Jack Jonathan Randall did right during his lifetime. Alex died knowing fully well how much his brother loved him, despite the bitter nature Jonathan used to hide his softer side.
And despite all that Claire knew of Jonathan Randall, even she couldn't find harm in the kindnesses Jonathan had shown Alex. When you see other brothers that love each refusing to show it, and you see an otherwise awful man good to he who dies, you have to give credit where it's due.
Even though we knew it had to happen in order to keep Frank's family line intact, it was hard watching everyone come to terms with the idea of Jonathan marrying Mary.
The way Jonathan pulled away in shock and horror pretty much said it all.
Still, I was with Jonathan on that one. Why didn't Alex just marry her before he died? As such, she would have still come from a great family and have had the financial backing and social status of being a British Officer's sister-in-law.
Wouldn't it be sort of like Mary was in the first place, being a lowly niece shuffled around to more respectable uncles? Again, I get all the family line stuff with Frank, but as far as Mary's own father is concerned, I hardly see the difference. Especially when he finds out she was already pregnant and her husband died two days after they wed.
Jonathan: What kind of god creates a world where monsters thrive and beauty and purity is rewarded with poverty and death?
Claire: The same kind of god who also offers an opportunity for redemption.
But it's nice when Jonathan shows his "softer" side to Claire, even when he can't stand that he does it.
God! I hate having a soft spot for the bastard all because it's Tobias Menzies (and I probably have a predilection for psychopaths given my TV character choices). But when Alex finally died?
Come on. Did anyone else laugh out loud when Black Jack pummeled Alex in the face after he died? It was so terrible, and yet not an unwarranted reaction given the circumstances.
My biggest wish is that he got it all out of his system and doesn't spend the next two days of his remaining time on earth doing the same to Mary. Now that Alex is dead, will his word to him fall to crap?
The other story at work is the hopeless Battle of Culloden.
Prince Charles: James, you are my most loyal companion and friend. But I am not some frightened hare to be run down by some British hounds. I am a man and I am a soldier and I shall comport myself as one. I am weary of retreat. The men shall rest and then we shall march to Culloden. Gentleman, the lord will provide for us all, may we do his bidding.
Jamie: May he have mercy on us all.
Well. That's just great Bonney. What was he doing? Trying to look cool in front of his generals? And why skip the midnight raid the night before? There are so many things that were wrong about that battle before it even got started, I can't understand it.
I've read that the British don't consider it a battle honor even though it was a victory. Even today, I see the Hanoverian army at 9,000 and the Jacobites at 6,000 or then again, it might have been 8,000 to 7,000. Those are huge discrepancies.
So I have to wonder...why didn't the Hanoverian army just BE honorable and try to offer some sort of deal to keep from fighting on that fateful day, saving over 1,000 lives that were lost in about an hour. One hour. Can you even imagine? Well, that's what's coming.
And our precious Jamie had the common sense to try to stop it. Argh.
The season finale is next week. Are you ready? Do you expect Claire to end the season back in the present? I'm worried! Share your thoughts. What's coming?!
You can do it. You can watch Outlander online to catch up before then. Join us!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.