Outlander Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Freedom & Whisky

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Claire and Jamie are back together...or will be once he wakes up. Outlander Season 3 Episode 5 ended rather abruptly, but what did you expect to happen when Jamie saw his long lost love? 

An Impossible Decision - Outlander

As exciting as it is to have our favorite OTP reunited, we're going to save talking about that until next time except to say that Jamie passing out was an amazing way to end things, diffusing all the built-up tension with some well-timed physical comedy.

But right now, I'm more concerned with the events leading up to that genius piece of editing. 

Mainly, Roger's unexpected (unsolicited) arrival, Joe's amazingly supportive friendship, Brianna working out some complicated emotions, and Claire's nerves. Oh, and the ridiculous inclusion of Dr. Sandy's self-righteous monologue. That's five minutes of my life I'm not getting back. 

I've watched you live a half life for fifteen years. If you have a second chance at love, you should take it.

Let's just get my little rant out the way, shall we? The idea of having a workplace memorial for Frank wasn't terrible; it gave the audience a better sense of closure with the character than his abrupt exit allowed and highlighted how miserable Claire was playing the doting academic's wife for all those years.

That's all well and good, and Claire's frustration at playing Harriet to Frank's Ozzie is a really good motivation for her to go back to Jamie.

The Lonely Widow - Outlander Season 3 Episode 5

But considering that we just spent four long episodes going over all the cracks in the Randall marriage, that we the audience are privy to the fact that blame lies on both sides AND that Claire was more than willing to let Frank go...Sandy's diatribe was pointless and annoying.

We didn't need her words for Brianna to recall the bookstore story only for Brianna to realize that Frank wasn't the hero in the marriage she made him out to be. Just seeing her could have sufficed. Then we would have had time to spend on more important things, like Joe finding out that Claire's a time traveler.

Joe: What the hell happened?
Claire: We...we went our separate ways. And I had hoped that we would be able to find each other again, but...fate had other ideas.
Joe: Fuck fate.

Because I really could have used some more Joe Abernathy. That character is so great; I don't even mind that Wil Johnson seems like he's only putting in around 80% effort. 

I love the friendship between the two doctors; I just regret that Joe isn't a fully fleshed out character. I'm hopeful that could change in the future, but for now, I'll just have to accept the limitations Ron Moore, et al., have placed on him and be thankful Joe gets all the best lines.  

You're a skinny white broad with too much hair but a great ass.

Joe [when Claire asks for his opinion on her looks]

It almost doesn't matter that the actor isn't giving it his all or that the producers cut out a large chunk of his story (from the books), because Joe is there for Claire when she needs him. She was struggling with the decision to return to Jamie for a ton of (legitimate) reasons; he helped her see through all the bullshit. 

Because even valid concerns boil down to utter bullshit when put up against the opportunity to be with the other half of your soul again. Her initial decision to stay was just fear, plain and simple.

And on the one hand, I get it. It's been 20 years. A lot has changed. We're all insecure about something, but maybe the thing to focus on wasn't how her body changed. The fundamental changes that happen to us all because of the events in our lives might prove a little harder to overcome than a thick waist. 

I could've lived my 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.


It's natural to avoid being hurt, of course, and Claire's not alone in that. Bree's been struggling with that through the whole ordeal, and it seemed to come to a head with her decision to drop out of school. 

That's one decision that makes me think that Bree isn't entirely the grownup she claims to be. I mean, she has changed a lot since we first met her, whining her way through Scotland and Claire's explanations about her heritage, but there's still some work to do there. 

I was glad to see that the Bree and Roger romance was toned down a bit.

The kiss on the couch was a much more believable action than those they shared in Scotland; they've spent time now talking about their lives, connecting with each in ways that aren't mere attraction or working on the worlds most interesting research project. 

Someone to Hold Onto - Outlander Season 3 Episode 5

I worry what will happen to Bree after Roger inevitably goes back to England and she's left alone in Boston, but that's a problem for another day. Now we wait to find out what's going to happen on Outlander Season 3 Episode 6.

Or you do anyway. I already have some juicy details; I just can't share them with you.

Obviously, Claire and Jamie are back together. But what does that mean? What has Jamie been up to since leaving Helwater? What happens when he wakes up? How do they integrate Claire into his life in Edinburgh?

You gave Jamie up for me. Now I have to give him back to you.


Don't worry, all those questions will be answered, and yes, we'll get to see some familiar faces. We'll see some new ones, as well.

Most importantly: Yes, there will be sexy times...the idea that those two could keep their hands off each other after 20 years is just laughable. 

Claire: Well, there was someone. From my past.
Joe: So he's Scottish.
Claire: As Scottish as the come.
Joe: Sounds serious.
Claire: As serious as it comes.

If you missed the live airing, you can always watch Outlander online, anytime, anywhere. And there are also our past Outlander reviews to help you catch up, too!

And tell us what you thought about "Freedom & Whiskey" in our comments section! I just ask that those of you who've read ahead don't give away which scene from the episode is going to be super important later this season...we don't want any spoilers for the newbies, do we?

Freedom & Whisky Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Outlander Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

Joe: What the hell happened?
Claire: We...we went our separate ways. And I had hoped that we would be able to find each other again, but...fate had other ideas.
Joe: Fuck fate.

Claire: Well, there was someone. From my past.
Joe: So he's Scottish.
Claire: As Scottish as the come.
Joe: Sounds serious.
Claire: As serious as it comes.