An accident can change your perspective on a lot of things, and when Jamie got a venomous snakebite on Outlander Season 5 Episode 9, it was a great opportunity for introspection and character reveals.
The enormity of the situation jumpstarted Jamie and Roger's relationship, and it's safe to say Jamie will never revisit the feelings he had for his son-in-law pre-snakebite.
And Jamie learned a harsh lesson, too, which was how much easier it is to be supportive of others going through situations than it is to recognize inner strength to get through rough spots yourself.
"Monsters and Heroes" might be my favorite episode of Outlander Season 5.
The narrower focus of life on the ridge vs. the expanded universe of the colonies and the upcoming fight for freedom allowed all of the main characters to shine.
Jamie, Roger, Claire, Bree, Marsali, and Young Ian shined the brightest, but there was still room for Fergus (who never seems to get the same attention he was afforded when he was a lad), and we even got a decent dose of Lizzie.
If you watch Outlander online, then you know that Jamie has had a challenging time with Roger. To say they didn't make a great first impression with each other would be an understatement, and they never had a full recovery from those initial dealings.
Although Jamie trusts his daughter's judgment, Roger doesn't fit what Jamie must have had in mind for Bree's husband. Of course, it's hard to have anything in mind when you don't meet your girl until she's grown and she comes from another time.
They're still getting to know each other, and with the trauma she's suffered since she arrived in her father's time, Jamie worries a lot about Bree even though he knows she can take care of herself better than most.
The day didn't start great for Jamie. First, he got an eyeful when he realized Bree and Roger were rather indisposed when he knocked, and then Jamie got stuck with Roger when he wanted an excellent marksman -- Brianna -- to accompany him on his hunt.
It's kind of funny that Claire and Bree ultimately wound up bagging the buffalo when all of the men failed, though.
They would have been able to destroy that animal with a knitting needle because when a child is in danger, a mother will stop at nothing to save them.
Lizzie: It's a good day for dying.
Claire: I hope you mean the cloth, Lizzie.
Brianna: It sounds so ominous.
It was an ominous day from start to finish with even Lizzie marking a moment with a funny comment about it being a good day for dying. You could see those words floating in the air above them like a grey cloud.
Between Jamie and Roger in the woods and Marsali on the verge of giving birth, it felt like too many were waiting in the wings for their turn on the gallows.
I'm not sure how Jamie would have fared if she had been the one with Jamie when he got bitten. She's a very resourceful young woman, and I'm sure Jamie would have been alright, but we would have been robbed of the bonding between Jamie and Roger, which was long overdue.
Jamie: What would they do in your time for snakebite?
Roger: They'd inject you with something called anti-venom.
Jamie: A venom to battle the venom. [chuckles]
Being a learned man, something his father-in-law never allows Roger to forget as he speaks about his profession with a bit of disdain, Roger had a small arsenal of tools at his disposal to help get Jamie to safety.
Jamie: Roger? You must kill Stephen Bonnet. If I canna, you must do it. He's alive.
Roger: I know. Brianna heard you and Lord John talkin' at the wedding.
Jamie: There's a man, Philip Whaley, indebted to me, he's arranged for Bonnet to smuggle my whiskey. If Bonnet agrees to a meetin', Lord John can with the particulars.
Roger: I don't know if I could take another man's life, even one who has done what Bonnet has done.
Jamie: You must. If I canna do it, you must. Claire's told me your father, Jeremiah, fought in the second great war. He would've, too, if you'd been of age.
Roger: Ay, but that's different. When a man is standin' there before you, flesh and blood, with fear in his eyes.
Jamie: Bonnet stood before me once, and I saved him from his rightful fate at the gallows. He murdered my friend, attacked my wife, and Bree. He. If I hadna done that.
Roger: But you did. And it's done; you can't change it.
Jamie: Perhaps this is my penance, and unfortunately for you, the son must pay for the sins of the father. For my mistakes, you must do this.
Roger: It's a hell of a time to get philosophical.
Jamie: No time like the present. And you're a university professor, or so everyone keeps tellin' me.
From drawing the venom out of Jamie's leg (which he could have done more than once, maybe, if not for Jamie's fussing) to using his weapons to navigate to creating a stretcher to drag Jamie through the forest, Roger never lost his head during a very intense situation.
And he didn't have it easy. Jamie was unloading his soul to his son-in-law and laying upon his feet a burden he had hoped to address before his dying day.
Roger knows now that there is a plan in motion to kill Stephen Bonnet, but Roger isn't sure he could be the one to do it. But what this hour also showed is that theorizing and doing are entirely different things.
Jamie: If I'm to die tonight, Roger Mac, promise me you'll look after Claire and the Ridge.
Roger: Nonsense, we don't have to worry about any of this because you're going to live. It's a dangerous path to go down; vengeance.
Jamie: Jocasta bequeathed River Run to your son. Bonnet has waged a war on us. We're defending our family, our beliefs. Those that come after us, wee Jamie, have reason to believe that Bonnet will try to claim your son as his own. He'll have witnesses from a tavern that Bree was willing to leave with him for a silver ring.
If Roger came face to face with Bonnet knowing all that he did to his family and wife, Roger might not see the fear in Bonnet's eyes at all.
Everything about the conversations between Jamie and Roger was on point, and I welcomed seeing the two connect in a way they never had the opportunity before.
The family will be better for their new bond, and when the time comes for Bree, Roger, and Jemmy to go through the stones back to the future, Jamie won't fear for their safety and happiness.
The Roger and Jamie scenes also allowed Sam Heughan and Richard Rankin to get their giggles on with the level of snark raised between the characters.
Jamie: If I go to hell, I'm glad you're coming with me.
Roger: [chuckles] Well, thank golly, you haven't lost your sense of humor.
Jamie might have been afraid, but he never let his fear get the better of his humor, and Roger matching wits with Jamie kept Jamie from experiencing the fear he might have felt otherwise.
Look at how quickly Jamie's feelings changed when he realized Claire wasn't calling him names and teasing him mercilessly for his predicament. Nothing made him think he was dying more than a serious tone.
But something that Jamie didn't think was even remotely funny was the potential loss of his leg to save his life.
You know, there were times I felt guilty when I was younger for watching you and my father. I admired you so much, I ran away to Edinboro to be with you. But you're right. I do see how courageous my father was and is. I never thought I'd see the day I'd be ashamed of you, uncle.Young Ian
Kudos to Young Ian for calling his uncle out on his hypocrisy. Jamie's brother-in-law and Young Ian's father was without a leg, and Fergus lost his hand years ago, but Jamie never believed they were lesser men because of it.
That Jamie was so callously and carelessly making a fuss over keeping his leg versus his life was shameful, and Young Ian was ashamed.
Jamie's demand that Claire pledges she'd not take his leg if he lost consciousness was unfair at best, and cruel and hypocritical at least. He wouldn't have made the same promise if it meant Claire losing her leg or his losing Claire. So why would he want her to lie to him?
Because that's all it was. Even when Claire was crying on Bree's shoulder upset that she might have to break that promise and that Jamie would look down at his leg forever with the knowledge she failed to take him at his word, you knew she would still take that leg.
The assumption would have to be that he wasn't thinking clearly and just needed time to process. Of course, he got that time, and he chose his life over his leg, but that was before Claire used her education to save her father's life.
You're an engineer, Bree, and whatever that is they call that here, you just have to find a way to be that.Claire
Another of the many bright spots was the discussion between Claire and Bree about Bree and Roger's attempt to find their place in their new world.
It would be easier for Roger to set up a proper school than for Bree to be an engineer because nothing is the same for women in the past as it will be in the future.
Bree gets little victories, such as wearing trousers, but setting up an engineering business might not be the easiest thing to do. Even Claire has published under a male pseudonym so people would take her medical advice seriously.
So between Roger saving the snake's head and Bree's realization that she could use the creature who put her father's life on the line to save it, they must have felt very pleased with how well they worked together and perhaps feel better about their future as a result.
And if nothing else, the venomous snakes in the area would be smart to see their way far from the ridge lest they wind up acting the part of syringe needle more often.
And we cannot forget that Marsali gave birth to little Felicity nor that she shared with Claire that she sees her as her mother.
The look of pleasure on Marsali's face when she told Claire she was happy she'd have her during birth not as a physician but as her ma was everything.
It does make me feel better that you'll be here. Not so much as my physician, but to share it with me, as a, as my ma.Marsali
Of course, the way Marsali and Claire have grown close only points out even more how limited Fergus has become. Is it possible that Jamie really does think less of Ian and Fergus due to their lost appendages and believes they're incapable of more due to weakness?
Although Fergus is often on the sidelines, he was raised by Jamie and Claire, and he's overshadowed by Marsali, Roger, and Young Ian in their lives when the others are nearby.
You know, Marsali and I try not to think about what we lack but what we have. You and I have a father and an uncle. We should be there for him when he needs us. That's all we can do.Fergus
On When Calls the Heart Season 7 Episode 9, an accident reminds everyone in town how very fleeting life can be. I think Jamie's experience might do the same. I hope relationships and bonds are strengthened as a result of Jamie's accident.
But with so few episodes remaining for Outlander Season 5, we have to deal with Bonnet at some point.
And after watching Claire and Bree deal with the buffalo, I have to wonder if Jamie and Roger's attempt to kill Bonnet will end similarly. Was the buffalo a prognostication of that personal battle that lies ahead? It wouldn't surprise me one bit.
Share all of your Outlander thoughts below.
Who stole the show? Do you agree that this is one of the better installments in the season? What's coming next for our time traveling heroes?
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.