We're stepping into the good stuff with Outlander Season 6 Episode 5 as the colonies get restless living under British rule.
As the United States of America roils with tension, recalling why we are here, and the sacrifices made to bring it into existence through fictional characters we love is very timely.
History aside, it's good, compelling storytelling.
But before traveling to Wilmington, we must touch base with Frasers Ridge, as tongues are wagging all over.
There is a thing that men tend to do. That thing is growing closer to women who seem to need help, ignoring the competent and self-sufficient.
It happens today. Men still like to save women, and those who don't need saving sometimes have a harder time finding someone to love (hand raised!).
Jamie never had that problem with Claire, so perhaps it's a more modern problem because Roger did it to Bree.
Bree has been using her smarts to duplicate future accomplishments, hoping to make life easier on the Ridge. Instead of embracing her ideas and perhaps offering to help, Roger felt he was needed more by Amy MacCallum and spent increasing time there.
It's one thing to offer kindness to a widow and her son, but it's another to do so at the expense of your wife and son. Roger didn't realize he was doing it at first, failing to see how it affected Bree and Jemmy.
Bree had even mentioned it to him, but he was still reluctant to leave Amy to her own devices. And then Malva threatened to concoct a lie about him and Amy, which would have surely taken his innocent assistance to an entirely different level, and Roger changed course.
Roger: I want to spend my time with you and Jemmy, just the three of us.
Bree: All the four of us.
They're going to have another baby, so let's hope Malva's threats regarding Roger disappear.
Malva has revealed her true colors, and they are vibrantly evil. She's already a bit of a whore (hey, it's the times!), making threats and hoping to use a love potion to trap someone. That someone is most certainly Jamie. That scene in the forest foretold it.
Plenty is going on there already, and it's hard to imagine how she'll aggravate an already volatile situation. Jamie and Claire expressed their concern over how the people on the Ridge would react to their work on behalf of the uprising. Malva will not make it easier.
They're also losing some local support, as Jocasta bought Fergus a print shop in New Bern, and Marsali and the children will join them. It's a good move, given how poorly Tom's bunch treated them, but it will sting.
It's aggravating that Tom and his group have only just arrived, and they're already having a significant negative impact on all that Jamie and Claire have accomplished.
Jamie and Claire were in Wilmington, North Carolina, to welcome Flora MacDonald to town and listen to her talk. She had helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape Scotland, which made her quite esteemed in the eyes of many.
Things didn't go swimmingly for her upon her arrival, and before she even got to talk, her room was ransacked, leaving her quite anxious. One emerald from her favorite necklace wasn't recovered when authorities captured the guy, so Claire introduced Flora and Jocasta to smoking hemp.
That would have been a much more enjoyable scene with the laughter and release they felt if Claire wasn't turning to drugs more often than not. It's very concerning. She even ethered herself before returning to hear Flora speak.
It's worrisome not only because she's escaping pain instead of talking about it but because she's putting herself in peril doing it.
With everything she has suffered at the hands of others, how does she think that dosing herself with ether is a good idea? She's practically putting herself on a plate with a sign that says, "Help yourself." It makes me very uncomfortable.
As for Jamie, he's slowly removing himself from his allegiance to the crown, which isn't as easy as one might think.
Jamie: You know, I've never lived without allegience, wittingly or not, to laird or king.
Claire: I know. The tide has turned. Our allegieence now is, it's to this new nation.
He trusts Claire implicitly, and that informs his actions. Others he comes in contact with have stronger convictions for the cause, but his knowledge of what's to come gives him a unique perspective.
His first round of business was to remove himself as Indian Agent. That kicked up some dust, and Lord John was tasked with discovering Jamie's feelings on the issue.
At first, Jamie told John he was still allied with the crown. But that wasn't the whole story. The Sons of Liberty were meeting in Wilmington, and Jamie was going to join them. That three Lord John for a loop, but he respects Jamie so much that it may influence him in the future to reconsider backing the crown.
The Sons of Liberty was a group that came into existence after an earlier protest of the crown, with Cornelius Harnett leading. Harnett was an interesting man, and Jamie enjoyed talking with him. They share similar values. And yes, Harnett is a real man, as was the Sons of Liberty group.
Harnett will be a significant influence in North Carolina as the fledgling nation takes hold, and he's an excellent point of entry for Jamie to get his feet wet with the upcoming battle for independence. Harnett was also a Mason, something else to bond him and Jamie together.
There was already infighting within the Sons of Liberty. Bad decisions were readily embraced when the group felt someone had stepped out of line.
Cornelius: The first matter to discuss is our provincial congress. We will hold a vogte on all of our delegates, one from each county. And after, we-- [Jamie enters] I'm afraid, Mr. Fraser, that you are no longer wecome.
Jamie: Why not?
Cornelius: You made your sympathies quite plain when you defended that tory printer. Mr. Beeston was in the street and witnessed everything.
Jamie: I see. So you'd see an innocent man tarred and feathered? Or killed?
Cornelius: That man was printing pamphlets preaching reconcilation with Mother England, which threatens our cause.
Jamie didn't like what he was witnessing. It was counter to their name. Liberty isn't a one-sided spectacle. It applies to all, whether you agree with them or not.
Jamie: Mr. Simms owns a printing press. It's his right to print whatever he pleases. I came here tonight because I believed I'd be among men who understood that, even if they disagreed. Men who are not afraid to hear another man's opinion spoken because they prize that freedom and have faith it will serve the greater good in time. But, maybe I was wrong. Maybe there is no common decency.
Cornelius: Common decency, Mr. Fraser?
Jamie: Aye. If it truly is to be common to all men, it must begin with us. You call yourself "Sons of Liberty." Is it liberty when a man is cowed into silence or threatened into submission? Is it liberty if his property is taken from him?
If there was ever a time when we needed to reexamine the founding ideas that led to the Revolutionary War, this is it.
We are at each other's throats personally and because the media demands it. We have forgotten that freedom of expression is essential to our way of life. What Jamie spoke about is happening with more frequency, and we need to be cognizant of it.
Our opinions differ, and it's working within those differing opinions that's important.
I'm really looking forward to more of these crucial discussions about freedom and liberty as they pertain to our core principles.
But with Malva causing issues and Buck likely to be the thief with the emerald, there will be plenty of more personal issues to deal with as Jamie and Claire assert themselves with the colonies' quest for freedom.
We've only got three episodes remaining for Outlander Season 6, and it feels like we've got a lot to cover.
Remember that you can watch Outlander online if you need to revisit any of the pertinent points before joining me in conversation below.
There is so much to discuss!
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.