Outlander Blood of My Blood Review
Starz’s Outlander: Season 4, Episode 6: Blood of My Blood is an episode of reunion, one of many for this season of Outlander. James “Jamie” MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan) has had many suitors since Outlander began, both men and women. Through all of them, Dr. Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) has persevered. Lord John William Bertram Armstrong Grey (David Berry), however, is different. Lord Grey shared a special moment in Jamie’s life with him i.e. the situation concerning the birth of Jamie’s son. These events and Lord Grey’s stewardship of Jamie’s son have bonded Lord Grey and Jamie Fraser in friendship during a unique situation – the two of them should be mortal enemies. One of them is a former “Red Coat” (a member of the British Army) and the other is former Scottish rebel.
The frank conversation that Claire Fraser and Lord Grey have in Blood of My Blood bridges the gulf between the aforementioned time period in Jamie’s life to the current reality of Jamie’s marriage to Claire. The two people speaking during the conversation both adore Jamie Fraser. Claire’s bluntness during their conversation leads Lord Grey to be just as honest with his thoughts and opinions, enabling both to have a heart-to-heart. Lord Grey doesn’t love Jamie but he cares for Jamie and yearns for his physical and mental companionship.
Through Lord Grey and what he tells Claire Fraser, Claire learns of new areas in the recesses of Jamie’s mind and past. The most disquieting, from Claire’s reaction to it, is learning of Jamie’s sexual offer to Lord Grey for the benefit of his son. Being raped by a man is one thing but freely offering your body to another man, regardless of the reason, is an entirely different situation. Jamie’s offer may say something about his sexuality (possibly as a result of his rape i.e. trading his body for a certain outcome is now something Jamie can do) but it said volumes about how far Jamie was willing to go for the benefit of his son. I believe the former is what Claire is thinking about when the sex offer revelation is brought to light in Blood of My Blood.
The alone time that Ninth Earl of Ellesmere William “Willie” Clarence Henry George Ransom (Oliver Finnegan) and Jamie Fraser spend together in Blood of My Blood is exactly what the two of them would have been doing if Willie’s true paternity weren’t secret. Jamie tries to soak in every second of time with Willie, re-bonding with him as much as he can. The time alone with Willie is a precious gift to Jamie Fraser, a gift that never would have been bestowed if Lord John Grey had not gotten sick.
It is left ambiguous whether or not Willie Ransom believes Jamie Fraser when Jamie claims Willie is his child to stop the Cherokee from harming Willie. Does Willie think what Jamie blurts out – the Duke of Sandringham would be ashamed of Jamie for “blurting” – is a ploy or the truth? “Mark me,” when Willie throws Jamie’s potential sacrifice back into Jamie’s face and accepts full responsibility for the Cherokee offense, it shows a cleverness of mind (like Jamie), a plucky heart, and a willingness to accept brutal consequences to protect a man that had once been his caretaker and friend.
Whether Willie Ransom believes Jamie Fraser’s hasty words or not, the hug that he gives Jamie when the ordeal is over is the same hug Willie bestows on his “father”, Lord John Grey, after Grey’s fever breaks. It’s a hug of affection, easily recognizable as such to all that see it and feel it.
Unlike the painful don’t-look-back decision by Jamie Fraser in Of Lost Things, Willie Ransom does look back at Jamie in Blood of my Blood when he leaves Jamie’s presence for an indefinite amount of time. It is a beautiful moment that says a lot about the past and the present and how the two have come full circle in both of their lives.
Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix)’s restraint as he sat at the dinner table in Blood of my Blood with the embodiment of his adversary, Lord John Grey, is admirable but it is also telling. The careful viewer can see that Murtagh and his animosity toward representatives of the British government is a festering problem that will not go away. Lord Grey’s answers about Britain’s lavish spending in America, at the tax payers’ expense and suffering, did nothing to quell the need for an uprising in the heart of Murtagh. If anything, Murtagh Fraser’s brief conversation with Lord Grey in Blood of my Blood, adds fuel to the fire.
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