When it rains, it pours on Fraser’s Ridge, and by that, I mean just as Claire and Jamie are dealing with Malva’s grisly murder, of which Claire is Suspect No. 1, Lizzie and the Beardsleys have to show up and unload all their throuple business on the lady and gentleman of the big house. They have enough to deal with, Lizzie!! Claire is being accused of killing a pregnant girl and is being haunted by the man that assaulted her, and now she has to listen to your story about how the Beardsley twins rubbed you down with ointment when you had malaria and oopsie-daisy you had sex with both of them and now you’re pregnant and don’t know which one is the father? Hasn’t this woman suffered enough?? Honestly, I’m surprised Claire didn’t just start huffing her ether right there in the middle of Lizzie’s story. I mean, she had every right.
But Claire didn’t do that because Claire is a professional. Also, she’s all about sex-positivity. Could you love Claire any more than when she took in Lizzie’s retelling of how her affair with the Beardsleys started, including that moment when a very hot and horny Lizzie explained that Josiah and Kezzie are “identical everywhere,” and she’s just like “well, I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself,” but also not everyone is going to be cool with this? Claire’s the best. I have a serious question, though: Is Lizzie supposed to be an idiot? She seems genuinely shocked that Claire and Jamie think that her relationship with the Beardsleys won’t go over well with the people on the Ridge and demand she gets married to one of them. Not both of them. Just the other week, Lizzie was correcting Claire for saying a curse word in front of a family dying of dysentery right before their very eyes, and yet she can’t comprehend how those devoutly religious fisherfolk might be against her shacking up with twin brothers. Make it make sense! Jamie makes the Beardsley draw straws to decide who will be the one to marry Lizzie since they can’t make their minds up themselves, and he handfasts her and Kezzie. Later, the three of them will sneak off to Roger’s and have him handfast Lizzie with Josiah, just to cover their bases. Like, why these people can’t see that you could be married to just one of them for the sake of your public life but do whatever you want at home with your “one soul in two bodies” (honestly, isn’t that kind of insulting to Josiah and Kezzie??) remains a mystery. No one has time for this!!
That’s especially true of Claire and Jamie, who have much bigger problems than the Ridge’s resident throuple. The ranks of settlers who believe Claire murdered Malva in a jealous rage for sleeping with Jamie (another lie they still cling to) grow quickly and more vocal by the hour. It’s infuriating that the two guys who come up to the Frasers’ door to hurl accusations directly to their faces are Mr. Crombie and Henderson. That’s rich coming from these two! One of them was about to bury their still alive mother-in-law, who, by the way, used her last few breaths on this earth to basically call him a piece of shit, and the other one was caught having sex with Malva in the church! My blood is boiling!! The worst of it is certainly Malva’s funeral when Allan has a breakdown once he sees Claire try to carry the baby’s casket out — he screams at her for killing his sister and at both Claire and Jamie for taking Malva from him while they get to “live [their] perfect, happy little lives.” Did anyone else clock Tom Christie’s facial reactions to his son? The guy remains awfully quiet here and that is … interesting.
Between all of the accusations floating around and, I’d suspect, the trauma of finding Malva the way she did, Claire is losing it. The haunting specter of Lionel Brown only grows stronger. At one point, he helps convince her that maybe she did kill Malva. Maybe that “dream” while she was under the ether in which she threatened Malva’s life was real. Thanks to some details from Lizzie about that day, she learns that this isn’t the case, but still, all of the stress and guilt is eating her from the inside.
It all leads to an absolutely knockout scene between Claire and Jamie, one that — not to make this all about twins but — feels like the twin to that emotional scene between the two of them in the stable, where Claire was yelling about how everything she’s done has been because of her love for Jamie. Here, she has turned that into an indictment against herself. She makes a quiet but fearful confession to Jamie that she thinks she is at fault for everything bad that’s happened since she went through the stones. That her selfishness has hurt so many people, including Bree and Roger and Malva. She came back and she changed things, and that has caused irreparable damage to everyone she loves. And it was all because she wanted to be with Jamie over everything else. You! Guys! Shower Caitríona Balfe with awards for this scene! When she talks about how she’s had to compartmentalize everything in her life just to survive and how they’ve now all come spilling out together — she doesn’t have to say it, but we, and Jamie, know the cause of this spill was what she suffered at the hands of Lionel Brown and his men — it’s devastating. And we’ve been watching this happen in real-time all season long. She’s been trying to push away any emotions she has just to survive and it isn’t working anymore. Jamie tries to comfort her by reminding her that after Jack Randall raped him and he was broken into pieces, she “found” him. But it was only after he let her in. He let her see the darkness. He begs Claire to do the same. Now he knows about her ether huffing extra-curricular and how she sees Lionel, and he begs her to stop. They need to do this together. And, he adds, that if she is guilty of being selfish because she wanted them to be together, then he’s guilty of the same. Claire tells him that she would do it all again “to be with” him. They hold each other. Their theme music plays. I am emotionally exhausted.
But wait! There’s more! Just when you think Claire might be able to begin healing, Robert Brown and the Clowns from Brown Town (the Safety Committee) roll up to the big house. They’re there to arrest Claire for the murder of Malva Christie. Agh!! We only have one more episode to go! What fate will befall our dear Claire this time around!
• Ian discovers the sin-eater and tells the group that he was missing a few fingers. Bree is the one who connects that to the weird love spell they found in the woods. This will all certainly come into play by the end of the season.
• Roger feels called to become a real minister and not just a pretend one, so he, Bree, and Jemmy head off to get him ordained. They are always leaving at the most inopportune times!
• We get to see a snippet of Malva’s testimony and confession to the congregation, and it’s all about how she was “taken by someone” she trusted, someone who “was supposed to be kind” to her. And while she’s supposed to be talking about Jamie here, doesn’t it sound like there could be a whole list of suspects that fit this description? We still don’t know the father of Malva’s baby, but I bet we will solve that mystery very soon.
• The disdain on Jamie’s face when he talks about vegetarians!