[SPOILER WARNING: Episode 'Prestonpans' of Outlander is discussed here. Turn back if you don't want it to be spoiled for you]
This week's episode of #OutlanderSeason2 was a bittersweet one.
From winning a great victory to losing a dear character, we learned that every war exacts its due price. Here are the top moments of Outlander's 'Prestonpans'.
If there was ever the need to show us how doomed exactly this Jacobite rebellion is, in this episode we got a divided house to illustrate. After all, what kind of army could possibly win a war if its own generals can't see eye to eye on how to do it?
General Murray and the Quartermaster have differing opinions on the difficulty of the terrain ahead of the Highland army and, even though they've taken Perth and Edinburgh without bloodshed, it seems this time there will be no way around a gory battle.
"What's Mine, Is Yours"
After bickering with Kincaid and Ross, who are both battle-inexperienced crofters, Angus overhears the men pledging to take care of each other's families in case something happens in battle. In a very formal tone, Kincaid and Ross do a - quite unhygienic - spit swear that everything they own now belong to each other, which prompts Angus to try and do the same with Rupert. Rupert, of course, is having none of it.
In the same scene, but with much less spitting, Murtagh shares his troubles with Jamie. He goes on about how in a raid every man has a part to play and how every single life matters, with a lost one's memory living on in the clan's history forever. In the forthcoming battle, Murtagh claims no single man's death counts for anything and that it would take a thousands lives before any carries value. Quite a grim line of thought to be having pre-battle, if you ask me - and Jamie.
The Mighty Highland Charge
I know I've already mentioned this charge in a previous post, but Outlander really surpassed any expectations I might have had, both as a reader and as a history buff. The sound editing played a really big part in luring us into the scene, making the Highlanders sound like cavalry while they were descending upon the English soldiers. Also, while the women, led by Claire, waited in heavy silence for their patients in the infirmary, the roar of the men in the battlefield filled the room in quite an overwhelming way.
Another thing of note, is the effectiveness of the surprise of the charge. According to Dougal - who talks about it in the infirmary later on - it took the whole of fifteen minutes for the Scottish to overtake the English camp, with very few casualties on the Highland side.
Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser, actually spoke to Variety about the battle scenes and the difficulties in filming it. Here's what he had to say about 'Prestonpans':
Ae Fond Kiss
As it is to be expected in an a battle-centered episode, there were plenty of goodbyes going around in 'Prestonpans'. Since the finale of Season 1, Angus has been trying to get a kiss from Mistress Claire Fraser, to no avail. In this episode, he tried yet again - getting another one in the cheek instead - but I did feel sorry for the lad in the end.
After the battle, Angus comes to the infirmary to get help for Rupert, who received a pretty nasty cut on his side. After Claire sees to him and all seems well, in a sad twist, it's Angus who ends up suffocating in his own blood. It turns out, he suffered a hard blow from a canon blast, which caused him to bleed internally. He died surrounded by Jamie, Claire and Dougal, on the floor and without a last kiss.
According to the show's producer Ronald D. Moore, Angus's death was a necessary price of war. In an interview with E News, he explained:
It felt wrong to do a war story and not have our side lose somebody, and not just somebody that steps into the show for an episode and dies, but somebody that actually means something to the audience.
Well, there you have it.
R.I.P. Angus. Your loyalty and your dark humor will surely be missed.
Next week's episode, 'Vengeance is mine', will bring us Jamie on the run and an exiled Dougal, with more war on their heels.
A wee reminder that if you have the Starz app, you may catch the newest episode before it airs on TV.
Outlander airs every Saturday, on Starz.