'Outlander' season 4 episode 6 review: William is a different kind of hero than his biological father Jamie Fraser
In 'Blood of my Blood' we meet young Lord William Ransom Grey who first comes across as a spoilt aristocratic brat but eventually turns out to be the hero of the show
'Blood of my Blood,' sounds rather chilling a title for a show that is no stranger to killing off integral characters in a jiffy. Trailers and the first look of Outlander's season 4 episode 6 hinted there's a new surprise visit that would upset Claire Fraser and Murtagh Fraser. Rightly so, the visit of Lord John Grey created tension at Fraser's Ridge because Claire had a personal dislike towards him and Murtagh had a major political difference.
The awkward supper was testament to how loathed his visit was to these two. However, it was a different story altogether for Jamie Fraser, who not only rejoiced in reuniting with John Grey but also in meeting his biological son William, now fathered by John Grey.
At first, William comes across as a brat and he is one, but by the end of the episode, it is convincing that he is not anything like his own father, Jamie, which is a good thing. Jamie may be the hero of this story, but he has his share of faults and weakness. William echoes nothing of that. He is an absolute amazing character in himself.
The first introduction of William in season 4 is when Claire and Murtagh chances upon the lad in the woods. Covered in leeches, William demands Claire remove the parasites from his legs. At first, he brings forth the Game of Thrones' Joffrey Baratheon's initial vibes as a boastful, entitled and pampered member of the aristocracy. But that quickly changes as we see how sensible William is, controlling his emotions, shielding it perhaps for the sake of his loved one - his father Lord John Grey.
When he is brought to the Ridge by Claire and Murtagh, Jamie and Grey are already in conversation as to whether William will recognize Jamie. As introductions are exchanged, William shows no sign of recognition. The boy is cordial, smart and wise about his choice of words and keeps looking at the new people he has met.
When William asks his father, Grey, about using the bathroom, his father points to an outhouse. William is shocked there's an outhouse instead of the chamber pot he is used to. At that time, you may go "what a spoiled kid" and like I said, he will give you that vibe.
When Jamie takes his son - who seems oblivious about his bloodline - to the outhouse, he asks Jamie out of the blue if his name is also "Mackenzie." So, this means the kid recognized Jamie although he denied that he has the wooden snake Jamie carved for him when he was a kid. The last time Jamie saw William was when he was just six years old. The next morning, as Grey and William were gearing up to leave, Grey was diagnosed with measles as the epidemic plagued Cross Creek and they had passed through the area.
Claire setting aside her differences with Grey, nurses him to get better and sends William off with Jamie to avoid exposing him to the disease. So, off they go on a horse, bonding more than ever as a father-son duo. Sightseeing, hunting, fishing and camping, they do it all. It is heartwarming to see them get to know each other from start.
What is more astounding is the revelation that William is not just a spoilt brat. He is a courageous, brave young man. When he shoots the deer right, he instantly impresses Jamie. In order to impress him further, the young man boldly slices the deer to turn it into meat.
However, emotions stir up for the worse as William blames Jamie for Grey contracting the disease, saying if it weren't for him, they would not have come across Cross Creek. Jamie understands the outburst because Grey was clear that life had been hard on the boy given that he lost his mother, Isobel, recently when crossing the Atlantic. Unknown to the little boy, that was his second mother he had lost - the first being Geneva Dunsany, who had blackmailed Jamie into a one-night-stand.
The next morning, when the redhead hero wakes up, he finds out his redhead son is missing from the tent. Following the footsteps, he figures William has ventured into the Cherokee land, despite Jamie's warning. Showing off the fish William had killed, Jamie's warning that they should not be there is quickly followed by an encounter with the Native Americans or "savages" as William puts it.
The Cherokee tribe, who live in harmony with nature, demands blood for blood after discovering the boy killed a fish. In order to save William's life, Jamie offers himself instead confessing William is his bloodline and the same blood runs through him. The tribe agrees to the deal and when Jamie tells William to run for his life, William comes forward and takes responsibility for his actions. Just when you think "oh no! William is going to die," the Cherokee tribesman strikes but simply tears a little skin on the boy's hand and leaves him with a warning.
Jamie hugs his son in relief and calls him courageous. William, who despite denying to the Cherokee he is Jamie's son, knows it in his heart, as viewers can tell, because of the chance glimpses he gives Jamie time and again. William then asks Jamie about the day he left Helwater a long time back and enquires why Jamie did not look back at him when he was running and shouting. Jamie says he did not want to give William false hope that they would ever see each other again.
Simultaneously at Fraser's Ridge, Claire figures the main reason Lord John Grey dropped by their house was because John Grey is in love with Jamie. Grey confessed he wanted to see if he could still feel after he felt nothing when Isobel died. However, the powerful scene results in two powerful characters standing by who they are and reaching a truce with empathy and respect. Claire, the healer that she is, nurses Grey into a healthy man again and as William and Grey leave Fraser's Ridge the next day, William turns back to look at Jamie.
Astounded Jamie takes few steps forward in awe of William, and so do we. Not taking up the narration of his father, that looking back is giving false hope, we realize the path that young William is taking to be a fine man like his father, Jamie, is a very different one. He is growing up to be the new redhead hero, and a different kind of hero than his father, but a hero nevertheless.
Farewell till we see William once again!