‘Outlander’ Season 5 Episode 9: Jamie’s ‘sons’ help him deal with crisis of losing his leg in their own ways
Jamie has the habit of becoming a father figure. In this episode, we see how his three "sons", Roger Mackenzie, Young Ian and Fergus react to his near-death experience, while Brianna too acts as a son
Jamie Fraser is the kind of man that other men follow into battle because he is a born leader in the same way that Claire is a born healer and Brianna is a born engineer, as this episode proves.
In Season 2, he earned Fergus' loyalty and eventually became his foster father. Jamie also gave orphan Fergus the Fraser family surname when he marries Marsali, giving his blessings in more ways than one. Young Ian too has always looked up to his uncle Jamie, seeing him more as a father than an uncle. He ran away to Edinburgh to be with him and Jamie also crosses the seas to rescue him from his terrible fate in the Carribeans. They are reunited in the New World, where Young Ian again, because of his love for Jamie, joins the Mohawk tribe so that Jamie and Roger can return to Claire and Brianna.
And last but not least is Roger Mackenzie's complicated relationship with Jamie as a man who loves his daughter and wants to be accepted as his son-in-law. Their relationship got off to a rocky start when Jamie nearly beat him to death thinking he had raped Brianna. Since then, they have gotten closer -- even though Roger still feels Jamie has no faith in him.
In this episode, we see how Jamie's three surrogate "sons" deal with him being bitten by a snake and hovering close to death. Roger, who is the only one by his side in the forest, promises Jamie that he will kill Bonnet if Jamie dies. Jamie acknowledges him as a son, by saying the "the sins of the father are visited on the son" before burdening him with the task.
Roger, who has been a university professor all his life, is reluctant to kill in cold blood but accepts the gruesome task nonetheless. Even when Jamie recovers in the end and tells him he no longer has to kill Bonnet, Roger says that he will come with Jamie when he faces Stephen Bonnet. The task is now a shared one -- between father and son.
Young Ian is the estranged son who has returned and has grown a bit distant from Jamie. When he realizes that Jamie would rather be dead than be a cripple, he loses his temper. Saying that while his father, the senior Ian, and Fergus lost their limbs fighting, there was "nothing honorable" about dying from a snakebite.
Calling Jamie "stubborn" and "proud", he also calls out Jamie's hypocrisy in looking down on these crippled men despite their bravery when in fact it was Jamie who was the coward. "Never thought I would see the day I would be ashamed of you, uncle," he says bitingly, before storming out of the room. It is his words that make Jamie agree to have his infected leg amputated.
Fergus, the adopted son, provides the kindness and understanding that Jamie needs at the time. When Young Ian tells him not to see him because Jamie would only hurt his feelings because he was "acting as if losing a leg is the worst thing possible", Fergus calms him down. "You and I have a father and an uncle. We should be there for him when he needs us. It's all we can do," he says, unwilling to be angry at Jamie for not wanting to become a "man of leisure" like him.
And finally, there is Brianna, Jamie's actual daughter. She turns the gender trope of daughters needing protection by becoming the one protecting Jamie. She is the one to create the rudimentary injection using the viper's fang that Claire uses to inject penicillin into Jamie's infected leg, saving him from needing amputation.
It is not always that parents can be proud of their progeny -- but Roger, Brianna, Young Ian and Fergus show that they have been brought up the right way. Each of them contributes something to Jamie's eventual recovery, be it labor (Roger), brains (Brianna), courage (Young Ian) or kindness of the heart (Fergus).
'Outlander' 'premieres new episodes on Sundays at 8:00 pm ET/PT on STARZ, the STARZ app, and STARZ On Demand.