OutlanderBTS Episode 406, The Discussion – Blood of My Blood

OK ladies and gents, it’s Friday evening, you’ve worked hard all week, time to grab a cocktail and join me…

I invite you into this warm, wonderful, and often hilarious discussion of Episode 406, with the same crew from last time (Episode 402, The Discussion) : Antoinette Simmons, Karmen Schmidt (Outlander Anatomy), Catherine Toomer (Blacklanderz), and myself (Courtney Williams/ Outlander Behind The Scenes). We discuss EVERYTHING, including: favorite scenes from 406, our big themes, what (if anything) didn’t work, we touch on snakes, the Cherokee language, our favorite sex scenes in Outlander, and more. If you enjoy it even half as much as we did, it’ll be well worth your time! ?

(And, if you happen to come across this after Friday night, no worries, you can make a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate… anything works, morning, noon, or night for joining in!) 

Without further ado…


For more Episode Discussions like this one, go to Episode Discussions

If you’re looking for more Outlander during Droughtlander (aside from anticipating Bees, re-reading Diana’s other 8 books, and re-watching the show), visit my Interviews page, and Reader Favorites page.

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Thanks for watching! x

27 comments on “OutlanderBTS Episode 406, The Discussion – Blood of My Blood

  1. I took notes this time!
    Starting at the end; Move with me; I am in total agreement! The week that aired, while during my horse riding lesson, I told my trainer. If you’ve ever taken riding lessons you will hear, Move with the horse! We giggled for 10 minutes. Kristal said she now has to keep a straight face when she tells young students to move with the horse.
    Next, not mentioned was the lovely passage from the Scottish Prisoner, when Jamie recounts Willie’s first interaction with the horses. I love the image of Willie protesting Mo, Mo and then being up on Jamie’s shoulders. Then he hugs Deke’s nose and is lifted gently in the air. Even then Jamie was an intuitive parent.
    I was beside myself waiting for this episode as it is my favorite section of Outlander. It is about family and how they are formed. There has to be love, patience and tolerance for each member, as non of us is perfect. When I met David Berry, I had him sign my book on the page where he says he was born that way. Each and every time I hear or read those words my heart strings are tugged. Diana, with 3 words, encapsulates his dilemma, without flourish, and therefore powerfully. Then when they each acknowledges that they couldn’t love a person correctly, purely because they were born not the right person is a deep bond they share.
    This is definitely my favorite episode. Sam does an incredible job portraying love, fear, hope and longing almost simultaneously. The way Jamie is so matter of fact telling Willie that he must go with him, snaking a very long arm to catch him and with his back turned, telling Willie not to try it, is every parent. “If you undo your car seat one more time I am pulling over and make sure you stay in it.” When Willie says how glorious the land is and Jamie is looking at Willie it almost makes you drop to your knees. Jamie saying to Willie that he guesses Willie isn’t old enough to dress the deer is another great technique.
    The First Nations in Canada fought, it was considered extremely brave to gallop up to an enemy and touching the enemy; counting coup. I assumed that was what the Cherokee meant about paying with blood. A small cut, not a killing. The comment about blood oaths in the Highlands was quite true; think of the title and the wedding. It will come to play toward the end of this season. I liked the comment that it wasn’t the fish at issue, rather the respect of the treaty. Each participant showed respect; Jamie acknowledging they were in the wrong, the Cherokee respecting the courage shown by Willie and Jamie.
    If an accent came through, it wasn’t American, rather Canadian. You may be far more numerous than us, but we are proud of being a country; not to be confused with the 51 state! That is no different than saying there isn’t a difference among tribes. That would be insulting. Particularly when you consider the Trail of Tears when the Cherokee were moved from a totally different environment and expected to live a totally different way of life.
    I have been thinking of Murtaugh and I am wondering if they will use his character when it is time for Jamie to make the necessary decesion. He is left out of the loop, if you recall. He isn’t the same man he was and couldn’t be expected to be after 14 years of indenture. I did think he went a little bit too far at supper.
    I liked the fact that Willie’s guess is confirmed when he heard Jamie speaking Gaelic. I don’t think he’d look at Jamie and notice a resemblance.
    They certainly made John look sick with the measles. I had them and still remember. Thanks for the info about the 90% infection rate; which should mean mandatory immunization.
    I noticed Jamie washing his hands in alcohol; said a lot.
    I loved the snake nod to the book. When you were saying it was too close if you are checking out patterns, it reminded me of the literature you would get going into the Western Canadian National Parks, about bears. How to avoid them etc, but try to tell if they are a grizzly or a black bear, by the shape of their claws! In Alberta snake ID was between a garter snake and a rattler; which is easy.
    I couldn’t have been more pleased with this episode!

    • Loved the Discussion again, and your comment as well, Frances. Laughed at the ‘move with the horse’ anecdote :-).
      I liked Courtney bringing up the Geneva sex scène. I’ve always liked it after I watched it the second time (and many more).
      And you described the lovely ‘parenting’ scenes of Jamie and William really well, I felt the same.
      I don’t think there’s enough credit for Sam in this discussion, but I’m not objective. I do feel the love for him and Jamie though and I know that everyone is so excited about the last two episodes because Jamie is ‘back’ and that is not only because of the writing but because of his performance too.

      • Hi Andrea – Any praise for Jamie is praise for Sam (imo) as it relates to the show. When the stars align (= good writing and directing for his character), Sam KILLS it. He IS Jamie. I feel he had the material to work with in this episode, and he shined like the bright light he is. All of my favorite scenes included him. His facial expressions are so effective and moving. I can’t say enough about Sam as Jamie, when he has good material to work with! (Like he did in 304, as well, with Geneva ?). I was beginning to think we had to see all his best work NOT in scenes with Cait, but 406 redeemed them together, for me. So much to do with writing, directing, and editing IMO! Thanks for your comment. x

    • Hahaha Frances! You sure did! I wonder if they had him say that because he’s a horseman! Makes sense (I ride too). Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve read the Scottish Prisoner! What’s wrong with me?? I honestly don’t think there’s a scene in 406 that I didn’t love! “Sam does an incredible job portraying love, fear, hope and longing almost simultaneously.” I couldn’t agree more. Sam plays Jamie as a parent VERY well. I said they were Canadian! Catherine is a doctor, she didn’t like me correcting her! ? Thanks for all your thoughtful comments! ?

  2. It’s a week later, but with work and my daughter obsessions get delayed. I really liked the episode and especially the work with Sam this season. I wrote after 401 that it felt more like S1 with Jamie back. Thank goodness. S2 ‘s decision to portray Jamie’s PTSD in a more realistic way was wrong on so many levels for me. Each episode was very difficult for me to watch. Soooo happy they stuck more with the book’s dialogue and their true relationship. It is a pleasure to watch Sam this season!! I absolutely cannot wait for DTRH. I love everything about this story.

    • Mc – I agree about the S2 PTSD. I think it was Sam’s choice to play Jamie that way – I remember that the writers had put in a sex scene right after the return, and Cait and Sam felt it would not have been easy for Jamie. Anyway, yeah, I hear you! He was back moreso in the second half of S2. I have my fingers crossed for the rest of Season 4!!

  3. Courtney this was great! I appreciated the mini screen views of the non-speakers and seeing their reactions to the speaker. This was my favorite episode so far, as well. I wanted to say that I was moved by Lord John’s parting gift of the his chess set to Jamie. In giving it, to me he was saying, “I recognize that I will never have your love as you love Claire. Nevertheless, I am very grateful for our strong bond of friendship and your trust in me to be a good father to William. I hope this will remind you of that. And although you have given me your son, you have a son in Ian, and it will please me to think of you teaching and playing chess with him using my gift to you.”

    • Cece! I love your take on the chess set – I can see it! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and like to watch all of the screen views too ?. Did you see our discussion of 402?

      • I did see the 402 discussion! It was also very good for all the reasons mentioned by others, and now you have added an improvement with the mini-screens. (They probably have a more hip name than that.) Technology is a marvel, and I’m so happpy you are making the most of it and leading these discussions with such bright ladies. I hope all can continue to participate in the future. Your’re doing a fine editing job, too, on what must be a pretty tight schedule to have it ready to view in under a week. I was also aware of the two similar snakes, and besides laughing, that was my first thought. Merry Christmas!

  4. Thank you so much ladies! I really enjoyed listening to all your comments. I found myself agreeing with most of your comments. I think we would all agree that season1 was so special with all the highlanders and that is why we loved seeing Murtagh again. Loved the facial expressions on Jamie and Murtagh’s face when they met again and when Jamie is telling Murtagh that Claire came back to him. Murtagh is so happy and excited. Brings you back to when Murtagh is talking to Jamie about Claire in jail. When they’re talking about the white witch and Murtaugh says to Jamie do you ever wonder what happened to the lass. This is my favourite episode so far this season, loved the bathtub scene. Thought it was very romantic and awesome. I think Jamie thinks it’s important that she has a ring from him, he just loves her so much, he would give her the world if you could. I also loved the interaction between Lord John Gray and Claire. It was interesting when you gals talked about the cabin and how perfect it was, Sam also made a comment in an in an interview about that and how he thought that it should be more rustic but the people said it was a new America and everything was new. There is so much I love to talk about I should’ve taken notes but I just want to thank you for this and I will listen to more talks, thanks so much.

  5. I thought the discussion was great and at the end when the discussion ended in giggles I was joining in. It was an intelligent conversation with good friends. Well done

  6. Courtney,

    You have found the perfect mix of women to discuss these episodes. I am in agreement with a good portion of what they have to say, and even when I’m not, they are thought-provoking and bring up a lot of interesting viewpoints. I am one that has fallen out of love somewhat with the series…haven’t given up hope or watching but also not expecting too much anymore. This episode was the first in a while that restores my hope.

    One of the things I’ve been having a problem with is all the added conflict they’ve added with the Cherokee. But interestingly enough, this discussion and something that was said by one of you made me realize that the scene involving them is probably one I enjoyed most in this episode.

    I’ve also not been able to put my finger on or find the words to describe the difference between LJG in the show vs. the books. One of you described it perfectly as being wistful and lovelorn in the show and that was the perfect way of putting it. I’m also glad they are giving us the Claire I know, love and recognize from the books.

    I also think they’ve nailed it in the show getting its gravitas back. I also don’t need all the extra drama and adventure…just give me the story that we love.

    If you haven’t surmised this from what I’ve said, I really enjoy these discussions tremendously and look forward to some more.

    • Thank you Maryann! We 4 ENJOY each other too, which makes it fun for us, and for you viewers, I think. Glad you enjoyed it! x

  7. There have been only two discussions but I’m already addicted to them. AND I don’t want to be cured! Thank you for listeing to our plea.
    As it has been pointed out, your exchanges are intelligent, witty and respectful. Listening to you feels like talking to friends. On top of it, one also learns a lot about the most varied topics. Many thanks again for being so generous!
    This is my favourite episode so far and I agree with almost everything you said. For me it’s a wonderful chamber piece and as such very intense. You can feel how the tonality and rhythm change when different characters interact as instruments do in chamber music and the intensity reaches its climax with William looking back. By the way, even if it’s not my favourite scene, I love William’s radiant face when Jamie tells him that he actually wanted to look back when he left Hellwater.
    Apart from the themes you mentioned, I think there is another powerful one: being a father (or a parent). Circumstances give Jamie the glimpse of a moment to be the father he’s always wanted to be. Little does he know that he may get another (challenging) chance to show his abilites as a parent…
    And of course, I look forward to another of your thought-provoking and hilarious conversations.
    Season’s Greetings and warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday!

  8. I like the 4 speakers/reviewers. I had to catch up so my response is about all the episodes, My main concern is how educated Jamie is in the books but in the show Claire gets his lines and she knows better all the time. Jamie sees himself as a man would in 1767, as the provider-he lost Scotland, he lost being Laird, He lost his friends, he lost all his money and then when he meets his Aunt who reminds him of his mother; Claire immediately starts being a pain. I like that one speaker who mentioned how Claire is so arrogant that it makes her difficult to like at times. However as S4 progresses it seems Jamie is being given some, independent thinking. I hated how S3 was all Claire; she is back 24 hours, his shop burns down, everything he built up for himself, even his smuggling money is gone, a man attacks Claire and dies after we have to gag while super Claire drills his skull and finally he has to return home and admit that while he yearns to be a father he has no claim on how to raise young Ian. When the heck did he have time to explain his second marriage to Claire?
    I also thought the playing of “America” while people died and were beaten to a pulp was totally politically and aesthetically wrong. The writers have ignored all the humor from the books for most of the seasons and at that moment they decided to get cutesy? It was wrong on so many levels. Then the next morning Jamie looks fine, not a single bruise, but he is sad and they have Mama Claire telling him everything is ok. In the book Jamie took care of Claire. I am more concerned that Jamie is emasculated week after week by Claire. He built her a fantastic cabin but we get shots of her sharpening an ax-It would have been nice to hear Claire say one nice thing to Jamie about all his work. As a single father of 3 sons, I am disgusted that men are portrayed in the media as being incapable of fidelity, honesty, respect and many other positive traits. Look at the main characters in movies and shows. the father usually makes the mistakes and is saved by his sassy wife. Why can it not be both ways at least some of the time? Why can Jamie and Claire not be a team ?

  9. I grew up directly across the street from an historic log cabin outside of Nashville. I spent many hours playing in and around it. It was originally a way station for barges going to or from Nashville. Jamie and Claire live in a middle class mansion compared to this 9’ by 15’ log cabin. None of the extant cabins in East and Middle Tennessee look anything like the one on Fraser’s Ridge. That’s the bottom line.

  10. I grew up directly across the street from an historic log cabin outside of Nashville. I spent many hours playing in and around it. It was originally a way station for barges going to or from Nashville. Jamie and Claire live in a middle class mansion compared to this 9’ by 15’ log cabin. None of the extant cabins in East and Middle Tennessee look anything like the one on Fraser’s Ridge. That’s the bottom line.

  11. Courtney, I want to say your two webcast discussion panels have been some of most perceptive and erudite I’ve seen yet on our favorite stories and characters — more please! As a family doctor, I’m very intrigued with the opinions from all four of you and find myself frequently in agreement. Thank you for the immense effort it takes to produce and edit these discussions — deeply appreciated.

  12. Loved you ladies. Especially the laughter. I too found this episode the best and since I am all about the RELATIONSHIPS this fed me. As was repeated this had depth, and layers and gravitas!

    There is a theme you did not discuss that has been heavy on my mind and it is part of the undercurrent I see in the books and the show. That is the exploration of class. I thought it remarkable that no one brought this up in reference to Jamie and Murtagh although it was discussed in episode 402 in regards to the interactions with enslaved chracters. I would love to see you ladies discuss class in depth. There is a very strong “caste” ordering from enslaved persons to savages to the Aristocracy vs the Regulators. By birthright both Jamie and Claire are cut from the upper crust. Jamie is “Laird” and Claire his “Lady.” And even though they are in the backwoods of NC it is evident in their clothes, their cabin and the way they comport themselves. I love what they have done with Murtagh. He is there to remind Jamie of his “responsibilities” to his people. Do not let that be lost on anyone. Claire knows what is coming through benefit of history and knows they are on the wrong side with Gov. Tyron. My ancestors were Germans living very near the Quaker Meeting House. My ancestor was a loyalist til his son’s became Patriots and the loyalists came to arrest him and burned down his cabin. I own the extortion Writ that Tyron and his minions executed against the settlers. It is argued by some Carolinians that the Battle of Alamance was the first Battle of the Revolution. It certainly was the precursor to the Boston Tea Party. So I am very pleased the writers are using Murtagh to educate Jamie and us. I am sad that Herman Husband may have been written out but I can live with it.

    But back to Class this is a through line throughout Outlander as Diana has us struggle with issues of privledge and class. Trying viewing the shows through this lens and you will be surprised. And Jamie and Claire are not always reflected very favorably. But as Larid and Lady they have huge responsibilities and that is their redemption. Again I think Murtagh is the perfect counterpart….Jamie’s alter ego and conscience. I am excited to see where they go with this. As to Jocasta as much as I love her I don’t see Murtagh marrying her, but we shall see in due time.

    tThanks again for these intelligent fun discussions….they are as informative as they are fun!

  13. Wow! Two and half hours of delight for you folks distilled into just over an hour for us! What a grand job of editing.
    It is so interesting to me that all of us feel the same way about the quality of the episodes this season so far. I LOVED…loved…loved the nod to the snake in the privy. I was fairly certain the writers were not going to include the whole scene and the gentle nod was very appreciated. And now having seen episode 407, another nod for book readers is present (having to do with something edible….not spoiling anything for those who have not viewed it yet).
    I too think 406 and 405 have been, so far, the best episodes. The acting, sets, costumes…all of the components have been just beautiful, for all of the characters. I too think 402 missed the mark….a very complex episode and how portrayed difficult. The real problem I had with it was Claire’s reactions…..she is an intelligent woman, knows what history occurs and knows she is in ‘their world’. So why so nasty? Her interactions with Jocasta were just wrong. Yes, slavery is abhorrent….no denying that concept but the ‘dumb-ing down’ of Claire (yes, she often reacts with out thinking of the consequences) seemed so off to me. it truly still makes me shake my head. I am relieved and grateful that the writers have steered back to the characters we know and love.
    I am so appreciative of your discussions. What a treat for your audience. I’m sure I am not the only person who would encourage the four of you to continue….Your are all so unique and bring lovely perspectives to the discussion.
    With all my love and gratitude,

  14. Hi Courtney

    I haven’t had a chance to post here but be assured I am loving your discussions and probably will only attempt to interact with your post of the discussions of the show. I am having a hard time reading all of the comments, blogs, posts (good and bad). The episodes and the books can only be related to individually – everyone has differing opinions, but I really like the series and the changes and since no one is going to be able to do anything about them (at this point people are already disappointed in the rest of the season because of this that or the other) I am not going to ruin my enjoyment any further by absorbing the daily rantings. I’m glad to have you four and a wee dram every know and then.

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and views above. A very intelligent group of people – I’ve learned a lot from reading their perceptions. I am loving Season 4 all the way through. I always love watching Sam and look forward to every scene he is in. He is a brilliant actor – there is something about him that a person responds to right away. I feel he is isn’t getting the credit for all his hard work. He lights up the screen in every scene he has. It was very interesting regarding the scenes between Claire and Lord Grey – quite the revelation between the two. Claire was very forthright and honest, while Lord Grey hedged around the issue of Jamie. Claire never backs down from anyone. I was fascinated by the Cherokee and their culture – it was very well expressed here. The scenes with Sam and Willie were priceless – Willie had to back down a few notches – he was a handful – but Jamie certainly earned his respect and regard. I know eventually Willie will find out his true parentage, but not yet. Thank you for sharing all the opinions above.

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