OutlanderBTS Episode 502, The Discussion – Between Two Fires

Photo: Lauren Lyle (aka the scene stealer), as Marsali and Caitriona Balfe as Claire, Ep 502, Starz

We’re BACK! And I’m so happy about it! 🤗 We four enjoyed a wonderful chat Monday night about the second Ep of Season 5, and I’ve captured and edited it to share with you all. We have a new format, because Google Hangouts is no longer, so check it out…

Without further ado, here we go! Betwixt Two Fires…


To catch up on our Episode Discussions you may have missed, go to Episode Discussions

I will also start a discussion thread on Twitter about Ep 502 with the #BTS502 – that’s useful, because you can search that term and find the different conversation threads. If you missed the #BTS501 convo, put that into the search field on Twitter and check it out. I will recap, but it’s taking some time.

As mentioned in our discussion, Karmen did a lesson on Penicillin for Ep 308, First Wife (when Leg Hair shoots Jamie), and I am sharing that with you here…

Anatomy Lesson #58: Needles, Nerves and Penicillin!

Let us know what you thought of the episode, here in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever you like. I hope everyone is having a lovely week. xo

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34 comments on “OutlanderBTS Episode 502, The Discussion – Between Two Fires

  1. So enjoyed this discussion!! I agree with much of it, though I’m probably in the minority when it comes to Murtaugh. I didn’t find it out of character for him to be part of the brutality as he’s changed from his experiences. The comment from Antionette that they should’ve included more backstory for those actions was a very good point. All in all I found this episode to be very exciting and somewhat brutal at times but that fits the story and the times, just not easy to watch. One note, on Twitter Diana inferred that as there are many episodes to come we can’t assume we won’t see the Christies and Malva. I’m looking forward to seeing how that plays out. So far season 5 is very successful.

  2. I hope our Gab and Grab on Friday night is as good as yours with the Ladies! How long did you chat total time before you edited? We usually go 4 hours!
    Loved the details you all mentioned: walls, autopsy views, best lines, eye exams. I think I’ll watch it again for the fourth time including the Bonnet ending, just because. And The acting was spot on. Lauren, Lauren, Lauren!

  3. Love listening to you ladies, thank you. I’m a Surgical nurse and Irish American and have loved loved the series, and also the books.
    Thanks for input
    Patrice Taylor RN

  4. Hi
    I am a Scots/Australian and have realised with my youth in Edinburgh, the series has brought many memories especially of the “Trossachs” (countryside). I have enjoyed the progression and travels of Jamie and Claire since series one, episode one.
    The only disappointment was the destruction of the signature song and vision until it is hardly recognisable as a Scottish Tribute to Prince Charles. I have read the different reasoning for the changes but it boils down to the americanism of a true Scottish ballad. I realise that some changes to the books are necessary for the production of the series but there is no reason for the changing of a Scottish Ballad sung by Scots people. The true “Outlander” follower would have found the wording easily if they did not understand them and any late comer normally goes back to Series 1 episode1 when the image and its background is clearly explained
    Hopefully further seasons will allow the song and vision to return to its rightful place as a reminder that the story is based on Scotland and Scots.
    Don Campbell

    • I too am grieving the drastic changes to the theme song. The original is sooo beautiful especially the vocal performance and though the Frasers are on America soil now that song kept us grounded in Scotland as the place it all started. I get it but I think is unfortunate that they changed it.

    • I can see your point, but by changing it the way they did, represents what happened in the colonies; British songs reworked to suit American sentiments (think God Save the Queen to My Country Tis of Thee)

  5. Great discussion ladies. You all make some great points. I have to take exception to Carmen’s assertion that there was tar and Feathering at Hillsborough. I’ve done some extensive reading on the regulator’s movement and everything I find says that yes they were violent but there was no tar and feathering. I’m including a link to an article from the North Carolina History Project that say as much.

  6. I’m kind of sorry you didn’t discuss the other regulators in the jail. Jamie kept trying to give them clues to what he truly thought and they all missed it entirely. Even after he freed them, they complained about him and his relationship with Murtagh. Murtagh did set them straight, though, but even so, his loyalty shouldn’t have been questioned. Or, maybe it’s just me.😊

    • One of the jailed regulators taunts Jamie saying essentially that Jamie isn’t honorable. Jamie says, “do not speak to me of honor,” which shows the difficult position Jamie is in trying to straddle a fine line with men who don’t know him. I felt defensive for Jamie as well. Jamie knows a thing or two about honor.

    • Great point about the other regulators coming for Jamie like they did. One of them knew Jamie from before when he first went to recruit settlers. I’m glad M tried to defend Jamie when they were slagging him off. These are decent men who have been through a lot and have been driven to extreme actions. I just want their story to be told properly so they aren’t just TV “baddies “.

  7. Hi, Ladies! You know, apart from all the good Outlander conversation, I just love that you all make each other laugh, which gets me laughing as well. Thank you! Don’t know if any of you, or your readers are familiar with “The Official Outlander Podcast by Starz”:
    (https://play.acast.com/s/outlander) which has been out there since S1E1. Fantastic!! First few years done by Ron Moore, and now typically taped each week by the writer(s) of each episode. You can listen in-sync with watching the episode and you glean amazing insight into why and how so many things are done, that otherwise might not make sense. A number of things you ladies brought up are in this weeks podcast, taped by Toni Graphia and Luke Scelhaas. Think “prostitutes slug fest”…

    Regarding the scenes (snippets from episodes) in the episode-intro when the choir is singing The Skye Boat Song, strictly by the hands, it looks to me like Jocasta’s hand placed over Murtagh’s hand on his chest on the piece of tartan pinned to his waistcoat, perhaps in a scene saying goodbye before she marries Innes? It doesn’t look good for Murtagh, and if they kill him off this season I’ll be heartbroken (although if that is their plan I don’t think they’d do it early). Especially if he does in Jamie’s arms… 😭

    Did you notice Sam is credited as Producer on screen first this week, with Caitriona directly following, where last week it was the other way around? Perhaps the agreement was that they would trade off who would get credited first each week? All things fair in love and war? 😉

    Remembering last week as Jamie was leaving Claire’s surgery and spoke of leaving her with her “wee beasties”, he suggested she needed her own lieutenant? I remember thinking, “As in Marsali?!” Tah-dah! I also am good with them making her the apprentice, instead of the book character, because with only 12 episodes this season it will be difficult to add on too many new characters to the cast and keep the focus on C & J, and their world (as in the reason I watch)! I think Lauren Lyle as Marsali is a stand out this season, and want to see more of her! Am not happy with Fergus being made to be someone a baby is handed off to… Really?!

    Sam has already been so brilliant this season! Feels like Jamie is back! So far, the writing is vastly improved in S5, IMHO.

    How is it that Bonnet can keep showing up in the same town, dressed better each time, and no one says, “Hey aren’t you the guy who was supposed to hang but got away, and then was re-captured, put in jail and about to hang again, but got away (again) after the jail exploded?” And soooo smarmy. That look on his face as he walks off in the last scene, after uttering those last words, knowing what’s ahead, sent shivers down my spine. Sooooo smarmy!

    Carry on, Ladies, and look forward to more!!

  8. Okay gals, I missed 501, so I was so happy to see this in my email today! First of all about 501, I was extremely happy that the writers/director decided to do the whole gathering, marriage and calling of the troops all in one fell swoop and take care of all that right off the bat! Perfect for me and like you said, leaves tons of room to really tell other story lines. Karmen, I thought of you all throughout the surgery scene and couldn’t wait to hear your input. I agree that Claire has been written differently and more compassionately as in the scene where Mr. F. (whatever the cadaver’s name was) was dying and instead of scolding Mrs. F. for giving him all the wrong things that would hasten his death, she thought about it and decided not to put the blame on his wife. Instead she swallowed her wherewith-all and informed her with compassion that there was nothing more that could be done to save him. You could actually see all that run through Claire’s mind before she chose her words. I was very impressed with that direction. I loved seeing the house and Claire’s surgery come to life and it is pretty much the way I had imagined it to look and more. Wow, two beds in the surgery for patients! I just loved, loved, loved when Roger sang Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog to Jemmy! I was an old friend of Hoyt Acton’s who wrote the song and it just fit with the name Jeremiah, their time and something that Roger, Brianna and Jemmy could share secretly as a family from their own time period in remembrance of those days. Hoyt would have loved it. Okay, now with Sam, his acting chops are really showing and I’m so happy to see it. I noticed Jamie’s reaction to finding out that Murtagh was part of the tar and feathering and his face showed, ‘don’t make it hard for me to defend you and save you with these antics man!’ In seasons 1 and 2, I didn’t really see much physical likeness of Sam to Jamie, as if they were two different people. So much so that when my husband would see Sam in interviews he would say, “Is that your Sam? He sure looks different than Jamie”. I don’t know if its because I have met him now, but I really am starting to see Sam more and more in Jamie. Maybe its the hair and costumes and maybe Sam is bringing more of himself into the role. All I know is that I am not disappointed at all with Sam’s portrayal of Jamie so far in this Season. You are right, the writers have sewn his balls back on! Maybe Sam and Cait being producers have something to do with their performances now. Anyway, I’m going to watch Ep.2 again so that I can pick up on all the things you girls talked about that I might not have caught the first time around. I love your discussions and so look forward to each one! Keep ’em coming! xoxo

    • Yep, they’re aware. But if you go to the podcast I mentioned above, to S5E1, Matt Roberts says that while they knew it didn’t grow in the Blue Ridge Mountains (and I’m aware as well as I’m from FL where it DOES grow), Jon Gary Steele was the person who opted to add it to the trees because he thought the location trees just looked too bare. So they decided to go with it, thought it added a lot, despite knowing they’d be hearing about it. They took artistic license as they have done dozens and dozens of times through the years and will undoubtedly do well into the series in the future. You know, like the whole time-travel thing… 😉

  9. Listening now…loving it! Glad you figured out the technical difficulties….enjoyed the twitter conversation as well…but was a bit scattered…but fun none the less. I must agree, the start of S5 is much better than some of S4. Even though they are deviating from the book quite a bit (the women wrestling (and what was Forbes doing there?), and of course the Murtaugh story line) what they are doing is working. Got chills when Bonnet says “I’m a father now”…

  10. Ladies, Thank you for your time in doing your podcasts! As a book reader, you help me keep things in perspective and rationalize why certain items and things are changed. Your humor and insights are so enjoyable!

    My only comment (and please do respond if I am incorrect) is that Three Dog Niight’s “Joy to the World” was released in 1970. Didn’t they go back in time in 1968?

    Looking forward to the next podcast, and thank you again

  11. I am so happy I found you lovely ladies. This was not brought up in your conversation. Do you think that Sam and Cait now being producers had anything to do with how great this season has been?

    • I hope so and based on what they have said in interviews they had more and more influence as the season went on. Both of them have spoken about being guardians of their characters and of the story. I hope we will see more and more evidence of that! Thank you for listening 😊

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed it ladies. Antoinette you and I are very like minded when it come to things like the writing and story. They drives everything, crucial to moving the story forward, but good writing is especially critical to the performances. Loving the Character development in S5 of all main characters so far, I may be disappointed but hoping for more intimate moments with Jamie and Claire. Enjoyed Kathy and Karmen’s anatomical breakdowns, I learned some things, Dr. Claire is the best. I find Roger’s characterization much improved. And Rick Rankin is looking mighty fine. I hope they continue in this direction. I think Sophie and Richard have settled into their roles nicely. The love scene in Ep 1 was less awkward than the first time around. I love seeing Jamie assume his place a natural leader of men. So sexy when he is doing that stuff. Glad to hear Mikva and Tom Christie have been cast. Don’t see how they could leave them out considering everything that happens in book six. I would like to see that storyline play out.
    Loved it! Cheers!

    • Thank you for listening! You and I are definitely on the same page. I’m excited for the rest of the season given the excellent start! 😍

  13. Season 5 is amazing. It is so good to see that story line this Season has given Jamie the opportunity to show what a terrific leader and man that he is. He shines this Season. Lauren Lyle stole the show in Episode 2. The look on her face was priceless when she came into the operating room and saw the cadaver on the table. She stole the show in this one. Marsali will definitely show what a courageous and intelligent woman she is. I can only imagine what the poor wife of the dead man would have thought if she knew that the coffin she thought her husband was in, was full of rocks, and that her husband was being used as a medical procedure. Claire is playing a dangerous game here. Murtagh is on dangerous ground. And, Jamie is definitely between 2 fires. Can hardly wait till Episode 3 to see more of the dangers and adventures of the Fraser family.

  14. Hello Ladies and once again into the fray! Love the discussion, loving the new season and agree they have set the bar high and hope they reach it every time. Love your format and how it allows for all opinions without the vitriol (love that word). You all are the best! Until next time….

  15. I think that Sam has once again been given the chance to be the King of Men. When he strode from the house in his kilt, to me he was robing himself in his culture and in the status of the king of men.
    Last season, when Sam was given the opportunity to be that man he grabbed it. Too many times Claire seemed to demean him. Sam was fantastic in 301; watching Jamie laying injured, on top of dead men confused made me hold my breath.

    I think we have finally arrived when the story becomes Jamie’s story, as Diana repeatedly states.
    Jamie is quite taken aback when he hears what Murtaugh has done.
    He is certainly aware of his balance between 2 fires when he and Knox are in the jail. Jamie is an expert at balancing; he and the Compté were an earlier example.

    I’m Canadian and relate to what Jamie said in 501, asking Murtaugh why he can’t wait until the revolution begins. In other words, why use violence now? Canada chose not to use violence against the Crown as a means to form our country. Canadian colonies lived under the same King and the same taxes and other issues. The United Empire Loyalists are considered to have made the right choice and are a positive in our history.

    Watching Murtaugh order the tar and feathering, felt to me like the necessary switch thrown that will lead viewers to absorb his death. He knows what torture Jamie went through and while violence has been a part of his life, this goes over the line of viewers’ expectations.

    I want to see Fergus more; there is a bit of danger of the writer’s making him a wimp. He is important as a strong man, non physically, in the books.

    Lauren is wonderful! I don’t think it entirely makes sens that she is Claire’s assistant given the children and those to come, with subsequent relocation.

    The autopsy; didn’t make sense to do, where it was done, and the obvious physical bodily changes. I’ll leave it at that.

    Seeing Bonnet dressed as a gentleman was jarring. Then his violence was shocking. Ed isn’t a big man, but he brings extreme menace to Bonnet.

  16. I offered my overall consensus on Twitter but actually took notes during the discussion so if you don’t mind here’s my extra 2 cents worth.
    Re Bonnet, he seems very pleased to think he is a father and seemingly has given a fair amount of thought to that notion after he gave Bree the gem in the jail, especially after declaring to Bree “Do you know how many whores have tried to foster their bairns on me? (paraphrased)?”. IMO that makes him more dangerous than the straight forward sociopath that is Black Jack.
    I think it is worthy to note the features of Gerald Forbes during this exchange; not such the charming suitor, eh? (SPOILER)
    Mutagh’s opposition to the “unfair” taxes has more to do with the result of not being able to pay those taxes than the righteousness of them in the first place. Once again his objection is to the loss of land, culture and purpose. I don’t think they (writers et al) emphasized it appropriately.
    Roger, as opposed to Claire and Bree is still very much in his present time, Tufty Squirrel, for one, but I think we should remember that Frank actually prepared Bree for this eventuality.
    I think that given the time constraints it is difficult to showcase all the characters in a single episode, especially since we as fans are adamant that they not eschew any of Jamie and Claire’s interchanges so I believe they will feature Fergus and Marsali as the season(s) progress.
    TAKE AWAYS in short: Marsali was superior. Too much bread baked. Smelly autopsy
    Thanks you fab 4.

    • Appreciate your comments, Marion, although I am inclined to label BJR as a sadistic psychopath, not a sociopath. Bonnet is a sociopath. Frank did some preparation in the event she was a time traveler and bothered to look up info about the fate of her biological father and her mother. Agree about Murtagh’s view of unfair taxes. The government then was extremely corrupt starting with Governor Tryon and working downwards. Thanks for listening to us!

    • Well, Marion, you were certainly right about Bonnet thinking a lot of thought to the notion of being a father! (á la Ep 510 – when he says “You saw something in me,” and his grand plan to steal Jemmy and be a gentleman. I agree re Black Jack and Bonnet. With BJR you always know what you’re getting.

      Yep, re G Forbes!

      Agree re the taxes! Antoinette loved that storyline! 😜

      “I think that given the time constraints it is difficult to showcase all the characters in a single episode, especially since we as fans are adamant that they not eschew any of Jamie and Claire’s interchanges so I believe they will feature Fergus and Marsali as the season(s) progress.” I agree with this. The poor producers! If they show others too much, we complain not enough J and C, if not enough Fergus, we complain!

      I love your takeaways! Love, Fab 4. xoxoxo

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