SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Do No Harm”, the second episode of “Outlander” Season 4.
In the wake of Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers), Claire Caitriona Balfe ) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) in the “Outlander” season four premiere, the tired travelers managed to make it to River Run, a stunning North Carolina plantation run by Jamie’s Tant Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) who was blind to glaucoma . Jamie was ashamed to appear, but Jocasta welcomed them with open arms. Still, it was not an easy road, when almost Claire and Jamie experienced how it was to see slaves working so close to land and personal.
Yet, Jocasa’s motive was not completely selfless. She knew it would benefit her to have a man like Jamie around. Remember, it was 1
767 – Jocasta definitely determined progress from men who had design on her plantation and did not believe that a blind widow could drive it. Having Jamie gave her a buffer from being outside as Lt. Wolff (Lee Boardman). The nice Wolff seemed to think he knew best about what kind of crops River Run would grow, but Jamie went in when Wolff ran over Jocasta around the farm.
It seemed like a good arrangement, but Claire immediately felt very uncomfortable at River Run because of course it was manned by over 150 slaves. Season 3 touched this little when Claire and Jamie were in Jamaica but at River Run, the problem of slavery was even more immediate and Claire did not want any part of it – making things a little tricky when Jocasta said Jamie that River Run was his single heir.
The exhibition made an interesting parallel between someone like Claire, representing the twentieth century thinking of slavery, and Jocasta, which appeared to be a benevolent slave man. At the moment, Jocasta was wonderful – let the families keep together, treat her slaves well – but she still owned other people and did not hit an eye when compared to cattle. It made Claire even more uncomfortable to possibly own the River Run, something that Jocasta just could not put in his head around. When Claire made her feelings known for Jocasta, she had to pretend she came to her feelings after reading some Quakers because there was no other explanation that Jocasta would accept. But Jocasta did not drop her for it; In fact, she admired Claire’s burning view and majestic nature and announced Jamie as her heir to a party that night.
Met with their possible new fortune, Jamie, Claire and Young Ian (John Bell) met John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees), a gruffman who knew his way around the hinterland and had experience of Indians. If you’re a book reader, Myers was the boisterous man for whom Claire repaired an inguinal brok during one of Jocastas dinner parties. They have changed the character somewhat for the show.
Anyway, Claire and Jamie took some time to consider owning the River Run. Jamie suggested that they could work to free their slaves and try to make a difference in their little corners of the world. It was an admirable idea, but Jocasta and her friend Farquard Campbell (James Barriscale) informed them that freeing the slaves would cost over £ 15,000, which is a huge amount of money then. According to a currency converter, it’s about $ 2.5 million in today’s money. Jamie and Claire definitely did not have that kind of money, but even if they did, they would have to free the slaves approved by the courts by showing that each slave performed a worthy service (like saving someone’s life). Obviously it was hard to do.
Before making a decision, Jocasta Claire and Jamie sent to serve as her representative at the sawmill, where a slave, Rufus (Jerome Holder) attacked a white man and was now tense up on a meat hook. It was a scary scene and Jamie would not follow the white men who took the law in their own hands in this way. Claire immediately rushed to rescue Rufus, take him back to the farm and perform surgery directly at the dining room table. Jocasta was terrified of the mess they received River Run. She said the violence committed to Rufus was “regrettable”, but he should be hanged to attack a white man and that’s all there is for it (in her mind) .  Wolff demanded that they left Rufus over or they would arrest Jamie, but Jamie said that Rufus was under his shelter, and Claire continued to treat him on Jocastas dining table. When Rufus recovered, he told Claire and Ian to be kidnapped from his home in Africa, which seemed to open Ian eyes a little about the horror of slavery.
In the meanwhile, the tensions peaked when Jocasta and Jamie encountered their heads of situation. Privately, Ulysses (Colin McFarlane), Jocastas right man, advised Claire to release it. Ulysses was also a slave and he told her that if they continued on this road they would be angry with the white men finally winning and then they would tear Rufus limb out of limb as a message to the other slaves. The men gave Jocasta to midnight to make Rufus over for execution.
Claire refused first, but Jamie explained to her that if they were to help Rufus fly, the other slaves would be punished in his place. When an angry mob gathered outside, Claire finally realized that there was really nothing she could do. So she euthanized Rufus as a small measure of mercy and Jamie turned his body over to the men who quickly sought Rufus as Claire and Jamie looked regrettably.
It’s enough to say that this is likely to bring Claire and Jamie’s time on the river Run to an end, at least for now. They can clearly not take over as a master and mistress in a plantation, and they definitely have not made friends with the people they would have to deal with as owners.
“Outlander” flies Sundays at 8 o’clock on Starz.