Outlander season 5 episode 2 recap.

Outlander season 5 episode 2 recap: fans can’t get enough of the show’s unexpected new duo

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In the second episode of Outlander season five, Between Two Fires, Claire and Brianna face deeply-rooted personal struggles, while Jamie very nearly comes face-to-face with Murtagh. Spoilers alert: this recap goes into a lot of detail about the episode, so read at your own peril.     

Well I think we can all agree that the wedding celebrations are well and truly over in the second episode of Outlander’s fifth season. Last week’s opening episode saw Brianna and Roger tie the knot at Fraser’s Ridge, with proud parents Claire and Jamie in attendance. But it ended with General Tryon ordering Jamie to hunt down his beloved godfather – and leader of the Rebellion – Murtagh. Of course, Jamie secretly met with Murtagh to send him away before the hunt started, telling him to “be hard to find”. 

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Will the pair meet each other again? What does Murtagh’s future look like? These two questions are explored in the second episode, but there are other issues at play too. Brianna is struggling to cope with the fact that her rapist Stephen is alive. And Claire is growing more and more frustrated with the lack of “modern” medicine in 18th century North Carolina.

Let’s recap what happens in Outlander season five episode two

“I am Murtagh Fitzgibbons”

Although it’s a relief to see Murtagh again, we’re ever so slightly horrified by the fact that he’s going around gleefully tarring and feathering English soldiers. Even Jamie seems to disapprove of his beloved godfather’s involvement with such a brutal act. You’d think Murtagh would put a bit more effort into being “hard to find”, right?

After a bit of an “I am Spartacus” moment between three arrested Rebellion members, another man pretending to be Murtagh is stabbed and killed by Jamie’s new English soldier frenemy, Lieutenant Knox (who spends most of the episode driving Jamie and us, the viewers, up the wall with his constant inane chatter).

The pressure for Jamie to simultaneously keep Murtagh alive while being on an order to kill him is palpable, and I already cannot handle the showdown that I am certain is going to happen.

Claire takes on a reluctant new apprentice

Claire is sick and tired of people dying on her because of mercury tablets and St James’ fever powder. So she decides to do what any person would do in that situation: invent penicillin. Hurrah! “Isn’t that playing God?” asks Brianna, quite reasonably, as it isn’t meant to be invented for another century. Claire’s iconic answer? “Time, space, history – be damned!”

But to make medical advances, and convince the women around her that you don’t need to be a man to be a physician, Claire’s going to need some help. Impressed by Marsali’s butchering skills out in the garden, she asks her to become an apprentice. What will the neighbours say?

Outlander season 5: Brianna and Roger.
Outlander season 5: Brianna and Roger go hunting, and it's no surprise who's got the better shot.

Roger finally realises that Brianna is still haunted by Stephen

Once again, Brianna proves herself to be way too good for Roger by showing him exactly how to shoot down a turkey for dinner. “You want to go back, don’t you?” she asks him with a rifle in her hand. The question of whether they will travel back to the future or not is another big theme of this season. Claire later admits to Roger that she hopes he does take Brianna and Jemmy back to the 1960s. “I think she wants to stay,” he replies, ignoring the fact that his wife has, on multiple occasions, expressed she definitely does want to stay – there’s no “think” about it. (Yes, I’ve still got it in for Roger, and wish he would put that damn guitar away.)

Meanwhile, the trauma of Stephen’s return is clearly troubling Brianna. Roger finds her sketch book, which is full of dark and disturbing charcoal drawings of her rapist. But she’s putting on a brave face, and hasn’t even told anyone that she knows her attacker is still alive. Please speak to someone, Bree!

Ah, but speaking of Stephen…

Stephen Bonnet is back and I’m scared

In the last scenes, we see that the despicable pirate is disguising himself as a sort of gentleman. But he is quickly exposed, when a young whippersnapper calls him out for being a betting cheat. Stephen challenges him to a fight and ends up mutilating his face. He then leaves, saying: “I’m a father now.”

Something tells me he’s going to go in search of Brianna and her baby. Argh!


  • Claire is back to doing what she does best: medicine. Seeing her getting stuck into a secret biopsy, completely unfazed by the blood and guts everywhere, gives me a slightly weird sort of joy.
  • Brianna in her hunting trousers, giving ‘em hell. That is all. 

Fan reactions to Outlander season five episode one

Fans are very much here for Claire and her new apprentice. One fan shared a series of moments between the pair, writing: “The doctor and her apprentice. I love them.”

Another suggested that the exasperated Marsali is the “18th century meme we never knew we needed”. 

The excitement about this new duo was made very clear in this tweet, which said: “Because this entire scene is GOLD and one GIF could never do it justice. @caitrionambalfe and @LlaurenLyle, you both are fantastic!!! Marsali’s reaction here to Claire’s idea is everything and more.”

And just to confirm the fandom’s love for Claire and Marsali, this tweeter described them as “THE BEST THING”.

And another viewer pointed out an important shot that very nearly passed without a mention: “Jamie dismounting a horse”. 

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Images: Starz

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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