Friendship. The power it holds in our lives. Trust within those friendships and the consequences we might suffer if we put our trust in the hands of the wrong ones.
America the Beautiful was our opening episode of the season and wow…as per Outlander style it was something! Now, because I know all of the drama and debates happening out there in this fabulously fickle fandom – I will let that keep playing out – out there – and in my bubble, here, I am going to ask you to gather around as I talk about the NUMEROUS ways America the Beautiful gave us friendship – in its entirety. From all angles. Even the one-sided angle. We have ALL experienced THOSE friendships.
The first brush with the good ship, friend, was Jamie paying a visit to a condemned Hayes. He had a plan to help him escape – yet Hayes, wouldn’t let his friends take the chance of also being in his position, so he accepted his fate. In turn, Jamie makes a promise to him that is kind of like a punch in the gut. Offering to be the smiling face of the friend he looks upon as he dies. Only the best of us can do something like that. Put our own feelings of anger, grief and despair aside to bring loving comfort to someone else. Jamie did it for Hayes – his smile – forced and not easy to look at, yet you could see Hayes used it as an anchor.
When we lose a friend, especially a friend who has been there to support us through really trying times, the grief can be overwhelming. We saw that with Lesley as he rushed the gallows after Hayes was hung. We also felt the breadth of his mourning when he started singing in the pub. Those with him, also feeling the pain of the loss, chose to join in both for their own solace and to show him he wasn’t alone. It is what we do, isn’t it? Or at least, it is what we should do.
How about those who use our friendships to manipulate us? Yeah, that happens. That rotten sunnuvabitch Stephen Bonnet does just that. He used the pseudo-friendship he had with Hayes to manipulate the mans truly grieving friends. Having listened to their conversations, knowing their soft spots and understanding that Jamie was a man of honour- he knew damn well what he could get away with. He knew that this fresh wound of a friendship lost would get him exactly what he wanted. That’s what sociopaths do though, isn’t it?
As we know, their choice in trusting this man, in the name of friendship, turned out to have very dire consequences indeed.
Sometimes we forget that familial relationships need friendship to thrive. Sharing blood isn’t enough to form a friendship. Finally, when we are very lucky, a meaningful friendship can create a familial bond.
Young Ian and Jamie share a moment while digging Hayes’ grave. It’s intense, it’s heartbreaking yet, it solidifies a friendship. Sharing a secret will do that. We can share a bloodline all our life and never truly be a friend to one another. When we are vulnerable and dig into the deepest recess of our soul to help, validate and support someone we care about – that is when friendship is formed.
Lesley, Fergus and Marsali (and sure, Rollo too) are all examples of friends that became family. These bonds were created in trust. Lesley with Jamie at Ardsmuir and continued to grow through the years, shown clearly at the pub where he didn’t want to venture on his own but to stay with the family of his heart. Fergus, in every sense but blood, is Jamie and Claire’s son. Marsali…yes is Jamie’s stepdaughter but you can see the bond forming between her and Claire. What started out as a troubled and even vicious relationship, has softened. This friendship becomes a tender, loving and it’s not a stretch to say maternal influence on Marsali’s life.
I would be amiss to not mention Claire and Jamie in all this talk about friendship. There is no way to have the trust, passion, deep respect and love that this couple has…without the bond of friendship. We must like one another in order to love one another. This episode had that friendship shine through and yet, we may have missed it. Subtle support. They reach for one another’s hand numerous times throughout the episode, those glances of “I’m right here. Supporting you.” Jamie knowing, without words, that Claire is bothered or thinking something that she is struggling to put into words.
We also had those attempting new friendships. Governor Tryon, his friendship, of course, comes with a price. As many do. The dinner party scene was full of those “facade friendships”. Really not friendships at all, I know, but you get my meaning.
How about the unexpected friendship? Riverboat Captain Freeman and waterman, Eutroclus. A very unlikely friendship. One born from gratitude. Eutroclus could have let Captain Freeman die in a fire, he saved his life. Captain Freeman, freed Eutroclus from slavery and then, hired him. I am sure knowing, freeing a man wouldn’t be enough. Many freed slaves were then recaptured and put back into servitude. This friendship certainly isn’t without its faults, however, it does have it’s merits. I would be damned remiss if I didn’t include the fact that Leon Herbert has the deepest, richest and sexiest voice I have EVER heard and I would feel honoured to hear him read all the things for all the days. That is what I imagine heaven would sound like.
In the end, friendship also can mean sacrifice. Hopefully not the sacrifice that Lesley ultimately made to protect his friend, Claire. That was devastating. Though we do this in small doses on the regular. Defend our friends from bullies, defend our friends from those who have hurt them. Step in and step up to show them the solidarity we feel with them. That, my friends, is powerful.
That is what we need to do. See something, say something, do something. Your friends need you. Be a superhero.
Join us as we LiveTweet with W Networks airing of Outlander in Canada, using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN. If you like what you have read, please share, RT or leave a comment, engaging with like-minded fans is my jam.
Sher (Founder of the ABOotlanders)