Sticks and Stones
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY
FINAL PRODUCTION DRAFT
9th June 2021
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EPISODE 607 "Sticks and Stones"
Production Draft – 28th January 2021
Blue Draft – 26th February 2021
Pink Draft – 13th March 2021
Yellow Draft – 16th March 2021
Green Pages – 31st March 2021 – pp. 11, 18, 18A.
Goldenrod Pages – 9th April 2021 – pp. 18, 18A.
2nd White Pages – 20th April 2021 – pp. 25, 25A, 26, 30, 30A, 30B.
EPISODE 607 "Sticks and Stones"
CAST LIST — FINAL PRODUCTION DRAFT — 9th June 2021
BRIANNA RANDALL FRASER
ROGER WAKEFIELD MACKENZIE
EPISODE 607 "Sticks and Stones"
SET LIST — FINAL PRODUCTION DRAFT — 9th June 2021
- Fraser’s Ridge
- Big House
- Dining Room
- Big House
- Meeting House
- Roger & Brianna’s Cabin
- Fraser’s Ridge
- Big House
- Back Porch
- Front Porch
- Big House
- Meeting House
- Roger & Brianna’s Cabin
- Tom Christie’s Cabin
“Sticks and Stones”
The title of this episode was obviously inspired by the well-known saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” The reality for the Frasers is different and, in this case, words certainly will hurt them. Words are powerful and the labels ascribed to people in this time even more so, especially when it comes to women and their role in society. Claire’s reputation in the eighteenth century is critical to her safety. In this episode, we see that, once again—in spite of her strength and courage—for better or worse, what people think of her really does matter.
1 OMITTED 1
A2 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - WOODLAND - DAY - COLD OPEN (D1) A2
SOMEONE is running through the woods with a sense of urgency, being pursued -- perhaps even by TWO PEOPLE. It’s difficult to make out exactly who it is. In reality it’s LIZZIE WEMYSS... chased by JOSIAH and KEZIAH BEARDSLEY. But when we finally do catch a fuller glimpse of Lizzie, breathless and unable to run any further, we realize that there’s no danger here. It’s fun. Flirtatious. OFF Lizzie’s coquettish LAUGHTER as she spins around playfully from one twin to another -- we think -- or is it just one of them?
We initially filmed a scene in which Lizzie was being chased through the woods… we wanted to preserve a sense of danger on the Ridge, as if whoever killed Malva was potentially on the loose. In reality, it was only Lizzie being playfully chased by the Beardsley twins—hinting at their romance. But in the end, we chose to use some footage of Malva delivering her ‘confession’ in front of the congregation in the Meeting House (taken from a scene which appears later in this script), as it is particularly chilling and helped set the tone of the episode and keep Malva at the forefront of our minds.
B2 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - GARDEN - DAY - TITLE CARD B2
CLOSE ON a BUG crawling over the folds in the fabric of a WOMAN’S DRESS. We follow its trajectory for a split second or two as it moves from perfectly ordinary cloth to a patch of deep crimson, blood-soaked fibers...
2 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - GARDEN - DAY (D1) 2
Suddenly, a HAND swats the bug away -- and we pull back to REVEAL ALLAN CHRISTIE kneeling over MALVA CHRISTIE’S CORPSE. Malva’s TINY DEAD BABY rests on her chest. Still lying where she fell, in Episode 606, it’s only been a few hours or so since Malva’s murder.
We pull back once more to REVEAL that Allan is accompanied by TOM CHRISTIE -- both of whom have been summoned by CLAIRE and JAMIE FRASER. Allan pulls a LINEN CLOTH over his sister and the baby and stands up to rejoin the conversation. He’s angry, almost incredulous, as he addresses Claire --
We wanted to capture the horror in the immediate aftermath of Malva’s murder and the characters’ responses to it in this scene—a kaleidoscope of immensely complex emotions. Each person in the scene is carrying an emotional burden of some sort, perhaps even a burden of guilt—albeit in various forms and for very different reasons—something which is explored throughout this episode.
And you didn’t see anyone at all?
As if on cue, ONE OR TWO SETTLERS hurry by, both afraid and scandalized -- they’ve gotten word of the tragic news and are gawking, trying to catch a glimpse from afar.
It makes no sense... you must have
seen something -- or someone!
I was... busy working in the
surgery... I thought I saw Malva
coming towards the house... She
may have knocked... but --
You didn’t answer the door? Why
did you go outside, then? And with
a knife --
It’s a pruning knife for God’s
sake... I was going to the garden.
Allan shakes his head in disbelief --
What are you implyin’, lad?
Your wife stands before us, up to
her elbows in blood. I don’t think
we’re implying anything.
I told you -- by the time I found
Malva... whoever did this... they’d
gone... She was already dead, but
I had to try and save the baby...
A beat as Tom studies Claire’s face, skeptical.
You don’t believe me?
Tom’s silence speaks volumes. But there’s a more pressing question on his mind --
Was it swift? I want to hear it
from a healer’s lips -- how long
would it have taken for her to die?
If you’re asking me whether or not
she suffered then --
Tell me. How long?
The cut to her throat... It would
have been quick...
Claire hopes there’s at least a glimmer of comfort in this --
The smallest of mercies.
But Tom only seems more devastated now.
No time to pray for forgiveness,
then? A short prayer that would
have made her right with God?
In particular, we witness a conflicted Tom struggling to process his shock and grief at what has happened. He quickly uses his religion as a crutch—his usual means for understanding the world around him and the thing that informs his response. For Tom, a clear-cut sense of what is dogmatically right or wrong makes it easier for him to decide how to behave. There are no shades of grey—his world is very black and white, at least in a superficial sense. Deep down, however, I think we can tell that he is a soul in pain, struggling to get by and to come to terms with the hand life has dealt him. His dogmatism masks a fear of hypocrisy, a fear of having his own ‘sins’, so to speak, laid bare in the world. Though he undoubtedly uses religion as a shield, Tom is a man of his time and, as such, his belief in God is very real. In this scene, the strength of his beliefs is emphasized by the fact that he’s so desperate to know how long it would have taken for Malva to die. Claire naturally assumes that he is looking for reassurance that Malva didn’t suffer, but in reality, he wants to know whether or not she had time to pray to God for forgiveness to ensure she made it to heaven—or whether she died a ‘sinner’. This is something which, for Tom, is truly a horrifying thought, one which can sometimes be quite difficult for a more modern audience to fathom. There is essentially nothing worse that Tom can conceive of than a fate such as this: the belief that his daughter is, quite literally, doomed to hell for all eternity. Tom softens by the end of the scene as it truly dawns on him that Malva hasn’t only died, she’s been murdered. Though he doesn’t show it, he’s grateful for Claire’s words about Malva and for her help in preparing her body for burial. Claire observes that “it’s our faults that make us need love all the more” and this is something that Tom is slowly beginning to realize. His character is evolving.
Claire shakes her head -- and feels a stab of pain in her heart as the flicker of hope in Tom’s eyes extinguishes.
TOM CHRISTIE (cont'd)
We’ll bury them out in the woods.
Claire is horrified -- and devastated for Malva, knowing that Tom’s concern is more for his daughter’s soul rather than for a young life cut short.
We will not.
Can’t bury a whore and an
illegitimate child beside God-
fearing men and women.
Jamie and Claire exchange a surprised glance -- not what they were expecting. Jamie is incredibly firm, but kind --
She was yer daughter --
And he was your bastard son.
He is not. But whoever he belongs
to... We’ll lay Malva and yer wee
grandson to rest properly.
I ken ye’re goin’ through hell --
Hell? I’m in paradise compared
with where her soul’s gone now --
Please, Mr. Christie --
What -- and have the angels weeping
and demons rejoicing that a sinner
has been buried in holy ground?
Over my dead body.
No, over mine. If Malva and the
bairn are to be buried on my
ground, at the Ridge, it’ll be
after her funeral and in a
Have I made myself clear?
Tom nods, acquiescing. But a furious Allan shakes his head in disbelief at Jamie’s apparent self-righteousness --
I s’pose you think you ought to
give the damned eulogy as well.
This hits Tom hard, the agonizing prospect of facing the judgment of his neighbors --
What are we supposed to stand up
and say about her, eh?
Even in her own shock and grief, Claire is outraged --
That Malva Christie was full of
light and life, with fire in her
eyes. And when I held her tiny
baby, I saw that same light in him.
None of us are perfect, but it’s
our faults that make us need love
all the more --
Tom is moved, though his suspicion remains. He relents.
But... the state of the body --
I’ll... take care of her.
Allan balks at this and turns away, offended.
We’ll gather at the Meeting House
in a few days. My son-in-law will
lead the service.
Tom nods, resigned. As the Christies leave, Jamie scoops up Malva’s body to take her to the surgery, Claire by his side.
Towards the end of the scene, Jamie takes control of the situation. We loved the powerful image at the end of Jamie carrying Malva’s body to the house—the Frasers care for those living under their protection in life and in death. They will not allow her and her baby boy to be buried, alone, out in the woods.
As they make their way inside, Claire is acutely aware of the sidelong glances from a few emboldened Ridge-folk, overcome by morbid curiosity. It feels as if these people are judging them. Claire feels a veil of suspicion over her --
3 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - SURGERY - DAY (D1) 3
SHORT WHILE LATER. Malva has been laid out on the table, still covered with a sheet. Her tiny baby, wrapped in cloth, is on one of the surgery beds.
Hands trembling, Claire goes to fetch her SUTURING EQUIPMENT necessary to prepare Malva’s body for burial, bracing herself to begin the harrowing task. Picking up the NEEDLE, she steadies herself, focusing. She threads it. So far so good. Next, she peels back the sheet, ready to work --
Given the complex nature of Claire and Malva’s relationship it was fascinating to write a scene about Claire being brave enough to sew up Malva’s wounds and prepare her body for the funeral. Doctors are often used to dealing with life and death but the personal connection here is particularly heart-wrenching for Claire.
And we FLASH TO Claire’s memory of a vivacious Malva coming into the surgery for the very first time, discussing phosphorus and “Lucifer” -- the light bringer [Episode 601].
As she pierces Malva’s flesh with the needle, we FLASH TO another ‘memory’: Malva insulting her in this very room, “You are of the devil...” “Get out,” [Episode 606].
How to stop her hands from trembling? Claire moves over to the ETHER and the FERGUSON MASK... So very tempting, but this is not the time... Malva deserves better.
But the next suture triggers yet another memory for Claire, this time, Malva KNOCKING AT THE DOOR before the murder, trying to get in. But surely it’s not real?
Another suture, and another painful memory: Claire threatening Malva: “I will fucking kill you,” [Episode 606].
In reality, this was only a hallucination, but in this moment, Claire isn’t so sure... this process is starting to feel like an excruciating form of penance.
MAN’S VOICE (O.C.)
Another day, another dead body on
Claire turns around now to face LIONEL BROWN, who is standing behind her: a product of her subconscious mind, a manifestation of her trauma. After months of flashes and memories, here he is in the flesh. Visible only to Claire, he is a devil on her shoulder, an expression of her deepest, darkest fears and the overwhelming feelings of pent-up guilt and suffering. It may be manifesting itself as Lionel Brown but it could as easily be Black Jack or Stephen Bonnet...
When Claire hears and sees Lionel Brown, he is very much a product of her subconscious mind—a manifestation of her trauma. This was psychologically grueling both to contemplate and to write, since it involved occupying a mental space of anguish and suffering, and grappling with intrusive thoughts. It is a subject matter we wanted to treat and deal with in a highly visual form. We obviously can’t typically hear Claire’s inner-thoughts—aside from in her usual voice-over—but using Lionel allowed us to really dig into and explore what Claire might possibly be telling herself. What conversations is she having with herself in her own mind? Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies and suffering a trauma as Claire has can lead us to question whether we ourselves are to blame in some way or perhaps to wonder whether we may have deserved what happened to us. This is one of the many terrible consequences of the torment that victims experience. In addition to the brutal attack she suffered, Claire has been followed by war and tragedy throughout her life and now her deepest insecurities are coming to light, forcing her to ask herself, “Is it me?” Because Lionel is expressing Claire’s thoughts he can speak free and easy—he’s not necessarily tied to the norms of the period. We love Ned Dennehy—who plays Lionel Brown—and were excited to be able to bring him back for this episode.
Plucked up the courage to kill this
one yourself, did you?
Look at the state of you -- guilty
Claire looks at Lionel, aghast. How can she dignify a hallucination with conversation? Then, almost to herself --
Lionel smirks. There’s no way he’s leaving.
Then pull yourself together. You
don’t want Jamie to rush in and
comfort you... He can’t save you
When Lionel says that Jamie can’t save Claire from herself, it represents an interesting point in Claire and Jamie’s marriage. For perhaps the first time, Claire feels isolated and alone mentally-speaking. While she is certainly not alone, it can be difficult to believe this in times of darkness. Jamie can and will be there to support her and to stand by her every step of the way as she tries to heal, but Claire ultimately has to find a way to cope on her own. No one can do it for her. She has to come to an understanding that there is no complete recovery as such, but rather, that it’s an ongoing process.
He puts a finger to his temple, taps, mocking. He’s right. And Claire can’t get rid of him. He’s in her mind.
LIONEL BROWN (cont'd)
You couldn’t fool the father or the
brother. What’s done is done. And
it was you.
Claire is horrified. Realizing she needs a moment to compose herself, she exits the surgery and closes the door --
4 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - PARLOUR - DAY (D1) 4
MOMENTS LATER. Still recovering from this horrendous shock, Claire enters the parlour and tries to compose herself.
She pours herself a DRAM of WHISKY. As she finishes gulping it down and begins pouring ANOTHER, Jamie enters. Though he is a little surprised to see Claire drinking like this, he attributes it to her being shaken up by the murder --
I wouldna blame ye if there was
none left. I think I’ll have one
Jamie puts a comforting hand on his wife’s shoulder. Wordlessly, Claire now pours Jamie a whisky, and hands it to him. This is the first moment they’ve had to themselves.
Did you find anything?
No. But Ian’s still out searchin’.
He’ll warn Roger and Bree and the
settlers. Beardsleys should be wi’
him now, too. I pray to God he
Who could do something like this?
Before Jamie can answer, a panicked MRS. BUG unceremoniously enters the room --
Where is that Lizzie to answer the
door? Mr. Crombie’s out on the
back porch to see ye. He’s been
pokin’ about the garden. What
shall I tell him?
Claire looks stricken -- visitors already?
He must ha’ spoken wi’ Tom...
Well, I hope ye have an answer for
me ‘cause there’ll be others askin’
about what’s happened as well...
I said he should come back later
but he was mutterin’ about wantin’
to see the dead lass for himself.
There’s no need. Malva’s suffered
enough indignity --
And what about all of us? To live
wi’ such a scandal, blessed Mary!
Not a sin-eater in the land as
could be paid to take away Malva
Christie’s sins, God rest her soul.
I kent she was trouble from the
first time I laid eyes on her. You
must ha’ kent it too, Mistress?
No... I never thought --
After that dreadful accusation, and
her confessin’ to all and sundry at
the Meeting House that it was Mr.
Fraser’s bairn she was carryin’?
You must ha’ hated her guts.
Mrs. Bug’s lines in this scene are crucial to conveying the atmosphere on the Ridge. No one knows what has happened and everyone is looking for answers. Even in a short time, people are beginning to talk and they will have questions for the Frasers. Here, Mrs. Bug also brings home the fact that Claire technically has a motive in Malva’s murder when she says, “You must ha’ hated her guts” after the false accusation that Malva made about Jamie. If thoughts like this are in the minds of people close to the Frasers, what might others be saying and speculating about behind their backs? What assumptions are they making? Especially when they believe Malva’s story about Jamie being the father of her child. No one—not even the Frasers—are above suspicion.
Claire and Jamie exchange a nervous look -- without really meaning to, Mrs. Bug is giving life to... a murder motive.
That’s enough. Remember that the
dead canna speak for themselves,
Mrs. Bug. It’s the livin’ we have
to watch --
Will I show Mr. Crombie in, then?
Tell him to wait for us outside.
Mrs. Bug exits. Claire glances at her blood-stained clothes.
I don’t really want anyone else to
see me like this, if I can help
Dinna fash, mo nighean. I’ll speak
to Hiram -- find out why he’s come.
Claire nods, resigned, but determined to get back to Malva.
They both rise to exit. Jamie makes his way out to the BACK PORCH to greet their neighbor, while Claire heads to the surgery... We follow her, as she lingers a beat in the breezeway as if bracing to enter --
Preoccupied, Claire doesn’t pay much attention to LIZZIE WEMYSS -- her hair a little disheveled -- returning to the Big House as discreetly as possible.
5 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - CHRISTIE-VILLE - DAY (D1) 5
On horseback, YOUNG IAN rides with only ROLLO trotting alongside him for company. The Beardsley twins are not with him. A few SETTLERS cast suspicious glances his way as he passes by, but no one dares say anything to him. Dismounting from his horse, Ian approaches to ask them some questions instead --
6 INT./EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - BACK PORCH - DAY (D1) 6
Jamie and HIRAM CROMBIE are wrapping up their conversation. Hiram hands Jamie the CHRISTIE FAMILY BIBLE --
At Jamie’s request, Ian has gone out to search the Ridge to see if he can find out more about what’s happened but, like a captain on a sinking ship, Jamie stays at the Big House. He will do everything in his power to protect his wife and family. He is defending the fort as the first of a number of accusations are levelled at his wife.
I’ll be sure to ask Roger to read
from Mr. Christie’s Bible durin’
the service. Thank ye again for
comin’ by wi’ it, Hiram.
That wasn’t so bad. Breathing a sigh of relief, Jamie gives Hiram a nod of farewell, as Hiram descends the porch steps --
As I say, I’ll never forget Mr.
Christie’s face when he told me...
And Allan, that poor lad.
Aye. A terrible shock for us all.
Jamie turns to go inside, but Hiram’s voice stops him --
Was it, then?
Jamie’s patience is limited. The audacity of it. He turns around to face Hiram.
Speak plainly. If ye’re to make
unfounded accusations on my
doorstep, ye’ll do it in no
Hiram shakes his head in self-righteous disbelief --
You sinned in the eyes of the
Lord... Did yer wife forgive ye
for lyin’ wi’ a flower-faced
A quiet but deadly rage stirs in the pit of Jamie’s stomach. Hiram recognizes it.
HIRAM CROMBIE (cont'd)
Now, Mr. Fraser... Let every man
be swift to hear and slow to anger.
Are we all to suffer on the Ridge
because ye regret marryin’ a
jealous English woman wi’ a sharp
tongue and even sharper knives?
(after a beat)
Did yer wife forgive Malva?
Mr. Crombie -- if ye value yer
life, choose yer next words wisely.
7 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - SURGERY - DAY - SAME TIME (D1) 7
Claire closes the window/door, shutting out Jamie and Hiram from view. It’s clear she’s overheard what they’ve been saying and she doesn’t want to listen to any more. Lionel is beside her --
Overhearing Jamie and Hiram’s conversation feeds Claire’s darkest insecurities as she fights this intense mental battle with herself—a battle so intense that it causes her to question her very character.
What? Thought Hiram Crombie’d come
to beg for a cup of sugar?
He just about has the measure of
you -- and he won’t be shy about
tellin’ his friends...
Trying her damnedest to ignore him, and refusing to take the bait, Claire focuses on Malva’s sutures --
LIONEL BROWN (cont'd)
So what was it about this one that
made you do it, eh?
Claire looks at Lionel now.
LIONEL BROWN (cont'd)
Took the life of an innocent young
girl to protect that husband of
yours, didn’t you? When you swore
to do no harm.
Not as if you haven’t done that
before, though, is it?
Horrified, Claire reaches for the ether. Surely a few inhalations wouldn’t hurt -- just enough to get rid of him?
LIONEL BROWN (cont'd)
Selfish, that’s what you are. It’s
all about you and him against the
odds. And look how far you’ve gone
-- to what lengths...
It’s finally made a murderer of
The shock of this makes Claire put the ether down. She closes her eyes, willing Lionel to disappear with every fiber of her being. But it’s not going to be that easy.
8 OMITTED 8
9 OMITTED 9
10 OMITTED 10
11 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - BREEZEWAY - DAY (D1) 11
BRIANNA MACKENZIE approaches the surgery door with urgency. She KNOCKS cautiously, however, aware of what her mother is doing, not wanting to disturb her heart-rending work --
Mama -- we came as quickly as we
could. Are you all right?
A beat of silence. Brianna reaches for the doorknob --
12 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - SURGERY - CONTINUOUS - DAY (D1) 12
On the other side of the door, Claire is determined to shield Brianna from the upsetting sight of Malva and to satisfy a somewhat irrational urge to protect her from Lionel.
Don’t come in, darling. I haven’t
finished. I wouldn’t want to
subject you to this...
Why not? She knows what you get up
to in here... and that no good deed
goes unpunished when it comes to
you. She grew up with it -- the
lyin’; the loveless marriage;
leavin’ when you should have
stayed, stayin’ when you should
OFF Claire, reeling from these supposed “truths.”
13 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY (D1) 13
SHORT WHILE LATER. Brianna and ROGER now sit at the dining room table feeling at a loss -- how to be most helpful? Not too eager to be overheard, they speak in low voices.
Let’s go and see Tom and Allan
soon... I should be comforting
them in their hour of need --
Don’t worry, I doubt they’re
expecting you... They probably
need some time alone with their
grief... They know you’re not the
It wasn’t intended that way, but Roger is surprised at how much that stings. He swallows his pride. Brianna and Roger turn to see Jamie coming to join them --
Da. Is there anything we can do?
Aye. I think it’s yer turn to try
and pacify Mrs. Bug...
He has barely sat down when Lizzie races in after him --
What is it now, lass?
Obadiah Henderson at the door,
askin’ about Mr. Murray --
I did say he wasna here, but --
Jamie rises, ready to go out -- it’s not Lizzie’s fault. Suddenly he notices something. Brianna clocks it too, she gently removes a piece of GRASS/LEAF from Lizzie’s hair.
What have you been up to, Lizzie?
Mrs. Bug was lookin’ for ye
earlier. We were worried.
Lizzie feels her cheeks turn crimson. She’s a terrible liar. We won’t realize what it is just yet, but there is a reason why she can’t be entirely honest about her whereabouts...
The eagle-eyed viewer will notice that Lizzie isn’t perhaps telling the whole truth here. Caitlin O’ Ryan is an extremely talented actress, and we were delighted to be able to give her a whole palette of emotional colors to play with throughout this episode.
I was... erm... feedin’ the horses.
But I came back to the house as
soon as I heard the terrible news --
I dinna want ye goin’ out alone.
We dinna ken who’s about.
Lizzie nods weakly, relieved to be let off the hook. Seeing how beleaguered Jamie is, Roger is eager to help --
I’ll go with you --
Come on, then, Roger Mac.
14 EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - FRONT PORCH - DAY (D1) 14
Knowing that Roger caught him in a compromising position with Malva [Episode 605], OBADIAH HENDERSON is immediately on his guard when he sees Roger approaching with Jamie.
Annoyed, Obadiah cuts to the chase --
Why is Murray roaming ‘round like
the damned Spanish Inquisition?
What right does he have, eh?
You know he hit me a few months
ago? Gave me a black eye --
because of Malva?
I understand how upset you must be.
My condolences, Mr. Henderson.
It’s a very difficult time for
everyone who knew Miss Christie --
Obadiah is increasingly irritated --
I offer my deepest sympathies to
her family. But you don’t need to
offer me your condolences.
I only mean that... I know that you
were friends... perhaps more?
What are you suggestin’? You think
I had somethin’ to do with this?
Is that what you told Murray?
(then, glancing at Jamie)
And you have the gall to say that
to me in front of him?
Mr. MacKenzie’s not suggestin’.
Askin’ is all.
Everyone on the Ridge has
questions. About you and your
wife... Is it true that she cut
the baby out of Malva’s belly
before she slit her throat? Or was
it the other way around?
Jamie is trying incredibly hard to keep calm. He doesn’t want to legitimize these rumors in any way --
We’re glad to have ye on the Ridge,
Mr. Henderson, but --
But what, Mr. Fraser? Are you
goin’ to threaten me? Same as you
threatened Mr. Crombie --
What? Concerned that Jamie is about to do something he might regret, Roger tries to de-escalate the situation.
I saw you with Malva, as you know --
I hadn’t seen her in weeks. I told
your nephew the same thing. And
he’d better not forget it, unless
he wants a black eye in return --
We’ll bear that in mind. Good day,
Maybe Murray oughta start askin’
questions a little closer to home.
Jamie and Roger exchange a glance as Obadiah walks away, and Jamie moves to close the door --
15 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - STABLES - DAY (D1) 15
DUSK. Having searched the Ridge from top to bottom, Young Ian is returning his horse to the stables for the night --
16 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - STABLES - DAY (D1) 16
Meanwhile, in one of the stalls, Lizzie is tending to GIDEON, one of the HORSES.
I’m sorry I lied about feedin’ ye
earlier, Gideon. D’ye forgive me?
Hearing Ian entering with his own horse, Lizzie turns from her equine friend. Ian is relieved to see her.
Lizzie -- have you seen the
Beardsleys anywhere? Uncle Jamie
wanted them to search the Ridge wi’
me but I couldna find them.
Erm, well, not really... But they
should be home by now, I think --
Ian scrutinizes Lizzie’s flustered expression --
Is there somethin’ ye’re not
Lizzie hesitates, her face now scarlet.
Surely ye couldna think that
they... ‘Tis only that I dinna
want them to be in any trouble...
What trouble would they be in? I
dinna ken what ye’re hidin’... But
you have to tell me the truth.
Uncle Jamie’s going to be askin’
why they weren’t with me. Lizzie,
if you know somethin’ or saw
OFF Lizzie, panicking -- realizing that if she doesn’t reveal what she knows, suspicion could fall on the Beardsleys.
17 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT (N1) 17
LATER. There’s a SIMPLE SUPPER on the table: a few cold dishes to pick at. Jamie and the MacKenzies are joined by Young Ian. No one has much of an appetite.
It’s hard to imagine anyone on the
Ridge would do such a terrible
thing... Could it have been
someone else? An outsider?
But maybe if Obadiah Henderson
didn’t want anyone to find out
about them? Malva being with child
and all... and if the baby was
his... who knows?
I guess we can never predict what
someone might do, to protect their
reputation... their honor.
Lizzie enters with a few more DISHES --
Some cold potatoes wi’ butter.
She sets them on the table, rather slowly, eager to linger --
Shall I set a plate for Mistress
Thank ye, Lizzie. She’s upstairs
(then, back to the matter
Canna rule anyone out.
Except Obadiah already knew that I
knew about them. Unless someone
else disapproved of their, erm,
Lizzie starts clearing away some plates.
That bastard never had any
intention of marryin’ Malva.
Having confessed to sleeping with Malva himself [Episode 606], Young Ian suddenly feels a little embarrassed --
YOUNG IAN (cont'd)
Well, I think we know it wasna that
old hermit livin’ out on the edge
of the woods... Not a pretty sight
when I found him... Poor man --
must ha’ died all alone in his hut.
Johnny Brewster? I’m sorry to hear
it. I hope the Beardsleys helped
ye bury him decently?
About to take the empty plates to the kitchen, Lizzie stops dead in her tracks.
Erm... no... They thought it best
to conduct a search of their own...
in another part of the woods...
We may not realize why just yet, but Ian is covering -- unwilling to reveal Lizzie’s secret or shame her publicly.
Aye. That’s prudent. Cover more
ground that way.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Lizzie sends a grateful glance in Ian’s direction, before exiting.
I wonder what Johnny Brewster died
Looked as if he might ha’ passed
away in his sleep... But the
strange thing was... that his
finger bones were missing on one of
His finger bones? You’re sure?
I wonder if it has anything to do
with that love charm we found --
Ye think it was a jealous woman who
made it... and killed Malva?
Circumstantial evidence might point
towards it... But proving it
beyond reasonable doubt?
Where’s Perry Mason when you need
Brianna asks, “Where’s Perry Mason when you need, him?” in dialogue here—a nod to the title of part ten of A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
I know. Where do we start? It’s
not as if we can call the police or
report this murder to anyone...
Who’s Perry Mason?
A lawyer from our time who defends
Having come down the STAIRS and into the HALLWAY, Claire enters --
I think the question he’d be asking
is... who would have had the means,
motive, and the opportunity?
There is a glimmer of concern in Claire’s eyes as she realizes -- she had all three.
All eyes are on Claire. Though it’s what they’ve all been tiptoeing around, they can’t believe it’s been spoken aloud.
18 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - BEDCHAMBER - NIGHT (N1) 18
SHORT WHILE LATER. We find Jamie and Claire getting ready for bed. Both are still processing the conversation that took place over dinner.
Ye didna do it. How can ye even
suggest somethin’ like that,
A beat as Claire realizes it’s time to come clean --
I have this feeling... like when
you leave the house and think
you’ve left the oven on -- or a
candle burning, I mean. You know
you probably haven’t, you’ve never
done it before... but what if this
time, you did? And this is the
time that the house burns down, and
you just can’t shake the thought...
Jamie is flummoxed by Claire’s insistence. He sees her distress and can tell there’s something more --
What are ye sayin’?
I... used some ether on myself...
when I saw Malva coming towards the
Christ, Sassenach. You put yerself
I didn’t want to speak to her, so I
just had a little bit and then I
went to lie down...
Jamie gives her a look of concern -- Claire knows she’s going to have to explain herself...
I have this... half-remembered
dream... a nightmare really -- I
think. Malva was banging on the
door and she got into the surgery
somehow. She shook me awake and I
lost my temper... threatened her...
Malva must ha’ been killed before
she got to the house. Yer mind is
playin’ tricks on ye. Ye didna
harm her. Ye’re no’ capable.
But you heard Roger -- it’s about
who had a motive, the means and the
opportunity... If we were looking
at it from the outside... I had all
three. Everyone thinks it’s me.
The real confession that Claire is making here is not that she technically had the means, motive, and opportunity to kill Malva but rather that, because of the ether, she can’t say with one hundred per cent certainty that she didn’t do it. Of course, Jamie knows Claire and knows that she could never do something so horrific as murder a young girl and her unborn child, even in the most dire of circumstances but as Claire points out, what’s important here is not what they know, but what everyone on the Ridge will believe. The jury is already biased against them.
So what if they do? It doesna
matter what they think --
They didn’t think much of Dr.
Aye -- and after what Lionel Brown
did to ye, and he was here in this
very house, ye honored yer
physician’s oath, to help him...
That’s not the point --
Taking a breath, Claire quickly refocuses --
Where I’m from, if enough people
think you did something...
Convincing twelve jurors in court
is all it takes... And when
everyone thought you’d slept with
Malva... you said it didn’t matter
that you hadn’t, it was what people
Jamie takes Claire’s hand. He knows she’s right.
We’ll keep lookin’. Whoever it
was, we’ll find them.
Claire desperately wants to believe this, but isn’t so sure.
LATER -- Claire lies in bed, wide-awake, while Jamie sleeps beside her... Lionel is in the room, sitting in the corner. Claire closes her eyes, but can’t shake the memory of cutting Malva open to save the baby, blood streaming out [Episode 606].
19 EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - DAY (D2) 19
DAWN. We follow the ombré snake of river as it moves towards the Big House. Silhouetted against the sky, the Big House is gradually illuminated by the increasing daylight.
Funny we never say that we’re “only
human” when we’ve done something
good or worthy of praise --
As writers we are fascinated by the human condition and all of the struggles associated with it. It was fun to be able to offer some musings about societal truths—we really don’t ever resort to the excuse of “I’m only human” when we’ve done something good.
Standing at the bedroom window is Claire -- a pale, almost ghost-like apparition.
Instead, it’s what we tell
ourselves to excuse our mistakes --
Still in her shift, Claire opens the window, needing air in her lungs to feel awake...
One or two settlers come to collect some sacks of grain (or other item) from Mrs. Bug -- and quickly look away when they see Claire, clearly talking about her...
-- An effort, perhaps, to convince
ourselves that the person we see
looking back at us in the mirror
really isn’t so bad...
And we see a SERIES OF SHOTS:
-- ROGER & BRIANNA’S CABIN -- Roger at the desk with the BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER open, beginning to write his sermon. Brianna brings him some morning coffee.
-- CHRISTIE CABIN -- accompanied by Josiah and Kezzie, Lizzie has come to collect a dress for Malva (for burial) and has brought a BASKET OF FOOD (and GAME from Josiah). They knock. Tom hands one of MALVA’S DRESSES to Lizzie and closes the door on them. They leave their own offering on the doorstep.
There is a certain tragedy in the thought that Lizzie who, as we will later learn, is with child herself and terrified by what has happened to Malva, has come to collect a dress for Malva’s burial. We wanted to keep Malva’s unseen presence strong in this episode and the coffins that Allan is making and the dress help to achieve this.
-- Allan, near the cabin, making some simple COFFINS for Malva and the baby.
But who was I now? What was I now?
-- And we’re back at the BIG HOUSE once more. Through the window, PUSH IN ON --
20 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - BEDCHAMBER - DAY (D2) 20
Claire at the MIRROR, solemn and introspective. It’s time to get ready, to prepare for the day ahead, and to dress.
Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp. Dr.
Randall. Mistress Fraser. Wife.
Mother. Grannie. Witch.
She studies her reflection for a beat... Suddenly, Lionel’s REFLECTION is beside hers, he’s here, echoing her thoughts --
Murderess suits best.
But Claire’s thoughts are interrupted, as we pull back to REVEAL Jamie has finished dressing on the other side of the room --
This name grounds Claire. She gets up. As they go to head downstairs for breakfast --
By using his term of endearment for Claire, Jamie is able to ground her and banish the demons. However, Claire’s suffering is increasing to the extent that even Jamie can’t banish the ghosts haunting her. As she says in the voice-over in Episode 601, “Each ghost comes unbidden from the misty grounds of dream and silence […] By blood and by choice, we make our ghosts; we haunt ourselves.” These lines from Drums of Autumn resonated with me when writing and helped to inspire the idea that Lionel—a ghost of Claire’s own making—would haunt her in this episode. We talked about using various other characters from Claire’s past to haunt her in addition to Lionel, such as Geillis and Frank. Over and above production and scheduling challenges this would have presented for us, we also wanted to stay true to telling the story of Claire’s battle with what she had most recently suffered.
A21 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY (D2) A21
Claire and Jamie are making their way downstairs when they see Ian pacing anxiously in the hallway. Waiting for them.
Uncle Jamie, Auntie Claire...
There’s somethin’ I must tell ye...
Is it to do wi’ Malva?
It’s Lizzie --
Ian’s grave look tells them it’s something serious --
B21 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - PARLOUR - DAY (D2) B21
CONTINUOUS. As Jamie ushers Ian and Claire into the parlour and closes the doors behind them, Ian drops a bombshell --
She’s... with child.
Is it... yers?
No, Uncle... but --
Then who’s debauched her? Give me
Beardsley? Which of them was it?
She doesn’t know which one is the
Claire reads the sheepish look on Ian’s face --
You mean... both of them?
Ian nods, feeling guilty for revealing Lizzie’s secret, but wanting to arm his uncle and aunt with knowledge.
We’ll have the two of them in and
find the truth of it --
It takes a moment for the implication of Ian’s news to truly land. This is the last thing they need. More scandal.
And that’s what they were doing
when you couldna find them...? In
Christ. If word o’ any o’ this
Aye. I’m sorry. I couldna say
anythin’ at dinner. I didna want
to embarrass Lizzie, but wi’ folk
speculatin’ about Malva bein’
killed because she was unwed and
wi’ child, I thought ye should
I’ll speak to her.
Jamie and Claire share a look, knowing they’ll have to deal with yet another -- potentially explosive -- matter.
I’ll see one of them wed to her or
both Beardsleys dead at her feet.
This scene was heavily book-inspired and, in many ways, despite the gravity of Lizzie’s circumstance (being with child out of wedlock), and eighteenth-century reactions to it, this arc adds some much-needed levity to a very somber episode. Jamie’s reactions in particular are interesting. His highly traditional beliefs on the matter are sincere and yet offer an opportunity to include some lighthearted dialogue (particularly in some of the later scenes) because we know that he is a good man and that he cares for both Lizzie and the Beardsley twins.
The Lizzie story in this episode is interwoven with the Malva story. In many ways it increases the perceived sense of danger because Jamie is naturally worried that, since Lizzie is in the same circumstances as Malva (an unwed woman with child) she could be a potential target. They don’t yet know what the killer’s motives were. Also, more scandal at the Big House is the last thing the Frasers need.
As Jamie and Ian leave to find the twins --
21 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - ROGER & BRIANNA’S CABIN - DAY (D2) 21
Roger awakens, turns his head and sees that Brianna is awake too. She lies there, looking upward. He touches her hand.
What is it?
(off his look)
“Listen my children and you shall
hear, of the midnight ride of Paul
This hits Roger with some force, as he recalls Longfellow’s famous poem --
Of course. “On the eighteenth of
April, in Seventy-five, Hardly a
man is now alive, Who remembers
that famous day and year.”
(then, with irony)
Ha. Hardly a man.
That’s the one. Every kid in
Boston learned that poem by fifth
They don’t write them like that
Especially since it hasn’t been
Roger ponders the significance of today’s date for a moment...
Puts things in perspective, doesn’t
it? Eight hundred troops
gathering somewhere north of us,
while we’re busy raising our
children and burying our dead.
They share a look, realizing that, in spite of what’s going on in the world, there is much to be done. After a beat --
I want to give Malva and her baby a
OFF the two of them, ready to soldier on --
22 OMITTED (MOVED TO B21) 22
23 OMITTED 23
24 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY (D2) 24
Having returned from Tom Christie’s with the DRESS for Malva’s burial, Lizzie enters and finds Claire -- and sees the anxious look on her face. Before Lizzie can say anything, Claire looks at her empathetically --
Lizzie, sweetheart... we should
talk... Let’s sit down...
Ian told ye, then?
He did... But only because he
cares about you -- we all do.
I know... I’m sorry. I wanted to
tell ye, but...
Do you know how far along you are?
A few months or so mebbe...
And is he right? Both of the
You see, it all started when you
and Mr. Fraser were away, and Mr.
and Mrs. Bug were doin’ the milkin’
and, well... I swear I hadna done
it before... I’d mebbe come close
a time or two, but... the malaria
The first time, I was in bed... and
I could feel the fever comin’ for
me. My blood runnin’ hot and cold.
My teeth were clackin’ so hard
together I thought they’d break,
and then the Beardsley lads arrived
with my gallberry ointment and I
said that they must rub it all
over... And then one of the lads
said that he might spoil his
shirt... so I said perhaps better
to take it off...
This is another scene heavily inspired by the book, with dialogue taken verbatim. We knew Caitlin would give an outstanding performance and we weren’t wrong.
And then... well...
One thing led to another?
Both at once?
Lizzie nods sheepishly. A beat as this lands.
I, err, didna mean to... I mean I
did, but --
There’s no judgment only profound shock in Claire’s voice --
Elizabeth Wemyss. I’m not sure
it’s possible to choose to engage
in sexual relations with two men
without meaning to. One, maybe,
but two? Or do you mean that you
thought it was one twin but they
fooled you --
Lizzie reads Claire’s concern.
Oh, no, Mistress. Ye couldna think
that Jo or Kezzie would do such a
thing?! It was my choice, I swear.
Claire takes this in... realizing that Lizzie was not assaulted and that she knew what she was doing.
Well, that’s a relief, I suppose...
But I had to ask.
Lizzie is oblivious to the gentle irony in Claire’s voice.
Oh, it was more than relief! I
felt... safe. Wi’ arms around me.
I remember openin’ my eyes and
seein’ a chest before my face, and
the dark curlies all ‘round his
paps, wee and brown and wrinkled,
like raisins. They’re identical
everywhere if ye take my meanin’...
I kent well enough what I was
doin’, but we were slippery wi’ the
ointment and naked under the
quilts, and it... happened.
And went on happening --
Lizzie leans towards Claire and whispers, as though imparting an important secret --
Aye. It did. And more than once
with each of them since then. It
feels... so nice, Mistress.
That may well be, and I’m glad that
you’ve been enjoying yourself,
I ken it seems... strange. And I
suppose I ought to have said
somethin’, or done somethin’, but I
couldna think what. And really...
it didna seem wrong at all.
They’re different, aye, but at the
same time, so close to each other,
well, it’s as if I was touchin’ the
one lad and talkin’ to him... only
he’s got the two bodies.
Yes. That’s the difficulty you
see, the two bodies part.
You’re risking a huge scandal...
Hiram Crombie, for one, would stone
you for fornication, if he found
Why? It’s no’ harmin’ anyone. And
it’s no one’s business but ours.
Everything that happens here is
everyone’s business, you know that.
And now that you’re with child --
A delighted smile spreads on Lizzie’s lips.
Aye -- ‘tis a miracle is it no’?
Have the three of you worked out
any sort of plan at least? You
know there’s only one thing to be
done in Mr. Fraser’s book -- he’ll
expect you to marry.
Lizzie appears almost startled by this revelation.
You can’t have both of them. It
doesn’t work that way.
But we’ve been so... happy...
If both Beardsleys are still alive
after Mr. Fraser finds them, he may
take matters into his own hands and
solve the problem for you.
No. I beg you. I must think what
to do... Please.
I can try to convince Mr. Fraser
to give you a little time. But
you’ll have to decide -- and soon.
Lizzie nods, worried but grateful for Claire’s understanding. Claire sighs. It’s not ideal but what else can she do?
A beat as Claire glances at Malva’s dress, bracing herself for what’s next --
A25 EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - ROGER & BRIANNA'S CABIN - DAY A25
Meanwhile, sitting outside near the KILN for a bit of fresh air, Roger is working on his sermon when Brianna approaches.
How’s the sermon coming?
Brianna glances at the kiln, feeling guilty --
Well, you’ve done more work than
me... I just don’t feel up to
it... with all that’s happened...
Brianna hates bothering Roger with more bad news, especially when he’s working on the sermon, but...
Jemmy just told me that he heard
Mr. Bug telling Mrs. Bug that
murdered people turn into ghosts...
and it’s really frightened him.
The old fool. But does Jem even
know what that really means? We’ll
just tell him there’s nothing to be
afraid of... and to say a quick
prayer if he thinks he’s seen a
I did... and then he asked me... if
that would stop his grannie from
turning him into a ghost too...
Roger is appalled.
Who told him that?! Who said it
The fisherfolk, apparently...
Brianna and Roger share a concerned look.
25 OMITTED 25
26 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - SURGERY - DAY (D2) 26
Alone with her thoughts once more, Claire is immediately in a darker place. She now has the clean dress ready to bury Malva in.
Absorbed in her sadness, she stares at Malva, and almost doesn’t notice Lionel hovering behind her.
You led Malva astray with your
meddling. You bring pain to
everyone around you. Your daughter
got a good taste of it when she
came back here -- to save you.
Findin’ herself in a dark room in
the back of a tavern, with a babe
in her belly she never planned to
Stop it, stop it --
But Lionel can’t be reasoned with. He interrupts --
And look at Lizzie. Can’t even
tell you who the father of her
child is. How are you going to
make that right, eh?
Claire has had enough. She picks up the Ferguson mask, pours a few drops of ether onto it and inhales, just once or twice. Not enough to induce sleep, just enough to calm herself.
She sits and closes her eyes. Everything goes black. We HEAR a cacophony of voices -- intrusive thoughts, echoes from the past. Familiar lines from previous episodes spoken by old villains. A devilish symphony in Claire’s head.
27 EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - FRONT PORCH - DAY (D2) 27
It’s lunchtime. Brianna and Jamie are about to eat some HAM SANDWICHES. But Jamie is clearly agitated -- his mind occupied with his attempts to locate the Beardsleys, which have all been in vain. He glances around, hoping to spot them somewhere, or Ian.
Has Ian returned yet?
But Jamie doesn’t get his answer. A pensive Roger, who was also about to take a bite of his own sandwich, gets up when he notices MR. BUG passing.
Mr. Bug --
Meeting each other halfway, Roger tries to be discreet --
Somehow or other, Jemmy’s got it
into his head that there are some
souls with a lot of unfinished
business here on the Ridge...
(realizing his mistake)
Oh. The wee scamp heard that, did
Yes. And he’s terrified. Can you
be a bit more careful around him,
That’s life for ye. Canna shelter
the lad from such things forever...
In fact, there’s a sow to be
slaughtered if ye’re to have any
bacon before Mrs. Bug and I take
the whisky to River Run.
I’d ask ye to help, but I dinna
want to spoil yer luncheon.
Roger looks at his sandwich, suddenly put-off. He notices that Jamie’s barely eaten any of his own sandwich --
Carry on, Mr. Bug. Roger Mac, come
wi’ me --
28 OMITTED 28
29 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - DAY (D2) 29
MOMENTS LATER. Roger is glad to have Jamie’s company as they take a short walk but, given all that’s happened, it seems almost impossible to make small talk.
Ye havena seen the Beardsley’s have
Jamie sighs, as angry as he may be with the twins -- he can’t risk telling anyone just yet.
Jamie still seems very agitated and distracted to Roger --
I noticed you didn’t want your
sandwich, either... Not hungry?
Roger tries to fill the beat of silence --
Probably sounds ridiculous to you,
but in the future there are some
who are opposed to eating animals
Aye. Claire told me.
(then, with mild disdain)
A puzzling notion to Jamie...
Are ye goin’ to tell me that ye’ve
joined their ranks?
Roger smiles: it’s clear that Jamie is teasing.
No. But I don’t know why I
struggle so much with the thought
of all that sort of thing when we
both know that I’ve...
Jamie suddenly realizes that there’s something more on Roger’s mind too --
Killed a man?
God alone is yer judge, Roger Mac.
A pause as that lands. Roger suddenly feels vulnerable, but this is a chance to ask something that’s been gnawing at him.
What I did... to that Brownsville
man... isn’t it the same as what
happened to Malva?
But... “Thou shalt not --”
‘Tis no good to quote “thou shalt
not kill.” In the Greek and Hebrew
scriptures the word “murder” is
used... Malva was murdered.
Makes me wonder where God is in all
this. And where I stand. How can
I preach to others when --
I can see ye want to take care of
them, the folk here.
I don’t want to. It’s the last
thing I thought of, growing up in a
minister’s house. It’s all the
burying and the christening and...
maybe just being able to help, even
by listening and praying... I
don’t think there’s a minister
coming. And if there is, maybe we
should tell him not to... Someone
has to do it...
(a big reveal)
I’m thinking it’s me...
I’ve eyes to see it, lad.
Jamie’s line “I’ve eyes to see it, lad” is another favorite from the book. We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to show how Jamie and Roger’s relationship is constantly evolving. They are closer than ever and here Roger is seeking Jamie’s advice on a matter that he’s worried about bringing up to Brianna.
A beat as this lands --
I’d have to see about getting
ordained... There might be a way
to do it quickly... But you know
what’s coming -- the war. It’s
already here, in fact...
As a wise man once told me, there’s
always a war comin’.
Which is why... I haven’t told
Brianna yet. I don’t want her to
think me a coward...
D’ye think she would? D’ye mean to
turn Quaker? I’ve fought by the
side of a priest before, granted he
wasna much of a swordsman --
I couldn’t fight with an army, I
don’t think... But I could take up
arms to defend those in need...
That’s enough for me.
Your wife -- she has eyes too.
OFF Roger, grateful for Jamie’s acceptance. They’ve come a long way since their “hair tick”/heretic days.
30 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - MEETING HOUSE - DAY (D3) 30
NEXT MORNING. The BELL of the Meeting House TOLLS. Jamie and Claire approach the door. Claire’s anxiety is building.
We’re goin’ to a funeral,
Sassenach, not to stand trial.
Do you really believe that? We’re
going to meet my prospective
jurors. To be tried in the court
of public opinion.
But that’s all it is -- opinion.
And we willna be dignifyin’ any
rumors wi’ a response. What is it
ye tell the bairns? “Sticks and
stones may break my bones but names
will never hurt me.”
I’ve never cared much about what
people thought of me, except for
you and Brianna of course, but
Claire thinks of Lionel’s taunts -- fueled by the accusations on the lips of various members of the community -- the hurt it’s causing her. Causing both of them.
If anyone’s to say anythin’ to ye,
Sassenach, they’ll have to say it
to me first.
A beat as Claire collects herself and takes Jamie’s arm, ready to enter, dignified, head held high --
31 INT. FRASER’S RIDGE - MEETING HOUSE - DAY (D3) 31
A few CANDLES have been dotted around the room but there are no flowers. To Claire and Jamie’s astonishment, there’s hardly anyone present. Tom, Allan, Hiram Crombie and MRS. CROMBIE. Young Ian is also in attendance; Brianna sits alone in a pew. The space feels desolate, cavernous and cold.
COVID meant that we were constantly looking for ways to reduce crowd numbers in large scenes but, dramatically-speaking, a small group was best suited for Malva’s funeral. It helped portray the fact that Malva’s behavior was looked down upon in the community and hints at the fact that she is a victim in her own way. In the eighteenth century, had she lived, she would have been completely ostracized.
As mentioned earlier, Malva’s dialogue (in flashback) here was moved to the beginning of the episode. We may not understand why just yet, but in writing her words I wanted to make sure that Malva was telling the truth—at least the truth as she understands it. As an audience, after Claire and Jamie’s discussion in Episode 606, we don’t believe that Jamie is the father of Malva’s child (as the congregation here do). We are left with perhaps more questions than answers here.
Jamie and Claire sit together. TWO COFFINS sit before the pulpit, where Roger waits to begin.
SLIGHT TIME CUT --
Who among us is not a sinner?
This is INTERCUT WITH: MALVA CONFESSING IN THE MEETING HOUSE [which would have taken place in the timeline of Episode 606]. Sounds of COUGHING/REACTION etc., indicate that the room is packed, but we stay on Malva only.
I’m standing before you today to
tell you that the devil is real.
They say he comes in the guise of
an angel, but he spoke to me in the
guise of a man. Seduced me.
BACK IN THE PRESENT --
Malva was a daughter, a sister and
a friend. She might never have
been called “mother” or “wife,” but
those are not the things by which
to judge someone’s worth -- God
most certainly does not. It
doesn’t matter who we are, what
we’ve done or what has been done to
us. God forgives.
CUT TO MALVA -- crying.
I lost my innocence. It was
stolen. Taken by someone I
trusted. Who made promises. Who
was supposed to be kind to me...
My baby will be a bastard in your
eyes. I hope you can see it in
your hearts to treat us kindly.
BACK WITH ROGER --
Lord, you alone are our judge.
Roger glances at Jamie, a nod to their earlier conversation.
-- We commend Malva’s soul to your
care. Please stand, before we go
outside to lay Malva’s body, and
that of her baby son, to rest.
The PALLBEARERS go to lift Malva’s coffin -- Tom, Allan, Hiram. But they can’t... One missing. Who is the fourth? Jamie instinctively gets up to go and help --
No, not him.
Out of respect, Jamie steps back and Young Ian -- annoyed at this insult towards his uncle -- goes to take his place. They lift up the coffin and proceed down the aisle.
Claire notices that the baby’s coffin has been forgotten, goes to collect it, and follows. Allan notices, horrified --
ALLAN CHRISTIE (cont'd)
You put that down -- they’re dead
because of you.
With Allan distracted -- the other men put Malva’s coffin down on the floor.
Though Tom has his own suspicions, he flushes with shame --
Allan goes to Claire, snatches the tiny coffin from her and spits at her feet.
May I remind you that we stand
Immediately protective, Young Ian inserts himself between Claire and Allan -- and pushes him.
You bastards. You took my sister
from me and still you get to carry
on with your perfect, happy little
lives, as if nothing’s happened.
We should be dancing at Malva’s
wedding, and look at us, here.
32 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - CEMETERY - DAY (D3) 32
Standing slightly apart from everyone else in the small funeral congregation, Jamie and Claire watch as the last of the earth falls on the coffins. Holding hands, they begin their silent, sad walk home.
A33 EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE -- FRONT PORCH - DAY (D3) A33
LATER. Fingers tapping: Jamie stares into space, contemplating someone’s fate -- which appears to be hanging in the balance... He’s bracing himself for the rather unpleasant conversation he’s going to have to have with Lizzie --
33 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - PARLOUR - DAY (D3) 33
Jamie enters to find Claire, waiting patiently with a nervous and rather condemned-looking Lizzie. Jamie speaks without any of the joy that would typically accompany such an announcement --
Ye’ll need to be wed, and the
sooner the better. Which of them
is it to be, then, lass?
I canna... I dinna want to choose.
I love them both.
It’s no’ a matter of whom ye love,
now. Ye’ve a child in yer belly.
Nothin’ matters but to do right by
it. And that doesna mean paintin’
its mother a whore --
Lizzie’s cheeks flush with anger --
I’m not a whore!
I didna say ye were. But others
will when it gets around what ye’ve
been up to, lass. Spreadin’ yer
legs for two men and married to
neither of them? And now wi’ a
bairn, and ye canna name its
I can name him. His name will be
Ye dinna understand. They’re one
soul in two bodies.
If ye care for the fate of that
soul, I’d better have those two
bodies standin’ before me.
Imminently. Now, where are they?
34 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - STABLES - DAY (D3) 34
Claire and Jamie have accompanied Lizzie to the stables, where the Beardsley twins had been feeding the horses. Jamie plucks some PIECES OF STRAW from their surroundings, and puts his hand behind his back as he organizes them. Lizzie looks at Josiah and Kezzie, pleading with the Frasers --
Please, Mr. Fraser... Are we goin’
to do it here in the stables?
Christ was born in a manger. It
was good enough for Him --
In the book Jamie makes the Beardsleys draw straws in order to decide which of them will marry Lizzie. To help this play organically we thought it would be fun to set the scene in the stables. As Jamie half-jokingly says to the trio, “Christ was born in a manger. It was good enough for Him…” Perhaps not the wedding that Lizzie may have dreamed of, but certainly memorable—and one which has charm in its own particular way.
Jamie is not negotiating. He offers the straws to the twins.
Since ye canna choose among
yerselves... short straw weds her.
The twins gape at Jamie, open-mouthed.
What? But --
But Mr. Fraser, sir --
But they can see that he is in no mood to be argued with. Lizzie looks on nervously -- who will it be?
Bracing himself for the inevitable, Kezzie closes his eyes and plucks a piece of STRAW from Jamie’s hand. Josiah does the same. The twins open their eyes in unison: Kezzie has drawn the short straw. Jamie glances at Lizzie.
Take her hand... Now, d’ye swear
before these witnesses that ye’ll
take Elizabeth Wemyss as your wife?
Kezzie nods emphatically --
He glances over at Josiah, signing their symbol for “always.”
And do you, ye wee besom, accept
Keziah Beardsley -- and ye are
Keziah? Ye’ll take him as your
Aye. I will.
Good. Ye’re hand-fast. When we
find a priest, we’ll have it
properly blessed. Until then,
ye’ll speak to no one of this. No
one must know. D’ye understand me?
(then, to Josiah)
And you. ‘Tis better that ye leave
tomorrow and dinna come back ‘til
the child is born.
OFF a conflicted Lizzie, as she watches Josiah leave the stables, heartbroken...
35 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - ROGER & BRIANNA’S CABIN - NIGHT (N3) 35
LATER. At home now after a long day, Brianna and Roger sit by the fireside. Brianna is folding some of Jemmy’s clothes.
Makes me so sad that some won’t
believe Malva’s baby is in Heaven
because he wasn’t baptized... Do
you think he is?
Roger looks at his wife in surprise -- glad that she’s brought this up. Maybe this is his chance. He goes to her --
As a husband I’d say that I want to
believe it with all my heart... As
a minister? I’m not certain...
but I’d like to find out...
Well, I’m glad you’re more husband
Brianna kisses him tenderly. But after a beat, Roger takes a deep breath, making his decision to confess --
But... what if it’s my calling
here, Bree? What if I want to make
the preaching... official?
Brianna is a little taken aback --
I get the same thrill as I do when
I teach, only I feel it stirring
something in my soul --
And you’re good at it. I get it.
But what would that mean for our
I suppose that’s why I’m asking...
I could at least find out what it
would take to be ordained?
You were raised by a minister. We
both know what it’s like to have
parents constantly on duty, called
away at all hours... Mama would
leave at the drop of a hat when her
patients needed her and we suffered
because of it.
Looks like things turned out all
right from where I’m standing...
(then, after a beat)
I swear to you, Bree, whatever I’m
called to -- I was called to be
your husband first. And a father.
Whatever I do, it will not be at
the price of my family.
Brianna knows that promise will be hard to keep. She studies Roger’s face -- his cheeks aglow with hope.
You really want this, don’t you?
Roger nods -- he wants it so desperately. He goes to her, puts a hand on her belly.
Just think how amazing it would be
if I could baptize our baby myself.
I’ve heard there’s a Presbytery in
I suppose we do have some time
before the baby comes...
Is that a “yes”?
People crying at our kitchen table
day and night... What would I
serve them? I’m not that good at
baking... Oh, and I’m Catholic...
Taking this as a “yes”, Roger is delighted, adding wryly --
Hmm. That last one throws a wrench
in things. If only my father-in-
law had reminded me at some point.
I already knew about the baking.
Brianna jabs him playfully.
But do you think your, um... flock
would mind? You wouldn’t need me
If they have a problem with it they
can... go to Hell?
Sure. As long as they don’t return
the compliment --
They share a look -- and some half-hearted smiles. It’s been a difficult few days.
(re: both Hell and Malva)
All this talk of eternal
damnation... Too soon, isn’t it --
Yeah... maybe a little. Will you
send up another little prayer for
Malva and her baby for me?
As for your parishioners, let’s
hope you have a more diplomatic
line ready when the time comes.
We’ll start packing tomorrow and
leave as soon as we can.
OFF the two of them, grateful to have a plan of action.
36 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - BEDCHAMBER - NIGHT (N3) 36
Claire and Jamie are in bed. Claire fears another sleepless night, the day’s events on repeat in her brain. She goes to get up but, sensing her anxiety, Jamie stops her with a look.
I just need a cup of tea.
Jamie’s heard that excuse before, and has seen that look. Claire reads the concern on Jamie’s face, his suspicion --
This is not the first time Claire has used the excuse or cover that she just needs a cup of tea. Jamie is obviously now fully aware of exactly what this means… but, at the same time, he wants to prioritize Claire’s well-being. He knows that it’s a complex matter and that there’s a time and a place for a discussion about the ether.
What? A cup of tea makes the world
right as rain. A truth
acknowledged by every English
person who ever lived.
Then I thank the Lord I’m Scottish.
Serious now, Jamie takes Claire’s hand --
It was a difficult day... for
OFF Jamie, knowing his wife needs a moment, and that this is not the right time to talk.
37 EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - FRONT PORCH - DAY (D4) 37
NEXT MORNING. Claire finds a forlorn Lizzie washing windows.
Good morning... Why do I have the
distinct feeling that you’re
avoiding me, Mrs. Beardsley?
Does Josiah really have to go away?
An awkward beat. Lizzie’s obviously upset to have had her hand forced in choosing one of the twins -- but is also feeling immensely guilty. But what can Claire do?
Mr. Fraser has made up his mind...
and with all that’s going on here
on the Ridge...
I’m sorry... I was goin’ to tell
ye... the day Malva died. I
knocked at the door, but...
Claire, interrupts, shocked to hear this --
I banged and banged...
You’re certain it was that morning?
Aye. Did I do somethin’ wrong?
Quite the contrary, Claire is beyond grateful to know that it was Lizzie and not Malva who was banging the door --
No -- I’m very glad you told me.
38 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY (D4) 38
With relief -- confirmation that she did not kill Malva, Claire enters the kitchen. It’s something she knew in her heart, but still, the proof is nice to have -- a weight has been lifted: it wasn’t me.
We wanted to include a beat during which Claire experiences some temporary relief… If there was any lingering doubt, she now knows for certain, thanks to Lizzie, that she didn’t kill Malva… But the relief won’t last long… and that’s because it’s a trauma rooted in something deep within her. Even when, intellectually, you know something to be true, convincing yourself can still prove difficult and present innumerable challenges.
39 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - SURGERY - DAY (D4) 39
MOMENTS LATER. Claire picks up her BOTTLE OF ETHER, then puts it away with the others for now. But, as she does so, she feels Lionel’s presence behind her...
Claire blinks in surprise. Will this torture never end? How can he still be here?
But... I didn’t do it.
Lionel laughs, half-charmed by her guilelessness -- is Claire really so naive to think that this would be the end of him?
That doesn’t change a damn thing.
You think you can get rid of me?
This isn’t over, Claire.
The girl may not have died by your
hand, but you led her to her grave,
sure as the sun rises. Doesn’t
absolve you of your guilt, not for
this, not for any of it.
It’s intolerable. Claire can’t take it anymore. Turning on her heels, she goes back to the kitchen and slams the door shut behind her and leans against it, her back to Lionel --
40 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY - CONTINUOUS (D4) 40
As Claire catches her breath, Jamie enters -- having heard the door slam. What is she doing?
Claire steps away from the door, then glances behind her, hoping that Lionel is gone. But he’s peering through the door, pressing his face up against the glass. To Jamie, Lionel is obviously invisible and inaudible. Lionel puts a finger to his lips --
Shhh. We won’t say a word. It’s
our little secret.
Concerned by Claire’s unusually anxious demeanor, Jamie instinctively goes to open the surgery door --
But it’s too late --
41 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - SURGERY - DAY - CONTINUOUS (D4) 41
Jamie is in the surgery now, with Lionel still present. He looks around, but can see nothing concerning (at least anything that is visible to him). He turns back to Claire -- who’s followed him in. She immediately reads his distress.
You won’t believe me. It sounds...
A beat as Claire realizes she’s not ready to mention Lionel. She changes tack --
For the first time in my life, I
don’t recognize myself... Like
there’s a part of me -- a darkness
-- and I can’t bear for you to see
me that way...
I didn’t kill Malva... but what if
I would have... for us?
But ye didna --
No, but... what if... some small
part of me wanted to?
I was kneeling by her in the
garden, her body was still warm,
but there was no pulse... I acted
without thought, without fear,
without doubt -- to save the baby.
But after all Malva had done to
hurt us... was there something in
me that thought she deserved it?
Jamie shakes his head, not really believing this, but before he can refute it, Claire presses on...
I felt the same way about
Laoghaire. I wanted to hurt her
when she tried to have me killed...
But I took you from her, so how can
I blame her? I would have done the
same, if she tried to take you from
We all have a darkness in us,
But I’m possessed by it, it’s
eating me alive. I keep hearing a
voice... Lionel Brown... taunting
me. The ether is the only thing
that drowns him out.
Jamie takes this in, pained by her anguish.
I’ve tried for so long... to
It was the only way to cope.
Keeping things in neat little
boxes. Frank. My patients. Past.
Present. You. Grief... But now
it’s as if the floodgates are
opening. Everything I’ve ever kept
It’s my fault. All of it. Not
just Malva. Brianna’s attack,
Roger being sold into slavery --
everything that’s happened from the
moment I came to this time...
because of my selfishness in
wanting so desperately to be with
Do ye think Brianna feels that way?
She would never have been born.
What about Roger? Yer
“selfishness” has given him a wife
and son. If we’d never gone to
France, found Fergus, he wouldna
have Marsali... So although
there’s pain, yer selfishness has
brought much to so many. Without
ye, our whole world crumbles to
Jamie, I don’t know how to make
this voice go away... without the
ether -- there are no magic words
to make this right, I’m not going
to suddenly be better.
After Wentworth, you found me in
the dark. And I let ye into my
mind, and my soul. Let me do the
same. Dinna lock me out. Let me
join ye... But I canna do that
when ye put yerself to sleep. We
have to face this, together.
(off Claire’s look)
Dinna sentence yerself for crimes
no one is chargin’ ye with. If
ye’re selfish, let me be accused of
the same crime. I dinna care what
the right and the wrong of it may
be, so long as you are here wi’ me.
If it was a sin for you to choose
me, then I would go to the Devil
himself and bless him for tempting
ye to it.
It comes to Claire, a bit more clear now.
The weight of my guilt... that
burden will never go away. And
I’ll carry it like you carry your
scars. Because I would do it all
again -- and more -- to be with
As they embrace, it’s just the two of them now. Lionel Brown has faded away. A step in the right direction.
42 EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - ROGER & BRIANNA'S CABIN - NIGHT (N4) 42
Establisher. All is peaceful and quiet... Almost --
You want me to do what?
A sweet moment in which Lizzie displays just how determined she is—she loves both Beardsleys and will do whatever she must to prove it.
43 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - ROGER & BRIANNA’S CABIN - NIGHT (N4) 43
Standing inside by the fire -- and taking great care to be quiet (so as not to wake a SLEEPING Jemmy) -- an astounded Roger and Brianna (who’ve been roused from bed) react to a bold request from Lizzie and the Beardsley twins.
You want me to marry you?! Now?
Er, to whom?
It’s me and Jo, if ye’d be so kind.
Kezzie’s come to be witness...
You don’t want a priest to do it?
Seeing Lizzie so staunchly determined, Brianna wonders --
Are you... in trouble, Lizzie?
I’m wi’ child, aye. We want to be
married before the babe comes...
But it may be a while before we
find a priest.
Oh my God, Lizzie. Are you happy?
We love each other so very much.
Please. We want to do right by
each other, and since the Frasers
told us ye’re leavin’ for Edenton
in the morning --
Brianna gives her husband a pleading look and, softly --
Go on... Do it for them -- please?
Something about this feels off... but Roger is swayed by the eager faces before him. How can he say no?
It won’t be a marriage exactly, but
you can be hand-fast I suppose...
Oh, thank ye, Mr. MacKenzie.
Thank ye, sir.
Let me put my breeches on. I’m not
conducting my first wedding bare-
A delighted Lizzie and the twins wait as Roger grabs his breeches and Brianna finds some candles, and her matches.
44 EXT. FRASER'S RIDGE - ROGER & BRIANNA’S CABIN - DAY (D5) 44
NEXT DAY. Jamie and Claire have come to bid Brianna, Roger and Jemmy farewell as they load their WAGON, before traveling to Edenton. Brianna goes to fetch a SMALL SILVER BROOCH.
I didn’t have the chance to give
this to Lizzie when she and Josiah
were handfast. Could you give it
to her for me? Just a little
something as a wedding gift.
What do you mean?
Roger married them last night...
Claire and Jamie exchange a glance of mutual disbelief.
Jamie hand-fasted Lizzie and Kezzie
(then, still incredulous)
Did you really --
God help me, I did. But if she’s
hand-fast with Kezzie too... I
suppose it isn’t exactly valid as
Jamie is furious, his hand instinctively touching his belt --
It’s certainly as valid as the hand-
fasting I did. We’ll be havin’
words wi’ them. I swear -- the
three o’ them. God help them.
It’s an unholy trinity,
certainly... What can I say? The
Lord works in mysterious ways...
The MacKenzies are now in the wagon and ready to get going.
45 INT. FRASER'S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY (D6) 45
A FEW DAYS LATER. Jamie and Claire are about to sit down for a MEAL, before they speak to Lizzie and the twins -- who are coming to talk about the “bigamy.”
I’ll tell them that marriage is a
serious undertakin’, that requires
patience and sacrifice...
And monogamy. Maybe start with
Aye. It was Kezzie first and
Kezzie she’ll stay wed to, come
Hell or high water. And that’s all
anyone on the Ridge needs to know.
They can hear the NOISE of HORSES approaching the house.
That’s no’ Lizzie or the twins --
Jamie hurries out through the breezeway, Claire follows him --
46 INT./EXT. FRASER’S RIDGE - BIG HOUSE - BACK PORCH - DAY (D6) 46
MOMENTS LATER. Jamie and Claire see RICHARD BROWN and his COMMITTEE OF SAFETY, some TWENTY or THIRTY MEN, some on HORSES, and with TWO WAGONS, approaching. Once they are within earshot --
Mr. Fraser. We’ve come for your
We wanted a powerful ‘turn’ at the end of the episode. Now that Claire feels absolved of her guilt and knows herself to be innocent—she’s managed to banish Lionel—Richard Brown returns to arrest her for the murder.
Jamie looks at Richard -- what the hell?
Well, you can be on yer way then.
Now, see, there you’re wrong, Mr.
Fraser. We’ve come to arrest her
for the murder of Malva Christie.
END OF EPISODE