At last, Claire, Jamie, Brianna, and Roger are all in the same place and time — Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1769 — though not together because that would be way too easy!
Roger has made it to Wilmington, and he’s using his portrait of him and Brianna from the Highland festival to try to track her down. He knows she arrived on the Philip Alonzo but has been unsuccessful locating her in town. His search even brings him by the Wilmington Gazette, the paper bearing Jamie and Claire’s obituary that started this whole thing, and Roger has a chance encounter with Fergus, though they don’t yet know who each other are.
Fergus goes home to Marsali to find Claire and Jamie playing with his son during a surprise visit. Ian is away fetching casks for whiskey, but the Frasers are in town at the summons of the governor to attend a play. Tryon wants Jamie to meet Edmund Fanning, his right-hand man and one of the men Murtagh dislikes for dipping his hands into the treasury.
Roger is staring at Bree’s portrait while drinking, and he smears the pastel drawing when he spills it. Just as it seems all hope is lost, he hears Bree’s voice across the room asking about finding passage to Cross Creek. They reunite and embrace. He tells her he’s been looking for her, and they argue about her coming to the past without telling him. She explains she didn’t know where they stood, which Roger can scarcely believe. He pulls her outside for some privacy, and Lizzie watches this, only seeing what she believes to be a strange man pulling Brianna outside in a pique of anger.
Outside, Bree drops a doozy on Roger after he explains how he tracked her from Inverness to the past. “I didn’t know how to tell you that I love you and I thought you’d try to stop me,” she confesses. The fact that Bree loves him is all he needs to hear, and he pulls her around the corner for some fierce kissing. Things get hot and heavy pretty fast, but Bree stops. Last time they got this close to doing the deed, Roger tried to force the issue of marriage. Has he changed his mind? He says he hasn’t, to which Bree responds, “Well then, you’ll have all of me. You’ll marry me. How could I say no to a man who pursued me for 200 years?” RAINBOWS, HEARTS, FIREWORKS, SQUEEEEEEEEEE.
Roger has crossed an ocean and 200 years to find Bree, so he’s not really interested in waiting to find the local preacher. Instead, he decides they should try hand-fasting. It’s an old Highlands custom that would serve as a temporary marriage for folks far from the nearest minister — it’s a promise that can last between two people for a year and a day until a proper ceremony can be performed. Brianna is all in on this idea.
Claire and Jamie are dressed up in their finery to accompany the governor to the theater. There they meet Edmund Fanning, who has been troubled by grievances with the regulators, including injuring himself while carrying rum to a mob to try to appease them. He has a strange protrusion, which Claire offers to examine, and as she suspects it’s a hernia. But the governor is not down with lady surgeons, so instead, he leaves Claire with his wife to talk about girl things.
Which, as it turns out, means meeting Martha Washington and her good old husband George. George had apparently surveyed some of Jamie’s land in the past because of course, he did. Martha is impressed by the governor’s generosity to Jamie, heavily implying a warning of all the strings attached. George has never heard of Culloden because he was born and raised a Virginian. This tidbit causes Claire to slip and make a reference to chopping down cherry trees, which makes for a very awkward moment — though it still remains unanswered whether this fave bit of founding father trivia is apocryphal or not.
After they walk away, Claire explains to Jamie that George Washington is going to be the most famous American to ever live (it’s really a shame she didn’t stick around in the present day until Hamilton debuted). She tells Jamie how George will become the first leader of the country, a president elected by the people, not a king.
They take their seats for the show, while the governor continues to whine about the regulators not wanting to use tax dollars for the construction of his “palace.” Bro, do you even hear yourself? He boasts to Jamie about how his men, the redcoats, have a plan in place that very night to intercept a group of regulators planning to rob a carriage holding tax money. The governor has a spy among the regulators, and the redcoats are going to arrest them the minute they strike the carriage. Tryon is particularly gleeful about the prospect of capturing their leader — one Murtagh Fitzgibbons. Jamie offers to ride out to “help” the governor’s men while an unwitting Murtagh is standing in a dark road waiting to walk into a trap.
Back in the barn, Bree and Roger perform their hand-fasting ceremony. They kneel in front of a fire, bind their hands together with Roger’s neck kerchief and exchange traditional vows before pronouncing each other man and wife. Now that the formalities are out of the way, they can finally get it on.
(Recap continues on next page…)