Have we all recovered from Episode 502? Oof, that was a doozy.
As we look forward to Episode 503, it might be nice to refresh our memories on who exactly is supposed to be living at Fraser’s Ridge these days. We’ve seen a lot of new faces but not much in the way of introduction in these first two episodes. For those who may be unfamiliar with these characters (i.e. non-book readers), it might seem a bit confusing. Who are all these people? Why are they living at the Ridge? Where do they fit in with everyone else?
We might get proper introductions and adequate exposition regarding these characters in upcoming episodes but, in case we don’t, here’s a Who’s Who of notable characters we’ve met so far.
Note: I’m going to keep this as spoiler free as possible for those who haven’t read the novels. Also, there isn’t a ton of information out there for some of these actors so if you note mistakes please let me know. I’m also going to aim to keep the comments section spoiler-free.
1. Murdina and Archibald “Arch” Bug (Sarah Collier and Hugh Ross)
Murdina is a housekeeper to the Frasers and Arch serves as factor, or manager, of the Ridge in Jamie’s absence. Arch was a tacksman for Clan Grant but had his land confiscated by the English after the Rising. He and Murdina moved to America after falling on hard times in Scotland. They have no children. In the novels Arch is missing two fingers on his right hand.
2. Isaiah Morton (Jon Tarcy)
In the novels Isaiah Morton doesn’t originally live at Fraser’s Ridge— he is instead recruited for Jamie’s militia out of Granite Falls. If the rest of his biography remains the same in the series as it does in the novel, he is married to a woman named Jezebel Hatfield (of Hatfield and McCoy infamy, recently confirmed by Diana Gabaldon). Put a pin in that fact because it will be important later (probably in the next episode, I’m guessing).
3. Margaret Chisholm (Anita Vettesse)
Margaret Chisholm is married to Geordie Chisholm, a man imprisoned with Jamie at Ardsmuir following the Rising. In the novels Jamie recruits a large chunk of his tenants from former Ardsmuir prisoners now living in the colonies; their imprisonment together helped make them a de facto clan, which contributes to the mens’ loyalties to Jamie. In the novels they have seven sons (including Thomas, who suffers the burn injury as described in this scene).
4. Ute McGillivray (Anna Karmanski)
Ute McGillivray is married to Robin McGillivray, another former Ardsmuir prisoner. They have a gaggle of daughters and one son. Ute loves to play matchmaker for her children (and everyone else) with mixed results. She is of German descent.
5. Ronnie Sinclair (Paul Donnelly)
Another former Ardsmuir prisoner, Ronnie shares a homestead with the McGillivray family in the novels. He works as a cooper and later joins up with Jamie’s militia (looks like he’s done that earlier here than he did in the novel).
6. Ruth Aberfeldy (Carole Anders)
I’m not sure we know much backstory on the Aberfeldy family from the novels, except they join the Frasers at the Ridge following the Gathering at Grandfather Mountain. In the books they have one young daughter, also named Ruth.
7. Herman Husband (Paul Kennedy)
So not technically a resident of Fraser’s Ridge, but I’m including him anyway since he figures prominently this season. If you need a history refresher, Husband was a key leader for the Regulators. As a Quaker, he was a pacifist and often sought non-violent ways of protest.
Okay, everyone sorted out? I may update this post later in the season as we are introduced to other characters. Until then, I’ll see you this weekend with another recap. Happy viewing for Episode 503!