Freedom and Whisky starts at Boston General Hospital with Claire and Joe preforming a tricky surgery.
At Harvard, Brianna’s professor is telling his students about Paul Revere’s ride and how the poem isn’t accurate because Revere was captured by the Redcoats and Prescott (one of the other riders) completed their mission but Revere had better publicist (because Revere was a publisher). Brianna is only interested when she hears her professor say it is a lie that Revere completed his mission. The professor sends the students off but wants a word with Brianna. She’s failing in her classes and he thinks it is because of Frank’s passing.
At home, Brianna comes in to Christmas decorations and memories as she finds her 1st Christmas ornament on the tree. She goes into his office and starts going through things, finding pictures of him holding her as a baby.
At the hospital, Joe wonders what about Scotland has Claire distracted. Claire demurs but Joe believes she’s met a man. Claire confesses there was someone from her past but they went their separate way and she’d hoped they’d find each other again but fate had other ideas. To which Joe replies, “Fuck fate.” Darn right, Joe! Claire leaves while Joe continues working.
Roger pulls up to Claire and Brianna’s home in a cab feeling a little nervous as he crossed and ocean with news but mainly to see Brianna. Roger rings the bell and can hear Claire and Brianna arguing. Brianna answers the door and is pleasantly surprised to find Roger who tells her, “Happy Christmas.”
Brianna has decided to withdrawal from Harvard and move out which Claire doesn’t like but Brianna tells her loudly and in front of Roger that she’s not listening to her and she needs a break. Someone honks and Brianna leaves Roger with Claire. Roger is going to check into his hotel but Claire puts him up at the house. They sit together and talk. It is Roger’s first Christmas without the Reverend. Claire is happy he’s there because Brianna could use someone to talk to and Roger knows what she’s been going through.
Roger pours them both a drink before dropping his bombshell. He found Jamie cause when it comes to history he’s a dog with a bone. He shows Claire an article about the repealing the restrictions on importing alcohol in Scotland. In the article he quotes Robert Burns who was only 6 years old at the time the article was written. Burns wouldn’t write the poem until 21 years later. And the icing on the cake is that the printers name is Alexander Malcolm, two of Jamie’s own names. It was printed in 1765 which was only a year ago on their timeline (meaning it is 202 years of travel for Claire).
Claire gets upset at Roger for bringing her the information. She tells him she shut the door on Jamie 20 years ago but when she learned he’d survived Culloden she began to hope. She can’t go through the hope again. Roger tells her it is real and she can go to him but Claire reminds him that means leaving Brianna. She can’t abandon Brianna. Claire asks that Roger doesn’t tell Brianna.
The next day at the hospital, Joe is looking at some bones of a woman who he believes was in her late 40s. Claire tells Joe that his friend sent him over a 150 year old murder victim. Joe is shocked because Claire is off by 50 years and they are looking for the cause of death. She was found in the Caribbean. Joe finds that the bones tell him someone tried to cut the woman’s head off. Joe says they think the woman was a slave but she was white (as the bones tell him).
Joe changes the subject and asks about Claire’s man. She tells him he is Bree’s real father and she told Bree in Scotland. He asks if she still loves this mystery man and she says she never stopped. Joe tells her everyone knew Frank and she weren’t happy and she should take the second chance if she can.
Brianna returns home to find Roger watching Dark Shadows. Brianna apologizes for the scene the day before. Roger tells her he came for an American Christmas, lobster rolls and Boston cream pie. She invites him to a dedication for Frank and he accepts.
At Harvard, Brianna shows Roger a piece of architecture she likes at Harvard but she never wondered who walked under the arches. Roger tells Brianna that the Reverend told him a story of his father when he was a child. True or not it made him feel like he knew his father and in turn himself.
At the ceremony, the Dean takes about Frank and introduces Professor Sandy Travers to Claire. Claire tries to walk away but Sandy tells her that she should have given up Frank. Sandy tells her Frank was the love of her life and that Claire was selfish for holding on to Claire. Brianna spotted them together and asks Claire later about the woman. Claire says she was a student of Frank’s. Brianna remembers from an outing with Frank when she was young.
Claire confesses that Frank loved Sandy and planned to marry her. Brianna wonders if Frank looked at her his whole life and hated her because of Jamie. Claire tells Brianna that Frank’s greatest joy was Brianna. But Brianna wonders if Claire resented her because she was the reason she lost Jamie. Claire tells her she loves her for her. Claire then confesses that Roger found Jamie and Brianna tells Claire she can go back. Brianna tells Claire she is grown up and she doesn’t need her like when she was little. Brianna wants her to go back.
On TV, Claire and her colleagues watch the Apollo 8 mission. Joe wonders how you can take a trip like that and come back. Claire wonders if it is enough to say you went once.
At home, Claire tells Brianna if she goes she might never come back. Brianna points out that Claire has come back before but Claire tells her it is possible they won’t see each other again. That means Claire won’t be there when she gets married or has a child of her own. Brianna knows this but tells Claire she’s more like her mother than her fathers. She’ll be fine but Claire owes it to Jamie to tell him about her. Claire confesses she fears Jamie doesn’t love her anymore but Brianna reassures her. Brianna tells her mom, “You gave Jamie up for me and now I have to give him back to you.”
At the hospital, Claire asks Joe if she’s attractive, sexually. She needs a man’s point of view and she can only ask him. Joe informs her she’s a skinny white broad with too much hair and a great ass. Joe informs her that HE will be thrilled to see her. She thanks him.
At home; Brianna and Roger are giving Claire some Christmas gifts that are useful for 18th century: Old coins but no flashlight as she might end up in another witch trial. Roger gives her Scotland the Nation by Rosaline Masson so she knows historical information. Brianna gives her a topaz necklace (Brianna’s birthstone) which is for going through the stones. Claire tells us that she lost a gem stone both times she travelled: First her jeweled watch and then Jamie’s father’s ring. Now Claire needs to make something to carry everything in which Brianna things is funny though Claire informs her she’s learns a thing or too making costumes for her. Roger says she can have a utility belt just like the caped crusader himself to which Brianna comments he really does watch a lot of TV.
Claire then proceeds to makes herself an outfit out of raincoats to the theme of the 60s Batman show.
Later, Claire is packing up and Brianna comes by and is stunned that she touched up her hair. Claire wants to borrow Brianna’s blouse (when is she giving it back?) and Roger goes off to gather something. Claire tells Brianna that Roger is a good one. She gives her a resignation letter to give Joe, and tells her that her name is now on the deed to the house and the bank accounts.
Claire doesn’t want Brianna there because she wants it to be peaceful and if Brianna is there it would be too hard to leave. Brianna kisses Claire cheek and tells her to give it to Jamie. Claire pulls out the pearls and tells Brianna they were her Jamie gave them to her on their wedding night. They were Ellen Fraser’s, her grandmothers. Roger brings in some whisky and Claire thanks him and they have a small toast. Claire goes out to the cab and Bree and Roger look on from the window.
Brianna turns to Roger for comfort while Claire drives off. Brianna goes into the kitchen and comes back with lobster rolls and Boston cream pie to share with Roger. She tells him maybe the can watch A Charlie Brown Christmas later. Roger gives Brianna a gift which turns out to be A Christmas Carol which she used to read with Frank and Claire when she was young.
When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles...
Claire steps out of the carriage in 18th century Edinburgh and stops a boy asking for Alexander Malcolm. He tells her Carfax Close and Claire walks on. She stops outside of the print shop to run her hand over the sign that says, “A. Malcolm Printer and Bookseller,” before heading up the stairs.
When she enters the bell above the door chimes and Jamie asks if it is Geordie and what took him so long. Claire moves towards the sound of Jamie’s voice and finds him working at the press. Jamie wonders if Geordie when all the way to Glasgow for the ash but Claire says, “It isn’t Geordie. It’s me. Claire.” Jamie turns slowly, stunned. He looks up at a smiling Claire and then promptly faints to Claire’s shock.
The Voyager Book Prologue
Freedom and Whisky quoted the book Voyager's prologue for the transition from 20th to 18th century.
When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles. Not because of any fear of drowned worms or wet stockings; I was by and large a grubby child, with a blissful disregard for filth of any kind.
The Boston House
“The Boston Streets were filmed on location in Glasgow. The brown stone of these properties was a great color match for Boston and the steps at the front of the houses added to the look. Combined with American period cars and signage, the location worked really well.”
-Hugh Gourlay, Supervising Location Manager
“For the exterior of Claire and Frank’s home in Boston, the production used a street in Glasgow. It had a similar red stone and architectural style to what it was felt one might find in Boston. As well as feeling like Boston, we needed to see this street go through cosmetic changes over multiple episodes as the story progressed through 20 years.
As well as the obvious changes in period automobiles used on the street, an amount of the immediate vicinity could be very effectively dressed by the Art Department for the various periods we needed to cover. For wider establisher shots, visual effects were needed to make changes deeper in the distance and higher into the air, for example adding telegraph poles to replace modern streetlights. Initially there was a great deal of discussion as to what exactly tells a view that the cityscape is Boston and we gradually moved towards echoing the characteristic look of red buildings with white detailing and many church spires, without consciously putting in specific recognizable landmarks.
By limiting the amount of camera movement (and parallax this would introduce) we were able to efficiently build a majority of what we added as 2D elements, created from extensive photographic reference, that we could then place in 3D space for a convincing illusion.”
-Richard Briscoe, VFX Supervisor
“As apartment goes from 1958 to 1968, you have to make choices. When did they buy a new refrigerator? When did they repaint the hall? When did they change the sofa? It’s a domestic home, so, you’re going see everything in there that you would see in a domestic home in 1968. The differences are, of course, is it a black and white TV? Or is it color TV? We make a choice. We said actually, by now, even though there was a moon landing that was broadcast in black and white, this time color, had come in.
The research is always fascinating for us and it’s always something that the departments go into with great depth and with great tenacity to make those choices. So, they’ll be everything you’d expect in a domestic home. But it’s the quality of them and what period of time we are. What new technologies have come about? Was there a new refrigerator that’d come in, which didn’t have a big lump of vibrating steel on the top of it, but it was more integrated and maybe had an ice box? Our wonderful departments really give us the crisp delineation of the period and are evocative for the audience.”
-David Brown, Producer
"Working with Terry, we had racks of clothes, and I felt like I was in the best vintage store ever, which was really fun…The sixties is one of my favorite eras. What I love about Claire is that, you know, she’s a professional woman. She’s stylish without being a victim to the fashion of the time. She’s within the period, but it feels very real and it feels very lived in. It’s not a magazine versions of the sixties. Terry loves finding very practical character based looks.
We have some beautiful pieces. There’s a beautiful coat dress that echoes some of my more equestrian-style outfits from Paris. It’s kind of nice that there’s always shades of who Claire is in any century, throughout her wardrobe.”
-Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall Fraser)
From Matthew B. Roberts
“We were scouting for just the right place to play Harvard (in Scotland). There are many beautiful buildings in the country but we look for something that will visually jump out at us—and the cloisters at Glasgow University did. Now we know real Harvard doesn’t have cloisters—but this isn’t the real Harvard now is it?”
-Matthew B. Roberts, Executive Producer/Writer