Outlander Book Club: An Echo in the Bone Chapter 20 breakdown

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /
2 of 3
Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with William in a bit of trouble. After he’s caught laughing at a cartoon, he’s punished for it. He won’t share who the artist was, which certainly stands out as a Jamie thing to do. Remember the bit with the tartan.

He refuses to use his connections to Lord John Grey and Hal Grey, though. Instead, he’s going to take his punishment, which I do think is honorable of him. Again, it’s something Jamie would do, and I get a sense that it’s something Lord John Grey would do.

Speaking of John, there are mentions of him. When Captain Richardson shows up with an offer of spy work, William thinks about his father. He knows that John would suggest against it. John doesn’t like spy work. Yet, William wants to do it. He certainly wants out of his punishment right now.

What’s the mission? He needs to be a French interpreter for Captain Randall-Isaacs. That name means nothing to William, but it means everything to us.

And so, we get to see a bit of William acting as a spy. There’s a moment where his height doesn’t help him. He’s hard to hide, and again, I’m reminded of Jamie. Jamie’s height and hair have often gotten him in trouble, and we see one of those problems for William.

However, William gets a taste of what could happen to him. He meets Rogers, who is looking for a spy named Hale. William knows about this spy, and so he ends up on the road with Rogers. Is this some sort of test for William, though? I think it’s more of a way to offer William some worldly advice. Rogers tells William not to trust Richardson. Why is that?

I guess this is where people don’t like William. He still has a lot to learn about people in the world. He’s stubborn—very much like Jamie—and sometimes thinks he knows best.

In the end, Hale is captured and he’s executed for being a spy. His hanging affects William, and I think that’s because there are so many similarities between the characters. Hale is young, stubborn, and eager, very much like William. Is William realizing that this is what could happen to him if he’s not careful?