After confronting him in his jail cell at the end of Outlander Season 4, Brianna thought she was done with Stephen Bonnet for good. After all, the rapist had presumably died in the prison fire not long after their conversation. However, Brianna quickly discovered that Bonnet was still very much alive in the Season 5 premiere. Though she’s kept the information to herself, Outlander’s “The Company We Keep” may have hinted at a major upcoming confrontation between the missing antagonist and the Frasers.
Warning! Speculative spoilers ahead for Outlander Season 5's "The Company We Keep."
Season 5’s fourth episode took a significant step forward regarding the Stephen Bonnet storyline. With Jamie, Claire, and Roger off traveling with the militia to recruit more men, Brianna is left behind to tend to Fraser’s Ridge. Following a trip to town for goods, Brianna finds a mysterious coin inside her son Jemmy’s bassinet. Her suspicions and fears are seemingly confirmed when a settler explains that it was a nice “Irish man” who offered the coin to Jemmy, calling him a handsome lad and wondering whether he took after his mother or father.
Since Bonnet is alive and knows Jemmy might be his son, Brianna’s now worried that he could come to Fraser’s Ridge to take him away. When Brianna loses sight of Jemmy for a moment too long, she immediately believes her son has been kidnapped by Bonnet. While that wasn’t the case, the episode certainly implies that Bonnet could show up at some point down the line, likely when no one expects him to, bringing the unresolved conflict of his status as a rapist and Jemmy’s father to a head.
What’s more, “The Company We Keep” alludes to Bonnet posing a bigger threat than anybody else in Season 5. While the pirate has largely been offscreen, he is far more of a personal antagonist than Governor Tryon. Earlier in Season 5, it was confirmed that he was building up a more reputable name for himself among the wealthy, so it’s possible that he’ll have backup when he attempts to lay claim on Jemmy. Perhaps Bonnet is simply biding his time, knowingly ruffling Brianna’s feathers, before coming to collect.
With that in mind, Bonnet's return may force Jamie and Roger to fight him for what he's done. At the moment, the Fraser patriarch is doing what’s expected of him and working with Tryon’s men to recruit a militia. However, the Regulators — including Jamie’s godfather Murtagh Fitzgibbons — have been off the grid for the last two episodes.
While it’s likely that the Regulators storyline will pick back up again soon, Outlander Season 5 has been building steadily towards a massive showdown. If nothing else, the villain's lingering presence will likely push the conflict and building tension forward. After all, his name is consistently brought up, and now that all three Frasers know that he’s still alive, Bonnet's impending resurgence could stir up some serious trouble before the season is over.
Outlander Season 5 airs Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.