After enduring many months of Droughtlander, Outlander (opens in new tab), and everyone's favorite century-defying couple, is back. A lot has happened in the show's previous three seasons, and this new chapter is no different. So Marie Claire recruited a diehard Outlander fan to keep up with all the Fraser drama this season. Buckle up, Sassenach.
This episode should have been called “Couples Therapy” because it’s filled with troubled relationships. Most importantly between Jamie and Claire Fraser, the supposed heart and soul of the show. But also involving their daughter, their foster son and his wife, and their friend, Lord John Grey. The focus shifts repeatedly between a Mohawk camp, a search through hundreds of miles of forest, the plantation River Run, and the port city of Wilmington. There’s a lot of complicated plot lines woven through this story.
CAN THIS MARRIAGE BE SAVED?
Well of course it can–this is Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) we’re talking about. But as the episode begins they're traveling hundreds of miles north to try to find Roger Mackenzie (Rik Rankin), Brianna’s true love, who’s been sold to the Mohawk. They are barely speaking to each other, both eaten up with worry and guilt. Trying to bridge the gap between them, Jamie tells her, “we’ve lived with the fear of the unknown before, not knowing whether the other is alive or dead.” Ian sees them both suffering and urges Claire to go to Jamie. “Are you still angry with him?” “No, is that what you think?” Yes…that’s what everyone thinks because you can hardly look at your husband, the love of your life. But she’s beginning to melt a bit.
A WHOLE MAN
Meanwhile, Jamie’s godfather Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is staying with the Fraser’s foster son Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and his wife Marsali (Lauren Lyle). While Murtagh is plotting with rebels called Regulators, Fergus is in the dumps because he’s unable to find work because of his missing hand. Determined to help him, Marsali begs Murtagh to invite Fergus to fight with the Regulators. “I’ll have a whole man or none at all.” She’s tough. When Murtagh eventually does ask him to join the rebels, Fergus has the sense to say no, his place is with his wife and baby son. But the two do have another mission together–to find and capture Stephen Bonnet, the pirate who raped Brianna. I warned you it was complicated. And there’s more.
DINNER PARTY FROM HELL
Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is waiting out her pregnancy at River Run, Aunt Jocasta’s lavish plantation. Her maid Lizzie, who started this whole mess, begs Brianna’s forgiveness. Already done, she says. “What about your father, will you forgive him?” Basically no. Aunt Jocasta has a plan to fix everything–marry Brianna off to one of the local bachelors before she shows too much. At a dinner party Jocasta throws to introduce her, there’s a lot of polite male jousting until handsome Lord John Grey (David Berry) shows up. A parlor game Brianna plays reveals that one of her supposed suitors, a good-looking judge, is probably gay. Later, unable to sleep, Brianna stumbles on Lord John and the judge having sex. It gives her a weapon to try to blackmail Lord John into marrying her–thinking it would be a nice, safe, sexless marriage. He’s outraged and refuses. Eventually Brianna figures out that Lord John is actually in love with her father. “When I close my eyes I do see your father. But I also see your mother. Their connection with each other. Their love.” And he saves the day. Just as Brianna’s about to receive a proposal from one of the bachelors, Lord John shows up and tells Jocasta they’re engaged.
SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD
Finally, Claire comes to Jamie one night on the trail and tells him she was angry, but not at him. “Who else?” he asks. “Everybody, the world, Stephen Bonnet, not you. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you it was Stephen Bonnet when I knew. Had I, it might have saved Roger. I never thought I would keep a secret like that from you.” Wracked by guilt, Jamie replies “I never thought I would be jealous of a dead man.” “Of Frank?” she is shocked. “Bree thinks he’s a better man. I thought perhaps you would begin to feel the same Sassenach.” It is a lovely, tender scene as Claire comforts and reassures Jamie that Brianna will forgive him. “Trust me. I love you both so much.” They make love. Unfortunately, the producers decided that Lord John’s sex scene should last longer than Jamie and Claire’s. To be fair, in both everyone involved kept their clothes on.
THE PLOT THICKENS
Murtagh and Fergus find Bonnet and plan to kidnap him. But a couple of militia men stumble on them and recognize Murtagh from a wanted poster. They take both Murtagh and Bonnet to jail. Lord John comforts Brianna by telling her she must keep the hope that Roger is alive and her parents will return. Because “hope is the very heart of love.” That prompts Brianna to read a note he’s brought her from Jamie. What’s in it? That’s for next week.
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