Friday, January 4, 2019

“It’s just...simple”. A recap of season 4 episode 9 by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage originals 

In choosing a word to sum up episode 9, this reviewer has picked “yearning”. This is the episode where emotions take centre stage. Jamie has been yearning for the chance to be a present father; Claire has been yearning to see her daughter again. Brianna is yearning for Roger, (amidst her shock after her attack) and even Lizzie is yearning to find love. This is an hour that delivers big time, ending with a different sort of yearning, in the wishing away of tragic events and the futile yearning of wanting to have been able to protect loved ones from trauma. Yet despite the rollercoaster of emotions throughout, the underlying motivation of all characters is, as the recap title quote suggests, just simple. Everyone acts out of their love for another. Everyone associated with this episode deserves kudos. It was nothing short of spectacular.

The episode begins moments after the last one ended, with a traumatised Brianna entering the room where she and Lizzie are staying. Lizzie is shocked at Brianna’s appearance, telling her that she is bleeding and asking whether she has been with “that man” the whole time. Brianna is in shock, merely saying “Yes” in response, so that from the outset Lizzie assumes that Roger is responsible for the bruises and blood on Brianna’s body, that become visible as Brianna undresses. Horrified, Lizzie goes to help her mistress, but Brianna jerks away at her touch, telling her to “go to bed.” Lizzie does, but watches, distressed.  “Did he hurt you?” she asks, when Brianna gets into bed beside her. Brianna doesn’t want to talk, so Lizzie tries a different approach. Laying her hand on the pillow between them, she says, “You have my hand here and my ear if you need it.” 

Sophie Skelton is spectacular in this scene. From her almost trance-like steps, to the taut way she holds herself, from her shaky breathing to the way she jerks away from touch, she displays the traumatised young woman to perfection. It is a confronting way to begin the hour.

The next morning, Roger returns to the tavern and asks the innkeeper where he can find Brianna. He is told that she hasn’t been seen that morning, and that she must still be in her chamber. It is interesting to note that the man only briefly meets Roger’s eye before looking away. Perhaps this is an uncomfortable nod to the brutality of the previous evening that everyone was aware of, but refused to do anything about, or perhaps it is the opposite reaction, highlighting the fact that no one seems to care. 

Moments later, we hear Bonnet’s voice. Bonnet calls him over to the table and insists that Roger sit. In a voice that is mildly menacing, Bonnet tells Roger that it is lucky he showed up when he did, as there is no time to go looking for missing crew members. When Roger tells his captain that he intends to stay in Wilmington, Bonnet enquires if all is well with “his lass”, adding that he knows best when it comes to women. There is bawdy laughter at this point, another chilling nod to the previous evening. Bonnet then tells Roger that his lass will have to wait, as he is expected to sail with them to Philadelphia. Roger argues that he had only wanted to find his way to Wilmington, but Bonnet reminds him that Willmington was only one of the ports on the way, and that surely Roger isn’t thinking of abandoning his duties before journey’s end? Roger is trapped and he knows it, even before Bonnet issues a calm warning. Bonnet tells Roger that while his men can do whatever they like in port, if they are not onboard when it is time to set sail, they often find themselves missing more than their wages. He has friends in the town, he threatens, saying that he would sooner see Roger lose a lass than a limb. Roger will be paid on arrival at Philadelphia, after which time he will be free to go. Roger has no choice but to follow, with only enough time to implore the innkeeper, “Tell the young woman I was here.” The man nods, and Roger is forced from the inn by the other men. 

Brianna wakes to the sound of Lizzie entering the room. “Is it morning?” she asks, to be told that in fact it is past the noon bells. Lizzie has washed Brianna’s clothes, something that Brianna deems not necessary. Lizzie hasn’t been well, she says, and shouldn’t exert herself, but more importantly, she doesn’t intend on wearing the clothes again. Lizzie suggests Brianna should take more rest, to feel better, but Brianna responds that she wants to find a boat to take them to Cross Creek. She can’t stay any longer, she tells Lizzie. She needs to see her aunt, so that she can find out how to get to Fraser’s Ridge. “Time is not on my side, Lizzie,” she says. “I need to find my mother. We leave today.”

Brianna goes downstairs, flinching whenever she comes close to anyone. She approaches the innkeeper, asking after the Scottish man that she was with the previous day and whether he had come in. The man confirms that Roger had indeed been there and had asked after her, but that he had left with the crew of the Gloriana. Distressed, Brianna runs out of the tavern towards the ship, but it is too late. The Gloriana has sailed on the morning tide. Brianna gazes out at the water, bereft. Pulling off her glove, she looks down at her bracelet, saying aloud the words engraved there: “I love you a little, a lot, passionately, not at all.” 

Lizzie rushes towards Brianna, with news. She has been speaking with someone about all the Scots in North Carolina, she says, and about how some have done very well for themselves. Lizzie then tells Brianna of the latest piece of gossip: about how a play was brought to a halt when the wife of a Scotsman acted as a surgeon and cut a man open to heal him. Brianna comments that it sounds like Claire and Lizzie adds the detail that the Scotsman was a Mr Fraser. The best bit of all is the timing: this has happened only the previous evening. “They’re here?” Brianna says, disbelieving. Lizzie confirms this and tells her where Jamie can be found. Brianna rushes to the store, to be told that the tall red headed Scotsman is “around the back.”

The following scene is arguably the most anticipated one since Claire and Jamie’s reunion in season 3. Fans have been counting down the episodes with some trepidation, wondering how close the initial meeting on screen between Jamie and his daughter would match Diana Gabaldon’s original words. There was, perhaps, a collective sigh of relief, to find it virtually identical. Sam Heughan and Sophie Skelton knock this scene out of the park, with every gesture and phrase executed perfectly. Interviews since the episode screened have revealed that the two actors chose not to rehearse these moments in order to make them appear more natural, which makes the scene all the more incredible. The intuition and trust between the two is phenomenal and the whole exchange is beautifully emotional to watch. 

The reason for Jamie being “around the back” is made obvious as soon as Brianna rounds the corner - he is relieving himself against the wall. Slowly Brianna approaches and he hears her footsteps. “What do you want here, Lassie?” he asks. Her answer is simple: “You,” she replies. Jamie misunderstands. Believing her to be a prostitute, he tells her that he is sorry but he is a married man. He goes to walk past her, but she stops him with a hand on his chest. “I meant it,” Jamie says again. “I have a wife.” Again he walks away and again she stops him. “You’re Jamie Fraser,” she says. “I am,” he replies. “Who asks?” Brianna looks back at him without answering and he asks if she has a message for him. “My name is Brianna,” she says. ‘I’m your daughter.”

Jamie stares, unable to comprehend what he is hearing. He repeats his daughter’s name and moves slowly towards her, asking if it is true. Is it her? “It’s me,” she replies, with a tentative smile. “Can’t you tell?” At this, his eyes fill with tears. “Aye,” he says. “Aye, I can.”  He reaches out a hand to stroke her face, saying that while he had thought of her as grown, somehow in his mind, she was still a small child, his babe. Brianna breaks down, collapsing in tears against his shoulder. Jamie’s arms tighten around her as he tells her not to weep, adding the Gaelic endearment of “my darling.” Pulling apart for a moment, Jamie tells her not to be troubled and that it will be all right, asking Brianna if she has seen her mother. When Brianna shakes her head, Jamie replies, “Christ, she’ll be mad with joy.” 

Claire is coming out of a shop, basket in hand, counting change. At the sound of Jamie’s voice, saying “Sassenach”, she looks around to see Jamie and Brianna sitting on a bench. She drops her basket in shock as her brain makes sense of what she is seeing and Brianna flies into her arms, with a breathless “Mama.” Claire is speechless. She clings to her daughter, able only to mutter “What?” and to cup her daughter’s face in her hands before hugging her again, looking over her shoulder at Jamie, who is smiling at them both. Like Sam Heughan and Sophie Skelton before her, Caitriona Balfe is amazing in this reunion scene. 

Once all three have regained their composure, Brianna shares the copy of the Wilmington Gazette that has brought her back into the 18th century. Brianna explains that she had known that Jamie and Claire had found each other and, being curious about their life together, had found the newspaper article with their names in it. What she hadn’t expected to find was, “News of our deaths,” Jamie finishes, pointing out the smudged date and adding that it is an unforgivable mistake by the printer. Brianna says that she didn’t know whether the fire was 10 years or 10 months into the future, but that she had wanted to warn them as soon as possible. Regardless of which it is, they have time, says Jamie and tells Brianna that she will go with them to Fraser’s Ridge, where they have a fair bit of land. There’s not much to do, he continues, but they have settlers and crops. Brianna explains that she has travelled with Lizzie, and each are now indebted to the other. Jamie replies that Lizzie will be welcome too.

At this point, Young Ian appears, telling Jamie that everything is loaded on board the Sally Ann, but stops at sight of Brianna. Introductions are swiftly made, Claire remarking that she knows it is a surprise but that they will explain it all later. Young Ian responds that he has learned that when it comes to Claire,  it’s better not to ask too many questions. “Welcome cousin,” he says, with a bow of his head and a smile. 

Eutroclus, from episode 1, is steering the boat down the river as Ian, Lizzie and Rollo sit and watch the scenery. To be more correct, Ian is watching the scenery, while Lizzie is watching Ian. “So handsome,” she murmurs. Ian misunderstands, thinking she is talking about the dog. “His name’s Rollo,” he says.

Inside, Claire and Brianna are discussing Roger. Brianna tells Claire that somehow Roger had found her in Wilmington, and that while she was angry at him for following her, she had also been really happy to see him. “You’re in love with him,” Claire says. Brianna confirms this, adding that they were handfast, but that they had gotten into a huge fight and that Roger is now on his way back to Scotland and through the stones. Claire can’t believe that Roger would do this after one fight, but Brianna explains that they had both been upset and that when he had threatened to leave, she had told him to go, as she didn’t need him there. She had gone after him, she tells Claire, but he had sailed that morning. “It’s my fault,” she says.

Brianna tells Claire how much she has missed her and they embrace again. “I’ve missed you too, my Darling,” Claire says. As they pull apart, Brianna’s gaze stops briefly on Claire’s new silver wedding band. Her composure momentarily slips, but she recovers quickly, smiling at her mother. 

A while later, Brianna and Ian are sitting on the deck. Ian tells Brianna that he gets a chill whenever they pass this particular spot on the river. When she asks why, he relates the story of the attack on them by Stephen Bonnet. Ian tells Brianna that they had been robbed of everything they had, the worst of it being that Jamie had earlier helped the man regain his liberty. “I’m sure he was only trying to do the right thing,” Brianna replies and Ian agrees, adding that they couldn’t have foreseen it.  He begins to describe Stephen Bonnet, saying that he had a way about him, an Irish charm that had fooled them all. Brianna begins to react at the mention of Irish, as Ian continues that Bonnet had slit their friend Lesley’s throat right in front of Claire and then stolen her wedding ring. “Uncle Jamie’s never forgiven himself,” Ian says, as the realisation dawns on Brianna that this is the same man who has raped her. She begins to breathe heavily and jerks away from Ian when he puts his hand on her sleeve, asking if she is all right. Brianna deflects, saying that Ian had painted such a vivid picture that she could see it and Ian apologises for upsetting her. “You needn’t worry,” he says. “I’m sure it’s only in our nightmares that he can trouble us now.” These are truer words than he realises. He walks away and Brianna pulls the ring from within the folds of her dress, her breath quickening.  She looks at it briefly, before putting it away again and gazing determinedly ahead. 

The family has left the river and is now riding towards Fraser’s Ridge. Ian, Lizzie and Brianna are in the wagon, Claire and Jamie riding behind, discussing their daughter. Jamie asks Claire if she has heard any more about Roger, disbelieving that he would leave Brianna alone. Claire replies that she hopes she will be told the full story when they reach home. Their conversation changes to the news of the fire. Claire admits that it is disconcerting, suggesting that they could always make sure that they were never in the cabin on the appropriate possible dates, but Jamie remarks that he doubts it would be as simple as that and that they have never had much luck in changing history. 

Ian pulls the wagon up as the beautiful view becomes visible. Jamie leads Brianna over to look more closely, followed by Claire. Brianna remarks on how beautiful it is. She says that it reminds her of Daniel Boone, realising as she says this that Boone is actually alive in this time period and explaining what Boone will achieve in the years to come. “He’s used to it,” Claire says, when Brianna looks momentarily discomforted at telling Jamie of the future. Claire walks off, leaving Brianna gazing out over the mountain and Jamie gazing at his daughter.

Jamie whistles as he approaches the cabin. The door opens and out walks Murtagh. “You’re still breathing,” Jamie remarks and Murtagh retorts that Jamie should know by now that he’s not an easy man to kill.When Jamie tells him that Tryon wants to have him arrested and that he has a spy in his camp, Murtagh corrects him with “had”. How Murtagh has dealt with the problem is not explained, other than Murtagh commenting that it is better if he lies low for a while. Jamie tells his Godfather that he has put aside a fine piece of land on the ridge and that Murtagh only needs to say the word and he will start work on the cabin. 

They walk towards the wagon, Jamie telling Murtagh that he has a surprise for him. He promptly introduces Brianna. Murtagh smiles at Brianna, asking what took her so long. It is a lovely moment and one that could not have been possible in the books. Around the table inside, family stories abound. Ian asks Brianna if she had met his parents at Lallybroch and Brianna tells him that she met his father, but that his mother had been away at a birth, and that she can’t remember which of his siblings was having the baby. Jamie comments that they will soon teach her all the names, and Ian adds that it could take a while. Brianna tries to remember Marsali’s name, and Jamie tells her that hopefully Fergus and Marsali will join them in the Spring. 

Brianna passes on Ian’s message to his son, saying that Jenny wants him to write more often. This brings a brief period of teasing, first of Ian and then of Jamie, as Murtagh shares a story from when Jamie was much younger. It is an amorous tale, however, and Brianna begins to react uncomfortably. . Claire starts to tell Brianna about meeting George Washington, but Brianna doesn’t react with as much enthusiasm as she expects. Brianna says that she is tired and is going to bed, Claire immediately offering to walk her to the shelter. 

Jamie and Murtagh are alone in the cabin. In a scene reminiscent of season 1, when Murtagh had told Jamie that Claire’s smile reminded him of Jamie’s mother’s, this time it is Brianna’s eyes that are the same as Ellen Mackenzie’s. Jamie agrees. Murtagh says that Jamie has suffered enough pain in his life; he is glad that Brianna is here. Jamie says that his only hope is that Brianna will think of the place as her home. “She’s still a stranger,” he says. “Give her time,” Murtagh says. “She’ll come to know you.” 

The next morning, Claire and Brianna are discussing Lizzie. Claire thinks the young woman’s affliction could be malaria and starts to talk of a treatment. Brianna remarks that Lizzie has been a good friend to her. She hesitates for a moment before dropping a bombshell, telling Claire that Frank had known Claire had returned to the 18th century. Explaining further, she says that she had seen the obituary on his desk, although she hadn’t known what it was at the time. Claire is shocked by this, but says that Frank was an astute man, who had always known her heart was with Jamie. Brianna has seen this too, and tells Claire she can see why she had to return. Claire acknowledges that the whole situation must be overwhelming for Brianna, remembering how she had felt at first. Brianna goes to stand, knocking over the bundles of herbs in the process and reacting with frustration. Claire tells her that it is ok and reminds her that she can talk to her about Roger if she wants to. Brianna doesn’t want to though. “he’s gone,” she says. “There’s nothing I can do about it now. It’s not as if I can phone him.”

The Gloriana has reached Philadelphia and Roger is awaiting his payment. Bonnet asks if he will return to Carolina and Roger confirms this, as soon as he can find another ship. He notices some gemstones on the table and asks if he may have a couple of the smaller ones, instead of coins, for his wages. Bonnet agrees and hands over one small ruby.

Back at the ridge, Brianna is settling in to home life. In a brief montage, we watch as she helps Claire with washing, sits around the table at night, goes to the stream with Murtagh and works in the garden. But Claire notices the preoccupied look on her daughter’s face. 

When Brianna and Jamie practise rifle shooting, Jamie is stunned at Brianna’s accuracy. Brianna explains that “her father” taught her. “Frank,” Jamie says at once, adding that Claire had told her about him. Brianna explains that they would camp out and that he had taught her to shoot. 

Later at the still, Murtagh, Jamie, Brianna and Ian are gathered around, Jamie telling Brianna how the whisky is made. Brianna asks her cousin if he is always called “Young Ian” and he replies that as a child he was called “Wee Ian”. “Everyone just calls me Bree,” she replies. Ian and Murtagh react immediately. “Is that what you call her?” Murtagh asks Jamie. Brianna wants to know what is wrong with Bree, but Jamie deflects, telling her that it is a Scots word that doesn’t translate. He hands Brianna a sample of the whisky and she chokes a little at its strength. 

That night, Jamie tells Claire that the word Bree means a disturbance “amongst other things.” When Claire remarks that he could have told her that, Jamie says that he didn’t want to hurt Brianna, who is clearly still heartsick over Roger. He knows how he feels, he tells Claire, as he remembered what it was like when he thought he had lost her. But there is more to it than that, Claire replies. Brianna doesn’t want to hurt Jamie either, and she has watched them both tiptoe around the subject of Frank. She suggests that Jamie take Brianna hunting, so that they can have some time alone together. In the early morning, Jamie comes to the shelter. Brianna is sleeping and Jamie gazes at his daughter, watching as she smiles in her sleep. After a moment he whispers her name and she wakes. Jamie tells her that he is going hunting and asks if she’ll come with him. Brianna agrees.

The two of them walk up the mountain and Jamie tells her that they are hunting bees. He uses two Gaelic words and Brianna asks what they mean, remarking that he has called her them before. Jamie translates with a shy smile: the words mean “my darling” and “my blessing.” As they watch an eagle fly overhead, Jamie sits closer to her and they smile at each other. Their relationship is slowly building. 

Time passes. Jamie explains about bees and how he will move the hive, stunning them with smoke so that he can take the hive home. “Won’t they realise they aren’t in their proper place?” Brianna asks. “What will they do about it?” Jamie replies. “They will have no means to find their way back and no home here to come back to.” It is a description that could also apply to time travel and it is not lost on either of them. “They will be content,” says Jamie, moving close to her again and looking her in the eye. “Content in their new home.” 

This opens the door to the discussion about Frank. Brianna tells Jamie that she has a home and Jamie replies that he doesn’t want to replace Frank, who had been a good man.  Brianna admits that she feels disloyal to Frank by being with Jamie. Jamie replies that he is grateful to Frank, for raising the child of another man and standing by both Brianna and Claire. Jamie tells her that while he had to give her to Frank, he is not sorry that she has come back to him. “Are you sure I’m not a bree?” she teases. Murtagh has told her what her shortened name means. “Aye you are,’ says Jamie, “as was your mother before you. But you’re one I welcome.” He puts his arm around her, telling his daughter that she is his flesh and blood, but is becoming his heart and soul as well. He will keep calling her Bree, he says, if she doesn’t mind. Brianna tells him that she doesn’t know what to call him. With dialogue straight from the book, Jamie responds. “You can call me Da, if you like.” “Da,” she echoes. “Is that Gaelic?” “No,” he replies. “It’s only... simple.” 

When they return to the ridge, the bees safely stunned in the bag, Claire welcomes them back. Together they sit around the table, eating honey. Brianna and Jamie are obviously closer and Claire smiles to see it. Later that night, she wakes to see Jamie sitting at the end of the bed. He can’t sleep and she asks what is bothering him. It is a foolish regret, he says. The past few weeks have meant so much that he doesn’t want Brianna to return to the 20th century. Claire understands, but says that Brianna belongs back in her time, where it is safer, with more opportunities. Jamie knows he mustn’t grieve for it, he says, telling Claire that Brianna smiles in her sleep, as he does. He remembers Jenny looking over her new babies for hours and now knows that he could watch Brianna the same way. “She is a gift,” he says, “from me to you and you to me” and proudly tells Claire that Brianna has called him Da.  

This is a lovely scene, all the more poignant because it highlights a new part of Claire and Jamie’s relationship: something they never thought they would be able to do - discuss shared experiences with their daughter and worrying together about her future. 

Brianna is watching a mother bird feeding her babies when Lizzie comes out of the shelter. She comments on Brianna being awake so early, adding that she had heard Brianna crying in the night. Brianna dismisses this as a bad dream, but Lizzie comments that she has been having many of them. Again, Brianna brushes her off - she is fine. Seeing that she is getting nowhere, Lizzie asks if Brianna minds if she goes to the mill with Ian. Brianna replies that she is going to pick herbs with Claire and will see her in a while. 

Brianna and Claire are by the stream. Claire has been watching Brianna intently and hesitantly begins a conversation. She knows Brianna is missing Roger, she says, but also knows that there is something else. Brianna gives a small wry smile, commenting that she had wondered if Claire could still read her mind, adding that she hoped that Claire could. Claire takes her hand and sits her down on a mossy tree branch. She says she is probably a little out of practice and asks for a moment, during which she observes her daughter carefully, stroking her face gently, before asking “How far along are you?”

Brianna lets out a sigh of relief, admitting that she is about 2 months pregnant. Gently, Claire asks why Brianna and Roger hadn’t taken precautions and Brianna impatiently replies that she didn’t think she had needed to pack condoms. Claire comments that since Roger left so soon afterwards he probably doesn’t know, but Brianna drops the other bombshell: the baby might not be Roger’s. 

Caitriona Balfe’s reaction to this news is perfection. We watch as Claire struggles with the shock, wondering what to say so as not to anger or upset her daughter, then struggling to keep her voice calm as she asks who the other potential father could be. She is not prepared for the news that follows, however. Brianna begins to talk about a man in the Willow Tree tavern with whom she had been talking, but then begins to blame herself. She didn’t fight him, she says, becoming upset. Why hadn’t she fought? Shocked, Claire gathers her daughter into her arms as Brianna  breaks down, telling the young woman that it is not her fault. “Oh, my baby,” Claire murmurs, hugging Brianna tighter. Her comment to Marsali from the previous episode comes back - although she would have done anything, she hasn’t been able to prevent her child being hurt and upset. She asks Brianna how certain she is that the baby isn’t Roger’s. Brianna explains that she and Roger used the withdrawal method, but the real shock is that her assault occurred right afterwards, on the same night. 

Claire sits down in front of the fire, telling Jamie that she needs to talk to him about Brianna. “She wants to leave,” Jamie assumes, but it isn’t that. Claire hesitates, not knowing how to tell him what has happened. “What?” Jamie asks, looking concerned. Claire tells him that Brianna was raped in Wilmington after Roger had left. Jamie is immediately on his feet and pacing, wanting to do something, anything. “There’s something else,” says Claire. These are the words she used to announce her own pregnancy at the end of season 1. But rather than the news bringing joy, this news is anything but. The two look at each other in despair: how can they help their daughter?

The next collection of moments quickly knit together. First, Roger is in the clearing on horseback checking a compass as Lizzie and Ian head to the mill. Lizzie starts to panic and Ian asks what the matter is. “It’s him,” she says, breathing heavily. “Lord, it’s him.”

Next, Claire is collecting clothes to wash from the shelter and pulls out Brianna’s bodice. She looks in horror at her silver wedding ring. As the music takes a sinister turn, we see her put two and two together. Meanwhile, Ian has led Lizzie to Jamie, who is chopping wood. Lizzie tells Jamie that she has seen the man who was with Brianna in Wilmington. She describes him as a brute of a man, and that Brianna was afraid of him. This is incorrect, of course, as Lizzie hadn’t heard the conversation between Brianna and Roger, basing her assumptions only on the two things she had seen: Roger grabbing Bree’s arm and Bree returning to the tavern covered in bruises, with blood on her petticoats. Lizzie adds that she could smell the man on Brianna when she returned, and she knew that Brianna had been a virgin. 

This is too much for Jamie. “Are you sure that this is the same man who took her?” he says. When Lizzie says she swears it is, Jamie tells her to return to the cabin and to say nothing of it to Claire or Brianna. “Go!” he yells, when Lizzie begins praying and murmuring  “What have I done?” He tells Ian to see Lizzie home and stalks away.

Claire approaches Brianna and holds up the ring. “Where did you get this?” she asks, but she already knows the answer. “Stephen Bonnet,” she continues. “He’s the man who...” Brianna explains that she saw Bonnet with her ring and had offered to buy it. Claire asks why Brianna hadn’t told her the full story and Brianna replies that she couldn’t: Ian had told her what had happened on the river and she knew that her parents would blame themselves for her attack - Claire, because of the ring and Jamie because he had let Bonnet escape. Brianna knows that Jamie would try to find Bonnet, and she can’t let him do that. She wants Claire to promise that she will keep the story to herself. 

Of course, Jamie has already gone in search of the man he believes to be Brianna’s attacker. Roger is taking a drink when he sees Jamie coming towards him. Unsuspecting, he smiles and greets Jamie, asking if he is close to Fraser’s Ridge. This is as far as he gets. Jamie floors him with a punch and continues to strike, as Roger’s face quickly becomes bloodied. Ian rides up, probably stopping Jamie from killing Roger on the spot, saying that someone is coming. The wagon passes by, giving Jamie a bit of time to think. Finally, he tells Ian to get rid of Roger. Ian asks if he should kill him, but Jamie replies that he will not make a murderer of him. They load the unconscious Roger onto his horse. Ian asks what Jamie wants him to do with Roger and Jamie replies that he doesn’t care. He just wants the man out of his sight. The episode ends with Ian leading Roger’s horse away and Jamie shaking his bloodied hand, before returning to the cabin.

It is a savage ending to the episode and Roger’s pure bad luck to meet Jamie when he does. (Indeed the hashtag #PoorRoger is already in circulation on social media!) At last, Jamie has had the chance to be a present father to his own child, to get to know her, to love her and to immediately want to do anything to protect her. But he and his daughter now share a horrific experience - being raped by a vicious man, while trying to help Claire. Jamie had submitted to Black Jack to save Claire’s life; Brianna had been overpowered by Bonnet trying to retrieve Claire’s ring. It is little wonder that when faced with the man Jamie believes is responsible for his daughter’s attack, he explodes. The aftermath of these actions though, is yet to be seen.

This episode has been hailed by many, including Diana Gabaldon herself, as their favourite of the season. It certainly delivered in all respects, with powerhouse performances from all players. The meeting between Jamie and Brianna, and the reunion between Claire and Brianna came virtually word for word from the book and both were played with tenderness. As book readers will know, there is a lot of drama to come and with only 4 episodes left in the season, the stage is certainly set for a thrilling finale.

This recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher librarian who lives in Australia. She was in tears many times during this episode and thinks that Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton and Caitriona Balfe are spectacular!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I loved this episode as well .... until the end. (I haven't read the book yet so don't know if it was accurate). I hated that Roger got beaten so badly. I kept yelling at the TV and telling Jamie to please speak before he acts. After all, hasn't Roger been through enough. Oh well! I do expect there to be reconciliation and happiness at some point.