Home is where the heart is. With only 3 episodes left in Outlander Season 4, we have an episode where the idyllic life that Jamie and Claire Fraser have tried to create on Fraser’s Ridge, changes suddenly when Brianna’s recovery erupts in discovery. Secrets and lies come to a head. In last weekend’s episode, The Birds and The Bees, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) was dealing with the harsh realities and consequences of rape and losing her love Roger (Richard Rankin) after a fight. We left off where Roger MacKenzie was brutally beaten mistakingly by Jamie Fraser, and Ian leads him off to be traded to a band of Mohawk Indians.
Life is Fleeting Perfection
As we open on another perfect day on Fraser’s Ridge, there is trouble bubbling under the surface, a pot about to boil over. Bree and Jamie (Sam Heughan) begin a talk about what had happened to her. Jamie tries to console her. She continues in her conversation of self-blame, that she didn’t fight hard enough, she did foolish things to get trapped by Bonnet. Jamie counters with a snide remark that maybe she was to blame. Perhaps Brianna maybe was using the term rape to hide that she had had an encounter she wanted, to make it not her fault. His goading of her worked, and taking the bait she starts lashing out at Jamie. Jamie is using a harsh, questionable way to teach her a lesson. After they fight and he locks her in embrace, one she cannot get out of, he says to her again, that no she didn’t fight hard enough. Softening he asks how could she if she was not as strong as the man who attacked her? She could have been killed. She did what she could to survive it.
Brianna, still smarting a bit, asks him quite bluntly how it was with him, did he fight back against Black Jack Randall? So they continue to bond under a shared fate. One that Jamie allowed to happen to save Claire, and he tells Brianna that eventually he killed Randall at the Battle of Culloden. Brianna states she thinks that maybe the only way she can get rid of the shame she feels is if her attacker is dead. Jamie reminds her she has never killed before, and does she really want to live with it such a thing?
“Did you fight back?” – Brianna Randall
Roger has been dragged for days with a fellow prisoner behind the band of Mohawk, traveling further and further north. He tries to help the other captive stay alive. Sadly, after a few days, his co-captive perishes and Roger is the one they have left to sell, trade, or assimilate. He is still badly beaten, but somehow still hangs on, determined to get back to Brianna. After trailing behind the band of Mohawk for some time, he falls and has an opportunity at escape finally. When he does, after hiding and running for some time, he hears a familiar buzz, and that pull that only a time traveler knows leads him to where he finds a surprise in Rhododendron dell. He has found a standing stone. Checking his pockets, he finds the two small gemstones meant for him and Brianna, and standing next to the stone he reaches out to touch it.
A Family Affair
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Brianna are talking in the cabin later, and Claire leads a discussion in what can be done about the baby. Claire is encouraging her to end the pregnancy, for in that time period being a single mother is looked down on by society and reputations are ruined. They discuss it would have to be soon, she would have to operate. Brianna asks what Claire would do. The reality being that she must make the choice. The child could possibly be Roger’s as much as Bonnet’s. Claire wants Brianna to go back to her time, and crossing while pregnant can be done, she did it with Brianna. She doesn’t know if Brianna and a child can go through, they could become separated.
Lizzie again sets up to start another calamity. Brianna has been having nightmares about Bonnet for some weeks, and her dreams go from Roger being there to Bonnet attacking her again, but she is fiercely fighting him off. She wakes to find it is Lizzie in the room with her, trying to comfort her again. However we know that every time Lizzie opens her mouth, more trouble begins. She tells her mistress not to worry, that her father has dealt with the man who attacked her. Brianna realizing that the man who came and was attacked by her father was Roger, is angered beyond belief, she races to confront Jamie.
Jamie is about to get in the hot seat again, and will push back at it. Brianna comes bursting in as a tempest, turning on Ian and Jamie with great force. Murtagh (Duncan Lacoix takes a cue and exits the premises as a family row begins. Brianna demands to know where Roger is and what have they done to him. Claire joins in, noticing again Jamies hurt hand, demanding Jamie tell her what he has done. After Jamie deflects with Brianna wantonly being lustful, perhaps hiding it behind rape, Brianna tells him off. Both Jamie and Ian realize the mistake at last, and guilt, acceptance, and denial abound. Brianna hits out at Jamie and Ian’s nose get’s bloodied. Brianna takes the lead again declaring that no one gets to be angrier than she is, and asks what they are going to do about bringing Roger back.
“You do not get to be angrier than me!” – Brianna Randall
At this point, Jamie is in serious danger of losing Brianna. The news of her rape and knowing where that suffering comes from, has left him very reactive when trying to deal with his daughter. He loses temper, allowing his anger to get the better of him. On being told he did something wrong in beating Roger, whom he was told was her attacker, he starts losing patience and deflects on Brianna not behaving herself, that she perhaps wantonly had sex with Roger. Brianna claims the hand-fasting was done, however that is not enough for her father to accept. Jamie is in serious denial of blame, and may have lost Brianna’s fragile trust forever. He is not doing as well as he thought he would as a father, and bringing Roger back may be the only way to save the relationship.
After the large fight, with slightly cooler heads, Ian informs them that the Mohawk will have taken him north, and it could be months before they find him. Brianna insists on going, as Roger will not trust Jamie or Ian. Claire protests, she should not travel in her condition. Claire is also not about to leave her on her own. Brianna insists that Claire go in her place, for Roger to see a familiar face and explain things. After much discussion by all involved, it is decided that Brianna will go stay with Aunt Jocasta at River Run, and Murtagh offers to escort her there while the others head north.
When the women are out of earshot and Jamie, Ian and Murtagh are alone, Jamie makes a demand of Murtagh, to find Bonnet and bring him to Jamie so that he might kill the man. Murtagh agrees to take on the mission after he has delivered Brianna.
After the great beginnings to Frasers Ridge, in this episode we see the reality of family hit the Frasers. They thought that their lives would be simple, they would Shepard the settlers on their lands. Once Brianna, their beautiful disturbance shows up, they are happy to be a united family, however the reality of family is so fragile. There are always the misunderstandings, agreeing to disagree, and issues eventually resolved. However in the 18th century colonies, misunderstandings often come with dire consequences, and because of this, Brianna may lose Roger forever. Will Jamie be able to win back his daughter’s trust after such an ordeal? There are only three episodes left to sort through the Fraser family issues.
Brianna and Jocasta
Aunt Jocasta will start trying to find suitable husbands for Brianna, as she sees it right to fix the problem of the young unwed mother, thus protecting the family reputation as well. Brianna’s 20th century sensibilities will still make her stubborn and determined to face the situation on her own. She will need to cope with the pressure of being in a time that is not hers, with people who will see her in a negative light because she is not wed.
Man of Action
Jamie’s asking Murtagh to hunt down Bonnet and bring him in will put Murtagh at risk. Murtagh is already wanted for his Regulator activities. If Bonnet, who has a keen sense for finding a profit anywhere he can, has knowledge of this, he could lure Murtagh into a trap. We know about the last man who was pursued for vengeance by Murtagh and what his fate was. Each man could end up hunting the other.
We do not know if Roger has gone through the stones, but who would blame him at this point? He has been thwarted from Brianna at every turn, mostly by Brianna herself. His conservative ideals and pride have hurt him greatly, but this does not mean he deserves a terrible fate. Painful lessons have been learned in not parting in anger when you love someone. He has the gemstones still, he somehow managed to keep concealed during all his trials. He has the key to return to his own time, and had planned to take Brianna with him. Will he really turn away at the last?
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