Category Archives: Jamie Fraser

411 Previews If Not for Hope

Outlander Season 4 2018With the first of the three last episodes of Season 4 Outlander 411 If Not For Hope, we have three storylines arcing, tangling, and about to snap. This week we see the scenarios begin their play.

Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe), and Ian (John Bell) continue their search for Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) after he had been sold to the Mohawks. There is a long pursuit as the Indians are weeks ahead of them and know the terrain. They will have to meet with every tribe between North Carolina and New York to find him, it could take months. They also have no idea that Roger has escaped. And as we left off last episode, no one knows if he went through the stones.

Then there is Brianna (Sophie Skelton), beginning to show her bump, at River Run, now firmly in Aunt Jocasta’s grip. Jocasta (Maria Kennedy Doyle) knows the shame of an unwed mother in the family, and finding her a suitable match becomes her next scheme to control River Run. She did not get what she wanted with controlling Jamie, but can she use and manipulate as MacKenzies do, her great niece as a prize to deflect suitors away from herself? There are many men that are after River Run. If she were to make Brianna her heir, and have her married in the bargain, she is still in charge, but would have a man about to act as agent. What a coup that would be, if Brianna wasn’t trying to maneuver the situation herself, which may come in the shape of an old friend of the family who turns up at River Run.

Truly, madly, deeply hunting Bonnet is Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix), not one to lose sight of his quarry, not for long anyway. He will enlist the help of Fergus to track this man down, if he himself isn’t being tracked by Bonnet or Tryon’s agents, or a combination of the two. Sticky business for Murtagh and Fergus (Cesar Domboy) ahead.

Previews from Starz ®

This weeks episode, If Not For Hope, Claire, Jamie and Ian are on the trail of Roger. Using the amulet that Ian took in trade for Roger, they start asking tribes where it comes from. Brianna suffers Jocasta’s matchmaking parade of gentlemen, whom we all know are after River Run. Murtagh begins the hunt for Stephen Bonnet. Lord John Grey turns up at River Run, perhaps Brianna will find and ally in him. Murtagh seeks Fergus’ help in a dangerous game.

Tune in on Saturdays at Midnight on the Starz® App, or watch Sunday December 30th at 8 PM EST on Starz® network USA,  10 PM Sundays on Canadian W Network, 6:30 PM Mondays on Foxtel Australia, and Mondays on Amazon Prime in the UK.

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Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees

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What a way to bring in the New Year! This weeks Outlander Season 3’s highly anticipated episode, The Birds and the Bees, holds the one meeting that Outlander fans have been dying to see. Just as joyous as the Print Shop scene in Season 3, and culmination of eight episodes waiting, Brianna and her father will finally meet. However, much is afoot and mistaken miscommunications abound in this episode. Hang on to your seats, as you see how much love and misguided attempts to shield those you love from pain, can have disastrous consequences.

Revelations in Wilmington

We open with Brianna (Sophie Skelton) coming up to the room, beaten from her encounter with Stephen Bonnet. Lizzie, her maid, keeps asking all the wrong questions, or rather at the wrong time. Brianna doesn’t want to talk about any of it. Lizzie believes that Brianna spent the whole night in Roger MacKenzie’s (Richard Rankin) company, with no idea of what happened in the tavern below.

Roger returns to the Willow Tree Tavern in the inn the next morning looking for Brianna. Unfortunately, Bonnet (Ed Speleers) is still there, the cat that’s had the cream and is very smug about it. Sitting at the table, Bonnet assails Roger for being good about turning up, he was about to send men looking for him. Roger tells Bonnet he intends to stay in Wilmington, Bonnet knows it’s about his lass, not knowing it’s Brianna, and reminds him of his obligations to the Gloriana, there are more ports to be had. Making a point of not wanting to have to maim him, Bonnet gets forceful about the duties and so do his men, manhandling Roger out of the tavern. Roger barely gets in a word to the tavern keep, “Tell the lass I came looking for her”.

Brianna wakes very late in the day, and Lizzie has been washing her mistresses things, and now knows about much of what has happened to Brianna, the clothing tells a tale. Lizzie has been left to wonder what has happened to her mistress, and her in fever weakened mind, believes that Roger is the one who attacked Brianna. Brianna tells her not to bother with the petticoats, she won’t be keeping the blood stained clothing while rummaging through her mother’s trunk. Lizzie becomes more stressed about the situation, while Brianna continues to compartmentalize everything that has happened. She tells Lizzie she is more determined than ever to find her mother. Without explanation, Lizzie assumes the worst.

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Brianna leaves their rooms at the inn and downstairs hears from the tavern keep that Roger had come looking for her, but had left on the Gloriana. Racing to the docks, she finds that it had set sail on the morning tides. Distraught she is stunned and Lizzie finds her with good news, and in Lizzie fashion takes ages to tell her. For Lizzie had been making inquiries. There had been a emergency surgery performed at the Theatre the night before, by a woman. This woman was also married to a Scot. Brianna concludes it must be Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan). Lizzie tells her where to find Jamie, and off she runs, to meet her father for the first time. She finds Jamie Fraser relieving himself in a yard, and when Jamie asks what she wants, responds with, “I want you.”

JPEG image-7BD0238CCD36-1More misunderstandings begin, but these with a happy ending. Jamie assumes it’s yet another colonial lass without a man, desperate for protection. He is handsome, he gets this a lot. He begins with he is already married. Slowly Brianna lets out she’s his daughter. In a scene very well played by both actors, we see a man realizing he has seen his child for the first time, and a daughter ends her desperate search to finally find her father and her mother. It’s one you have to just view, hopefully with a friend, and a box of tissues nearby. Sam Heughan and Sophie Skelton will melt you on the spot. Heughan has been working the rolling emotions all season, and this time he really pulls you in new directions. The brilliance and beauty in this scene are a credit to the writers, actors, and crew. Really, they just nailed it.

download-2Together Brianna and Jamie sit at a bench and wait for Claire to exit the apothecary, the only place she would be in town, and when Jamie calls out ” Sassenach”, her joyful, shocked embrace with Brianna releases the torment of separation from them both. Brianna’s tearful reunion with her mother is brought to an end, and the obituary for James and Mrs. Fraser is shown to them. Jamie points out the careless date smudge in the corner, for no one knows the exact years date. Young Ian (John Bell) meets his new cousin for the first time, and the Frasers leave Wilmington behind and head up the river to Fraser’s Ridge.

The River’s Edge

On the passage to Fraser’s Ridge on the barge, mother and daughter have a chance to finally talk. Claire knows Brianna is deeply disturbed and has heard a little of Roger and that it didn’t end well. Brianna admits she is in love with him. That they had been hand-fasted. Brianna gives more details of the fight, albeit edited, to Claire. Claire asks how the relationship could be over, after just one fight.

Lizzie, on the deck side, shows she’s just a little bit taken with Ian. On the river the young cousins have a good long talk, and Ian confesses that a part of the river greatly disturbs him. Brianna learns the terrible news of the first time they travelled up the river. Ian tells her of how they were attacked by pirates and the man slit Lesley’s throat in front of Claire, a brigand with an Irish accent, a way about him. The same scoundrel Uncle Jamie had helped escape the noose. We hear Ian as he feels that he can talk with his cousin about difficult things, a relationship that will continue to build. Brianna begins to realize who her attacker may really be, and tries to hide her agitation, as she has continued to keep her mother’s wedding ring hidden from Claire. It is Brianna’s compartmentalizing and denying what has happened to her, that will continue to haunt her in the weeks to come.

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On the road back from the river, the cousins and Lizzie continue in the wagon, and Jamie and Claire discuss Brianna and Roger. They discuss that she is hand fasted and that Brianna is heartsick. This leads to the discussion of the news of their imminent death. Claire slightly jokes about not being in the cabin on the “Sunday before January 21st” every year. Jamie reminds Claire about their previous bad luck at altering history in Scotland and France.

download-3When the Frasers arrive at the Ridge, they are greeted by a somewhat harried but thankful Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), who had narrowly escaped Governor Tryon’s men. Jamie tells Murtagh there’s prime land set aside for him, and to say the word and a cabin would be started. He has come to the Ridge to lie low for a time, and is introduced to Brianna. Murtagh shows us his slow joy we know and love with a, “What took you so long, lass?” and welcomes her to the Ridge. Later, after super, Murtagh at the encouragement of Young Ian, tells a tale of a 14 year old Jamie and Dougal MacKenzie. When the others leave, he tells his Godson that he is lucky to have his child there with him.

Daddy Knew That You Came Back

Brianna is still having difficulties adjusting. She is anxious for news of Roger, hoping he may find his way to the ridge. She and Claire are talking while Claire prepares herbs, Claire knowing brianna wishes to talk. Bree discusses with her mother the dreams of Frank she has been having. Particularly one that she realizes was a clue of things to come. At the time when she was talking with Frank, she had glanced at the same obituary article, not knowing what it meant. Frank had done research on Claire and James Fraser. It is why he had been drinking so heavily, he knew that Claire had gone back to Jamie. Claire continues to try to get Bree to open up about what else is deeply troubling her.

Bree- Scottish: Disturbance, commotion, confusion.

Family scenes of working the still, and life on the ridge ensue. Jamie and Claire patiently watching Brianna as they know that she must adjust to life in a time that is not hers, in a place unfamiliar. At the Fraser’s Ridge Distillery, the family unites for a pleasant afternoon and discussion on the art of brewing a whiskey that tastes better than the previous batch, and the discussion of the joke around the nickname Bree comes up, because a bree in Scotland means a disturbance.JPEG image-DF948D5406B4-1

“You can call me Da, if you like.” “Is that Gaelic?” “No, it’s only simple.”

imagesJamie spends weeks trying to get to know his daughter, and takes her on another book favorite, The Bee Hunt. The writers did a wonderful thing in keeping this treasured book moment, where father and daughter can have some bonding time and learn to be more at ease with each other. Brianna must learn about her true father, while dealing with and sharing her experiences with Frank Randall. Jamie must further accept and be grateful that another man has taken his child in and reared her so well. After the hunt, Jamie and Claire are deep in discussion. Claire wants Brianna to stay, but really she must go back. It is too dangerous in this time for her. Jamie is upset, for Bree has just begun to accept him as father and he doesn’t want to lose her.

Morning comes and Lizzie is finally well enough to be up, and cause the real mischief. She keeps trying to help Brianna and is rebuffed again. Brianna has another secret. Later while she is with her mother, the very belated discussion occurs. In a conversation that makes you want to thump Claire, Claire has picked up that Brianna is pregnant, and of course says the wrong thing. Why didn’t they use protection? Brianna rounds that she hadn’t planned on Roger coming at all, and really when trying to go through the stones it was the last thing on her mind.  She also brings up her greatest fear, that it may not be Roger’s at all. She then tells of her abuse at the hands of Stephen Bonnet, and blaming herself for not fighting back hard enough. Later, Claire tells Jamie about the rape, not knowing that it was Bonnet.

Some Secrets Just Won’t Keep

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After Roger finally gets paid off by Bonnet, bartering for a small gemstone, a way to get back to the future. He procures a horse and kits himself out to try to find Brianna, heading to Fraser’s Ridge to look for her. After weeks of separation, he is finally getting close. But fate would have it that a confused Lizzie would be there to ruin his plans. Lizzie who has become quite besotted with Ian, is sitting with him and sees Roger, or The Mackenzie, coming up the Ridge. She hurriedly tells Ian that this terrible man has attacked Brianna, and is coming to claim her again. Foolishly Ian runs to Jamie and they inform him. Jamie finds Mackenzie and addresses him, in a brutal pommeling. While this is going on, Claire finds the wedding ring, and pieces together that Bonnet is the man who attacked her daughter. Brianna then tells her that yes, the man that attacked her was Bonnet. She did not wish to upset her mother, making her feel the blame because Brianna tried to get the ring back. Back to Jamie, not waiting to hear what he has to say, only an angry, blood raged father protecting his daughter, begins a pommeling and brutal attack on Roger.  After poor Roger is beaten beyond recognition, Jamie orders Ian to pack him off to the Indians and make him disappear, he does not care to know.

Again, praise well deserved to Sam Heughan and Sophie Skelton for playing a father and daughter’s first meeting with true emotional finesse. I have to say that young Sophie Skelton has really begun to grow in this season of Outlander. In another gutting performance, we see the aftermath of tragedy and its effect on the character’s soul, and her play with Caitriona Balfe is magic. If any book fans were doubting of the actress being able to finally portray Brianna the way many have envisioned her over the years, it’s time to let that go and allow for Series Brianna to become the strong character we know she is. 

Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees, aired on the anniversary date of the publishing of Drums of Autumn, first published December 30, 1996.

Tune in on Saturdays at Midnight on the Starz® App, or watch Sunday December 30th at 8 PM EST on Starz® network USA,  10 PM Sundays on Canadian W Network, 6:30 PM Mondays on Foxtel Australia, and Mondays on Amazon Prime in the UK.

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Where’s Young Ian?

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Spoiler Alerts! Book Talk!

We hope to see a character that has been missing in Outlander for a few episodes in Episode 409 The Birds and the Bees, return. Our young, gangly man is starting to fill out and become a somewhat less lanky lad. We have not seen Young Ian Faser Murray (Played by John Bell) in a few episodes, and in episode 408 Wilmington, we learned he was still off with his Indian friends. For those of you that are book readers and have read both Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, you know what actions Ian will take over the next months. That is, if they keep some of Ian’s storyline intact or develop it further like they have with other characters. Let us hope so, there is so much for the writers to work with here.

As I have written before, Ian is one of my favorite characters. He’s the lad who can find the biggest messes to get into, forget getting Rollo skunked, and somehow come out the other side with barely a scratch. But not all things come out easy in the end. Ian will soon learn to make a sacrifice and leave his family behind, to begin a new phase of his life.

A Bit of Book Logic

I am really keen to see if they kept the following the book in the script, because it is great character development for young Ian, and will give John Bell a lot to play with. While we saw no indications in the previews this week, Book Ian returns to Fraser’s Ridge in time to meet his cousin Brianna for the first time. They bond as cousins do. And when Roger finally locates Frasers Ridge, Lizzie, who has also become a fast friend with Ian, sees him coming up the hill and tells Ian that a MacKenzie is coming up the hill. She then tells Ian that the man assaulted Brianna in Wilmington. Ian finds Jamie and the two decide to head Roger off before he finds Brianna. They then beat Roger soundly, not knowing of course that it was Bonnet that really violated Brianna. Ian is then told to get Roger off to his Indian friends who will then sell Roger down the river to the Iroquois tribe. This later leads to a great sacrifice that Ian must make.

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Series Logic

This scene may be adapted several ways, keeping the key elements of it and making Bonnet dispatch with Roger in a way where he is sold or indentured. Or Roger could escape and manage to make it to Fraser’s Ridge, and then meet his other fate. Hopefully they will involve Ian in the book storyline as it goes so well with the next stage of the young frontiersman’s life. For Ian grows on and with you in each book to come.

Please let our lad come back soon. We have missed him.

What do you think will happen when Ian turns back up? Will he join the Regulators, as Fergus may do?

Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees Preview

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After this last weeks episode, 408 Wilmington, Outlander left us with a very depressed, chaotic feeling as reunions and tragedy struck again. Roger left Brianna after a lover’s quarrel. We saw Brianna, fall prey to Stephen Bonnet, the most recent scourge, villain, and outright sociopath in the Outlander Universe.  That night was the night where Brianna lost her innocence, once by choice with someone she loved, and again as a victim. Of course never having life on the dull side, were machinations by Jamie and Claire to help Murtagh escape the noose by warning him and the Regulators about Governor Tryon’s trap.

With the title The Birds and the Bees, you can guess it’s about the creation of life, and that uncomfortable talk that parents have with children about procreation. Brianna has just learned a big, painful lesson on innocence lost. She isn’t in the 20th century anymore,  and the morals and fair treatment of women were just becoming part of the sexual revolution when she left. She is determined more than ever to find her mother, the one person anyone would want consolation from in such a case. However it is so difficult to tell the truth of it to someone you love. In one of the scenes greatly anticipated by fans almost as much as the Print Shop Scene in season 3, how hard will it be for Brianna and Claire to reconnect, and Jamie to get to know the daughter he has never met?

Roger is trying to stay in Wilmington, to try to settle things with Brianna, even if he sees no hope, but Bonnet is having none of that. Bonnet insists he stay on as crew, there was an obligation he sees as not being met yet. How will Roger get out of Bonnet’s grasp, if he can?

We see a scene where Jamie turn’s around and says “Is there a message you wish to give me, lass?”. Book readers know what may be happening next.

Tune in on Saturday December 29 at Midnight on the Starz® App, or watch Sunday December 30th at 8 PM EST on Starz® network,  10 PM Sundays on Canadian W Network, 6:30 PM Mondays on Foxtel Australia, and Mondays on Amazon Prime in the UK.

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