Category Archives: John Bell

Outlander Season 4 Finale, Man of Worth

41216

It is with great anticipation, dread, sadness, joy and all other emotions that come along with it, that the end of Season 4 has reached us. Quite a journey the first few years in the American Colonies Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) have had. With all of this seasons new characters, and a few that are still along for the ride, we have enjoyed the roller coaster and now have to survive the drought.

If you haven’t watched tonights episode, go no further. Series and book spoilers ahead.download-1

Rescuing Roger and the Mystery of Otter Tooth

Fair trade with the Mohawk is a no go for the Frasers. After months of searching for Roger, they meet another band of Mohawk who tell them where they can find the tribe that bears the symbol of Ian’s traded medallion. Upon entering the camp, Jamie showing his language acquisition skills and Ian ask the Mohawk if Roger is with them, and can they img_2440trade for his return. Kaherton (Braedon Clarke) asks them to find “Dog Face” and tell the chief that they want to trade for his return. After a few exchanges, all seems to be going well. Then as luck would have it, Claire’s huge opal necklace reveals itself and the tribe is repulsed. They refuse to trade for Roger. Claire asks what is the meaning of the stone to them. She will trade it for Roger. The chief shuts her and Jamie down, and tells them to leave.

imagesLater, when they have gone some distance from the Mohawk and are camping for the night, a small group of Mohawk come and ask them for the opal stone. Claire seeks to trade the stone for Roger, however she wants to know what it means to them. A Mohawk woman tells Claire that the stone belonged to Otter Tooth, a man who claimed to be from their future, who came to them in her grandfather’s time. He spoke of the end of the Mohawk and that they must make war on the white man before they are gone, for the Iroquois Nation will be no more. The man was ostracized from the tribe and downloadeventually killed. Claire tells of finding the skull with the opal and later being visited in the storm by a ghost, Otter Tooth, who guided her.

 

 


img_2461

Murcasta: That Relationship Thing Everyone Was Waiting For

Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) arrives back at River Run after dodging the Redcoats for weeks after his jail breakout. Jocasta feeds him and they have a somewhat tension filled img_2462meal at River Run. Jocasta brags a bit about Brianna making a fine match with Lord John, and Murtagh counters in disbelief, that Brianna will wed a Redcoat? Jocasta (Maria Kennedy Doyle) is concerned and a bit dismayed that Murtagh has returned to his old ways, getting himself in trouble with the law. He remarks it’s not the first time he’s been on a broadsheet and has managed to survive. She has heard about the jail break from Brianna, and while she will feed him, strongly suggests that he not stay long, img_2459for they will come looking for him. Bristling back he mentions that he has only come to check on the lass, and asks about her health. The conversation goes back and forth from talking to bristle. Two very stubborn personalities, and old friends from the days gone by.

Later Murtagh is spoiled by a glass of good whiskey from Jocasta as an appeasement that doesn’t last long. The conversation turns to accusations by Jocasta of Murtagh being given a gift of living in a new land, where he img_2458could have made something of himself, not inciting discord. Murtagh counters with the fact that others came to the colonies by choice, he was forced there in servitude, the mission of the Regulators as being just, protecting the poor who do not live as grand as Jocasta has been so lucky to, with 3 husbands, etc.. Jocasta jabs back with how Murtagh was always bad when he turned up at Castle Leoch, scowling and slinking about, causing trouble. We really know that was Dougal. Finally after the man defends himself, she throws whiskey in his face. He’s dealing with a MacKenzie of Castle Leoch, they will always find a way to twist and suit conversation to their needs. How does one fight back?

The only way to stop two old friends arguing so, and stop the tension, is somehow by ending up in bed together, or so it goes here. In a storyline twist perhaps telling us that Jocasta had been envious of her sister’s suitor ignoring her from years before, that secretly over the years she had liked Murtagh, something  finally had to give? Sadly, he’s a wanted man. The next morning she has of course changed her tune, she wants him to stay, even though she had wanted him gone. It is risky keeping him there, with Jocasta’s connections and him being on broadsheets everywhere. All Murtagh wants is for her to come back to bed.img_2460

It was a Outlander Fandom obsession for months, that did not go unnoticed by the writers. Many had speculated about Murtagh having the relationship with Jocasta, since he seemed to have taken the place of the book character Duncan Innes, one of the prisoners from Ardsmuir that Jamie had found. That Character marries Jocasta. Perhaps with Season 5 and if the Gathering is used there, we may see a secret wedding. What hasn’t been revealed, and this storyline from the books tells later, is that Jocasta for many years had a relationship with her manservant, Ulysses. Wether this is going to throw a cog in the works later, we don’t know. I for one had hoped that Murtagh would find someone who could fight alongside him or at least be more aligned with the rather complicated man. But as he pointed out, maybe she could use her influence to help in other ways. Yes, I’m a huge Murtagh fan. But really I was hoping for another direction on this one. Remember that bit about MacKenzies being schemers? Would Jocasta be willing to risk River Run for affiliation with such a man?

Here’s your gratuitous Murtagh shot. Enjoy it, it will be a long year. I think Murtagh would enjoy the Clash, at least their, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” song.

img_2469


Brianna Meets Her Child

Time goes by waiting on Jamie and Claire. Murtagh stays on, managing to dodge Redcoats,  and asks Brianna the difficult questions, are you going to tell me what the devil you were doing seeing Bonnet and are you really going to marry Lord John? Brianna explains that she wanted to bring peace to herself through forgiveness. She also explains that the betrothal to Lord John was just to get Jocasta off her back about marrying eligible wealthy men in the county, she is still holding out hope that Roger will eventually be found. 4137

In a birthing sequence I have to applaud, we hear music and see the birthing process and not another agonizing screaming scene. We’ve all seen them, through many series and films. This scene was done in a classy way, the emotion was there, raw, all of the actresses, Sophie Skelton, Maria Kennedy Doyle, Caitlyn O’Ryan and the amazing Natalie Simpson were superb. Murtagh pacing outside was a treat, Great Godfather that he is.


img_2453Man of Worth

The Mohawk faction that believed in taking the Opal Necklace of Otter Tooth as it will help them to foretell the future of their tribe, offer to help the Frasers to retrieve Roger in exchange for the necklace. Things of course do not go according to plan, and when Claire and Jamie enter the hut, the astonished Roger is distrustful. Claire hurriedly 41313explains what has happened, Jamie somewhat apologizes for beating him and selling him to the Mohawk. There isn’t time, they must get him out. A lengthly escape battle is joined. Of course they are caught, and then Young Ian is also caught after fighting so bravely to get them out of the village. Claire begs for Roger, and Jamie offers to sacrifice himself and stay in Roger’s place.

outlander-season-4-episode-13-the-drama-ends-1700295Ian decides to not translate Jamie’s offer, instead he offers himself to the Mohawk. He has decided to do what Uncle Jamie had requested of him months before, to become a man of worth. This scene is poignant, and probably would make more sense if they had shown more of Ian’s fascination of life among the tribes. However, Ian has shown his true worth and takes to his trial on the gauntlet with all out gusto and feats of street fighting we didn’t know he had in him. He makes it to the chief’s toe, and places a hand there. He rises, he is worthy.img_2465

 

jpeg image-a30dc06aaa75-1The Frasers and Roger leave Ian to the Mohawk. Claire decides it’s time to tell Roger of Brianna, what happened to her that night after he left. She goes into details about Bonnet attacking Brianna. Jamie is infuriated that Roger left her defenseless. He is also smarting at losing his nephew to the Mohawk, and what is he going to tell his sister? Roger counters with Brianna told him to leave, that he tried to come back but was forced onto the Gloriana by Bonnet. The sick realization that Bonnet has caused so much grief for the family incites anger between the two men, while at the same time it should be uniting them. Claire looks on with that “Men!” stance, when really they should be getting back to Brianna. But it’s better to let them fight it out now, then have it drag on for two months on the way back, if Roger is going back with them. Jamie continues to throw blame at Roger, even though Jamie has done terrible things to Roger.

Claire gives Roger a choice after the confrontation continues. She tells him he can make the choice to come back or not, the child may not be his. Can he stand by their daughter? Jamie is outraged that he will not stand up for Brianna, and he and Claire stand firm. Can anyone really blame Roger, after what he has been through, to be told at the last that Brianna has been raped, and that the child may or may not be his?


img_2464Alls Well…

Two months pass. Murtagh has managed to stay at River Run without being found by the Redcoats. Brianna’s child is now two months old and quite sturdy, but she is pining for Roger and her parents. The Frasers arrive back, however Roger is not with them. Claire and Jamie thank Jocasta for looking after their daughter, and Claire seems to mend fences with a fairly receptive Jocasta. Funny what a little love will do. While they were gone they gained a grandchild, however they have lost Ian. The Frasers measure what they have and have lost.41317

Later, in a conversation between Jamie and Murtagh, he updates Jamie on Bonnet blowing up with the jail. He is sorry Jamie did not get to exact his revenge the way he wanted. However we know that there is a set of keys. And Murtagh has been wrong before, remember a herd of Red Coos and Black Jack Randall?

img_2457Brianna starts packing and notices a lone rider coming up to River Run while she is preparing to go back to the ridge with her parents. She hesitates then runs through the house, flying down the path. It is Roger, and he has made his decision that he wants to see “his son”. Roger has now shown that he is a man of worth. Right on their tail a group of Redcoats on horseback come. There’s no time to get to warn Murtagh. Luckily Phaedra spots them from the house and warns the others, and Murtagh is secreted away. The riders enter the house and deliver a declaration to Jamie Fraser from Governor Tryon. It is a Call to Muster, to create a militiaimg_2456 to fight the Regulators. In the Call to Muster, there is a statement demanding the death of Jamie’s beloved Godfather, Murtagh as a leader of the rebellion. The deal made with a devil for land has indeed come back to haunt Jamie. This will create the tension and split of Godfather and Godson going into season 5, they will be fighting on opposite sides.

 


Outlander Season 4 2018

Much of this season worked and didn’t work for me as a fan of both the books and the series. There were some things I felt were rushed, however when dealing with action and adventure, things needed to be quick paced. I feel better about the season than I did much of season 3, and really I see where the writers were trying to please as wide of an audience as possible. However, if you look at the ratings for the season, viewership has dropped drastically this season. Let’s hope as they get through season 5 and 6 and it can pick back up, or we may not see the books through to the end.

I have been delighted in the storylines with Ian, Marsali and Fergus, and of course ultimately Murtagh that have developed so well. I feel much of the flavor of Jamie and Claire were lost, while I am not a big fan of the “Shipper” thing, I am more of a character quality person, I have tried to like the Brianna and Roger storyline. I found myself fan-girling on some of Roger’s better realization moments, and yes he was indeed odious in others. Brianna was very much a head strong princess in the first part of the season. I loved the costume, and the care that went into the Cherokee and Mohawk tribal clothing, as well as their depiction and storylines. I think that the production crews and film editors topped themselves this season. I look forward with dread to the Droughtlander we now face, it looks like it may be Spring 2020 before we have season 5, although IMdb says it will be Fall 2019. Filming hasn’t started yet, they are still in preproduction.

Droughtlander Survival

Start (re)reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon now.

Rewatch the season on the  Starz App until the series comes out on DVD.

Travel to Scotland,  and if you’re lucky catch them filming. Check out the filming locations for season 3. The production designer, Jon Gary Steel hinted at work starting on The Big House. If you read the books, you know what that means.

There’s a placeholder at IMdb for Season 5.1 already.

What were your favorite and not so favorite moments in season 4?

Articles

Sam Heughan on the Outlander Season 4 Finale

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Outlander Season 4 Finale Previews

outlander-season-4-episode-13-the-drama-ends-1700295

We have reached the final episode of season 4, Man of Worth. We see a mysterious Indian wearing the opal Claire found in the skull earlier in the season. Jamie, Claire and Young Ian finally reach the Mohawk village and seek to negotiate Roger’s freedom. Brianna is about to give birth and fears parenting alone. Murtagh seeks to rally the Regulators, and discusses fighting for a cause with Jocasta at River Run. Will she betray him? And what of Bonnet, who managed to get the keys to release himself at the last minute?

The season finale episode 413 Man of Worth will air on Saturday January 26 at Midnight on the Starz® App, and Sunday January 26th 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.

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.

jpeg image-e2de6633056a-1

 

Edisode 410 The Deep Heart’s Core

img_2090

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.

410group

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. 

410jamiebree

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

Folly

img_2094 2

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.img_2091

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.

img_2089

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.

img_2088

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.

Future Possibilities

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?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees

download-7
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.

download-4

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.

download-6

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

IMG_2056

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.

Related Articles

Maril Davis, Producer, On The Importance of The Father Daughter Relationship

Caitriona Balfe on Her Growth on Outlander

Where’s Young Ian?

download-11

 

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.

55e5f8c0-f5d3-4a4a-a9e1-5da55078a846

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?

Blood of My Blood : The Jaimie, Claire and Lord John Grey Paradox

download-1If you haven’t seen 406: Blood of My Blood, go no further.

As a book reader of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and a fan of the series, I am writing this as a four part article, as for the rest of the season there will be four or more story lines playing out in their respective arcs, all of them quite paradoxical. Claire, Jamie and Lord John Grey, then Murtagh, Jamie and the Regulators. The Jamie, Claire and Murtagh paradox from Season 2, redoux. The Brianna, Roger, and Stephen Bonnet paradox. Or is this sounding like that song from New Order, Bizarre Love Triangle? Don’t forget young Ian and his fascination with the Indians, which can be seen as more a conundrum truth be told, what will he get himself into there? All will be played out in the next few remaining episodes. Consider it part of your spoiler alerts.

Paradox: a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.

What Comes From Blood Of My Blood

Lord John Grey (David Berry) rides up the Ridge to find Jamie, sawing on wood. They greet and the beginning of the terrible guest episode begins.

download-4

We find a scene of friendship, with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) fetching water from the creek, Claire is teasing Murtagh a bit, Murtagh biting controllably back. Age and old friends. Murtagh admits he must  leave soon, and talks of his Regulator friends, that two of them are going to petition the Governor over the unfair taxation situation, to try to solve the problem the right way, with due process. He must pay his taxes if he wishes to stay in North Carolina.

The Bad Guest

Jamie’s past comes to Fraser’s Ridge. A past that will bring tears of joy and anguish. It’s one of the seasons reuniting scenes that will play out in stress, conflict and growth for Jamie and Claire. This season, after all, is about reunions and family.

images

Lord John Grey shows up on Fraser’s Ridge en route to an estate left by his wife, Isobel, who has just passed. The estate is in Virginia, and yes, he has come a long way round for that. With him, is young William (Oliver Finnegan), Jamie’s illegitimate son with Geneva Dunsany. Several layered positions of conflict arise. Jamie, has a son he cannot publicly acknowledge, but is thrilled to see. As always, Heughan is running the amazing facial control in this episode, the emoting is priceless. Of course he has been troubled for years, that he can have no contact with his two children. One is forbidden by hidden identity, one is forbidden by time.

Outlander-s04e06-1627967The conflict for Claire is being confronted with the reality of Jamie’s past with another woman, and the living, breathing child it created. She has come to terms for the most part with the fact he has a son. But the reality of seeing the child stirs up emotions. Also, she must control herself in front of the child, and the attraction that Lord John has for Jamie has not gone unnoticed by her. She and Murtagh chance upon the young lord, one of the few books scenes kept, who is mercilessly attacked by leeches. Claire of course remedies the situation and they bring him to the house, where Lord John has been telling Jamie of his wife’s passing, and how he wants to keep the secret of Williams birth, for fear of what it will do to him. A controlled scene of adults keeping a secret from a child ensues.

It’s Almost Like The Holidays

In the most uncomfortable dinner party ever that is politically charged in such a small cabin, nearly outshines the one from season 2 in Paris. Lord John begins offending in high born manner, by going on about how great the new Governor’s palace will be and complaining of the mob that refuses to pay taxes, and has become violent. He is after all, of the privileged class and knows what is best. Murtagh, gloriously keeping his identity in check, barely, defends the common man. He brings up unjust taxation driving families to ruin. The heated discussion is barely kept in check by the parents (Claire and Jamie). Murtagh leaves.

Outlander-s04e06-1627971After the dinner, Murtagh is fuming on the porch in his “controlled” manner (Note sarcasm here). He confronts Jamie, how can he count a British soldier as a friend after Culloden? The very one who kept him imprisoned, who of course pointed out that he had helped Murtagh get a doctor to get well in front of the little Lord. However, the man had been talking down the Regulators and saying they had caused bodily harm. And why all the secrecy from the lad, why would Jamie go to such lengths? Jamie defends himself as much as he can, still falling back on the land grant, and people depending on him now. But Murtagh knows Jamie well and can tell, it’s something else. He finally guesses it out of Jamie, the child is his. With classic Murtagh agreement grumbling “Hmmmph”, he leaves agreeing to keep another Fraser secret.

The Lingering Guest

The the next act of effrontery by Lord John, he comes down with the Measles. This forces the doctoring of Claire who must administer to a patient who had brought the son, a deal of anguish for Jamie, and his high born political notions driving Murtagh off. William is reluctantly dragged off to fish and hunt by Jamie so he will not get the Measles. Claire endures days of a fevered Lord John who is overly gentlemen like some days and cuts to the bone on others. For her part, Claire as in usually Claire fashion is straight forward and cut the niceties. The conflict of why Lord John is really there, first Claire assumes it’s to report  back to the Governor on the land grant, then to spy on the goings on with the Regulators. Then the conversation turns to William, and what that does to Jamie, but the real burning discussion is the jealousy both pf them have over time being spent with Jamie. While Claire was away, John had time with Jamie, Lord John jealous that Claire is back and the couple are happily committed. When the fever breaks and John realizes what a cad he has been, he admits the real reason he came was because he wanted to see if he had any true feeling left in him. If seeing Jamie would bring emotion, which it did. He had lost all feeling and had felt nothing for Isobel after her death. Claire, in her way, concedes a few things and they part on better terms.

In a father son interlude, Jamie and Young Lord William bond over fishing and hunting. Jamie reminds him of their time at Helwater, as the secret of that experience has come back to William. There is an altercation with The Cherokee, and each of them defends the other, in which Jamie offers himself as sacrifice since he is the father of the child. William denies this and points out it was his fault. It plays out with a light bloodletting and the two return to the Ridge, to find that Lord John is alive after all and the two can leave Fraser’s Ridge.

The Jamie, Lord John Grey and Claire Paradox will continue in a later storyline, we know this one isn’t over. And at some point as book readers know, Jamie’s children, Brianna and William must meet. It will be interesting to see when the series will bring up that reunion. For now, Jamie has seen his son and how well he is doing. Will he finally get to meet his daughter, Brianna.download-7

Outlander is on the Starz® network in the US, Sundays at 8:00 PM EST, 5:00 PM PST, and The W Network Sundays at 10:00 PM in Canada. Starz App at Midnight Saturdays, and Amazon Prime in The UK and Europe Mondays.

All images ©2018 Starz®