Category Archives: Stephen Bonnet

Episode 411 If Not For Hope

jpeg image-4dfba55441a4-1

As always please do not read further if you have not seen Season 4 episode 411: If Not For Hope, contains spoilers.

This episode should really be titled If Not For Sacrifice. It’s the last 3 episodes of season 4, and it’s a one-two-three punch for each of them. Three storylines, three cliff hangers, endless drops. Hold on to your seats.

The Search for Roger

In the opening of the episode, we see a beaten Roger in a shower washing off. We question if he has indeed made it back, stepped through the stones and abandoned Brianna. Then we see it’s a dream sequence, he has been recaptured by the Mohawk, who are very angry with him. Roger’s luck continues to be cursed. Will he even be recognizable to Claire, Jamie, and Ian if he is found?

img_2108

Ian has grown so much in this season. He begins to show more of that growth as he corners Auntie, and tries to get her to mend fences with Uncle Jamie. He again explains the mistake, and how it has a great deal to do with what he did. Can she not forgive Jamie? Claire insists she is not angry with Jamie, she is angry with everyone. How could everyone have gotten in all so wrong to the detriment of poor Roger? However, going back to past lessons with Claire and secrets from Season 2, she mostly feels the blame herself.

Outlander Season 4 2018

Rollo turns up with a mummified leg, as Rollo would do. Claire and Ian follow him to the half buried corpse and Claire remarks that is has been dead at least a month. Ian recognizes the tunics and the two missing fingers as having belonged to one of the Indians he sold Roger to. The three of them bury the body, Jamie remarks that he had a family somewhere who will miss him. Clearly Jamie and Claire are not effectively communicating as they should.

Outlander Season 4 2018

Later in the tent, Claire begins apologizing to Jamie. She explains she is not angry with him, everyone has made her angry. None of what happened should have happened. For a few years after Frank’s death, it had just been her caring for Brianna. All the decisions came to her, protecting her. Brianna was closer to Frank at times. Jamie, who fears the loss of the daughter he has just come to know, the daughter he said terrible things to. Claire remarks that he did not mean what he said, and neither did Brianna, Brianna did not mean for him to go to Hell. Claire blames herself, for she had known it was Bonnet before Roger came, and had not told Jamie for Brianna’s sake. She had kept a terrible secret, it it had been wrong to do so. Jamie admits that he has never felt he could be jealous of a dead man, Frank. Claire discusses the promise they made long ago, about not keeping secrets. Claire doesn’t know if she can keep the promise where Bree is concerned.dw1w9rxwoaagbje


Murtagh’s on a Mission

96395bdd0d5177fc0c2dcc95f1964d7bf60e9008_murtaghwantedFergus is at the Tavern, asking a Captain about Bonnet. He is told that he will arrive in a week, and in leaving he notices a broadsheet with Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser on it. “Merde!”, he tears it down. Walks home to Marsali and Murtagh is in the parlor recruiting Regulators actively under their roof. Marsali is worried about their safety with the meetings and the guest being a wanted man. Fergus counters that Murtagh would do the same for him. Fergus is melancholy as he has not been able to find work with his wooden hand, no one will take him on.

jpeg image-4c0a3ba1d5eb-1

Later at night, while Murtagh sleeps on a pallet on the floor, Marsali noisily wakes him up. She is very conscious of the dangers of Murtagh’s enterprise, but asks Murtagh to take Fergus on to fight with his men. It would be good for Fergus to feel that he is a full man, and she wants a whole man as husband. Murtagh agrees to ask, reluctantly. The next day baby Germaine is wailing so, and Murtagh is lamenting about the 411fergusmurtaghfact that the militia needs weapons, that maybe they should use the child’s wail as one, since it is certainly defeating him. Fergus calms his child down, and Murtagh makes the offer to take Fergus on with the Regulators. Fergus declines, is place is with the baby and Marsali. Marsali is thrilled, as Fergus has made a statement of the impo411murtaghfergrtance of his family to him. Fergus does help however in the hunt for Stephen Bonnet, and Marsali has come with news, The Gloriana has arrived in port.

img_2111

Murtagh and Fergus wait with another captain in the tavern, and when Bonnet comes waltzing in, he is identified. Fergus makes a plan to catch him alone. In a room above the tavern, Murtagh and Fergus corner him, and the over confident sociopath thinks he’s got the upper hand, but Murtagh deals a swift blow with the butt of his pistol as only he can, and Fergus and he set to transport Bonnet back to Fraser’s Ridge. Unfortunately, as it was far too lucky to take care of the matter swiftly, Fergus and Murtagh are caught in the act as a patrol questions what the are doing. Murtagh acts like Fergus was an assailant, punches him, with his arms raisedimg_2112 giving Fergus chance at escape. He tells the men that the man tied up is none other than Stephen Bonnet,  murderer and gallows escapee. Unfortunately one of them recognizes him from the broadsheets and takes him in, they’ve bagged two wanted fugitives.

img_2107Murtagh knew it was a risk, however he had to get into Wilmington to connect with his men and do business. He chose to juggle both his own business and the hunt for Bonnet. Enlisting Fergus put him at risk, but he was the only one he could trust with capturing the man. It was a risky business and he should have probably been staying outside the city, not being out in broad daylight trying to get Bonnet out of town. Why did he risk so much all at once? A question Jamie will be asking of him if they meet again. Now, how is Fergus to  get him out of this mess?

jpeg image-49b373ca6368-1


jpeg image-c74786549a47-1

Brianna Survives MacKenzie Machinations

Brianna is waiting for her parents to bring Roger back to her, and as the month peel by, she is beginning to show her situation. She passes her time drawing to relieve the stress, to process all that has happened to her. She then takes to drawing young Phaedra. Jocasta has not been idle, and she is planning Brianna’s future. She lost her chance with Jamie, but now she has his young, unwed and pregnant daughter to work in her fashion. In true MacKenzie style, she starts arranging for Brianna to meet eligible, well to do men of the county.

Brianna’s arrival has created an opportunity for Jocasta to solve a problem. Time and again Jocasta has had male suitors wanting to wed her and have control at River Run. Jamie left with Claire and Ian, taking away her chance to have an heir and a male that could take the duties of River Run, one she could trust. Brianna has presented another angle for her to work. If she connects herself with another prominent family in the parts, she could have the support of a man to help her run things, but she would still have final say.

img_2102

Brianna will not be ruled so easily. Phaedra tried to create a new gown for her for the dinner, Brianna refused it. Jocasta meets with her and decides to nail down the situation, she’ll no take no for an answer. She tries to persuade Brianna with tales of her Grandmother Ellen and her fair hand at painting and drawing. Jocasta professes she has done some herself, but never at Ellen’s level. She chides Brianna and tells her she must think of her future, that being a mother with a bastard child will make the child’s future difficult. Yes, there is a possibility that the father may be brought back, but that is no guarantee, the Mohawk may have done him ill. She tells Brianna more of Ellen, that she was with child before she wed, and that even though Dougal and Colum were seeking husband’s for her, she eloped with Brian, the man she loved. But they had wed, and the child was born in wedlock.

Outlander Season 4 2018

Brianna concedes to go to the dinner, in a remade gown of Jocasta’s. She arrives at the dinner and the eligible men flock about her like cockerels. Her suitors are Gerald Forbes, who is most ardent, Judge Alderdice, and Lt. Wolff. All of them wish to spend time with Brianna, bumble about, posturing, and ask her to go places with them. Brianna manages to keep her grace and fortitude and steer clear of the ever eager men.

img_2110

Lord John Grey arrives to check in on Brianna as requested by Jamie in a letter. The dinner begins, and during that dinner, Lord John tells of his adventures in Jamaica. Afterwards, Brianna takes the lead, and as she has been opinionated all night, continues with a game she creates called Psychology. We learn of Judge Alderdyce’s vision in a forest, and later she queries Lord John of his envisioning and finds out he had thought of her father Jamie. She begins to pick up on clues as to Lord John’s preferences in partners, and later that evening espies Lord John with Alderdyce.

dw1omfvxgaaovjdThe next morning, Phaedra hurries to dress Brianna. She announces that Forbes has come to make a proposal to her, that Jocasta is waiting with him downstairs. She quickly talks Lizzie into finding Lord John, and asks Phaedra to tell them she has gone for a walk, and will be gone an hour. She meets with Lord John and proceeds to ask him to marry her. A plan she has formulated on the run. She has it all worked out, he doesn’t have to interact with her much, he flat out refuses her impertinence. The rands on her that he should just to show her her place. When he refuses, she proceeds to tell him she will write to the Governor and others of what she saw, him with Judge Alderdyce. Lord John blasts back at her blackmail asking her does she have any idea how the punishment for such things are, reputation being the least of it, and how could she think of such things. After a bit, Brianna backs down, and in cooling down they talk further. She tells him of her troubles, that she had been violated. She informs him of Bonnet, and how her aunt is trying to make her choose a husband for the child’s sake. She admits that she must concede and go to Forbes, she must think of her child. Later she enters the hall and Lord John, in his usual grace, runs in after her, and begins a conversation about making arrangements for their wedding. Brianna falls into step, and the impromptu foil to Forbes is thrust with the man beating a hasty exit.jpeg image-54b392ae1ded-1

Whether Lord John Grey will actually marry Brianna is another matter, but for the moment it gives her protection and breathing space from her aunt’s machinations. She can rely on her father’s friend to protect her and keep others from prying into her affairs. What will happen when Jamie finds out is another matter entirely. Lord John had given Brianna a letter from her father, and after they talk on the porch some, she begins to look at it. The are fences to be mended, and in the next episode, we will come closer to seeing how tall those fences are.


img_2139

Roger finally arrives at the Mohawk village. All of the people and warriors come out and Roger is dragged through a punching and kicking gauntlet for a greeting with a beating.

Episode 411 If Not For Hope, is really all about sacrifices being made, how people will give up their own needs to save the ones they love. Each character was making a sacrifice for someone they care about, and in some cases putting their own lives on the line. Two more episodes to go.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Images ©2018 Starz® LLP

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

 

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

Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees Preview

IMG_1996

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.

Images and video ©2018 Starz® LLC

IMG_2001IMG_1999IMG_1998IMG_1997

 

In Outlander, All Roads Lead to Wilmington

IMG_1959 2All roads lead to Wilmington in this episode, as a large crossroads town and serving capitol for the Governor of the colony, it is a great meeting place for many of our characters as their storylines cross paths. In episode 408 Wilmington, we see many dangers arise, and reunions met, and emotions that run the gamut. Now, remember back in Outlander Season 2 in Paris, the insane intrigue and plotting to stop the Battle of Culloden? It looks like the Frasers are going down a similar path, only this time they are eventually going to meet a revolution. Hang on to your seats, there’s a lot going on here.

Prelude 1769

In an episode filled with reunion, connections and intrigue, we start off with the across time reunion of Roger (Rik Rankin) and Brianna( Sophie Skelton). Roger makes it to Wilmington, North Carolina, and is fervently asking anyone in town that we meets if they have seen Brianna. He carries the nearly worn out portrait of himself and Bree that was done at the Scottish games two hundred years in the future. It reflects his beleaguered self, the worn out man seeking a woman he loves who didn’t just go away, passed back in time to do so. The life of a traveler is one fraught with danger and many trials. He turns to ask Fergus Fraser (Cesar Domboy), after leaving his place of employment at the printers, if he has seen the woman in the picture, and Fergus says no.

As Fergus continues on, he heads home to Marsali and their young wriggling son, IMG_1976Germaine. A surprise is in store, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are in town at the request of Governor Tryon. Claire is spending time with grandchild and discussing the Governor’s real agenda, to check up on the Fraser’s and test Jamie’s loyalties. For 10 thousand Acres is at stake.

 

IMG_1984Marsali (Lauren Lyle), in a rare moment, confides in Claire how much motherhood has changed her. She feels she would do anything to protect her child, take a knife to her belly even. We see the tension that was once between Claire and Marsali has melted into a kinship of understanding, that Claire is not the evil witch Marsali was led to believe, and that the two women are family and have to support one another. We also see that Claire feels the loss of Brianna while handling baby Germaine.

Surgery as Subterfuge

download-2That evening Jamie and Claire attend the play at the Governor’s firm request and meet Mr. Fanning, who among other things, is the magistrate of the lands that encompass Fraser’s Ridge and surrounding areas. They are told the story of the man trying to placate some of the insurgents the previous spring, by bringing them a cask of rum drink after a recent outcry of taxation woes. He indicates to them that he had injured himself in the process. Other characters pop up and we are introduced to the first historical figure, Colonel George Washington and his wife Martha. Claire of course makes a historical faux pas about cherry trees. She later tells Jamie who he really is, and will be in the future.IMG_1975

Governor Tryon (Tim Downey), takes Jamie, Mr. Fanning and Col. Washington further into confidence while gauging his support against the insurgents, who he states should have no right to call themselves Regulators. Jamie finds out that the Governor knows that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is one of the leaders and must find a way to escape the play to warn him after the Governor let’s slip that his men have gone to surprise the raid on the tax collector’s carriage. Tryon has a planted man in the insurgent’s camp, and knows of their movements.

JPEG image-9D3880A4E461-1In true Outlander fashion, a diversion must be made to allow Jamie to escape unnoticed, and one conveniently arises when Mr. Fanning goes into convulsions of pain from his injury, after Jamie conveniently aggravates the area, which Claire had suspected was a hernia. A table is laid clear and Claire performs surgery, cleverly diverting Governor Tryon in the process of performing the surgery by demanding his help. Jamie exits and finds that Col. Washington is leaving early and receives a ride in his coach to get into town under the guise of getting his wife’s medical bag, and sets off to warn Murtagh. He comes back before he is noticed missing, thanks due to some superb surgery by Claire, all done with efficient purpose, and not a drop of blood on the immaculate ivory dress.

The play’s the thing, and the intrigue involved was classic Outlander and hails back to IMG_1974season 2 in Paris with Kings, Princes, and an evil Compte. This time Claire and Jamie are battling a greedy Governor and people in power, like Fanning the magistrate with his hands in both pots. The colonies have become infused with backwater politicking. In order to survive, Jamie and Claire must appear to be in the Governor’s favor, yet let Murtagh know he’s in danger. The scene was played out with great finesse and aplomb by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, as their characters performed a ballet around Tryon and the other guests. How long they will be able to keep up this game, is not known. In Paris it nearly cost them their marriage, and they lost a child in all the strain their plots caused Claire during pregnancy. The stakes are very high again, with a large land grant, getting settlers, and appearing to help keep the peace will prove to be very difficult, and make for at least another season’s storytelling.

Regulator Action

Murtagh408Murtagh Fitzgibbons has done a great many things in his life. He’s been a cattle rustler, soldier, prisoner, indentured man, and blacksmith. And yes, when in Paris twenty years before, he acted as highwayman at Jamie’s direction, to steal the Comte’s and Prince Charlie’s wine shipment to foil the gaining of money to further the cause of fighting in Scotland. Now, as a leader of the Regulators movement, Murtagh is making his own plots and intrigue. His men are at the ready. His purpose to take back the tax monies taken from them. After surveying the road and thinking, Murtagh joins his men and they lie in wait, when the action is about to happen, Fergus comes crashing in and identifies himself as Fergus, and that M’Lord has asked him to worn them. Murtagh recognizes him and they call the raid off just in time. Fergus waits until the others leave, warning Murtagh that MurtaghFergus408there is a traitor in his camp. Murtagh is glad to be reunited with Fergus, however asks why his Godson could not deliver the message himself? Murtagh is incensed that Jamie did not come, growing impatient with Jamie’s neutrality declaration.

Laying the Blame

Later with Governor Tryon and Jamie in the carriage, Tryon bemoans his plans being thwarted and states someone must have warned them. The only people he told were with him in the carriage, except for Fanning who of course was being operated on. Another gentleman points out that Col. Washington had left, and Jamie helps going along with it most have been him. Tryon makes the annoyed statement to, “Never trust a Virginian!’ and that “Washington’s day will come!”. A very prophetic statement. And how will Jamie keep his involvement in going along with this pointing a finger, not bite back later?

The Fasted Hand

IMG_1971Roger is disappointed and well beat with searching for Brianna over two hundred years time and the dangers of sea crossing. There is nothing like finally getting to where she should be located, and not finding her. While sitting in the tavern of Brianna’s Inn, he has a frustration moment and gets up to leave, and then he hears her voice, booking passage up the river to River Run. They reunite and a slight tustle begins again, for their courtship will ever be a rocky one. Lizzie, Brianna’s maid, witnesses as Roger drags Brianna outside and they have another lover’s quarrel. In the street they agree to move to a shed that happens to have a bit of a fireplace and storage room. They declare their love and Roger brings up the old Scottish tradition of Handfasting, to become promised as husband and wife for a year and a day. They perform the ritual in front of the fire and have their wedding night.

In conversation after coupling, Roger let’s slip the fact that he had read the same obituary that Brianna had regarding her parent’s death. In true Brianna fashion, she takes exception when she discovers that Roger knew of the fire that would kill her parents, had read the same article, and did not warn her.

Roger again fails in becoming the parental figure, argues that it would have been dangerous and careless, he had wanted to protect her from the pain. The conversation goes from bad to worse, accusations of Roger controlling what Brianna thinks and does, and Roger rounding with he should perhaps treat her more like a wife and control her more, things would work out better. They come to a head with Brianna telling Roger he should just go. Roger with after traveling 200 years to find her and the dangers of her being on her own. Brianna states that she and Lizzie were doing just fine.

Sadly, Brianna has just set herself up. The 18th century is a very dangerous place for a woman to be alone in. After going from complete happiness, to utter betrayal with her lover, she is devastated, in shock. After Roger leaves, she stumbles back to the inn, where things become much worse. Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) is drinking and gambling in the tavern downstairs and is flashing about her mother’s wedding ring. Brianna recognizes the ring and tries to buy it off him, and get any information she can about her mother. Bad judgement, and filled with anxiety and desperation about Claire, she follows him to another room, right into his trap. What follows is a terrible blow, a day that started with finding her love, the loss of him, and then becoming a victim to a sociopathic man. The rape scene is off camera with the effect being that you hear everything, but the camera stays on the tavern room with everyone in Bonnet’s crew continuing on as they acknowledge, and yet ignore the scene going on next door. A very beaten Brianna is allowed to take her mother’s ring, as payment for services, and she slowly, painfully goes back upstairs to her rooms with Lizzie.

Remember, Lizzie saw her mistress leave with the man, Roger, and come back hurt. Will Lizzie report the incident? And to whom.

Outlander Producers on the Difficulties of Dealing with Sensitivities With Sexual Violence

Season 4 has a great deal in common with season 2, with the plots and intrigues very close to the previous spying and intelligence gathering that Claire, Jamie, Murtagh and Fergus did to sabotage Prince Charles’ battle plans in Scotland. You would think they had learned the first time. The Frasers are falling into the troubles that are prelude to a war, the over taxation of the colonists is just one. As Claire has already brought up, there’s a revolution in 6 years time. War may seem far off, however, it will come to the backcountry and slowly begin to boil.  How can they place themselves out of harm’s way, how to keep Fraser’s Ridge a sanctuary from war.

Tainted Warnings

JPEG image-4D2E75B6D40E-1After the foiled carriage raid, Murtagh is annoyed that Jamie himself could not come and warn him, but is glad of the warning and reuniting with Fergus. We see another seed of the growing conflict between Godfather and Godson, as Murtagh questions Jamie’s loyalties. Perhaps he is becoming old and jaded, and who can blame him? He doesn’t trust the situation with the Governor, even though having Jamie appear close will help him to get information, which is what he had asked Jamie to do, and was refused. Jamie declared he would not help or hinder, that there was too much at stake. Murtagh feels betrayed, and if you remember back to a scene in a courtyard in Paris, when Jamie finally told Murtagh what they were trying to do in Paris, Jamie got quite the punch from his Godfather. Murtagh takes exception to not being trusted or included. Losing Murtagh again would devastate Jamie, he is the last of his clansmen. Do we think that Fergus will become involved with the Regulators, we know he wanted to fight so badly at Culloden. Murtagh will not like how Fergus lost his hand. JPEG image-FE5AAAA94E8E-1

Brianna and Roger

Sophie Skelton has another fine performance in a truly brutal scene. After telling the man she loves to leave, again, Brianna lands in the worst possible situation, becoming the victim of a sociopath. Skelton’s performance in the aftermath of the rape by Bonnet shows her growth as a performer over the last 2 seasons. The Hand Fasting and perceived betrayal, and consequential rape of Brianna at Bonnet’s Hands was on par with a Game of Thrones story line in it’s brutality. Rik Rankin is taking to heart playing a very stubborn man and his much outdated sense of love, but in some ways you cannot blame him. He is right about the dangers in the colonies, he is a historian, he knew what could happen. And Twitter was on fire with how Roger should have stayed! However, he will need to find some way to have more modern concepts of love while being in the 18th century, or he loses Brianna forever. We’ll see what happens next time on Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees, only 5 more episodes to go.

Rik Rankin on The Wilmington Clash at SyFy.com Video

Watch Outlander Saturdays with the Starz ®App and at 8PM EST on Starz®. Amazon Prime in the UK on Mondays, W Network in Canada on Sundays.

All images ©2018 Starz® LLC

JPEG image-8916DD902839-1

“Is there a message you wish to give me, lass?”

 

 

Episode 407: Down The Rabbit Hole

Brianna headshotRoger and Brianna fans will have a delight in this weeks episode Outlander 407: Down the Rabbit Hole. With a perfect reference to Alice in Wonderland, what is it like for an inexperienced Brianna to travel through the stones, and come through the other side, over 200 years in the past? And Roger (Richard Rankin) to go chasing after her? What do you bring with you on such a journey? How would you find your way back? Answer: Compass, Map, a watch perhaps, matches, and period coin. Someone you love.

Spoilers Warning!

In an episode dedicated to Brianna and Roger, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) thinks she has found the solution to the distressing news she has discovered, to travel back and warn her parents of a fire that will happen in ten years time, to prevent the tragedy of their death. Roger receives her letter, telling him to forget her. Despite Roger trying to not inform her of the death of her parents that he found in documents in his father’s study, she has found out on her own. When last they were together, things ended badly. Roger’s reasoning is what can he do, he doesn’t wish to distress her, so he keeps the knowledge to himself. Her parents are are in the past and really, already dead. But time is a relative thing for travelers. Brianna determines to go back in time and warn them, despite what her mother Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has told her of trying to change history, how she and Jamie failed changing the outcome of the Battle of Culloden, and failed. However, headstrong Brianna cannot be told she can’t fix something.

Brave New World

Brianna is brave and fearless at times, however her inexperience will get he into trouble. In a call back to season 3’s Uncharted, it is Brianna this time building a fire, alone at night. BriannafireShe comes across time in the 1970’s ideal of country clothing, in a Gunne Sax style dress, with a cloak. She did not have the experience and time that Claire had to prepare to go back, therefore threw together what she could find for clothing. Not very practical or warm. What does she bring with her? A watch, something from the future, a map, period coinage. Bringing anything that is too foreign or strange will get you noticed by the wrong people. Practicality with the period map, Brianna can find her way to Ayr to take ship for the colonies. With her hair and attire she’ll attract attention, along with her manner of speech and accent. Wandering the highlands, she heads for Ayr, what she finds after a tumble is an ankle injury and that travel by foot is extremely difficult at the best of times. And she has had no contacts in the area, or so she thinks.

Finding Brianna

download-1Roger has been handed a letter telling him that Brianna has traveled to the future and that he is to forget about her. That’s not going to happen, as a historian Roger knows only too well how women are treated in the 18th century. Plus he’s still madly in love with her despite their clash and his anger over the marriage refusal. He begins preparing to follow Brianna through the stones and get’s help from Fiona Graham (Iona Claire), who is now the caller of the Druid group, in order to travel through the stones. He dresses as period close as he can, has a gemstone, and a map, compass and coin. He can hear the stones calling him, that eternal buzzing sound.

Unwanted Savior

The family Nemesis Laoghaire (LeeRee) played by Nell Hudson, turns up to rescue Brianna who by now has been really having trouble with her ankle and no aspirin to download-7help, only icy streams. She has collapsed on the road and is taken in by Laoghaire and her daughter Joan. Brianna, none the wiser that this is her mothers enemy, is cared for and meets Ian Murray when he comes to bring money. Arguing ensues between Laoghaire and Ian, with Brianna in the bedroom starting a series of flashbacks to Frank Randall, her mother, and her side of the many issues that came up in the marriage. In one episode,Frank had the obituary notice copy of the burning on Fraser’s Ridge, and the death of Jamie Fraser. At this point Brianna has no idea about her real father, who he is.

Laoghaire, a conversation begins with Brianna about love and people who did not love her, who loved her at one time, and what we know to be her twisted misconception of Claire and Jamie’s marriage and love. Eventually Laoghaire works out that Brianna is their daughter, and the two lock into a battle of words with Bree offering to leave at once. Laoghaire locks her in the room, threatening to have her turned over for witchcraft, so she can die like her mother should have. Eventually Joanie sets her download-3free and takes her to Lallybroch to Ian Murray, who acknowledges her as Jamie’s daughter rather quickly, provides her with yet another trunk of her mother’s clothes. He helps her to get to Ayr to find passage to the colonies to find Aunt Jocasta, and a maidservant for her journey.

Roger and Captain Bonnet

download-6Of course who turns up to beleaguer Roger, but that villain and brigand, Captain Bonnet (Ed Speleers). Bonnet, who stole Claire’s wedding ring in an attack on the Frasers, has done quite well for himself. He is captain of a ship, The Gloriana, and rules her with an iron fist. Roger is forced to work his way on board as they are full on passengers. During the voyage, he meets his Great Grandmother Morag MacKenzie, and tries to protect them from the captain, who has discovered a plague of pox on the ship and begins throwing those that look affected, overboard. The passengers are for his profit, to become indentured. The children make him no money. A confrontation between him and Roger over murdering children begins and Bonnet goes back to flipping a coin game after telling him of his fate with near death some years before.download-4

I watched this episode and found that it was lacking clarity in some aspects, and not really giving as much of an in depth view on Brianna and Rogers situations and the harsh realities of adapting to the past. It felt a very hurried and rushed in the two journeys, we know that a journey took so much longer back then. While the television audience may not have the patience for journeys drawn out lengths, it should feel that there is a passage of time,  it was a long and arduous journey for many crossing the seas in the 18th century, if you survived the voyage at all.

Things Considered

Lallybroch: This sequence all happens rather quickly and we do no get to see Brianna stay with the Murray’s and get the real sense of extended family she has not had before. Her own mother being far away and the father that raised her is dead. Neither Jenny nor any of the other family members are around during the sequence and is sadly a missing piece.

In the book Drums of Autumn, Laoghaire, who shows up at Lallybroch after Brianna has travelled there and met the Murray cousins, creates a big scene over the money owed her. The clash with her and Brianna was much more heavy and real I think than what was going on in the episode Down The Rabbit Hole. Then again, book Brianna is much more fiery than the series Brianna. Hopefully we will see the spitfire Brianna in episodes to come.

Previews for next weeks episode 408: Willmington show a confrontation starting with Murtagh in the middle of it and Jamie trying to keep the peace. We can’t wait! You can watch these episodes at midnight on Saturdays with the Starz ®App and at 8PM EST on Starz®. Amazon Prime in the UK on Mondays.

All images and videos ©2018 Starz® LLC

This episode’s pictures

Ed Speleers, Outlander’s New Villain

download-3

As always, SPOILERS, for non book readers. Read at your own risk.

In the opening of Season 3, we lost, thankfully, our arch villain Black Jack Randall, who plagued the Frasers and those around them. Played well by Tobias Menzies, this villain made us all cringe and seethe, and take up arms against him.  After BJR had supposedly been killed by cattle at the prison, only to reappear in France, at Versailles no less, in the presence of King Louie, it seemed there was no getting rid of him. There is no taking down a sinister evil villain, they just keep coming back. Until the Battle of Culloden we finally experience in Season 3’s  The Battle Joined, where finally see Black Jack meets his end, as Claire warned him of the date, at Jaimie’s hands. And in some amazing cinematography not to be missed, we experience every tortured moment of our hero surviving that intense fight.

At long last, we are now heading into Season 4 and the end of Droughtlander. For those lucky enough to have attended NYCCC this last month, they were treated to a premier of episode 401 of the new season. For book readers, Drums of Autumn, the third book in the series by author Diana Gabaldon, shows us the New World of the American Colonies and sets the stage for Season 4. Jamie and Claire Fraser finally get a chance to settle down and create a home at Fraser’s Ridge, North Carolina. Build a homestead and community, and have a family around them. Along the way they will meet many new characters, and unfortunately any good drama cannot go without a villain. We find him in the character of Stephen Bonnet.download-1

To take on the role of this Irish Outlaw and Pirate, we have another Downton Abbey Alumni, Ed Speleers, in the role of the sociopath extraordinaire, Stephen Bonnet. We first meet Bonnet when he reveals himself while the Frasers are burying a friend in the graveyard, one of the former prisoners at Ardsmuir Prison Gavin Hayes. Now we know that the series has taken a few different directions and we have already heard of some characters being changed, however we can expect that the writers of Outlander have included much of the terrible traits of this villain and may make him even more repulsive than BJR. He ingratiates himself into the Fraser’s family, traveling along with them and eventually betraying them in many ways that connect many of the characters. It’s not to be said that Bonnet does not have a hard life that shapes him into the dreaded new villain. Even Jaimie goes against his better judgement and helps him.

This role is a departure for Speleers who has played very likable, and flawed characters, including Downton Abbey’s James Kent, First Footman. In DA he plays a helpless flirt, and much of that character will reappear with Bonnet. However Bonnet will be a character that will leave us waiting for a just punishment, and we hope that the ending for Bonnet will very creatively be handled in the series. You’ll have a dram and rail at the screen again. It is not clear of course if we will only see him in Seas

download

on 4, as we learned with Murtagh, his fate could be dragged into another season if he is just that good at being so bad.

What are your thoughts? Book readers know Bonnet’s story in detail, however the series may change his immediate fate. Can this villain make it through to Season 5?

Tune in to Season 4 of Outlander on November 4, 2018 on Starz.