Want to relive Outlander Season 4 Episode 1? We do a minute-by-minute reaction to “America the Beautiful.”
Do you find yourself gabbing obsessively about Outlander to your friends and family? Wishing your Sunday nights included a living room full of people with whom to watch, discuss, comment, cheers and ogle over your favorite show with you? Dinna fash, Obsessenach—you are not alone.
Good news—we can
get new family and friends pour ourselves a dram and, through the magic of technology, enjoy it together! As we brought to you during Seasons 2 and 3, we’ll be LIVE blogging all the episodes in Season 4. Like the Outlander Cast podcast, it will be SPOILER FREE for non-book readers.
Not into distractions during your weekly visit to the World of Outlander? That’s okay! Our live posts double as episodic minute-by-minute recaps to serve as a trusty viewing companion on your second, third and umpteenth re-watches (hey, we get it).
So get all your post-18th Century gadgets ready and settle in, because the best things in life should be shared with a buddy. Hi, buddy. Now let the show begin…
[8:00 p.m.] So many ratings disclaimers. Listen, I’ve been waiting 11 long months for all the dramatic adult content you can throw my way. Ergo, do it now, Outlander, and don’t be gentle.
[8:01 p.m.] If it weren’t for Bear McCreary serving as our Outlander constant, I was about to hit “guide” on the remote to make sure I hadn’t erroneously fallen into a History channel airing of The Clan of the Cave Bear. Ayyyyyla.
[8:02 p.m.] In my mind, we’re going to Carolina (the original JT, for you younger ones), but we’re pit-stopping to dance with the [prehistoric] druids first? I know it’s been awhile, Outlander powers that be, but give us more credit that we can understand without spoon-fed plot devices.
[8:03 p.m.] James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser, the American edition. Still in all your tricorn glory. It’s good to see you… and it’s even better to see you moving away from the gallows – a setting we’ve had to suffer with you one too many times for our liking.
[8:04 p.m.] “Men do things drunk they wouldna do clear-headed.” All the evidence I need that this episode was co-written by a woman (Toni Graphia).
[8:05 p.m.] Here’s Ed Speleers in his much-hyped-about debut, and all I can think is that Mr. Carson’s going to be ticked when he sees an unkempt Jimmy sipping off the commoner’s sauce. I promise not to do this all season, but filming began on the Downton Abbey movie, so no guarantees.
[8:07 p.m.] My eyes (and brain) are still working to adjust to the lack of redcoats, replaced in our new home by militiamen.
[8:08 p.m.] While it’s tough to start yet another season with the execution of another of our Highlander pals, nothing will ever hold an emotional candle to saying goodbye to Rupert last season. Nonetheless, RIP, Hayes.
[8:09 p.m.] Well, I guess Fergus wasn’t needed to create that plotted stramash after all.
[8:11 p.m.] The new opening – be still my Americana, bluegrass-loving heart! Granted, part of me was waiting for the Country Bear Jamboree to invite me to sit on down for a knee-slappin’ good time, but I don’t care. I love it! Is it too early to pre-order the Season 4 soundtrack?
[8:12 p.m.] “I’m tired.” And with that, an entire table reacts and encourages you to go rest. New life goal: be more like Marsali. However, me suspects there’s more at play here than pub fatigue…
[8:14 p.m.] I have no idea what they’re singing about, but do the words really matter? The intent is clear, the life-celebratory ale flows freely, and the company feeds your soul. May we all go into the next life this way.
[8:16 p.m.] Same, Ian. Same. I haven’t quite recovered from that Carrie-like scene either. Your PTSD is beyond founded.
[8:17 p.m.] “What it comes down to is that your cock doesn’t have a conscience, but you have.” I won’t trivialize this entire beautiful and much-needed exchange between Jamie and Ian (smart choice, Toni and Matt) with my nonsense, but do love the reminder that, even in trauma, humor always has a welcome and needed place.
[8:19 p.m.] Oh JHRC, Jamie, you’re not that trusting. And neither is Claire. Don’t change your stripes now. *face palm*
[8:21 p.m.] Cut of venison, sack of oats…and a body. What a coincidence, throw in a 12-pack of sparking water, and Jamie just recited my grocery list from earlier today.
[8:24 p.m.] He’s a charmer that Stephen Bonnet, I’ll give him that………for now. But also chalk it up to my enjoyment of Speleers’ characterization of him thus far.
[8:26 p.m.] “I almost drowned once, in a storm at sea.” Claire says this all casually as if it was a decade ago and not a mere four months. Then again, 11 months of Droughtlander felt like an actual eternity so maybe Outlander time truly is measured in dog years.
[8:29 p.m.] There are words here; I’m certain they’re meaningful. And I fully intend to go back and listen to them later when I’m done ogling at the beautiful people and their perfectly glowing, toned skin.
[8:30 p.m.] Ah hell, I lied. The trance was broken with Claire attempting and, thankfully failing, to science the sexy right out of Jamie’s heartfelt declaration.
[8:32 p.m.] SMOLDERING – at any age. Imma need a minute. The vapors and whatnot. Hey, we’re officially in the South now, y’all. It’s a thing. #OutlanderVapors
[8:33 p.m.] Also, kudos to you, Claire, for re-pinning those luscious locks in the midst of post-coital bliss.
[8:34 p.m.] There was a nauseating volume of banter questioning how Scotland could possibly double as the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountains (plug for Nikki’s fabulous post) but as a West Virginia native, and now North Georgia resident, who just returned from seeing Scotland in its autumnal glory, trust me. It can. Without question.
[8:36 p.m.] If you’re able to hear the word “mutton” and not have your brain go straight to The Princess Bride, congrats. You’re far better than me.
[8:37 p.m.] The detailing on Claire’s dress and Jamie’s vest – Terry Dresbach and team, you never cease to amaze.
[8:39 p.m.] Claire didn’t mutter words to this wench, but I went ahead and transcribed the look and smirk for you. “I could cut a b*itch right now, but you’re not worth putting down my wine and stewed carrots. So I’m going to leave it.” It’s one to be mastered.
[8:40 p.m.] Can someone please explain to me why couples are always seated separately at these fancy dinner shindigs? Legitimately asking.
[8:42 p.m.] “I must beg to take my leave of you.” Committing to memory for liberal use during forthcoming holiday stays with the in-laws, and also adding to this running list of professional excuses Outlander continues to gift me.
[8:44 p.m.] Unrelated to moving the plot forward (though I vote for a return to Scotland), but I just wanted to note how hard I’m lusting over the shade of blue on those walls, the curtain pattern and the warm lighting illuminating them both. Dear Starz, run a contest in which Jon Gary Steele makes over my home. (Yes, I’m the winner in my hypothetical fantasy. Hrrmph.)
[8:45 p.m.] Jamie’s seen enough war in one human lifetime to last several, and yet, he’s willing to endure another to pave a more certain and patriotic future for his daughter 200 years from now. #KingofMen
[8:47 p.m.] Rollo makes his big debut! And what a gorgeous beast/mongrel he is – a Northern Innuit. If you’re curious about this breed, check out this post and breeder interview we published last year.
[8:48 p.m.] Ah, the Frasers are right at home. Scotland loves a good pub dog. Reason #727 to emigrate to Scotland.
[8:49 p.m.] “This is a wild country, and my place is at your side.” – Anybody who has ever spent time in the presence of Jamie and Claire and declined their offer to part them for a more stable existence.[8:50 p.m.] Jamie just said something about “fortnight” and I excitedly hoped Fergus and Ian were about to break into some coordinated flossing.
[8:51 p.m.] This is a far more pleasant boat voyage than you all enjoyed last time, so pipe down, Ian. Feet up, Claire. Mint Juleps. Don’t let us down; do this right.
[8:53 p.m.] There’s no piece of jewelry that could ever match the gifts – tangible or intangible – Jamie’s given to Claire over the years. He must know that, but I’m drinking in this sweet moment regardless. Also, I like how much play the rings are getting this episode.
[8:55 p.m.] I SPOKE TOO SOON ABOUT THE RINGS. Gulp. No pun intended. The Cro-Magnon metaphor shoved down our throats earlier – ah dammit. I swear I’m not even trying – makes perfect sense now.
[8:57 p.m.] #$@&%*! Stephen Bonnet, WE MUST TAKE OUR LEAVE OF YOU. I take back everything I said earlier about Bonnet’s charm, but double down on my belief in Ed Speleers’ ability to bring this dominant Drums of Autumn character to villainous life. That entire scene just gave Black Jack Randall an early run for his money.
[8:58 p.m.] I can’t have my last thought hinge on maniacal predatory behavior. Instead, I’ll just express my intense approval of the decision to tie the episode title in here with the sounds of Ray Charles’ sweet melodic cover. If that’s not a loaded send-off with accompanying message about the hope of life in a new land that rings as true now as it did in 1767, then I don’t know what it is. And I’ll leave it at that.
Whoa baby, Outlander is back! In a big way. Was it a perfect episode? I have no idea. I’m not a professional TV critic. But did I love it? I did indeed. One hundred percent. I’ve missed our old pals dearly, and it’s nice to be on a new adventure with them. That being said, as much I’m eager to meet Auntie Jocasta, I don’t think I’ve got enough wine and stress free blended essential oil to get me through a season of Bonnet. Nope. But I survived Droughtlander, so I’m heartier than I give myself credit for and am eager to see what’s in store for the Frasers and co. as they settle in on this side of the Atlantic. I hope you’ll stick with me this season for Outlander Cast’s minute-by-minute recaps of all the Outlander magic. Until next week, slainte!
I look forward to these recaps just as much as I look forward to watching the show! You’re awesome!
Ah, it’s good to be back! And fun to see your name pop up here. Thanks for your continued patronage of my nonsense.
I love this recap! And I have to say I agree with you 100%.
thank you, truby! glad to know someone has a brain as warped as mine. 🙂 appreciate you reading it!
So the practice of splitting up couples around the dinner table is to spread conversation among strangers and as Claire was , seated next to their ‘mark’..also to encourage under the table cloth shenaningans when the wine is flowing freely…. totally agree Ed Speeler’s Bonnet is perfect….he’s got the evil/charm down pat. Great play by play Ashley.Thanks!
Well there you go! Thank you for that. I had that thought recently as I watched an exchange on Poldark at the dinner table that had some severe repercussions and thought, why don’t the just sit together so he knows what she’s dealing with here?! I mean, I enjoy mixing and matching at our own dinner table so I can actually talk to friends… but just curious if my low-rent gatherings match the proper style of high-brow events. 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting!
Love the recap! Cracked me up, especially the MLT reference. So glad I found this site, and I look forward to next week. #Droughtlander is over!
When the tomato is niceeee and ripeeee. Glad you found us and that you’ll be back!
Ashley…I’ve SO missed your recaps!! 🙂
You always bring a smile to my face but I truly LOL at this: Claire didn’t mutter words to this wench, but I went ahead and transcribed the look and smirk for you. “I could cut a b*itch right now, but you’re not worth putting down my wine and stewed carrots. So I’m going to leave it.” It’s one to be mastered.
And I too was like…what is with this strange opening (2000 BC North America—HUH??)
Joanne, I’ve SO missed a reason to recap! And appreciate your reading and commenting. I hope you’ll be back next week… and that the prehistoric openings will not.
I missed Outlander but I’ glad DroughtCrawley is overwith too!
Love your recaps Ashley! Spot on!
DroughtCrawley!!! That’s hysterical! I just snorted fizzy water, so you win. Thank you for the laugh, for reading and for caring enough to take time out of your busy day to comment.
Thank you so much for your insights and humor! Was anyone else struck by the editing in this first episode of season four? Too often a couple or at times quite a few beats too long.
Oh that’s a solid observation. One that I’ll have go to back and watch the episode – again – to see for myself. You know, research and all. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Ah the smell of a new Outlander recap. *takes a deep breth* Refreshing.
Breath not breth.
Ah the sweet smell of people reading said recap. It’s filling my lungs. Thank you.
Enjoyed your recap and agreed completely! Surprised to see lots and lots of complaining online? People are complaining about the music, I thought it was brilliant and pivotal! Freaking Stephen Bonnet I hate him already so kudos to his acting!
You know what they say about opinions……
I won’t finish to keep this little blog post family-friendly. Though I’m pretty sure that ship sailed within my first comment of last night’s episode. Oh well. Thank you for reading and commenting!
I loved reading this and am subscribed to your newsletter. I feel the same way. I’ve missed the Frasers and their world SO darned much I’m happy to just sit down and absorb it moment by moment. The final scene was hard to watch. Doubly so due to Claire’s devestation at Bonnet’s treachery. Poor Jamie couldn’t protect her as he was sorely outnumbered. We started with the death of one friend and ended with another. They must be shaken to the core. I feel for them. Is it Sunday already? I can’t believe I have to wait a week to see the next episode. I became so used to bingeing the first three seasons during droughtlander that I’d forgotten what it’s like. Love your posts. Keep them coming. And kudoz for the positivity and humour. As for the #Outlandervapours…I get them, too. LOL
Oh good! We can fan each other all season together. I suspect we’ll have plenty of #OutlanderVapors to contend with. *Crosses fingers*
I’m still reeling from the end scene – no words needed. Cait’s acting (and Speelers’ too) was enough.
Thank you for subscribing, too. People get so many emails on a daily basis that it says volumes to me that you’ve opted in to receive more, and that more is our blog.
Ashley,enjoyed your recaps. Looking forward to them next week. Scary,you think like me. Your recaps had me laughing. Thanks
Tina! Thank you for sharing a brain with me. Also, Tina, I’m sorry you have to share a brain with me.
Thanks so much for the recap. I love it! Oh, that Princess Bride reference, how did you know that’s what I was thinking (wink)
You are downright hilarious with that history channel reference, I agree.
Wasn’t the music great?
Claire and Jamie how I missed you–smoldering– (okay, now I have Dwayne Johnson in my head)
Loved, loved loved, seeing Ian and Jamie’s talk about his PTSD. The fact that I had just recently watched Wentworth Prison and To Randsom A Man’s Soul brought it back home.
Poor Jamie. Poor Ian.
Loved seeing Ian, Fergus, Marsali, but I am missing Tobias and Lord John. In the name of God, can we have flashbacks or new scenes or something.
Stephen Bonnet..Is Jamie usually that dumb to trust someone he didn’t even know? So unlike him. It seemed like a plot convenience.
But in his debut, Stephen Bonnet really cemented himself as a villain. He reminded me very much of Colin Farrell in acting choices.
God, Claire! what a little spitfire. For a moment I thought she was going to swallow both of those rings down.
Now that the exposition is out of the way, we can start on the journey of S4 along with Claire and Jamie.
I think I need another viewing.
By the way, I had an idea for a blog post (in general), should I talk to you about that?
Dawn, thanks for always reading and commenting – much appreciated! I think we all need another viewing. Doctor’s orders. For blog matters, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Ahh Lass I knew you would make me chuckle .. “[8:21 p.m.] Cut of venison, sack of oats…and a body. What a coincidence, throw in a 12-pack of sparking water, and Jamie just recited my grocery list from earlier today.” Love the recap and I always love learning something new .. now you might already know this (so sorry) BUT when Claire asked if she looked like a “mutton dressed as lamb” .. first I had to put the captions cause I had no idea what she was saying and then I was like Whaaaat? Thank goodness for google .. it is a saying primarily used in the UK to indicate the woman is dressed in a style which is suitable only for a younger woman.
Donna, I’m so glad you explained that. I had NO idea what “mutton dressed as lamb” was – watched it a couple times with captions baffled. I didn’t even think of Goggling it. Now it makes perfect sense!
Donna is our second Outlander constant. Now try hard not to use the expression today. It’s 9:00 a.m. and I’ve already tried it on for size once. In fairness, only to my colleague who is as obsessed with Outlander as we are, but I think it still counts. Training wheels. We have to start somewhere.
Donna! I can always count on you. Thank you for the explanation – I’m going to start using it and add it to the list of Outlander-isms.
You know what is really sad — that line came directly from the book. How many times have I read or listen to this series?? I lost count but it took Caitriona to deliver the line for me to finally sit up and take notice.
Your recap was spot on and I pretty much agree with your observations. I think that old Stephen will be giving BlackJack more than a little run for the Big Bad. It’s amazing how they write such sociopaths, though a writer friend of mine said it’s much easier to write a bad guy than a good guy. Who’s to know? We’ve got 12 more episodes to find out.
I am falling in like with John Bell and his portrayal of Young Ian. One minute PTSD, one minute playing with that adorable dog, and one minute being so eager to continue that you think he’s going to bounce up and down in his chair.
John Bell is a standout! He did a great job in evolving Ian and making him age onscreen through the experiences and trauma he’s gone through before our eyes. I love him, and I’m IN love with that dog! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I love your minute by minute recaps. They are always spot on. Welcome back
Connie, thank you! And a welcome back to all of us. It’s finally here. Relief.
“If it weren’t for Bear McCreary serving as our Outlander constant, I was about to hit “guide” on the remote to make sure I hadn’t erroneously fallen into a History channel airing of The Clan of the Cave Bear.” First of all, let me say you are awesome. Second, I actually did check, lol. I love your review and totally think as you do. Ed was really great in the role of Stephen Bonnet. He managed a complete 360 from the introduction of Stephen to the last scene. I knew I was going to hate him but, is there such a word to explain more than hate? I ending was just great!!!
First of all, Azalee, you’re awesome. Thank you for reading and commenting. These make the magic of Outlander last all that much longer for me as we wait in between episodes. That, and I keep re-watching. You know, research and whatnot. I’m still reeling from that ending – so dynamic! And Ed Speelers – you dirty dog, you. You’re going to make me wish for Black Jack to come back all over again. Not really, but you get the point…
What, no mention of Marsali being with child?
It’s hard to capture it all in a reactionary standpoint. Maybe it’s because my brain clung to that from the books and I hinted at knowing why she was tired in the beginning. I think it’s wonderful, though.
Yaaassss Fergus and Ian flossing HAS to happen now. I laughed so hard at that comment, but then again I have to deal with kids and that dance move on the daily. You my friend, are hilarious! I will be back for more!
Picture the gif magic we would get from that! I’d save it on my phone to go to regularly when the day starts to tank. Instant pick-me-up! Please come back Tanya! Don’t make me mentally floss alone.
I was just listening to the podcast so happy we are back. In response to Claire’s reaction to F &M news. I felt she was hesitant and withholding her reaction because she was waiting to see how Marsali had felt about being pregnant. Especially after their discussion before F & M wedding about avoiding babies. Love your podcast
I agree! I could tell she was trying to connect with her as a female and mother figure subtly before reacting officially.
What part of West Virginia are you from? We currently live in Gerrardstown – just outside Martinsburg. My dad’s home was in Nicholas County.
Thanks for the review! Your minute by minute analysis is terrific!
Country roads, indeed! I was born in Charleston, but have family in Huntington and White Sulphur Springs. My parents also have a house outside of Beckley. Thanks for reading, fellow Mountaineer!
OMG, I loved the episode (all 3 viewings-so far!) But yours is the only commentary that makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD (it deserves more than the abreviation!) Thank you for exisiting!!
I’m going to pass your praise for my existence along to my mom and dad, who, thankfully, are diehard Outlander fans. It all comes full circle! Thank you for your sweet comment, for indulging my nonsense and for BEING YOU.
I enjoyed your recap! Thank you. FYI, the reason couples are traditionally separated at dinner parties which are large enough to make this a possibility is that they tend to know/tell the same stories, so if you separate them, they don’t keep stepping on each other’s lines, so to speak.
Preach! I love it. We do it as a regular practice, but I just didn’t realize that it was high society regular practice 200+ years ago too!
While looking for anything Outlander during the past months, I found your blog and read all seasons. Reading your recaps is a delight. I enjoy your writing, observations and humor…similar to my own. I am an Ohioan, one generation from my family’s WV heritage with Scot/Wales and Germanic ancestry. I am a long time book fan and enthralled by the series. Now, I am a fan of your blog!
Are you sure we’re not related?! Sounds eerily similar! Love to be in good company with my Appalachian and Scottish roots! And I LOVE that you found our blog and my humble little recaps during the dark days of Droughtlander. Thanks for your support!
Thank you, Ashley! After all the negative feedback online in various places (why do people watch if they dislike everything so much?), it was wonderful to read your recap. I agree with your observations 100%. I am a book reader, but have no issues with changes the TV show makes in their adaptation – it just makes it more interesting. I still have the books. I look forward to your recaps of the rest of the S4 episodes!
Nancy, I look forward to your reading the recaps and touching base here when you feel up to it. I read the books… but appreciate the show for what it is. There’s no way to do a COMPLETE adaptation. It just makes me excited to see where they take it and how they make it its own unique form of the story.