Outlander Season 4 Episode 1 Recap: America the Beautiful
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!