Want to relive Outlander Season 4 Episode 2? We do a minute-by-minute reaction to “Do No Harm.”
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…[8:01 p.m.] I assure you, it had been a full 47 seconds since I’d last allowed that haunting final scene from the opener to exit my brain. But here it is again, as a refresher, for anyone who isn’t still rocking in the fetal position unable to unsee Lesley’s brutal end and the Frasers’ loss of the American dream innocence at the hands of uber villain Stephen Bonnet. Oh, and for those who griped about wanting to hear the words exit their mouths during the attack instead of the Ray Charles song… here you go. [8:03 p.m.] Forgive me if I have an immediate and visceral reaction to the words “do no harm” appearing over the winding of a clock one week after enduring the loss of daylight savings with a small child in the house. Too soon, Outlander. Too soon. #CoffeeMe [8:05 p.m.] I understand Jamie’s morning-after brain littered with regret and what ifs. But part of me wants Claire, in between her supportive words and petting, to throw in a “JHRC, at least he didn’t kill us.” Because I’m still wondering how they were spared that fate as well… [8:06 p.m.] No, Jamie, she married you to save her life, but she’s stayed after all these years because you are her life. [8:07 p.m.] A big Outlander welcome to actress Maria Doyle Kennedy! We’ve all eagerly awaited her onscreen debut as Aunt Jocasta, and let me just say, she is STUNNING.
[8:08 p.m.] This whole scene is an emotional doozy – the wee bairn all grown up and meeting his aunt after decades apart, introducing his wife to, in some ways, his mother… and doing it all while wearing his father’s beloved coat. Not that we haven’t seen proof enough and then some of the man Jamie’s become, but it’s wonderful to see it in this scene from a new perspective.[8:09 p.m.] John Bell, I’d really just like to put your little honey bear self in my pocket for safe keeping. And beware, I’m mentally pinching your cheeks every time you pop up on my screen. [8:10 p.m.] If her auntie hospitality is anything like my favorite aunt’s, the Frasers Three are in for an open-ended stay (with a not-so-subtle campaign to get you to stay longer), a smorgasbord of food (whether you’re hungry or not), a recliner with a blanket (whether you’re cold or not), late nights gabbing (about nothing and everything) and plenty of warm hugs (peppered with her signature scent). Oh god I love her. I should call her……….. Be right back……… [8:11 p.m.] And there’s the other piece of the trademark aunt behavior – lavishing an endless supply of praise and attention onto your humble, blushing self. I’m loving this woman. [8:12 p.m.] Aside from the highly suspect vibe Ulysses is doling out, this is one hell of a bed and breakfast. I’m guessing, however, that Marie from Breaking Bad decorated this particular room? So_much_purple. [8:13 p.m.] Claire’s pained stare through the window reminds me that, as intriguing as traveling back in time throughout various points in history might be, some egregious injustices would be tougher than others to see with your own eyes. [8:14 p.m.] John Quincy Myers = Hugh Munro 2.0. [8:15 p.m.] “Well you take one look at my buttocks…” You know what, no need to finish. We’ll take your word for it. Also, I’d totally subscribe to a spin-off where JQ Myers and Ian pal around and discuss the heartier – and hairier – matters of life. It’s making me nostalgic for the long-ago days of Murtagh and tween Fergus. [8:16 p.m.] This bed and breakfast comes complete with a paw spa – how fabulous! Given how inseparable Ian has become with his beastie, might I suggest he hop in the tub for a de-skunk treatment too? [8:17 p.m.] Claire’s all, “step aside, Jamie. Tagging IN.” Auntie J may not be able to see Claire’s look, but she can hear it. It’s that loud. [8:18 p.m.] Her justification that her slaves are happy because “only a few have ever tried to run away” is about as asinine as anyone who swears they’re not homophobic because, “I have a gay friend.” [8:19 p.m.] I legitimately love when Jamie’s left to contend with the aftermath of Hurricane Claire. There’s a noticeable calm, then her verbal winds start swirling slowly. They encounter a jet stream midway and quickly escalate to a category 3, maybe even a 4. Landfall, take cover and God help anything in her wake. Then she blows away leaving Jamie to uncomfortably smile and assess the damage. #DoNoHarm, my arse. The woman has a gift. [8:20 p.m.] The Southern transplant in me does so enjoy quantifying life’s regrets by the same measure used for ripe tomatoes and peaches.
[8:21 p.m.] This bed and breakfast also has an in-house Rent the Runway! Seriously, can I make reservations online?[8:22 p.m.] “Ummm, hello. Y’all know I’m right here, right?
…Wait, what was that about my bosom? Go on…” [8:23 p.m.] “I’ve never stayed anywhere quite like it” is as well-calculated a punt as answering your friend’s question about the attractiveness of a blind date you’ve set her up on with, “he’s got a great personality.” Nice try, Claire. Auntie J ain’t buying it. [8:24 p.m.] Claire harbors more disapproval about Jocasta owning slaves than the Wilmington one does boats. Also, Phaedra, right about now. [8:25 p.m.] This scene is here to prep you for your upcoming Thanksgiving with family and friends where you, too, will get the joy of passive aggressively chit chatting about opposing political views while nibbling on light bites. As you were… [8:26 p.m.] Ahhh, a gift on a string. Gotta love those. How very Mackenzie of her. Side note, is Lieutenant Wolff eating gummy slices? Fruit gushers? [8:27 p.m.] I admire Jamie’s drive to be the change they want to see in the world. It’s not the first we’ve seen of this from him, but, sadly, it usually ends in anguished defeat and disappointment. And yet, it never stops him from trying it on again. [8:28 p.m.] The moment when Auntie J needles her way into the collective Outlander knitting fandom’s hearts – my esteemed editor pal, Janet, and her love of all things yarn porn, included. [8:29 p.m.] Mr. Campbell has no idea that Jamie is our resident cat, having risked and suffered near-death at least nine times and lived to tell about it. Harm is his middle name. Well actually, it’s Alexander. And Malcolm. Eh, what’s one more to throw in there? [8:30 p.m.] Imagine that front porch decorated for Christmas. Find me a blanket, a book and some tea to accompany that rocker and best of luck moving me before next year. [8:31 p.m.] Unrelated to the scene, but I’ve been thinking it all night – I’m having so much autumnal lust over Ulysses’ attire. Gorgeous coppery color scheme! [8:32 p.m.] Let’s add “if we hurry, I can reattach it” to the Outlander drinking game. STAT. [8:34 p.m.] If history serves as example, thou should not mess with a pissed-off, double-pistol pointing Jamie Fraser coming to the aid of someone unfairly headed to their execution. I’m just sayin’.
[8:35 p.m.] And now the Frasers have arrived… officially. I LIVE for these Claire’s Anatomy scenes. However, my stain-fighting anxiety kicked into overdrive, screaming for them to remove that stark white tablecloth before doing major surgery. Please. Five extra seconds is all it would take.[8:36 p.m.] For what’s worth, I feel just as boss when I pull out my stash of essential oils to treat everyday ailments. It’s just like this, y’all. [8:37 p.m.] Phaedra and Mary’s disbelief at what’s transpiring here is not just that the dining room normally full of haughty dignitaries has been transformed into a makeshift hospital; it’s that Claire has put forward her skills to exhaust all measures to save a black man. I can only imagine the emotions racing through their confused-yet-hopeful brains. [8:38 p.m.] Rufus’ life has never been deemed worthy enough by society to be welcomed at the dining room table. And yet, without hesitation, Claire’s declared his life worthy enough to save on the dining room table. [8:39 p.m.] “Your error in judgment is grave, Sir.” Hello Kettle, I’m Pot. Lieutenant Pot to you. [8:40 p.m.] And the Oscar goes to… oh, sorry. I was convinced Aunt Jocasta was hosting a premier awards show given the many delicious wardrobe changes she’s gone through in this single day. All’s that missing for me is Mrs. Fitz getting her all laced up, trading barbs and whatnot in the process. [8:41 p.m.] Our seasonal quota has been met – the one in which someone expresses shock and awe over Claire’s unfiltered vocabulary. Dougal, Murtagh and Angus in the first episode still hold the crown for me of these moments. [8:42 p.m.] Ian makes one mighty fine surgical intern. And who better to learn clinical skills and tender bedside care from than Dr. Claire Fraser. If I were to come through emergency surgery confused as all get-out about my whereabouts and prognosis, I’d want to see these kind, caring faces staring back. [8:44 p.m.] Good on Ulysses for his courage to speak up to clue Claire in to the chaos she may have inadvertently put into motion by trying to do the right thing and stay true to her Hippocratic oath. [8:45 p.m.] The more she says the names Farquard and Wolff together, the more I keep picturing Ace Ventura realizing that Finkle is Einhorn, Einhorn is Finkle.
[8:46 p.m.] “You have until midnight…” – every Starz subscriber patiently-not-so-patiently waiting for a new episode of Outlander to drop. But seriously, you can just sense the angst Jamie felt in having to enter the room and mutter those loaded words to Claire.[8:48 p.m.] Aunt Jocasta’s measured delivery to this angry mob and unflappable nature in facing them are actually frightening me more than the mob itself.
[8:51 p.m.] I’m relieved that Rufus will exit this world on more peaceful, humane terms than the noose intended for him. But with the death toll now at three easy-to-love people less than two episodes into Season 4, brace for impact, Outlander friends – this season is poised to be a rough one.[8:53 p.m.] The sounds of the clock striking midnight are, much like “God Bless America” closing last week’s episode, tonight’s reminder to Jamie and Claire that the fairytale of starting anew in America might not shape up to be one after all. [8:55 p.m.] JHRC, I hate people. Not all people, mind you, but most all people in this scene… save for the ones we keep coming back for week after week. These others are a fictional reminder of a very real and truly barbaric and shameful period in history that we cannot forget lest we run the risk of enabling it to repeat itself – for any individual or group of people. [8:56 p.m.] Another week, another jarring ending that leaves you mouth agape, tears stinging the back of your eyes with no words to offer.
I’ve changed my mind about booking a reservation at the River Run BnB. In fact, the Frasers can’t river run themselves out there quick enough for my liking. It’s time for them to strike out on their own and make a home for themselves and those they love in the way that speaks to who they are and what they believe, at their core.
Overall, this episode was a difficult pill to swallow. Because as much as I poked ornery holes here and there to provide a little levity, this was a moment to pay reverence to the atrocities of the past and there’s no spoonful of honey that can make slavery and lynching more easier on the way down. We don’t deserve that either, really. So kudos to the Outlander team who has never kid-gloved us on difficult matters before, and certainly didn’t here either.
I’ll end by saying that, overall, Season 4, you do not disappoint! I’m so very ready for next week, and to seeing furry, adorable Roger woo his way further into Bree’s heart, and ours. Until then, friends…
If you’ve missed any of our episode recaps, you can catch up with them here:
Episode 4.01: “God Bless America”
Complete library of recaps from Seasons 2-3 are also available here.
Wow,what an episode. I believe we will see more atrocity in future episodes. The Fraser’s will be dealing with the American Indians and slavery. It’s history,although not pretty. Yet,not unlike what the British did to the Highlanders’. Enjoyed your recaps. Yes,Ian needed to be de skunked!
Thank you, Tina. You are so very right about what’s to come for the Frasers, and us as viewers. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Too many lol moments in your recap to count! Thank you, thank you. They say humor is tough to write. Bravo!
Joanne, you do NOT fall into my previous comment about hating people. You are people I like. Thank you for your kind words – much appreciated!
Good take on this episode! You helped me realize I enjoyed it more than I thought. I had always worried about how the slavery part would go over on TV today versus when it was written. I think they did well to not soft pedal it but to plunge right in to the ugliness. I am totally with Claire about leaving the plantation behind as soon as possible.
Thank you, Jackie! I can’t ever stray from a wee bit of nonsense here and there, but this one was tougher to do in many parts. For obvious reasons.
This was a difficult episode to watch, but in the books it was hard to read, too. I appreciate the little touches of humor you used to get us to the final, terrible conclusion of the episode and, especially, your Closing Thoughts. Thanks, Ashley.
I appreciate that, Janet. I’ve always believed that humor can cut the string of trauma… but there just wasn’t room for that here. For obvious reasons. Thank you for your feedback on the closing thoughts, and for reading!
Thanks for the recap and sharing.
I just love your humor, trying to inject it in such a dark and brutal episode.
Let me back up a bit, I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I liked the “America The Beautiful” finale last week.
Way too heavy on the foreshadowing. Let me just say, I think that it would have worked much better for me if the rest of that episode wasn’t so heavy handed with the “We’re so deliriously happy” talk every five minutes.
So it wasn’t a shock or surprise that Bonnet’s attack would have taken place.
Sometimes a whisper is more effective than a shout.
But this episode “First Do No Harm” (boy, there’s that heavy handedness again)
I didn’t care for this at all.
Everyone is right, there are way too many moments to count.
But I have to say, anyone unfortunately named Jocasta is deemed to be deplorable (a la Greek myths), Jamie’s aunt or not.
The idea that she is a slave owner, and content to be so, made me downright
Isn’t there a Scottish saying that no man is another man’s servant? If so Aunt Jocasta forgot that in a hurry.
I totally agree, the Frazier should run like hell and get out of that plantation. I’d like to see Jenny and Claire team up against her: The old woman wouldn’t have a chance!
Right now I am missing the delights of Outlander seasons 1,2 and 3
Seeing that ignorant angry mob ready to murder that poor guy made me want to see Black Jack Randall slaughter them all.
I don’t know, perhaps I am missing Ron’s writing, or the world of Outlander, or something else: The show feels off to me, I feel like something is missing. Past Outlander episodes had dark subject matters and yet…)
Perhaps it was just this one episode.
I did love seeing John Bell as Ian, and I am looking forward to seeing other characters (in the name of God, where is Mertaugh? John Grey? Roger? Let’s have a Tobias flashback)
Sorry, usually I’d give an episode I didn’t like several viewings, but this one I’ll just skip.
Dawn, I always enjoy your weekly comments! This one was tougher for me to do, as you can imagine. I hope the humor wasn’t completely inappropriate. I tried to strike a delicate balance. They’ve packed quite a bit to swallow into these first two episodes. I’m anxious to see where we head next. As always, thanks for reading and commenting!
The point by point commentary was nice to read through. I enjoyed your humor!
I’ve never commented on anything Outlander before, but wanted to write something somewhere about this episode. I’ve read the books, but seem to be the only person who did so and didn’t particularly like them. I liked the central storyline of the main characters, but what I didn’t really like was the treatment/side storylines of many of the people of different cultural backgrounds in the books. Sometimes, I would be so disheartened by the lack of depth and stereotypes of the secondary characters that I would stop reading the books for months. I like the show much more. It is more focused than the books and has certainly tried to be more sensitive in how secondary characters are featured. This was a heart breaking episode because what we did as white colonists/Americans is abhorrent. I thought the changes from the book were thoughtful and realistic in a way that was more compelling and propelled the characters forward more quickly than the book. But something still felt a little off, perhaps due to the limitations of the source material? I wish the show would have had black writers or a black director or someone to balance the odd feeling I’ve felt in the books and this episode (as well as some of the season three episodes) that the story was off-kilt (so to speak). It doesn’t quite sit well with me to have an episode show such an ugly part of American history without making sure to include the very voices that history silenced. Maybe that makes no sense, I just wanted to get my thoughts down. I fully intend to start reading your play by play after every episode! Very fantastic!
Jenna – I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comment, and appreciate you taking the time to write it. I love that you kept reading the books even though you didn’t like them – that’s commitment! Your points about this week’s story line are so well put. I’d encourage you to stay tuned to our blog as my fellow blogger and friend, Nikki, has worked her wonder-blogging magic again on a post that poignantly tackles this issue. It will go live on Saturday. I do hope you’ll be back each week – would love to see your name pop up!
Hi Jenna, I appreciate your perspective and fully understand people have different perspectives than I do, so this is in no way to juxtapose your perspective with mine – both are honest opinions about what each of us look for from Outlander. My perspective is purely entertainment and as such the good and the bad historical narrative is used only in the telling of the story – not as a message of the goodness or badness of the historical period over and above how it fits into the story. Jaime and Claire are affected by slavery and as such it belongs in the story – but the voices that were silenced to not have a place in the story and therefore, from my perspective, would detract from the entertainment value I get from Outlander. I don’t want Outlander to become a platform for social commentary.
Season 4 Episode 2 was compelling and so well done. It must have been tough to write that script and still represent the story in the book. Bravo. So well done. And a good precursor for more Fraser challenges to come. Thank you. Looking forward to Episode 3.
Hello Ladies. It’s very nice to read you again. Truly. It’s also very nice the droughtlander is in the past and we can once again experience our favorite characters in our favorite show.
I thought all the actors were well cast for the characters (unlike in the 401 where we met Bonnet who I thought should have been a more imposing character). Scenes and everything is top notch as we’ve come to expect … but, I do have one complaint – I thought it went beyond showing the cruelty and injustice of slavery as a natural back drop of the story and crossed into being a bit preachy. I expect the screen writing to stay true to Claire’s nature but and by no means should they ignore the 800lb gorilla in the room, but slavery was part of that world during that time so we don;t need Outlander to tell us slavery is bad – I think everyone watching Outlander in the 21st Century already knows and believes that. Maybe it could have been more subtle or nuanced. My concern is the same ham handed preaching will be used to show how Native Americans were treated, which they already touched upon. Again – we know it and don’t need our favorite show to beat us over the head with it. I’m dedicated to Outlander because of the Jamie/Claire love story with a background of adventure – that’s it – no need for overdone social commentary.
I love you so much. Your perspective, the humor, your keeping it as watching a beloved television show that takes place in 1767, NOT today makes me almost cry with relief and joy. So many folk had a visceral modern time reaction to Rufus’s horrifying predicament. Highly criticizing how it was handled. That (this appalled me) he should have been given a choice as to how to end his life. Let’s see, being horribly injured and dragged to be hanged, at the least, or peacefully dying. I may be wrong, going to watch again, but I thought that Rufus knew what Claire was about and welcomed her aid in dying instead of the horrible other choice. I thought it was handled fine. These things happened then. I see no other way to portray slavery. It was bad. Period. The show did add a whole lot to the incident than the book. Claire came across as being willfully ignorant. She is not that person in the books. “Bring him to my bedroom” was REALLY ridiculous in my mind. Like she was going as far as she could to get them all destroyed. Of course I do remember what I still feel was the worst written episode “Creme de Menthe”. Same writer. So, thank you for this. Makes me feel better about this episode and loving the good parts even more.