Outlander Season 4 Episode 4 Recap: Common Ground
Want to relive Outlander Season 4 Episode 4? We do a minute-by-minute reaction to “Common Ground.”
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.] Welcome back, Outlander pals! I hope those who celebrate Thanksgiving enjoyed a spirited time full of my favorite F words… stop it. Not that one…not this time, at least… I’m talking about family, friends and food. [8:01 p.m.] Last and this week’s episodes centered on building both a home and new traditions bookmarked the Thanksgiving holiday so perfectly. Outlander, you’re making me feel all warm and cozy.
[8:02 p.m.] This fancy, wigged lad (um, not Sam Heughan) has zero clue that the Frasers are no stranger to hardships; they mark time by them.
[8:04 p.m.] FYI, he said “supped” with princes and paupers. Just in case you heard “slept” with princes and paupers like I did. (Thank you rewind and closed captioning.)
[8:05 p.m.] Eek. This whole exchange wreaks of deal-making with the devil. Even Jamie feels it because dude’s not known to pass up a drink.[8:06 p.m.] If you admire my spirit, Your Excellency, you should get to know my wife better. [8:07 p.m.] Oh thank God, Fergus returned from his buddy trip with John Quincy Myers in one piece. What a relief. I mean, I wasn’t really worried until my dad called me after last week and said, “hey, what’s up with Jamie sending Ian off into the woods with a stranger? That guy could be a pedophile. Oh sure, ‘write your mum and tell her you’re safe, Ian, then hit the road with the pedophile.’” I introduced him to the show. I have only myself to blame.
[8:08 p.m.] Can’t you just smell the savory beef stew wafting through that tavern? Mmmm. I also would love a to-go basket of bread, cheese and salt pork. It is Harry & David gift basket season… I’d be happy to share my address…[8:09 p.m.] Eat small meals often, even if you’re not hungry. I subscribe to this logic too, pregnancy or not. [8:10 p.m.] I love how Claire didn’t try to fix the problem in this moment with Marsali (good to see you again, Lauren Lyle!); she merely offered comfort and encouragement where and when it was sorely needed.
[8:11 p.m.] “Find Highlanders if you’re able… and the men from Ardsmuir Prison.” Squeaaaaaaa! PLEASE FIND MURTAGH AND BRING HIM WITH YOU POST HASTE, FERGUS.
[8:12 p.m.] The King of Men is also quite the perceptive man to connect Claire’s faraway look to her longing for her daughter and all she will miss with her in leaving 20th century life behind. To anyone grieving a maternal figure or relationship in your life, my heart goes out to you. I can’t fathom not having had my mom by my side when I started my own family.
[8:13 p.m.] Here we go, on the road again. Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway. We’re the best of friends. Insisting that the world keep turnin’ our way.
It just felt like the right time for a little Willie.
[8:14 p.m.] Umm, I’m pretty sure it is a painting and we people do say it isn’t real… and also that Outlander just went all meta on the weekly fandom banter about the rampant use of CGI. Clap, clap. (Okay that last shot was real. And stunning. Good on you, Highlands.)
[8:15 p.m.] Yes we stole the song from King George and made it our own… not completely unlike how we stole land from the Native Americans and made it our own. I digress.[8:16 p.m.] I do so love how easily Jamie connects his horniness to religion. Between wanting to back her up against a tree when he hears her polite singing voice and feeling like God himself when he’s inside her – TAKE ME TO CHURCH,
[8:17 p.m.] Oh, hey neighbors. Bring them a casserole, Jamie. It’s what any good Southerner does to offset the skeptical, judgy looks of established residents.[8:20 p.m.] I love the beige, earthy tinge to the cinematography anytime we bounce ahead to the 1970s. It perfectly complements the era and Roger’s 50-shades-of-brown wardrobe.
[8:22 p.m.] I don’t speak Cherokee, but I’m pretty sure they just said that Jamie’s building plans did not pass code with city officials. Or, simply, “Pack your &*$% and GO.” A casserole might not work after all.
[8:24 p.m.] I want that dog.
[8:25 p.m.] We know Claire’s fine and yet experiencing the exhilarating relief of Bree learning it for certain just sent chill bumps through all my limbs.
[8:26 p.m.] “Well, I have essays to mark.” I’ll be tossing this into the personal excuse rotation ASAP. Also, these two. Sigh. You guys, you know they’re going to pull it together eventually. And when they do… well, I see a repeat rain shower of bubbles and puppies and Skittles and glitter.
[8:29 p.m.] The mountains speak loudly and clearly to me too, Jamie, so I get it. And like John Muir famously said, when they call, you must go.
[8:30 p.m.] I want to go camping with the Frasers because – and not to go all Bangles on you, but – is this burning an eternal flame? When we go camping, it takes at least two grown arse adults to keep a fire pit steadily going. And it dies down in a nanosecond once you’ve crawled in a tent and stopped messing with it. And yet these Frasers….
[8:32 p.m.] Just how close does JQM live to Fraser’s Ridge? I get wanting to strike out on your own and all, but this dude seems to have this life on the land thing down pat. Might want to mooch off him for a bit. Not unlike how I seem to regularly find myself popping by our neighbor’s house around dinnertime…
[8:33 p.m.] If last week’s episode recap was brought to you by the DQ Blizzard, this one is apparently brought to you by jerky. And I’m good with that. God I love jerky.
[8:35] They hunt, fish, battle… and now knit? Seriously, what can’t these Fraser-Murrays do?! Then again, here’s Dr. Claire expertly gutting a fish like it’s no big thing.
[8:37 p.m.] Me thinks this isn’t a coincidence that we’re marveling at how quickly Jamie can load a rifle in the heat of an embattled moment. I’m also marveling at how much better Jamie’s hair looks now that we’re in the wild and it’s been let down out of that society-ready ponytail. Just let it flow, Jamie. Let it flowwwwwwwww.[8:39 p.m.] Yikes. Yes the bear is back, but that’s not where my head is at currently. I’ve just had two realizations: one, to answer my earlier question, JQM must not live that far away. And two, he’s possibly not as hairy as he promised. [8:42 p.m.] Please don’t be Murtagh dressed as a bear. Please don’t be Murtagh dressed as a bear.
[8:43 p.m.] I don’t think we’re in Drums of Autumn anymore, Rollo. Interesting deviation from the book to have a man dressed as a bear instead of an actual bear factor into this part of the story.
[8:45 p.m.] Casserole, dead bear man. Same difference.
[8:46 p.m.] “Oftentimes, man is a monster.” Yes and YES. Especially when said man is labeled as such for raping his partner.
[8:47 p.m.] What a quick recovery, JQM. Also, after such a long and bloody night, Jamie and Claire sure clean up well. Loving the blue![8:48 p.m.] Is it me, or does this Cherokee man speak better English than most Highlanders? [8:49 p.m.] Red Jamie, The Dunbonnet, Mac Dubh, etc… Jamie’s rightfully earned so many nicknames for his heroic endeavors over the years. Bear Killer will fit nicely into that growing list. [8:50 p.m.] I’m ecstatic that Outlander cast the gorgeous and talented Tantoo Cardinal to play Adawehi (aka “my husband’s grandmother”). I’ve always admired her long and storied career, especially her work in Dances with Wolves and Legends of the Fall. Her eyes speak volumes without having to mutter a word.
[8:51 p.m.] “I don’t understand you… but let’s eat.” – Claire to Adawehi. And also, me, at family Thanksgiving.[8:52 p.m.] Fiona: “So you haven’t spoken to her since…”
Roger’s brain: “… she took off her shirt and jumped me and I got all noble and righteous on her and sent her packing? Dammit. No.”
Roger’s mouth: “…since my proposal? No.” [8:53 p.m.] “Back in…[shake, shake]” LOL! Richard Rankin’s Scooby Doo-like facial expression just did me in.
[8:54 p.m.] I appreciate Fiona’s interjecting and forcing the transparency now (better late than never, I guess). But if I’m Roger, I’m also like…
[8:56 p.m.] I am such a sucker for a good montage, especially one set to moving music. I’m relieved, however, that they didn’t fast track this to show a finished Fraser’s Ridge after 7.2 seconds of work. This moment of hope and anticipation at the end is a better payoff than seeing a completed house would have been. Outlander making me feel all squishy and such. Or it could be all that leftover stuffing… No, definitely Outlander.[8:57 p.m.] “The Roger?” I now want that dog, and also Gayle for a roommate. Please and thank you, Santa. [8:59 p.m.] Oh snap! Sorry, Roger – Bree’s got something up her sleeve… like perhaps a gemstone to send her through the stones to find mama and papa bear?
Like last week’s zip heard around the world, I imagine folks will have a thing or two to say about the bear deviation. I’ll leave them to that and instead focus on the many things there were for me to like about this episode. There was Roger and Bree fumbling their way into the next chapter of, well, Roger and Bree. We got a few brief moments with Fergus and Marsali, and the excitement of a new Outlander baby to swoon over soon enough. We spent ample time on the newly marked Fraser’s Ridge, acknowledging the slow, grueling sweat labor that it will take to bring a single home – let alone an entire town – to fruition. The whole process, especially the end sequence touring the early framework of Jamie and Claire’s home, filled me with warm hope. Like the beef stew and Scottish brown ale I downed before watching this episode (not necessarily related, but damn it was good).
What stood out to me the most, though, was that of all the things that could be easily recreated and filmed in Scotland versus North America, casting performers of Native American descent is not one of them. I’m glad the show made the respectful, authentic choice to not cut corners in telling this important part of the story. In doing so, you also made an honest attempt to do right by the Cherokee culture, customs and history.
Did it pass the muster? Much like the second episode that tackled slavery, I’m not in any position to answer that question (as my pal, Nikki, so aptly put in this post). There are others far more qualified with the applicable ancestry coursing through their veins to credibly answer that. But, at face value, I appreciated watching the Frasers slowly work toward finding common ground with their new neighbors, and vice versa.
Next week, we’ll get to see what’s to become of Bree going to Scotland “to visit her mother.” And while that’s exciting, one lingering question ruminates stronger for me: Where the $!&$ is Murtagh?!?
Until next week, friends…
If you’ve missed any of our Season 4 episode recaps, you can catch up with them here:
Episode 4.01: “God Bless America”
Episode 4.02: “Do No Harm”
Episode 4.03: “The False Bride”
A complete library of recaps from Seasons 2-3 is also available here.