Want to relive Outlander Season 4 Episode 7? We do a minute-by-minute reaction to “Down the Rabbit Hole.”
[8:00 p.m.] We have officially crossed the halfway mark of Season 4. Yowzers, it’s going quickly! Lucky #7 this week promises to take us “down the rabbit hole,” which is also the exact language I use to lure unsuspecting friends and family into the World of Outlander.
[8:02 p.m.] This episode brought to you by Wonder Bread – long rumored to be the 7th wonder of the world. And, thank you, Outlander, for the reminder that I need to pack my son’s lunch for school tomorrow. Crust ON. And you’re getting wheat, kid. Deal with it.
[8:03 p.m.] Bree apparently has been hiding some master orienteering skills from us, or she’s in way over her uncovered head. Speaking of, put some more layers on, girl. I see a visible bosom. No gloves. No knitted beanie hat. No hiking poles/sticks, either. Having just hiked in Scotland, you’re going to regret all of this.
[8:04 p.m.] THUD. I don’t want to say I told you so, but…
And that was a mighty dramatic fall for less than 10 feet. In addition to orienteering, she might also have played or watched too much professional soccer.
[8:05 p.m.] I’m waiting for her to fish a tube of chapstick and single tampon out of the snow. When my purse falls over, that’s generally what I’m scrambling to collect… in public.
[8:06 p.m.] I knew about gemstones, but had no idea that clean-shaven faces were also a prerequisite for time travel. Roger doesn’t look old enough to buy beer, let alone fall through time 200 years. And still with no gloves. What is it with you people? SCOTLAND IS COLD.
[8:07 p.m.] Those stones likely stayed quiet hundreds of years without people passing through them, and yet they’ve certainly seen a lot of action in the last 30 years. Hell, in the last month alone.
[8:08 p.m.] I’m a cross-body bag kind of gal myself, Bree. No batsuit needed. Clever girl brought only what she needs to survive – matches and a PB&J. I’m so glad they included this little nod from the book. While I remind you every week that my memory for every detail of the books is spotty at best, the PB&J one is nestled in there tightly. I have photographic recall for all the bits containing food. And the sexy bits. There, I said it.
[8:10 p.m.] For those of you tuning in late, Starz has broken into our regularly scheduled new episode of Outlander to re-air “Uncharted” from Season 3. Or Homeward Bound, where the wise old golden retriever drags a gimp leg across an entire range of mountaintops to reunite with his fur and human family. That movie gets me every time. This isn’t having the same effect on me yet.
[8:11 p.m.] Well look who’s back. And ohhhh, the timing of that entrance! Bear McCreary’s “Frank Theme” started in right as Tobias Menzies’ face appears. I have the most tender, vivid memories of my dad carrying a sleeping me from a couch or car to bed. No matter how old I get, when I see or smell him, the muscle memory of him curling me up in his arms and tucking me into a bed kicks in. I hope our son will carry that with him, too.
[8:12 p.m.] And I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more, just to be that lass who walks a thousand miles to fall down at… Laoghaire’s door? Say wha?
[8:13 p.m.] Will there ever be a time when Laoghaire appears that I won’t cringe and throw up a little in my mouth? No offense, Nell Hudson, but this version of Pavlov’s theory might be a foregone fate for the whole fandom.
[8:14 p.m.] The breakdown of a marriage, experienced from the perspective of a child. This scene is here to remind us that they’re always listening. They’re always vulnerable. They’re always collateral damage, no matter how hard you try to prevent it.
[8:15 p.m.] Most people know to hide at the top of the stairs and eavesdrop. Not Bree. She’s going in to… well, to what? Mediate? Defend Laoghaire from harm? Ask them to keep it down so she can digest her pigeon properly? She spent her childhood with her head under a pillow to safeguard herself from the drama, but now wants in on a stranger’s? Then again, she is Claire’s daughter.
[8:16 p.m.] “Pitiful sight she was – cold and weary, she could barely stand on her feet.” – Laoghaire describing Bree, or me after any random Saturday in December in preparation for Christmas.
[8:17 p.m.] New clothes, warm stew, apple-cheeked children for companions – dammit, I hate to say it, but Laoghaire runs one heck of a B&B.
[8:18 p.m.] The point where I have to remind myself that, somehow, this bring-me-down of a human raised two beautiful, compassionate, smart and capable young women. Proof that genetics only plays a part in the shaping of a human.
[8:19 p.m.] You know that gorgeous office smells of leather, old books, wool, brown liquor, broken dreams and a disenchantment for life.
[8:20 p.m.] Pick it up, Bree. Pick up the paper. READ THE FINE PRINT, BREE.
[8:21 p.m.] We already know that Frank says nothing of Jamie to his daughter; she learned the truth from her mother. And yet I’m watching this with bated breath to see whether he breaks or not. Because I refuse to disregard the powerful role alcohol has played for centuries in making people do and say dumb things.
[8:21 p.m.] “Maybe someday I won’t care.” Ouch.
[8:25 p.m.] If last week’s game between Claire and John was three truths and no lies, this one between Laoghaire and Bree is the exact opposite. Me, listening to Laoghaire’s recollection.
[8:26 p.m.] Hold up, the B&B also comes with pre-warmed beds and biblical bedtime stories as part of the nightly turndown service? This is taking a weird turn.
[8:27 p.m.] Ahhhhhhhhh hell naw. Find another captain, Roger. FIND ANOTHER CAPTAIN.
[8:28 p.m.] Tails. Please let it be tails. You’ll see her when you see her. Please let it be tails. That wharf looks buzzing, I’m sure they’ll be another one to come along soon. Please let it be tails.
[8:29 p.m.] If she says “my husband” one more time, I’m going to Claire slap her into next week.
[8:30 p.m.] “And who might your mother be?”
Me: Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god.
My husband: Oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t.
[8:31 p.m.] Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I allowed myself to nestle cozily in the warmed bed, hot stew comfort of Laoghaire’s B&B. Be smarter than that, Ash.
[8:32 p.m.] The E. coli/salmonella-panicked freak in me is going to need her to wash the raw meat juice off that cutting board. ASAP.
[8:33 p.m.] Frank and I don’t see eye-to-eye on much, but we do agree on the restorative benefits of a warm scone with butter or clotted cream and a fresh pot of hot tea. Hangover or not. And the ability of a child to soothe and bring normalcy to their parent, even when they’ve seen them at their worst.
[8:34 p.m.] Bree, you’re the daughter of Jamie Fraser (the King of Men) and Claire Randall Fraser (the original Wonder Woman), and were raised by Frank Randall (the be-speckled, celebrated scholar). The point? Data says you’re smarter than to buy into this B.S., I just know it.
[8:35 p.m.] I can’t tell which is the worse Would You Rather game game card of this episode – stuck in a house with a fired-up Laoghaire or stuck on a ship with a demonic Capt. Stephen Bonnet.
[8:37 p.m.] We’re locking her in the room? Apparently this portion of the episode was written by the Brothers Grimm.
[8:38 p.m.] “Don’t be silly – you’re too old to get a divorce.” – Bree, and possibly any adult child who has reacted to the news of their parents’ divorce before they’ve put enough years of life in the rearview to know that life choices such as these are not always based on a number.
[8:39 p.m.] Even if her feelings for her mom changed years ago, this right here is the moment when innocence is lost for Bree. The moment when her dad loses that superhero, confident captain sheen that has glowed from him her whole life. I’m sure we can all recall a moment when you realized that your parents were not invincible. They were mere mortals capable of faults and fallacy and disappointment, even when full of well-intentioned love.
[8:40 p.m.] …but unlike Bree, we likely all had the benefit of another day to see that the luster we thought was gone was actually still there, even if changed in some way. Anyone now questioning Bree’s brattiness – I’d implore you to put yourself in her shoes for a minute, a day, a year to try and process and make right for herself all that transpired, all that’s lost and all that will never come.
[8:41 p.m.] Sophie Skelton’s performance has been met thus far by mixed reviews. No one’s asking me, but if you were – she’s definitely proving her acting chops ten-fold this episode.
[8:42 p.m.] It’s official: Roger Mac’s face possesses the power to make young and old, male and female smile. Also, I love that he’s letting it go on the hair, but still finding time to keep the beard to a 5 o’clock shadow aboard Captain Bonnet’s boat of horrors.
[8:44 p.m.] This face, however……….anyone else on the edge of your seat, cringing, just waiting for him to smother this baby?
[8:45 p.m.] Ed Speleers – you do bad oh so very well. The bar has been set high with villains on this show, and you might actually be taking an unpredicted lead to the top.
[8:46 p.m.] I love how Roger stood ready to make the leap, conjuring up memories of Claire. But unlike Claire necessitating a jump in the dark sea to reach Jamie on the other side, Roger must stay put to experience the same endgame with Bree.
[8:47 p.m.] The baby’s name is Jamie MacKenzie. Roger’s such a kind soul he was going to help them either way, but now he’s like “Ah hell, seriously? FINE.” (correction: I’ve now been told the baby’s name was Jemmy. PSA – please don’t drink and blog.)
[8:48 p.m.] The framing of Bree in the Lallybroch gates, set to “The Key to Lallybroch” – my tear ducts, to Outlander right now. Having just spent time at Midhope Castle two months ago might be accelerating it.
[8:49 p.m.] “She’s Jamie Fraser’s daughter.” Bree’s spent a whole introduced as Frank Randall’s daughter and all the doors that might open for her. But here and now, she gets to experience all the possibility of being Jamie’s.
[8:50 p.m.] I’m disappointed we don’t get an Aunt Jenny-Bree moment (and a sighting of Laura Donnelly), but I’m relishing all this time with Ian. We know he’s an amazing father, but I feel like he’s also that uncle everyone wants to have.
[8:52 p.m.] Anytime an amped up villain spends time telling a lengthy story with far too many details, be afraid. It never leads to anything good.
[8:53 p.m.] Roger, free advice: find a dinghy. Don’t wait for one of the four ports before Wilmington. Take your fellow Macs and get off that boat, STAT.
[8:54 p.m.] She’s wearing her mom’s coat. She’s got a trunk full of her mom’s clothes. She’s setting sail with a heart full of Uncle Ian comfort and encouragement. Look out, New World, here comes Bree!
[8:55 p.m.] Beside the point, but I’m glad that her ankle healed. I’m not sure I’ve got it in me this late in the episode to handle two Lallybrochers hobbling down the wharf.
[8:56 p.m.] “Then don’t let him have her.” – Bree the 1960s empowered woman, forgetting where and when she is now.
[8:57 p.m.] She just bought herself a friend for the cruise! Good call, Bree. Cruises are always more fun with a buddy, and double occupancies are always a better deal. Maybe they’ll do karaoke together on the Lido deck.
[8:58 p.m.] Wait wait wait – I already cried my tears for Frank’s exit set to Bear’s music and bid my goodbye to the acting unicorn that is Tobias Menzies. This ain’t Groundhog Day. DON’T MAKE ME DO IT AGAIN. *ugly girl sniffling*
Whoa, Nelly! If you’d told me months ago that I’d be heralding an episode completely devoid of Jamie and Claire, but full of Laoghaire and Frank lamenting their unrequited love, I’d have put an ill-wish doll under your bed. This is the first episode in almost 50 that has lacked the principal characters and actors, and to be honest with you, [*ducks*] I didn’t miss them at all. Instead, I pictured them warm and cozy inside that cabin on Fraser’s ridge, enjoying soaks in the linen-lined tub, farm chores, dinners with Murtagh and a week of the mundane.
If you questioned the navigation that could have led Lord John Grey through Fraser’s Ridge to get to Virginia, I hope you saved some doubt for the one that would land Bree on a stopover at Laoghaire’s B&B. A deviation if I ever saw one… from the book, that is. And while it felt a bit too Days of Our Lives for me in parts (I blame Stefano!), it worked. It didn’t diminish my enjoyment of a solid episode. So I’ll let it be. For now.
The return of Tobias Menzies, however –albeit sure to be met with groans from part of the fandom – was an especially welcome one for me and not just because I’m a card-carrying member of the Tobias Menzies fan club (though that’s part of it). It’s because it gave much-needed depth and detail to the story of Bree and Frank. Before we experience all that’s to come with her meeting the father she ever knew, it felt necessary to have closure with the only father she’s ever known. We got it in spades with Frank and Claire in Season 3, but never for the uber-important relationship between a father and his daughter, and vice versa.
While as a book reader, the layers of longing between Roger and Bree were well sealed by now, as a TV watcher, the runway’s been short. If we’re to buy into the need for either one to move heaven and earth, time and space to finally connect, we’re going to need something that’s a bit more… well, a bit more. And we’re starting to get that by just spending time getting to know them as individuals, on unique journeys to find their destiny in the Colonies. Doing so will make any potential reunion all the more sweeter – like a fresh scone with a cup of tea.
So, soldier on we will, Frank. Right into next week. Until then, 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”
Episode 4.04: “Common Ground”
Episode 4.05: “Savages”
Episode 4.06: “Blood of My Blood”
A complete library of recaps from Seasons 2-3 is also available here.