Want to relive Outlander Season 4 Episode 12? We do a minute-by-minute reaction to “Providence.”
8:00 p.m. For those of you switching channels and just tuning in, welcome! To clear up any possible confusion…. no, this is not playoff football. This is that other second-to-last showdown airing tonight featuring the Patriots vs. Chiefs before we hit the true end of the season.
8:01 p.m. While they’re recapping, I’d like to burden your brain with something else. My mind’s been stuck since last week on how much time has elapsed and, by god, I shall no longer math alone. We went from a two-months-along Bree in the Fraser’s Ridge family brawl episodes to a visibly pregnant Bree at River Run last week. Now I’m no doctor, but during a first pregnancy, most women don’t show to that degree until they’re at least 20 weeks along. Does that mean Claire and Jamie have been on the road and – gulp – fighting for 12 WEEKS now?! Tell me to let it be. Remind me not to fight the script.
8:02 p.m. Unless they’re meeting up with Outlander Cast hosts Mary & Blake alllllll the way in Providence, Rhode Island, I suspect Outlander’s hitting us with the other type of providence this episode – the divine intervention/ fate variety.
8:03 p.m. Early fraternity days? It’s been awhile since I was in college, but I’m fairly certain if they’re not careful, they’ll get their charter revoked for hazing and be evicted from campus.
8:04 p.m. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – Cesar Domboy’s ability to seamlessly age Romann Berrux’s child Fergus mannerisms into his adult characterization still astounds me. His emotional face at learning Murtagh’s plight and his commitment to freeing him underscored this again.
8:05 p.m. “No. If I sit down, I won’t be able to get back up.” – A pregnant Bree, upon learning that her rapist has been captured. Also, me – on any given Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. after the daily juggle.
8:06 p.m. My doctor just told me I’m significantly low on vitamin D and I should take a supplement. My initial reply, “It’s winter. Whose isn’t low?” On second thought, River Run’s doing wonders for Lord John’s color. I might see what off-season package rates they’re offering for a couple nights’ stay. Hell, insurance might even cover it, being doctor’s orders and all.
8:07 p.m. Annnnnd what vitamin D was left in my system, I just drained out via tears (is that possible?) thanks to Jamie’s touching letter to his daughter and the nature’s bounty images that accompanied its reading.
8:08 p.m. I enjoy these two together – so much so that I find myself feeling guilty and confused for thinking they could make a go of it. Not sure if I’m to blame or the Roger-Bree love story that feels like it hasn’t gotten out of neutral and into gear yet.
8:09 p.m. I know the man’s in agonizing pain and despair, but my god can he rock that beard and hair. Aye, more scruffy historians please.
8:10 p.m. For his sake, I hope that’s weed. For medicinal purposes, of course.
8:11 p.m. Ohh, she seems nice. But he looks on the brink of ‘roid rage. So every ’80s movie instinct in me (specifically this one, given Roger’s current shape) says – head down, Roger. Don’t look at her. Leave it be.
8:13 p.m. Can you even imagine the 50 shades of conflicting emotions coursing through Bree’s mind, body and soul upon arriving back in the town that started – and ended – it all? Also, naturally I’m loving Bree’s longing for her mother in this moment, but even more Lord John Grey’s echoing the desire for Claire to be here. He has grown to love her, for sure, but also you know that behind that confident, regal smile, Johnny keeps asking himself what the hell he’s gotten into.
8:14 p.m. “You are impossible not to like.” True story, for Lord John Grey and, especially, actor David Berry.
8:15 p.m. I mean, in fairness, generally speaking it’s not polite to interrupt others or point. But I’m with this nice lady… back off, hot Mohawk with the rage issues.
8:16 p.m. I’d say this recreation of a Mohawk village is stunningly unbelievable, but Jon Gary Steele. Yet again. Ergo, completely believable.
8:17 p.m. “I suppose you could say I walked here.” Oh, I see what you did there, Outlander. Also, Richard Rankin’s ability to make me laugh in this moment is why I appreciate his talent so much. It’s been sorely underused thus far, but I suspect this episode is poised to change all that.
8:18 p.m. I’m willing to admit it’s just me, but Fergus mapping out an escape strategy via miniatures made of random objects is giving me all kinds of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves vibes.
8:19 p.m. New life motto: be more like Marsali. Be more like Marsali. Be more like Marsali.
8:20 p.m. I want to live at Fraser’s Ridge and I haven’t actually been invited. That you two have and have declined the invite this long baffles me. Go there now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to Fraser’s Ridge.
8:21 p.m. “There was……….sin.” This priest is as sparse and discreet with details as Lizzie is, well, not.
8:22 p.m. I get that they’re in pain – Roger, physically, and his new pal, spiritually – but am I the only one who thinks this dimly lit hut seems like a dreamy place to just chill out and nap for a bit? Take a load off, Roger. Lean in, take advantage.
8:23 p.m. I take that back – Father Ferigault details the angst of a man in love turned lovesick man in beautifully vivid detail.
8:24 p.m. Um, that door was movable with one hand. What am I missing? Just, you know, push it over.
8:25 p.m. Did this poor priest refusing to baptize a baby just find himself naked on a bearskin rug as if he was one?
8:26 p.m. Alright, Roger, do your best Claire. That’s a mighty nasty wound. What is it with this show and ears?
Hold up, that’s it? That was like one-eighth a Claire, though sometimes comfort and prayer for the festering wounds we cannot see is better medicine than treating those we can.
8:27 p.m. “They’ll bind me and put my feet in flames until the pain consumes me and my body fails.” Oh. That’s all?
8:28 p.m. Father, with all due respect, BLASPHEMY IS OUR PRIMARY LANGUAGE AT THIS POINT.
8:31 p.m. I paused for a few beats to allow Roger time to finish his throat-clearing and not interrupt (we saw where that got him, so…). Now that he’s done, I’ll continue. It’s amazing that nowhere in his chronicling of what went wrong that led him to this point does he mention that he handfasted, bedded and then, moments later, LEFT HIS BRAND NEW WIFE IN AN 18th CENTURY PEP BOYS OVER (in the grand scheme of things) THE TINIEST OF SQUABBLES.
8:32 p.m. “Look out for #1.” – The moment we are hit between the eyes with the realization that even if we get Roger back, we won’t truly get Roger back.
8:33 p.m. I can’t stop picturing a less bulky, less attractive Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan when I look at this suffering priest.
8:34 p.m. Holy Shawshank, looks like Andy Dufresne and his pal, Red, are at it again. The warden’s got no idea what’s coming. Also, where’s Rollo when you need him?
8:36 p.m. Even the ragin’ hot Mohawk looks disappointed to find that Father Ferigault conviction hasn’t dwindled and now he’s going to have to to follow through on the punishment. It’s like me, parenting a 6-year old, except NOT LIKE THIS AT ALL.
8:37 p.m. Gun powder as an explosive diversionary tactic? Okay heads up, it’s not just me. This is EXACTLY what they did in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
8:38 p.m. While we’re reliving cinema classics of the early ‘90s, we’ve just taken an anxiety-filled, prison-corridor walk into Silence of the Lambs.
8:39 p.m. We always need you, Lord John Grey.
8:40 p.m. In my head, my friends and I look this badass anytime we go out in public together. In reality, it’s more like this… and sometimes, this. (Side note: Last week, Fraser’s coin flick movement, this week the well-timed leaping entrance – I heart him so.)
8:41 p.m. Be right back, I need to shower. This man makes me feel so incredibly dirty.
8:42 p.m. Eh, Fezzik, Fergus – same difference.
8:43 p.m. Bree, you’re a better woman than me. That is all. But again, because the comment threads are likely to implode after this scene, no one can prescribe the formula for how Bree should react, feel and behave unless you’re Bree. And as a reminder, we’re not.
8:44 p.m. I thought for a second he was plucking out his own tooth to fit in a speedy pre-hanging DNA test on one of those Maury Povich “who’s the father” episodes.
8:45 p.m. Quick, someone, my brain is failing me. Remind me of how, other than Jamie sharing stories throughout the years, Fergus and Lord John would have ever interacted together – enough to have instant recognition in the chaos of a crisis. I’m drawing a blank.
8:46 p.m. The keys – seriously?!? Is this amateur hour?!? *FACE PALM*
8:47 p.m. Even with a large-scale explosion, this extraction plan seems much more straightforward than using a herd of Highlander coos. Good on you, Fergus, and friends. #KeepMurtaghAlive (Ps, tell me you wouldn’t watch that show, Fergus & Friends. I’m in!)
8:48 p.m. See 8:19.
8:49 p.m. “Unfortunately, the event transpired with stunning rapidity.” If I hadn’t already started a list of this season’s top work excuses Outlander has gifted us, I have now.
8:50 p.m. Forget the walking, Richard Rankin’s depleted himself by exerting all his thespian chops and every emotion possible with his wonderful performance this episode.
8:51 p.m. This song, “Adagio for Strings,” has been played as a musical epitaph in so many fictional and real-life tragedies. I’m surprised they went with such an obvious choice, and yet it brings to me tears every time I hear it. So, why mess with what works?
8:52 p.m. To mercifully end the suffering of a friend, you throw yourself in the path of more. Roger, debunking his previous new life motto and putting others ahead of #1. I now wish to be a Marsali-Roger hybrid.
8:53 p.m. The mother leaves her baby behind to walk into the flames to be with her true love, yet Roger’s pondering crawling through the next set of stones he can find to experience infinite separation from his. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO US, OUTLANDER?!
8:54 p.m. Please don’t throw that baby in the fire. Please don’t throw that baby in the fire. I don’t think he will, but I can assume nothing at this point. So for the love of all things holy, please don’t throw that baby in the fire.
8:55 p.m. “That’s it, lads – take me back to the idiot hut.” I wasn’t supposed to snort, but I did. Father, forgive me for I hath nasally sinned.
How did we get here? Not to a memorable and fiery ending, mind you, but to the end of Season 4? One. Episode. Left. And if my spotty Drums of Autumn memory serves me right, there’s a whole 10,000 acres of unfinished ground to cover before we can call this one a wrap. The Outlander powers that be must feel like Roger – walking slowly on pace, then feverishly running, ah shoot I can’t keep going unless I do this so I’ll turn back, now run, no wait stop, ah dammit I’m hurt again. I’m exhausted just thinking of how the heck they story-boarded out this dense book material into 13 hours of television.
With that in mind, I never suspected we’d spend the bulk of the penultimate episode in a hut watching Roger expend what energy he had left rationalizing with a character we’ve never met, but it wasn’t about Father so-and-so. He was a plot device to aid Roger along and, more importantly, provide us all that we love and have been missing about Roger (and Richard Rankin) in the past few episodes. This was most certainly Rankin’s Season 4 moment to shine! Do I wish it weren’t how we spent an entire episode? Perhaps. But I digress…
I didn’t mind entirely that Claire and Jamie weren’t with us because, don’t you feel like they kind of were? We watched Lord John dutifully care for Brianna as a manifestation of his unending love for Jamie (and, to an extent, Claire). We saw Fergus mobilize a group of loyal Scotsmen for the good of one of their own, just like Jamie would. We saw Marsali in the thick of it with him, just as Claire would. And we saw Roger meddling but also selflessly pouring himself into others – no matter the risk to himself – just as both Jamie and Claire would do, and have done. So in many ways, the spirit of the Frasers found its way into this episode, even if their gorgeous mugs did not.
But next week, my ability to wax poetic at their absence dies. It’s the finale, people, and we shall not go softly into the Droughtlander night without a healthy dose of Jamie and Claire. Heed that call, Outlander folks, or I’ll send one gorgeous but unpredictable Mohawk warrior into the writers’ room. Said with love.
Speaking of next week, it’ll be a “very special episode” indeed! That’s because I’ll be joined by my pal and fellow blogger, the enormously talented and always snarky Nikki Gastineau. Lucky me! We’ll be recapping the Season 4 closer as we join other members of our Outlander Cast staff and fellow Outlander lovers at a finale party in Newport, Rhode Island. A super-sized recap! Nom nom nom.
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”
Episode 4.04: “Common Ground”
Episode 4.05: “Savages”
Episode 4.06: “Blood of My Blood”
Episode 4.07: “Down the Rabbit Hole”
Episode 4.08: “Wilmington”
Episode 4.09: “The Birds & The Bees”
Episode 4.10: “The Deep Heart’s Core”
Episode 4.11: “If Not For Hope”
A complete library of recaps from Seasons 2-3 is also available here.
Fergus and Lord John know each other from Jamaica. Remember that when Jamie was arrested, Fergus sought his help to save him. And Fergus no doubt heard about Lord John in Jamie’s letters from Helwater.
Jamaica! THANK YOU! I knew he would have mentioned him in letters, but they wouldn’t know what each other looked like, so couldn’t place where they had met in person. Jamaica! THANK YOU!
“That’s it, lads – take me back to the idiot hut.” I rewound twice and couldn’t figure this one out! Thanks for the clarification. Note to self – close captions are helpful.
I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time in the idiot hut, but just had no clue that’s what it was called. Thank you, Outlander!
Again your comments are spot on…. I too was like “how does he know LJG”? Then I remembered the Governers reception in Jamaica. Although we never saw them meet, they must have since Fergus then got LJG to help Jaime. My next question was…. I wonder if Fergus knows who Bree is? Have they met yet? Or was he like… “who is this red haired lass who everyone seems to know”?
Also, I was thinking the same thing about the baby… PLEASE don’t throw it in the fire!!! Upon a second watch with my husband, he thinks the Mohawk with the baby was healer Jo’s brother, the baby’s uncle. Makes more sense to me than another suitor.
Did anyone else see that Jaime signed his letter “Da”? LOVED IT!!
And finally, I too want to thank you for clearing up that last line. I finally got the “idiot’s hut” part but couldn’t figure out what else he was saying. You are too clever by far!!
Does anyone know if the season finale will be longer?
Lord only knows they need some extra time to tie this season up!
This was an excellent episode. The LJG and Brianna relationship was well done. Fergus and Marsali are the new power couple-So cute!
I think the problem people are having with the Roger and Bree relationship has more to do with the writers trying to put a whole, very long eventful book into 13 episodes than it does with the actors charisma with each other-at least I hope so. We’ll see in season 5!
Ashley your play by play of this episode was hilarious. I enjoy reading them each week and going to miss it during the dreadful Droughtlander.
I loved this episode and agree with your statement that the show made you feel as Jamie and Claire were still present (even if they weren’t). The final scene when Roger threw the barrel of alcohol into the fire to give the Priest a quick death was powerfully done, especially with that Platoon music playing. Overall a great episode but I worry the last episode will not encompass everything it would need too.
Thanks again Askley for your talented recap!!
I did miss Jamie and Claire in this, very much. I felt the way you did in this week’s episode (imagine they were there) in last week’s episode. I couldn’t do it again. I was so angry they were missing. We saw them even less than last week. I’m with you about the tomahawk in the writer’s room if Jamie and Claire aren’t the complete focus next week. Truthfully, I’m afraid to watch. Yesterday I scrolled ahead to see if Jamie and Claire had more scenes and when I saw they didn’t, I almost didn’t watch the rest of the episode.
I like the actor Richard Rankin and his role as a nerdy history professor, but not as a supposedly tortured man over love. It feels like a plot Rankin and Sophia have to get through. It doesn’t feel genuine to me at all, and hasn’t since they were introduced.
I liked Jamie’s letter. Very much. Just hearing his voice is stirring. He would know something about how killing harms the soul.
I didn’t like using an Indian woman we don’t know at all and will never see again as an overly dramatic plot device meant to stir emotions (the missionary as well). I really disliked that scene. It was cheap manipulation.
Hi Lauren! Do you happen to be the same Lauren who comments on Outlander BTS?
I do comment on Outlander BTS so it is likely me.
Great review as always. “explosive diversionary tactic” -it’s a reworking of the book scenario for one thing. Although it was characters helping Bonnet to escape and not Murtagh who was dead at this point. Also Jamie, Murtagh and company used it when rescuing Claire from Black Jack way back in season 1. So Fergus coming up with that is in keeping with what would Jamie do?
Overall I find it fascinating how the writers are reworking book plots to fit in Murtagh and the episode limits.
BTW, the Mohawk woman walking into the pyre is straight out of the book as well. So, yeah, blame it on Herself if you didn’t like it.
Yes, but I read this part of Drums of Autumn a couple of days ago and all Jamie says to Claire I think that he saw a dark shape, a woman, go into the fire with the missionary. That’s it. So it’s not a major scene in the book and it’s not talked about after that.
Lauren, in DOA the woman handed the baby to Claire then slipped thru the crowd into the fire. All pandemonium broke out after that and a Mohawk was killed by Roger. It was the catalyst for (spoiler?!) someone needing to be adopted into the tribe as a replacement.
The fact that the TV timeline is out of order (as in Claire, Jamie and Ian not there yet) made it clunky, I agree -especially as it wasn’t a catalyst for anything that we know yet. So much ground yet to cover and one episode left.
I swear, I think I look forward to your comments on Outlander as much as the show itself. Yep, I just love them!
Wow, I had some trouble with this episode–I don’t know if it is Karen Campbell’s writing or the fact that we have just one more episode of Season 4 to go, and by enlarge, I still want to be wowed, swept away and I want that moment that people talk about the next day, next month, next season (think The Garrison Commander, Dragonfly In Amber, or To Ransom A Man’s Soul)
Okay, I’m spoiled, I admit it. But I still want it….
Here’s the stuff I really liked: Jamie’s letter to Bree signed “Da”. Oh how beautifully sweet.
and Sam plays that gentle giant so effortlessly.
I really wished that Marsali/Fergus/Murtagh was the whole episode. In the snippets of scene time that they are awarded, they pack so much history, emotion and caring in their dynamics with each other.
I wanted to see more of them last week and last night was no exception.
Do I even have to say it, Lord John. Oh, I just love him. For all of Roger’s (as much as I love him) ramblings about Bree, Lord John’s most romantic line: “I’ll be waiting for you, should you need me.”
Be still my heart. Is it just me, or do I detect some serious chemistry between David Berry and Sophie Skelton?
Maybe she should just throw Roger over and seriously give her marriage to Lord John a real honest to God try.
Loved Adagio for Strings, I feel like it is the most powerful, emotional piece of music. Guaranteed to draw tears.
But on a purely visceral reaction, I thought these good elements were few and far between. I have to wonder if the writers are even watching previous Outlander episodes: First of all, where did they get the idea that Jamie only fought Black Jack in that duel in Paris exclusively for revenge after being raped?
Jamie would have kept his promise to Claire and not tried to kill Black Jack if he hadn’t raped poor Fergus.
Fergus was a CHILD for God’s sake, and Jamie fought Black Jack mostly to protect him.
It irritates me that the writer’s are forgetting that.
And speaking of that… The whole Roger/Bree thing is really getting on my nerves. I love Roger and Bree separately. The handfasting was lovely, but the argument anger is just stupid.
And I understand that the writers wanted to forge a similarity between Roger and the other prisoner, but they forced it down our throats.
I guess the writers totally forgot about Rev. Wakefield. Instead of Roger ranting about Bree, he could have mentioned the father who raised him, getting on the Father’s level.
I feel this would have added another level to Roger’s character.
He’s a college professor after all, not a schoolboy!
And what the hell was with Bree going to see Stephen Bonnet and telling him absolutely everything about herself?
Bree’s supposed to be an intelligent woman.
They were trying way to hard with the forgiveness issue.
I felt it was just stupid. I hate it when the writers try to force their ideas at the expense of the story. It was like the mention of “hope” last week.
At its best writing should make you think without having to spell it all out for you.
And that whole dropping the keys to the prison cell thing, and Bonnet escapes? It just screams “plot device.” What is this, Days of Our Lives?
There’s only one more episode to go. Come on Outlander.
And oh yes, I was also screaming, “not the baby, not the baby.”
Bree going to see Bonnet to forgive him is in the books as is him giving her a gem for the baby’s maintenance. He does escape in the books but it is a breakout engineered by corrupt British soldiers whose characters have been left out of the TV series in an effort to streamline. Dropping the keys is pretty stupid. Would have been better to have left it that he was in the jail leaving everyone wondering. Black Jack and the cows was better and more surprising. It’s hard for the writers to take all Diana’s plot lines and condense while still making sense. As a book reader, it’s fun to see what stays, goes or is changed. It’s also interesting to see the reaction of non-book readers and their perspective on the show. One thing to agree 13 episodes just has not been enough to tell some of the stories effectively.
Just wanted to say I agree with some of what you’ve said. I had thought of Jamie not seeking vengeance against Black Jack as well but instead challenged him over Fergus. And, Jamie didn’t seek to kill him in the dual, but instead to injure him where it counted (groin). I wondered if the writers didn’t want to go into that that much detail in the scene when Jamie tells Bree about it because it would have been unwieldy. Still, it wasn’t accurate that he was seeking vengeance then. But he did want vengeance prior to that so…
Fergus met Lord John when they were in Jamaica – it was he who went to get LJG when Jamie was arrested by the captain of the Porpoise….
Love your recaps! I surely would go for the show Fergus & Friends. So great seeing him and Marsali as a dynamic duo, and freeing Murtagh. I do like the way they re-worked the jail break—you cracked me up with the Princess Bride: “oh, you mean these gate keys?”
Keep up the good work (for another week ;), and enjoy the finale party!
First let me say that I just stumbled upon this page when randomly googling after this last episode and am so glad I did!
I loved reading the minute by minute recap and the great discussion in the comments! I am excited to explore this site as I am obsessed with the books and the show!
However the reason I was googling in the first place is because the end of this episode is really bothering me….Yes it’s terrible that the Mohawk woman loves this missionary and he dies, but how could she leave her baby???? To me this scene was not romantic but horrifying. Also like some of the other commenters I was yelling “not the baby!”
I just really cannot get over this scene!
I should preface this with the fact that I am a new/first time mom with a 10 month old baby, and know that I tend to get overly emotional about anything baby related…but still I just do not see this as a realistic choice that a mother would make.
I was intrigued to see Cindy & Lauren mention this did happen in the book…I definitely do not remember reading that and will be looking it up shortly!
When they cut back to the stake, after the Indian woman climbed into the fire, I love how the shape of the burning couple looked as though they were in a lover’s embrace. It was so fitting and moving as the music soared.
Hey Ashely, excellent recap again. I really agree with you on this: ”8:33 p.m. I can’t stop picturing a less bulky, less attractive Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan when I looked at this suffering priest.”- yes, yes, yes, my thoughts exactly!!! Also this: ”8:54 p.m. Please don’t throw that baby in the fire.” – so glad they didn’t go there, it would be too game of thronesy.
The part with Roger and the priest was great, heartbreaking in the end… If only Roger came back for/to Bree as fast as for the priest…
As far as other parts of the episode, the KEYS, OMG, Bonnet is a lucky bastard, but also, karma is a b**** so I hope he gets what he deserves eventually.
I want to be Marsali ?
Great recap. I didn’t like the changes and I’m not sure how they’ll end the season. I didn’t read the book before he season started as I usually do; I knew I’d get more upset. It seems there’s so much to cover in the final episode I doubt it will be satisfying. Too much time wasted on slow marches. Oh well, dragging scenes out means the writer doesn’t have to worry her poor little head about dialogue.
Great recap. I didn’t read the book before the season started as I usually do; I knew I’d get more upset. It seems there’s so much to cover in the final episode I doubt it will be satisfying. Too much time wasted on slow marches. Oh well, dragging scenes out means the writer doesn’t have to worry her poor little head about dialogue.
Thanks so much Cindy and Lauren!
You know, I just really don’t buy Bree forgiving Bonnet as all that empowering, although it was in the books.
To me, the most empowering thing Mary Hawkins ever did in Season 2 was to kill her rapist: This mousey girl did it without a second thought, and it really showed her as someone who could be empowered.
I was hoping for a similar message for Bree, especially since she is a woman from the 1970’s…
I was also wondering about the gem: I figured that Bree would use it to go through the stones sometime.
Cassandra, I am with you. I was also horrified when the healer threw herself in the fire after her lover. How could she leave her baby to grow up without a mother? It was selfish, if you ask me.
Different ways of looking at things I guess.
Ashley, I loved your Princess Bride reference!
Colleen, you made me laugh!
Please. Bear with me here. Despite some sterling acting moments (I’m looking at you Roger and Marsali), the fact that Murtagh is still with us, and the best use of “Adagio for Strings” I’ve seen since “Platoon, I had such a visceral reaction to #412. Felt like Droughtlander had already started for me…
Name an incredibly popular tv show over the past decades, with incredibly popular main characters. I’m 65, so I can think of a number of them. Now multiply that show(s) and it’s characters by 100 and that for me is Outlander. So let’s go back to that show(s) you’re thinking of, and count how many episodes where those main characters were not in them (and let’s remember for many years a typical season easily had 20+ episodes per season), or were only shown for 15 seconds in some stock footage, with a voiceover. No, no problem, I’ll wait… On that rare, RARE occasion it might have happened, it felt odd, it felt wrong, and I certainly wasn’t paying extra $$ to watch it! I am exasperated when reading other places that seeing J&C’s loved ones and close friends exclusively in an episode, instead of them, is a “testament to their love”, or “watching people like Roger and Brianna is a credit to Jamie and Claire’s own positive qualities”. That feels insulting. And, I want to puke.
That is not Outlander. Not for me. Call it The Fraser Family, but then I won’t care to watch with such fervor, and can stop subscribing to Starz. And to those I’ve read on other sites who’ve said, “Now, these other characters deserve equal time”, I say they do not. Maybe I’d feel better about more Roger and Brianna if Ms. Skelton was a better actor, but she isn’t, so enough of that and sorry to Mr. Rankin (who I enjoy). Outlander is the story of Jamie and Claire Fraser (and Ron Moore’s promise); it’s THAT chemistry that is Outlander, as in Sassenach, as in Claire, as in Jamie and Claire. You know, like it was in S’s 1, 2, and 3. You just can’t take them out of their own story, repeatedly, in a 13 episode season. I think the inconsistent writing is such a huge part of the problem (which for me started in S3). Do the new writers not have to watch previous seasons for character references? And the “well that’s how it was or wasn’t in the books” are tired excuses for bad writing any more. I don’t care that in the “Drums…” book there are chapters that didn’t feature J&C! I always skimmed through those to get back to J&C chapters anyway (sorry DG). There isn’t enough show (now 12 episodes) to spend so much time on periphery characters! If they can keep Murtagh alive because he is such a fan favorite (for me as well), when he never saw the light of day in Drums, then they can bloody well somehow let the other characters breathe in an episode that features J&C, NOT instead of them! And when I hear people say J&C’s coming together has lessened because of their mature ages (which is laughable to me) I would like to remind them we are talking about freakin’ Jamie and Claire Fraser’s story, which was written by Diana Gabaldon, who is my contemporary! If you are a book reader, then you know their passion and inventive love in no way dwindles with age. There is nothing to justify the low-level of intimacy, and passion this season. Nuh-thing. This relationship is the glue that holds Outlander together for me. Oh, and Starz (+Outlander EP’s), it’s the reason it quickly became the #1 series in your channel’s history, and you would do well to remember that.
And speaking of “remember”, what I remember is how excited I used to be for every new Outlander episode. Now I feel as though I am girding myself in preparation for what might be done TO it. I still want that moment that people talk about in the next days, weeks, etc. You know what I mean. If you find this season satisfying, that’s great. It just hasn’t been for me, and trying to convince me otherwise is futile. There’s a reason the books, this series, have such a following, and it’s their story, this relationship for the ages, and why “fix” what isn’t broken?
P.S. Okay, full disclosure, during the course of Outlander’s tv series run, I have been diagnosed with three different cancers, and have beaten each one, so far! Likely speaks to the veracity of my level of interest/concern, but my plan is to outlive the series and watch the dvd’s (this blog) wellll into old(er) age, and I just want to know J&C will be the main focus of the series to the end. It has been an amazing medicine for me! Can’t a girl wish for only the best? After all is said and done, I’m not looking forward to another lengthy Droughtlander…
Enjoyed your recap and the previous comments. Some I agree with, some not. I am not fixated on Jaime and Claire and their absence seemed ok as we would have only seen them trudging through the woods anyway. I read the book about 5 years ago so only remember the basics and so okay with what the writers had done with it. Though I agree them leaving out Roger killing a Mohawk does leave a bit of a problem for the plot to continue as in the book.
I believe it was not gunpowder but liquor that Roger threw into the fire. First I thought it was a barrel of water to put the fire out, but when it erupted I realized it would have been liquor which is why the fire went out of control at that point.
I can not decide if the Mohawk warrior was the woman’s brother or possible suitor. It works either way. It was clear he loved her. Though I don’t agree with what she did, she knew her baby would be safe and loved if she left it.
I have heard that they didn’t plan a cliffhanger. Hoping that is right.
I believe the keg Roger tossed had whisky in it, as liquor would ignite the pyre like it did, and it correlates with the keg featured in the title card for this episode (that the Native Americans are partaking of), which always speaks to the episode. With regards to only having J&C trudging through the woods in this episode, if that’s the best these well paid writers could’ve penned for these two characters, I’d say that doesn’t bode well for said writers, and despite the fact I don’t always enjoy the writing I give them more credit than that! Pretty certain they could’ve come up with something more inventive than trudging, as they have in any episode this entire series. Lots of things happened along the way to upstate NY! At any rate, soooo keeping my fingers crossed for the finale! Enjoy!