Outlander Season 4 Episode 12 Recap: Providence
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.