Outlander Recap: Long Live The Frasers

Season 4 Episode 13 Finale: Man of Worth

Oh you guys, this Outlander episode was filled with so many great moments. Sacrifices! Gauntlets! Tearful farewells! Fireside tales! An unexpected couple! Red coats! Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Operation Rescue Roger

Claire, Jamie and Ian arrive at the Mohawk camp and attempt to trade goods for Roger’s life. Ian leads the negotiations because he has the best language skills. (BTW, when did Ian become fluent in Mohawk??) While Claire is showing the goods to a ferocious group of Mohawks, they see her stone necklace and visibly recoil. The chief murmurs “she is wearing Otter Tooth’s necklace!” and promptly tells Claire that she must leave. (Who the f*** is Otter Tooth, I thought to myself, because I honestly did not remember this necklace). Cutaway to a Mohawk women staring significantly at the necklace as a confused Claire retreats with Jamie and Ian. A bit of background info: in the beginning of the season, Claire found a skull in a cave with a stone embedded inside. She puts this stone on a necklace. She then has visions of  a ghost – a bloody Mohawk man painted black.

Jaunty Murtagh Gobbles A Feast

Cue a smiling Murtagh arriving by horse and carriage to Aunt Jocasta’s plantation house, also known as River Run, strolling jauntily up the steps and proceeding to devour a delicious looking meal. Murtagh becomes upset upon hearing that Bree plans to marry Lord Grey because “Bree canna marry a redcoat!” She gives him an icy retort and leaves. In other news, I am obsessed with Bree’s purple velvet four poster bed, and think I need to incorporate “dinna fash” into my everyday vocab.

Ambush! Tussle! GET THEM  JAMIE!

Back at the camp, Jamie hears something in the distance. He tells everyone to stay very still, as a Mohawk comes hurtling out of the trees straight at Jamie. They tussle, Jamie wins, knife to his throat. Highlanders are the best. The Mohawk woman from earlier strides into the camp telling Claire she wants the necklace. Claire questions why this stone is so important. Cue: a fireside story at twilight! Yassss. I love a good fireside tale. Turns out the ghost Claire saw previously was a traveler named Otter Tooth who visited the Mohawk to warn them about their future, and the destruction of the Mohawk nation. He advises  the slaughter of all white men to protect the tribe. The Mohawk thought he was possessed and subsequently killed him and disposed of the stone when he became  violent. However, some Mohawk believed him and think whoever has the stone will learn about the future. Claire agrees to give her the stone, in exchange for help freeing Roger.

With almost zero planning, they head to the Mohawk camp to liberate Roger. Understandably, Roger is upset to see Jamie, but Claire calms him. Everything goes terribly wrong, and they are stopped at gunpoint by the Mohawk while escaping. Claire eases the situation by yelling PEACE. The chief says he will let them go, however Roger must stay as no trade has been made.

Double Sacrifice!

Jamie instantly offers himself as barter. As in, zero hesitation. I knew Jamie was going to sacrifice himself. I KNEW IT!

I did not know that seconds later Ian would take his place. Insert me yelling: NO! Roger isn’t worth Ian! Not Ian! His love for this family is so pure, he is willing to sacrifice himself so that Jamie can return home with Claire to Brianna. He also wants to take responsibility for his part in the mishap with Roger and Bree. There is absolutely nothing Jamie can do about it, as Ian has already made a promise to the Mohawk. In one of the most gut wrenching moments of this show (and that is saying a lot) Jamie  questions – “How can I part with you?”

And I shouted – I don’t know!

Ian responds, you told me once you hoped I would become a man of worth. Don’t make me break my promise. Jamie, desperately proud of his nephew and trying to be strong for him says “You dinna ken how worthy you are.” It is a beautiful scene. So many tears. Ian is crying. Jamie is crying. Claire is crying. I am bawling.  It’s almost unbearable. At least Rollo (Ian’s beloved and loyal dog) is staying.

 

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Me – trying to be strong for Jamie, Ian and Claire

Silver Fox Murtagh and Aunt Jo Jo Mix it up!

Murtagh and Aunt Jocasta are discussing politics. Murtagh says that Aunt Jo has grown too complacent and wants her to fight for the regulators. Aunt Jo accuses Murtagh of only visiting when he wants something. Murtagh calls her a lunatic and the look on his face when he immediately realizes his error in judgement is priceless. Things escalate. Apparently, hardcore arguments about politics and character assaults are considered seductive in 1700s Scotland, because sparks are flying and emotions running high. She flings a glass of whiskey in his face (Murtagh doesn’t hate it) and the next scene begins with the two of them in her bedroom. Her bedroom YOU GUYS! It is the next morning, and Aunt Jo Jo says breakfast has arrived. Murtagh, hair down and flowing in all its glory replies let it wait, because…you know. Finally, a moment of happiness! It is romantic and tender and wonderful. I  fully support this couple. We must protect them at all costs!

Brianna gives birth. It is a quick scene. She seems rather apathetic. The best part is Murtagh pacing frantically outside and bonding with the little tyke afterward.

Not the Mohawk Gauntlet!

Ian proves himself a terrific bad ass, while Jamie fights for Brianna. The Mohawk camp have set up another gauntlet, this time for Ian. Ian races his way down the gauntlet, leaping over swings, throwing punches and diving under tomahawks. He’s really effing agile, and incredibly brave making the very best of this situation, proving once again he truly is a man of worth. He drags himself to the end where he is welcomed into the Mohawk tribe by the chief. Ian’s smile, combined with his tentative turned jubilant whoops intermingling with the war cry of the Mohawk is a well-earned thing of beauty.

Get it Ian!

Simultaneously, a livid Roger takes a run at Jamie pummeling him. Jamie stands passively allowing Roger to vent his anger.  (Oh, Rog. Jamie could kill you with his little finger.) Roger is confused and furious because of the abuse he has suffered, and Jamie is furious because Roger left Brianna alone to get assaulted. Jamie explains why he attacked Roger in the first place, followed by revealing Brianna’s hideous ordeal. Roger does not know if he can spend his life in the 1700s with a son to whom he may not be the father. (At least, I think that’s his position. Who knows when it comes to toe-rag Rog.) Jamie is fuming. Not only has he lost his nephew ensuring this dude’s safety,  but now he may abandon his daughter?! Claire tries to diffuse the situation and allow Roger time to think but says “Whatever you choose, you must be sure. This is our daughter!” The two stand strong and supportive side by side. The juxtaposition of the gauntlet with Jamie and Roger’s “fight” is so epic I watched it twice. Roger goes away to think – presumably about what a tool he is.

Jamie and Claire arrive at River Run….sans Roger. I GASPED. They tell Brianna that Roger is alive, and knows everything. The look on Jamie’s face as he watches Brianna’s heart break is tremendous. They tell her that they will always, always be there for her.

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Insert me yelling – Roger you better show up!

There is a great moment where all the main players are eating dinner in silence,  worried about Ian and Brianna in their own private ways. Brianna walks into the room, and smiles at them all, taking her place at the table like the survivor that she is.

Brianna is packing away her clothes preparing to return to Fraser’s Ridge when she sees a ragged figure riding a horse in the distance. She drops her things and runs out the front door to greet the horseman.

Outlander Reunion

It’s Roger. He did it! He showed some backbone! They embrace. It is sweet. They are happy. And best of all Roger says…”Let’s go see my son.”

Fine, I guess I have to accept the fact that Roger is hanging around. WITH PROTEST.  And, I really think Brianna deserves better or at the very least a sincere, well worded apology.

As the Fraser’s are preparing to leave, there is a knock on the door. The red coats have arrived! WTF? OH NO! Everyone assumes they have come for Murtagh. Jo Jo caresses Murtagh’s hand, staring tenderly into his eyes. Jamie’s side eye as  he realizes romance is brewing between his Godfather and his Aunt made me cackle. Murtagh hides while Jamie answers the door. The red coats present him a letter saying that Jamie has been ordered to hunt down the traitor….MURGTAGH FRASER.

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Final Thoughts On The Finale

LOVED it. Best finale yet. Hit all the right emotional notes. Touched on all of our favorite characters.  Created a new couple that demands to be worshiped, provided closure and set us up for a hell of a new season. Long live the Frasers.

 

Outlander Recap: I’m not Mad, I’m just Disappointed

Season 4 Episode 12: Providence

Sophie Skelton and David Berry in a scene from “Outlander.”CreditCreditAimee Spinks/Starza

If you tuned in to Outlander hoping to see more of Jamie and Claire in this episode than last week, I feel it is my duty to inform you that you will be highly disappointed. I am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You do get to see snippets of Dreamy Lord Grey and Brianna strengthening their friendship, Fergus and Marsali becoming a new power couple of note, and of course Murtagh escaping jail, but not nearly enough. Because this episode, or at least 2/3rds of it, is all about boring, growing more grizzled by the minute, Roger. Not to say that Richard Rankin isn’t a quality actor. He is, and does the best with the subject matter he is given, it’s just that Roger is a truly unlikable, roll your eyes every time he comes on the screen, kind of character. At several points in this episode I yelled out “Oh Roger, I DON’T CARE!!”

I just want to see more of Jamie and Claire. Is that too much ask? The scriptwriters need to use more of these wildly charismatic actors, as they are the reason most of us fell in love with, and still watch the show.

Brianna Confronts Stephen (And Lord Grey is Wonderful)

At least Lord Grey features in this episode, delightful as ever. Even Bree, during my favorite line of the show,  admits that it’s “impossible not to like you.” When he hears the news that Stephen Bonnet will be executed for murder, he immediately tells Brianna who declares that she wants to speak with him. Lord Grey, sensibly and hilariously refuses, because he says, your father asked me to take care of you, and ““taking afternoon tea with a murderer” does not exactly fulfill that request. Brianna goes on to say that she received a letter from Jamie (featuring the only scene with Jamie, riding through the woods and providing a voice over) urging her to forget vengeance and seek forgiveness, in order to move on with her life. While I love Jamie for wanting the best for Brianna, it seems a little rich, considering upon hearing about Bree’s assault, he beat the living hell out of Roger, and sold him to the Mohawk.

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Fergus and Mersali ❤

So – off Lord Grey and Brianna go to the jail cell to chat with the rapist/murderer. If Brianna must endure this horror show, Lord Grey is the perfect partner to accompany her – sensitive, empathetic and endlessly considerate. Meanwhile, there is a wonderful moment when Marsili realizes Fergus is planning to break Murtagh out of jail, and wholeheartedly supports him. These two are  a budding Jamie and Claire – loyal and loving and brave, willing to sacrifice all for those they care about. I love them.

Bree meets with a chained Bonnet in his cell, and says her piece. She says that she has forgiven him, and shows him her growing baby bump. He rips out a ruby from his teeth (what…how…was this a thing in the 1700s?!), and gives it to her to aid in raising the child. He says some foul nonsense about how at least he will live on in his child, causing Brianna’s reserve to break and she says the child will never know his name, Stephen will not exist, her child will grow up to be a good person, etc. etc. She leaves with her head held high, and a modicum of closure. Get it Brianna!

Fergus Storms the Prison

As Brianna is leaving, she runs into Fergus and his gang breaking Murtagh out of jail. (They intend to blow up the jail to cover their tracks after they save Murtagh, and time is of the essence.) In one of my favorite scenes the jail breakers hold a gun to Lord Grey’s head and he says the equivalent of  “unhand me good sir!” Murtagh and Lord Grey have a tense moment trading salty barbs (I actually don’t remember why these two don’t like each other. Pity, because I’d watch The Murtagh and Lord Grey show all day.) Everyone manages to escape the jail before it explodes. Fergus grabs Murtagh and they run and hide in Marsali’s waiting covered wagon, and head to Fraser’s Ridge. Lord Grey and Brianna head back to Aunty Joscasta’s, presumably.

One horrific cliffhanger – someone has dropped the the keys during the prison break, and the last shot we see before the explosion is Bonnet reaching frantically for them. Is he alive!? Knowing this show and its track record, yes he God damn is.

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NOOOOOOO!

There’s a nice moment where the militia question Lord Grey and Brianna about the explosion, asking if they saw anything of importance. Lord Grey, honorable and kind as ever, says unfortunately they did not.  I really need this man to get his happy ending.

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Pleeeeease!

Roger is Awful

The rest of the show focuses on Roger, who has been thrown into a hut in the Mohawk camp for bad behavior. Because this section was truly so boring, I am going to condense. He meets a priest in the hut, Father Alexandre, who while working as a missionary to convert the Native Americans, denied his faith by falling in love with a Mohawk woman Johiehon and having a son. The Mohawk welcome the union with open arms and want him to baptize the infant. The priest refuses to do so because – reasons. He gives a spiel about how baptizing his child would send the kid straight to hell, and although he has turned his back on his faith, he cannot do the same to his son. The punishment for his refusal will be death by a small fire, under his feet. Roger is appalled and insists the priest perform the baptism and look out for himself, because if there is one thing Roger has learned from his ordeal traveling through time and space to find Brianna it is “I am number one.” Insert me yelling – “OH, GO AWAY ROGER!” Things escalate. Roger is horrible. He devises an escape plan urging the priest to follow. They dig a hole to escape the hut (mmm good plan) but do not finish in time. The priest chooses to die for his sins and insists that Roger escape and he will provide the distraction. The priest goes to the pyre, and Roger flees. Upon hearing the priests screams, Roger does some hair pulling (and I did some eye rolling), then runs back to “save” the priest. He throws a barrel full of some sort of powder into the pyre and it explodes, covering the priest in flames and mercifully killing him more quickly. Johiehon, who has been forced to watch the slow mo torture of her beloved, sets down her baby and climbs into the pyre, hugging the priest as both are enveloped in the inferno. Roger is returned to the hut.

So….yeah. That was the ending. I hated it. I suppose the show is commenting on the nature of devotion and just how much people are willing to sacrifice for those they love.

I don’t mean to be insensitive, but we get so few episodes a season, and I would like to spend it with the characters I love. Can we please return to Jamie and Claire’s adventures/rescue mission for the finale?! Let’s do this folks!

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Jamie and Claire Gaze at Fraser’s Ridge – courtesy of Lynn Wilson