Outlander S4 Epi7 – Down the Rabbit Hole
Written by Shannon Goss | Directed by Jennifer Getzinger
This conversation is between Blacklanderz Amanda, Lorinda and Ayana (Ay). Arranged and edited by Vida. [For those who don’t know, I also interrupt at times – just because.]
A: Someone’s making peanut butter sandwiches in the 1970’s. I’m reminded of the details Mad Men put into making sure all the commercial products were period accurate, and the Outlander prop makers are following that path.
L: Down the Rabbit Hole is an appropriate title. It’s similar to Alice and Wonderland going into a different time. Seeing the peanut butter sandwich, I thought of Claire and how Brianna was mimicking her. She began her journey where her mother started. It is an acknowledgment that she really was connected to her mother and listened to all Claire told her.
Ay: Is this another attempt to correct a mistake? Wasn’t it Claire that made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on her way back through the stones? Bree cut the sandwich wrong; that’s all I’m going to say.
[V: Ayana, I agree with you. There is no way I’d eat that sandwich, cut the wrong way. There must be a hidden message some where.]
PARALLELS | CRAY-CRAY | KINSHIP
Ayana: Outlander wanted us to see what Frank suffered through living with Claire, which was like what Laoghaire went through with Jamie. I’m not sure how successful they were. Not for lack of writing or trying, but for forgetting that we have seen Laoghaire’s crazy up close and personal. Frank loved Brianna and took care of her; that’s about all he has going for him.
Outlander needs to check itself when it comes to the actors they cast to play villains. Stephen Bonnet had me all up in my feelings. This can’t be healthy y’all! All that sexy didn’t hide Stephen Bonnet’s form of crazy. He reminded me of the villain Two-Faced from Batman where his mood and outlook were determined by the flip of a coin.
Overall, this episode reminds us to be mindful of your family, take care with their feelings and heart, because you never know when they will be gone forever.
FAMILIES | DYSFUNCTIONAL | LOYALTIES
Lorinda: This episode focused on the dynamics of families and the dysfunctional systems that are within them. We never thought that Bree heard her parents’ arguments, but she still loved them both. Joanie knew about the problems between her mom and her da and still wanted both of them. In each situation, each one remains loyal to both of their parents.
Roger remains loyal to Bree and Morag and almost loses his own life. Finally, Stephen Bonnet is totally dysfunctional. He smiles, as he sets out to destroy or kill you, and he has no remorse at all.
CULTURE SHOCK | EXPLORATION | FAMILIAL | PROPENSITY | WILLINGNESS
Amanda: I really enjoyed seeing Outlander’s best antagonists coming out to play. Granted, Frank plays more of a positive role in Bree’s life, but I did appreciate how her past with him affected her present.
Even as a fan who knows roughly where the books are going, I enjoyed seeing the twists and turns the episode laid out for Roger and Bree.
In the books, which I read about a billion times when they first came out, [Claire] is written as wearing a Jessica McClintock dress which is essentially a Gunne Sax. As a reader, I didn’t really notice the costumes too much. But that costume I did notice. I’m aware that it’s a beloved costume for fans.
For some people, it’s got to be literally by the book. And others really appreciate it when you come back at it and do it differently. I wanted to keep that dress in there because I knew people loved it—but I put it on a different character that I thought made more sense. ~ Terry Dresbach
A: As for Bree’s outfit, I know a lot of people were complaining when the promos were released that it’s nowhere near accurate for the era; but the thing is, it’s not supposed to be! Frye boots and some vaguely Ren Faire duds are the best thing she can do on a budget and in a big rush. Claire had months to prepare the Bat Suit; Brianna just went to the store the day before.
L: Her clothes were not so 1970’s that she stood out. They look more like tatter and rags for this era. Though this may not have been correct, it could be identified with hard times; at least, that’s what I thought was the case.
A: Thank goodness Brianna doesn’t need Waze! Map reading, the old school way, really is a lost art these days.
L: I’m glad she could use a map. You’re right; some children today wouldn’t be able to read one. It is lost skill today, not unless you belong to the Boy or Girl Scouts. Can you imagine what would happen if all cell towers went down?
Ay: I was so scared Shannon Goss was about to be on her Uncharted shit. I don’t need 15 minutes of Bree surviving. I don’t care what era you’re living in, cold is cold. Throw on some turtleneck sweaters up under that thin dress. Where are Brianna’s mittens/gloves? Hand warmth transcends centuries.
This first scene, and the others of Brianna traversing the Scottish countryside, were designed as a bit of a parallel to Claire’s journey after washing up on the islands in the West Indies. The difference is that while Claire was going through the sweltering jungle, her daughter is dealing with the frigid and rocky landscapes of the Highlands. Both are a woman alone, a stranger in a strange land.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
L: If someone taught her camping skills, she should have learned about the dangers of HYPOTHERMIA!! Always dress in layers Bree. You should have on lots and lots of layers!!
A: Turtleneck sweaters would make Bree look obvious she was from the future. She passes as a working-class woman from a foreign land. I don’t think she was prepared for the 18th century being colder than today (scientists refer to the era as a mini ice age).
Ay: She could hide it under a scarf, that by itself would have added warmth. If you freeze to death, it doesn’t matter who/when you’re found. Maybe I’m projecting here Amanda, because anything under 90° F is cold to me.
In that casual way that teenagers have, she can go, ‘Oh, it’ll be fine!’ And throw on the Gunne Sax dress and a cape—which, I had that same cape in 1970—and a pair of Frye boots. And she’d look in the mirror, the same way she would if she was heading out to the Renaissance fair, and go ‘Eh! That’s fine!’ ~ Terry Dresbach
L: That fall slowed down her progress in her walk. Was she headed to Lallybroch? I couldn’t tell if she was suffering from low blood sugar, hypothermia or just plain old exhaustion.
Ay: Like mother, like daughter. Pay attention to what’s in front of you; all the while, keeping the big picture in perspective and you may not fall twisting your ankle. This reminded me of Claire’s first trip back as the show wanted me to.
L: That was an awesome idea to put her ankle in that cold water she’s using a part of the R.I.C.E method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). If you don’t have ice, use the freezing burn instead. That sprain looks pretty bad.
A: Glad to see Roger shaved the hipster beard. I like Roger’s crappy attempt at breeches, but his corduroy waistcoat was more accurate than I expected. I’m still angry at Roger for slut shaming Brianna though. YES, I DID NOT FORGET, EVEN THOUGH EVERYONE WANTS ME TO!
L: I miss Roger’s beard; without it, he appeared to be a little young and dorky. I’ll take bearded Roger any day. Those pants were hilarious! Reminded me of the dwarfs from Snow White. I’ve forgiven Roger for what he said to Brianna. I just think that he was hurt by Bree’s rejection. Roger was part of that old school mindset that good girls waited until marriage. I understand the hurt you feel; double standards are unfair and ridiculous.
We were like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a face under there!’ But unfortunately, the head of our hair and makeup department has told us since she started working with us that beards were not common back in this time. I thought, well John Quincy Myers [Kyle Rees] had a beard! We’re always fighting for beards, but she’s always telling us that it’s not historically accurate. This time, we bowed to pressure. Roger is a historian, so he’d probably know this. He’s not a mountain man like Myers, so the beard had to go. ~ Maril Davis
L: Craigh na Dun looks very scary and foreboding. I’m sure Roger was having flash backs of Geillis sacrificing her husband. Maybe he wasn’t too afraid because Geillis and Claire had both successfully made it through to their destination.
Ay: What is Roger wearing? Period appropriate or not, it’s ugly and it doesn’t look all that warm. Snow is cold in 1971 and 1768, bet me. Clean faced Roger is not the business.
L: Have we ever heard that buzzing noise before? I’m glad he mentioned it and how irritable it is.
[V: Yes, in S2 Epi13 – Dragonfly in Amber. When Claire, Bree and Roger tried to stop Geillis from going back. Roger asked Bree if she could hear that buzzing sound.]
We wanted to reestablish that Roger can hear the buzzing of the stones and thus is one of the rare people who can time travel, and that likewise Fiona cannot hear them. You may notice that in the main titles, a woman’s hand is seen touching the stones. It was a bit of a mystery we planted for viewers. The one thing it did tell us is that this person was not a time traveler, since any time traveler disappears instantly upon touching the stone, which rules out Claire or Brianna. Once this episode airs, people will realize the hands touching the stone belong to Fiona!
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
Ay: Fiona is so the friend to have. Someone you can ask to drop you off at Craigh na Dun to travel back through time and don’t ask for gas money. Wonder what she says when the police come knocking?
L: She is a good friend; otherwise, he would have been alone. That would be an awkward position to be in. I guess she could use Claire’s explanation that he went to America to find his lass.
Ay: Thanks for pointing that out, Amanda. It is breeches; it’s just missing the boots! Not sure why it took me so long to see that. I kept getting cold looking at him and he’s more layered up than Bree.
A: This is where the title card comes in, Brianna’s eating her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter actually did not exist in the 18th century. They only roasted them and ate them as a snack. I am concerned though her ankle will get worse and I don’t think she brought Advil.
L: I was looking to see if they would have the plastic wrap, but they went with the brown paper. That fall was scary; it reminded me of Claire in Uncharted. Did you mean aspirin? Advil wouldn’t be available for another 50 years.
Ay: Glad I’m not the only one getting feels of Uncharted here. I didn’t see a bottle of pills, of any kind, fall out.
A: Falling asleep in the woods is a terrible idea and I expected some horror movie-esque thing to happen right about now. Please tell me, I’m not the only one to think this!
L: I wonder where she got her camping skills from? If you’ve done something more than once, fear has been cast out. Also, I guess exhaustion beats fearing the unknown. I wonder how many sandwiches she brought along? It’s hard to figure out a foot’s journey of the past compared to the modern forms of transportation in the 20th century. It’s also scary thinking of just existing in the 18th century. Women had no rights and were considered property. If the wrong person finds her, she could be lost forever.
Ay: The sandwich we watched her eat wasn’t cut and the title card one was. So, we can assume at least two. Sleeping in the woods is a lot of fun. Sleeping by the side of the road, that’s not wise. I hope we get to see some flash-forwards of her prior camping excursion, if there were any. She built that fire pretty quickly.
We always knew we wanted to bring back Tobias Menzies for an episode. We debated where the best place to use him would be, and even though it seems strange in a way to integrate him in a story about Brianna searching for Jamie, our thought was that it was very organic for Brianna to be flooded with thoughts of the man who raised her and the man she knew as father, the closer she got to meeting Jamie.
So here we start the flashbacks, with a sweet scene of her dad lifting the sleeping child out of the car, something that positions father as “protector,” something that many of us perhaps have experienced. That brings a warm feeling and tells us that Frank is “with” Brianna, even as she starts her journey away from him and her Boston home.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
I’m very excited for people to see this episode because we get to see Frank and I think fans will see a side of Bree we didn’t see before. It shows how much Bree has been going through that people didn’t realize. Of course, she’s this ’60s woman in a different century. I wanted to keep Bree’s lighthearted demeanor but you have to adapt to the times quite quickly. ~ Sophie Skelton
A: Oh, hi Scottish Becky With The Good Hair! Glad to see Nell Hudson back for more drama! I know people are distrustful of her, but I have a feeling she will take pity on Bree a bit. It’s clear she has no friends and only has her servants and her daughter to talk to.
L: Scottish Becky With The Good Hair! You crack me up, Amanda. Yes, but how long will that pity last? You do realize when she finds out who Bree belongs to, she’s gonna turn into the old Laoghaire. They’re showing us another side of her – compassionate, caring and a good mother. I’m not fooled; I know the other side of her is still in there somewhere.
Due to a scheduling conflict, we were unable to get Laura Donnelly to return to Outlander this season. We knew it would be difficult to play the Lallybroch story in the book, since Jenny was such a large part of that, so we had to come up with something new. We had the idea of crossing Brianna with Laoghaire… to build a tense situation where two people who may not like each other were unknowingly interacting and finding comfort and friendliness until their true identities were revealed.
The audience, admittedly, are not big fans of Laoghaire. However, the idea was that though they might dislike her for being an enemy of Claire, Laoghaire was a good mother to her daughters and perhaps a nice and kind person if you met her in life and didn’t have a conflict with her over a certain red-headed man. 😉 It was a chance to see the other side of Laoghaire, in the warmth of her home and being a good parent and kind person.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
This is the most delicious chicken I’ve ever tasted . . .
Ay: I think the show is hoping we see Laoghaire as they are portraying Frank. All I can think about is how Claire cares for Marsali and doesn’t hold her parentage against her. I honestly can’t see Laoghaire doing the same. I’m just patiently waiting for the cray-cray to come out. That pigeon reaction was hilarious.
If only . . . thank ye — it’s roasted pigeon.
L: I was thinking the same thing, Ayana. Claire didn’t use her hostility that she had for Laoghaire when she was nurturing and giving her advice to Marsali. She mothered her without judgement of her parentage.
I’m Laoghaire and this is my daughter, Joanie.
Joanie looks like she really could be Jamie’s child. When I saw her in S3, I thought they flipped the script on us for real. She has a sweet disposition, and she pays attention to everything that is going on around her.
Dinna fash, Briana.
Ye may stay as long as ye need. Take some rest now.
L: Through her interaction with Bree, we can see that Laoghaire was a good parent. She could display compassion and morals. Just look at her daughters, they are likable and respectful girls. Well, Marsali had her moments, but she eventually recognized Claire as a friend not a foe.
L: I told you that other side would show up! Talking about “Bitch Better Have My Money.” Doesn’t Ian look good, not silver fox gray like Murtagh. He remains calm when dealing with the besom of a woman.
We see Frank again, but this time it’s not such a good memory. Hearing Laoghaire and Ian arguing downstairs triggers a memory of Brianna’s parents arguing. The cool thing is that we link it to an argument that the audience saw in Episode 303. In that argument, Frank is urging Claire to keep her voice down so Brianna won’t hear. The irony is now we show that Brianna did indeed hear the argument and was saddened, and we were able to use the exact dialogue played off-camera and lifted from the earlier episode.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
A: I like how they’re weaving in Brianna’s memories of Frank during this episode. She’s remembering Claire fighting with him as she hears Laoghaire fighting about the alimony. I know there’s a lot of Frank haters around. I hated him more in the books, but Bree’s POV of him is important.
L: I understand what you’re saying. The flash back gives Bree’s perspective on her parents’ relationship and hers with daddy Frank. I’m not a big fan of Frank, but I’m seeing how much he adored Bree.
Do you really hate me that much?
It was my graduation, for God’s sake.
You humiliated me in front of my new colleagues. ~ Claire
Ay: Frank loved her. It’s important to understand Bree’s take on her relationship with her father. I’m also here for the clarinet. I’m also not Frank’s biggest fan. I get his importance in the story, but Outlander tries to portray him in a glowing light. But to most fans, things he does come across as doućhy. I keep reminding myself that he did love and raise Brianna.
Welcome to the party then. ~ Frank
What the hell does that mean? ~ Claire
L: Yes, he was always concerned about Bree. Even in the argument he was having with Claire, he was defending Bree. However here, instead of hiding from the argument like she did as a child, she goes in and confronts or possibly tries to end the quarreling
Keep your voice down, for God’s sake,
you’ll wake Brianna. ~ Frank
L: No child wants to hear their parents arguing. This how they try to block it out.
[V: And as we see, trying the block it out has repercussion down the road.]
It’s not right! He promised more than this!
Ye ken he’s a man of his word. If
he had more, he’d send more.
A: I love how everyone thinks Brianna’s accent is weird. At this point, Americans sounded a lot like British people.
[V: That’s true. But Bree is an American from the 60s/70s. The accent would be totally different than that of the time.]
L: Ian noticed she was an Outlander, as soon as she spoke.
I’m surprised he didn’t see the Jamie in her, but it was dark.
We designed this scene to take advantage of the tension that we could get from having Brianna cross paths with Ian Murray, so that the audience would be yelling at the TV! We knew they’d be rooting for these two people to realize who each other are, but then we leave it that this is a missed opportunity and the feeling that Brianna is in great danger staying with the enemy of her mother, even though she doesn’t realize how loaded this situation is.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
A: Bree is enjoying her new linen and wool ensemble! I want to cosplay her now. Joanie is super cute. I like how Laoghaire is reminded of Marsali. I imagine, until Marsali left, she was Laoghaire’s main confidant.
Ay: Brianna does look great in period clothes. If she has been ironing her hair this entire time, I’m actually mad I didn’t get to see that as a scene. Her limp is less pronounced, time to move on from here. Scotland’s bumb rolls are so much bigger than in the colonies.
L: Finally, shes’s up and moving around. She and Joanie connected right off. Comparing their Da’s and their relationships with them, and Bree doing her hair, always makes relationships a little closer. As they compare, we see both Frank and Jamie seriously loved their stepchildren. This has put a check in the pro Frank column for me. I can’t imagine having a daughter overseas and pregnant; it must be hard. Laoghaire is probably glad to have someone else to talk to.
Ay: That house Laoghaire’s living in is very nice, even with the bit of alimony Jamie is managing. She and Joanie look healthy and that garden was full. It seems Jamie is taking care of everybody’s kids too. So many parallels.
It’s chilling to hear Laoghaire talk about her “former husband” and have her complain about him in front of the man’s own daughter. Of course, without Brianna knowing it, Brianna even sympathizes with her! We also wanted Brianna and Joan to bond since they are stepsisters in a way and they are both red-headed, so it’s easy to imagine there’s a sweet connection between them, even though they are not blood-related.
As they both discuss their fathers, another interesting aspect of this story is that Frank and Laoghaire are both tragic figures in that Frank loved Claire and Laoghaire loved Jamie before the two soul mates met. Then, after they’d each lost the love of their lives when Claire and Jamie got together, their lost loves returned to them. Claire goes back to Frank and Jamie eventually marries Laoghaire. Both the tragic figures have a second chance with the person they love, only to be rejected once again, so putting Laoghaire and Frank in the same episode had a certain synergy to it.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
L: The bond between these two is instant. Bree gets to have a little sister, for now. I think that’s sweet, but in actuality, they are step sisters.
A: Brianna braiding her hair was a very sisterly thing to do, even though she didn’t have that experience as an only child.
Ay: I’m just over here waiting for the crazy. I did notice that Laoghaire left the door open as she went inside the house. You don’t leave your children alone with strangers. It’s hard to acknowledge that Laoghaire is a good mother. Joanie and Marsali are pleasant people. Maybe, it’s just Claire that sets her off?
Fans will also see Bree’s relationship with the man who raised her. She was a daddy’s girl and he was very much the one who was there for her. They did have this special bond and she feels such a guilt about going back in time — like she’s betraying Frank. It just adds so many more layers to the story. It’s one of my favorite scenes. ~ Sophie Skelton
L: Looks like Frank is really distraught. I wonder what’s really on his mind?
A: I wonder if they filmed these scenes with Tobias Menzies this season or last. He’s proving why you show and not tell! Frank has gained quite a following because there’s several moments where you feel badly for him. Sophie Skelton’s rapport with Tobias in this scene is awesome as well.
L: I believe they filmed them this season, but you never know. This scene is heartbreaking; finding out this information must be devastating for Frank. Finally, we get to see that Frank was still searching for Jamie. He wants to tell Bree, but how can he tell her? He wants to maintain her happiness and innocence. The depth of love between Bree and Frank is so noticeable. She really does love him, and really wants to help him.
But that is what makes him so fun. Frank is an essential character because it proves Claire’s love for Jamie. If we had stayed a little bit closer to the books and made him more of a womanizer — there were [also] some racist undertones to Book Frank — you don’t question why Claire leaves Frank and can never love him the way she loves Jamie. But when he’s a little more well-rounded, a little more likable, it says more about Claire’s love for Jamie that she can’t love Frank no matter what he was. Even if he’s a nice guy and wanting to try again and raise a child that’s not his, she still can’t give Jamie up. ~ Maril Davis
L: Did you look at this letter? Oh wow, Frank got two hits in one day. the obituary and his heart. Man, that’s why he was hitting that bottle so hard.
Ay: First off, I would never have been able to approach my dad the way Brianna did, at any age. However, let me focus . . . so, FRANK KNEW! Also, how is there history of Claire going back when Claire hasn’t gone back? Again, this showing Frank in a sympathetic light is an attempt to manipulate me. Yeah, Tobias’ acting is amazing (Good Lord, those glasses!) and Sophie acting off him is performed well. However, I am not losing sight that he knew.
L: So, he knows, but he isn’t telling Claire? What kind of bull malarkey is this? He still isn’t being honest with Claire. He always seems detached from her, even when they got together for their reunion after the war.
Yeah, he learns from that obituary that Claire and Jamie die in a fire. I feel like Frank gets a lot of bad press because he had affairs but I do actually think Frank is getting a bit of justice in that scene. You really see what he’s going through; I think Frank kinda felt used. To know that Claire will go back, it was just heartbreaking for him. I hope that scene gives people a newfound sympathy for Frank. ~ Sophie Skelton
L: Bree didn’t finish that letter. She stopped at the obituary. The bigger picture has to do with him going ahead and living his life happily while he can. You missed it Bree, but you are just a teenager.
A: This is a bit of the twist from the books where Frank’s secrets were due to his spy work during the war. I don’t think she completely realizes the significance of the obituary though. I believe it’s only after Roger’s research is when she gets the implications.
[V: Well no, she couldn’t have known. I don’t think any of it registered until they went to Scotland when the reverend died and Claire told her about Jamie. At this point, Bree has no idea who Jamie is.]
That’s something we put in later [the obituary], and it was [producer] Matt Roberts’ suggestion. We were like, ‘Can we even do that?’ We reached out to [author] Diana [Gabaldon] to make sure it was OK, and I think she signed off. We were like, ‘What if we put that obituary there, what would that say? Is that the reason why Frank finally decides to get a divorce?’ If he realized that Claire at some point leaves him to go back to Jamie, did she take Brianna? He has no idea. He just knows she goes back. ~ Maril Davis
We liked the idea that Frank has found the obituary and that he learns that Claire leaves him, not realizing that it was after his death. We knew it would be emotionally fraught for Brianna to see the obit—though she doesn’t realize it’s about her mother at the time. Frank is tempted to share his secret with his daughter: that Claire is a time traveler whose her heart belongs to another man. Being the great father that he is, Frank holds back and doesn’t spill the beans to her, because no matter the pain he is in over Claire, he would never hurt Brianna.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
L: I believe his research caused him to totally disconnect from Claire and have a deeper sense of betrayal. This is his final breaking point. So, he just dismisses her, but can you blame him? Did you see the struggle going on within him? He wanted to tell her, but he knew he would lose her if he did. He also made a vow to Claire never to tell Bree. That was all his idea.
Ay: What can Frank tell her? Where do you start? He’s the one who made Claire promise not to tell Bree the truth about her parentage, so he can’t start there. Like you said, he got himself into this bind. My sympathies are wearing thin. So, let me again remind myself . . . Frank loves Bree and clearly Bree loves Frank.
A: Laoghaire sounds so bitter about Claire returning to Jamie’s life. Although to be honest, I don’t blame her to some extent.
He’s clearly spending more time hanging out with the Cherokee than paying the alimony. It’s nice to see Laoghaire having some female bonding time.
L: Her look when Laoghaire gets out the bed warmer; she’s being so hospitable. That story Laoghaire is telling is full of lies. Trying to make herself out to be a victim. Girl, you were just a fill in, you were not the one. She didn’t know what to do with him when you had him. They seem to be bonding well and Bree is appreciative of it.
Storytelling is the Highlanders way; how sweet of Bree to give her a good memory. But don’t get used to it; a snake can only hide its true nature for so long.
Ay: Bree never looked more like Claire then she did in this scene. I think Laoghaire believes what she is saying, Amanda. That is what’s most scary about her craziness. I almost believe her and I witnessed parts of the stories she is telling. I’m supposed to think about Frank, but I’m thinking about Claire and Marsali as Laoghaire tells her daughter’s favorite bedtime story.
A: Oh lordy lordy, Bonnet’s back. I like his fake Ross Poldark scar too. You know what? I’m calling him Fake Ross now, sorry not sorry. This season is filled with accidental Poldark references so yeah, I’m rolling with it. I like Roger’s determination though to get to North Carolina, but I still don’t completely like him because I have that grudge.
It’s a fresh take on the character playing the bad guy. He [Bonnet] is quite charming because he is quite disarming. It’s very interesting how the character is written and also how Ed plays the character as well. He obviously affects each of the characters’ storylines quite severely, but, yeah, he’s just a good villain really. He’s a psychopath. He’s a really charming psychopath. ~ Richard Rankin
L: Yes, that low down dirty scoundrel is back. I was laughing at those dwarf pants! I guess he was going for the sailor look. I’m going to have to check out Poldark to get a look at your point of view, Amanda. Bonnet studies people well. One look at Rogers hands and he knew his real trade. The port was well designed; Jon Gary Steele always does a wonderful job with his sets. As for Roger, let’s see if he can redeem himself this time around, if he finds his lass.
Ay: How is it that Roger can get straight to a dock and he left after Bree? What map or compass was he using? Stephen Bonnet looks good, even as he says women are interchangeable, please forgive me. I’m mad that Roger couldn’t find some boots to cover those atrocious breeches.
One structural challenge of this script was that to integrate Roger’s journey with Brianna’s meant that Roger would arrive in North Carolina before Brianna, so we came up with the device of having Stephen Bonnet say there are four ports before Wilmington, so that his journey takes longer and he arrives after her.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
L: Bree dropping a song from the 20th century, how sneaky. I looked the song up it’s by Scott Mackenzie.
Ay: Do you think we will get a Bree and Roger singing duo one day? They both have lovely voices.
L: That would be nice, if they could sing together, but it would have to happen sooner not later.
Ay: BREE the 18th century handy-woman. I love seeing this side of her. It’s one thing to be told she changed her major; it’s another to be shown.
Some of the girls at Lallybroch put
flowers in their hair in summer . . .
A:OMG LAOGHAIRE’S FACE WHEN BREE SPILLED THE BEANS!! She looked like she swallowed rancid milk!
Aye. It’s no far from here.
L: Right and she has that knife in her hand. I keep thinking in my head, please don’t try to use that on Bree. You remember what she was did with the gun and Jamie. I let out a sigh of relief when she went to the pot and not toward Brianna FRASER.
My mother’s relative live there . . .
And who might your mother be?
The big reveal. We wanted the suspense to build until the audience couldn’t stand it any longer, so we finally have Brianna say something that cues Laoghaire that Claire is her mother.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
L: But, I told you that snake was going to bite and she did! I think she wanted to throw up. She had to digest a lot and stay cool. I wonder what was going through her mind?
Ay: I was genuinely scared ladies. She took that a little too well. Look how calculating she’s being. That snake from last episode manifested in this episode on two legs and all. Just breath through it Laoghaire, breath through it.
L: Laoghaire is trying to remain calm, so she can get more information from her.
A: Brianna serving the cream tea the Cornish way, jam first!!! YASSSS!!! It’s midnight and I want some now. But the gourmet stores are closed, so I can’t buy scones and clotted cream. *cries*
L: An apology breakfast. I’ve never had scones or clotted cream. Is that another name for biscuits with preserves and butter? I’ll have to try some one of these days. Bree really knows what he likes, and she always wants to be with him.
Have you ever thought of studying abroad? There are some excellent universities – –
Ay: I hope Frank feels embarrassment and shame. I also hope my daughter is never serving me breakfast after I was drunk. Have some self-respect man. Why does a scone look like a biscuit? Looks like it needs butter and coffee. I enjoy the way the show is weaving the past and present. Reminds me of S1 when Claire would think of Frank, as she tried to return to him.
I’m sure there are, but Harvard is here and you are here.
L: Right, Ayana!!! Give me some biscuits, with butter, syrup and ham on the side. Add to that, a cup of coffee and forget about that tea; unless you’re going to spill the tea and give me the 4-1-1!
A: Laoghaire’s story sounds hella sketchy. We, as the audience, saw Jamie struggle with losing Claire. And just like that, Laoghaire turned into a monster. Well, that good feeling didn’t last too long.
L: She’s lying her behind off, old Evilyne. We know Jamie never got over Claire; they are soulmates. He wasn’t trying to get married again, but loneliness will make you do odd things. Like I said before, she didn’t know what to do with him when she had him.
Did they send ye here – – is that
what’s happened? They sent ye here to
laugh at me? Or did ye bewitch me yourself?
You’re a witch like yer ma.
You . . . know my mother?
L: All hell is about to break loose! Don’t you know that you NEVER TALK ABOUT ANYONE’S MAMA! I thought she was gonna slap Bree when she fed her the truth. She uses the same old tactics, just evil.
I ken her well. Yer mother is the
theivin’ whore that who stole
my husband and left me destitute.
A: Laoghaire basically reminded me why she earned all the hater nicknames in the first place.
L: Nell plays this part very well. All of her emotions are written all over her face. I’m going to watch it again, without sound, just to let it sink in.
You’re mother . . . is Claire?
Ay: This bitch is calculating AF. Now we know the answer. When Laoghaire learns the true parentage of Brianna, she’s no longer helpful. She can’t put it behind her. She is not equal to Claire, Jamie or Frank; no, she is off the charts.
Yes. But she never wanted to leave
Jamie, she – –
L: Oh, but Brianna ain’t having any of it all; she is out of there!
Went home to another man? And when
he died, she came back for my
Jamie! Bewitched him, she did,
with a lovespell that made me
Ay: Laoghaire is running perpendicular to sanity. I have never been prouder of who Bree’s fathers are, as I am in this moment. She reads the room quickly.
L: AND, THEN THE TRUTH SLAPS YOU IN YOUR FACE! Jamie Fraser, N-E-V-E-R LOVED YOU!!
You are the spawn of a witch.
Same old Laoghaire, same old tactics, same old foolish girl. She’s a witch, wow!!
Open the door! Let me out!
A: Frank’s wearing the same outfit as the car crash scene. I feel so bad for Brianna because that was the first time it really hit her the implications of the divorce. How could he think uprooting her from her friends was a great idea?
Your mother and I . . . are getting a divorce.
L: He loves her but erred in judgment when it came to her and Claire. She wanted it all . . . mom and dad. Every time he tried to excluded Claire, Bree made sure he didn’t. He just lost a check in the pro column. I know he was hurt, but you can’t take the one connection Claire has with Jamie. He wanted to cripple Claire. Was he trying to stop Claire from going back?
What are you talking about? Don’t be silly, you’re too old to get a divorce.
A: It’s kind of screwed up that he thought it would have been better to let Claire die in the past, rather than to warn her not to go back in the first place.
This scene was a call back to Episode 303 when Frank said he would take Brianna to England and boasts to Claire about how he’ll have no trouble getting her to come with him. We thought it would be interesting to show the conversation before his death, and that the reverse is true—Brianna, stunned by the news of divorce, refuses the offer. This is something Brianna ultimately regrets, as after tonight, she will never see her father again and feels guilty for not returning his “I love you.”
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
I know we did. And a thousand years ago your mother and
I had a plan as well. But sometimes life takes unexpected
turns. And when it does, we soldier on.
Ay: What a douchebag! This is the biggest of douchebag moves, ever! I am going to give Frank the benefit of the doubt here (Frank loves Bree and Bree loves Frank, y’all thought I was joking about reminding myself.). What if he was speeding up Claire’s journey? Giving her a free pass to leave him and Bree and go back in time for the time she had left with Jamie?
Yeah, I don’t believe it myself. But what could Frank have done? Told Claire? The one thing I’m sure of is that he didn’t see himself dead at any point in the scenario. It doesn’t cross his mind that Claire would honor her vows and keep the promises she made to him, until death. That’s the real tragedy. I feel Brianna so much here. You see your parents as children and want them to just grow up.
Once he and Claire had that fight and he walked out that door, we don’t know what happened to him. We obviously never saw the car crash. But we love the idea of tracing back and finding out that Frank asked Brianna to go to Cambridge with him and that they had a conversation right before he died. For Brianna, that torment of ‘if I had only said something different in that car that night, would he still be here?’ That guilt she carries with her is so interesting and important. ~ Maril Davis
If I would’ve just agreed to go to England with you,
maybe we would have gone to celebrate and
you wouldn’t’ve had . . . the accident.
And then we could have talked Mama into going
with us too.
But you changed the plans by dying . . .
one unexpected turn too many.
L: This is her final goodbye. Just a little tear jerker for me, having to say so long to your daddy. He may not have been much to me, but he was everything to her.
I’m going to soldier on – – like you said.
You’re my hero, Daddy.
L: The waters are calm, and all seems peaceful. But, if Stephen Bonnet is anywhere near that calmness, a storm is raging.
He seems to be enjoying servicing the passengers on the Gloriana. He does have a servant’s heart just like his dad.
A: Roger’s beanie isn’t quite like the hats sailors wore, but it’s passable. Now that he’s on the ship, his “breeches” are more passable as sailor slops.
I think he has the capability to an act of kindness or goodness or to do something like that. But I still feel that he would be doing that from a point of gratitude more than anything else. It would never be for the better of others. ~ Ed Speleers
A: Ah the old rum in the mouth trick to calm the baby. I’m pretty sure Fake Ross is up to no good, but who knows what his end game is? Is he making money on the passengers? Is he selling Scottish goods to colonists desperate for things from the old country? Is he going to steal a Spanish or French ship at some point?
L: He looks like he cares about that baby, but we know he is always up to no good. You know people had to pay to get on the ship. If they couldn’t pay, they became an indentured servant. I’m sure he made money that way. Bonnet didn’t do anything unless it benefited him.
Ay: The only thing we are sure of is his hands are not clean. Then he had the audacity to stick the finger with Claire’s Lallybroch wedding ring on it into that baby’s mouth. I almost gagged. I want Bonnet’s hand chopped off and the ring retrieved. He would still be cute and scary, just with a hook.
Ay: Are the outside shots South Africa? The interior of the ships is so well done. I wonder if this was all on stage in Scotland.
[V: Ayana, I am not sure about the outside, but they look like last season. But, I did find out the interior of the ship is the same boat that was the hero ship of Season 3, the Artemis. The set was sent back from the Cape Town film studios to Scotland on a ship. I’ll do a post about it.]
L: He is telling her he’s going to throw her overboard to her face? Can you imagine the terror the girl and the mother are feeling? This man is worse than BJR. There’s no sneer on his face; he is just matter of fact about it – a total and complete sociopath!! Ugh! Go away you, evil man!
A: Fake Ross killed that poor child!!! I get smallpox is bad, but I really hate him now! I will say the Bonnet plot really is showing just how much control ship captains had at that time.
L: Look at him; he feels justified. Captains had way too much power. And his little men, who serve him, are too afraid to stop him. Just pure EVIL.
I don’t really want to say too much about where he’ll end up this year, but I guess that’s the big thing isn’t it… are people who have capabilities to do these different acts that he does or behave in a certain way, can you change people like that?
I don’t know. I think that’s quite a big question. I feel that maybe with creative license dramatically he could be, but I would think it’d be hard-pushed because of the way his psyche is and the way it’s so ingrained in him to behave. ~ Ed Speleers
L: I screamed when he did that. And her mother? Yes, I would have jumped in too. He is just evil! Sociopath. He makes you feel good one minute and then kills with a freaking smile on his face. Can we get rid of him now?
Ay: As much as I can’t stand Bonnet, what choice did he have? That ship looked packed.
It just seemed like he tossed that child with such glee. So, heartbreaking to see the mother follow after.
L: Roger you aren’t in Kansas anymore. You have gone Down the Rabbit Hole in the real sense! You can’t save everybody.
How could ye? She was a child for God’s sake.
She was. And of no value. . . .
Continue to examine every passenger. Anyone who is ill or shows
signs of a rash – – bring them to me.
A: Roger is having his own bout with culture shock. At least he found his super distant relatives, Morag and Jeremiah MacKenzie. Helping the teething kid is making me warm up to him slightly, but not enough.
L: Roger is going to get himself killed. What was he thinking? That story about the coin should tell you this fool has no emotion, mean but fair?
Ay: Does Roger know that they are his ancestors?
L: Bree has Jamie’s mind; she was going to get out of there. Joanie and her really connected, so Joanie came through. She has her back and is not going to let you burn her sister at the stake.
A: Bree is free, Joan is a badass!!
Ay: Joanie having agency and I’m here for it. I was hoping to see more of Bree’s engineering skills at work as she worked to free herself, but this is faster.
L: I was thinking, here comes the Calvary, as they rode up to Lallybroch. Joanie was a God send!
We’re here – – Lallybroch.
We had plans to go to Lallybroch and do certain things and then through actor availability we were unable to tell the story exactly the way that we wanted to. So we had to revamp. ~ Matthew B. Roberts
I’m so grateful to you, Joan.
L: Finally, she made it to Lallybroch. There is no Jenny, but she’s finally home. I mean at her dad’s home, but really it is her home too, right?
[V: Yes, as weird as all this time traveling business is, it is her home too, ancestral.]
You’re a kind soul. It’s no yer fault yer mother is a witch.
L: Good luck to ye Brianna. I really like you, even if your mom’s a witch. I almost fell out of my chair when she said that so matter of factly. Poor Claire, healer that she is, will always be a witch to these people.
When ye find yer Da . . . mebbe ye’ll ask him to come home?
Joanie. What’s the traveller doing with ye?
She’s Jamie Fraser’s daughter.
Ay: We spent too much time at that crazy lady’s house and there is hardly any time left for Bree to connect with her kinfolk.
L: Once Joanie announced she is a Fraser, I believe Ian saw Jamie and Claire in her, red hair and all. I’m glad he welcomed her in without hesitation.
Even though we didn’t have Jenny and couldn’t play out much of the Lallybroch story from the book, we couldn’t have Brianna travel through Scotland and not visit the home where Jamie grew up, so we took her to Lallybroch so she could meet Uncle Ian and he could help her get to the ship.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
I had given up hope I’d ever look
upon a child of Jamie’s. And now here ye are
standing in front of me. It’s a shame my
wife’s not here to meet ye.
A: Ian is catching so many feels; it’s adorable!
L: I wanted this to happen, so I’m happy! I didn’t care how it happened; they made it happen. Great job writers!
Ay: I wanted more of Ian uprooting those seeds of evil Laoghaire planted. Bree should leave feeling that Jamie wants her, and I’m not sure enough was done here.
L: Well, at least she can envision how her parents lived in this house. After all these years, it’s more than just the three of them being a family. She is part of a larger family and has some deep roots set here.
This should be enough to buy you passage to North Carolina – –
as well as room and board once you’ve arrived.
I can’t take your money.
Aye – – ye can. You’re family.
A: Ooh, I can’t wait to see Brianna wearing all of Claire’s old duds.
L: Me either!
Ay: I also can’t wait to see some of Claire’s old things pop up.
Ay: Are we sure this wasn’t shot in South Africa? Maybe some stills left over from S3.
Ay: I think Roger knows the significance of Morag MacKenzie and her son Jemmy. He is a history professor, surely he has researched his own history. I’m not sure if I’m mixing book up, but doesn’t Claire see a family chart and tells Roger about it?
A: Fake Ross into some mess again. Roger needs to punch this flop while he’s running his damn mouth. I wish y’all can see how many times I’m rolling my eyes right now.
L: Bonnet is crazy; he will kill anyone for any reason. I hear what you’re saying. But, if he punched Mr. Sociopath, he would kill him. His lackeys are afraid of him and obey him without questions. I’d have been sweating bullets waiting on the flip.
It’s difficult to play long monologues in a TV episode. We only have an hour to squeeze in much good material. However, we felt it was important to know this part of Stephen Bonnet’s backstory, so we would know that his coin-flipping routine was not merely a gimmick that he takes lightly, but something deeply rooted in his psyche from pain and fear he suffered as a young man, making him a truly dangerous villain.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
Ay: Let’s talk about how Laoghaire’s crazy parallels Bonnet’s. They corner the market. Bonnet uses a coin to judge; Laoghaire uses your relation to Jamie. Watching as it slowly dawns on Roger just how crazy Bonnet is, Richard is doing some great acting here. Roger still wanted to believe . . . right up until . . . he realized the coin was being flipped for his life.
It seems Danu is with you tonight, sir.
L: A toss of the coin to determine the length of life for someone who had a heart. Again, I say he is a beast, a demon, sociopath and dangerous.
[V: Roger, that was a close one!]
A: OMG Bree’s wearing Claire’s green riding habit!
L: That’s from S1. I loved that riding habit! Isn’t she beautiful in it?
Ay: Claire wore it better. Seeing that coat reminded me of meeting Ned Gowen for the first time during S1 Epi5 ‘Rent’.
L: I think she looks good in her mama’s clothes. That jacket or coat was my favorite! She bought it back to life.
Ay: They couldn’t hug? I feel cheated of Lallybroch time! I feel Brianna was cheated. I have a feeling the show is going to lean on the poison spilled by Laoghaire.
A: Bree is in for a world of shock with Lizzie, as her servant. [As a historical note on Lizzie: Poor people often sold themselves as indentured servants, or women as wives to lonely colonial men, in order to pay the passage for the ship.]
Ay: Lizzie, oh Lizzie, the trouble you will bring. It’s nice to have the option of selling yourself into indentured servitude, beats being a slave!
L: And, she is a great deal bigger not a wee lass, Mr. Wemyss.
L: Bree is on her way and as an independent woman. Between uncle Ian and what she brought with her she had enough to buy a contract for an indentured servant and passage for two to America.
I would like to buy passage on the Phillip Alonzo . . . for two.
Brianna giving her name as Brianna Randall was a pointed statement to show that Bree is not abandoning Frank. She definitely has Fraser in her but was raised a Randall and is not leaving behind the man who loved and cared for her for 20 years.
~ Toni Graphia, Outlander Community
L: Mr. Wemyss sends a blessing to his daughter. I couldn’t imagine sending my child to a wild country, with the possibility of never seeing her again. But, he loves her enough to go, rather than have her be a sex slave.
We decided fairly early on that part of the story would involve Frank because in talking about Brianna’s journey and her going back, the fact that she’s never met her birth father and was raised by another man for the first 20 years of her life and that’s the only father she’s ever known . . . how torn she would feel, as a character? ~ Maril Davis
L: Brianna turns to look one more time at Scotland and as she admires Lizzy’s dad saying goodbye. She spies something standing within the crowd. Wow, how many of us wish to see our loved ones who passed one last time?
[V: Lorinda, I know I do. The anniversary of my dad’s passing was yesterday. So, this scene hit me pretty hard.]
I know a lot of people want a quick fix and a sort of reunion between Jamie and Brianna. But I think people have to remember that Frank really did raise Bree and he did a very good job. There’s that guilt she feels going back. She feels like she’s betraying him. ~ Sophie Skelton
L: Daddy Frank standing as a soldier watching Bree as she takes this journey to save her mother. So, our journey beyond death can continue to cheer our children on; that’s a hope in life.
A: Her having that one last look at him broke me. As a book reader, I know Bree has a long road ahead, but I adore her confidence.
Ay: I dropped a tear; that Frank moment was poignant. The music was excellent. Frank’s theme stripped down to the piano and clarinet. The show, not myself, reminded me this time . . . Frank loved Bree and Bree loved Frank.
L: She also receives a go ahead from a very important person; that nod was wonderful. As I re-watched this part of the story, I noticed Frank took a deep breath knowing that she had to “soldier on.”
This scene reminded me of dropping my daughters off at college. As parents, we know that they are embarking on a journey that we can’t go on with them. So, we have to just . . . let go!
Episode Rating (1-5 Shots)
Well folks, we give this episode 5-shots, the first one for this season!
The writers gave us a story that kept us focused and intrigued, especially with the book changes they made. This episode was a departure from all the other episodes; in that, it did not physically have the main characters, Claire or Jamie, in it. We’ve seen this space through their viewpoint, this time we got to see the landscape through the lens of Bree and Roger. That was a feat unto itself and made this a challenging episode.
The cast managed to sell Roger and Bree’s journey completely to discovering the past, as well as themselves. To this point, Bree has been a secondary character. But this episode elevated her to a main character. It was Bree and Frank’s story and Sophie Skelton held her own with Tobias Menzies. We saw Claire, Jamie and yes, a bit Frank in her persona. We liked that the writers changed this story from the book and incorporated Frank through flashbacks. This change not only showed us what was happening from his point of view, but also highlighted the burden and guilt Bree has had for all these years. That would be an emotional roller coaster for any actor, but Sophie excel at it. Tobias Menzies has become a fan favorite for a reason – he has such a wide acting range. We got to see the back story of Frank and Brianna and how their relationship worked. He truly loved her as his own; and for that, we give him praise.
Richard Rankin also had a solid performance. We saw a different side to Roger this week as he also embarked on his journey to find Bree. And then there was Ed Speleers and his amazing performance of Stephen Bonnet. He is truly shaping Bonnet into something the audience hasn’t quite seen before on Outlander and is not a carbon copy of previous season villains.
With Laura Donnelly unable to film S4, that meant the writers had to rely more on Ian and Laoghaire to connect with Bree. Although Laoghaire is not a fan favorite, we must give props to Nell Hudson for playing the hell out of her character’s role and making us hate her so much! [Side note: We really prefer her on Victoria.] And, we cannot forget about Steven Cree’s calming nature and performance of Uncle Ian. We just wished we’d had more time with him.
The scenery was beautiful; the music was outstanding and we enjoyed the transitions between the scenes. The costuming and set designs were the key to selling the audience of Bree and Roger’s travails in the 18th century. So, a shot for Bear, Terry, Jon and their crew!
Last, but certainly not least, we appreciate that there are more females represented – in front of and behind the camera – this Outlander season, unlike we have seen in previous seasons. Shannon Goss and Jennifer Getzinger did a remarkable job!
How did you rate the episode and why? Let us know in the comments section.
What we are looking forward to in the upcoming episode.
Amanda: I’m excited to see the regulators back in action. I’m a huge colonial history buff so seeing the show’s approach to the lead-up to the Revolution is one of the highlights this season. I’m also hoping Roger apologizes to Bree if they meet up during the next episode. Yes, I am still pressed that he slut shamed her in Epi3. Follow Amanda on Twitter: @amandarprescott.
Lorinda: I’m excited to see Bree and Roger reunite. I guess this next episode will have me on pins and needles because of the conflicts that may be going on. I like action, so this one should be exciting to watch. I’m always excited to see Murtagh; he is one of the my favorite characters. Follow Lorinda on Twitter: @RindalovesBruce.
Ayana: Murtagh means regulator conflict and inching closer to the Revolution. Jamie and family about to be in the middle. Fergus is back, and I hope we check in with him. I need a Brianna and Roger reunion too. Bree is holding Claire’s wedding ring means she’s having an encounter with Bonnet. I’m genuinely worried. Follow Ayana on Twitter: @Ayana80Smith.
Outlander S4 Epi8 – Wilmington ~ Video via TV Promos
Written by Luke Schelhaas | Directed by Jennifer Getzinger
Synopsis: Roger’s diligent search for Brianna pays off when he finds her in Wilmington, but their romantic reunion comes to an abrupt halt when she discovered pertinent information that he intentionally kept from her.