Spoiler Warning: The following discusses detailed plot points from the Season 4 episode “The False Bride.” If you haven’t had a chance to watch the episode yet, go back through the stones and return once you have.
Hey there, sassenachs! If we thought Season 4's premiere was rough on the Frasers, last week's episode left them forced to make even tougher choices, caught between a rock and a hard place at River Run after an incident between an overseer and a slave ends in Claire attempting to save the young man's life, but at the cost of potentially threatening the welfare of all when a violent mob gets wind of her actions.Jamie and Claire
In the aftermath of last week’s events (which, as it turns out, is only the night prior in the show’s timeline), Jamie’s forced to let Jocasta down gently by telling her that he and Claire can’t stay at River Run; after taking Ian to Wilmington so he can sail back to Scotland, they’ve got their eyes set to the west to settle in the mountains. Before they leave, Jocasta presents Jamie with a gift: his mother’s silver candlestick holders. This won’t be the last we see of Jamie’s aunt, I’m sure, but saying goodbye to the incomparable Maria Doyle Kennedy, even if it’s only for a short while, is breaking my heart as well as Jamie’s.
Of course, Jocasta can’t seem to let Claire leave without getting in a dig about how she’s holding Jamie back from his true potential, how he’s always been meant to be a laird, how his talents will be wasted in the undiscovered country, blah blah blah. And of course, Claire seems convinced that Jocasta knows nothing after only having spent a couple days with them, but methinks those words will sow the seeds of discontent soon enough.
As they set out on their journey, in a move we probably could’ve seen coming, Ian decides to break from Jamie and Claire and tag along with mountain man John Quincy Myers for a bit before meeting them at their final destination. Naturally, this gives the two some alone time for honesty hour about whether Jamie is happy in his current situation, but as he assures Claire, he would literally hold down the world for her and be perfectly content. Dreamysigh.
While in search of their wayward mule Clarence (that is actually a thing that happens), Claire takes off into the woods. Turns out a rainstorm also happens to be a-brewing, and a sudden lightning strike spooks her horse, who throws her off, knocking her unconscious. Somehow it feels like these things always happen to Claire, don’t they? In case you thought enough couldn’t go wrong, she wakes up in the middle of the dark forest in the freezing cold rain with pebbles in her boots. When she retreats under a tree for shelter, she stumbles across a literal human skull and a large opal. Oh, and there are wolves howling in the distance. It’s like something out of a horror movie, especially when Claire experiences a vision of the skull’s owner: a Native American man bearing a torch and an opal necklace, who only appears in the light from the storm and eventually wanders off again into the night.
In the morning, Claire wakes up to find her boots missing, a set of prints left in their place, and when she follows them she’s reunited with Jamie. They both seem to accept the fact that a ghost brought them back together — but the bigger twist, however, is when Claire realizes the skull in question has silver fillings, something that wouldn’t exist for another hundred years. It’s proof that there are others like Claire and Geillis who have traveled through time, but who was this man? For now, it remains a mystery.
The Frasers continue their journey to find a hill covered in strawberries. It’s a sign as far as Jamie’s concerned, and not just because a strawberry is part of his clan's emblem. The land is good and the view is stunning. It’s the perfect place to settle down and start their new life together. They might have to accept Tryon’s offer and make a deal with the devil, in Jamie’s words, but it’ll be home, and they shall call it: Fraser’s Ridge.
We finally pick up with these two younguns in this week’s episode. The setting: 1970s Inverness, where Roger and Brianna have been doing the long-distance thing while he’s in Scotland and she’s in the States studying engineering at MIT. Clearly, the answer to not spending months in each other’s company is to road trip from Boston to North Carolina for a... Scottish festival? But honestly, the two of them sharing old-school Dairy Queen and stealing smooches during the ride is pretty adorable.
A visual I didn’t realize I needed until we got it: Roger singing a Scottish love song while playing the guitar, all while wearing a kilt. It’s a glorious audio-video combination and I don’t even blame Brianna for getting a little teared up while watching her man play. Girl, you need to quit it with the LDR and lock that down already.
And lock it down she does, or tries to at least, sharing a glass of whiskey with Roger while shacked up in a cabin before one thing leads to another and… he’s pulling out a box right when they're starting to get hot and heavy. It’s a bracelet engraved with a French phrase and it’s presh and then Roger decides that it’s also the right moment to propose? But Brianna’s a young, free-spirited American who won’t be shackled by marriage so soon into their relationship, and one thing leads to another in the less fun fighting department. It gets pretty ugly; at one point, Brianna slaps him for insinuating that he could’ve had his way with her already if he’d wanted to, but he didn’t because he… loved her? Ultimately, Roger tells Brianna that he’d rather have all of her or none.
Come on, you crazy kids, you might be even more dramatic than Bree’s parents. Suffice it to say, the drive back to Boston is probably very frosty and not just because they’re headed up north.
- Ian basically recapping the events of last season to Jamie as a reason for why he’s old enough to stay in America is a reminder of just how ridiculous this show can get (“set upon by pirates — twice, kidnapped, thrown into a pit, sailed through a hurricane”), and that’s only the latter half!
- I really love the juxtaposition in this episode between Roger and Brianna’s road trip to the Scottish festival in North Carolina and Claire and Jamie’s wagon journey into the mountains to the original Scottish settlement. Parallels! But ones that also make you really grateful for modern transportation!
- Jamie speaking Gaelic to a horse is something I never knew I needed to hear again until it happened, and it is as melodious and comforting as you think it would be.
That’s it for now, Outlander fans! Feel free to sound off in the comments about your favorite moments this episode, as well as your predictions for where this season will go, or tweet at us over at @Syfyfangrrls. Are Roger and Brianna over for good? How will Ian fare alongside his new buddy Myers? And what's in store for the Frasers now that they've officially put down roots? See you next week!