What’s up, y’all! I told you I’d do my Outlander recaps this season, didn’t I? Yes, I know I’m late as all hell, as usual (and yes, I’m aware I’m still an episode behind), but better late than never! I was wrong about one thing, though. Instead of doing one mini-recap, I have to do two before going into what happened in last week’s episode. Not much is happening this season so far so the recaps won’t be too drawn out. Here we go!
Episode 1 – “America the Beautiful”
“America the Beautiful” starts off with Claire and Jamie in North Carolina, awaiting their friend’s execution for basically defending himself against a pissed off husband that tried to murder the poor man after finding him with his lyin’ ass wife. Jamie suggests causing a distraction to free his friend (whose name I can’t remember at the time, and I’m not going out of my way to find out, considering the guy was a peripheral character at best), but his buddy refuses and accepts his fate. We see that Jamie’s friend isn’t the only person about to be hung on the scaffold. There’s also a dude named Stephen Bonnet that’s about to be strung up as well for the crime of piracy. Long story short, Jamie’s friend dies, a commotion is caused by someone else in the crowd right afterward and Bonnet escapes.
The Frasers consider taking a ship back to Scotland to take Young Ian back to Jenny and Ian, Sr., but they soon decide to stay in America, because…reasons. Fergus and Marsali decide to stay for a more legit reason: Marsali’s pregnant, which means Claire, Jamie and nutty ass Laoghaire will be grandparents! While finding a spot to officially bury Jamie’s friend later that night, they find Stephen Bonnet hiding in their wagon, and he begs them to help him escape the authorities. Claire and Jamie’s hearts are made of gold, so they help the dude out. Big mistake. When they travel with Young Ian down the river to go to Jamie’s aunt’s plantation, Bonnet catches up to them and thanks them for their kindness by robbing them blind and killing Jamie’s other friend from prison, with Ray Charles’s “America the Beautiful” playing in the background. This is America. Don’t catch you slippin’ up.
Episode 2 – “Do No Harm”
*Sigh* This episode’s story line pissed me off so much, I thought I’d need a damn drink afterward. After Jamie and Claire are robbed by murderous pirates, they finally make it to Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta’s house. Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta has a beautiful plantation right on the river (as a matter of fact, the property is known as River Run), that’s chock full of slaves. Claire, of course, is not here for the foolishness, so you can imagine her reaction when she finds out that Jocasta left the plantation to Jamie when she dies. Jamie figures he can take the property and free all the slaves, but he soon finds out in order to do so he’d have to go through a ridiculous amount of red tape that I won’t even try to break down, because it’s all bullshit. So much for slavery being a choice.
To add insult to injury, Jamie is later summoned to be a witness “to ensure that justice is done” after a slave has injured an overseer near River Run. However, when Jamie gets to the location, he sees the slave with a hook in his side and a noose around his neck. The overseer, injured though he may be, is the one stringing the man up. Guess he wasn’t hurtin’ too damn bad. Neither Claire nor Jamie is up for this shit, and Jamie orders the man off the noose. Oh, that pissed off the townspeople plenty. Claire takes the slave, Rufus (the young man admitted to Claire later that he was taken from Africa, so there’s no telling what his real name is), and performs surgery. Jocasta warns that they’re making a grave mistake and they must turn Rufus in to the authorities as mandated by the law. They basically give Jamie until 12:00 AM to hand Rufus over. Needless to say, the bloodthirsty racist ass mob shows up at River Run around 10:45.
Jamie suggests to Claire that they should euthanize Rufus instead of delivering him into the hands of the mob, where he’ll undoubtedly face a long, agonizing death. Claire agrees and puts some poison in a tea and allows Rufus to drink it. After Rufus recalls his happier times in Africa with his sister to Claire, he passes away. Jamie delivers Rufus’s dead body to the River Run chapter of the KKK and they proceed to string him up on the nearest tree as Jamie, Claire and Young Ian watch in horror. Welcome to the dirty south.
The Current Show!
North Carolina, the 1700’s
This brings us to the present, so to speak. After the Fraser/Murray family personally witness a live retelling of Roots, they wisely decide not to spend any more time at River Run. Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta isn’t too happy about that, especially when she hears Jamie’s plans to live out his days as a printer, but she’s just SOL. They’re going. Jocasta makes sure to give Claire an earful before they head about about how Jamie is squandering his birthright and how he should have been a laird, and yadda-yadda-yadda. Yeah, Claire. How dare you? Being a slave master isn’t that bad! It’s perfectly fine to snatch up an entire race of people just because they’re a different color than you, debase them, split up their families, force them to change their culture and religion and have them work for you day and night…for free! What’s even better is that Jamie can get freaky with the slave girls, knock them up and either sell the babies for profit or utilize them for even more labor! What’s even better is that this practice will go on for another hundred or years! Jamie had the perfect chance to carry on the practice of systematic racism and oppression. Damn you Claire, you selfish ho.
Right before Jamie and Claire leave Jocasta to her foolery, Ian lets it be known that he’s staying in America with them and not returning to Scotland. Jamie tries to convince Ian that he’s not old enough to be on his own, but Ian reminds his uncle that he’s been attacked by pirates twice, gone through a hurricane, kidnapped and thrown in a dungeon (not to mention he’s been sexually assaulted and witnessed a hate crime). After all he’s been through, he’s basically grown from a boy to a man in the past few months. I had to agree with Ian after hearing that, and Jamie does too. Jamie relents and goes to write Jenny and Ian Sr., but Young Ian tells his uncle that he’s a man now, and a man can write his own letters. You go, young man.
The Fraser/Murray family set out with the family dog, Rollo, and Mr. John Quincy Meyers, a local guide. Ian, who has become pretty close with Mr. Meyers (they started to bond in the previous episode when Mr. Meyers helped Ian wash Rollo after the pup had an encounter with a skunk), breaks away from Claire and Jamie with his new friend to trade tobacco with the nearby Native Americans. While the Frasers have some time to themselves, they chat about Brianna, and how in her time, women can be anything they want to be. Claire admits that Brianna hadn’t quite found her way when she left (we learn during this episode that Brianna began studying engineering at MIT sometime after Claire went back through the stones). Jamie assures Claire that Brianna is a smart young lady, and she’ll eventually find her purpose. Claire later asks Jamie if he was making decisions about his life just for her sake, and if being a printer would really be enough for him. I guess Jocasta’s foolery got under Claire’s skin after all. Jamie tells her that although he enjoyed living the life of an outlaw, he’ll gladly give that all up for her, Ian, Fergus and Marsali. Just then, they hear thunder from an oncoming storm, and their mule runs off. Hardheaded Claire runs off after the mule although Jamie tells her to stay there. You can imagine Jamie’s surprise when the mule returns, but Claire doesn’t. It turns out when Claire runs off to find the mule, she ends up lost in the process. Learn to listen, Claire.
To make matters worse, while Claire’s trying to find her way back to Jamie, lightning strikes a nearby tree and spooks her horse, causing her to fall off it and hit her head. *Sigh* By the time Claire wakes up, the storm is in full force, and she has to find shelter. She camps out under a large tree and uncovers a human skull as well as a jewel. Claire seems to be intrigued by what she finds (I’d be creeped out by that doggone skull), and she notices someone carrying a torch nearby. At first, she figures it’s Jamie coming to save her, but it turns out to be a Native American man walking towards her. Now here’s the kicker: each time the lightning flashes, the man disappears, but he reappears once the lightning stops. I’d really be freaked out by this point.
When Claire wakes up the next morning, she finds her boots gone, but there’s fresh footprints in the ground. The footprints seem to match her boots, so she follows them. They lead to a stream, and not only does Claire find her boots near the water, she finds Jamie, too. Yay! It turns out Jamie followed the footprints to the stream as well, and he asks why Claire walked to the stream in her stocking feet. Claire tells him that although her boots are there, she’s never been to that stream before. Sometime later, she’s washing her newfound skull by the water and notices that there’s a silver filling in the skull’s teeth. It doesn’t sound too farfetched to us, but fillings aren’t invented for another hundred years or so. Come to think of it, toothbrushes and toothpaste didn’t come around for another hundred years, either. I bet everyone had breath bad enough to singe somebody’s nose hairs.
After Claire makes her revelation, she and Jamie look out over the land and see how beautiful it is. Jamie’s smitten by the location, and he decides that he and Claire will make a life there in that very spot. Jamie decides to call it Fraser’s Ridge. Awww…
North Carolina, the 1970’s
The series has gone back to giving us Roger and Brianna’s storyline along with Claire and Jamie’s (yay?), and we see that two years have passed since we last saw the budding couple. They’ve never officially said they were together, and Roger admits that they haven’t really had a chance to hang out in the last few months due to their schedules—and the distance they have apart, I’m sure—but Roger is committed enough to leave Scotland, fly out to Boston and drive with Brianna to North Carolina to attend a Scottish festival with her. The ludicrous notion is mentioned by other characters within the show, and I’m glad it is. That’s like me leaving South Carolina, flying to Philadelphia then driving to Syracuse to attend their version of the Egg Scramble Jamboree (South Carolinians—namely ones in the Pee Dee region—know what the Egg Scramble Jamboree is. The rest of y’all Google it).
Roger and Brianna start off having a great time together, on the drive to North Carolina and at the festival itself. It’s obvious they’re both falling in love with each other, and Brianna decides to take the relationship to the next level, and by next level, I mean actually telling people that Roger is her boyfriend. Plus, the entire trip, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could see that Brianna really, really REALLY wants a piece of that Scottish strudel.
When nightfall arrives, Roger performs a few songs with his guitar as he promised, and even sings a beautiful solo. By this time, Brianna has to damn near be hosed down. Brianna invites him to her room for drinks, and doesn’t waste anytime making her move. Roger decides he wants everything to be “perfect” before they do the do, though. Basically, that translates to him completely ruining everything in 3…2…1! This fool proposes marriage! Of course, Brianna is shocked, and informs him that he’s moving way too fast. After all, she just started introducing him as her boyfriend that afternoon. Roger doesn’t care. He wants the wife, the house, the white picket fence, the four kids, etc. Brianna stops him in his tracks. She doesn’t want to get married—at least not at the moment.
Roger has the audacity to get pissed, and reaches the highest point of pissivity when Brianna continues to try to kiss him. “You won’t marry me, but you’ll fuck me!?” Wow. Roger goes on to slut shame Brianna, and she reminds him that it’s 1970, not 1870. He damn sure ain’t no virgin, and there’s precious few women still saving themselves for marriage. Roger figures that Brianna just doesn’t love him, but she assures him that that’s not the case. Roger isn’t trying to hear it. Later, Brianna meets up with Roger again during the stag burning ceremony (if anyone knows the official name for this ceremony, let me know in the comments) and tries to talk to him. When he asks if she’s changed her mind, she tells him she hasn’t…but she does want to be with him. Roger tells her that either she’ll love all of him or none of him. Roger goes to burn the ceremonial stag in the name of the MacKenzie clan (no disrespect, but this scene put me in the mind of The Wicker Man a bit. The original, not the wack Nicolas Cage remake) and Brianna leaves, ending the show. *Sigh*
So far, this season of Outlander has been pretty ho-hum, and this episode was no exception. It’s not quite as sleep inducing as the first half of season two featuring the Frasers in France (God, that was awful), but it’s not grabbing me as of yet. You know it’s a sad day when Roger and Brianna bring more drama and a tad more interest to the screen than Jamie and Claire.
While I’m on the subject of Roger and Brianna, let me just say that although Brianna isn’t my favorite character on the show (that honor is bestowed on her daddy), I agreed with her wholeheartedly on this. Some folks might say this is why I don’t have a man, and hell, maybe it is why, but I believe Roger was actin’ a damn fool in this episode. Like I said before, they weren’t even officially calling themselves a couple until that very same afternoon, and before he left for America, he wasn’t even sure what their status was. But yet you went out and spent God knows how much on a ring? Boy, bye!
Plus, Brianna is what, 22? She hasn’t even finished school yet (she mentions this herself)! I can’t blame her for not wanting to jump the broom before really experiencing life just yet! Personally, I can’t stand when men take it to the extreme over the least little thing! I remember when I was 18, I met a cute dude at the Eckerd drug store (telling my age again). I gave him my number, and everyday, multiple times a day, starting at 9:00 AM sharp, he would call me and tell me that he missed me. He missed me!? I just met the dude! See how ridiculous that is? Roger really needs to pump his brakes.
The recap for the next episode is gonna be late is all hell too, but I’m on it. Stay tuned!
—Written by Nadiya
So what did you think about “The False Bride”? Was it interesting, or mostly dull? What about Roger and Brianna’s storyline? Was Roger right to propose marriage so soon, or did he jump the gun? What do you think about the Native American man Claire saw? Was he a ghost? Do you believe Jamie is wasting his ambition and birthright not taking his aunt’s plantation? Let me know in the comments section!