Okay, y’all…this review/recap is late as all hell, but it’s finally here. Let’s do the damn thing.
The first thing we see during the titles is some kids in a park circa the 1950’s or ‘60s, playing cowboys and Indians. A Native American man sitting on a bench reading a newspaper watches them for a few seconds, completely disgusted.
The show goes back to 1770 where Claire and Jamie—that’s right, Claire and Jamie, along with Young Ian—finally reach the doggone Mohawk camp. And it only took damn near seven months. Thank God for modern transportation. Anyway, when they enter the village, the Fraser/Murray family makes it known that they come in peace. Ian tries to converse with them, and he spots the hot guy he sold Roger to. Hot Mohawk Guy speaks English, so Ian approaches him and asks if they can possibly get Roger back. Hot Mohawk Guy takes them to his chief, who also speaks English and is more than willing to trade with Claire and Jamie. At first everything’s going smoothly, but the tribesmen spot the stone around Claire’s neck. Remember that stone Claire found near that human skull early on in the season? Turns out that stone really means something, and the chief tells them they have to leave. Claire offers the stone in exchange for Roger, but no soap. The chief refuses, saying they will not trade with the family.
The Fraser/Murray clan leaves and makes camp nearby, trying to figure out a way to get Roger back. While they’re settling down for the night, they’re ambushed by a few rogue Mohawk tribesmen. The woman leading the attack demands the stone. Claire offers to trade the stone for Roger. The woman refuses without a fight. Claire asks why the stone is so important to her and her people, and the woman sits down with the family and explains.
Long ago, there was a Mohawk named Otter Tooth that arrived from the future. He preached to the tribe that the Native American people will be near extinct and white people must die, before they kill the tribesmen. He would paint himself and dance war dances in front of a fire. Some people in the tribe followed his word and scalped white people, bringing the scalps back to the village. The Mohawk became frightened, believing that Otter Tooth would cause soldiers to come to the village looking for vengeance, eventually bringing about the destruction of the tribe. The chief at the time banished Otter Tooth, but he kept returning, preaching to the tribe not to trust white folks. However, the Mohawk kept turning him away (almost sounds like the same story with the bear guy in the Cherokee tribe). After realizing that Otter Tooth refused to leave them alone, the Mohawk sentenced him to death. Otter Tooth escaped, but the tribe found him and executed him, cutting off his head, so they could no longer hear his warnings about Native American people being forgotten. After executing Otter Tooth, The Mohawk buried his head far away from the camp…but his warnings about the Native Americans’ bleak future stayed in their minds.
If you know the true story of the man in this GIF, you know there’s all kinds of irony here.
The woman says that whoever has the stone is followed by Otter Tooth’s ghost, and that person has seen the true fate of the Native American people. Claire admits that Otter Tooth’s spirit visited her before, and she promises to give the others the stone if they help them break Roger out of the camp. About an hour or so later, while the tribesmen are having some type of celebration, the woman sneaks the Frasers in the village. Sure enough, just as Brianna predicted, Roger recoils the second he sees Jamie, but Claire calms him down, letting him know that Jamie is her husband, and they’re trying to get him back to Brianna.
Once they leave the hut, one of the guards sees them heading out. The woman pleads with the guard to let them leave, but he fires his rifle instead, alerting the others. Jamie fights the good fight, but they’re outnumbered and eventually get caught. The woman is banished from the tribe for her disloyalty, and the Frasers are forced to leave. Claire begs to have Roger come with them, but the chief refuses, saying there was no fair trade. Jamie tells Ian to ask the chief to have him offered instead. Ian goes to speak with the chief, and when they’re done, Ian tells Jamie to take Roger and go. He’s staying. Jamie is confused, and Ian explain that he offered himself, not his uncle. Ian makes Jamie swear not to return to get him and to leave him there. Claire and Jamie can’t bear leaving him, but they have to. They say goodbye, and Ian apologizes to Roger for what he did. With that, the Fraser clan tearfully leaves Ian at the camp. *Sob*
After the family leaves, it’s announced that Ian must run The Gauntlet. Ah, shit. The Soul Train Line from Hell.
Ian starts running “The Gauntlet,” but unlike a 20th century historian that’s probably never really fought a day in his life, Ian knows how to fight off and dodge the tribesmen whuppin’ his butt, and he makes it to the other side of The Soul Train Line. The Mohawk happily adopt Ian as one of their own, and he’s overjoyed.
Brianna is back at River Run, speaking with Murtagh, who’s hiding out at the plantation for the time being. First he asks about Brianna’s engagement to Lord John (Murtagh and Jocasta had a little spat about that the day before), but Brianna assures him that it’s just a ruse that will continue until Roger returns. Murtagh then asks what in the heck she was doing at that jailhouse visiting Bonnet, and she tells him about how she decided to forgive Bonnet’s evil behind for what he did, like Jamie advised in his letter. She even says that forgiving Bonnet gave her some peace of mind. Murtagh asks Brianna if she will ever forgive her father, and she tells him that she already has. Before y’all give this heffa a standing ovation, keep reading.
Murtagh and Jocasta have a nightcap later, and they strike up a conversation about The Regulators. Murtagh tells Jocasta that with her influence in the community, she could do a lot to help people from being screwed over with high taxes. This leads to another heated argument where Jocasta accuses Murtagh of always wanting something, and admitting the “fact” that she never liked him. The argument ends with Jocasta throwing her drink in Murtagh’s face, and he appears to have a look on his face as if he has to restrain himself from laying hands on her. The scene cuts to the next day, and we see a glowing Jocasta staring serenely out of the window, with her hair down and a smile on her face. A familiar voice says, “Come back to bed,” and we see Murtagh in the bed, with his silver locks hanging down around his shoulders. Who didn’t see this coming?
Back at Nowhere, USA, Claire asks Jamie how Ian, Sr. and Jenny will take the news of their youngest son being a permanent member of the Mohawk. While Jamie is explaining that Ian has a wild and adventurous spirit, Roger lashes out and starts beating Jamie up! Claire tries to stop Roger from landing blows on her man, but Jamie insists that he get his anger and frustration out. Besides, he kind of deserves it…kind of. On one hand, Jamie did whup Roger’s ass. On the other hand, Jamie went through hell to get him back and had to sacrifice his nephew in the process. Roger wails on Jamie for about a minute and some change before he finally gets tired. Yeah, he’s real tough when the other person’s not fighting back. When Roger finally stops and tries to talk to Jamie, the latter explains that he didn’t even know who Roger was and whupped his behind due to a case of mistaken identity.
Roger asks why Jamie would beat the living snot out of him if he didn’t know who he was, and Claire tells him about Brianna’s assault and how Jamie mistook him for the rapist, who in fact was none other than Stephen Bonnet. Of course, Roger is horrified, given that he worked for Bonnet for sometime, and he admits that he left Brianna the night they were handfast. Jamie demands to know where Roger was when Brianna was assaulted. Roger sees fit to lay hands on Jamie again, and Jamie warns him that that’ll be the last unanswered blow. Roger, knowing personally how Jamie’s fistful of responses feel, backs his happy ass up and tells the Frasers about how Bonnet forced him to go to Philadelphia, which is why it took him so long to get back to Brianna. He also mentions how he found a Craigh Na Dun stone there in the states, and how he was planning on taking Brianna back to their time. Claire informs Roger of Brianna’s pregnancy, and that she’s stuck like Chuck for the time being; it’s not clear if a baby can pass through the stones. Claire also lets Roger know that the baby may possibly be Bonnet’s and not his. Roger says he needs time to think, and Jamie is about to get in his ass for that too, but Claire stops him. She reminds Jamie that if Roger needs time, he should take it, because this is their spoiled rotten daughter they’re talking about.
Back at River Run, Brianna gives birth to a healthy baby boy, before Claire and Jamie have a chance to get back in town. When the Frasers arrive at River Run two months or so later, Brianna looks for Roger, but he’s nowhere to be found. Oh yeah, and you know how Brianna claimed she forgave Jamie? Yeah, she doesn’t say two words to him when he returns. She doesn’t say two words to him for the rest of the show, actually. Oh, and she doesn’t even ask or care what happened to Ian. Man, this chick irks me.
Sometime later, Claire is thanking Jocasta for taking such good care of Brianna while they were gone, and she allows Jocasta to hold the baby, extending an olive branch. Now, a lot of folks had issues with this scene, and I can understand why. Claire held the baby, and so did Jocasta, but Jamie couldn’t hold his own grandson. Jamie never got to hold Faith or Brianna; if he did hold Willie, it may have only been for a short period of time, considering that he had to pose as the child’s personal butler and not freely admit that he was his father. Now Jamie can’t hold his doggone grandchild. Anyone else get the feeling that Jamie’s being treated like trash this season? The only crappy treatment Jamie received that was slightly understandable was the one-sided ass whuppin’ Roger gave him, and even that went on longer than it should have.
Brianna is clearly upset over Roger, but she pulls herself together enough to go on with life, and yadda-yadda-yadda. However, her depression is short lived, because guess who rides up a few days later? That’s right, Roger. Yay. After they embrace, declare their love for each other and all that good stuff, Roger tells Brianna that he wants to see his son. I liked that part.
Suddenly, Red Coats ride up to the house, and that’s never a good thing. Brianna automatically assumes they’re there for Murtagh, as does everyone else. Jocasta has her right hand house slave hide Murtagh in the slave quarters, because why would a self-respecting white man be in there? Also, I couldn’t help but notice that Jocasta went all out of her way to hide Murtagh, but when poor Rufus was being hunted with pitchforks and torches, she couldn’t wait to serve his rump up. I get that Murtagh’s her man now, but damn. Anyway, the Red Coats enter the house, and it turns out they’re there for Jamie. Thankfully, they’re not there to arrest him or anything like that; they just had to deliver a message from Gov. Tryon. What, the Pony Express hasn’t started yet? It took all that? Jamie reads the message, and reveals that he’s been ordered to lead an investigation into The Regulators. His first task is to bring the fugitive Murtagh Fitzgibbons into custody so he can die by the hangman’s noose. Dun-dun-dun!!!!!
Okay, y’all. This episode was really good. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and the hour flew by so fast, that when the show cut to black I actually yelled, “That’s the end!?” I really liked that Claire and Jamie finally had some screen time on their own doggone show for the first time in about two or three episodes, but I hated that Ian had to separate himself from his family to get Roger back to Brianna. Then that brat Brianna didn’t even ask about Ian! Oooh, she works my nerve! Also, Brianna claims she forgives her father for what he did, but when he’s actually in front of her, she doesn’t say hi to him, doesn’t hug him, she doesn’t even ask him about the weather. Plus, she didn’t let him hold his grandbaby. WTH?
Uh…your daddy can’t read your mind, boo! Open your spoiled rotten mouth and talk to him! As for Jocasta and Murtagh, they make a cute couple, so I was amused to see them hook up. Maybe now she’ll lighten up a little. I could hope for her to have a bit more enlightenment when it comes to the enslavement of black people, but that’ll be like asking Donald Trump to give up the border wall.
Now onto my review of this season as a whole. Let me start by saying that Outlander hasn’t been the same since season one. The first season grabbed me from jump street and didn’t let go. The only episode that kind of dragged was “The Search,” where Claire sang an old Scottish folk song to the tune of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” over…and over…and over again (for those of y’all that don’t know, that’s why Murtagh whistled the song to Claire when they were reunited). To be honest, “The Search” was still interesting, despite the song grating my nerves after the first three times hearing it. However, the series has been a bit lacking since then. I still enjoy it, but it’s not as good as it once was. The problem with season four—as with seasons two and three—is that it starts off slow then picks up halfway through. A few weeks ago, Sam Heughan posted a clip from The Simpsons on his Twitter page where a judge mentions that Outlander really gets going eight episodes in. That’s not exactly a lie (it’s really five or six episodes in). The first few episodes drag, and as I said before, the first episodes from this season felt like something my US History teacher from my junior year in high school would have us watch…only the stuff she had us watch was much more engaging.
Also, I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Another thing I hated about this season is that Claire and Jamie have basically become supporting characters in their own doggone story. Claire and Jamie are the ones that got me hooked on the show. I’m here for them, not Roger and Brianna. One of the good things about season three is that when Claire went back in time to reunite with Jamie, the show went back to being all about them. No more Brianna, no more Roger. As a result, the episodes were a lot more interesting and drama filled—good drama, not bratty tantrums. This go around, the writers provided Brianna and Roger with the most interesting storylines, even when Claire and Jamie were the central focus. I wish that focus and energy would be spent on the people we came to see in the first place instead. I don’t want Roger and Brianna’s story to be dull, but don’t trade in Claire and Jamie’s appealing plot points so their bratty ass daughter and future son-in-law can get their moment in the sun.
I was watching Roger and Brianna’s reunion clip on You Tube, and someone commented that if this is the route the show is going to take, the producers are in a world of trouble, because not too many people like Roger and Brianna. I have to agree with that assessment. Personally, I don’t have too much of a problem with Roger—his extreme marriage proposal faux pas aside—but that doggone Brianna…I don’t wanna have to deal with her any more than I have to. Just when she was starting to act like a doggone human being, she turned right around and reverted to the little monster we were introduced to in the season two finale. As I said before, I enjoyed the show more when Claire and Jamie were at the forefront where they belonged, and Roger and Brianna’s appearances were scarce. Let that demon child and her potential baby daddy be doggone supporting characters like Fergus and Marsali. Hell, I’d like more of Fergus and Marsali than Roger and Brianna. They make a better couple, in my opinion.
Last but not least, all the racism that the Frasers have to face this season left a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, I understand that this was the cultural norm for the 1700’s, and yes, I understand that it makes sense for Claire and Jamie to endure new hardships with new adventures. However, the constant racism against black people and Native Americans was infuriating, nonetheless. Hell, if I wanna see racism, I don’t have to look any further than the news or log on to Twitter. Shoot, sometimes all I have to do is walk into a store or go to an open house in a nice neighborhood. I remember when my purebred collie was still alive; people would see me walking her around town—namely the well off neighborhoods—and automatically assume I was a maid. Go figure.
Another thing that bugged me about this season was how blasé Brianna was when it came to slavery. Claire was the second coming of Harriet Beecher Stowe when she arrived at River Run. Brianna was more like Benedict Cumberbatch’s character from 12 Years a Slave; disagreeing with the practice of slavery to an extent and treating the slaves with respect, but completely apathetic to their plight. The sad part is that Brianna had a black roommate in the ’70s. Brianna probably can’t even face that child now, considering that she may have possibly took advantage of some of her ancestors. What’s even sadder is when Jamie and Claire did their part to help a slave last season, folks on the internet had a fit, calling them “white saviors” and accusing Outlander of being tone deaf when it came to race issues. On the flip side, when it comes to Brianna and her “it is what it is” attitude, I’ve heard nothing but radio silence. SMDH.
All in all, this season was aiight. There were some exciting episodes, but there wasn’t enough Claire and Jamie, and there was way too much Roger and Brianna. I got tired of hearing Native American people referred to as “savages” (I get that was a popular term in colonial times, but I don’t have to like it), and I got tired of seeing black people enslaved and the characters in the show just being cool with it. When Outlander gets going, it gets going, but I’m gonna need it to step up a little bit next year. I don’t want to give up on this series. We need more Claire and Jamie, y’all. More Claire and Jamie and less Roger and Brianna. And less racism. Go back to Scotland, y’all.
—Written by Nadiya
So what did you think about the season finale? What are your thoughts on this season as a whole? Did it have too much racism? Are you fine with how race relations are portrayed? Did you miss seeing Claire and Jamie on a regular basis? Do you believe that the show’s focus should shift towards Roger and Brianna? If Roger and Brianna do become the show’s main focus, will you still enjoy the series? What do you think about Ian becoming part of The Mohawk? What do you think about Otter Tooth’s warnings to his people? Do you like Jocasta and Murtagh as a couple? Let me know in the comments section!