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Outlander heads to “Wilmington”

Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-14- Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables

Outlander heads to “Wilmington” with Brianna and Roger Mac

We’ve got a supersized Outlander roundtable for “Wilmington” this week as a Christmas present to all you fans! First things first we catch up with Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) as they have some catch up time with Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and Marsali (Lauren Lyle). Claire and Jamie are in town to have a little catch up time with Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) and see a play. As you do in 18th century Scotland. Politics will happen. Meeting George Washington will happen too, because history.

RELATED |Outlander Roundtable 4×07 “Down the Rabbit Hole”

Meanwhile Roger (Richard Rankin) continues his search for Brianna (Sophie Skelton). He finds her relatively quickly and Roger is a little short with Brianna. Maybe he’s overwhelmed with the stress of time travel? Anyway Bree is touched that Roger loves her so much he’d follow her 200 years in the past so they forgive each other their fight and decide to get married. Well, handfast, which is basically Scottish married. Then they have their romantic wedding night before Brianna finds out Roger knew about Claire and Jamie’s newspaper obituary and all hell breaks loose.

At the play Jamie hears Tryon say he set a trap for regulators and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) so he mashes a guy with a hernia so Claire has to perform emergency surgery and he can warn him. Claire is a badass and performs awake hernia surgery. Murtagh is warned, and both sides know there’s a mole in their camps.

After Bree leaves Roger she heads into a tavern where Evil Stephen Bonnet  (Ed Speelers) is playing cards. She sees him gambling with her mother’s ring and goes into a back room to try to buy it back. But Bonnet has other ideas and takes the opportunity to rape her and it’s as awful as you imagine.

Let’s hear from the roundtable because that was a lot.

Radha (@BaaderLander) – I watch Jamie and Claire for the articles. Talk Outlander to me on Twitter! 

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – Amanda-Rae is a Claire Fraser cosplayer, a Blacklanderz contributor, and a frequent period drama live-tweeter. She is the host of This Week in Mammoth Screen Dramas Fancast, a podcast devoted to following the production company behind Poldark and Victoria. She is also the founder of the Poldark Costuming Project. She used to contribute to TVAfterDark, and in 2019, she will be the host of Nerdeek Life’s Roundtables on Victoria Season 3. 

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Live in NYC but time travel every Sunday. www.theurbanoutlander.com.

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – By day (and often by night) Desirre is a working midwife, a wife, and mama. She is an avid reader, student of higher education, podcaster, and a fan of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and historical television, movies, and pop culture. Find her podcast twitter here!

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – Reader, singer, jewelry-maker, aspiring author, yogi & taco-lover.

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – Author, researcher, educator, loves history, movies & jazz!

As for Blacklanderz, we are folks who love intellectual TV shows, like Outlander. Website: www.blacklanderz.com Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-8 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables

1. Fergus and Marsali are parents! They’re back! Were you surprised to see them?

Radha (@BaaderLander) – It’s great to see Fergus and Marsali grow into parenthood and be a loving extension of the Fraser clan. Side LOL – Jamie not going near the baby because Sam Heughan is apparently bad at babies.

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I expected Fergus and Marsali to make a return appearance, but I was happy for them anyway. They’re adorable and Marsali’s growing relationship with Claire is also quite sweet. Laoghaire is a train wreck, but she brought up Marsali quite well! I hope we see more of Claire and Jamie playing with their grandson!

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) –  I was more surprised to see their bangin’ new digs! What side hustles are they doing to be rockin’ that new place? Printing and sewing aren’t adding up. Are they participating in an early American tradition of money laundering?

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – I was glad to see them, but not surprised since they have been an ongoing part of the storyline in Wilmington. Sweet baby Germaine is about as cute as a baby can get. Marsali is incredibly mature for her young age and has transitioned into motherhood with a combination of awe and maternal levelheadedness. I do wonder what type of father Fergus is. 

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – It was awesome to see Fergus and Marsali, but the size of their wee Germaine surprised me. He’s been born and looks like a 6-month-old! Which leads me to think that a lot more time has passed. Especially since one of the things Marsali said when we last saw her was how much she was looking forward to having Claire help her with the birth.

Vida (@Blacklanderz) –  With the title of the episode being “Wilmington, I wasn’t surprised to see them at all. I was glad to see them. They always add lightness to the show and I love me some Fergus! However, I was surprised to see Jamie and Claire there visiting with them and their first grandchild. That was a sweet moment.Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-1-1 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables

2. After a few moments of frustration Roger found Brianna (and he looks a little mad at her)! Was their initial reunion in the past what you expected?

Radha (@BaaderLander) – I think they played glad and shocked and confused and angry to see each other pretty well. 

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I expected Roger to get on his knees and apologize for the slut shaming nonsense from the Scottish festival, but it didn’t turn out that way. I know the show wants you to believe Brianna was rude to let him find out a year later, but what he did was way worse. This of course did not happen and I’m still waiting for him to apologize.

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – The brief moments of happiness to see each other was of course short lived. These two have some serious communication problems and a good case of juvenile regression.

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – At first it felt right, heartwarming and exciting, but their bickering in front of prying eyes made it less than ideal for me. I don’t think Roger was mad but more exasperated at not finding her at first.  

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – Having read the books, I had some notion of how the reunion might take place and this was consistent with that. However, I was confused about why Brianna would agree to marry Roger after she had so vehemently said that she wasn’t ready. Overwhelmed with the emotion of the reunion perhaps?

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – Since I view the show differently and don’t really compare it to the books that much, I did not have any initial expectations. I loved that the audience was able to see Roger finding Bree through his eyes, off camera calling her name. That was a pretty sweet moment.

Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-16 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables   3. Claire and Jamie are quite the movers and shakers, meeting with George Washington at this clearly wonderful play. What was your reaction to Jamie & Claire living history?

Radha (@BaaderLander) – LOL at Claire nerding out over meeting George Washington, and I love how he’s introduced in the context of the vivacious Martha Washington. Questionable save after blurting out the cherry tree story.

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I’m Hamilton OBSESSED so I was screaming at the George Washington cameo, which I can’t remember was in this part of the books. I know in later books, the plot intersects with The Battle of Monmouth which makes #Hamilander canon. (Come on S8 you know who to cast to make this crossover even more amazing!). I cracked up at Claire talking about the cherry tree because I knew it was an anachronistic legend. Jamie’s conversation with Washington made him realize Scotland is just a tiny dot in the scheme of things.  

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Claire fangirling over George Washington was entertaining. I like how she has “teachable moments” with Jamie since she has the advantage of being from the future (“He’ll be called a President.”). I think rubbing elbows with some famous folk now are planting seeds for later (revolutionary) fruition (I haven’t read past book 4).

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – I loved this part as a bit of foreshadowing (the American Revolution IS on the horizon and to be on the right side of this war, Jamie would have to switch sides) and creating a small connection between the Washingtons and Jamie, and poor old Georgie boy becoming the target of Tryon as a traitor in his midst is interesting. It was endearing having Claire stumble over the cherry picking story and funny as she seemed socially inept and out of her element in the presence of high society folk. I want more goofy Claire!  

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – I loved Claire so much for fangirling over George Washington. It warmed my own fan-girl heart. (#hiddlestoner4life) That being said, I wondered why Washington would have been in South Carolina at this point. Also, how could Claire, Jamie, and Ian all be away from their homestead at the same time? Who is taking care of those animals? My animal-lover heart needs to know!

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – It always amazes me when they are living history right in front of our eyes. To be able to meet historical figured would make me as gobsmacked as Claire was. Although I have often wondered about traveling back in history, unfortunately, mine would be the same, not with that sort of interaction. You know mine would be more akin to Phaedre and Ulysses situation. Now, that would be fascinating to talk to them, as long as I could get the hell out of there when I was ready to go and not be harmed!

Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-20 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables

4. Who doesn’t love wedding? Give us the goods on Roger and Brianna’s hand fasting. Were you aquiver with romance?

Radha (@BaaderLander) – The scene itself was nice, but what exactly about how Roger relates to Brianna changed between his condescending, patriarchal interaction with her at the festival and their Wilmington reunion? Nothing. Her sexual status is still important to him, he still requires the commitment of marriage, and further, they do not discuss the details of this dangerous mission Brianna has set for herself. So there’s no opportunity for Roger to demonstrate that he will support her through it, which, spoiler, he doesn’t. If we learned anything from Jamie and Claire, a true romance requires honesty and respect in addition to love. So far, Roger and Bree only have one out of three.

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I felt it was romantic, but I’m a bit leery of fully rooting for Roger and Bree. She was very flattered of course that Roger pursued her across time. He did make a decent effort to show that he wants to be with Bree for the long haul. 

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Nope though I do like how Roger is the more sensitive guy who comes up with the idea. Lucky for them they found some poor sod’s shack to “hand fast” in various ways. That was convenient. The echoes to Jamie and Claire’s wedding night were abundant but I would’ve been ok if they stopped before they really got started.

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – I wanted to feel the love and romance, but with Brianna reminding Roger of his desire to have all or nothing of her as they were making out was the first indicator this scene would not be what I’d hoped for. Second, Brianna blurting out she loved him: Now wait a minute, didn’t she just tell him she left the twentieth without knowing where they stood as a couple? I didn’t feel the deep love she’d been guarding for so long finally bursting from her. Apparently, Roger had banked his trip to the 18th on the hope she loved him too. The handfasting was sweet and held the tradition that is so important to Roger. 

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – The handfasting was very sweet, but I still couldn’t wrap my head around Brianna agreeing to marry after she said she wouldn’t. Where has our headstrong girl gone?

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – It was very sweet and romantic, though Roger did not think it was. It was so spur of the moment; it moved more quickly than I thought it would. I was impressed that Roger not only knew what to do, but also knew his vows and helped Bree with hers.

Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-7 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables   5. Politics, plays, and more surgery! There’s a spy amongst the Regulators and a spy with the Governor (that’s Jamie, ye ken). What did you think of the politics and surgery here in Wilmington?

Radha (@BaaderLander) – Jamie’s tranquil life in the wilderness is over now; it’s a fiction. He’s straddling two irreconcilable sides and the stakes are getting higher. I love the moments when we see Jamie sitting so rigid among the other theater-goers and then to see the wheels start to turn with how he’s going to handle the regulator situation for now. Dr. Claire efficiently kills two birds with one stone – distracting the party and fixing an inguinal hernia (ew). It’s wonderful to watch Jamie and Claire work as a team.

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – Jamie’s finding it even harder to stay loyal to Murtagh while Governor Tryon has the land grant over his head. It also puts him in a position where even other elites are jealous of him. Of course the longer he stays around Wilmington, he realizes that Murtagh is right but he may be too heavy handed with his approach.  As far as the surgery goes, Claire not only got a chance to tell a misogynist to sit in a corner, she also gained some intelligence about what exactly taxes are being used for. The show is doing a good job of fleshing out the class issues in colonial society and how they influenced what led up to the Revolution.

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – I thought it was a little bit of a snooze fest. This episode had to do a bit of plot devising and it served as a bridge to other things that happen in the next episode so none of the politics interested me (though I look forward to more tension between Jamie and Murtagh’s politics) and Claire’s mad skillz with surgical knives without spilling a drop of blood on her prim off-white dress was a slight distraction but we’ve been here already. I feel like Jamie will eventually have to make a decision between protecting Murtagh or allowing him to become arrested by the British. 

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – I loved this part. I actually giggled when Fanning revealed an injury during the cocktail hour. How could anyone not love a surgical distraction as a foil to Murtagh getting busted by the po-po? Jamie adding insult to injury was hilarious before he slipped out and hitched a ride with the Washingtons.

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – I loved Jamie figuring out how to cause a distraction so that he could warn Murtagh. I loved Claire taking charge to aid the hernia patient. And how she managed to keep Governor Tryon engaged on that action, so he wouldn’t notice Jamie’s departure and return. I love it when Jamie and Claire work together to “get it done”. I loved most that Claire makes a believer out of Tryon and he defends her against the other “doctors” who arrive and question Claire’s methods.

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – Well, the politics is understandable for the time. The governor is hell-bent on catching the regulators. The only thing important to him is building his palace with the tax money. I am just glad it played out the way it did, and he mentioned the trap to Jamie. Now for the surgery, as I mentioned in my live tweet, it was a clever move for Jamie to cause the chaos and force the surgery. I am not sure I want to see a surgery every episode or hear Claire say, “I’m a healer” or “I’m a doctor/surgeon.” But for the purpose of it all, it worked. Murtagh was warned and stayed out of jail and Fanning is better and on the mend.

Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-17 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables

6. After the marriage comes… Well, you know. Outlander is pretty well known for it. But let’s take a different tactic! Tell us where this one falls in your ranking of “ultimate Outlander sexy times”.

Radha (@BaaderLander) – Roger and Bree’s love scene was difficult to watch. They’re not Jamie and Claire, no one could match their chemistry, and Roger and Bree have not earned that kind of intimacy with each other as characters. So it was jarring to see their love scene given a similar visual treatment. I’m not normally a pearl-clutcher, nor do I think Outlander is gratuitous with sex (though we’ll get to sexual violence in a moment), but watching Roger and Bree’s love scene felt invasive in a way that is atypical compared to how I generally experience Outlander.

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I’m not sex scene obsessed the way others are but I did appreciate the parallels to Jamie and Claire’s scenes from 1×07 and 1×08. Roger and Bree were a bit more awkward because it is clear Roger doesn’t want to scare or hurt Brianna.

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – No no no I didn’t need to see any of it. First of all, Roger’s chest hair. Jamie killed the wrong guy a few episodes ago cause Roger is the bear! Then seeing those two have sex I just felt like I was intruding and that I shouldn’t be watching. We saw these kids grow up and so much of the sexy time has been fulfilled by Jamie and Claire that it feels wrong to watch their daughter lose her virginity to the “may I have another biscuit” kid.   

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – Oh bother. Such a pity. I didn’t feel the Outlander sexy time love with this one. For one, we didn’t get to “I-spy” Rick Rankin’s bare behind like we did Sophie’s. I mean where’s the equity?! Two, the words were there, the actions were there, but the smoldering heat was merely a simmer. I think the writers’ could have taken heed from Jamie and Claire’s wedding night. One also a virgin and one experienced, yet together there was fire. Perhaps part of this scene is on the virtual cutting room floor. Rick Rankin is a sexy man and somehow it was lost in this translation.

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – To be honest, I had some pretty high hopes in that this episode had a female director, Jennifer Getzinger. I wanted to have the same amazing experience that we were all blessed with in the first seasons ‘Wedding’ episode with Jamie and Claire. I was disappointed. There wasn’t nearly enough female gaze for me here, but it was okay. Also, others might criticize how Brianna asks Roger, “if it was alright” meaning the lovemaking since she was a virgin. I can see that perhaps here they were trying to show Brianna being vulnerable enough to drop her usual self-assuredness to be truly intimate with someone else for the first time.

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – I know Bree is a virgin and all, but it wasn’t all that sexy to me. Perhaps, it was the back and forth, between scenes of them and what was happening elsewhere, that I did not like and found it difficult to be totally enthralled with them. If they had stayed with them from the wedding through the fight, that would have worked better for me. The timing was a little off-putting and I felt a bit awkward watching it. Additionally, their relationship is a bit choppy and seems rushed. The show has not given them any time together, so it is hard for me to get into them as much I’d like to. Sophie and Richard are growing into their characters. They are beginning to perform better with each other and this episode highlighted that. I just think they need more time. It suffices to say, this was my least favorite Outlander sexy time.

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7. Well the honeymoon is over. That didn’t take long. Tell us all your thoughts about this fight between the newlyweds?

Radha (@BaaderLander) – Broken record much? We’ve seen this dynamic play out between Roger and Bree multiple times at this point. Their connection is strong but so tenuous, and every time they fight Roger gives Bree ample, legitimate reasons to turn away from him. It’s hard to see the loving historian in the current Roger. In this instance, Roger cops to hiding the truth to get what he wants – precisely what Bree called him out on – so not only is he deceitful, he’s an impediment to her agency. It’s a source material problem that has persisted on screen.

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – It proved I was right not to completely trust Roger. He was so misogynistic demanding Bree obey him! Also he was wrong to tell her he knew about the obituary because he was likely the one who sent it Frank in the first place. Brianna’s stubbornness was completely justified considering how he treated her the last time he saw her. It’s funny, in the books I  liked him, but now I’m kinda OK with Roger getting in trouble for breaking Brianna’s heart. She’s definitely a Fraser with her stubbornness. 

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – Ay yay yay! Roger should’ve apologized that he didn’t tell her sooner and Brianna should’ve put her big girl panties on (since she clearly discarded her little girl panties earlier in the evening) and they both coulda moved on but nooooo. I like how Brianna yells at Roger, “I was just a child!” when he brings up her guilt over her father’s death and I thought, “Wasn’t that like two years ago and she’s still acting like a kid?!” I’m looking forward to the day when both of them grow up but will that day ever come? 

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – I don’t think this fight made them relatable or real as it was meant to (according to Rick Rankin). TV Brianna seems too soft and girly to stand up and fight with Roger. Frankly, the dynamic between them makes him appear to be a jerky a-hole while she appears to be too young and immature. It didn’t come across as two strong yet very different personalities (one traditional and one modern) clashing as real people do. Roger being the one to leave after the argument instead of Brianna took away her having agency and being the strong one making the decision also put a pin in my perspective.  

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – I feel that both Roger and Brianna had good points in their argument. However, Roger should not have issued an ultimatum on Brianna. It really shows how little they know each other. Ian Sr. had said that you cannot push a Fraser (speaking about both his wife, Jenny and about Jamie), that they’ll be stubborn and won’t back down when they are angry. Roger could have chosen to deescalate the fight, but by challenging Brianna and then leaving without any additional information, one wonders if these two really understand what loving someone means. That you try to work things out and don’t just give up when the going gets tough. In the book, it is much clearer that Roger intends on coming back to Brianna after the fight.

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – I know they are trying to stay as close to the book as possible, but I hated that they never fully communicated with each other. And just like at the festival, Roger lashes out about Frank because he is hurt and hurts Bree. I know they had to do something to escalate the argument and scene, but I didn’t like that part, not one bit. And then, Bree being as stubborn as a mule, just lets him walk out (of his own place) and she’s left alone. However, on another note, Sophie Skelton performed very well this episode. At the end of this scene, I really did feel for Bree when she realized what all happened and Roger was gone.

Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-2 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables

8. There’s no getting around this other elephant in the room. Sexual assault is a hot button issue on this show. As a fan, tell us what you thought about the final minutes of this episode and what they were like for you.

Radha (@BaaderLander) – Brutal, unnecessary, and I felt just as complicit as the rest of the tavern folk. Brianna’s rape is a big moment in the story that I’ve always felt was 100% unnecessary to the overall plot. It offers nothing new about the characters or the setting. It compromises everyone’s decision making down the line in ways that are retrograde and unflattering. A low note to end on.

Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – Sophie Skelton and Ed Speleers were great as actors, however I was angry the entire time even though I know it happens in the books in a slightly different way. I have not been a victim of a rape or sexual assault, but I know too many people who have been. Even before the “Me Too” movement exploded, I was critical of the way Outlander treated rape as a feminist-minded Millennial. Now considering how the cast side stepped the issue at the New York Comic Con panel, I’m even more outraged. I’m raging the show set up a scenario where after refusing to kowtow to Roger’s misogyny, she then gets “punished” by Stephen Bonnet. Even in the book, Bree’s rape only serves as a plot point for Roger’s marital issues and Jamie’s treatment of Roger and not Bree’s suffering. The show’s version makes it a billion times worse by having Bonnet’s merry band of assholes doing NOTHING to stop the rape. I’m not apologizing for believing the show could have done without the plot entirely. I’m sick and tired of the novels using it as a trope as well as the writers supporting her outdated views on sexual violence. This was a chance for the writers to actually do some good breaking away from the books. Seeing Outlander tweet the RAINN info after the episode sent me into an even deeper level of rage since the entire episode essentially glorified rape culture while the PR team searches for pats on the back. I’m also digusted at some in the fan community who are blaming Bree for what happened and the people who are loudly complaining that the show needed to stick to the books on Bree’s rape yet complain about all sorts of trivial changes on the show. 

Jordyn (@urbanoutlander) – It was chilling to hear Brianna’s screams while no one did anything. The monotony of someone neatly placing her boots by the door as some sort of gesture of civility made it all worse. The episode director Jennifer Getzinger’s choice to show Brianna take the long walk up to her room sealed the bottom-of-the-barrel emotional low we the viewers experienced and even if you thought Roger was a jerk earlier we wished he was there to help her. Sometimes it’s hard to watch and say, “Oh it’s just a tv show,” when a  character’s violent actions, a young woman’s reaction, and others inaction is all too real in our own world.

Desirre (@DesirreAndrews) – I loathed the assault being on the heels of her having sex for the first time with Roger. THE SAME NIGHT! Come on writers’ room give the girl a break. It DOES show that Bonnet is a serious top shelf antagonist. Brianna was swept up in the situation seemingly without intention, unlike the book where she sought him out when she noticed the ring. In the book, she falsely believed that meeting him during the day when others would be around would make her safe.  I applaud the writers for keeping the assault mostly from our point of view to decrease the gratuitous and voyeuristic element. The casual listeners in the other room doing nothing to help her during the attack adds to the horror of it all. It begs the question, “What would you do?” Another piece of brilliant writing was the visual of Brianna’s boots being kindly picked up and put back together while she was being treated with no kindness or tenderness. That is a staggering piece of imagery. Sophie was excellent before and after this scene. She was utter desolation.

Shoshanna (@PDXRosaNoire) – I appreciated that the rape was not shown and that the audience only heard Brianna’s cries and witnessed the inaction of the other bar patrons. It was very heartbreaking. I did not like the juxtaposition of the rape so quickly after the wedding night. It felt rushed and almost punitive, in the sense that if Brianna and Roger had been together, perhaps it wouldn’t have happened. It felt like it was reinforcing Roger’s argument that Brianna was a immature and unprepared for what might happen in those times without the protection of a boyfriend, husband or father. Rape is never deserved or the fault of the victim.

Vida (@Blacklanderz) – I’ve never liked the fact that Diana used rape as a plot device in her novels. I don’t care how it was during that time; she just has too damn many of them! With that said, it was gut-wrenching to watch. I found myself holding my breath almost the entire time. I was difficult to watch and hear Bree scream for help and those bastards just sat out there and continued playing their card game. Although I do know that they could not avoid the scene because it is an integral part of the plot, I was pleased that they decided not to show it. And since they decided not to have it in flashback, I am hopeful that they will highlight her trauma in upcoming episodes.

Nerdeek Life Outlander-4x08-4 Outlander heads to "Wilmington" Nerdeek Life Roundtables

Final Verdict: It’s not all hearts and flowers for Roger and Brianna in “Wilmington”: But why?

Ok so maybe this wasn’t everyone’s favorite episode of Outlander this season. For the most part it was the politics that were most impressive. We’re not always on board with Claire flexing her doctor muscles but this time it was actually the release of tension that we wanted! Roger and Brianna, we’re definitely less sold on them.

So why are so many fans not feeling Roger and Brianna on screen? Let’s have a little real talk about why we might be less than enthusiastic about Roger and Brianna. It’s true that Brianna might be a bit tough to warm up to in the books. She can be a bit immature. Is that the reason? We’ve been tough on Sophie Skelton in the past but she’s definitely improving as Brianna. So perhaps we can chalk part of our difficulty with the characters to Brianna’s immaturity

Now let’s talk about Roger. He’s been coming across just as immature as Brianna this season. And after watching Jamie grow as a man not mired in misogyny (and he grew up in the 18th century) seeing Roger bogged down by this issue is tough to swallow. This leads to communication breakdowns for Roger and Bree. Almost every one of our roundtable guests cited their serious communication problems as tough to overcome as we watch their scenes.

But the real trouble is we just haven’t seen them enough. Last season we didn’t see these two lovebirds after Claire went back to the 18th century to look for Jamie. We were deprived of the chance to ever watch them work as a couple, so it’s difficult to root for two people who seem to have nothing but communication breakdown after communication breakdown. They claim to love each other but we’ve been cheated out of that evidence.

But let’s talk about what we did like. We were all about Jamie and Claire meeting the Washingtons. Especially since it gave Claire the opportunity to deliver one of the best lines of the episode as she has to cover up mentioning George Washington at the cherry tree. And we were all here for Claire performing surgery on this dinner table! The Frasers working together to save Murtagh, doing what they do best.

On to something else we didn’t love in this episode: Brianna’s rape at the hands of Stephen Bonnet. We take the position that a few of our roundtable guests did in feeling the rape wasn’t necessary. Especially where it was placed in the timeline of events, directly after her first experience with Roger. We could think of a great many ways it could have changed (and feel free to interact with us on social we’ll be happy to say them). It placed Brianna in a position to be victim shamed, which just isn’t acceptable. The complacency of the occupants of the tavern made us feel sick. Even the woman replacing Brianna’s boots, which some of our roundtable liked, felt dirty.

Any time an episode deals with anything currently controversial, feelings are bound to run hot. We at Nerdeek Life didn’t love this episode but some of the fans in our roundtable really did enjoy it. That’s why the roundtable exists! We’ll see how the show moves forward, but “Wilmington” won’t be making our “Top Ten” lists of favorite Outlander episodes anytime soon.

Outlander returns next Sunday, 12/30 at 8 PM EST on Starz!

We'll be here with Outlander all season!

Every week we will be here with an Outlander fan roundtable! Interested in being on a roundtable? Message Andee on twitter: https://twitter.com/andeesings
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About The Author
Andee Galeno
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