Outlander goes back to the future in its latest episode, see what our roundtable had to say!
After last week’s controversy it’s nice to go on to an episode with controversy for a totally different reason! Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) can’t peace out of River Run fast enough as they bounce from River Run as quickly as they’re able with just a vague destination and plan in mind. But first Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) sets Claire down in a major way. Ladies of the 18th century aren’t really into the whole “woman on top” mindset. Or Jocasta just likes her nephew more than his outspoken wife. Maybe it was because Claire ruined her dining room table?
Then we flash forward to 1970! Roger (Richard Rankin) sells his house to the ever adorable Fiona (Iona Claire), who despite being married to another man is still making moon eyes at Roger. We get it girl. He jets off to see his own lady Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and head to a Clan Gathering in North Carolina. He’s nervous to see her but they seem to flow right back into a superb relationship. That is until Roger proposes and things go totally off the rails ending with Brianna just leaving Roger at the Gathering. Geez, Bree. We were a mad at him too but that’s next level.
Back to Jamie and Claire. Clarence the Mule runs away right before a storm and Claire goes off to find him. But some lightening finds her running for cover where she finds a skull and a ghost! She makes it through though and some ghost footprints sends her back to Jamie where they discover the skull has silver fillings. Ooo, a mystery. And after seeing some strawberries as a sign, Jamie and Claire find their new home and decide to take the land grant from Governor Tryon.
Let’s see what our roundtable had to say!
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – Sweet for Roger Mac. Admin for @rrankinfans.
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – I am an admin for the New York Outlanders – 5 Boroughs and I run the group’s twitter page!
Heather (@taterbug160) – Came for the tea. And Rollo.
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – Amanda-Rae is a Claire Fraser cosplayer, a Blacklanderzcontributor, 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.
1) This was the first episode that we’ve seen two simultaneous storylines playing out at once. What did you think of the format?
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – I thought the format was great! As book readers know, this story becomes increasingly complex as it goes along. The focus simply cannot continue to be solely on Jamie and Claire if we’re going to expand to include a growing cast of characters and storylines, and quite frankly, I’m here for that expansion. There were several visual cues linking past to present that I thought worked really well, so the transitions didn’t feel disjointed. In short, it worked for me.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – I liked it actually. I wasnt sure I would at first. But I found the Parallels between for couples and their relationships to be very interesting. I also like to win Roger and Bree were driving down the road and the next scene was Jamie and Claire on the same road. Seems to be setting something up. (*wink*)
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – I really like them going back and forth in time. It gives the viewer a glimpse from the past and one into the future. On my second viewing of the show, I noticed how they edited the road Roger was driving on and it became the road Claire and Jamie were on. I did want more of Roger and Bree at the end. How did they get home? Did they sit in silence on the ride back? Did Roger just hop on a plane in North Carolina? They left that hanging for Roger and Bree fans.
Heather (@taterbug160) – I love this format. Switching back and forth between storylines keeps it moving, where I’ve felt the pace has suffered in the past. Plus as Jamie and Claire discuss Bree, it’s nice to actually see what she’s been up to, since in the actual timeline, Claire has been with Jamie for quite a while before we catch up with her. I approve!
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I believe the format works for explaining to people who have not read the books that there are two timelines in this part of the story. Through the script, we can see Brianna is worried about Claire and is very curious about Jamie. It also works the other way around, Claire is uneasy about Brianna’s career explorations and also her relationship with Frank.
2) Jamie and Claire have departed River Run and they’re taking Young Ian who has decided to stay and an ornery Clarence the mule. What did you think about this leave-taking? Was it a satisfying conclusion to their time at River Run for you?
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – Given the limitations of the television format, I didn’t really have time to feel invested in River Run as anything other than a stop on the neverending journey that is Jamie and Claire’s story. It certainly didn’t have the emotional impact of them leaving Lallybroch, which is such a huge part of Jamie’s history. I did cheer at the appearance of Clarence, however. I love that animal.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – It felt a little abrupt and rushed but I guess there is only so much you can fit into an episode. But I do think the left Jocasta on not the best terms.
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – River Run seemed too short. They built such a beautiful set for it only to be seen in one episode and a few minutes in another episode. I liked Clarence but he didn’t have as much personality on TV as he did in the book.
Heather (@taterbug160) – It was touching to see Jamie leave Jocasta. You can tell he see’s his mother in her and has an affection for her personally. As for Claire (even though her values are 100% in the right place) she has been a salty bitch the entire time she’s been there. You’d think now she’s finally getting out of there she’d be a little happier. Though Claire was very disapproving in the books, I don’t recall such self righteous indignation. Hopefully now moving off into the wide blue yonder with her terrible wet wig, she wont be quite so miserable.
As for Clarence – I LOVE HIM. He’s so cute, I may forget about the fact that he appears like he’s not being played by an actual mule….
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I didn’t like the transition, it seemed too out of sorts compared to how emotionally fraught last week’s episode was. I would have preferred the episode started with the characters already on the road with River Run in flashbacks.
3) We’ve finally come back to see what’s going down in the 1960’s! Roger has packed up and sold his house to Fiona, which was probably more sad to him than he anticipated. But at least he has something to look forward to. Talk to us about that reunion with Brianna!
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – All I can say is THANK GOD FOR #ROGERANDBREE. The two of them breathed new life into this episode with a fresh look at young love and all its accompanying trials and joys. Seeing Rik Rankin and Sopie Skelton grow into their roles was a delight for which I’ve been waiting. Sometimes the Jamie/Claire focus can feel a bit heavy, their constant trials more joy-sucking than anything. Roger and Brianna’s storyline was more uplifting, even if it ended up fraught with tension.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – Oh my god! I squeaked! I was so happy to see them again! They’re awkward and adorable little cinnamon rolls.
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – Words can’t describe how happy I was for this reunion! Roger said to Fiona that he’s seen Brianna two other times. Why didn’t we see that?! When they finally are reunited, it’s awkward. Why should it be? They’ve clearly kept a long distance relationship going. I’m glad the writers used “The Minister’s Cat” But for non-book readers, they’re probably confused by the game. I’m glad Brianna has been forward with how she feels with some flirting and that kiss. Roger needs to get his head in the game and stop acting so old-fashioned!
Heather (@taterbug160) – Why was *I* so sad about the house!? The reunion (which isn’t really a reunion since it appears they’ve been hanging out quite a bit. Enough for Fiona to call her his “beau”) felt chummy. You can tell there is a comfort level between the two of them that wasn’t there last season, likely because of the time they’ve spent together that we haven’t “seen”. Roger is adorable and Bree is expectedly annoying. 😉
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I liked the reunion scene, you can tell Roger and Bree were happy to spend time together again in person. I wasn’t anticipating it as much as other people in the fandom were.
4) Jamie and Claire’s journey into the wilderness with no apparent destination was a little unusual. What did you think of their journey to discover what they want to do next?
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – It felt very transitional, which of course, it is. I have to imagine that it was like this for many people who immigrated during that time and found themselves heading westward in search of a new start. There’s an air of uncertainty, if not quite aimlessness, that would be inevitable in that situation.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – They were just kind of meandering about with no real direction. I couldn’t quite follow what was happening but then saw Otter Tooth so I guess it kinda made sense.
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – Their story was just fill in for me this episode. We all know they’re going to find Fraser’s Ridge. Just get back to Roger and Bree!
Heather (@taterbug160) – Well to be fair, they were headed in a general direction…. I think most of the settlers of the new world had to have a bit of that “we’ll go THAT way!” until they landed upon where they wanted to land. I think they have a bit of naivety which people their age should probably have grown out of. That said, I love them thinking of what their new life is going to be like, and I can’t wait for them to build the big house!
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I liked it from a visual standpoint, there are elements of North Carolina that would remind Jamie of the Highlands and then there are new elements. The strawberries were a great symbolic gesture, but I was slightly disappointed neither seemed too concerned about a Native land claim.
5) Roger and Bree are at the Gathering in North Carolina traversing the same road as her parents in the 1700’s! Their love story was at the forefront this episode as we watched them fall in love and Richard Rankin even got a huge moment with that song. Dish on this love story and Outlander’s new leading man taking his place front and center!
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – I’m so glad that we’re finally getting to see this storyline developing! I love Richard’s portrayal of Roger, and hope he’s given even more space within the framework of the show to come into his own. I was also very pleased with Sophie’s performance in this episode. I’m starting to believe in her version of Brianna, which previously had been overshadowed a bit by the specter of “Book Bree.”
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – Well it’s no surprise how much I love Richard and how much I love Roger. That song at the Gathering for me was a real moment. I think many many Roger fans have been waiting an incredibly long time for that particular scene and it didn’t disappoint. The love story between these two is so real and relatable…it’s strong and unsure at all once. Just like real life
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – I’m honestly ready for a new leading man in Outlander. Roger is such a good juxtaposition to Jamie; where Jamie is this “King amongst Men,” Roger is the everyday man. Some women want that Demi-god man like Jamie and other woman want an everyday type of guy like Roger.
Heather (@taterbug160) – I thought the Gathering was lovely and it was a treat to finally get to hear Richard (Roger) sing, since we know that is such a huge part of his character. I feel like Bree finally let down some of her steely walls to let him in. Admittedly I am not a fan of Bree in the books, but Sophie lends a softness to her that makes her a bit more likable and relatable. And the way she looks at Roger is really sweet. In an innocent, boy crush kinda way.
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I had no idea Rik Rankin could sing, so that was a nice surprise. Sophie Skelton in this episode clearly has hit her stride with bringing out Bree’s personality. I don’t remember the early part of their relationship in the books, but I do appreciate them as a couple in the later novels. Their scenes were adorable and I’m definitely rooting for them to get together.
6) We might have spoken to soon, since the moment we started feeling the feels for Roger and Bree, they seem to have imploded. Tell us how you felt about this explosive confrontation and what do you think it will mean for Bree and Roger going forward?
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – Given that there is an age difference between them, not to mention an enormous difference in upbringing and gender role expectations, I can’t see how this confrontation could have been avoided. Bree is a woman of the sixties in America, raised by Claire Randall Fraser, for heaven’s sake. Of course she’s going to have 1. confusion about relationships, given what she’s learned about her parentage and 2. a strong sense of independence. Roger is a very traditional man of his time who was raised in a deeply religious environment. However, they obviously love each other, so I have faith they’ll be able to find common relationship ground.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – Oh boy. I think they both massively misunderstood each other. And they’re both so stubborn and frankly a little hot headed. Makes for a pretty spicy relationship.
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – Brianna falls for Roger because she probably compares him to Frank. She’s the strong one in the relationship, and we saw that tonight when Roger tried to propose so quickly and Bree stood up for herself. I’m glad she was honest with him about how she felt about marriage and sex. She’s coming of age during a time when women are becoming independent and taking their lives into their own hands. Brianna is strong and she has every right to take her time with such a huge decision such as marriage. Roger shouldn’t have proposed and should have been more respectful when Brianna refused him, but I liked seeing them fight. They’ll work it out, because in this case, distance does make the heart grow fonder.
Heather (@taterbug160) – Ok, let’s just talk about the almost-sex scene. I know there has been quite the controversy with Roger basically shaming Bree for wanting to sleep with him without wanting to marry him. Bless his heart, because I DO love Roger, but his proposal was ill timed, and his response to her not being ready was ill put. Roger seems completely out of character with his judgy retort about her being a “good Catholic girl” and it comes off totally wrong. They both lack the emotional maturity and experience in relationships to actually talk this out and communicate, and it’s cringe worthy in this moment. Ironically in the book, it’s Bree I’m annoyed with, and on screen, Roger does that for me. I think the writers will be hard pressed to get this relationship back on track in a believable way after this. They seem to have washed their hands of each other.
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I was shocked at how fast everything came to a screeching halt. This scene COMPLETELY turned me off of Roger. I was so happy Brianna slapped him, although he deserved more than that! Roger is definitely now a misogynistic jerk in my eyes and I don’t approve of people who just want to gloss over the fact that he slut shamed a virgin just because he was “angry” at rejection. That’s the definition of toxic masculinity. I’m finding it hard to root for their reconciliation because he crossed a line that with other male characters I can’t come back from hating them. It’s going to be incredibly difficult for me to forgive him.
7) Even though there have been supernatural elements in Outlander before, up until now we’ve only really seen hints of them (dating all the way back to the premiere) but this episode we seem to have gone full ghost. How did you feel about the skull and the ghost and him leading our heroes back together?
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – We are talking about the Outlander which asks us to suspend our disbelief regarding time travel, right? Ghosts are mundane by comparison.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – This was interesting. Slightly confusing maybe for the television viewer but it does lay the ground work for some pretty important future events. I do wish they would’ve explained this importance a little better though.
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – This is a good tie-in with Native Americans and the time travel element. I can’t wait to see how this unravels. I’m glad the ghost was nice and led Claire back to Jamie.
Heather (@taterbug160) – I love them bringing in some more supernatural, dare we say, sci-fi type elements to the show. I mean, Claire has gone through the stones 3 times now! It adds something a little intriguing and special to the show to know there are more than just Claire and Geillis that have traveled. As for the ghost, I loved how they filmed it. I loved her realization that the skull with the fillings and the ghost are all linked together, and that she shares something with him so it makes sense for him to “help” her find Jamie.
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I believed initially the ghost was threatening Claire and Jamie to leave the Ridge because the Natives own the land. I was surprised the ghost led Claire back to Jamie. The skull of another time traveler reminded the audience that Claire is still trying to figure out why and how time travel works. We know Geillis existed, but it’s now possible there were people who landed in the Americas at this time as well. As far as the boot controversy goes, it’s clear she wore them as she went back in time. We saw in the premiere she’s still wearing the stays she made with the Batsuit, it’s not a big deal.
8) Jamie and Claire found each after the storm! (And Claire was awfully dry having slept in the dirt during a storm.) There’s strawberries and a lot of green screen of their new home! Did this ending tie you up with feels?
Lisa (@TribeTobias) – The scenery was beautiful. I’m having a more difficult time with the Jamie and Claire feels, however. At this point it’s pretty much Claire rushing headlong into trouble, Jamie rushing to the rescue, both of them ending up in deep dramatic dodo, rinse and repeat. A little breathing room for some, I don’t know, fun? Might help me become invested in their relationship again.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – Hmmmm possibly not with the feels but definitely a little bit of excitement for the future. All in all the end was slightly underwhelming.
Jenny (@CurlySueChick19) – It did feel very fake when we look out to Fraser’s Ridge area. How are they going to get down there? How many bald eagles fly around North Carolina? Is that waterfall real? I’m just worried fans will try to go to “North Carolina” and find this exact spot, and they’ll be very disappointed.
Heather (@taterbug160) – The GREEN SCREEN. It’s unfortunate it’s the last thing you see, because it’s so distracting to me! I try not to be one of those North Carolinians that is a bit too self righteous about it NOT looking like NC, but between the terrible wigs and the bangs and the green screen, it’s hard to pick what irks me the most. Most of the time the story carries me along and I forget about it, but yeah, it’s pretty terrible and it’s right at the end so it’s extra memorable!
Amanda-Rae (@amandarprescott) – I had some feels over Jamie and Claire finally settling down, but I had way more “Roger deserves a beatdown feels” at the end of the episode!
Final Verdict: A heated argument between Outlander’s newest almost-couple throws some life into this week’s episode!
We all really enjoyed the format of this week’s episode. Spending time with both Roger and Brianna instead of just Jamie and Claire opens up the story. And we’re hoping that as the show keeps adding fun and interested characters that this trend continues. It certainly helped pick up the pace of which is one of our chief complaints in the past few seasons.
This week’s controversy centers around Roger’s proposal and Brianna’s subsequent refusal. It’s difficult to watch this scene as a modern viewer and have a lot of sympathy with Roger. But our Roundtable was ready to give the minister’s son a pass this time around. We’re also a little reluctant to throw Roger under the bus quite so quickly. For one thing, it’s hard to feel something about Roger’s feelings about Brianna since we haven’t seen them together in so many episodes. It would have been nice to spend a little more time watching Roger and Brianna fall in love. As it was Roger just seems so extra it was hard not to be Team Brianna.
This episode was mainly to serve as a supernatural transition to bring Claire and Jamie to their ridge. We’d like to thank the producers of Outlander for smashing us over the head with “America” images. The green screen land and the waterfall wasn’t exactly our favorite this episode. Also shoutout to Claire and Jamie being bone dry after a giant rainstorm and Claire’s zippered boots, every girl’s favorite fashion in the 18th century. All joking aside this was an absolutely crazy continuity error and we are in fact shocked the show made it. It’s not something they really ever do.
As much as we tease about some things that happened in this week’s episode we enjoyed it. Quicker pacing and a change in focus from just one pair of main characters to
Next stop: Jamie and Claire arrive in River Run! It’s an episode sure to tackle some hot button issues, and we’ll be here for it!