By Maureen Lee Lenker
December 30, 2018 at 09:01 PM EST
Starz
S4 E9
B+
type
  • TV Show
Network

This week on Outlander it’s the family reunion we’ve all been waiting for!

We pick up exactly where we left off last week — with Bree returning to her room at the tavern immediately after being raped by Stephen Bonnet. She is deeply traumatized, crying and shaking as Lizzie looks after her, taking note of her bloody nose and tears. Bree struggles to undress and flinches when Lizzie goes to help her. Lizzie notices the bruises all over Bree’s back and the blood on her petticoat, confirming all her assumptions when she saw Roger pull Bree outside. Only the perpetrator wasn’t Roger, obviously.

Roger returns to the tavern to try to find Bree the next morning, and he runs into Bonnet eating his breakfast. Bonnet threatens him, telling him he must continue on as a member of his crew until they reach their final port of Philadelphia to get his wages. He has to choose between a limb or a lass, Bonnet menacingly jokes. Roger asks the tavern owner to tell Bree he was there.

Bree sleeps until midday and is upset to see that Lizzie, who has been ill, washed her bloody petticoats (mostly because she is never going to wear them again). Bree is more determined than ever to get to Cross Creek and find her parents. She goes downstairs to ask after Roger and discovers he left with the crew of the Gloriana. She searches the docks for him, but the ship has set sail. She stares at the horizon and clutches at the silver bracelet he gave her.

But wait — Lizzie has some good news. She’s been talking about all the Scots settled in North Carolina and heard the story of a woman who performed surgery at the theater only the night before. The woman’s husband, one Mr. Fraser, has just been seen nearby.

Bree goes to find Jamie and happens upon him while he’s relieving himself — you know the way we all hope to meet the father we’ve never met before. Jamie assumes she’s propositioning him and dismisses her, but when she knows his name he is taken aback. She reveals that she is Brianna and his daughter, and the two share a touching, tear-filled reunion. He admits he never imagined her as a grown woman, only a wee bairn. They embrace, and he can’t wait to take her to Claire.

Claire is leaving her quarters, counting coins when she spots Jamie sitting on a bench and is astonished to see Bree next to him. Her eyes go wide and they embrace, while Jamie smiles looking on. Both of these reunions are heartfelt, tearjerkers — moments book fans have waited for all season. One quibble I have with Outlander is that it prizes romantic love over all other forms — Bree is barely a legal adult when Claire leaves her behind. Yet, we’re meant to support Claire saying goodbye to her forever to chase after a man she loves. It’s maybe an unfair bias towards an expectation for maternal devotion, but it’s never sat well with me. Let’s be honest, if my mom was like “Hey, I’m going back to the 18th century to get some good loving,” I’d be super angry. And I’m almost 30. So, it does the heart good to see them come together again.

Bree almost immediately shows them the obituary with the smudged date as an explanation for her presence. Jamie invites her to stay with them on Fraser’s Ridge and see the new life they’ve built for themselves. Brianna agrees, but only if she can bring Lizzie. Ian returns and is shocked to meet his cousin (who definitely eyes her as a romantic prospect for a hot second, if we’re being real). He knows when it comes to Claire, it’s best to not ask questions. Oh, Ian, if you only knew.

The whole party travels on a boat down the river to head back to Fraser’s Ridge. Lizzie definitely has the hots for Ian, but he assumes she’s just into his dog, Rollo. Turns out 18th-century boys are just as clueless as modern-day ones.

While onboard, Bree tells Claire about Roger coming through the stones. Claire realizes Bree is in love with him, and Bree reveals they were hand-fast but had a big fight immediately after and he returned to Scotland to go back to the present. Or so she assumes. Later, Ian explains to Bree that he’s frightened of this part of the river because they were robbed here by a man named Stephen Bonnet who charmed them all and then betrayed them. He says Bonnet stole Claire’s wedding ring, which makes Bree realize this man who took advantage of Jamie’s goodwill is the same man who raped her.

As they continue their journey on wagon and horseback, Jamie and Claire discuss everything from Bree’s evident heartbreak to the news she’s brought of their deaths. Claire suggests they’ll just have to be sure to be away from the cabin every Sunday prior to January 21th for the next decade. Jamie isn’t convinced this plan will work given how little luck they’ve had changing history before. They make a brief stop on the ridge to show Brianna the CGI view we’ve been enjoying all season. She marvels at it and brings up Daniel Boone, who she realizes is alive in the current moment. GOLLY GEE, ISN’T THE PAST SOMETHING ELSE?

Once they return home, Murtagh is waiting. Since Tryon has it out for him, he’s going to hide out on the Ridge for a while. Then, Murtagh meets Bree. They all enjoy dinner together later and Bree passes along the message to Ian that Jenny wants him to write more. Murtagh tells ribald stories of Jamie’s youth, including one involving Dougal’s daughter and his first kiss, a dirk, and his bollocks. You had to be there I guess. They all struggle to connect.

Claire fears Lizzie has malaria and prepares some Jesuit bark for her, while Bree struggles to tell her something. She can’t open up about her assault yet, but she does manage to tell her that Frank knew Claire returned to Jamie and the past. Claire is shook, but says Frank always knew her heart was here. Bree admits now that she’s seen them together she understands why she had to come back. Claire tells Bree it’s ok to feel overwhelmed by the past — she once felt the same. She tries to get Bree to open up about Roger, but Bree is resigned to his being gone.

Speaking of Roger, he’s not gone. Not really. He’s not docked in Philadelphia, collecting his wages from Bonnet. He asks to take gemstones instead of coin as his wages. Presumably, just in case he does need to go back through the stones.

Bree busies herself doing farm work, adjusting to life on the Ridge. She’s wearing breeches now (FINALLY! Book lovers have been waiting) and helping Murtagh gather water from the stream. Heck, she even churns butter. Jamie sets up a shooting range for them, but he’s astonished to learn Bree is already a great shot. She says “her father” taught her to shoot. And things get awkward. Later, Claire convinces him to take Bree hunting to get some good one-on-one time since Frank is still such a thing between them.

He goes straightaway to wake her. They go hunting bees but take their muskets with them (I know this is in case they encounter wild animals, but it still feels absurd from a visual standpoint). Jamie keeps referring to her using Gaelic aphorisms, which he explains to mean “my darling” and “my blessing.” They see the sights, including a bald eagle. WE GET IT GUYS, THEY’RE IN AMERICA NOW.

He explains how he will blow smoke in the beehive so he can collect it and take it home to have honey. Jamie makes a pointed comment about the bees being content in their new home. He says he doesn’t mean to replace Frank, and Bree admits she feels like she’s being disloyal to him by being with Jamie. Jamie is grateful to Frank for loving Bree despite not seeing himself in her. Still, he’s not sorry Bree has come back to him. He tells her to call him “Da.” Awww.

Claire wakes to find Jamie staring into the fire. He doesn’t want Bree to return to her own time. Claire says she wishes Bree could stay too, at least for a while. But, ultimately, Bree belongs in the present day — it’s safer and has better opportunities for women. Jamie calls Bree a “gift,” recollecting Jenny watching her babies sleep and saying he could do the same with his own child.

Bree has been having nightmares still, and Claire can tell something is wrong when they go picking herbs. Something beyond just missing Roger. She reads Bree’s mind and realizes Bree is pregnant. Bree thinks she’s two months along, and Claire chastises her and Roger for not using protection. “I didn’t think I needed to pack condoms, mama,” she retorts. LOL. Guess now I know what to pack just in case if I ever time travel.

Finally, Bree uses this moment to reveal her assault. She says the baby might not be Roger’s and Claire is shocked, then horrified when Bree breaks down in tears saying she didn’t fight this other man hard enough. Claire hugs Bree and tells her it’s not her fault. Bree is pretty sure the baby isn’t Roger’s because he pulled out — and the rape happened the same night, which only makes her cry harder and Claire hug her more fiercely.

Later by the fire, Claire tells Jamie that Bree was raped in Wilmington. And also, she’s pregnant. Jamie is understandably very upset by all of this news. Later, Claire is doing laundry and her wedding ring falls out of Bree’s pocket. She realizes what this must mean and confronts Bree about it. Bree admits she saw Stephen Bonnet with the ring and offered to buy it, which is when she was attacked. Claire is upset Bree didn’t tell her, but Bree was worried both Claire and Jamie would feel guilty since they helped Bonnet escape. She makes Claire promise she’ll keep it between them as she fears Jamie will go after Bonnet.

But it’s not Bonnet Bree needs to worry about.  Roger is on horseback, hunting for Bree, and using a compass. Unfortunately, Lizzie spots him while she’s out with Ian and points him out as the man that hurt Bree. They go to Jamie and Lizzie explains he’s the man who she watched take Bree away with him. Bree didn’t return until dawn, covered in bruises, with blood on her petticoats, which signaled she had been a virgin. (Ok, yo, can we stop perpetuating this old-fashioned belief? Yes, I know Lizzie is from the 1770s and thus would think this, but it’s not great to keep putting out this myth into the world. End rant). Anyway, Lizzie could smell the man’s “seed” on Bree — a fact which is almost as upsetting as the depiction of the events themselves.

Jamie is enraged, but he asks Lizzie if she’s sure the man she just saw is the man who attacked Bree. She says she is, and he sends her back to the cabin with a promise not to say anything to Bree and Claire.

Roger is minding his own business when Jamie strides toward him without a word and punches him in the face. He beats the hell out of him, making his face a bloody pulp and knocking him unconscious. Ian rides out to him, and Jamie tells Ian to get rid of Roger. He doesn’t want him murdered since he doesn’t want blood on Ian’s hands but tells him he doesn’t care what he does with him so long as he gets him out of his sight. So, Ian rides off with Roger’s unconscious body atop his horse. What a bloody mess.

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Diana Gabaldon's genre-bending time travel novels come to life in the Starz series.
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