And Brianna shares a secret with Roger.
Outlander Season 4 2018

Thank you, Outlander showrunners, for recreating the infamous moment when Bonnie Prince Charlie disguises himself as a maid, hops on a ship, and escapes Scotland after the uprising. Obviously, this flashback is the vehicle with which viewers are introduced to the equally notorious Flora MacDonald, but hearing a distraught Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Andrew Gower) complain about a scratchy bonnet and heavy petticoats was a giddy breath of fresh air. 

We find Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) in Wilmington, North Carolina, anticipating an event celebrating Flora MacDonald. Claire recalls seeing biscuit tins in her timeline, featuring both the Bonnie Prince and Flora in a spirit of Scottish rebelliousness. Yet today, Flora will be speaking on behalf of the crown, promoting peace. Is it odd that a former Jacobite is so eager to join the loyalist cause? 

Jamie understands the push and pull of the movement. An audience of loyal British subjects has much to lose and very little to gain. They've fought for a dream before, and they lost. They have sworn an oath to the crown. If Jamie didn't have Claire's knowledge of the future, he'd be right there with them. 

Not only is Jamie looking forward to the event, but he's also been invited to "raise a glass" to King George III with Cornelius Harnett, who everyone knows is associated with the Sons of Liberty. When Jamie meets him for a drink at the local tavern, Cornelius invites him to a meeting the next night, knowing his association with Jamie could be considered questionable, thanks to his friendships with government officials. Jamie assures Cornelius that he is following his conscious. He's not following "a side."

Sam Heughan
| Credit: Robert Wilson/Starz

Back at Fraser's Ridge, Roger (Richard Rankin) continues to help the widow Amy McCallum (Joanne Thomson) and her son Aiden. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) roams the countryside with Marsali (Lauren Lyle), Malva (Jessica Reynolds), and Lizzie (Caitlin O'Ryan), trying to figure out a place to install a water wheel. Brianna's passion is evident — indoor plumbing. Praise hands for that invention, am I right?

The women stumble across a burned spot in the ground, with flat stones, dried seaweed, and bones of human fingers that make a small teepee. Marsali immediately recognizes it as a love charm, and I laugh. I absolutely love that she knows this bit of information and have every confidence that Marsali would be on every dating app if she lived in modern-day North Carolina. 

Because she's a lady, she implies that one of the "fisher-folk" probably conjured up this spell. No one remembers that Malva is one of those fisher-folk because Lizzie falls ill and is taken back to the house to treat her malaria symptoms. 

However, might I point out that Malva is indeed the guilty fisher-folk. We see her later creep into the dingy tent of a dead man to cut off a few of his digits. Yes, it was gross, and yes, I was right when I predicted that there was something up with Malva. But is she only trying to find love? Or is this heavier? And are we supposed to know the dead man in the bed with flies buzzing around? 

Meanwhile, Jamie and Claire are delighted to see Lord John (David Berry), and Jamie is physically pained when his friend drones on and on about the wonder that is William. Apparently, Jamie's son is tall, well-educated, and a whiz at chess. Jamie interrupts John to pick a bone with his Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Jamie is furious that she has enticed Fergus (Romann Berrux) with a print shop in New Bern. And now he and Marsali are moving off the Ridge. 

What is happening? Did I miss something?

Not technically. Fergus visited Jocasta and spilled the beans. As a result, Jocasta anticipates that the move will help Fergus' state of mind, since he loved working with Jamie before as a printer. Additionally, she thinks baby Christian will have a safer life off Fraser's Ridge, away from young boys who want to see if he drowns in the river.


Flora MacDonald joins the crowd, and we learn that she knew Jamie once upon a time when they were younger. Then Flora sings Claire's praises for performing an operation in the foyer of a theater that one time. She's famous! When Jacosta feels faint, Claire and Flora take her outside to a gazebo, where Claire gives her some medicine for her glaucoma. She also offers Flora something for her nerves. Public speaking struggles are real. 

Flora reminisces about the Bonnie Prince and confesses she never aligned with him politically. She fears her name will forever be associated with him. Instead of ripping the Band-Aid, letting Flora in on the biscuit tin craze in the future, Claire toasts Flora's efforts. This leads to Flora toasting Claire, including her efforts in Versailles. Claire flashes back to sleeping with the king, and by the end of the conversation, she is reaching for her ether again to blackout for a moment. 

This is me worried, officially, about Claire. 

She returns while Flora is mid-speech, imploring her audience to understand the threat of division that stands before them. Peace and unity are at stake. They must remain united. 

The audience applauds Flora's passion. Lord John leads Jamie away to inquire about his intentions, cautioning his friend that there have been rumors he is involved with the Sons of Liberty. The crown has eyes everywhere. 

Jamie lies to John, assuring him that he will not be at the meeting the next night. Suddenly, Aunt Jocasta's maid Mary runs up, begging for Lord John's help in town. They find a mob in front of a man named Mr. Simms' print shop, ready to tar and feather him for releasing a pamphlet that honors the Scottish heroine Flora. Mr. Simms explains that Aunt Jocasta is the one who ordered the print job. Jamie and John defend Mr. Simms as the red coats break up the crowd. 

People in the tavern gawk as Jamie interrogates his aunt, accusing her of purchasing a shop for Fergus to print propaganda. He threatens Jocasta, warning her that his son will not be hanged for treason or tarred and feathered over her political views. Jocasta leaves the table, and Mary steps in to offer some information. Jocasta is unwell. She is fitful in her sleep, speaking about her daughter and french gold. But Jamie knows the truth. Jocasta has a broken heart due to Murtagh's death. Don't we all?

Speaking of lost love, Brianna is ready for Roger to stop hanging out with Amy. People may see a married man hanging out with a single woman from the outside looking in, and that's not okay. She's a lonely widow who needs a single man. 

Roger is annoyed by this accusation at first. Then he discovers Malva in the church getting it on with some random guy and his tune changes. Malva's stupidity dumbfounds Roger. Her dad and brother are right outside! Malva threatens to tell the entire camp that Roger is having an affair with Amy if he dares open his mouth. 

Malva is deeply disturbed. Also, is this the guy for which the love charm was cast? I'd have thought Ian would be the recipient of a potion with such gruesome ingredients. 

Roger goes home, tells Brianna that he found another man to help Amy with her cabin, and apologizes for not seeing what was right in front of him. All he wants is to care for and spend time with his family of three. 

Correction, a family of four. That's Brianna's way of telling Roger she's pregnant. 

Jamie is going to be a grandfather again! He will be so happy, but in the meantime, he must confess to Lord John that he is going to be at the Sons of Liberty meeting. John is devastated that the rumors are true. He's scared for his friend, mainly because a band of redcoat soldiers knows about the meeting and will arrest people who participate. 

Jamie could lose his life. Or he could gain his freedom. He invites John to join him, but John will not. He will delay those soldiers for as long as he can. 

When Jamie arrives at the tavern, Cornelius barks out that he is no longer welcome. Why? Because he helped Mr. Simms fend off the tar and feather mob. Jamie is outraged. How exactly are these jokers defining liberty? What about common decency? PS: There are a dozen redcoat soldiers on their way to arrest everyone. Can you trust him now?

Half the men leave, and the other half hastily set up a game of billiards. Cornelius and Jamie put on the act of their lives, insisting the redcoats join them. Academy Awards all around!

The next day, Claire is eager to leave Wilmington. As Jamie steps into the wagon, she hears a familiar tune known as the "Colonel Bogey March," written in 1914. We later see a man in prison who holds an emerald gem in the palm of his hand. The same one that was stolen from Flora MacDonald the previous day. I'm going out on a very short limb here to guess that this man is the same one who asked her about Ringo Starr in the season 5 finale. 

The question remains, what is his deal? There has to be more than him needing help to get back to his current timeline. Surely Claire is a crucial component in his plan, right? 

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Outlander Season 4 2018

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

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