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S04.E07: Down the Rabbit Hole

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Brianna follows in her mother's footsteps and travels through the stones back in time to 18th century Scotland where she struggles to make her way to the Colonies to find her parents.

Reminder: The is the book talk thread. This can include spoilers for ALL the books. If you wish to remain unspoiled for any of the books, please leave now and head to the No Book Talk episode thread.

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3 hours ago, Cloudberryjam said:

Why is Brianna at Balriggan? Didnt she just go straight to Lallybroch? 

Because they needed to show the story of Laioghere and Frank.  I honestly didn't mind it.  This was the first damn episode this season that I LOVED. 

Sophie's finally, mostly, able to act in a way that doesn't make me want to turn off the TV, so that's helpful.  I'm happy for her (and selfishly, me).  I very much enjoyed the actors playing Roger and Bonnet.  They're both just incredible.

And maybe I'm a latent sociopath or something, but I didn't mind Bonnet's choice with the smallpox afflicted girl.  It's not like you can send people into quarantine on a boat and every cough, every sneeze, every breath, every dish you eat from, every use of the lav is deadly to everyone around you.

And, as an added bonus, I didn't have to look at Sam's wig!  Next episode's trailer looks wonderful, I can't wait!  

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Oh, no! Frank. He was somewhat tolerable, but I had been hoping we were done with him due to contracts and such.

Yes, why, why is Lizzie a giant? Her father still treats her like a pre-teen? But? So many questions?

I always skim the bits in the book with Roger on his boat, so I have no idea if those are accurate, and I can't remember how it ties into the guy who's a MacKenzie that Roger ends up with later.

I...I didn't entirely hate the changes they made to Brianna's time in Scotland. I guess there were scheduling conflicts with some other actors? Also, I bet the way it really was in the book was deemed too melodramatic for the TV show. I guess we just have to live with knowing that they're going to be faithful to the books in all the inconsequential scenes, but any "big" moment they're going to switch around and put their own touch on it. *long-suffering sigh* Maybe it's all because they didn't make the pearls the way they were supposed to be. [crying from laughing emoji]

It wasn't terrible to watch, in the moment, but looking back on it, it feels a bit like how The Garrison Commander episode always feels to me—a very beautiful waste of screentime. Everyone seemed to love that episode, but for me it took what was a short bit in the book and stretched it out needlessly, seemingly just to showcase Menzies, and I guess how pretty the writing staff can write. This was similar. It was a nice showcase of acting, and pretty little scenes, but in the end, what purpose did it serve? We spend 3/4ths of the episode enjoying the pretty cottage and playing in the garden, and then we only have a tiny bit of time left for getting to Lallybroch, meeting Ian, getting to the docks, meeting Lizzie...maybe we could have allocated our time a bit better? *shrug* I didn't hate it, but I do kind of hate that Ian is the only person Brianna got to meet. You couldn't even scrounge up any of her cousins? Just the two "lads" who carted her trunk around? Who were they? Any relation? And also, can I just say, Claire must have had a TON of clothes back in the day. There were enough that Marsali took a trunk of them with her when she sneaked onto the voyage last season, and now there's yet another trunk for Bree to take? Wow Claire.

Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? No. Given all the things in the episode that I'm never fond of seeing (namely Frank and Laoghaire) it could have been a lot worse.

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I do like that Frank and Loaghair’s stories were told, but oh how I hate that time at Lallybroch was sacrificed.  And Bree only meets Ian?  I knew Jenny wouldn’t be in it, but no other random cousins or other family?  I always loved that Bree, the only child who had no other family than Claire and Frank, was suddenly surrounded by all of this family!  Not to mention, Lallybroch was always a bustle of activity, It just seemed to oddly empty.

Another deviation was not showing how Roger had to make 2 attempts through the stones.  They really are choosing not to show just how hard traveling through the stones is, are they?

Um, Lizzie?  Is that you?????  I understand no matter what age, your father doesn’t want you to be a concubine, so I understand her father’s distress, but dear god she looked like his wife, not his daughter.  Why did they age her up so much?  I suppose easier to use an adult actress but this one threw me off a bit.  

There was a lot to love about this episode.  I love the quiet moments and Bree remembering her story.  It is nice to start seeing her point of view.  I love the Jamie/Claire story, but have always seen outlander as so much more.  I mostly love Roger and Bree’s story too.  Rik kicked ass as Roger once again. While I hate so much of what happens to him, I’m looking forward to getting going with it all.  Can’t wait for next week!!!!!

oooh, eta that I love Bree wearing Claire’s coat from season one.  I always loved that coat and she looks amazing in it!!!!!  Also loved the nod to the PBJ!

Edited by morgan
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1 hour ago, Petunia846 said:

 

I always skim the bits in the book with Roger on his boat, so I have no idea if those are accurate, and I can't remember how it ties into the guy who's a MacKenzie that Roger ends up with later.

 

I might be wrong because it’s been a while since I read, but wasn’t the woman and baby his wife and child?  

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I really enjoyed Frank and Laoghaire's stories.  I hate to say this, but this episode made them so much more sympathetic.  I did kind of feel teased by the scene in Frank's office.  I want to know how much he's been able to figure out!!!  Was he upset because this was when he realized that Claire was telling the truth?  Or was he upset because he realized she died?  What is Frank thinking???

Loved the scenes with Laoghaire.  She was so nice to Brianna.  I really started to feel sympathy ... and then she turned bat s#!t crazy!

I wasn't as interested in the scene's with Roger, but that has more to do with not wanting to Bonnet.  I'm not looking forward to much of Roger's journey.

It was definitely strange not seeing Jamie and Claire at all!!!  It worked!  I thought it was a great episode.  But it was still strange.

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1 hour ago, Petunia846 said:

Maybe it's all because they didn't make the pearls the way they were supposed to be.

I don't know how the pearls were "supposed to be" or what's different about them, but did you notice them in the theme?  A woman in a fancy dress is seen walking down the stairs wearing the pearls as a bracelet and along with Roger's bracelet.  Wonder if Jamie will see the bracelet and know.

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11 minutes ago, Ziggy said:

I don't know how the pearls were "supposed to be" or what's different about them, but did you notice them in the theme?  A woman in a fancy dress is seen walking down the stairs wearing the pearls as a bracelet and along with Roger's bracelet.  Wonder if Jamie will see the bracelet and know.

Ooooh I missed that!!!!  Off to check that out, good catch!

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I thought the episode was pretty good, since we had to see Laoghaire and Frank, it was good to have them used in parallel. They really do have a lot in common and both handled it about the same in this adaption. I'm glad they included Morag and the baby, I feel that it points out that at least someone in the writer's room has read ahead in the books and knows that seemingly minor characters have other plot points in future seasons and weren't just "Easter eggs." I was taken out of the episode completely by with the actress who plays Lizzie. She was so tall and solid looking, not to mention looked to be in her middle 20's. I only read the books after the first season, but the only character I ever truly "cast" in my head as Lizzie and she was always Evanna Lynch (the actress who played Luna Lovegood). She would have been the first actress I would have reached out to if I had been a producer.

I'm looking forward to next week, it looks like we have some near misses in meetings and some meetings we wish could have been missed.

Edited by unlfan03
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1 hour ago, morgan said:

I might be wrong because it’s been a while since I read, but wasn’t the woman and baby his wife and child?  

If I remember correctly, Morag is married to Dougal and Gellis' son.  And her husband plays in important role later on.   I think.   Probably wrong since it's been a while since I read the book.

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15 minutes ago, sas616 said:

If I remember correctly, Morag is married to Dougal and Gellis' son.  And her husband plays in important role later on.   I think.   Probably wrong since it's been a while since I read the book.

Yes that is what I meant.  So very important to Roger!!!!

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I think they made Lizzy older because she'll be courting next season (maybe get married a year later). For viewers that is just 2 years.  Just like Lady Isobel had to go from mid teen to married in the same episode.

Add to that they are pretty much changing any age to "palatable for viewing" .

Like they changed Ian from 14 to 16 and exchanged the prostitute for a barmaid. Lady Geneva looked 22 and not 17 as in the book, and she had sex on screen. And Fergus looks young and Marsali looks older, so you don't see the 16 year age difference.

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I knew when I read elsewhere that Laura Donnelly was unavailable to film this season that we wouldn't be getting the book version of Brianna goes to Lallybroch and the mostly lonely only child suddenly discovers this entire family.  So it was always going to be different.  For the first half or so, I surprised myself by liking the story the show was telling as a continuation of Jenny's scenes from last season:  That while it's wonderful that Claire and Jamie have this huge epic love that transcends time, it's left a fair amount of wreckage and casualties around it for other people to clean up.  Book Laoghaire doesn't get to tell her side of this until several big weighty books later after everyone's screamed hosebeast at her for having the audacity to think that a man who kissed her and took a very public beating for her and years later married her might have felt something for her once, so I'm okay with expanding a bit on what happened after Claire and Jamie rode away together.  We also get a couple of bits throughout the books telling us Frank did go back and do some looking around so that works here too, tying in that he reached his point of being finally ready to end things with an indifferent Claire after he discovered "proof" that no matter what he did she was eventually going to leave him anyway to go back to Jamie.  Putting aside the ridiculousness of really Brianna really? of thinking she was going to walk seemingly halfway across Scotland to hop aboard a ship to the colonies, I mostly don't even mind the lucky lucky coincidence that it just happened to be near Balriggin where Brianna passed out.

But then, what happens almost every time show Laoghaire is involved happens.  It devolves into a shrieking mess of low level dinner theater with her locking Brianna up for what?  How did she see that going?  And seriously Brianna, we know Claire has told you the story about how she was nearly burned as a witch.  You don't think that this nice neighbor who's suddenly acting terribly odd at mention of who your mother was might not be terribly suspicious of you babbling about future events like a fire you "know" is going to happen?  Worse, this reduced the time Ian got to interact with his just discovered niece to two brief scenes in a mostly empty Lallybroch, so Brianna leaves with almost no sense at all that Jamie came from something or that there had been people who did love him and Claire too.

I did like the truncated bit we did get of Roger's hands first being pronounced too soft for manual labor in the past.  Roger's initial ill fit there and his struggle to acclimate is one of my favorite things in this section of the books where Claire and then Brianna always seem to magically figure out how to do things and if not there's never any shortage of male relatives to manage it, even if badly.  Roger's entirely on his own in a world where the expectations of men are very different than they will be even in his not so modern time.  Throwing the pox victims overboard to certain death is unspeakably harsh to his and our eyes, but in all fairness, these people were in terribly close quarters with limited resources and far less understanding of germs and hygiene.  The alternative is last season's Porpoise where nearly everybody aboard ended up sick or dying. 

I see Ed Speleers attended the same hamfisted speechifying school of Outlander villainy acting Tobias Menzies was giving classes in first season.

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Liked this episode very much. I thought Ed Speleers was terrifying and do not look forward to the rest of his story as Bonnet. I always have felt bad for Frank (I know he is different in the show than in the books) so was glad to see Tobias again. 

 

One of the things I have enjoyed about the Outlander saga, has been Garabaldon’s exploration about love and marriage and the promises of those vows. 

 

Definitely an an episode I’ll watch again. 

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I wish Brianna could've spent more time at Lallybroch, but I understand that, without Jenny, a major part of that visit can't be done. It was mostly a bonding, feel-good visit in any case. Other than Laoghaire's reaction, everything else was pretty much, "Oh my God, I can't believe Jamie has a child. Let me tell you all about our family." Then, Brianna is escorted to the coast to start her journey. Still, I would've enjoyed seeing more of an exchange with Ian and with the Murray cousins -- even though most of them are probably grown and off with their own families. (Isn't Young Ian the youngest Murray?) And I called it! I knew the excuse they would use for Jenny was that she was off helping a grandchild be born. It makes sense. Jenny has a lot of experience giving birth and she's bound to have a lot of grandchildren as a result of having all those children.

As for Lizzie, I too expected a younger, more petite actress. But, I haven't read much beyond DoA, so Lizzie doesn't have a big presence in my mind. In the show, she does look like a very awkward, gawky young woman.

As for Roger, I was hoping we'd see more of his trip through the stones. It would've been a great opportunity to show how difficult it was ... but no such luck. However, I didn't mind not spending a whole lot of time on that ship because that whole part about throwing people who had pox, including children, overboard was just horrific. It did help to reestablish what a horrible monster Bonnet is.

 

ETA: Isn't it amazing that almost all three time travelers we've seen thus far go through and immediately meet the worst person possible for them: Claire and BlackJack, Brianna and Laoghaire, and Roger and Bonnet. Who knows who Geillis initially met. It doesn't matter because *she* would be the worst person someone could meet.

Edited by Nidratime
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Oh my god.  Oh my GOD!

I haven't hugged myself with glee nor cursed at the TV screen like that in a LONG time.

I have very mixed feelings right now -- most of them positive -- but MAN did they put me though the emotional wringer with this one.

Right, off to watch it again -- this time with the closed captions on.  And then I'll be back to read what all of you thought.

(I love that we have this community.)

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I didn't love it. Too much time watching Brianna limping around reminded me of Claire on the island; that bored me too. Disappointed because there wasn't enough Ian or Lallybroch. Nice to see Joanie. Part of my displeasure is all on me - I seem to lose interest anytime any of them are on boats. REALLY dislike all the boat scenes. I think the only one I've liked was Jamie and Marsali on the Artemis when she told Jamie if he believed Fergus arranged for Jamie to be released because of Fergus's love for Marsali, he didn't deserve to be freed. Whenever they board a boat, my brain just tunes out, same if I'm reading or watching. 

Edited by Crankybroad
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4 hours ago, Ziggy said:

I did kind of feel teased by the scene in Frank's office.  I want to know how much he's been able to figure out!!!  Was he upset because this was when he realized that Claire was telling the truth?  Or was he upset because he realized she died?  What is Frank thinking???

My impression was that he was hit with the double whammy of a) Claire was telling the truth about the time travel, and b) she will go back to Jamie.

Did anyone else else think Brianna was being a dumbass limping along when she was surrounded by trees and could have grabbed a fallen branch to use as a cane? Isn't she supposed to be a mechanical engineer? I'm an engineer and I sure as hell would have thought to do that.

ETA: Why was she surprised that Lallybroch was close by? Wasn't that where she was headed?

Edited by CarpeFelis
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I’m surprised she didn’t use a branch now that your say it!  It was nice that loaghaire made reference to her fixing stuff but yes something like that would have been great character development.

In the book she heads right to Lallybroch, but apparently not in the show.  

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CarpeFelis

I'm not an engineer but I too was surprised by Brianna not using a handy stick after spraining her ankle. I was even more surprised by the utter lack of thought in terms of what she wore and brought back into the past, especially after watching her mother prepare. Midi -length Gunne Sax dress? Really? No stockings or warm coat? Guatemalan woven purse with absolutely nothing useful in it? 

I've always had mixed feelings about the character of Brianna in both books and show. I thought she was a bit spoiled but until this i never thought she was a complete moron. 

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1 hour ago, AuntieMame said:

CarpeFelis

I'm not an engineer but I too was surprised by Brianna not using a handy stick after spraining her ankle. I was even more surprised by the utter lack of thought in terms of what she wore and brought back into the past, especially after watching her mother prepare. Midi -length Gunne Sax dress? Really? No stockings or warm coat? Guatemalan woven purse with absolutely nothing useful in it? 

I've always had mixed feelings about the character of Brianna in both books and show. I thought she was a bit spoiled but until this i never thought she was a complete moron. 

At least Fiona mentioned Roger bringing useful items like a compass, map, money, etc. 

Usually the casting is on point, but that looked like Lizzy's mom instead of Lizzy. Even if they wanted an actress at least 18, find a blonde, petite one who looks young for her age.

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54 minutes ago, AuntieMame said:

 I was even more surprised by the utter lack of thought in terms of what she wore and brought back into the past, especially after watching her mother prepare. Midi -length Gunne Sax dress? Really? No stockings or warm coat? Guatemalan woven purse with absolutely nothing useful in it? 

I've always had mixed feelings about the character of Brianna in both books and show. I thought she was a bit spoiled but until this i never thought she was a complete moron. 

YES! I also noticed she had no hat or gloves, even though she had no way of knowing what season she'd arrive in. (What engineer lacks the critical thinking skills to figure that one out?) And that ugly purse looked like a horrible anachronism. At least she wore pull-on boots, no zipper, and thought to bring matches. But regarding the clothing, she had plenty of resources at her disposal (library at Harvard, FFS!) to research it, and yet she throws on a Gunne Sax dress and calls it good?! She'd even spent some time studying history!

Yeah, I've always despised book Brianna. Show Brianna is a bit better, but they're still portraying her as dumb.

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Frank knew that Claire went back.  It seems he has been 'time-traveling' stalking.  It seems that Frank never stopped trying to find Jamie.  Ironic that he made Claire promise to leave the past behind and never look for him but he could not.  I know Claire never truly let Jamie go, she was pretty cold to Frank during their marriage, but she did not look for him while they were married.  I can see Brianna's angiush when she remembers the paperwork on his desk and then him telling her about the divorce.  She did a great job 

So Brianna did not get a stick to walk with, not sure that is such a big deal or shows someone that is dumbass.  Could be she was still shocked she actually went back in time.  Maybe Balriggan just happened to be on the road before you came to Lollybroch.  Her time there with Laoghaire and Joan was great. Can anyone blame Laoghaire for freaking out?  She truly hates Claire and Jamie has not been paying as promised and her life sucks.  I would be pissed to. Especially after I fed and gave warm clothes to the daughter of the 'bitch' I hated.  Great to see scenes with Frank.   Gave us some closure to his storyline. 

I am thinking Roger made it before Brianna did.  Throwing people off the ship is cruel but I see why they had to do it.  No port would let them in with a boatful of smallpox.  Bonnet did not disappoint.  I may be wrong but did I hear the woman call her baby Jemmy?

Great episode for the Brianna, Roger, and Bonnet characters.  They all did a great job of acting.  Can't wait until next week.  

Props to Ziggy for the catch of the week. 

PEACE

Edited by GingerMarie
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I liked it. 

1. Brianna's trip through the stones and hurting herself and wandering through the countryside was believable - sure she tried to "prepare" as best she knew - she watched her mom, but can anyone REALLY understand what the past was really like unless you've been there? When she fell and was limping and she was trying to just get to the house she saw in the distance - and just collapsed, I felt that desperation, I felt that dawning realization of "oh my God, what did I do??".  Well done there.

2. Loved that Joanie was so sweet, so when Brianna meets Marsali, she may cut her some slack and not go right into defense mode since her mom is a psycho.  Also - so she can commiserate with her mom and dad - when Leghair is nice, she is really nice...and can swap to crazy in a snap...

3. Was happy to see Tobias and the glimpse that we get in the later books with his research and how much he knew.  Also that Brianna didn't say she was going to go to England with him, and she felt guilt that she could have prevented his death - good background and things.  I like how they add these little tidbits here and there, since we can't be inside their heads to know what they are thinking

4. Oh Roger - I adore Roger and was happy to see they left in him saving Morag and that he got to see Bonnet for who he was - yes, it was cruel to throw that child overboard, and yes that was probably the really only thing he could have done, but the callousness of it, and the tossing of the coin in the cargo hold - Roger didn't get to see the full on evil that Claire and Jamie got to witness, but he'll understand full well.  

5. The scene at the doc - Lizzy - I understand why they aged her up, but they should have gotten someone shorter, b/c Brianna is supposed to be tall for a woman and "out of place" - she shouldn't blend in with all other women she comes in contact with.  Oh well, she is hopefully a great actress that will bring the character to life - I wasn't a fan of Wee Ian till I got to see him act, and now he IS Ian to me, so I'll trust the casting people and let it go.

Next week: I'm so hoping they give us the Brianna/Jamie meeting and don't make us wait another week. We still have SO much to get through and not that many episodes left.  And with added story line for Murtagh, I'm hoping not too much gets sacrificed.

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GENERAL

A first! An entire episode in which neither Jamie nor Claire appear. (We only hear Claire’s voice – lifted from a past episode – off-camera.) Shockingly, I did not miss them.  The dynamic quartet of Bree and Roger and FRANK and Laoghaire were more than capable of carrying the story.

 

THE GOOD

I was spoiled for Laoghaire’s appearance in the episode by press and by Nell Hudson’s name appearing in the opening credits.  But Frank’s appearance took me completely by surprise. Well played show-runners, well-played!  (And a huge thank you to Tobias Menzies for agreeing to keep the secret by accepting an end-credit.)

And then they got me again with the WAY Laoghaire was introduced.  When Bree awakens in that nice bed I of COURSE assumed that she had been found by one of Ian and Jenny’s children and brought to Lallybroch (which is sort of what happens in the book).

I loved the trick they played on us with wee Joanie coming across as the suspicious one at the beginning while Laoghaire seemed entirely nice.  I didn’t like it at first, of course.  I fell for it and thought they were really going to ret-con Laoghaire into a decent human being.  Look!  She won’t accept Ian’s money!  How virtuous!  Silly me. When I watched the second time I picked up on more subtle hints of her true nature.  Notice how when she leaves Brianna and Joanie working in the garden she deliberately leaves the door open so that she can listen in on their conversation.  This is before she has any reason to distrust Brianna.  She’s just suspicious by nature.   Well done writers!

The tension in this episode was almost unbearable (in the best possible way).  I knew, of course, that Bree wasn’t going to die alone on the moors but once she was found by Laoghaire I didn’t know WHAT to expect.  That’s a fun sensation for a reader to have.

The same goes for the scenes between Frank & Brianna.  I feel those scenes were true to the spirit of the book and they give some very big hints about what Frank had figured out about Claire’s “future” in the past.  But if those scenes were actually IN the book I’ve forgotten them.  

It needs to be said that every scene Tobias Menzies (Frank) was in was excellent.  Damn he’s good.  And quite frankly, he makes Sophie Skelton (Brianna) better.  Her best scenes were the ones she played with him.

Here’s a bunch of little things I loved:

·     The visual dissolve from Bree on the road in Scotland to Roger on the road (in the car with Fiona.)

·     Bree brings a peanut better & jelly sandwich with her (just like Claire did in the books)

·     Wee Joanie! I loved that young actress in season 3 so I’m delighted to have her back.

·     Listening to Laoghaire lie to Brianna about how “there was so much joy then” (back when Jamie was living with them.)  I’m fairly certain I gleefully cursed at the screen then.

·     Nell Hudson deserves an Emmy for the look on her face when she first hears Claire’s name. I kid you not – when I saw that look I physically got up out of my chair.

·     Sophie was also very good in that scene in the car where Frank tells Bree he and Claire are getting divorced. 

·     Frank’s “fetch” appearing to Bree as Lizzie says goodbye to her father was very touching. But did you notice that the show-runners had a red-coat (British soldier) walk in front of him?  Never forget the other man who wore that face!

 

I feel I owe an apology to the show-runners (and especially Terry Dresbach) for my hatred of Brianna’s travel dress in the last episode.  It’s actually fascinating what they did.  In the book, it’s Claire who goes back in time wearing a crappy Gunne Sax faux 18th century dress, right? But in the show TVClaire goes back in the “batsuit” – that wonderful costume that evolved over an entire season.  So they lifted the Gunne Sax dress and gave it to Brianna.  And then, just like in the books, the travel dress suffers a catastrophe almost immediately and our heroine is supplied with suitable replacement clothes.  Clever, clever costume department (and writers.)  Now we can just sit around and enjoy wondering how Laoghaire is going to react when she looks closely at Bree’s clothes and finds a zipper.  Then she’ll KNOW Brianna is a witch.

 

THE BAD

Brianna’s walk across Scotland is ridiculous.  Pretty.  But ridiculous.  

Equally ridiculous is the unconscious Brianna being rescued by Laoghaire.  I’m hand-waving it away with all my might because I LOVE the evolution of the Laoghaire-Brianna relationship.  But that is a coincidence that would make Charles Dickens blush.

Who the heck builds a bedroom whose door locks from the outside?  That’s some gothic, house-of-horrors bullshit right there. 

Are they TRYING to make Roger look like a dork?  That costume. Oy!

Alas, as much as I want to be supportive of the casting on this show, I continue to feel that the actor portraying Steven Bonnet is too young (or rather he looks too young on camera in that costume – his real age is irrelevant).  I seem to recall the Steven Bonnet of the book as being a very tall man – as tall as Jamie (which helps to explain his attraction to six-foot-tall BookBrianna.)  I wish they had stuck with that and cast a physically imposing actor to play Bonnet.  “Jimmy” from Downton Abbey is just not doing it for me.

The timeline got confusing for me.  I remember from season 1 when we coined the term “flash-forward-back” to mean a character in the 18thcentury recalling something that happened in their personal past, but that happened in a future century.  Yeah it was just as confusing in this episode as in the one where we coined the term.

 

THE UGLY

I had genuinely forgotten that Bonnet throws the sick passengers overboard.  That was horrifying.

Laoghaire telling Brianna that Jamie left Claire because he did not want a child . . . ooooh yeah, I was shouting at the TV then.  

 

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

What does Brianna see in the distance when she gasps and hurries forward and then trips and falls?  I could not see anything that should have provoked that reaction from her.

Why did Roger shave his beard?

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5 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

He [Frank] reached his point of being finally ready to end things with an indifferent Claire after he discovered "proof" that no matter what he did she was eventually going to leave him anyway to go back to Jamie.

 

2 hours ago, CarpeFelis said:

My impression was that he was hit with the double whammy of a) Claire was telling the truth about the time travel, and b) she will go back to Jamie.

You guys are so right!  That makes so much sense (ok, feeling like a dork for not realizing it).  Of course that's what he was upset about.  She was never going to want Frank, and there was nothing he could do about it.

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10 hours ago, Petunia846 said:

I bet the way it really was in the book was deemed too melodramatic for the TV show.

Okay this made me laugh out loud.  Too melodramatic for this TV show?  Is that even possible?

 

10 hours ago, Petunia846 said:

can I just say, Claire must have had a TON of clothes back in the day. There were enough that Marsali took a trunk of them with her when she sneaked onto the voyage last season, and now there's yet another trunk for Bree to take? Wow Claire.

Oh.  Damn.  You are right.  I had done a mental check and thought, "Oh yeah, they went straight to the docks chasing after Ian when he was kidnapped.  Claire would not have brought all her clothes on that trip to the shore.  So it makes PERFECT sense that there is a crateful of clothes awaiting Brianna at Lallybroch."  But, no -- as you rightfully point out, Marsali brought a bunch of Claire's clothes with her when she met them at the dock.

Okay, here's my fan-wank.  Marsali was only offered some of Claire's clothes to make over for herself and she asked for those that she particularly liked (like the gold dress). She had done this at some time in the past -- long before Fergus arrived at Laoghaire's house to carry her off -- so those are the items she brought to the boat.  The other clothes were still in Claire's trunk at Lallybroch and that's what Bree ended up with.  But if Marsali failed to snag that fur-lined riding jacket, then Marsali is an idiot.

9 hours ago, morgan said:

Bree only meets Ian?  I knew Jenny wouldn’t be in it, but no other random cousins or other family?

I choose to believe that Brianna met a fair number of cousins off-camera.  But yeah, that lovely visit to Lallybroch was sacrificed and I have to assume it's because the actress who plays Jenny was not available.  

 

8 hours ago, Ziggy said:

I did kind of feel teased by the scene in Frank's office.  I want to know how much he's been able to figure out!!!  Was he upset because this was when he realized that Claire was telling the truth?  Or was he upset because he realized she died?  What is Frank thinking???

Holy shit I missed that.  Of course!  This MUST be when Frank realizes not only that:

  1. Claire was telling the truth all along.
  2. She is eventually going to leave him and go back in time to Jamie.
Edited by WatchrTina
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32 minutes ago, WatchrTina said:

Who the heck builds a bedroom whose door locks from the outside?  That’s some gothic, house-of-horrors bullshit right there. 

Our house is an old Colonial we bought knowing we were going to seriously rehab it.  One of the more ... interesting discoveries was realizing that all the bedrooms clearly meant to be children's rooms could be locked from the outside.  Maybe it was standard issue once upon a time or maybe there really is a much more disturbing story there.  Either way, outside locking bedrooms seem to be a mainstay of a lot of Gothic or Victorian literature, and it was just dumb here in what had been a fairly good meditation on unrequited loves and marriages up until that point.

Brianna sees the roof of a house very far far off in the distance.  That's what she's rushing toward when she tripped and fell.

I kind of love that neither Roger nor Brianna's time travel outfits were quite right.  If anybody remembers anything about '70s TV or has ever gone back and watched any of it, the general attitude on period costumes often seemed to be eh, close enough.  It's the same general attitude book Claire has with her "Jessica Gutenberg" dress.  Yeah, that looks vaguely historical.  It'll do.  Bree's Gunne Sax dress is an obvious nod to that.  I took Roger shaving off his beard as a nod to having seen historical portraits from the time period and noting that beards weren't considered fashionable, even though plenty of men did wear them.  

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He also finds evidence of Brianna in the past. I wonder if we'll get a flashback of her and Frank shooting and riding. He taught late 1700s skills to a teenage girl. Not normal father/daughter bonding activities, esp in Boston. LOL

RR looks SO young without his beard. Why did he have to shave it? They have him some weird culottes/pants. In the book he has clothes made and tells the tailor that he's in a play at a university.

Nice nod to the PB&J and the 'Jessica Guttenberg' dress. 

Sophie did shine in this ep. Her and Tobias have a great father/daughter chemistry. 

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11 minutes ago, Atlanta said:

He also finds evidence of Brianna in the past. I wonder if we'll get a flashback of her and Frank shooting and riding. He taught late 1700s skills to a teenage girl. Not normal father/daughter bonding activities, esp in Boston. LOL

The timeline in this episode is pretty confusing but it seems clear that Frank's accident happens right after that scene in the car where he tells Brianna about the divorce.  What's not clear is how much time passed between Frank's death and the earlier scones-and-a-hangover scene in Frank's office, which we all now suspect is the direct result of Frank learning the truth about Claire going back to Jamie.  I suppose we COULD assume that there was a good stretch of time between those two scenes and that in that stretch of time Frank convinces Brianna to join him in taking up the sport of skeet shooting as a father-daughter bonding thing.

Yeah, the whole question of what Frank knew and when he knew it is one of the things that is the least clear to me from the books. 

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18 minutes ago, WatchrTina said:

Bree brings a peanut better & jelly sandwich with her (just like Claire did in the books)

Yes!!!  So excited to see that in the opening scene!

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55 minutes ago, WatchrTina said:

Okay this made me laugh out lough.  Too melodramatic for this TV show?  Is that even possible?

I remember an interview last season where they said they changed the reunion scenes because they wanted something less melodramatic. So yeah.

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3 hours ago, Ziggy said:

Yes!!!  So excited to see that in the opening scene!

Except in the opening scene she is cutting the sandwich and when she eats it, it’s whole.

I was not a fan of all the changes in this episode. And when Ian said she has Jamie’s fire, my first thought was how would he know? In the book we know Bree has a temper (I am not a fan of book Bree) but show Bree seems calmer most of the time (to me anyway). 

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14 minutes ago, Eureka said:

Except in the opening scene she is cutting the sandwich and when she eats it, it’s whole.

Oh my gosh, you're right!  Ok, I'm just going to assume that she made and brought several sandwiches :-)

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28 minutes ago, Petunia846 said:

I remember an interview last season where they said they changed the reunion scenes because they wanted something less melodramatic. So yeah.

How was the book scene any more melodramatic than Laoghaire calling Brianna's mother a whore to her face, saying she's going to have her arrested for witchcraft and locking her in the bedroom?

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3 hours ago, AuntieMame said:

Guatemalan woven purse with absolutely nothing useful in it?

Now, now, she did have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and matches ... but I do get your point.

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And speaking of that purse . . . they made a point of having Brianna fall and then have to gather up all the items that spilled out of it.  I kept waiting for that to pay off.  I kept thinking there was something in there that she lost when she fell.  Otherwise -- what was the point of that whole scene?

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So glad to read that others have issues with Brianna as well. I like Roger. But there is something about Brianna that just grits my teeth together. I loved Frank's appearance in this episode. He was sympathetic which he isn't always, not just because of the resemblance between Frank and Black Jack Randall, but because Frank is written in such a way that he (unjustly) somehow bears some of the fault for Claire's love for another man. I understand that for readers and viewers to fully invest in the romance of Claire and Jaime that this had to be done, but I always had mixed feelings about Frank. OTOH, I felt sorry for him while at the same time feeling the creeping dislike and association with Black Jack. Just as I'm meant to feel. To write him otherwise would make Frank the wronged and sympathetic character who lost the wife he adored through no fault of his own. I must applaud the skill of all of the writers (and the actor) walking such a fine line evoking emotion.

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7 minutes ago, Ziggy said:

Now, now, she did have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and matches ... but I do get your point.

 

If I was going back into the unknown country of the past and had information and time to plan, I hope that even if I didn't get the outfit right that i would bring things useful for both short and long term needs. 

 

Oh and weirdly? I think Roger's ugly culotte pants were in fact period correct. I think they're a style with by seamen of the time.

Edited by AuntieMame · Reason: Autocorrect Insanity
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From the perspective of someone who hasn't read past the first book I thought this was a really nice break and a good episode overall. I could have lived without the flashbacks, but the ending where Brianna sees Frank was kind of touching. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing hoping Laioghere didn't find out who Brianna was and when she said her mother's name I yelled NOOOOOO! at the teevee. Heh.

A couple questions, though - am I to gather than Brianna walked all the way from northern Scotland to southern Scotland? Even without a busted ankle that would be quite a trek.

Also, how the hell did Bonnet get to be captain of a ship? Did he steal it? Last time we saw him he was part of a gang of thieves in the Americas.

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Sophie's finally, mostly, able to act in a way that doesn't make me want to turn off the TV, so that's helpful. 

I honestly don't have a problem with her and don't understand all the criticism. I can only imagine that book readers must have had a very different idea of her in their heads or something. That's kind of the problem with any adaptation - if the actor isn't what you pictured when you read the book it's hard to accept them as that character.

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18 minutes ago, AuntieMame said:

Oh and weirdly? I think Roger's ugly culotte pants were in fact period correct. I think they're a style with by seamen of the time.

You're probably right.  Roger IS a historian after all so if anyone should be able to get his period costume right, it's him.  Presumably his decision to shave his beard was also based on what he knew about the norms of the period.

But he still looked like a dork.

 

11 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

A couple questions, though - am I to gather than Brianna walked all the way from northern Scotland to southern Scotland? Even without a busted ankle that would be quite a trek.

I think that map was confusing.  I presume we're supposed to think that she walked from the stones toward the closest major port city on the coast where she hoped to board a ship -- not that she walked from the north of Scotland to the south.  But yeah, the whole plan of walking there seems poorly considered.

 

11 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Also, how the hell did Bonnet get to be captain of a ship? Did he steal it? Last time we saw him he was part of a gang of thieves in the Americas.

In the books it's made more clear that Bonnet is a smuggler -- specifically he's the leader of a band of smugglers -- and he has a ship.  That's what he's been tried and convicted for when Jamie meets him (and why Jamie, a former smuggler himself, decides to let him go when he finds Bonnet hiding in his wagon.)

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8 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

A couple questions, though - am I to gather than Brianna walked all the way from northern Scotland to southern Scotland? Even without a busted ankle that would be quite a trek.

I tried to find an Outlander Map to look this up.  It seems like Lallybroch is west of Inverness, and that the stones are just a little west of Inverness.  So, not southern Scotland, though still probably ridiculously far.

18 minutes ago, AuntieMame said:

If I was going back into the unknown country of the past and had information and time to plan, I hope that even if I didn't get the outfit right that i would bring things useful for both short and long term needs.

Definitely!  She absolutely did not seem prepared.

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2 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

Why did Roger shave his beard?

So that when he spends 6-8 months with the Mohawk after the "Great Misunderstanding" he can grow it back as an indication of how much time has passed. I suppose just slapping a fake baby belly on Brianna isn't enough.

Interesting, the stuff they added or padded this episode with. Laoghaire is kind and generous enough to tote a complete stranger back to the house she lives in alone with Joanie and then turns into a screaming banshee (Ban Sidhe) once she finds out Brianna is Claire's daughter with Jamie. LOL. I did like the connection formed between Brianna and Joanie though, two redheaded (step)sisters.

I was shivering along with Brianna, out on that snowy Highland moor wearing only a cotton dress, a light cape tied at the neck and flapping around, boots, but no gloves, scarf, or real weather protection. Then she builds that little "Hunger Games" twig fire to keep warm. I was expecting some "Careers" to swoop in and kill her off.  At least she brought a PB&J dinner to keep her warm inside.

I did like the addition of seeing the interactions between Frank and Brianna before his death. That was a good use of visual drama to contribute to Brianna's angst about the father that raised her. I always figured Frank knew more than he let on about Claire eventually going back to Jamie and possibly that Brianna followed behind at some point. That copy of the obituary that he had would have meant nothing to Brianna at the time, since she didn't know who Jamie Fraser was but I suspect we will find out that she came across it in Frank's papers at some point after Roger told her about the land grant in NC.

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10 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

A couple questions, though - am I to gather than Brianna walked all the way from northern Scotland to southern Scotland? Even without a busted ankle that would be quite a trek.

Also, how the hell did Bonnet get to be captain of a ship? Did he steal it? Last time we saw him he was part of a gang of thieves in the Americas.

 

I honestly don't know how far Craig Na Dun is from Lallybroch, but I imagine Brianna must have taken a "coach" at some point, but I doubt Lallybroch is a frequent stop for the local coach service, and she had to get out and walk at some point. At that point, she'd have to buy a horse. I don't imagine you can rent one all that easily.

As for Bonnet, he did rob Jaime and Claire of all the jewels and money they had left, so he must have had a hefty amount of loot once he was able to sell some of the jewels. If that wasn't enough for a ship, he might have gambled and won some more. And, who's to say Jaime and Claire were his only victims along the way?

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12 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

I honestly don't have a problem with her and don't understand all the criticism. I can only imagine that book readers must have had a very different idea of her in their heads or something. That's kind of the problem with any adaptation - if the actor isn't what you pictured when you read the book it's hard to accept them as that character.

A lot of book readers don't like Bree at all.  Personally I like her in the book and in the show, but I know I'm in the minority.

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33 minutes ago, Nidratime said:

How was the book scene any more melodramatic than Laoghaire calling Brianna's mother a whore to her face, saying she's going to have her arrested for witchcraft and locking her in the bedroom?

No, the print shop reunion of Jamie and Claire last season.

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Roger's pants looked like a longer pair he'd cut off to be approximately knee length and probably didn't bother hemming properly.  They're ugly but again, close enough not to immediately stand out which is all he's looking for.  It's not like he's planning on staying longterm.

12 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

how the hell did Bonnet get to be captain of a ship? Did he steal it? Last time we saw him he was part of a gang of thieves in the Americas.

Bonnet's a bit of a jack of all trades, one of those trades being a ship's captain not always on the up and up.  He does tell Jamie and Claire that he'd been found guilty of thieving and piracy.  He doesn't elaborate and they don't bother to ask any followup questions.  He hung around long enough to rob them because he'd been in the back of their wagon all day and had overheard them discussing selling their cache of gemstones.  We're never given any explanation beyond that in the books either.

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