It’s the pentultimate episode of Outlander season four, and things couldn’t be worse. Or could they? Tara Ward finds out.
Friends, we are well and truly up the shitter. I thought we’d peaked in the Outlander disaster zone with last week’s craptacular camping trip and Murtagh putting his boots on Marsali’s blankets, but this week life in the Colonies continued to slide down the slippery slope of doom faster than you could say “give me a midnight sponge bath in the forest, I’m done”.
Take Poor Roger, for example. Beaten to a pulp and locked in a hut, he dug his way out with a wooden spoon, called himself an idiot, went back to the Mohawk, and watched two people burn to death. 0 out of 5 stars, would not time travel again.
Also, sound the emergency klaxon, we’ve reached Droughtlander levels of Vitamin J. There was barely a ginger whisker of our beloved Jamie and Claire this week, only a piddly little horse-riding montage and a few seconds of Jamie being broody and thoughtful. Ugh, introspective Jamie. Would it have been hard to include a single shot of him chopping wood? It’s winter in America, we need the heat.
In brighter news, I’d dig my way out of prison with a wooden spoon for Brianna’s glorious River Run wardrobe. This season’s costumes have been incredible, and I’ve loved them more than I loved Stephen Bonnet hiding jewels in the deep recesses of his jaw. Does he have a wooden spoon down there, too? A slice of ginger crunch? Makes you think.
Roger had plenty of time to think, after he was imprisoned in a hut with Father Alexandre, a missionary who believed he had sinned by falling in love with a Mohawk woman named Johiejon. He felt unworthy of baptising their son, and the Mohawk had condemned him unless he changed his mind. “Bloody fool,” Roger said, which is rich coming from a man who travelled through time wearing a pair of flimsy knickerbockers.
“While you were gone, I’ve been digging,” Roger told his hutmate, and while Roger was digging, Brianna took a trip to Wilmington. She hatched a plan with Lord John to confront Stephen Bonnet in prison, even though LJG was not keen on a pregnant woman taking a trip to town. Lord John seems super smart, but then he put his hand on Bree’s stomach to feel the baby and was astonished the child was real. What did he think was in there, Boston Cream Pies? Amazing plot twist, let’s make that happen.
Condemned men were everywhere. Father Alexandre was about to die, Stephen Bonnet was waiting to hang, even our beloved Murtagh was facing the hangman’s noose. It was up to Fergus and Marsali to bust Murtagh out of the slammer, and after seeing Marsali put a cheeseboard together a few episodes ago, I’d trust her with my life. She has a deft touch with a fine selection of cheeses and cured meats, so unleash the cattle, I am Marsali’s prisoner forever.
Sadly, this was a prison escape without a single hairy cow in sight. Super polite Fergus apologised to his hostage Lord John, while Murtagh and Lord John got into some argy-bargy about which one of Jamie Fraser’s BFF’s should look after Brianna. Lord John won, of course. It’s always Lord John. Flipping dreamboat.
The prison went ka-boom, Murtagh and Fergus escaped in Marsali’s getaway wagon, and Lord John lied to the authorities about what he knew. See? Total dreamboat. But what of Bonnet, last seen chained to the prison walls, trying to reach the keys with his slimy foot? Your guess is as good as mine, but FYI my guess involves a wooden spoon, a charming pair of culottes, and three tiny sapphires hiding behind his uvula.
Roger also escaped, having dug his way to freedom with one good arm. I wanted to dig a hole of my own after Roger heard Alexandre’s death screams and decided to return to camp. Roger! For the love of all things soft and beardy! Roger swore he’d never turn his back on freedom again, but it turned out he couldn’t turn his back on love, either. HE COULDN’T TURN HIS BACK ON LOVE, YOU GUYS.
Roger ran back into camp to throw a barrel of whisky on the fire that was slowing burning Father Alexandre alive, hastening Alexandre’s inevitable death. This was shocking enough, but when Johiejon kissed her baby goodbye and joined her beloved in the flames, Roger and the Mohawk were united in their disbelief. This was Roger, this was me, this was one heck of an unexpected ending.
“That’s it, lads, take me back to the Idiot Hut,” Roger said, as he was imprisoned yet again. Yep, welcome to the Idiot Hut, population Roger. Bring your spoons, make yourself comfortable and exit through the hole to your left. Happy travels, see you in next week’s season finale.