Outlander: Common Ground

"When I was without you, I held onto thoughts of your face, your words, your heart."

This is my favorite episode of season four so far.

Sure, it could be because there were no horrific deaths but I think it's more than that. I'm into seeing this couple in a more settled pace of life. Settled is not the right word with them being in a completely unknown place dealing with new people and life-threatening danger around every corner. What I mean is they are solidly together. Able to nestle into their togetherness. They are finally given the chance to be a couple and build a life that they choose. For now at least. This is the part of the story that's usually reserved for the happily ever after... the part that happens after the story is over. I enjoy seeing it. If you aren't, this is Outlander, smooth sailing never lasts long.

We got no more than a glimpse of Fergus and Marsali and I'm trying to make peace with the fact that not everyone can be center stage. This is Claire and Jamie's story, not an ensemble cast. And hey, if they are living simpler lives in town and contributing from there maybe they won't find themselves losing any more limbs or dealing with pirates or any of the adventure that follows. We also got a really touching scene between Claire and Marsali and a smaller sweet gesture between Fergus and Jamie when the latter reiterated that there isn't anyone he trusts more. I loved them both. Poor Marsali is about ready to give birth and missing her own mom and Claire was so understanding and supportive. She reminds us that she knows all too well what Marsali, and maybe Brianna one day, is going through.

And what about Brianna? We're starting to see the cracks of doubt in Claire, the guilt she feels for leaving Brianna an orphan in the 20th century. Is that something a mother could ever make peace with? I can't imagine having to make that decision. As good as Caitriona was in sharing that pain, I've got to give Sam the acting stars for that scene. Jamie was at once strengthening himself for his wife's benefit, dealing with his own guilt and I swear I also saw a panicking at the thought of ever losing Claire again. Kudos.

Roger is trying to get back in the audience's good grace after posting us off at the festival. Or he really is just a dog with a bone? Him finding evidence that Bree's parents found each other and are together was really romantic. And the phone call was really well done. So much tension and uncertainty. We've all been there right? Just hanging on the other end not sure if you should say what you're thinking or if the other person is even happy to hear from you or if they are even paying attention. In any event, Brianna seems to miss her mom just as much as Claire misses her daughter. And we (and Roger) find out that her parents are possibly dead by now just in time to find out that Brianna Randall is not a girl to sit on the sidelines of her grief. She's a woman of the time, she takes action. I thought the whole setting up of this revelation and the culmination of the events was exceptionally well done. Nothing felt forced. No one seemed to be acting stupidly for no reason. Writing kudos!

Oh, and there was a bear. Sort of. There was a man driven insane by isolation that thought he was a bear. Apparently this is a big deviation from the books – the bear being human and not animal. I could not be more okay with this change. I've had about enough questionable CGI. I guess while we're at it, let's also thank them for not putting a wig on this bearman. Except they kind of did with the bear skin... never mind. And now we have a tentative peace with the Cherokee. Our introduction to the new faction of people was great. They are strong and scrupulous, just the kind of people the Frasers try to be. Knowing any American history at all sort of ruins the idea of what this alliance could become. I miss the days of watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and being able to believe in it. For now, I'll do my honest best to enjoy these new relationships.

I'm going big. 3.5 out of 4 ridiculous.
I don't know why I'm withholding this half point. Maybe I'll give it to them when Fergus joins his parents in the freaking woods.

Bits and pieces

I loved loved loved the dressing Cherokee in the opening. It was more than reminiscent of scenes we've gotten of Jamie putting his ootd together.

Claire getting into her many many 18th century layers is another dressing we've witnessed now that I think about it.

Is Claire's hair not supposed to be curly anymore? Or are we pretending she has a straightener circa 2001?

Marsali is about to give birth. Which from what I understand is inarguably the hardest thing a person can do. In this time, the husband isn't typically in the room and everyone else she knows and trusts just took off into the woods. Not to mention childbirth carried a seriously high fatality rate. I want to give her a hug.

I'm glad John Quincy Meyers didn't die from the bear attack. He and Ian do a lot in the way of entertaining me.

How cute were Jamie and Ian when Jamie got his new Bear Killer moniker?? All the excitement and enjoyment that Ian openly spewed out everywhere was a little more quietly written on his uncle's face.

The dream/prophecy made to Claire made me uneasy. Whose death would she blame herself for?

Jamie: "You have that faraway look in your eyes, Sassenach."
Claire: "It's nothing. I just..."
Jamie: "Marsali, she's so radiant with child. She's almost the same age as Brianna."
Claire : "Sometimes, I... Well, I worry that it was wrong to leave her."

Jamie: "I canna tell ye what it is for me to feel the rightness of this place. Wasn't just your ghost that brought us here. The mountain spoke to me."

John: "I owe you my life."
Ian: "We all do."

Adawehi: "The moon was in the water, and you became a white raven. You flew over the water and swallowed the moon. The white raven flew back and laid an egg in the palm of her hand. The egg split open, and there was a shining stone inside. She knew this was great magic, that the stone could heal sickness."

Adawehi: "You must not be troubled. Death is sent from the gods. It will not be your fault."

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