Outlander: Down the Rabbit Hole

"Do you hear that?"
"The stones dinna call to me."

Jiminy Cricket, how was all that crammed into only an hour?

I have so many feelings about the journey Brianna is taking, but I am finding it difficult to put them into words. I have to say that it made a lot of sense that she would be thinking so much of Frank during a journey that she hopes will eventually lead to her meeting her biological father. Even with consent and understanding from the former (which Frank's ghost gave at the dock, I think) it can be very daunting. Even acknowledging curiosity about a biological parent can so easily feel like betrayal towards a parent that raised you. At least that's how I felt and I didn't even have to time travel or walk very far or sprain my ankles.

The girl scout bit went on for a bit longer than was maybe necessary, but Sophie Skelton did such a lovely job once she had people to play against. Seeing her and Laoghaire together was so wonderfully off putting. The fiery Fraser temper we've seen from Brianna would hardly allow room for her to be tender toward the woman that tried to have her mother burned at the stake (although we would have assumed that about Jamie once upon a time too) so to see her sympathize with her host had me screaming under my breath. Don't trust her, Bree! Run. Don't look in that closet! Their kindness and graciousness towards each other was matched by their negative feelings when everyone's identities were finally found out. I somehow really appreciate that while there is a lot of context to Laoghaire's rage and where it comes from, she is undoubtedly an enemy. She isn't to be trusted.

Roger's tantrum at the festival is starting to rub me weird. Was it only written in so that he and Bree would eventually go back in time separately? The man that follows a girl two hundred years in the past doesn't seem like the same man that would let her leave him with almost no fight. I mean, in Colonial America she's as likely not to want to marry you as ever. He didn't even give her the year to find her way back to the future like she asked for. As far as he knew, she was perfectly fine and still wanted to be single. It just seems off somehow, but I think we are supposed to think that he is following her for love which I can buy into for now. I love the insistence that Outlander puts on family coming before anything else. They do it here again, if you believe that Roger and Bree are family, which I do. He shows no hesitation in going back after her. Maybe even less than she did to go back and save her parents' lives.

The first time Claire went back in time she came face-to-face with Black Jack almost immediately. The first person Bree came into contact with was Laoghaire and Roger went straight to begging to get on Stephen Bonnet's boat. Is it like a rule? To time travel, one must first encounter a certain amount of evil?

Laoghaire and Jamie and Frank and Claire. The writers put a lot of emphasis on the parallels in these relationships. Laoghaire and Frank loved their spouses very much. They, with varying degrees of patience, carried torches for them and prayed that they might be loved back some day only to ultimately get that final blow to the ego. Even though I can follow that logic, Frank's sad drinking binge succeeded in pulling at my heart strings where Laoghaire's did not. She had no reason to lie at that point, but I couldn't invest in her pain when she talked about the kisses Jamie stole from her or the sweet family gatherings around the fire. Maybe it's because he spent twenty years trying to make his life work with Claire while she only had a much shorter time to invest in Jamie? Or maybe like Murtagh said back at castle Leoch, Laoghaire is still immature and her grievances are more outlandish.

And Frank knew! Call me crazy, but I didn't see that coming. It's so logical that this very cerebral historian would want to and have the resources to find out what happened to the man that haunted his marriage. In his final and maybe only act of defiance for Claire falling out of love with him, he got to not only be the one to leave the marriage but also keep the knowledge to himself. I feel like I should be angry with him for not telling Claire that Jamie survived Culloden. I can see that hostility on the perimeter of my thoughts but honestly a fear that she'd take Bree and run back to the past is valid or at the very least a fear that Bree would want to know this other man. And who knows what he would have done given more time to process things fully. Anyway, poor poor Frank. Thinking back to that last fight he had with Claire, knowing now what he knew then adds a lot of weight to what he must have been going through. The knowledge that Claire would eventually leave him all alone. The raw pain of being betrayed that way played out really clearly even if I didn't realize the weight of it as I watched it for the first time last season. And wow, do I feel badly for Frank. Just last week I was lamenting that I knew I was supposed to feel for him, but couldn't. Now I do. Shame on me for challenging the writers like that. Tsk tsk.

There was no Jamie and no Claire in this episode. Not even a flashback Claire and still, I really really loved it.

I think this might be a 4 out of 4 fur trimmed coats. So well done.

Bits and pieces

Brianna made the messiest looking PB&J for her trip. I wouldn't even take that sandwich to work. I mean wipe the knife before you cut it at least!

Does Stephen Bonnet have a double sided coin that he's throwing around?

Is Laoghaire gonna show up with the police to find an empty room? That won't help clear Bree's name in a witch trial.

It speaks volumes that Tobias Menzies was brought back for an episode and got practically zero screen time with Claire, who was his previous touchstone to the story. It symbolizes the solidity we've been seeing within the Claire and Jamie relationship. If this was ever really a love triangle, it isn't anymore. There are no extra ties there anymore. They won't be torn apart. Whatever else happens, they will stay whole.


Also, Tobias Menzies is a freaking mensch. What a terrific actor.

Brianna taking on a servant? maid? seemed odd. But I am sure it will be important in the future.

Are Bree and Roger extraordinarily brave or did Claire gloss over how insanely precarious living in the past can be?

Joanie asking Bree to ask Jamie to come home broke my heart a little.

Seeing Ian again was lovely. And seeing him be so genuinely himself with Bree was lovely too.

Briana wearing Claire's coat did something to me. And wow, clothes were really made to last back then.

Roger: "Time is not a reality but a concept or a measure. So says the Greek orator, Antiphon."

Brianna: "Who died?"
Frank: "Um... it's complicated."

Laoghaire: "Must be a good man, this Frank Randall, to have raised a daughter such as you."
Brianna: "Yes, he was. He died some years ago."
Laoghaire: "I'm sorry to hear it. It sounds as though he'd never leave you by choice, only by God's hand."

Laoghaire: "Your mother is the thieving whore who stole my man and left me destitute."

Brianna: "We had a plan. We were supposed to go to Harvard together, Daddy. I'm studying history. We were gonna share an office."
Frank: "I know, I know. And a thousand years ago your mother and I had a plan as well but sometimes life takes unexpected turns."

1 comment:

milostanfield said...

Loved that Bree made and packed a PB&J for the most momentous trip anyone could ever take. Most stories so far have a little opening vignette centered on an object: a doll, a clock, etc, that has some significance later in the story. I think the PB&J tells us that young idealistic Bree will remain 20th Century Bree in the past for better or worse. So I doubt her "maid" will remain one for very long.

This episode made it plain to me I would never want to travel back to the past (The future? Sign me up!). In Season One I was seduced by the beauty of Scotland and fantasized a lot about it. But now that we are in ugly racist early America, I’ll pass.

Kudos to Nell Hudson as Laoghaire. She nailed it and was the highlight of the episode for me.

I was so caught up in this story that I didn’t even realize Jamie and Claire weren’t in it until the end. Well done! And thanks for the recap!