Outlander: Wilmington

"I'm an honest man for a pirate."

I always know that the review is all over the place when this is the last bit that I write. I don't think more could happen in an hour of television – I mean we met freaking George Washington, for crying out loud.

Roger finds Brianna right away. Or at least, that's how it feels to us. On the one hand, I appreciate them not wasting screen time showing Sophie Skelton getting sick over the side of a boat or an endless montage of Roger shoving that drawing in the faces of people on the street while he looks more and more hopeless. On the other, though, the fast pace and time jumping pulls me from the story somewhat. Life in the 18th century makes traveling an extraordinary feat. It should be difficult to find each other. It should be a pain in the ass, but he just happens to stumble across her in the episode right after he set out through the stones looking for her. It's so disjointed. But like I said, I don't want what I'm complaining that I didn't get, so what were the writers supposed to do?

If I learned anything in "Wilmington," it's that Brianna's love story is going to be leaps and bounds different from her parents. Which is a weird realization because of course it is. It should be. They are different people. But I'm enjoying Bree with Roger so much less and it's taken me a little aback. It's hard to invest in and root for a relationship that I don't enjoy watching develop. Their communication skills need serious work and watching them argue, which is almost all they do, isn't passion that ends in understanding and compromise. It's more like watching that stereotypical couple that everyone knows shouldn't be together but for some reason they won't split up scream at each other over happy hour cocktails. I don't think I like Roger. I can't say I'm particularly taken with Bree either, but she had a rough episode, I really don't feel like bagging on her right now. Roger, man, what a tool. I didn't love his behavior at the Scottish festival, but I thought I could get on board after he risked his whole life to follow Brianna back in time. Then when he found her he still demanded that they get married, didn't admit that he knew about the obituary before she did and deliberately kept it from her, then tried to lecture her for coming back to save her parents in the first place. What. An. Asshat.

When I was trying to decide if I wanted to review this show, a big chunk of the con list was that the last three episodes of season one are still unreviewed. In those episodes, Jamie is held prisoner, raped and tortured and I don't know how to review such a thing. I don't know that I'll ever be able to write those reviews. But here I am trying to find a way to talk about another horrific act of violence and rate it. It feels practically impossible.

TPTB made a choice to keep the cameras focused on the bar patrons and not the actual assault that was taking place and it didn't exactly work. I think the point of the choice was to highlight the fact that Bree was well within earshot of many people that refused to help her. Put simply, they didn't need as long as they took to make that point and the audience had ample time to realize that. It was jarring right from the beginning when Bonnet grabbed her by the arm out of nowhere. It took her and the audience by surprise. I knew she was in trouble from the second we saw Stephen Bonnet on screen, but asking about her mother and walking into the next room of a busy bar with many many witnesses was hardly a signal for what was coming. Even in the 1700s. The danger of the time is never lost on us. Never very far from where are characters are. But even for the level of danger that exists in the time, this felt extra harsh due to the mostly benign choices that led up to it. She had made it back to home base, she didn't lose her temper or threaten him, there were plenty of people around that should have deterred him. But still she was attacked and raped and there was nothing she could do to stop him.

While the camera wasn't on Bree during the attack, we stayed with her for the moments after. Sophie Skelton was able to pull off looks of absolute anguish while still going almost blank behind the eyes. My heart broke for her a couple of times in those very brief moments. When she took the ring from him and again when she had to bend down and pick up her boots.

Oh! There was also a play. Although Claire and Jamie felt oddly shoehorned in with their daughter swinging between such horrifying highs and lows, I really enjoyed it. It was all a little callback to earlier seasons watching Claire and Jamie try to work behind the backs of those in power. Claire putting her skills as a surgeon to use to save lives and earn respect and Jamie racing off to save someone else. And they still have it, don't they? They can still almost read each others' minds. She knew that he wanted everyone in a state of panic and didn't miss a beat.

The shoehorned plots gave me my top two favorite scenes of the episode. One was Claire and Marsali talking about the joys and fears of motherhood. Lauren Kyle did a marvelous job here. I would assume that it's difficult to make effervescent joy look natural. Not only did it not look forced but she made it look easy. I hope she doesn't take it too personally when she finds out that Claire was speaking from experience. I like the relationship that they've forged. Second was Murtagh and Fergus. I was a little concerned that I had built up their relationship from season two in my head. That they might reunite with nothing more than a nod of the head or some boring macho something. But no. Thankfully. Murtagh trusted Fergus and his word completely. He even said that he was happy to see him. I DIED. I am dead.

No rating.

Bits and pieces

I once had an English teacher give me a hard time for thinking of characters as people. She would say that it makes no sense to get protective over a character or to dislike a character or to wish them happiness. If you read this review and didn't realize that I am far too invested, then you're probably just as insane as I am.

I loved the tiny exchange between Roger and Fergus. This is a coincidence that makes sense to me in a town with so few people. This means that Brianna's proximity to her parents is very close then, right? Or are the timelines not officially caught up to one another? Seems odd that they wouldn't have run into each other.

Fergus and Marsali named their son Germain.

Claire met George and Martha Washington and I could so relate to her fangirl moment. Too cute.

I've seen interviews where Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin have chemistry leaps and bounds over what Roger and Bree usually bring to the table. Am I alone here? Is everyone else down with this coupling? I didn't need to read the books to know that these two will stay together. No, I'm not wasting my time hoping that they will find other people. But man, I hope I can invest in them more. As cool as the Scottish Highlands, French court and colonial America are, it's the relationships that keep me around and I spend a lot of time wanting to move on when Bree and Roger are on screen. Here's hoping they grow on me and fast.

George Washington had brown hair? I've only ever thought of him with the traditional powdered white hair.

Game of Thrones took some heat when a female character was raped and all the focus was put on the emotional fallout suffered by a male character as opposed to that of the actual victim of the sexual assault. Depicting sexual violence against a character to make some other point feels at best lazy story telling. I wish good TV shows would stop making this very bad choice.

Bonnet's attack on the river wasn't as graphic as it could have been because of the choice to put the song in place of dialogue. He wasn't shown at all in his attack in the bar. Interesting.

No Ian. Not complaining.

Marsali: "Being a mother to a wee bairn, my heart is so full of love it's fit to burst. But..."
Claire: "Is something the matter?"
Marsali: "No, it's only with Germain being so precious, I look at him and I ken I'd have a knife through my gut before seeing him hurt or in sorrow. If anything should ever happen to him..."
Claire: "That's the hardest thing about being a parent... I'm sure. Though you know you would die trying, you can't protect them from everyone and everything."

George Washington: "I spent my youth in Virginia."
Claire: "Chopping down cherry trees."
Claire: "...is what a young boy would do. Figure of speech."
I really wished we could have seen Jamie's reaction to this.

Claire: "George Washington. He might be the most famous American ever to live."
Jamie: "What does he do to gain such notoriety?"
Claire: "He is the man to win the war against the British, and he will be the first leader of this country. But he won't be a king. He will be a president, elected by the people. If Brianna were here, she'd have a hundred questions to ask him."

Mistress Tryon: "That's Colonel Washington."
Claire: "I'm sorry, who?"
Mistress Tryon: "Colonel George Washington. He's a former soldier with the Virginia regiment."
Claire: "Well, I should like to meet them both."
Ahhhhhhhhh.

Roger: "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen."
Jamie said this word for word to Claire in the brothel after their reunion last season. There were also a few parallels to "The Wedding."

Bree: "I've wanted this for so long."
Roger: "If I take you now, it's for always."
I hate this. Why do I hate this? Am I projecting my own commitment issues onto them? Would I hate it if Jamie said this to Claire? I think so.

Roger: "Behaving as though you had your spinal column removed is a fair indication of male satisfaction."

Roger: "Brianna, we are the arbiters of this gift, but we cannot say who lives and who dies or else we'll save the lives of all of our loved ones."

Jamie: "Thank you for aiding a fellow soldier."
George Washington: "Is there a war I'm not aware of?"
Silly George.

Murtagh: "What the!?"
Fergus: "It's me, Fergus. The governor knows of your plan and intends to have you arrested."
Murtagh: "Fergus? Is that you?"
Fergus: "Milord sent me to warn you to not rob the coach."

Fergus: "You have a spy in your camp."
Murtagh: "I suppose I must. My godson couldn't be troubled to come here and tell me himself, eh?"
Fergus: "He is at the theatre."
Murtagh: "The theatre? Hmm. Just as well, there's no other man I'd rather see."

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