This week on Outlander it’s the family reunion we’ve all been waiting for!
We pick up exactly where we left off last week — with Bree returning to her room at the tavern immediately after being raped by Stephen Bonnet. She is deeply traumatized, crying and shaking as Lizzie looks after her, taking note of her bloody nose and tears. Bree struggles to undress and flinches when Lizzie goes to help her. Lizzie notices the bruises all over Bree’s back and the blood on her petticoat, confirming all her assumptions when she saw Roger pull Bree outside. Only the perpetrator wasn’t Roger, obviously.
Roger returns to the tavern to try to find Bree the next morning, and he runs into Bonnet eating his breakfast. Bonnet threatens him, telling him he must continue on as a member of his crew until they reach their final port of Philadelphia to get his wages. He has to choose between a limb or a lass, Bonnet menacingly jokes. Roger asks the tavern owner to tell Bree he was there.
Bree sleeps until midday and is upset to see that Lizzie, who has been ill, washed her bloody petticoats (mostly because she is never going to wear them again). Bree is more determined than ever to get to Cross Creek and find her parents. She goes downstairs to ask after Roger and discovers he left with the crew of the Gloriana. She searches the docks for him, but the ship has set sail. She stares at the horizon and clutches at the silver bracelet he gave her.
But wait — Lizzie has some good news. She’s been talking about all the Scots settled in North Carolina and heard the story of a woman who performed surgery at the theater only the night before. The woman’s husband, one Mr. Fraser, has just been seen nearby.
Bree goes to find Jamie and happens upon him while he’s relieving himself — you know the way we all hope to meet the father we’ve never met before. Jamie assumes she’s propositioning him and dismisses her, but when she knows his name he is taken aback. She reveals that she is Brianna and his daughter, and the two share a touching, tear-filled reunion. He admits he never imagined her as a grown woman, only a wee bairn. They embrace, and he can’t wait to take her to Claire.
Claire is leaving her quarters, counting coins when she spots Jamie sitting on a bench and is astonished to see Bree next to him. Her eyes go wide and they embrace, while Jamie smiles looking on. Both of these reunions are heartfelt, tearjerkers — moments book fans have waited for all season. One quibble I have with Outlander is that it prizes romantic love over all other forms — Bree is barely a legal adult when Claire leaves her behind. Yet, we’re meant to support Claire saying goodbye to her forever to chase after a man she loves. It’s maybe an unfair bias towards an expectation for maternal devotion, but it’s never sat well with me. Let’s be honest, if my mom was like “Hey, I’m going back to the 18th century to get some good loving,” I’d be super angry. And I’m almost 30. So, it does the heart good to see them come together again.
Bree almost immediately shows them the obituary with the smudged date as an explanation for her presence. Jamie invites her to stay with them on Fraser’s Ridge and see the new life they’ve built for themselves. Brianna agrees, but only if she can bring Lizzie. Ian returns and is shocked to meet his cousin (who definitely eyes her as a romantic prospect for a hot second, if we’re being real). He knows when it comes to Claire, it’s best to not ask questions. Oh, Ian, if you only knew.
The whole party travels on a boat down the river to head back to Fraser’s Ridge. Lizzie definitely has the hots for Ian, but he assumes she’s just into his dog, Rollo. Turns out 18th-century boys are just as clueless as modern-day ones.
While onboard, Bree tells Claire about Roger coming through the stones. Claire realizes Bree is in love with him, and Bree reveals they were hand-fast but had a big fight immediately after and he returned to Scotland to go back to the present. Or so she assumes. Later, Ian explains to Bree that he’s frightened of this part of the river because they were robbed here by a man named Stephen Bonnet who charmed them all and then betrayed them. He says Bonnet stole Claire’s wedding ring, which makes Bree realize this man who took advantage of Jamie’s goodwill is the same man who raped her.
As they continue their journey on wagon and horseback, Jamie and Claire discuss everything from Bree’s evident heartbreak to the news she’s brought of their deaths. Claire suggests they’ll just have to be sure to be away from the cabin every Sunday prior to January 21th for the next decade. Jamie isn’t convinced this plan will work given how little luck they’ve had changing history before. They make a brief stop on the ridge to show Brianna the CGI view we’ve been enjoying all season. She marvels at it and brings up Daniel Boone, who she realizes is alive in the current moment. GOLLY GEE, ISN’T THE PAST SOMETHING ELSE?
Once they return home, Murtagh is waiting. Since Tryon has it out for him, he’s going to hide out on the Ridge for a while. Then, Murtagh meets Bree. They all enjoy dinner together later and Bree passes along the message to Ian that Jenny wants him to write more. Murtagh tells ribald stories of Jamie’s youth, including one involving Dougal’s daughter and his first kiss, a dirk, and his bollocks. You had to be there I guess. They all struggle to connect.
Claire fears Lizzie has malaria and prepares some Jesuit bark for her, while Bree struggles to tell her something. She can’t open up about her assault yet, but she does manage to tell her that Frank knew Claire returned to Jamie and the past. Claire is shook, but says Frank always knew her heart was here. Bree admits now that she’s seen them together she understands why she had to come back. Claire tells Bree it’s ok to feel overwhelmed by the past — she once felt the same. She tries to get Bree to open up about Roger, but Bree is resigned to his being gone.
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