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Outlander – S4E11 – If Not For Hope

Previously on Outlander, “The Deep Heart’s Core”

Images: Starz

I can’t believe it. I can’t believe Roger left Brianna! Sure, she’s big ol’ handful. And he did have to contend with Stephen Bonnet. He also got the crap beat out of him by his father-in-law, sold to Indians, and made to march thousands of miles. But he left her!?!

Oh, wait. That shower was just a dream—Roger is very much still being held by the Indians, and it looks like they’ve finally made it to the Mohawk village. Does this mean he walked all the way to New York? It feels like it should have taken longer. They finally untie his hands only to push him through some sort of Mohawk gauntlets where everyone gets to beat up poor Roger. The way they cheer when he stands up, they’re either about to kill him or he’s about to become a full-fledged tribe member.

The American Frasers are still on the hunt for Roger, and are currently sitting somewhere just between North Carolina and New York. They could be tracking him, they could just be riding north—it’s hard to tell if they have any sort of game plan other than “get him back”. Young Ian is filling the time by dispensing marriage advice to Claire. It’s a… bold choice on his part. I love that he admits he doesn’t know about the marriage bit, or the children bit, and then goes right back to what he was saying. That young man should be treasured for his wisdom.

On their journey they find the bones of Roger’s coughing prison-mate, who Ian hilariously recognizes by the tatters that remain of his coat. They take the time to bury him, because they’re in no way in a hurry, and later that night Claire does go to Jamie. But not because Ian told her to! She wasn’t even mad, which sucks for him because he was thinking she was done with him.

In civilization, Fergus is looking for Stephen Bonnet and for a steady paying job and is coming up short in both instances. Someday Claire can amaze him with stories of the ADA, but in the meantime our one-handed friend is shit out of luck. Out of sheer desperation, Marseli asks Murtaugh to take Fergus into the very illegal fold of Regulators. Murtaugh has been hiding out in their house, getting his filthy boots on everything and eating all their food, so it’s not like he wasn’t around to ask. And it’s not that she actually wants her husband to be an outlaw, or get him shot on the way home. She just needs a man that feels like a man, and right now Fergus feels less than whole. Murtaugh obliges, because it is literally the least he can do, but Fergus turns him down! He doesn’t want to be an outlaw, and he certainly doesn’t want to get shot or arrested. The man knows his place is with his wife and baby, employment be damned.

The two still work together on their side quest, which is track down and collect Stephen Bonnet. Fergus has been doing the legwork, asking after the Glorianna, but once Bonnet finally appears it’s Murtaugh who takes him down with a rifle butt to the face. The pair almost get caught dragging a slightly-living Bonnet down the street, but that sweet old softie Murtaugh makes Fergus split before the law comes down on them. Then again, when you have a known fugitive and murderer hog-tied to your wagon, it’s easy to distract the cops. They take Bonnet into custody, but they also recognize Murtaugh as a Most Wanted as well.

Brianna is posted up at River Run, waiting out her “condition” and for her parents to find Roger. She swears she’s not possessed, even though she splits her time between drawing shadowy demons and nightmares and crying. It sounds exactly like something a possessed person would do… and say. Lizzie finally acknowledges that she’s the worst and everything is her fault, and for some reason all is immediately forgiven. Bri’s got her hands full dealing with Aunt Jocasta, so she could definitely use the backup.

There’s going to be a dinner party in Brianna’s honor, and if Jocasta has her way a little bit of an auction at the end; the highest bidder will get a new wife. Bri won’t accept a new dress but since she and Jocasta have bonded in their time together, she goes downstairs to dutifully play the part of delighted distant niece and grateful guest (unaware of her aunt’s scheming). She is unfortunately an instant hit, and for her trouble wins a fat lieutenant and a hobbit. Bri is surprisingly adept at navigating the old-timey social waters, deferring to the opinions of the racist old cow like she knows it matters to honor your elders and whatnot. She even entertains the group with a parlor trick at dinner called psy-chology, although she might have hit too close to home with one of the guests Judge Alderdyce. She also treads on thin ice with the newest party guest, a Lord John Grey, when she finds out how close he and her parents are. Grey may be there under the guise of a fancy dress party but Jamie actually asked him to look in on Brianna, which makes her so mad she faints away like a proper lady.

When you wake up to Lizzie fucking running her mouth again about your “condition”, I guess the only reasonable reaction is to spill all of the tea about Roger and being sold to the Mohawk and all of the shenanigans of the last month. And while you’re being frank, let’s have a chat with Auntie, who is trying to sell you off to the Shire for a low, low price. For what it’s worth, Jocasta has mostly good intentions, trying to get Brianna squared away before she gives birth to a fatherless bastard, but her good intentions also come with a hefty dose of “give up hope, because Roger is dead to us”.

Word comes the next morning that Peregrin Took is head-over-tiny-heels in love with Bri and is ready to make her an offer she can’t refuse. Before she can let that happen, her and John Grey meet up on the sly, because Brianna’s got a plan. That plan includes the complete miscalculation of trying to blackmail Grey with the sexiness she witnessed the night between him and Judge Alderdyce. It’s an even bigger misstep to threaten to tell Jamie. Basically, this girl doesn’t have a clue who she’s dealing with. She’s also not that great at making deals. Or blackmailing. Something in her sad, sad story must have clicked for Grey, because he swoops in and declares Brianna his fiancé just seconds before the tiny hobbit can declare his love. Fool of a Took!

  • 8/10
    8 for Brianna; 3 for everyone else – 8/10
  • 6.5/10
    Dialogue – 6.5/10
  • 7/10
    Performances – 7/10

"If Not For Hope"

Outlander – S4E11 – “If Not For Hope” | Starring: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin

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About Robyn Horton (94 Articles)
Robyn grew up a military brat whose parents let her indulge in her love of literature, mythology, movies, musicals, and Kings Quest (without telling her how nerdy they were). She is now a reformed graphic designer with a husband, two dogs, a Sweeney Todd themed bathroom, and a burning need to know how many books really can fit in one house.

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