We’ve been watching Outlander every week since it first premiered. We’ve been recapping the show for the past two seasons. We’ve seen every episode at least twice. But we have never seen an episode as intense as this one. That’s why we’re including a trigger warning along with our usual spoiler warning. Readers who are sensitive to descriptions of sexual violence should not read this week’s recap and should take extreme care when watching the final scene of the episode. We describe this scene in the last paragraph of this recap. For those who choose to read further, let’s break the episode down into the usual Swords vs Skins.
*Spoiler Warning! The following recap contains spoilers from episode 408. Do not read further if you have not seen the episode and wish to avoid spoilers.*
**Trigger warning! The following recap contains references to an act of sexual violence. Those who are sensitive to such descriptions should not read further.**
Sword Score: 10/10. It’s Jamie and Claire doing what they do best- turning social customs on their heads and thwarting the plans of spies. They are invited to attend a play with Governor Tyron in Wilmington. They use the excuse to stop in and visit Marsali and Fergus and meet their brand-new son, Germain Fraser! It’s a delightful scene, and it clears up our ongoing question of just how you pronounce “bairn” with a French accent.
At the theater and before the play begins, Tyron introduces Jamie and Claire to Edward Fanning, Tryon’s right-hand man. Claire spots the man’s hernia right away and offers to help him. The menfolk refuse the help of a lady, a set of words that Claire makes them eat later on. They also meet Commander George Washington (yes, THAT George Washington) and discover that he was the one who did the survey for Fraser’s Ridge. Claire is extremely excited to meet him, and we have to share her feelings. But all that excitement vanishes when Tyron lets slip that his men have arranged a trap for a group of Regulators who are planning to rob a carriage carrying tax money. The Governor has a spy in the Regulator’s ranks and knows Murtagh is leading the robbery. Jamie must act quickly to warn Murtagh.
Jamie elbows Fanning in the middle of the play, sending him into a medical crisis. While Claire leaps in to operate, Jamie races to Fergus and sends him to go warn Murtagh. The plan is successful and Murtagh avoids the noose yet again. Meanwhile, Claire operates on Fanning in front of a crowd. She repairs his hernia and saves his life, earning the respect of the entire audience in the process. The Governor is grateful for her quick actions and skills. He is also furious that his plan to capture the Regulators was ruined and believes Washington to be the informer. That’s a plot point that we’re really hoping gets explored further.
Skin Score: 10/10. This is the part where we talk about a scene of sexual violence. If that is difficult for you to read, this is where you’ll want to stop reading.
Also in Wilmington, Roger’s searching for Brianna has finally paid off. He finds her in an inn. Their reunion is pretty consistent with every other time that they’ve been together- a fair amount of yelling at each other followed by a whole lot of kissing. They escape the prying eyes of the inn for the privacy of a shed around the back. Before they go too far, Brianna stops Roger and reminds him of his words at the festival. He admits that he still wants all of her or none of her. It seems like a reunion-ender until Brianna agrees to marry him.
Lacking a ring but not wanting to lose a moment, Roger proposes that they get “handfast.” We learned about this tradition last season when Fergus and Marsali used it to marry in secret, but it involves reciting marriage vows without a minister present. Brianna agrees, and she and Roger say their vows to each other while kneeling in front of the fire. Afterward, they get right down to the business of consummating their marriage.
It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of parallels between this scene and Jamie and Claire’s wedding night way back in season one. Both times, one partner is a red-headed virgin, the other is a more experience brunette, there are looks full of unmasked lust, really slow undressing, and at least one person left wondering just where the lovebirds vanished off to. (Poor Lizzie.) This is also an even faster engagement than Jamie and Claire had. They were engaged for an entire day- Bree and Roger went from not even dating to married in under an hour. You’ve got to admire that kind of efficiency.
In the afterglow, the new couple talks. That’s where everything begins to go wrong. Brianna realizes that Roger knew about the obituary. They fight over the fact that Roger didn’t tell her, with Brianna believing that Roger is trying to keep her from making her own decisions, and Roger believing that he was acting out of love and protection for Brianna. In typical Bree fashion, she orders him to leave. Roger agrees and leaves, his marriage seemly over just hours after it began.
A heartbroken Brianna returns to the inn. On her way to her room, she encounters Stephen Bonnet and his pirate crew. She realizes that he has Claire’s ring and offers to buy it back. Bonnet takes her to a back room to “haggle,” and closes the doors behind them. He then proceeds to rape Bree while the entire bar literally looks the other way and pretends to hear nothing. It’s unclear if they’re ignoring her cries for help out of indifference or out of fear of Bonnet, but one thing is clear. Bonnet is going to have to answer for his crimes, and soon.
Outlander airs Sundays at 8 pm on Starz. Viewers can also watch and catch-up anytime on Starz.com and the Starz mobile app. Be sure to check back here to FanFest.com each week for episode previews and full episode recaps.
Kade is often described as, “here just a minute ago” and can often be found just around the corner from where you’d expect. Approaching is not encouraged, unless you come with a strong wifi connection and a nice charcuterie board with gluten-free breads.