‘Outlander’ Season 4, Episode 10: Not the Guy | Modern Society of USA

‘Outlander’ Season 4, Episode 10: Not the Guy

‘Outlander’ Season 4, Episode 10: Not the Guy

Brianna was never so compelling as when she cracked Jamie right in the face.

Her rape story line may never escape the shadow of the show’s reliance on sexual violence. That said, her early days at Fraser’s Ridge felt more like the beginning of a process than a bandage on a wound, suggesting “Outlander” was trying to make Brianna a full character at the center of this story, however belatedly. And this episode, she unleashes on Jamie and Ian in one of the more painful family scenes since the Fraser reunion.

It is part of a shift in Brianna’s arc. She has moved from dull horror to burning anger, confessing to Jamie that she dreams of murdering her rapist. Whatever that suggests for the long term, in the short term it’s clear that she is trying to come to terms with what happened. She declines to terminate the pregnancy on the slim chance it could be Roger’s, and yet her nightmares about Bonnet get worse.

But this family feud is also comeuppance for Jamie. And that’s rare enough to feel important.

Early in this episode, Jamie goes from “It’s not your fault, Brianna” to devil’s advocate on a dime, so he can goad her into attacking him. Then he pins her in a weirdly loaded sleeper hold and points out that she’s powerless to stop him from killing her. You know, to make her feel better. (The actual heart-to-heart that follows is honest and earnest, but it’s hard to forget that Jamie ran out of patience so fast that a father-daughter half-nelson seemed more expedient than a little more reassurance.)

It seems destined to come back and bite him — his confidence the sort that implodes. But on “Outlander,” Jamie is the hero, and he doesn’t tend to face a lot of pushback from characters he respects. Murtagh is still coming over for dinner without a word about how Jamie plans to handle his pledge to the Governor. So the most remarkable thing about this episode is that after Brianna and Claire find out Jamie and Ian dealt some secret violence to Roger, they get mad at Jamie — and stay mad.

Honestly, when Brianna castigates him, it is such a shock that it seems to shake the whole story for a moment. Her anger is the fury of someone deeply wronged — and that kind of anger is so rarely directed at Jamie that he seems to short out for a moment, struggling to comprehend the idea that he can’t immediately fix things. It unbalances him so much that in his confusion about the specifics of that night, he falls back on some views that sound distinctly 18th century: “You said he raped you of your virtue! I nearly killed a man. And to think, I was defending your honor!”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that things deteriorate for him — Claire is furious at his lies, Brianna has some withering things to say about how they handled Roger, and Bonnet’s name shatters the last of the family peace. But “Outlander” doesn’t often make him face the music like this. “You do not get to be more angry than me,” Brianna snaps at her father, and it’s almost surreal how unsettled he is to hear it.

It’s the sort of fight that one hopes will be hard to resolve. Jamie says he is sorry, but the meat of his apology is a promise to get Roger back. It’s honorable enough, if self-serving. But it splits the family because pregnant Brianna can’t make the ride. And Claire is desperate to stay until Brianna makes no bones about how little she trusts the men. On top of her grief over leaving her daughter again, Claire is noticeably fed up with Jamie, who has some apologies left to make.

But Jamie’s parting words to Murtagh are an order to find Bonnet. He’s planning to do the same thing again — without asking Brianna what she wants, again. Fundamentally, then, he has learned nothing.

It will be very interesting to see what those consequences are. Things were a little charmed for Jamie this season: His marriage thrived, settling came easy, friends unerringly found him, and they flew under political radars. Now things are getting sticky, and the story is holding him to account. May it be as messy as it promises to be.

Other Gossip:

• Claire and Brianna reminiscing about things they miss was a sweet moment for them. (Though, in a show that tries to deal with sexual politics, it’s odd that there’s a bigger pang for peanut butter than say, basic rights.)

• “You will not forget, but time will let you heal.” This is an important concept for Brianna right now. Unfortunate that this seems more about Jamie’s hard-earned wisdom than about Brianna’s trauma.

• “My father would never have said the things you said to me. He was a good man.” Poignant and insightful, Brianna!

• “… You’re nothing but a savage.” Nope, revoked.

• Having Ian mention the Mohawk are “fierce, but honorable” and that “they adopt folk into their tribe” does not actually make up for a subplot full of nameless Mohawk slavers being cruel to their captives. “Outlander” has not done very much to fight or reexamine racist stereotypes of Native Americans this season, and this is not helping.

• Murtagh making a beeline outside at the start of the family breakdown is the most relatable thing that has ever happened on this show.

• Are they in a position to ask favors from Aunt Jocasta? (And Brianna, whose college roommate is a black woman, is willing to stay on a plantation? Awkward.)

• The cliffhanger of whether Roger vanished into the future feels suspenseful only if you wanted him to stick around. Bold assumption.

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