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Outlander – S4E8 – Wilmington

Previously on Outlander, “Down the Rabbit Hole”

Images: Starz

The Shortest Pants in All of Wilmington is combing the town looking for Brianna, but instead of a photograph, he only has the pastel drawing of her from the Highland Games. If only it had been a proper caricature with giant novelty glasses or a string bikini, then this whole painful search could have been a little more fun. Not a soul in Wilmington seems to have seen the girl in the drawing, not even that handsome one-handed Frenchie printing assistant.

That’s Fergus, clearly, who is doing well at home, as is Marseli and the new bairn. Claire and Jamie are visiting for the night, even though they’re also on official Governor-summoned business, and it’s a chance for the family to reconnect for a minute without the life-threatening peril that seems to follow them every time they roll out of bed.

On the fancy side of town, Jamie and Claire are dressed up for a night at the theatre with Governor Tryon. They meet some guy with a hernia, who may or may not be an important person but whose protruding organ will certainly come up again later, and Colonel George Washington, who Claire rightfully fangirls all over. In the meantime, Jamie learns that the Tryon has a spy nestled in among the Regulators and they’re laying a trap for Murtaugh that night.

Once the play starts that hernia rears its ugly head, and Claire has to do yet another dining table emergency surgery. She starts her operation theater-style, giving Jamie the chance to slip out the door to warn Murtaugh. Well, he gets Fergus to warn Murtaugh, cause the guy with a brand new baby at home is the one who should be caught warning thieves and trespassers. He catches the Regulators just in time—literally, as the guy with the gun is about to start his robbing speech—and Murtaugh calls it off with a whistle before they’re blown off the road by militia muskets.

It’s not surprising that the surgery goes off without a hitch; I don’t think Claire has lost a patient in this century yet. But she does do it without getting any blood on her white dress, which is just too far to be believable. Jamie makes it back before anyone notices he was missing, and everyone named Fraser is relieved that Murtaugh will live to plot another day. Tryon, however, is livid that his trap didn’t catch any rats. As far as he can tell he has a whistleblower in his company, and all signs point to… Colonel Washington?

Roger is about to call it a night when he hears the strangest American accent (oddly, when no one else has an American accent yet) from across the bar; Brianna must have teleported there for no one in town to remember seeing a red-haired lady walking around by herself. Or with Lizzie, who barely counts and doesn’t seem to actually speak. She is, surprisingly, as thrilled to see Roger as he is to see her, culottes and all, and once the thrill of it wears off they have the kind of teeth-clenched conversation that immediately makes everyone else in the room feel uncomfortable.

Is it just me, or does Roger pull lots of sternly-dragging-by-the-elbow type moves? I get that Brianne is a pain in the ass most of the time—she is the kind of girl who accentuates her words with punches to the arm—but watching him pull her along like a bad puppy, especially when she’s already going with him, is cringe-inducing. Lizzie knows what I’m talking about; she watches from the window as Brianna seemingly gets dragged away, and like any good indentured servant stays completely put for the duration of the episode. Hell, she may still be there now.

I guess the thrill won out over the argument, and all of a sudden the two of them are making out like teenagers in a back-alley shed. In a surprise move, Brianna stops their hot and heavy to accept his proposal from sometime last year (I don’t think that’s how proposal’s work, but I’ve only ever had the one). In place of a proper marriage requiring a proper priest, they perform their own DIY hand-fasting and get down to business.

For a virgin and a preacher’s son, it’s quite a consummation. A good time seems to be had by all and they bask in their glow for, oh, five or six minutes tops before they manage to get into another argument. Roger, who has not been married long enough to know how to emphasize the parts of the truth that matter, tells Brianne that he knew about the Fraser house fire before she did. Bri loses her shit, as she should, but things escalate quickly when Roger reminds her that she’s his wife now and he almost died coming after her (uninvited). All of a sudden she’s telling him he should leave and he does. Roger pursued her for hundreds of miles and through time, and after one little fight he walks his short pants out the door like a pouty baby.

It’s a slow, sad Charlie Brown walk back to the lodging for Brianna, and her night is only about to get worse. Stephen fucking Bonnet is in the bar, gambling and boozing it up, and she unfortunately catches his eye when she walks by. He flashes a silver ring in front of her face, which she of course recognizes as her mother’s other wedding ring, and follows him to a back room to discuss his price for the ring. Poor Bri. Her 1970s feminist independence and city life just cannot prepare her for the brutality of the 18th century and the colonies. Bonnet rapes her, tears her open while every person in the next room can hear, and not one goddamn person lifts a finger. Is this supposed to be her punishment for not obeying Roger? Or for not “needing” his protection? She limps up the stairs to her room where Lizzie is probably sitting up waiting for her.

  • 6.5/10
    Plot - 6.5/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Performances - 8/10
7.5/10

"Wilmington"

Outlander – S4E8 – “Wilmington” | Starring: Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe

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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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