OUTLANDER Season 4 in Review: Brought Together/Torn Apart

FIRST IMPRESSION

OUTLANDER’s fourth season involved a lot of ups and downs. A surprise appearance from Frank gave Tobias Menzies fans something to cheer about, and Jamie and Brianna finally meet. Stephen Bonnet provides a passable villain for the season, and the tension at River Run when Jamie turned down his aunt’s generous offer was great. I think that representation of Indigenous communities throughout this season was relatively respectful, which is refreshing to see. I look forward to the next season and watching Claire and Jamie hand the reins over to Brianna and Roger.
Outlander Season 4

OUTLANDER season 4 showed fans both hardships and heartwarming moments. Reunions between lovers, a first meeting between father and daughter, a rape, and several hard-fought battles dotted this season’s landscape. And, taking advantage of the time and place in which OUTLANDER is set, viewers also caught a glimpse of a very famous 18th-century colonist, George Washington himself.

Claire and Jamie had their share of ups and downs as a couple but, as usual, their ordeals only served to strengthen their bond. Unlike previous seasons, though, the real romantic focus of this season of OUTLANDER was, without a doubt, on Roger and Brianna rather than Jamie and Claire.

OUTLANDER – Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You…

This reviewer found OUTLANDER season 4 somewhat stronger than some previous seasons. For me, as a North American, the historical significance of colonization and the American Revolutionary War is clearer than the historical significance of the Battle of Culloden.

Even though OUTLANDER’s writers repeatedly made clear that the outcome of the Battle of Culloden was essentially the destruction of highland culture in Scotland, historical events from your own backyard — or your neighbour’s in my case — always seem more significant than those that occurred overseas. For that reason, I wonder if European viewers have as much interest in this season.

Another thing about this season that sets it apart from some previous ones is that much of its narrative focused on fleshing out Roger and Brianna. As much as I like Jamie, Claire, Murtagh, Lord John, Young Ian, Fergus, and Marsali, new characters mean new elements to the plot. So Jocasta and even the dastardly Stephen Bonnet are welcome additions to the cast.

OUTLANDER – All About Roger and Brianna

In the case of Roger and Brianna, rather than introducing these characters — both characters first appeared at the end of season 2 — the fourth season showed viewers just how much abuse each is willing to take to prove their love for each other. At first glance, this probably seems like a sadistic thing to enjoy watching, but these trials go a long way in showing Roger and Brianna’s depth, both as a couple and as individuals.

Of course, not all of the moments viewers watched between Roger and Brianna were heartwarming. Many of them were tense and some of them were abusive. Of course, moments of discord reveal things about people just as well as moments of harmony. Showing moments when both doubted their love and dedication to each other simply served to underline Roger and Brianna’s shared dedication to and love for each other.

OUTLANDER Season 4: Final Thoughts

By making Roger and Brianna’s relationship a key element in this season, OUTLANDER’s production team garners interest in Roger and Brianna without radically altering the show. This gradual introduction, occurring over the span of two seasons, gives OUTLANDER’s viewership time to prepare for the narrative to shift focus off of Jamie and Claire and onto Roger and Brianna.

Jamie and Claire will, of course, play some part in future seasons: one major plot development revealed at the end of the season four finale was Jamie’s conscription. Ordered to fight the Regulators, Murtagh’s band of rebels, it’s safe to say that Jamie will be caught in a few tight spots next year.

OUTLANDER Season 4: Final Finale Thoughts

Speaking of Jamie’s late-in-the-episode conscription, I thought it was refreshing to see a season finale end without a cliffhanger. The season 4 finale post-show interview, with three of OUTLANDER’s producers, revealed that the original plan was to leave Roger’s whereabouts up in the air. That decision would have been a pretty cheap one indeed. Jamie’s conscription was a great final moment for this season. The message is clear: storm’s a brewin’.

In the end, foreboding season finales like this one are far more satisfying than cliffhangers that threaten to negate the ending promised by that season’s plot. Everyone and their bairn knew that Roger was coming back to Brianna, so just show their dang reunion and get on with it…it was lovely by the way.

OUTLANDER Season 4: What Lies Ahead

Nothing is certain, but I predict that Jamie and Murtagh will use their positions to minimize losses on both sides of the Regulator/Redcoat dispute. In past seasons, Jamie and Claire’s presence has done little to forestall historical events, so logic dictates that the Frasers might have something to do with the upcoming Battle of Alamance — the only battle in the War of Regulation — which had, although numbers are disputed, less than 50 casualties on both sides.

If the War of Regulation doesn’t kill Jamie, I imagine his sister Jenny will probably throttle the life out of him. Jamie laughed off the inevitable conversation with his sister, in which he must tell Jenny that he traded her son to the Mohawk, but I don’t see Jenny taking the news well.

It was great to see Fergus developing a taste for revolutionary action, and it was great to see Marsali getting involved as well. They may be parents, but revolutions take all kinds, so I hope we see more of Fergus and Marsali’s adventurous exploits in future seasons.

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