Let’s kick off this particular Outlander season 4 piece with a Happy Birthday to actor Wil Johnson! He was tremendous during his time on the third season as Joe Abernathy, both a trailblazing doctor and also emotional support system for Claire during her time in Boston.
When the two first got into medicine together, it was clear that they were both wrestling with some of the same struggles — they were working within a field dominated by white men and found themselves constantly forced to prove themselves. They did that time and time again and had secured much-deserved success in their desired field. They were also very close on a personal level, and with that Claire’s final scenes with Joe in season 3 were certainly important. Other than her goodbyes to Brianna and Roger, there were few others that she needed to make in order to go about her journey back to the past.
So what could be next for Joe throughout Outlander? We’re hoping that there is a chance to see him during season 4, as he does have a role that is tied to the storyline of both Roger and Brianna. He’s valuable once more as a touchstone in this story; he offers someone for Bree to speak to who knew and understood Claire. That could be very important as she embarks on her own journey into the past. (Even for those who are not book readers, that has been hinted about already in a number of different venues, including some set photos and reports.)
Beyond season 4, Joe does continue to have a role to play in the series for quite some time — he’s one of the few important characters who remains exclusively in the “present” and with that, there are opportunities to use him in the seasons to come. We hope that there are going to find ways to keep him around — Joe is a pensive, fascinating character who understands relationships and struggles, and he offers up that rare combination of both intelligence and empathy. He’s really one of those characters we would love to see so much more of, but the reality here is that we’re dealing with a show with only 13 episodes a season that is based off of incredibly rich books. With that, there’s only so much for all of the supporting roles.
What do you want to see for Wil Johnson’s Joe Abernathy next on Outlander season 4? Be sure to share in the comments!
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