We are back with yet another edition of our ongoing Outlander top actor series, one where we take a look at some of the most noteworthy performances from the most recent episode of the Starz drama. Here, the onus is on episode 4 entitled “Common Ground,” and beyond just that the multi-layered performance of one Sam Heughan as he showed some of his strength and versatility as a performer.
Related Outlander video! – Take a look at some of our thoughts regarding Sunday’s episode at the bottom of this article! Meanwhile, remember that you can subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and take a look at our series playlist.
One of the things that we’ve long appreciated about Sam as a performer is his ability to shift and alternate between a wide array of different gears. In one scene, he can play Jamie Fraser as a mater of political intrigue and social politics. Then, in the next he can be a full-on action hero, and then following that he can be a caring romantic lead. In “Common Ground,” Sam was all of these things. We saw him shrewdly trying to navigate his land ownership with the Governor only for later in the episode, get into a fight with a bear — or at least a man known as that by some of his people. He also worked on his home with Claire and Young Ian while also trying to communicate and establish peaceful relationships with members of the Cherokee tribe.
The bear-wrestling scene will no doubt by one of the most memorable moments of the episode, but to us we appreciated most the simple command that Heughan had over the role and how this character would act in certain situations. He was quick to be strong and defensive to his family, but also careful and considerate. He could come across as warm but also steadfast to the Cherokee, and also tender and kind to Claire — while showing off a sense of humor, as well. This is a strong, fully-formed character chose creation is the end result of a great deal of effort and many years of creation. Sam has lived in Jamie’s skin for some time, and he understands more of what matters to him and how he sees the world. He’s a passionate man who will defend those he loves to the grave, though also knows how to be diplomatic and also when to take charge and act in the moment. Jamie was an engine driving much of the past story in “Common Ground” and from start to finish, Sam will have been responsible for some of the scenes worth watching and re-watching. There is a reason why we routinely have him as one of our Emmy and Golden Globe favorites — the same goes for this year!
What did you think about Sam Heughan’s Outlander performance on season 4 episode 4? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: Starz.)