Tonight, Outlander season 4 episode 7 delivered an installment in “Down the Rabbit Hole” that was fascinating and complex in many ways. It also had some surprises that even book readers may not have expected.
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Getting to see Tobias Menzies back as Frank is something that we always personally welcome, especially since we’re talking about a fantastic actor who brings so much depth to a character who is very much complicated … to put it mildly. Frank appeared mostly in flashbacks as we got to see more of the relationship that he and Brianna had over the years, but the most notable moment arrived courtesy of a newspaper clipping from the Wilmington Gazette. As it turned out, Frank was very much aware of the fact that Claire would eventually leave and go back in time to find her other husband. This therefore informed much of his decision-making on the show in the latter portion of his life. It explains even further the emotional distance between he and Claire and how she would never love him in the way that she did Jamie.
Frank on the series is still hardly a saint (after all, why didn’t Frank mention to Claire that something like this could happen?), but this episode offered up a little bit more context into who he was. The final conversation that the two had was a contentious one as Frank told her about the divorce — shortly after that, he died in a car accident and Bree wondered if she was responsible for it in some way.
Meanwhile, this episode also gave us even more context into the character of Laoghaire, someone we already know to be far from likable even if we do always appreciate her being on the series in some shape or form. She drives a lot of conflict and given Laoghaire’s limited view of the world, we cannot say that we’re surprised that she would view Brianna as a witch just as she did her mother. (Laoghaire originally took Brianna in after she traveled through the stones, though she eventually tried to lock her away once she realized that she was Claire’s daughter and she suspected that she was out to cause her pain and suffering.)
At the end of Brianna’s story tonight, she boarded a ship heading towards America — Ian Murray helped to further along on the journey after Laoghaire’s daughter freed her from her home. Before embarking, Bree also found herself company in the form of a servant named Lizzie Wemyss, who she brought on board to ensure that she was not sold off elsewhere, effectively as a concubine.
The journey of Roger to North Carolina
The big news entering this episode, first and foremost, is that Roger shaved the beard! Secondly, he boarded a ship offering up what skill he had … but it just so happened that Stephen Bonnet was the man leading said ship. He found himself subject to a ruthless regime, and someone who would throw overboard innocent children at the mere threat of disease. He also didn’t take well to insubordination and once he found out that Roger was smuggling rations, he then decided that he wanted to punish Roger to the fullest extent of his powers.
What we saw tonight with Roger was just how willing that he was in order to ensure the safety of others — even if it did mean putting himself in extreme peril in the process.
As a whole Outlander season 4 episode 7 delivered a compelling episode, though we cannot speak to some book readers’ reactions to it since we understand that there were many differences from the source material. We did like that the show took a really close look at Brianna’s past and how it was influencing her present. We, of course, do think that a lot of this could have been spread across multiple episodes, but it’s hard to blame the producers for pushing the story forward like they are when there is SO much content to get to throughout the remainder of this season.
We do wish that the meeting between Brianna and Ian Murray was a little bit longer, though we also do understand why Jenny wasn’t around. The plan was apparently to bring her back, but Laura Donnelly was unavailable due to some other scheduling concerns.
What did you think about Outlander season 4 episode 7 overall? Be sure to share some of your thoughts right away in the attached comments. (Photo: Starz.)