Outlander season 4 finale review: Young Ian’s decision + a surprise cliffhanger

OutlanderThe Outlander season 4 finale has now officially come and gone at Starz, and the first reaction we have is that we could watch it four or five more times over the course of the day if we had the time to do so.

New Outlander video – Be sure to get some discussion regarding the finale in our video at the bottom of this article! Also, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube so you don’t miss out weekly Outlander videos (they will continue during the Droughtlander), and be sure to check out our show playlist.

Was it a perfect finale? That largely depends on the definition of the word. As we’re not a book reader, we’re not going to compare it to anything within those pages — we understand there are mixed feelings about some of the changes that happened. We like to judge the series independently and there were a number of things that played out rather brilliantly. There is also a question that still messes with our head: Why didn’t Roger go back with Jamie and Claire?

Let’s backtrack for a moment here, as Jamie, Claire, and Young Ian eventually made it to Shadow Lake and while they were there they made a number of attempts to extract Roger from the tribe that had held him for the better part of the past few episodes. None were successful, including an attempt in the middle of the name to take him in exchange for giving up Otter Tooth’s necklace. That didn’t work, but it was nice to build up the mythology of Otter Tooth from earlier this season and have that story go full-circle — he had come to the 18th-century from the future, in an effort to convince the Native Americans to fight the white man.

The pivotal decision that allowed Roger to return with the Frasers came courtesy of Young Ian, who traded himself for Roger — after that, he then proved himself to be a man of worth (a nod to the episode’s title) to both himself and to the Mohawk. He is accepted as a part of that tribe and with that, he does not want himself to be rescued. This is his life now and the scene between he and Jamie was one of John Bell and Sam Heughan’s greatest scenes this season.

Now, let’s come back to Roger. After he and Jamie hash things out (violently) following what happened to cause Roger to be dragged away in the first place, he is told about Bonnet and about Brianna’s pregnancy. Yet, he is also told that the baby may not be his. That’s when he asks them for time and then leaves. First of all, we want to know what his journey back to North Carolina was like if he went alone. Beyond that, we’re also still a little perplexed by it. We heard the show’s executive producers discussing how divided they were about this choice in a clip that aired after the episode and we agree with some of their reasoning as to why to not go this route — while Roger has gone through a lot of trauma, so much of the reason why he didn’t go through the stones was to be there for Brianna. We thought that he would have come back with Jamie and Claire; even if he had reservations, he had grown a great deal in the time he was away.

Luckily, Roger did eventually decide to come to River Run to be with Brianna and his new son, who he can help to raise into a proper young man. While Lord John Grey was gone for the entirety of this episode, Brianna had plenty of other support and welcomed her baby before Jamie and Claire arrived. We would’ve loved to see a few more family moments for all of them, but this felt like a function of only having thirteen episodes. Or, this episode should’ve run around 80 minutes or so in order to give us some of the moments that we wanted for everyone.

Nonetheless, there were many lovely scenes at River Run and even a fun one, as Murtagh and Jocasta are apparently going to become a couple. It makes a good bit of sense, and it also allows the two of them to show a different side of themselves.

Now, the cliffhanger

The episode tonight concluded with British soldiers arriving to River Run, ordering Jamie that under rule of Governor Tryon, he is to build a militia to hunt down the Regulators — most notably Murtagh. This is where we’re leaving the story off, and it is a fantastic way to go out since it poses a rather important ethical dilemma for Sam Heughan’s character. How does he navigate this particular situation?

CarterMatt Verdict

While we question a couple of choices here and there, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the Outlander season 4 finale way exceptionally-told, well-acted, and also beautifully-shot. This proved to be another addictive season of one of television’s finest shows, and it certainly does leave us eager for season 5 a little bit further down the line.

Related News Be sure to check out some of our season 5 premiere date hopes

What did you think about the Outlander season 4 finale as a whole? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: Starz.)

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