Outlander Recap: A Vow and a Violation


Need to catch up? Check out the previous Outlander recap here

Brianna has arguably the best and worst days of her life, and both happen in the same 24-hour period, in this week’s Outlander.

“Wilmington” is a heartbreaking hour that finds Bree reunited with Roger — albeit briefly — and then mercilessly raped by Stephen Bonnet, who formally tosses his hat into the running for the BlackJack Randall A-Hole of the Year Award. No matter how you feel about Claire and Jamie’s daughter (and aye, it seems the fandom is divided), you’re probably lacking in the feelings department if you don’t ache for her after what happens at the end of the installment.

Read on for the highlights of the series’ milestone 50th episode.

Outlander Recap Season 4 Episode 8 Wilmington CLAIRE AND JAMIE VISIT | In 1769 North Carolina, Roger is showing everyone — including Fergus! — the drawing of Brianna from the Scottish festival, but no one remembers seeing her. Though Richard Rankin is certainly attired in historically accurate costume (as I’ve said before, Terry Dresbach knows her stuff), it looks like he’s wearing roughly 500 coats, and all I can think of is Friends‘ Joey doing lunges or my colleague, Andy Swift, at this year’s Halloween party.

While Rog continues canvassing the town, Fergus returns home, where Marsali is extra smiley… because Jamie and Claire are there for a visit! Himself and Herself are in Wilmington to attend a theater performance with Gov. Tryon, they tell Fergus in between bouts of playing with a very cute baby Germain. (Side note: I admit, whenever I read the kid’s name in the books, I am the troglodyte who always heard “Jermaine” in my head. So to hear Jamie say “Zhermahhhh” is quite helpful.) While the ladies get lunch ready for everyone, Claire and Marsali bond over not wanting anything bad to happen to their kids.

IT’S NO THE PRINT SHOP, BUT IT’LL DO | Roger is in deep despair in a tavern when he hears Bree inquiring about passage to Cross Creek. When he calls her name, she says, “It’s you!” and runs to him. Their heartfelt embrace lasts about two seconds before she’s like, “This wasn’t the plan.” And their growing-more-heated-by-the-second conversation draws so many looks, Roger escorts her outside. Lizzie sees all and continues to watch her mistress and this strange man have a charged discussion in the street outside the inn. They raise their voices. She rebuffs his attempts to hold her by the arms. To us, it looks like any given Sunday. But to Lizzie, it appears threatening.

Finally, Bree admits that she loves Roger, and she knew if she told him her plans, he’d try to stop her from going through the stones. He pulls her into an alley, where they start kissing with fervor. As they’re going at it and shedding clothes, Bree stops the proceedings to make sure Roger wants to go through with having sex. (No need to be quick with an answer, Rog: There are so many layers of textiles between you, you’ve got plenty of time to mull it over.)

“We’re not engaged,” she says, reminding him that the lack of a ring was verra important to him the last time they were in this position. Oh yeah, he realizes as some of the blood in his body returns to his brain. He hasn’t changed his mind about wanting to have all of her, or none. “Well, then, you’ll have all of me,” she says with a smile, agreeing to marry him. After all, “How could I say no to a man who pursued me through 200 years?”

MAKING IT OFFICIAL | Roger quickly suggests that they become handfast, aka promised to each other for a year and a day, with the intention to make it official as soon as they can get in front of a priest. “Let’s do it,” she says, and they’re both quite giddy and cute.

So Roger finds a blanket in the barn they’re occupying, and they kneel before the lit fireplace. He wraps their clasped hands, then walks her through the vows, almost in tears. When they’re done, they kiss a lot, and oh, hey, is it the wedding night already?

Both strip down to their granny gowns, er, historically accurate underpinnings, and then he takes her off and is wowed. “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” he gasps. Bree removes his shirt so they’re both nude, then he carries her over to the pallet that will serve as their marriage bed. “If I take you now, it’s for always,” he says, just before the main event is about to get underway. “Yes,” she breathes in response, “yes, please.” But then he does, and she’s wincing a bit, as is to be expected. Eventually, he seizes up, and I’m fairly sure that Bree’s first trip on the merry-go-round is over, but nope — he just wants it to last. So he starts to kiss down her body, and when he drops out of the frame, Bree seems like she’s really into what he’s doing. I am verra skeptical that someone like Roger, who holds such strict rules about what does and doesn’t make someone a sexual libertine, would be not only willing but eager to perform such an act. But hey, Bree looks blissful, so mazel tov.

After everything is over and they’re laying in the afterglow — seriously, does NO ONE use this barn? The newlyweds haven’t been interrupted once! — Bree tentatively wonders whether Roger enjoyed their first time together. “Behavin’ as though you’ve had your spinal column removed is a fair indication of male satisfaction,” he reassures her. She tells him having sex hurt, “but I liked it.” And then it’s her turn to work her way down from his head to points south. I could spend time explaining the hilarious look on his face, but you’re all just going to create memes of it, anyway

Outlander Recap Season 4 Episode 8 Wilmington THE PLAY’S THE THING | While Bree and Roger are making the Loch Ness Monster with two backs, Jamie and Claire get all gussied up to accompany Gov. Tyron and his wife to the theater. Before the play starts, Tyron introduces them to Edmund Fanning, a friend who is also the colony’s registrar of deeds. Fanning is in some pain; he explains that his boot got stuck in the mud, and when he went to yank it out, he did something to his abdomen. “Inguinal hernia,” I mumble from the couch. (Hey, Friends teaches a lot of us a lot of things.) Claire feels me, and starts issuing advice, but no one wants to hear from a lady about this sort of thing. He says his doctor says the problem will go away on its own.

While Mrs. Tryon is giving Claire the lay of the land, she points out George and Martha Washington, and Claire gets crazy eyes. “I should love to meet them both,” she says, so the Tryons make that happen. Claire, usually so smooth and self-possessed, forgets herself for a moment when she makes a comment about how Washington must’ve spent his childhood in Virginia “chopping down cherry trees.” What’s the 18th-century equivalent of a record scratch? Because that’s essentially what happens here. “… Is what a young boy would do!” she finishes lamely. When she and Jamie are alone, Claire fills him in on who Washington is and the role he’ll play in the founding of the country. She’s fangirling. It’s cute.

During the play, Tryon casually remarks to Jamie that he hopes his men play their roles that night. And when Jamie is confused, the governor explains that he has a spy in the Regulators’ camp and is planning to thwart a robbery of a carriage carrying tax money to New Bern. What’s worse: Tyron knows Murtagh is the leader.

Outlander Recap Season 4 Episode 8 Wilmington THE FRASERS SAVE THE DAY | Jamie stews a while, then notices Fanning grunting in pain next to him. “Forgive me,” he says quietly, then taps the man in the gut, causing him to yell out. “THIS MAN NEEDS A SURGEON AND THIS IS, IN NO WAY, A DIVERSION,” Jamie yells out to the crowd, stopping the onstage goings-on. (OK, he really only said the first part.) While Fanning is brought into the lobby, Claire and Jamie have a confab about what the frilly heck is actually going on. Then she calls for a needle and thread so she can operate on his possibly necrotic inguinal hernia (nailed it!), and Jamie slips out to try to get to Murtagh before it’s too late.

While the crowd looks on, Claire operates on Fanning. If you’re familiar with the books, a similar procedure took place with a little less urgency — yet no more privacy — on John Quincy Myers at River Run. At one point, Fanning’s doctor shows up and starts yelling that all the patient needs is “tobacco smoke up through the rear,” but Tyron sends him away. “The lady has it in hand,” the governor says. As Claire stitches Fanning up, the crowd applauds. “I see now why your husband claims he cannot live without you in the wilderness,” Tyron says. And oh look: Jamie’s back!

While he was gone, he connected with Fergus, who makes it to the ambush site in time to get word to Murtagh. “My godson couldn’t be troubled to come here and tell me himself?” the older man asks, irked. Uh-oh…

HONEYMOON’S OVER | Back at the Barn O’ Love, Roger is sex-stupid and inadvertently lets on that he knows about the fire that’s going to kill Jamie and Claire. “I just told you about the obituary today. How could you have known about the smudged date or who the printer was… unless you already knew?” Bree wonders, starting to figure it out. He confesses all, but she’s no less angry. “You found out that my mother died, and you didn’t think I should know that?” she says, getting even more furious when she finds out that Fiona knew about the deaths, too. “I would never have done that to you, Roger,” Bree says, surmising that he didn’t tell her because “you wanted me to be happy so I’d marry you.” And now, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached the point in this argument where Roger should shut the heck up, but doesn’t, and it just makes everything worse. It’s kind of his specialty. (See also: THIS.)

Roger affirms her suspicion, spitting out, “Pardon me for wanting you to be my wife — which, by the way, you are now. So maybe it’s time you listened to me.” If there were any hope that this angry discussion wasn’t going to tip over into an all-out fight, Roger just smushed it into the ground. “Maybe I should go back,” Roger shouts. “Maybe you should,” she says, not giving an inch. He reminds her of how she pushed Frank away, and then it turned out to be too late. “Screw you. I was just a kid!” she counters. “Well, you know what? You still are,” he shoots back. (Side note: I know we’re supposed to see Roger and Bree as these hotheads who are basically the antithesis of Jamie and Claire when it comes to working out problems, but man, I really dislike the way he speaks to her.)

It gets uglier, and when Roger tells he he’ll go if that’s what she really wants, she replies, “No one’s stopping you.” He leaves. She cries a lot and doesn’t stop as she dresses and walks back into the inn.

BREE PAYS A PRICE | Stephen Bonnet is playing cards with some men at a table inside, and when he goes to bet Claire’s ring that he stole on the boat, Bree instantly recognizes the jewelry as her mom’s. She wants to buy it. He asks her to go into the back room to work out the deal. And when she does, he changes his tune, saying he doesn’t want money for the bauble, “but perhaps you could earn it.” OH GOD. She tries to get away, but he hits her and forces her to her knees.

The men in the taproom continue their game as she is raped. We don’t see anything — though we, and the inn’s patrons, can hear all — until the aftermath, when she’s dazed, with a bloodied nose and her clothing askew. Bonnet muses that he thought she’d be a virgin, then he gives her the ring.

She shuffles out, picks up her boots that got left in the taproom, then slowly goes upstairs. The way no one even gives her a second glance is sickening.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

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