It’s taken me a week to find be in the right head space to write this.
I’ve wanted to make a start on it long before now but… with everything that went on afterwards – It was rather hard to concentrate.
With 1 week of “Droughtlander” down and another 51 to go – I thought now was a good time to offer up my thoughts on Season 4 of Outlander.
As everyone knows, this season was based on Dianna Gabaldon’s 4th Book in the Outlander series – Drums of Autumn.
For many, and to an extent myself, this was their favourite book. Not only because it sees Jamie and Claire begin anew in the Colonies of what will become the United States of America- but because it starts to focus on the *The Frasers* as a family.
If you’ve done what I’ve done and read the book cover to cover and not “missed any because it was boring you can’t be bothered reading it” or “Skipped that part because it had nothing to do with Jamie and Claire” then you’ll know what the book is about and a lot – and I mean A LOT of stuff happens in it.
I’m not here to talk about the book though. I’m here to give you my honest thoughts on the last 13 weeks of all our lives.
It’s funny isn’t it… How much of an impact 13 weeks can have on a person? And as it turns out, 13 weeks can pack a hell of a punch and at the end of the day … at least this time around, a majority of us are sat quietly in corners licking our wounds …. while others are still desperately poking at the fire because they refuse to let sleeping dogs lie. Even now, it’s still like walking on broken glass out there- and as a fan, that is incredibly sad to see.
But I will get to that in a moment. First, I want to talk about the positives of this season and the things I absolutely loved about it.
- It was my favourite season to date.
I’m probably going to get lynched for this, but I don’t care. Of all the seasons so far – Se 4 has been my favourite. Being in a new world, the introduction of new Characters, new places to love (Wilmington, River Run, Frasers Ridge) and the fact it’s set in the New World – is just so awesome to me. It got me excited for new beginnings and having read all the main books to date – I’m so pleased this season was what it was.
I know a lot of folks will disagree and they will shout “Season 1 is the best!” from the roof tops after they read this…. but, after watching this season … I’m sorry, I don’t think so.
- The Sets and Costumes
Holy Cow! How amazing were the sets and costumes this season?? Anymore closer to detail and we may as well just be convinced it’s real and we’re all living 200 years in the past! Massive shout out for OL’s longest serving costume designer Terry Dresbach and her team for the effort the put into everyone’s costumes. They were absolutely stunning, and it made my heart hurt at just how beautiful they were.
As for the sets??? Amazing just doesn’t cut it. The house on the Ridge, the Indian Village, the town of Wilmington, the blacksmiths forge, just everything was so mind-blowingly perfect I spent most episodes going “Oh my God- WOW!” So again, a big shout out to everyone’s involvement in building the sets and I am so excited to see what you make for us for Se 5 (*Cough* The Big House* Cough – Right, Jon Gary Steele? :D)
- The Cast and their absolutely, unbelievably, mind-blowingly incredible acting this season
Admittedly, I should’ve made this my first point but knowing how long this was going to take me – I decided not to.
Could they make their characters any more real? That is the question.
Now, as I’ve said, I’ve watched all 4 seasons and for each one – everyone brings their A game to the table – but never as strongly as this. I mean, I thought Se 3 was amazing on that score … but S4 just blew the last 3 seasons out of the water and I’m not just saying that lightly.
This season felt like they’d finally worked out the kinks and levelled up in what can only be described as pure epic fashion.
As always Sam’s performances left me gobsmacked and wondering why (for the 11-ty hundredth time) he constantly gets over looked for all the awards. Are they blind? Can they not see how incredible he is? Jamie was more present and more real to me this season than any other (and that’s saying something – considering!) so much so that I’m actually sitting here wondering if Sam be able to outdo himself for Se 5.
Sophie Skelton – She is my Queen and I love her! This season was hers and she owned it so hard I died! (Figuratively not literally, you understand?) Up until this season I wasn’t really sure whether or not I’d like Bree (or Sophie’s portrayal of her) as she hadn’t been on screen long enough to allow me to make up my mind. I’m so glad I waited! She blew me away! She is everything and just perfect.
Can we just give props and all the biscuits to Rik Rankin for a second? He really came through this season and pretty much walked Roger Wakefield / Mackenzie straight out of the book and onto the screen. Just like I was with Sophie – I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d take to him, but after seeing his work in this season I’m happy to say I’m sold on him and I cannot wait to see what he brings to future seasons.
OMG! JOHN BELL!!! Isn’t he just?? I mean??? Oh my God – my heart!! I love Him so much! What a breath of fresh air he is! Ok, so he was great in Se3 and held his own there but this season?? Please excuse me while he just destroys me in every which way possible. He is 1000 times more adorable than you will ever be and knows how to make my cry my eyes out for ever! I hope he’s back for S5. I really do!
And, finally (for the main cast at least) the amazing Cait Balfe. Let’s be honest – She had some real tough, emotional scenes this season and she absolutely killed it. It’s no wonder she keeps getting nominated for everything. Respect this woman and know her. If you do not – then you are clearly missing out on awesomeness 101.
That said, I can’t let this go without making some much needed honourable mentions.
David Berry – Please continue to be Lord John. Please and thank you. That is all.
Duncan Lacroix – MMMMMUUURRRRTTTTAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!! YAAAASSS!
Ed Speleers – Thank you for making me hate Stephen Bonnet more than I already did. I have never shouted expletives at the television when seeing a character on sight – as much as I did Bonnet. That takes doing. Which means you’re really good at what you do. Thank you.
Rollo – ROLLO IS EVERYTHING AND THE BEST ACTOR IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!
Cesar Domboy/ Lauren Lyle – You guys are the absolute cutest and you’re both amazing! I DEMAND YOU GET MORE SCREEN TIME -STAT!
Tim Downie – Hullo Guv’nah! = Excellent!
God, I could go on and on and mention every single person by name and tell you what I thought of their part in this season but I’ve more or less made it known in one form or another at some point over the last 13 weeks and as I said earlier, everyone brought their A Game to the table and that’s all I need to say
- The Murtagh Story Line
God bless Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser and every ounce of awesomeness that he is! I cannot thank everyone involved in this decision enough for deciding to keep him in! I was thrilled when I saw Him as a black smith and saw Jamie and he reunite after so many years apart. I love, love, love the fact he’s now part of the story moving forward. Ok, so he’s a regulator now and kind of a thorn in the British soldier’s side – but it’s worth it – coz he’s back and that’s awesome. Also, MurCosta anyone? Yaaasss!
- Episode 409.
Pure perfection. I don’t need to say anymore. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Now we get to the not so good parts. The parts that left me scratching my head wondering either what on Earth was going on … or who it was that made that dumbass decision.
Look, I don’t want to dwell on the negative to much … because nobody ever does … but these are a few things that came to my attention over the course of S4
First. The most obvious:
The lack of intimacy between Jamie and Claire. Where was it? Where’d it go? We got a minute or two in the first episode and a few minutes of Claire and Jamie with a bath tub and what was supposed sex in a tent and that was about it. During promos before the season aired – we were promised so much more, and we got next to nothing. The BOOK had more intimate moments for crying out loud! Good Lord! Did they hire a complete prude to edit this season? Sorry. No Jamie and Claire lovemaking for you guys. They’re old now. Sheesh guys. It’s pretty much the reason 95% of your audience watch the show. Sorry to tell you – but it’s the truth. Throw in all the storylines and plot twists you like – but if none of them include Jamie and Claire having some time together – You can pretty hear your own death nell.
The “Bree wakes up at Leg hairs house” Scene.
Why was that even there? It made no sense then and makes no sense now
For the life of me – I cannot understand why the powers that be decided that was a good idea.
That was not what we wanted. Not at all. I know what we wanted and I’m going to show you here:
Bree comes through the stones. She slips on an icy patch and sprains her ankle. She limps on and on for days until she’s passed out from cold and pain on the road side. Camera then pans out to see someone put her in a wagon and drive off
Bree wakes up in a bed. She has no idea where she is – but someone is patting her head with a damp cloth.
“Where am I?” She says, confused “How long have I been here?”
“Ye’re at Lallybroch, Mistress” says a voice (One of the Murray Family)
(Bree looks around the room and we all lose our minds because it’s the Lairds Bed Chambers.)
Bree tries to sit up “Lallybroch?” she says, confused “What…..”
“Aye” Says the voice “Tis the home of Ian and Jenny Murray. My Father sent me to check on ye. “
Ian turns up with a tray with some food and drink on it – struggling of course due to his leg.
(Again – we lose our minds because it’s Ian and we all love Ian)
Ian: “I’ve brought ye some food and drink – thought you might be hungry. It’s been a few days since we found ye by the road side, near frozen to death. What were ye doing out there lass? Ye would be dead if we hadna found ye!”
*Bree explains that she’s looking for her parents. She needs to find them ASAP. She tries to sit up more to make her leave but passes out again.
The next time she wakes it’s to arguing down stairs. She goes down to investigate and sees and leg hair arguing over her money
They both stop when they see Bree watching them
“Ach! Sorry Lass. Didna mean to disturb you” Says Ian apologetically. Looks over to Leg hair as if she’s the one at fault.
For her part Leg hair becomes polite and says “Oh, I’m sorry. I didna ken ye ha’ the company. Perhaps we can finish our business another time?
“Aye” Ian agrees and makes to see Leg Hair out.
Suddenly Leg Hair gets her nasty on again and mentions the money owed and Jamie’s name
Bree, upon hearing her Father’s name mentioned “You know Jamie? Jamie Fraser?”
“Aye! He was my Husband till that Sassenach Witch bewitched him and stole him from me!”
*It dawns on Bree who leg hair is, and she gets mad and says her piece about how Claire and Jamie are her Parents.
Leg leaves all cray -cray after that. (10/10 cray -cray for the win!)
Then -THE MOST IMPORTANT BIT OF THE WHOLE SCENE!!
Ian and Bree sit down together and talk
Ian “So, Ye Jamie’s Daughter then?”
Ian “I’m sorry I didna ken straight away who ye were, lass. It’s just… Jamie never mentioned ye. In fact, he hardly said a word for 6 years after Culloden. He was heartbroken. He said Claire was gone.. We thought Claire dead… “
Bree “Culloden? Muma told me about that. She said that Jamie sent her away to keep her safe. So… She went to the colonies … to Boston. She told me she thought Jamie died .. So, she married another man. He was my Father. Frank. But… he’s dead now so… “
Ian “So, ye came back to find your parents. I see. Well that makes sense. Your Mother did say she went awa’ to the colonies… so that the redcoats would leave us be. “
He smiles at Bree “I wish ye could have met my Wife, Jenny, but she’s off helping with a birth at present She would of loved ye.”
Ian then gives her the money to buy passage on a ship – takes her to the docks, she finds the young lass to take with her and then turns around to see Frank standing there.
See? HOW SIMPLE WAS THAT!!!
Roger having a shower in a modern-day apartment…
It’s not an actual dislike – but honestly? Could you have not added a voice over or something? Save everyone in the entire fandom going – WTF this??
JAMIE NOT GETTING TO HOLD HIS GRANDSON!!
Make all the excuses you damn well please. YOU COULD HAVE MADE THAT HAPPEN AND YOU KNOW IT!!
WHAT MADE IT HURT EVEN MORE WAS IT WAS WRITTEN IN THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE SCRIPT!!
So, there you have it. My take on Se 4.
The best season to date
There will be another blog regarding the fandoms over all reaction to this season in the coming days (Oh the joys of sitting on the fence) but for the moment this will do
Thanks for reading,