Outlander closed out 2019 with a tense, explosive episode—many of the season’s strands are finally coming together, with Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) having entered the past, and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) having no idea that their daughter has come to warn them about their forthcoming deaths. The Frasers are never guaranteed an easy time, yet “The Birds and the Bees” saw many long-awaited events unfold, not least the incredible moment when Jamie finally meets Bree.
Here’s what happened in Outlander this week.
- Who knows what Bree and Roger would have said to each other the morning after their furious parting last week? Unfortunately, we will never know, because Roger, under duress from Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers), has left on the Gloriana to Philadelphia. Bree has no idea he’s gone unwillingly, and it seems like he’s abandoned her.
- But dutiful Lizzie (Caitlin O’Ryan) has some helpful news for her mistress. She’s heard buzz in town that a woman interrupted the governor’s play to cut a man open. Who else could that be but Claire? And Lizzie confirms that Claire was with Jamie at the play. They’re both in the same place as Bree at the same time. Finally, some luck for her.
- I’ve been looking forward to this moment for two whole seasons, and I honestly did not expect Bree to meet Jamie when he was, um, taking a pee.
- But somehow, even that silly note doesn’t bring down the tone of their first meeting, which is just as moving as I’d hoped it would be. Sophie Skelton and Sam Heughan play this crucial moment so well, looking and looking at each other in quiet wonder. It’s not surprising how emotional Jamie is at seeing his daughter; he never expected to meet her, and here she is, all grown up.
- Claire’s face when she sees Bree—astonishment, joy, confusion all at once—is also something to behold. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING. This is going to be a high-cry-quotient episode, I can tell.
- There’s Rollo, our good boy!!!!!!! We’ve missed you. Crying again.
- “So…handsome.” Poor Lizzie is head over heels for Young Ian (John Bell), which is totally hilarious because, for all his enthusiasm, he’s not exactly the smoothest of guys.
- Bree catches Claire up on what happened with Roger; after their argument, she assumes he’s gone back to Scotland and through the stones. She glimpses Claire’s new wedding ring, but is nowhere near ready to talk about what happened to her in her quest to regain the old one.
- Only compounding Bree’s reluctance to talk about being raped by Stephen Bonnet, Young Ian recounts the Frasers’ own terrible encounter with Bonnet on the river. Now she knows both Claire and Jamie also have reason to loathe him. She knows his name now, too.
- Meanwhile, Claire and Jamie have to deal with the possibility of their dying in a fire at Fraser’s Ridge. How can they avoid that fate? Claire suggests they just stay out of the cabin every Sunday before January 21st. But, Jamie reminds her, they haven’t had much luck changing history before.
- Bree has some family news to share with Claire: that Frank actually knew Claire would return to the past. She remembers seeing the obituary in his study that day he was so upset, and now knows herself that it refers to her mother and Jamie. But Bree being in the past herself helps her to truly understand Claire and Jamie’s bond, and why Claire had to return—an important step for their relationship.
- Guess it’s pretty awkward talking to your biological father you’ve just travelled back in time to meet about the man who brought you up in the future, huh. Jamie knows Frank was a big part of Claire and Bree’s life, but it’s a touchy subject for everyone. Claire suggests father and daughter go hunting together so they can have some time to get acquainted.
- Another awkward thing: Your new family speak a language you don’t know and make funny faces when you tell them your nickname is Bree. As it happens, that means “disturbance” in Gaelic, Jamie tells Claire. That’s not so bad, honestly. It could have been so much worse.
- Wow, Bree went very readily with Jamie on his hunting trip. No offence, Jamie, but if you woke me up in the wee hours of the morning to go on some robust mountain trek, there’s no way I would be going, even if you are my extremely handsome long-lost father from 200 years ago.
- While hunting bees (which, by the way, is not a thing I knew people did), Bree inquires what “leannain” means, and Jamie very sweetly tells her it means “darling.” As we all know—hello, Sassenach—Jamie loves a pet name. As for what Bree is going to call Jamie? He suggests “Da.” Jamie knows he can’t replace Frank but he is all in with Bree. He says she’s not only his flesh and blood, but his heart and soul as well. Family time is going swimmingly!
- Jamie has been philosophical about not having been able to experience parenthood for a sustained amount of time, but as we saw with William this season, he dearly loves his children and would likely have been a devoted father. Now he’s admitting to Claire that he doesn’t want Bree to go back to her own time, because their time together has meant so much to him. “She is a gift,” he says. “From me to you, and you to me.”
- Now it’s time for Claire and Bree to share some time together. And not long into their herb-picking expedition, Claire gently asks if there’s anything else apart from Roger bothering Bree. “I wondered if you could still do that,” says Bree. “Read my mind. I hoped you could.” Of course, Dr. Claire’s seen enough expectant mothers not to notice that her daughter is pregnant.
- Horror soon takes over Claire’s concern as she listens to Bree explain that the pregnancy is probably the result of rape. She’s also shattered to hear Bree blaming herself: “I didn’t fight him hard enough. Why the hell didn’t I fight him?” Claire is adamant that it wasn’t her fault. Bree still doesn’t, however, mention who assaulted her, knowing how much it would crush Claire to know that Bree’s desire to get the ring back led her to cross paths with Bonnet.
- Yet when Claire is cleaning up Bree’s bedding, she chances upon the old wedding ring that Jamie once gave her. She knows exactly who had that ring last; so, putting all the pieces together, she realizes Bonnet was the one who harmed her daughter.
- Everything’s coming to a head now. Lizzie and Ian see Roger on the road; as far as Lizzie knows, Roger is the one who hurt her mistress. They immediately warn Jamie that he’s coming. Claire asks Bree about the ring and Bree confirms that Bonnet raped her. Claire’s devastated—but Bree swears her to secrecy because she knows Jamie will want revenge against the deadly pirate if he discovers the truth. But out on the road, Jamie, not having all the information, pursues Roger and beats him savagely—an outcome nobody could have foreseen.
Outlander screens on STARZ at 8 P.M. EST.