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Outlander - Down the Rabbit Hole - Review

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This episode stepped outside the box in that Jamie and Claire didn't appear in the episode at all. The focus was on Roger and Brianna making their way to America. What I hadn’t expected from the episode was the look at Brianna’s relationship with Frank.

Brianna steps through the stones and starts walking across Scotland headed for a harbor hoping to catch a boat. Somehow she managed to miss how dangerous the 18th century was for women especially one traveling on her own. Luckily she has more trouble with the terrain rather than dangerous men.

Brianna twists her ankle. She limps along until she sees signs of life, then collapses. She’s rescued by Laoghaire, who is a wonderful host until she finds out who Brianna’s parents are.

I have to confess that, for me, the fun of this story was waiting for the shoe to drop. I thought it would happen when Ian arrived to deliver the first alimony payment. Instead they waited until the topic came up in conversation.

When the shoe dropped it was as melodramatic as I expected. The moment Laoghaire hears Claire’s name, she reveals that she’s basically, well, the phrase mentally unbalanced comes to mind.

She declares that she’s going to have Brianna burned at the stake like her mother should have been.

Luckily, Briana has made friends with Laogharie’s youngest daughter, Joanie. Joanie rescues Brianna and takes her to Lallybroch.

Unfortunately, only Ian is home. Jenny’s absence, and the subsequent absence of all family, made Brianna’s visit to Lallybroch a bit of a let down. It underlined an element that’s been missing for me in Brianna’s story. I do miss getting a sense of Brianna connecting to her Scottish heritage.

The only way Jenny’s absence makes sense to me is if Laura Donnelly, the actor who plays Jenny, was unavailable. It’s a bummer, but it happens.

Ian gets Brianna to the port safely. A desperate father begs Brianna to hire her daughter Elizabeth (Lizzie) as her servant. So, at least Brianna won’t be sailing across the ocean on her own. She's got someone to watch her back.

Just before she boards the ship, Brianna has a vision of her father. He seems to be giving her quest his blessing.

Roger left the 20th century a few weeks behind Brianna. I was a little confused as to their relative timing. I figure I’ll have a better idea in the next episode.

Roger manages to get himself hired as a sailor on Stephen Bonnet’s ship. The passengers on the ship all seem to like Roger. Bonnet is the charming friendly guy we met earlier in the season. He also seems to like Roger.

Roger discovers that Bonnet is throwing people who may have smallpox overboard. He orders the other sailors to search the passengers and have them brought to him for execution.

Considering that this is, in this time, probably the only way to prevent the death of most of the people on the ship, I find it difficult to condemn the practice.

Roger begs Bonnet not to throw the little girl overboard. For me Roger's presence was lost in the chaos just before the little girl was thrown into the ocean. My focus should have been on Roger in that scene.

Later, when Bonnet discovers Roger sneaking food to a woman and her baby, Bonnet considers killing Roger. Roger's fear should have been palpable. I didn't get that at all.

These scenes were supposed to be character-defining moments and I just didn't get that. Was it performance or directing?

On the other hand the moments between Brianna and Frank were a nice surprise. Not to mention what a joy it was to see Tobias Menzies again.

The moments from Brianna’s childhood were small. But we did get a couple of additions to the overall canon of the show.

First, we now have a pretty good idea of why Frank had the headstone for Claire and Jamie made.

He received the obituary about the fire. Brianna finds him so upset that he’s drinking alone in his office. That obituary was proof that Claire not only never stopped loving Jamie, but went back to him.

This seems to be the moment he truly gave up on Claire and began thinking about returning to England.

The other moment was between the major fight he and Claire had when he announced he was filing for divorce and the accident that killed him.

Apparently, Brianna didn’t take the news of the impending divorce particularly well. She climbs out of the car, and Frank, who just had a horrible night, drives off. Briana even blamed herself for his death.

Overall I did enjoy the episode. I missed Jenny and wish the sequence with Roger had made more of an impact on me as a viewer.

What did you think of the episode?

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