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Outlander - If Not For Hope - Review: "A Rock and An Immovable Object"



Brianna tries to be an immovable object, but Jocasta has decades of practice dealing with the likes of Colum and Dougal Mackenzie. Briana’s depressed and all she really wants to do is read and draw. (Judging by her drawings before she started doing portraits, she’s still extremely angry.)

Jocasta, like her nephew, is practical and able to see the big picture. She understands what Roger’s absence and lack of witnesses when they were handfast means for the Briana’s baby in the 18th century.

Jocasta has a few frank words with Brianna about what kind of life her child will be in for if Brianna doesn’t give up on Roger and find a husband.

So Jocasta decides to throw a party to introduce Brianna to the single men of River Run society.

Jocasta rather deftly convinces Brianna to agree to attend the party. The price Jocasta pays for this small victory? Trying to manage Brianna’s scandalous statements while in polite company.

When the mother of one of her suitors heard that Brianna voluntarily did drawings of the slaves, her wig almost blew off. (There was no way that Judge Alderdyce was going to propose gay or not.)

I expected the party to be awkward, but it was quite a bit of fun. I loved the casting. Billy Boyd was a standout for me as the drooling Mr. Forbes. When Lord John swept into the room, the reactions of all the guests were hilarious.

I was surprised that Brianna managed the men so well. Mr. Forbes certainly kept her on her toes.

The next morning when Brianna is informed that Mr. Forbes has arrived and is planning to ask for Brianna’s hand, she devises a plan to avoid getting engaged to the overeager man.

Having seen evidence that John is gay, she decides to propose to him. A marriage of convenience will give her baby a name without the complications of a husband who expects a real wife.

She tries to blackmail him, but he calls her bluff. I do hope it was honestly a bluff. It’s not 1971, Lord John could lose more than a job. In the end, he agrees and announces their engagement.

(I do not believe we have run into a single actor that David Berry does not have good screen chemistry with.)

Jocasta announced that Brianna had earned her ‘MacKenzie bones’ with that move. I think Brianna made her proud.

Jamie asked John to look in on Brianna, and John proves himself a good friend to both Jamie and Brianna.

He tries to ease her worry about whether Roger will be able to love the baby. He also helps her release enough of her tension and anger so she’s able to open the letter her father sent her.


I felt so bad for Ian. Jamie and Claire are miserable, and Ian wants so badly to fix it all.

Claire tells Ian she’s not angry with Jamie, but he doesn’t seem to believe her. They aren’t talking to each other. That’s something we’re not used to seeing.

When they finally do talk Claire apologizes for letting him believe that she was upset with him. She’s also realizing that her bond with her daughter is the only thing strong enough to make her break the promise she made to Jamie on their wedding night.

The fact that they’re talking, finally, means that she can ease his sorrow over having lost his daughter. Claire, compassionately, calls him a fool.

She points out that he and his daughter are two of a kind. Both said things in the heat of the moment that they didn’t mean, and those are wounds that will heal.

Murtagh is taking care of the second part of the mission Jamie gave him: finding Steven Bonnet. Actually, Fergus is doing all of the work, because Murtagh’s face is on broadsheets all over Wilmington.

Marsali is a little perturbed that the fugitive in hiding (Murtagh) is holding meetings in her home.

Fergus can’t find a job given his missing hand. Marsali has his back though. She understands that his spirit is as important as his body, and asks Murtagh to invite Fergus to fight with the Regulators. She’s willing to watch him go off to fight if it means protecting his self esteem.

I do love the strong intelligent women on this show.

Murtagh does as requested. Fergus appreciates the request but he has a wife and child who must come first.

Murtagh returns the favor of a bed by protecting Fergus when the ‘police’ discover him standing over Bonnet’s unconscious form.

Just before Murtagh is arrested he makes sure that they are aware that the unconscious man he was standing over is an escaped convicted murderer.

If he can’t deliver Bonnet to Jamie, at least he’ll deliver him to the gallows.

I don’t usually focus on or pay a lot of attention to themes. I tend to focus more on the character moments or action sequences. But I liked the way the episode handled it.

Brianna struggles to hang on to her hope in the face of Jocasta’s practicality. Jocasta believes that there is no hope for Roger’s return.

From her perspective, alive or dead, Roger won’t come back. Brianna had to admit that Jocasta was right to make her consider the big picture for her baby’s sake.

John, on the other hand, offers Brianna a reason to hope and the space to hang on to that hope. He has faith that Jamie and Claire will bring Roger home. Their engagement offers Brianna the time to wait for an answer.

Claire and Jamie seem on the verge of giving up hope. There were moments where they seemed unsure they were even headed in the right direction.

When they find the body of the captive that was sold at the same time as Roger, and no sign of Roger’s body, they realize there is hope that he’s still alive.

Does Roger still hope that he will see Brianna again now that he's arrived at the Mohawk village? Did anyone else think about being jumped into a street gang when they sent Roger down that gauntlet? I've never lived in gang territory. I've only seen it on film, but that was the first thing that popped into my mind.


How much fun is the dog playing Rollo having?

Lizzie. Lizzie. Lizzie. There were two awesome Lizzie moments in this episode.

First, her lament that, because of her, Brianna has been possessed. Brianna barely avoided rolling her eyes.

Second, after Brianna “faints”, she rushes in the room professing her fear for Brianna given her 'condition'. Did no one mention to her what it means to keep someone’s confidence? I couldn’t help but laugh.

One of the things that made this episode so much fun for me was the casting. I was very pleased to see Jocasta again. Her scenes with Brianna were awesome.

As I mentioned, Billy Boyd and David Berry were stand-outs. (David Berry is always awesome. He's made me fall in love with Lord John. Am I the only person who wants to find someone for John who can make him happy?)

I was surprised (and yet it made perfect sense) by Phaedre’s accent.

What did you think about the episode?



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