Outlander: The False Bride
November 18, 2018 2:25 PM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Jamie and Claire search for a place to call home; meanwhile, in the 29th century, Brianna and Roger's romance heats up and then fizzles during a road trip that winds up highlighting their differences.
posted by olinerd (14 comments total)
Oh man! This Roger is so smoking. He’s really selling it and the chemistry between him and Brianna, and I think they pulled off his genuine anger in a not-creepy way, which it easily could have been. But this version of skull discovery really did not sell me. It just seemed kind of comic rather than spooky ominous.
posted by corb at 8:08 PM on November 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

So Claire can leave the slaves behind and not take on a life where she could have influenced policy or at the very least individual lives, and instead colonize an area, ignoring completely that it already had owners. #cognitivedissonance
posted by bwonder2 at 3:32 AM on November 19, 2018

Still not loving Brianna - she just seems SO immature and obnoxious - but Roger was pretty great.

WHY does all the dialog between Claire and Jamie seem so forced to me this season?? Is it just the new writing team?
posted by olinerd at 5:22 AM on November 19, 2018

I think it's actually the fact that they're trying to take some major departures from the books but still get the emotional beats of them? And also, they're having some trouble with Claire for kind of the problem bwonder2 identified. When the books were first written, there was some religious stuff that I assume was normative at the time but now might be jarring. Claire and Jamie trade a lot in quotations, frequently Bible quotes - one of their few shared cultural references. Now that might look preachy. For example, in the original, we have:
“Do ye not understand?” he said, in near desperation. “I would lay the world at your feet, Claire—and I have nothing to give ye!”...

At last I took one big, callused hand and slid forward so I knelt on the boards between his knees. I laid my head against his chest, and felt his breath stir my hair. I had no words, but I had made my choice.

“ ‘Whither thou goest,’ ” I said, “ ‘I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.’ ” Be it Scottish hill or southern forest. “You do what you have to; I’ll be there.”
That's deep and meaningful and powerful for me - I'm also religious. But I assume it would not read as well for other folks, and that's why you have a different response in the show - but I think it lacked the emotional weight, and so left the conversation feeling uneven.

Actually, reading a little further, there's some more pieces of that. Roger's 'And you a nice Catholic girl' sounds kind of assholish in the show, but in the books, this scene happens immediately after Brianna has brought him to a Catholic Christmas Eve service - and he's a Presbyterian son of a minister. It goes into how for him, this is essentially a declaration that yes, he plans to marry her, and how other people from his cultural background see it as such. And also his inner thoughts -
He watched her when she went up to take Communion, and became aware with a slight start that he was praying wordlessly.

He relaxed just a bit when he realized the content of his prayer; it wasn’t the ignoble “Let me have her” he might have expected. It was the more humble—and acceptable, he hoped—“Let me be worthy of her, let me love her rightly; let me take care of her.”
So he is feeling in charity with the world and desperately in love with Brianna and he basically can't hold it in and proposes to her in the street after they have spilled out of Mass. And that is when that conversation takes place. And it doesn't go as badly in the books, either - they leave saying they both love each other and that she's not exactly saying no and they will revisit the issue in a year, and she keeps the bracelet.
posted by corb at 8:38 AM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

oh shit, I didn't realize this wasnt' the books included thread. I am so sorry and will fall on my sword now.
posted by corb at 9:09 AM on November 19, 2018

eh, Brianna and Roger have zero chemistry but when I saw this:

meanwhile, in the 29th century

in the header I got all excited wondering how they were going to show something set in the far, far future which I thought would make the Brianna/Roger story more interesting. But alas. However it highlights the intriguing part of the series, the time travel, and seeing the amalgam fillings in the skull of the Indian. We saw in the first episode some prehistoric people building a stone tower so I expect Claire will stumble across it soon.

I did wonder why, when leaving the plantation, Claire didn't drop a wee little hint to Jocasta about troubles to come.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:17 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Huh, I copied and pasted the summary from the interwebs and failed to notice the future time traveling. Maybe if a kind mod shows up they can make it 20th?

Corb, I meant to mark this as Books Included - I think you’re okay. We haven’t maintained separate threads for a couple seasons I think.
posted by olinerd at 5:06 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

This was a much better episode - interweaving of narrative strands and some peculiar stuff to keep us entertained.

I was interested in the depiction of the the burning of the willow red deer at the festival. That's...not really a Highland Games type thing - and I think people would be a bit upset. (Absolutely fine to torch a wicker dear in semi human form however - they should have checked with Pinterest. And, of course, fine to torch a real deer in the expectation of eating it)

There is some un-intentional irony, to me, in that Claire and Jamie express moral outrage at old Aunt Jocasta and her slave-owning ways - and explain that Jamie is much more a printer than a laird - but seem to think it is absolutely fine to then go right ahead and establish "Fraser's Ridge" on land that that has been flagged to them as belonging to the Cherokee.
posted by rongorongo at 10:38 PM on November 19, 2018

So Claire can leave the slaves behind and not take on a life where she could have influenced policy

I thought they got a pretty stark and horrific demonstration of how little they could have changed things on their own just through determination and moral conviction--and that was in the course of trying to help only one man. I felt like Balfe sold it pretty well last episode, her despair and utter disgust, and her refusal to take part in the system or to let Jaime do so either (she didn't pull any punches with Jocasta--and speaking of which, what a joy to see Maria Kennedy Doyle in this role! <3).

Also Claire knows the annihilation of slavery is nearly 100 years away, with a whole lot of suffering and court cases and so on still to come between now and then. She also knows what reconstruction and Jim Crow, and following, will look like. And even before getting into the 19th century, she's got the Revolutionary War to contend with. It's kinda hard to know what a time-traveller is to do!

I'm not gonna defend their colonizing Cherokee land, though.

On the subject of the land--I grew up in Asheville, not too far from where Fraser's Ridge was imagined to have been located, and I have to say I give the showrunners VERY mixed reviews on how they are portraying the Appalachians. It's either awful green-screen stuff, or arial shots that might be of NC. I do wish they could have shot in North Carolina, so that the trees and rivers and everything would look right. I'm trying to tell myself, to stifle this cognitive dissonance, that I don't know what the hell North Carolina looked like in the 1760s... maybe it looked like Scotland! And I suppose the trip from Fayetteville (River Run) to the mountains maybe was all wooded back then? Today, you get down the east side of Black Mountain and it's pretty much flat and clear all the (very long) way to the coast. Were all those hundreds of miles/acres really clear cut in the 1800s, for timber/farming, I wonder?

Brianna is growing on me. I just wish she didn't always have her hair perfectly brushed like five minutes before filming, and falling in perfect curtains in front of her shoulders. It was worse last season; I was always just ITCHING to pull it back. I'm weird maybe. I think Brianna ought to have a bit more wildness to her; her appearance should be more untamed. I mean she's gotta project strength and independence some way, considering that she's NOT six feet tall.

But Roger though... ah, he's perfection. And I think the chemistry between the two of them is just fine--if only thanks to Roger!

PET PEEVE: why can't the writers get their goddamn objective pronouns right?? Couldn't someone slip them a kindly note saying that "I have always wished for a home for you and I" is ungrammatical and sounds absurd and ignorant? They use this construction constantly and it drives me batty. I don't think it's being TOO pedantic to expect some editor to get it right.

Sorry so long... guess I didn't have to put ALL my thoughts into one comment. :-/
posted by torticat at 11:06 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think you all are watching a different show than me because I'm not seeing the chemistry between Brianna and Roger, and he's an asshole and not that pretty, as she claims. She seems better off without him.

If I woke up without my shoes, following the footprints seems like a good way to meet the person who stole my shoes who is probably not someone I want to meet under those circumstances
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:12 AM on November 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm having a hard time getting into this season. Admittedly, this is also how I felt about the book the first time I read it (liked it better on my last series re-read, but may have had a kinder look on it compared how snoozey I find some of the later books). Sophie Skelton's line delivery bugs me so much, I'm not sure I'll ever really like her as Bree. I really like Richard Rankin, possibly due to his involvement in the sketch show Burnistoun, so I like his Roger more than Book Roger, who I always found kind of boring. Brianna seems so young in the show, she didn't seem that young in my head when I read the books, so I find her and Roger creepy in the show, and the scene between the two of them at the gathering made me feel super uncomfortable.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:29 AM on November 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

I agree, banjo_and_the_pork, Brianna seems too young. And I thought the scene where she accused him of wanting to only marry a virgin was poorly written - we book-readers know that's not what he meant, but on the screen it wasn't actually that clear. I do think Brianna's acting is a bit better this season at least.
posted by something something at 3:45 AM on November 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm having a hard time getting into this season.

same, and as mentioned above, the dialogue feels so stilted and forced and weird.

i am extremely not looking forward to any of the episodes featuring native americans.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:41 AM on December 4, 2018

“29th Century” got me all aflutter as I was skimming down to earlier episodes. Happy it was a typo 😂
posted by sixswitch at 8:52 PM on December 27, 2018

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