'Outlander' review season 4 episode 1: Claire and Jamie were promised the American Dream but they pay a heavy price for it
Outlander Season 4 premiered on Starz on November 4 and taught us about the beauty and betrayal of the American dream
Season 4 of 'Outlander' literally premiered with a bang witnessing two deaths already! The season coming with a tagline of 'Brave the New World,' had enough adversities for Claire and Jamie Fraser as they ventured to settle in colonial America where they washed ashore in the season three finale. Addressing the genesis of the 'American Dream,' the Fraser couple decide to stay back in the country because Claire, of course, knows the future of the country, telling Jamie all about the United States of America and how people from all over the world will converge in this (now heavily forested) land to live the 'American Dream.'
Grand plans, more often than not, do not work out in the 'Outlander,' but despite the unsurprising tone of the episode titled 'America the Beautiful,' there's so much gore, disturbance, and mistakes that the ending promises a chill down your spine, especially because a soothing music is used as a backdrop for raid and cold-blooded murder. The highly anticipated premiere addressed much of the pending questions from last season but the various scenes relived moments of past traumas, mainly Young Ian's sexual assault by Geillis Duncan as she raped him in Jamaica at the end of last season.
It was heartwarming to see Jamie help his nephew, Young Ian, deal with his PTSD as the memory triggered when digging a grave for their fallen friend Gavin Hayes, who was hanged for killing a man. The best advice Jamie could give was, in fact, the best line a premiere could have- “your cock doesn’t have a conscience, but you have,” in response to Ian's guilt of how his body reacted to Geillis' assaulting touches. Male vulnerability was explicitly shown as the uncle and nephew bonded over the traumas of their sexual assault, and that's something we did not expect from the show that lives in the 1760s, but we are more than glad that 'Outlander' outdid itself again.
Even though some fans have been complaining about the premiere being too slow a run, there are enough upheavals, which we are pretty sure will last this entire season, starting right from the hanging of Hayes, Jamie's former prison comrade. This leads to an escape of a fellow inmate, a pirate named Stephen Bonnet, who we knew was pretty shady but the good Frasers trust and help him anyway because he mentions Hayes in their brief introductory conversation. This leads to what I may call it, an initiation to a thoroughly tragic ending that could have been easily avoided, but alas it wasn't.
But in between the deaths, gore, traumas, stabs and loot, there's actually a delightful piece of news that Marsali is pregnant and Fergus is beyond overjoyed to start their life in America. Another good news is Young Ian now has a really cute dog, Rollo, who instantly wins Jamie's heart and ours too. Claire, obviously has Jamie's heart tied to hers so there's this passionate and steamy sex scene that takes place in a cold night outdoors beside a raging bonfire. "I want to feel alive with you," Claire says before indulging in a passionate makeout session.
But the slow-paced episode, as some refer to it, paces quickly on to play the modern cover of “America the Beautiful,” rather ironically as the robbers led by the pirate Stephen Bonnet, raided the house where the Frasers and their friends were halting for the night, en route to Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta's plantation. In a fraction of seconds, Bonnet kills Jamie’s friend Lesley and tries to steal Claire’s two wedding rings. She attempts to swallow but Bonnet manages to fish one out of her mouth; the silver ring Jamie gave her in Season 1. Bonnet is also successful in taking away their pouch of gemstones, which was all the money the Frasers had.
The scene ended with blood, but what echoed was betrayal and it was impossible to see the beauty America promised, perhaps it never did.