'Outlander' season 4 episode 4 review: Three main revelations made and they all relate to death
Our 20th century healer gets an eerie prophecy from a revered Cherokee woman, Jamie's and Claire's death is revealed and turns out the bear is no animal at all
Thank god for Outlander's season 4 episode 4. This Thanksgiving has been a great revelation. The episode titled 'Common Grounds' not only saw Claire and Jamie Fraser get started on building their home, Frasers Ridge, but as a big surprise to 'Outlander' fans, revealed how the time-traveling couple will die.
Living 200 years ahead of time has its perks, so Roger MacKenzie is doing all the research that he can to help Brianna Randall Fraser find out if her time-traveling mother was reunited with the love of her life.
Good news; a letter received from an author, who had penned a book on Scottish settlers in colonial America (that Brianna had gifted him before their dramatic break-up), revealed there's a joined signature of the Frasers denoting that the happy couple met shortly after Claire time traveled for the second time and settled in North Carolina.
But this good news refuses to last. Fiona Graham, the housekeeper and the caller in the druid group that performs a ritual on the sun feasts and fire feasts at the stone circle of Craigh na Dun, has been doing her own research on the Frasers, because to Roger's surprise she knew all about Claire's time-traveling escapade, that she was as curious to know what happens to Brianna's mother.
There's a perk in living in the future because it is easy to find answers, however, those answers are not always what we are looking for. So, Fiona comes across an obituary, that she shares with Roger.
The revelation follows the death of Claire and Jamie Frasers narrating the couple died by a fire in the 1770s something (because the last two digits are smudged), so, it can be anywhere from two to 12 years after they have settled. Simultaneously, we are seeing the happy couple settling in native American land, building a shed to start their lives and Claire channeling her 20th-century roots by donning a trouser.
The couple who invites non-stop trouble is flagged by the natives for settling in their land but Jamie wins their favor and hearts by killing a bear, which turns out to be a man in a bear's costume.
Turns out, the bear-man was actually a member of their tribe but because he raped and abused his woman, he was made an outcast. Finding no mercy from his people, he delved into the woods and became a creature, threatening the Cherokees as well as the settlers.
With mutual agreement of "no more blood is spilled between us,” the Frasers and the Cherokees' share a meal and time together, when suddenly Claire is approached by two women. One, named Giduhwa, introduces her husband’s grandmother, Adawehi. Adawehi, has that warm, smiling and beautiful face. Considered a village elder and revered by the tribe, she speaks to Claire in her native language, which is translated by Giduhwa.
A prophecy unfurls; Adawehi tells Claire that she dreamt of her and in her dream, Claire became a white raven who flew over the water and swallowed the moon. The white raven then flew back and laid an egg, which split open to reveal a shining stone with healing powers. “You have medicine now, but you will have more when your hair is white like snow. You will have wisdom beyond time.”
While this sounds amazing and the old lady is still smiling, this beautiful imagery is shattered by a warning; "You must not be troubled. Death is sent from the gods. It will not be your fault."
This troubles Claire, and us. As non-book readers, we are trying to fathom what the metaphor meant, so are we seeing the death of a major character in the coming episodes? But, while talking about someone else's death, we instantly learn about Claire and Jamie's death.
There's nothing assuring in that, but we can take solace that this took place 200 years ago and at least they die together, still very much in love and in the same place where they are building their home with so much devotion.
A particular mention to when Jamie carries Claire over the threshold of his house's foundation and romantically tells her that they’ll watch the sunrise from bed. “It’s perfect,” she says, and they kiss.
Meanwhile, their daughter's love story has an abrupt storyline. Episode 3 titled 'The False Bride' was pretty messy given how Brianna and Roger broke up because he proposed to her since she's a virgin and when she said it was too early to get engaged, Roger yelled at her for making sexual advances.
Anyway, she was happy to talk to Roger who called her to inform that her parents had reunited. “Roger, I cannot tell you what this means to me,” she says, overwhelmed. “Thank you for looking, despite everything that happened.”
After the discovery of the obituary, Roger decides not to tell Brianna about the second revelation expressing that it will "just break her heart all over again." But later in the episode, when he calls Brianna, he learns from her roommate that Brianna has been gone for two weeks. “She went to Scotland,” she tells him adding; “To visit her mother.” Roger looks aghast.
We are aghast too, we had the same look when we discovered the Frasers' death and what the prophecy meant. Whether it's the 18th century or the 20th century, death spares none, there's no consolation in that.