'Outlander' season 4 episode 9 review: Brianna's reunion with her parents is everything you imagined and everything you did not
After the most disturbing episode of the season comes 'The Birds & The Bees' where we see Brianna battling the aftermath of a horrendous rape
Last week's episode of Starz's time-traveling drama was a difficult watch and the next episode this week doesn't get any easier.
Brianna Randall Fraser is dealing with the aftermath of a horrifying rape that took place on the same day she married Roger MacKenzie and the same night he left her after getting into an argument. When the heartbroken Brianna spotted her mother's ring, she offered to buy the band. Little did she know that the proud owner of the ring was Stephen Bonnet, the pirate who stole the ring from her mother after murdering her friend on the very first episode of season 4.
In episode 8, Bonnet brutally rapes Brianna in exchange for the ring. Though the rape scene took place off-camera, it did not make it any less disturbing. What tore our hearts open was the ignorance people showed when Brianna was getting raped. No one came to rescue her, even though people heard her scream and shriek, men carried on playing their cards and women continued with their chores.
Walking like a dead entity, Brianna enters her motel room to undress, wash up and go to sleep to renew her motivation to find her parents and forget the events of the day. Brianna's servant, Lizzie, asks her mistress if she needs any help but Brianna dismisses Lizzie and tells her to go to bed. As Lizzie advances towards Brianna to help her undress, because that is a part of her duty, Brianna shudders at the touch.
It does not take Lizzie long to understand that her mistress has been raped, especially after seeing the blood on the petticoat, she alerts her mistress but keeps mum so that Brianna can finally go to sleep after washing up her bruised body. However, there's a major misunderstanding on Lizzie's part. She thinks it was Roger who raped Brianna because previously she had seen Brianna getting pulled and pushed by Roger and was not present when Stephen Bonnet took her to the room in the same motel to rape her.
Next morning, Brianna wakes up and hurriedly tells Lizzie that they are sailing off to Aunt Jocosta's place immediately and completely disregards Lizzie's suggestion to rest. Roger, on the other hand, hasn't left Wilmington yet, and no one knows where he spent the night.
However, he shows up at Brianna's motel where Stephen Bonnet greets him with a threat that if he chooses to leave the ship for a lass, he might lose his limb. So Roger is taken by Bonnet's men and Brianna's chase is a little too late.
But as the day progresses, things turn out better and brighter for our red-head time traveler. When at the harbor, Lizzie approaches Brianna and breaks the news that her parents are in Wilmington. Efficient and prompt, Lizzie even gives Brianna the exact location of where her parents are residing in Wilmington and without hesitation, she goes to inquire about the famous Frasers.
However, the encounter is quite unlikely. Jamie Fraser is urinating and Brianna remains standing behind him. Jamie is prompted to ask Brianna if there's anything she wants, to which she promptly replies "you". Jamie, after finishing off his business tells her that he's a married man, and so on and so forth and then she breaks it to him that she is Brianna Fraser, his daughter.
The moment immediately turns sweet as his blue eyes gaze right back to her beautiful face and he caresses her cheek before erupting into a heartwarming hug. (On a side note he had not even washed his hands and that was disturbing the otherwise perfect moment.)
As Claire enters the scene, she is baffled, surprised and overjoyed to see Brianna in the 18th century so much so that she drops her basket to embrace Brianna two times and feel her face to be sure that it is not a dream.
This perfect moment is so wonderful that we wish it stayed this way; a happy ending kind. But we know that is not how 'Outlander' works, or even life, for that matter. After the reunion, Brianna's PTSD gets worse and as they set sail for Fraser's Ridge, Young Ian tells Brianna about the Stephen Bonnet tragedy and Brianna realizes that it is he who raped her. She withholds the information from her parents but shares her story about Roger with her mother.
The mother-daughter moments are inexplicably stirring as Claire figures out that something is wrong with Brianna, just in a glance, and knows it's not just about Roger leaving her. Meanwhile, Brianna tries to remain as cheerful and plays along with Murtagh and her father who tease her for her nickname "Bree", which she later finds out means "disturbance". In order to bond more with his daughter, Jamie Fraser even takes young Bree for hunting and they have a joyous time collecting honey and talking about family and birds and bees. Jamie, who is so thrilled to have his daughter, whom he thought he'd never meet, tells her that he knew she was his flesh and blood but on meeting her he realized she is his heart and soul as well. He even adds that his little girl will always be a welcomed disturbance in his life.
In the next scene, Claire and Brianna are seen cutting grass and Claire finally asks her what she's been wanting to know; what is it that is troubling Brianna so much? However, as a mother, she already knows and asks Brianna "how far along" is she and Brianna replies saying "two months". Claire assumes it's Roger's child but Brianna tells Claire it may not be his child and narrates her harrowing experience; "I did not fight him." Claire assures her that it's not her fault and breaks the news to Jamie.
The very next day, as Lizzie and Young Ian set out around the Fraser's Ridge, Lizzie spots Roger, who is looking for Brianna, but remember how Lizzie had mistaken Roger to be the rapist?
Well, that plays off in the final scene of episode nine, as Lizzie informs Jamie, who wastes no time to smack Roger unconscious. In the meantime, Claire finds out that it was Stephen Bonnet, who raped her daughter on finding her lost band in the laundry.
Young Ian is given the responsibility to dispose of Roger's body somewhere.
While we described episode 7 to be the best one and episode 8 to be the most disturbing one, it's this episode titled 'The Birds & The Bees,' which is so emotionally distressing. I hope you had your tissues handy!