'Outlander' season 4: Why fans can't decide whether to love or hate Roger MacKenzie
The much-loved character turned out to be a despised character by the end of the last season, and here's why.
Hey 'Outlander' fans, are you in a fix whether to love Roger MacKenzie for pursuing Brianna Randall Fraser for 200 years and not time traveling back to the 1970s when he had the chance or hate him for always playing the blame game and not being the ultimate "man of worth"? Well, you're not alone.
The fandom has divided itself into team Roger and those who despise the Oxford the professor more than ever, especially after the finale. However, it's the latter that holds the majority on social media.
I'm not usually much of a one for historical romance but I've really got into Outlander. I find myself asking though, isn't Roger a bit of a dick? #Outlander— Chris Haddow (@fr0mn0where) January 28, 2019
Jamie "likes" Roger almost as much I "like" Roger... #Outlander— marilita zisimou (@marilitazisimou) January 28, 2019
Spoiler alert... I don't like Roger.
I hate roger on outlander— calamity jane (@problematicicon) January 28, 2019
When season 4 of the hit Starz's time-traveling series started, almost all the fandom shipped Brianna and Roger, as much as they shipped Claire and Jamie Fraser. However, it was episode 3 titled 'The False Bride,' that sealed Roger's fate as a disliked character, when he proposed Brianna out of the blue, and when she said that she was not ready for commitment, he slut-shamed her for wanting to have sex with him in the first place. "You don't want to marry me, but you'll f**k me?!" he yelled. "If all I wanted was to have my way with you, I would've had you on your back a dozen times last summer."
Brianna slapped him and pointed out the sexist hypocrisy as to how it was okay for him to have slept with other women but it was wrong for a woman to do so. Added to that, Roger wanted to marry Brianna because she was a virgin.
Needless to say, fans were outraged, but there were still those who believed him to be a good man and defended him throughout, until, episode 8, Wilmington.
A Reddit user named Mizbird wrote; "I actually really liked Rodger up until Wilmington. I was cutting him slack for the proposal fight and could understand his hurt over Bree not wanting to commit. I think he really did love her, and I interpreted the virgin comment as less about slut shaming and more about him lashing out in hurt and jealousy.
"That said, he lost me in Wilmington. I didn't like how he was grabbing Bree and angrily yelling that she left without saying a word--I mean umm, what did she owe him exactly? Isn't he the one that broke up with her? I didn't like their spontaneous wedding before having sex. It seemed possessive," the user added.
After Brianna time traveled through the cleft stones, Roger pursued her, winning fans' favor all over again. Their reunion at Wilmington was a much-awaited scene, however, that did not last long. When Brianna asked if he had changed his mind about marrying a virgin, he was adamant as he told her that he still abides by what he said in episode 3. Brianna somehow seems to succumb and agrees to marry the man who "pursued her for 200 years." But that again is short-lived as they end up fighting after a steamy sex scene and he leaves her, again. On her return to the motel, she is heinously raped by Stephen Bonnet, and fans can't forgive that. Not that Roger is blamed for what happened, but had he not been such a "di*k" as the Twitter user said (above) this could have been avoided in the least.
It is the same episode where Brianna's helper Lizzie mistakes Roger for a rapist which leads to him getting brutally bashed by Jamie Fraser in episode 9 'The Birds & The Bees.' While in the end Lizzie is blamed for the misinformation, it would be an oversight to wonder why she thought he was her rapist. What Lizzie saw was Roger manhandling her as soon as they met in Wilmington. Lizzie did not hear what they were talking about, but she sure saw him grab and pull her around. Red flag alert!
Another Reddit user named Luvitall1 wrote; "I'm constantly getting flashbacks to my own abusive relationship with my first boyfriend. From Roger's physical rough handling, his constant hot/cold attitude (married one moment to leaving his new wife alone to fend for herself in the past because he's upset that she's upset), emotional abuse (she quickly goes from being called the most beautiful woman to essentially being called a whore), his idea that she is his property and needs to obey her husband, to him putting his own childish whims above taking basic care for her. She's constantly putting his desires and needs first to make up. I can't with that relationship. I really hope they deviate from the novels and just write him off the show."
However, the penultimate episode titled 'Providence,' showed Richard Rankin's best ever performance as Roger, who broke down talking about his love for Brianna. Roger selflessly even went back to help the tortured priest to end his suffering. While Roger may be a selfless man, who deeply cares about people, he sure isn't a good boyfriend or husband, for that matter, because he does not return to Brianna immediately after Claire and Jamie tell him that she was raped and bears a child that may not be his.
It is only in the final moments of the finale 'Man of Worth,' that he comes to River Run. It was his sheer luck that Brianna was still there because it was the very same day the Frasers were all set to leave for Frasers' Ridge. Had he come a moment later, pretty sure he would have had another misadventure and would blame Brianna for it again.
The happy ending of 'Outlander' season 4 felt a bit forced because fans don't ship Bree and Roger anymore. They cannot be the item Claire and Jamie are because their toxic relationship is apparent and it keeps going in circles.
We may have to wait till season 5 to make up our mind if we like Roger anymore.