“Providence,” the penultimate episode of the fourth season of Outlander, is pretty explosive. And soft spoiler: Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are barely in it. 

RELATED: Missed last week’s episode? Catch up here!

Lord John Grey (David Berry) surprises Brianna (Sophie Skelton) with the news that Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) has been captured and sentenced to hang for murder, smuggling and piracy. Her first, shocked response is to be offended that what he did to her isn’t on his list of official crimes. After a moment, though, she tells Lord John decisively that she wants to see him. 

John believes she’s telling him she wants to see Bonnet hang, but that isn’t it. She hands him the letter he delivered for Jamie, which she’s since opened. It reads:

“Daughter, I canna say if I shall see you again. My hope is that it shall be so, and that all will be mended between us. I’ve been thinking about your question of whether revenge would heal the wrong done to you. I advise you now that you must not seek it. For the sake of your soul, for the sake of your own life, you must find the grace to forgive.

“Freedom is hard won, but it is not the fruit of murder. Do not fear that he will escape vengeance. Such a man carries with him the seeds of his own destruction. If he does not die by my hand, it will be by another. But it must not be by your hand. Hear me, for the sake of the love I bear you. Your loving father, James Fraser”

She has taken his words to heart, and she wants to face Stephen Bonnet so that she can forgive him for the sake of her child. 

Her reasoning moves Lord John, and he arranges for her to visit Bonnet. Unfortunately, they are unaware of a plot unfolding at Fergus’ (César Domboy) house. 

Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) was captured with Bonnet and is being held in the same jail. Fergus cannot rest with him there, and he devises a plan to save him. As soon as Marsali (Lauren Lyle) cottons on to what he’s doing, she recognizes a chance to help Fergus find his sense of wholeness through trying to lead a daring rescue, and she joins the team. They agree that it’s time to relocate to Fraser’s Ridge anyway and gather some Regulators to help free Murtagh. 

The jailbreak plan consists of forcing the guards at gunpoint to let Murtagh’s saviors in, while simultaneously rigging the jail to blow up, giving them cover in the ensuing chaos. 

Lord John escorts Brianna inside, but she breaks away to face Bonnet on her own. For reasons that are 100% unclear, she is allowed into the cell he is in, where the door is standing ajar. He is chained to the wall, but she could just as easily talk to him from the safety of the other side of the bars, so… drama?

She asks if he remembers her, and he says salty things to rile her up about how he does. She fills him in on her identity and reminds him of his interactions with her parents. Then she reveals her baby bump. He gets all “you don’t know that’s mine,” but she asserts that she has literally no reason to assign paternity to him falsely. She wants nothing from him and has only come to forgive him and offer the possible comfort that when he dies on the gallows, he can know that a part of him lives on. 

He cracks wise, and she lashes out about how she will raise HER baby to be a good person, and the baby will never know Bonnet’s name. She turns to storm out, but he asks her to stop. He gropes around in his mouth and extracts something, which he offers her for the baby’s keeping. She tries to refuse, but when he frames it as a dying man’s last wish, she holds out her hand and allows him to drop a tooth-sized ruby into it. He tells her to take care of the baby, and she turns again to leave. 

This is when Fergus’s plan kicks into gear. He and the Regulators storm the jail, and he’s surprised to recognize Lord John inside. They knock the guard with the keys unconscious and call out for Murtagh until they find him. As they’re opening his cell, Brianna joins the group and learns as they’re freeing him of Murtagh’s imprisonment. Murtagh tries to get high-handed about escorting Brianna back to River Run, but Lord John points out how short-lived his travels would be with every redcoat in the area searching for him. Anyway, Marsali is waiting outside with the get-away wagon and there isn’t time to argue, because the jail is about to blow. 

Someone carelessly tosses the keys within Bonnet’s reach as Lord John hurriedly departs with Brianna, the Regulators make a run for it, the jail explodes and Murtagh and Fergus hide away under a tarp in the back of Marsali’s wagon and head for Fraser’s Ridge. Lord John seals his place in Brianna’s good esteem by pretending to some redcoats they encounter that he didn’t see where the Regulators went. (She’s already told him he’s impossible not to like. She’s right.)

Meanwhile, Roger (Richard Rankin) is not finding life with the Mohawk easy. The gauntlet they forced him to run upon his arrival in the village was some kind of test, and he failed it. He is deemed “still captive,” renamed “dog face” and forced into service. One of the blows he suffered in the gauntlet injured his arm, so he fetches water and wood for his captors with one arm in a sling. 

He has hopes he’s found a friend in French-speaking Johiehon (Sera-Lys McArthur), a beautiful young woman who has a baby by a white father. She is a healer and discretely gives him an herb to chew for the pain in his arm. The young man who dragged him to the village and spoke sparingly to him in English, Kaheroton (Braeden Clarke), does not like this budding friendship. When Roger inadvertently offends him in the presence of Johiehon, Kaheroton’s enraged outburst leads to Roger being imprisoned in a hut at the edge of the village. 

Inside, Roger is surprised to find that he isn’t alone. Father Alexandre Ferigault (Yan Tual) is also a prisoner of the Mohawk. He tells Roger that they’re in New York, and that he is the father of Johiehon’s baby. Roger assumes that this must be the reason for his imprisonment, but Ferigault explains that his real offense is having refused to baptize his child. He believes himself to be damned for having broken his priestly vows by falling in love with Johiehon, and he does not want to damn the child by performing a sacrament while he is fallen from grace. 

Roger is unsympathetic. He doesn’t understand why the priest can’t at least pretend to perform the baptism, saving his life and creating the opportunity for some kind of future or escape for himself and his family. When the Mohawk cut off one of Ferigault’s ears and give him an ultimatum that he must perform the baptism or die by being slow-roasted at the stake, Roger blows up. 

He explains to Ferigault that he is an idiot, and that Roger knows this because he is one as well. He gives Ferigault an abbreviated account of his relationship with Brianna, characterizing each of the times he allowed his love for her to draw him to her, after her first refusal of his proposal, as idiocy. He claims to have learned that the only way to live is by looking out for number one, and he recommends that to the priest. He goads the man into helping him dig a hole at the back of the hut so they can escape, and they work together on it all night.

In the morning, their hole isn’t big enough for a man yet, and Ferigault’s time is up. He is firm in his conviction that he cannot perform the sacrament, so the Mohawk lead him away to burn.

Roger continues digging with renewed purpose as soon as he’s alone, and he succeeds in making the hole big enough to pass through. As he makes a break for it into the woods, Ferigault’s screams of agony claw at his conscience. He is free to run! To look out for number one! But the priest’s cries are echoing through the forest. Cursing himself, Roger turns back to try to help the man. 

When he arrives at the scene of the burning, he notes that the entire population of the village is watching the priest suffer. He is bound to a stake above a pyre with flames high enough to cook him slowly, but not high enough to engulf him. He’s told Roger that he witnessed someone else being punished in this manner, and it took three days for that man to die.

Roger decides to give the priest mercy and bolts through the crowd towards Ferigault, grabbing a cask of whiskey on his way. He flings the whiskey at the flames, where it explodes and immediately flares up to consume Ferigault. 

As Roger and the Mohawk look on in horror, Johiehon quietly places her baby in its carrier, walks towards the flames and steps into them, embracing her lover and dying with him. 

Kaheroton is mortified. He goes to the baby and picks it up, cradling it as he tearfully watches Johiehon burn. 

Roger is taken back into custody, muttering about his idiocy to the men who grab him. 

RELATED: Keep up with our Outlander Season 4 recaps HERE!

Am I the only one who thinks Roger hasn’t actually learned anything and is a shockingly selfish person? He may have shown Ferigault mercy, but he hasn’t shown Brianna any. His whole rant in the hut was rooted in still believing he was right to dump her when she refused his impulsive marriage proposal. I liked him so much when he first joined the show, and now I just want someone to shake some sense into him. 

Noteworthy: Roger tells Ferigault that he suspects the man who beat him was Brianna’s father. 

 

 

Leona Laurie

Leona Laurie is a Senior Contributor for Geek Girl Authority, regular on the GGA Twitch talk show "AnyWho" and co-host of the Marvel-Us podcast. She watches (and recaps) a lot of TV, sees every Marvel movie on opening night and reads voraciously. She learns something new about herself every time she watches an episode of Wonder Woman and looks forward to Outlander, Doctor Who, The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Superstore, Stranger Things and Steven Universe more than any shows. She also goes to Disneyland and live theatre a lot. She is very fun!