Outlander ends Season 4 on a high note with the excellent “Man of Worth.” So many satisfying things happen in this episode!
Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Young Ian (John Bell) finally reach the Mohawk village. They enter trepidatiously, knowing that the Mohawk have already noticed them in the woods and are on the defensive. With Young Ian’s knowledge of the language, they’re able to explain that they’ve come to make a trade for the man they sold, and when Ian and Kaheroton (Braeden Clarke) recognize each other, the travelers are invited into the village to talk to the Chief.
Everything starts tamely enough, but when Claire removes her scarf to show it to a child, the necklace she’s wearing is exposed, and the whole village recoils. They recognize the stone she got from the ghost/skull in North Carolina as belonging to someone named Otter Tooth, and the Chief immediately shuts down the trade talks and banishes them from the village.
They reluctantly retreat and prepare to set up camp. Jamie is determined to sneak back into the village that night to find and free Roger (Richard Rankin), but Claire dissuades him. She says she isn’t even sure if it’s safe for them to camp there, and as if on cue a band of Mohawk pounce on them.
Jamie’s tracker instincts clued him into their approach, so he’s able to get the best of one young man. The woman leading the band steps forward and demands that they give her Otter Tooth’s stone. Claire asks the woman her name and says they’ll do it if the woman will help them rescue Roger. She also wants to know why the stone is important to them. Wahkatiiosta (Carmen Moore) decides to stay and tell the story of Otter Tooth.
Around a campfire, Wahkatiiosta explains that during her grandfather’s time, Otter Tooth came from nowhere. He would never talk about the geography of his origin, but referred to it as a “when.” He warned the tribe that if they didn’t kill all the white men as soon as they had the chance, they would be wiped out and forgotten.
Otter Tooth painted his face, danced a war dance and led a band to attack some white people, returning with scalps. This displeased Wahkatiiosta’s grandfather, the Chief, who banished Otter Tooth. The man was obsessed with warning the tribe and kept sneaking back in. Finally, he was painted black for death and chased deep into the woods and killed. Even in death, his words haunted the tribe, so they decapitated his corpse in an effort to silence him. It didn’t work, so the man who grew up to become the current Chief carried Otter Tooth’s skull and the stone he wore as a necklace far away and buried them. Now it is said that whoever has the stone will be followed by Otter Tooth’s ghost and will know the future of the Mohawk.
Claire confesses that she has seen the ghost and tells the story of how she found the skull and was saved by Otter Tooth during the storm. She says again that she will give Wahkatiiosta the stone if she will help them save Roger, and this time Wahkatiiosta agrees.
Wahkatiiosta’s band of Mohawk lead Jamie, Claire and Young Ian into the village under the cover of darkness. They succeed in getting to Roger in the hut he’s locked in, but they’re spotted during their escape and ultimately captured.
In the morning, the Chief tells Wahkatiiosta that she is stripped of her Mohawk identity and banished from the village for having acted against her people. He then tells Jamie, Claire and Young Ian that they are free to go and to take the stone and its curse with them. Jamie is deeply grateful and asks if they may take Roger as well. The Chief declines, as they have not made an equal trade.
Jamie, in a fit of honor, volunteers to stay in Roger’s stead. Claire goes teary and tries to talk him out of it, but he instructs Young Ian to broker the trade. Young Ian looks resolute and steps away to speak to the Council in their own language. As Claire and Jamie embrace, a deal is reached.
Young Ian returns with the Council and informs Jamie that he’s traded himself. He apologizes to Roger for what they did to him, and he refuses Jamie’s offers of rescue. This is what he is choosing.
After a lot of tears and hugs, Jamie and Claire leave with Roger, and Young Ian and Rollo stay behind.
Someone calls out to “form the gauntlet,” and Young Ian is shoved into the same fray that greeted Roger on his arrival in the village. Unlike his predecessor, Ian gets the gist of what’s happening and fights his way through the dual lines of attackers, making it to the end and tagging himself “safe” by grabbing the Chief’s foot. The Chief smiles and congratulates him on proving himself, then announces that he will become one of them.
Young Ian turns to his new family, beaming with pride. They whoop and holler to celebrate him joining them, and he begins to whoop and holler as well.
As soon as Claire and Jamie have gotten Roger safely away from the Mohawk, Roger sucker punches Jamie. Claire tries to intervene, but Jamie tells her that this is between them and lets Roger whale on him until he exhausts himself. Once he’s gotten his initial anger out of his system, Roger asks for an explanation, and Claire and Jamie fill him in:
- Brianna was raped by Stephen Bonnet on the night Roger left her.
- Jamie mistook Roger for the rapist and beat and sold him.
- Brianna sent them after Roger when she found out.
- Brianna is pregnant, and the baby might be Bonnet’s.
In turn, Roger tells them about his history with Bonnet and how he found another circle of stones somewhere between North Carolina and New York.
Claire and Jamie deliver an ultimatum to Roger: Come back to Brianna ready to love her and the baby, or don’t come back. Although Claire’s delivery is gentler than Jamie’s, they’re united in wanting him to go back through those stones if he can’t accept the baby as his own.
Roger says he needs time to think. (Which makes Jamie look at him with such loathing that it completely satisfied my unrequited disgust with Roger from last week.) Claire gives him leave to take a horse and break off from them while he processes the information they’ve given him.
Meanwhile at River Run, Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) has come for a visit with Brianna (Sophie Skelton). Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) extends him a cold courtesy, feeding and housing him while openly disapproving of his criminal activities.
One night, while sharing a whiskey, Murtagh challenges Jocasta to use her influence for his team, and she accuses him of being a schemer who came to her home to push her into doing something from him. He tries to defend himself, but she stands up and throws her drink in his face. He grabs her by the arm… and the next morning they’re waking up together in her bed!
Even though his presence in the house is dangerous, their chemistry can’t be denied. Murtagh stays for the remainder of Brianna’s pregnancy and to wait for her parents with her after she gives birth to a healthy baby boy.
When Jamie and Claire finally return to their daughter, she has a two-month-old son and has escaped Jocasta’s marital pressure. Brianna is heartbroken to see her parents riding up without Roger. They explain that they told him everything, and his absence fills in the blank.
In the days that follow, the Frasers prepare to return to Fraser’s Ridge. They express their gratitude to Jocasta and ask Brianna to come home and be surrounded by her loving family.
The day of their planned departure, Brianna is packing her trunk when she glances out the window and sees a lone rider approaching. Even at a distance, she knows it’s Roger, and she runs down the stairs and out of the house to intercept him.
Roger clambers down from his horse in the no-crotch suit of skins he’s been wearing for the last nine months. They embrace, Brianna radiating relief. Roger looks like a rugged mountain man, and his energy is calmer and humbler than before. She tells him she thought he’d left her, and he responds that he may be stubborn, but he isn’t a fool. They kiss and kiss, and he asks her to take him to his son.
As they turn towards the house, a group of redcoats on horses comes galloping past. Brianna imagines they’ve come for Murtagh, and inside the family is jumping to the same conclusion when they spot the riders from the window. Jocasta grabs Murtagh and tells him to go hide in the slave quarters, giving away some details about their new relationship with her body language, which Jamie registers with a raised eyebrow.
Murtagh skedaddles, and the rest go downstairs to greet the redcoats. When they enter, it turns out they’ve come to deliver a letter to Jamie from the governor. He wants Jamie to muster a militia and go after the Regulators, beginning by hunting down and killing the fugitive Murtagh Fitzgibbons.
So the Droughtlander begins! See you back here for Season 5, hopefully later this year!
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