Genre: Drama, Romance | Network: Starz | Director / Creator: Ronald D. Moore | Starring: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan
Season 4, Ep. 1-13
Season Four of “Outlander” continues the story of time-traveling 20th century doctor Claire Fraser and her 18th century Highlander husband Jamie Fraser as they try to make a home for themselves in colonial America. We find the Frasers in North Carolina, in a place called Fraser’s Ridge at yet another turning point in history — the cusp of the American Revolution. As Claire and Jamie build their life together in the rough and dangerous backcountry of North Carolina, they must negotiate a tenuous loyalty to the current British ruling class, despite Claire’s knowledge of the bloody rebellion to come. Along the way, the Frasers cross paths with notorious pirate and smuggler Stephen Bonnet in a fateful meeting that will come back to haunt the Fraser family. Meanwhile, in the 20th century, things heat up between Claire and Jamie’s daughter, Brianna Randall and Roger Wakefield, the historian who helped search for Jamie in the past. But as they grow closer, the young couple realize they have very different ideas about the future of their relationship. However, when Roger and Brianna search for proof that Brianna’s parents reunited in the 18th century, a shocking discovery makes them both consider following in Claire’s footsteps.
So this was a time.
The series starts off with our beloved couple beginning their new life together in the New World; and as every new life begins–new challenges arise. For the first half of the series were are taken back and forth between the relationship of Jamie and Claire in the late 1760s and the relationship of their daughter, Brianna with the Scottish historian Roger in the show’s present day, 1960s.
As the series progresses and timelines merge we are given a different outlook on History than in previous seasons. Instead of the European backdrop or the picturesque views of the highlands were are given the greenery of the Carolinas–the new-found colonies–and because of this new backdrop we get to see a different side of history–the American history.
One of the things I loved about this season was the fact that the writers and the production crew put effort and time into depicting this time period in America. Every actor that played in a Native American role was of First Nation descent and so much time and thoughtfulness went into making sure that the Native representation for every tribe was respected and made as accurately as possible. Now, I don’t know enough about my Native heritage to say whether or not the representation within this season was actually good or not; however, I do respect how the producers and the writers set out to make sure that both the Mohawk and Cherokee tribes were represented properly and as accurately as possible.
Though representation was a huge priority this season–Character development wasn’t. I feel like this season was super stagnant for many of the characters aside from Ian, Brianna, and Fergus. Jamie and Claire’s relationship took a turn on the back burner so that we could get a chance to see Brianna’s and Rogers grow, however, I don’t think we got to see their relationship grow or blossom the way that we did with Jamie and Claire’s in previous years. We are thrust into their already budding relationship and hit with a sudden onslaught of proposals and mass amounts of separation that I really don’t see how we are given a chance to connect and invest in the relationship at all.
Though with the lack of romance aside, we do get to see the immense growth in the character of Ian (probably my favorite character development this season). Honestly, I loved and enjoyed watching him take on his role in this new life in the Americas and watch as he found his place within not only his family but also the community around him. This season was the moment where Ian found himself to be a man and him proving these sentiments to the man he looked up to the most–Jamie. It was such a joy to see this growth and I honestly cannot wait to see his journey in the coming seasons.
Overall, Though I did enjoy some parts of the season and was shouting at the screen towards the end; this season wasn’t my favorite in the slightest. The pacing was the slowest it has ever been and I barely felt any real progression in the story line at all as I found myself not as excited for the next weeks episode to premiere as I used to be. Because of these sentiments, I did have to give season 4 a rating of 3.5 popcorn buckets simply because of the lack of development from the characters and the pace being glacial.
Have you seen Starz’s adaption of Outlander yet? If so, what did you think?