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Hoping to see you in October 2019! Come Home!!!
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Hoping to see you in October 2019! Come Home!!!
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to recap this week’s episode! Best yet this season, in my humble opinion. Just about every emotion was on overload, and as of today am still sporting a silly little grin! So without further ado, let’s get to it!
We open with Claire and Adawehi sitting by the stream, preparing herbs and enjoying being in each other’s company. Both are teaching the other Cherokee and English, as well as chatting as women would do. We see another appearance of a rabbit; a bit of symbolism the writers have been using that brings in Brianna. It’s then Adawehi asks Claire if she has any children. Claire replies, “I have a daughter but she lives far, far away.” Adawehi, being the mystic that she is, knows that Brianna is actually closer than just in Claire’s heart.
Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, (thanks Nancy Roach, “The White Sow,” for this little ear worm that is still with me), we have a finished, fully furnished cabin. My, how time flies in television. And what do ya know, The White Sow has finally decided to make her grand appearance and is already up to mischief. Claire and Jamie are preparing for their own departures; Jamie and Ian to Woolam’s Creek to find tenants for Fraser’s Ridge, while Claire is off to aid in the birth of Petronella’s child. Jamie snags one of his mother’s silver candlestick holders before heading out – hmmm, I wonder what he’s up too? Before leaving he asks Claire if Brianna has a diamond shaped birthmark behind her left ear. Claire is astonished that Jamie knew of that little detail as she never mentioned it to Jamie. He explains that he saw her in his dream and that he kissed her upon that mark. Could it be that Brianna truly is closer than we think?
Roger–poor broken hearted Roger–is seen in Inverness trying to track Brianna down after finding out in last week’s episode that she intends to “visit her mother.” Will he find her in time? After learning that she bought a one way fare to Craigh Na Dun not 10 days passed, he realizes he is too late. He learns she last stayed at Baird’s Bed & Breakfast, and desperate for any clues, asks the innkeeper if by chance she left anything behind. At first the innkeeper didn’t want to disobey Brianna’s request, but after seeing Roger’s heart literally breaking in front of her eyes she relented and gave Roger a letter from Brianna that he was not supposed to have until a year later. Oh my, what could be in that letter?
We now find Jamie and Ian in Woolam’s Creek, passing out flyers to residents to get them to attend a meeting in which Jamie will present them with an offer of 100 acres to settle and farm on Fraser’s Ridge. As Ian continues to hand out flyers around town, Jamie heads to the silversmiths house. Oh? His wife, Mistress MacNeill, answers the door and what do ya know, she is all hot and bothered and, well, do you blame her? Seeing as the silversmith is not in town at present, Jamie leaves but will call again. And I bet Mistress McNeill will be eagerly awaiting his next calling! Skipping ahead we see Jamie delivering his pitch in a tavern to some residents that are surprised by the gracious, almost too-good-to-be-true offer, and to Jamie’s astonishment, they each turn him down and walk out. One lingers behind though, and Jamie buys him and himself a pint in hopes to engage him in conversation, perhaps learn more about why these men can turn down such an offer. Brian, as we come to learn his name, explains that Tryon’s crooked tax collectors make it impossible to earn a living as a farmer and none will accept an offer that will benefit the tax collectors in any way. Uh oh, did we just meet some future Regulators?
Meanwhile, back at the Ridge, we find Claire at the home of German settler, Gerhard Mueller, with his wife, son and daughter Petronella, who just delivered a baby girl and whom they have decided to name Clara in honor of Claire. Claire is overwhelmed with gratitude and we can see she is truly missing her daughter in this moment and the prospects of holding her own grandchild in her arms one day. Rollo, (such a good boy), alerts them that someone is outside, and it’s the Cherokee collecting water for their horses. Herr Mueller, taking this as a sign of trespassing goes out with gun loaded, aimed and ready to shoot. Claire intervenes, playing peacemaker and begs the Cherokee to perhaps collect water from a different part of the stream. Being that she and their healer Adawehi are close, the Natives decide to leave. Before exiting, Tawodi performs a blessing of the stream to which they have taken water from. Herr Mueller not understanding the customs of the Cherokee takes it as a sign of ill intent.
Claire travels back home to Fraser’s Ridge, exhausted. And who wouldn’t be after a day like that?! We next get to see a bit of what her daily life is like; feeding the animals, poking fun at the White Sow. “You have no idea you’re just a Christmas pork chop do you?” HA! Bundling herbs, and yay she’s Clickin’ It! Uh oh, she notices the missing candlestick. Day in and day out, managing the farm on her own is hard work and even our “I am woman, hear me roar” Claire needs a drink at the end of a long, hard day’s work.
Back to Woolam’s Creek and we see Jamie and Ian preparing the wagon to set off back home when Ian discovers the bit is broken. Jamie sends him off with the task of getting it fixed. Ian finds the blacksmith when….. can it be…… no…… OMG it is! MURTAGH!!!!!!!! He’s alive, freed and living in Woolam’s Creek! Ian doesn’t ken it at the time, just has a devil of a time haggling with him, and in the end it’s Murtagh that shows young Ian how haggling is really done! All the while, Jamie revisits the silversmith’s home to see if he’s arrived back from Cross Creek only to be subjected to more of the Mistresses advances. (OK, now she’s going too far). When Jamie refuses her offer of “pie” she wagers that his wife must be a “good cook”; Jamie’s reply? “Aye, very.” Back at the wagon, Ian tells Jamie of how much he had to pay the old coot of a blacksmith for the bit repairs, and you can see Jamie is not having any of that. As Jamie’s giving the blacksmith what for, Murtagh hears that all-too-familiar Scottish brogue. We see recognition in his eyes as he slowly turns around. Jamie, not quite believing his own eyes, needs a few seconds to truly grasp who it is he is seeing. His Godfather is alive and standing before him! I wager there was not a single dry eye amongst avid fans witnessing that reunion! We even got to hear the best, joyful laugh from Murtagh that I don’t believe we have ever heard from him before. “There’s so much to tell you. And I want to hear every word.” And the raised eyebrow and sly wink Murtagh gave Ian? YES! Flashing forward we seeing Murtagh, Ian and Jamie in the Tavern catching up when Jamie, after sending Ian to the counter to get another pint, tells Murtagh that Claire has returned from the future and that he has a daughter. AGAIN, we hear another joyous laugh of happiness from Murtagh and I can’t but hope that Murtagh gets his chance for happiness too. Jamie asks Murtagh to return with him to Fraser’s Ridge to set up his own smithy there, but Murtagh also declines. In hopes to perhaps clue Jamie in on just why he has to decline, he invites Jamie to a meeting. Rut Roh!
Murtagh, Jamie and Ian have arrived at the meeting and you can see that Jamie is beginning to see what Murtagh’s reasonings are for declining his offer. Murtagh, proudly wearing his bit of Fraser tartan on his vest, is rallying up the attendees and vowing that they will seek justice on Tryon’s tax collectors. OMG! Murtagh’s a Regulator! And Jamie has sworn to Tryon to quell any unrest amongst the Regulators. He has to refuse joining Murtagh and the cause, but also says he will not stand in their way. Murtagh gives Jamie a long look. Jamie, being privy to the future, probably knows what will happen. I’ll wager we will find Murtagh in Fraser’s Ridge to find out for himself what Jamie knows.
Back on the Ridge Claire is tending the animals when Pastor Gottfried comes to visit. He tells Claire of the passing of Petronella and the baby from measles and that in his grief, Herr Mueller blames her. He fears that he may do something rash and hopes to find him in time. He tells Claire to be on her guard. We see Claire loading the musket (or was it Jamie’s Pennsylvanian long rifle?) and tries to go about her evening rituals, but finds herself jumping at every little noise. Rest easy Claire, Rollo’s on duty. She’s awakened by a pounding on the door and it’s Herr Mueller. At first he seems genuinely concerned for Claire and says he’s come to check on her wellbeing. Claire, being as empathetic as she is in seeing Herr Mueller’s distress, lets her guard down and allows him to come in. He begins to tell Claire of the passing of his daughter and grandchild and how it was from the curse that Towadi performed when they left the stream. Claire tries her best to explain to him that it was from either him or his wife’s exposure to the measles that most likely affected Petronella and the baby, not from any curse. He would not hear of it and defiantly insists that the Cherokee are to blame. He then begins to tell Claire that he took care of them and presented her with a wrapped bundle. In recognizing the checkered wrappings Claire thought that Mueller was giving her the baby’s doll, but when she unwraps it, she is horrified to see that it’s Adawehi’s scalp and neck knife. The horror that she has just come to understand from Herr Mueller breaks her heart and prompts her to send him away. You’re left wondering, who are the true savages in
this episode? She then rewraps Adawehi’s remains in a linen cloth, places it in a wooden box with some herbs, and sets the box in the fireplace upon a fiery pyre. At the same time, the Cherokee are at Mueller’s home seeking revenge for the death of Adawehi, and decide to dispense it by burning the house down with flaming arrows. We see Frau Mueller walk out onto the porch, and she has taken a fiery arrow in the back. Herr Mueller arrives home in time to see his home ablaze, wife (and assumingly his son) dead, and then he, too, is struck down with arrows.
Jamie arrives home from Woolam’s Creek to find an emotionally spent Claire who can only ask him to hold her. Hold her Jamie and hug her tight. We then see Claire gathering split firewood when we hear an ol’ familiar tune being whistled. Can it be? YES, our Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy has come to Fraser’s Ridge! And again, even more joyous laughter from Murtagh. YAY!
Last, but certainly not least, it’s back to 1971 Inverness, and we there’s Brianna at Craigh Na Dun, dressed in the best 18th century clothing she can find, wearing her bracelet that Roger gave her. Narrated in her voice, we hear the words that are in her letter to Roger. “Roger, If you’re reading this it’s because I didn’t make it back …” Brianna found out something terrible happens to Claire and Jamie and she felt she had to go and warn them. She speaks of truly caring for Roger and asks that he think of her living happy in the past. You can see Roger is in agony at reading those words. The final scene has to be one of the best scripted scenes this season: Brianna slowly walking up to the big stone, the scene panning from one side, around the back towards the other side. When it reaches that side, she is gone. Poof! Brianna has officially gone through the stones! Oh boy! Does she make it? Will Roger follow? I think most of us know where this is all headed, and I for one cannot wait until next week’s episode!
What did you think about Episode 405, Savages? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Welcome back to the ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards! Now until the end of Season 4 (let’s not think about that right now), some of the ONC adminstrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests” from the latest Outlander episode. Last week, we gave awards for Episode, 401.3, The False Bride. Next up, is Episode 401.4, Common Ground. This week’s voting contributors are Mitzie Munroe, Harmony Tersanschi, Nancy Roach (a/k/a The White Sow), Susan Jackson Tara Heller and Cameron Hogg! And the winners are…
Tara: Jamie carrying Claire over the threshold and Jamie talking about their future home and where everything will be placed. Claire saying “It’s perfect.”
Cameron: The exchange between Tryon and Jamie- they are sizing one another up, letting one another know neither one has all the power, and this is all done through their verbal exchange and nonverbal cues by the actors. I thought it was really a well-written and well-played scene.
Susan: I loved when Roger called to talk w/ Bree about the fire–the look on his face when it dawned on him that Bree had gone to Scotland so she could–well, that could be a spoiler, so I’ll just stop right there.
Nancy: When Adawehi tells Claire she is the White Raven and will reach her healing potential when her hair turns white. How exactly will this happen? Will it take place in book nine or ten? I like a mystery.
Mitzie: Intro scene for “Common Ground” where we watched some of the Cherokee dress. The accompanying music by Bear was spot on. It gave me chills!
Harmony: The best moment from Episode 4 was when Roger found Fraser’s Ridge in the book Bree had given him & then received more information about it from the author. I loved the voiceover of him reading about The Ridge as the scene carried back to Jamie & Claire in NC.
Tara: “Our bed will be over their facing east where we can watch every sunrise” and They can finally have a home and a bed of their own. It is so comforting.
Cameron: When Gov. Tryon tells Jamie that he’s just the sort of settler NC needs. Jamie is such a strong character and this gives him the chance to be the laird he always hoped to be, so it’s good to see someone in power recognize the value in that. Until now, Jamie has never been validated in that way by anyone who could do anything to facilitate it.
Susan: When Jamie tells Tryon “Savagery can exist in many forms…I’ve witnessed it in both prince and pauper,” it hit me that it still rings true, and has been as long as man has existed.
Nancy: “I canna say what it is to for me to feel the rightness of this place…The mountain spoke to me.” I just wanted him to add, “If I’m to live as a man I must have a mountain” from the book. I love lines from the book.
Mitzie: When Jamie gives Tryon is own quote back; “There is the law, and there is what is done”. Oh my! Governor Tryon is so impressed and thinks he has him at an understanding when in fact he has no idea.
Harmony: My favorite line or technically lines are “The moon was in the water, and you became a white raven. You flew over the water and swallowed the moon. The white raven flew back and laid an egg in the palm of her hand. The egg split open and there was a shiny stone inside.” I loved this exchange in the book & loved it just as much in the show.
Tara: I would have to say Sam. He really is showing the real/old Jamie again. The mountains agree with Sam and Jamie 🙂
Cameron: Sam- it’s nearly always Sam for me. 😉 Though John Bell is wonderful also, and I live his inquisitive enthusiasm for the new world as Ian.
Susan: I love Tantoo Cardinal–I loved her in Legends of the Fall, too.
Nancy: I would like to give a shout out to Flint Eagle, the man playing the bear. Staging the fight scene takes a lot of coordination, but fighting with a bear skin and big claws attached to your body had to be difficult. I also thought he did an admirable job portraying a bear. He gets the Andy Serkis Award for believable non-humans on the screen.
Mitzie: Gotta give it to Sam for this one. We got to see him put on his diplomatic face for Governor Tryon, his fierce face when he was protecting his family and his “true to his word” face when giving his oath to the Cherokee for being a peaceful neighbor.
Harmony: My favorite actress was Tantoo Cardinal! This was the perfect casting & she was wonderful!
Tara: The bear being a man/bear. I mean I assume it would be hard to fill Jamie battling a bear. The CGI probably would have been hard and no so believable. Some things are better left to the imagination from the books.
Cameron: When it turned out not to be a real bear attacking the ridge. I’d imagined the scene more literally from the book and had envisioned something along the lines of the end of Legends of the Fall. It’s a surprise, especially after they set up book readers for a real bear with the droppings, cleaning fish, and horse being clawed, but it still got the to the point of forging a relationship with the Cherokee.
Susan: I wasn’t really surprised at anything, but was surprised at how the whole how-Jamie-got-his-Cherokee-name concept. At first, I was like, “Y’all are messing this up,” but then it all came together. I liked how they were able to compress it all–that was a change I liked.
Nancy: I would have to say the whole change from real bear to manbear. It worked, but I wasn’t sure how they would pull that off.
Mitzie: Seeing a vulnerable side to Marsali. She gave a wonderful performance in such a short clip. I almost wanted to give her the Best Actress award for this episode because of her genuine expressions towards Claire during their conversation. Warmed my heart to see Claire and Marsali hug!
Harmony: The most surprising moment of this episode was definitely the man bear! I can honestly say that I never would’ve guessed that they’d play it out that way.
Cameron: I love that Jamie was always sure to make it abundantly clear that he had no grudge with the Cherokee. I think the episode showed the tension of the situation and fear of the unknown, but always showed the Frasers as respectful cohabitants of the land.
Susan: I love that the Frasers are finally home, and forging ahead, in spite of the adversity that is always surrounding them. How they stay so in love, I don’t know, because every time I’ve moved, I’ve wanted a divorce.
Nancy: I liked seeing everyone working to build the cabin. When I read the books, I never pictured Claire using an ax or helping guide Clarence as he pulls a log. That falls in line with her character.
Mitzie: The introduction to the Cherokee. The whole vibe of their appearance in this episode was wonderfully done; both in presence and in their attire.
Harmony: I think what I enjoyed most about the episode as a whole is that we’re seeing Fraser’s Ridge finally come to life!
Tara: #2, False Bride has been my favorite so far.
Cameron: This probably 2nd for me. Last week (403) is still probably my favorite, followed by 401 as 3rd and 402 as fourth. I’m very excited now that they are in NC, and as they develop relationships in the area, the story gets into historical territory I love in the books.
Susan: My rankings this season, from 1-4: 403, 404, 402, 401. The “home” episodes are ranked first, because that’s what I’ve been waiting for. Can y’all tell that I’m a homebody?
Nancy: I would rank it as number 2 and 303 as number 1 because the White Sow was scripted to make an appearance as a piglet but didn’t make the final cut in 404.
Harmony: I’d rank this episode as my 3rd favorite so far. Although I enjoyed it, it was a bit slower moving than I prefer.
So, now that we’ve voted, what about you? Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 401.4, Common Ground. Leave it in the comments!
We see Governor Tyron’s office in New Bern where Jamie signs a contract for the 10,000 acres of land that will be Fraser’s Ridge. (Remember this document. It will resurface.) Governor Tryon remarks that that the Indians are savages just like the Highlanders. (I believe this is going to be a reoccurring theme throughout the season.)
Flash to Claire, Jamie and Ian packing the wagon with supplies. They tearfully bid good-bye to Fergus and a very pregnant Marsali who bemoans the absence of her mother. Claire is reminded of Brianna and questions her decision to leave her. She’ll never know her grandchildren.
Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! and the Fraser’s are suddenly transported to Fraser’s Ridge complete with stock footage of Grandfather Mountain in the distance. The Fraser’s admire the scenery. Jamie carves FR in a tree to mark the border of his land. He uses wooden posts to mark the boundaries. Suddenly, the Frasers see Native Americans approaching. Jamie throws down his knife and raises his arms in a gesture of good will. The Cherokee turn away.
Flash forward to 1971 and Roger is in his University office. (The ministers cat is love-sick cat.) He opens the middle drawer of his desk where we see his copy of Scottish Settlers in Colonial America and the drawing of Roger and Bree from the Highland Games. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! The book falls open to a reference to Grandfather Mountain and a mention of Fraser’s Ridge. As Roger talks, we are shown the Fraser’s working on their land. We see Clarence pulling a log. Jamie hammers in wooden stakes to mark the dimensions of the cabin and explains the layout to Claire. (Hint: Remember these stakes.) They discuss beef jerky (Mmm!) and a shed for drying meat. Suddenly Ian comes running! The Cherokee are coming. This time they throw down those wooden stakes Jamie used to mark his land.
Flash forward to 1971Roger opening a large envelope. There is a copy of Jamie’s signed land grant. (I told you it would resurface.) and a letter from a woman in England mentioning James Fraser and his wife Claire, the healer. Roger phones Brianna to tell her the news. We’re briefly introduced to a new character, roommate Gayle and her French Bulldog. (This is Carrot who just happens to belong to Maril Davis. I admit he is cute, but a horse and a dog and still no pig? Come on people!) Brianna tells Roger how much the news means to her.
Back to 1768 at night in the Fraser’s temporary shelter where Jamie and Claire discuss whether to stay or go. Jamie tells her, “I canna say what it is to for me to feel the rightness of this place…The mountain spoke to me.” They decide to send a message of good will to the Cherokee. Later that night they wake to Rollo’s distant barking. They venture out with loaded rifles to find their meat stollen and Finley the horse limping toward camp with a bear claw wound on his side.
Jamie visits John Quincey Myers who tells him the Cherokee call this creature a “ Tskili Yona”. “ Yona” means bear. Myers is cooking some kind of meat draped over sticks. (I wonder what kind of meat that is? It almost looks like bacon! OMG!) Myers advises Jamie to take tobacco to the Cherokee as a peace offering and teaches Jamie the Cherokee word for hello”Siyo ginali.” (Thank goodness for closed caption TV.) Myers offers to take the tobacco to the Cherokee for him.
Back at Fraser’s Ridge, Ian repairs a fishing net while Claire guts a fish. We learn that everyone can knit except Claire. (Hey, even I know how to knit!) At nighttime we see the Cherokee in the woods. The Fraser’s wake once again to noise and Rollo winning. They follow Rollo into the night only to discover a mauled John Quincy Myers.
We see the Cherokee perform some sort of ceremony and a dance. (Those of us who attended A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming recognize this as the Bear dance. Yes, I did participate.)
Jamie takes off after the bear only to find it is a man dressed in a bear skin. The two fight viciously until Jamie finally skewers the manbear with one of the house stakes. (I told you to keep an eye on them.)
He drags the manbear on a litter to the Cherokee camp to broker peace.
The Cherokee come to Fraser’s Ridge and give Jamie the name “ Bear Killer”. Claire is introduced to healer, Adawehi who says she dreamed of Claire as the White Raven. “You have medicine now, but you will have more when your hair is white like snow. You will have wisdom beyond time. You must not be troubled. Death is sent from the Gods. It will not be your fault.”
Flash forward to 1970’s at Reverend Wakefield’s old home. Fiona shows Roger a copy of an 18th century newspaper that reveals the Fraser’s have died in a house fire around 1777.
Back to Fraser’s Ridge where everyone is working on the house and the foundation is laid. Jamie carries Claire over the threshold. (Where have those trousers she wearing been?)
Back to 1971. Roger telephones Bree and gets Gayle instead. Gayle informs Roger that Bree flew to Scotland a couple of weeks ago to visit her mother.
(0h, no! What will happen next? Where is Brianna? Will Jamie finish the cabin? Will Claire’s hair turn white? Who will die that won’t be Claire’s fault? Will they ever get a bearskin rug? Will there be a White Sow? Will they find enough food to feed the White Sow? Tune in next week as the saga continues.)
It’s the question all Outlander fans are asking so where exactly is Jamie & Claire’s new home, Fraser’s Ridge? Although no one knows for sure the exact location, Diana has said that Fraser’s Ridge probably lies within ten miles of Blowing Rock or Boone, North Carolina and that it covers land north of the Yadkin River.1
If you’ve watched Episode 401.3, The False Bride, Jamie & Claire see a river below Fraser’s Ridge and if the show writers are staying true to Diana’s specifications for the location of Fraser’s Ridge, I imagine this river is the Yadkin. The Yadkin River’s headwaters start near Blowing Rock in Watauga County, not far from the Thunder Hill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, it flows southeast through Caldwell County before turning northeast and flowing through Wilkes County.
Below are some maps I’ve put together. Please keep in mind, these are not scientific, and we are talking about a fictional location. (OMG!!! Someone please slap me! Did I just say that Fraser’s Ridge is fictional?!?!) Since the headwaters of the Yadkin are located near the Blue Ridge Parkway and based on Diana’s description, I think it’s a safe bet to say that Fraser’s Ridge would be located east of the Parkway. With that being said, Fraser’s Ridge could be located in one or more of the present day counties of Watauga, Caldwell or Wilkes. 10,000 acres covers a lot of ground!
Are you planning your trip to find Fraser’s Ridge? If so, where do you think it is?
P.S. If you believe Fraser’s Ridge is fictional as I so incorrectly stated earlier (that was before I slapped myself back into reality), you might want to check out this letter written by an unbeliever to Dr. I. Fash, YeKen, Ph.D., and his very timely response.