Outlander North Carolina

ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards – The Best of Outlander Episode 401.4, Common Ground

November 30, 2018

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.


Tara: Jamie and Claire with the help of Ian starting to build Fraser’s Ridge. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead! I love seeing everything that I have in my mind on the screen!

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!

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