Season 4 of Outlander sees Claire (Catriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) attempting to start a life in colonial America. As always things are not easy. They lose all their money to a robbery by a pirate called Stephen Bonnet (Edward Speelers), face serious moral questions when it comes to slavery, are forced to choose sides between the ruling redcoats and the rebellious regulators and have to negotiate with the indigenous locals.
Meanwhile in 1970 Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is trying to figure out what to do with her life and with her relationship with Roger (Richard Rankin). A shock discovery leads her into the past where she will finally meet her father and go down a path she never imagined for herself.
I am a big Outlander fan and I love Claire and Jamie together. That part of the show is still the absolutely the best thing about it. Balfe and Heughan’s chemistry sizzles and the way they interact is just a joy to watch. Unfortunately the rest of the series is less impressive.
[WARNING, HERE BE SPOILERS]
I get that part of the charm of a show like Outlander is having old favourite characters and antagonists come back but the level of coincidences has started to stretch well beyond the realms of reasonability. I know it’s a show about time travel so disbelief needs to be suspended but I had far too many, “ffs, really?” moments.
I also cannot stand Roger or his relationship with Brianna. Brianna is a strong-minded, free spirited woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. Roger on the other hand is a slut shaming, self righteous prick. He is forever storming off in a huff because Brianna won’t conform to his ludicrous, outdated ideals and then landing himself in a mess because of his stupid decisions. Although he suffers through some intense scenarios because of his supposed love for Brianna, his motivations seem to be focused on what he wants and I couldn’t understand why Brianna was so in love with him or what message the show runners were trying to send. Just because someone is capable of grand gestures doesn’t negate all kinds of other unhealthy behaviour. I was livid when Jamie and Catriona agreed to trade the Mohawk Young Ian (John Bell) for Roger. Young Ian is awesome. Roger is a human testicle and he should have been burned at the stake like the French priest.
Anyway… for me the series has taken a dive in quality with this season. I am hoping the next season will bring better but overall I am really disappointed.