Outlandish Thoughts about Outlander: “Common Ground”

The title is the essential theme of this entire episode.  The characters find common ground in a lot of situations: motherhood, relations between people of different cultures, strained romantic relationships and even a bit of camaraderie with their animals.  It’s strange, but even the moments of danger and drama don’t feel as strained as with the first episodes this season.  This is probably due to the fact that there is a resolution this time that the other episodes didn’t (or couldn’t) have.

However, we think the episode should have been called “Rollo Knows” or “Always Listen to Rollo” because he was the hero of the episode.  Yes, Jamie wrestled a man-bear (and book readers are debating if we’re disappointed or not that it was an actual bear, but given what the CGI would have been we feel this was a good compromise),

negotiated peace with their Cherokee neighbors and started to build a house entirely by hand (ok, ok, ok Ian is helping) but Rollo was the one who kept watch while they all slept. Rollo didn’t hesitate to run out into the night to protect his pack. Rollo found Meyers in time so Claire could save him. Rollo was the star this week.

Good boy Rollo!

Speaking of the shows four-legged stars, what’s up with Clarence?  Book readers want to know where’s our guard donkey?  So far he’s falling behind and letting Rollo steal the show!  And before you cat lovers start in, don’t worry, if the show keeps true to Fraser pets from the books you’ll have your day soon.

But let’s focus on our two-legged friends for moment. Fraser’s Ridge is under way and it will be interesting to see how the settlement shapes up onscreen vs. the images book readers have formed in their heads from the novels. This episode really spoke to the chemistry between the actors playing Claire, Jamie and Young Ian.  A good portion of the episode is just the three of them and it’s wonderful to watch.  There is an ease between the characters that was so nice to settle into, even when they’re just working on building the house or fixing fishing nets and cooking dinner, we enjoyed those moments of simplicity. They worked well as a unit when facing down danger as well, there was a nice choreography to their movements when coming out of the makeshift hut to face a danger at night, or when the Cherokee would come riding into their camp.  These three have really gelled.  And ok, Jamie hewing logs and chopping down trees wasn’t a hardship to watch either 😉

The unease between European settlers and the Native Americans is another hard topic to tackle now that the Fraser’s are making a home in the New World. We have to give kudos to the team for only casting Native Americans/Canadians as members of the Cherokee tribe the Fraser’s meet, and for not shying away from the ugly truths and for making efforts to do justice to these characters and stories and it will be interesting to see how they continue to do so with the upcoming episodes.

This brings us to Bree and Roger. So that’s a horribly strained non-relationship, right? Still not a lot of Bree in her own element, but given the trailers for the next episode, we feel there’s going to be more of Bree on her own coming soon.  We can’t wait to get to know her better, and see Sophie Skelton get the time to really show us her Brianna.  She still hasn’t really been given a moment to shine, although some of her reactions during Roger’s less than stellar showing last episode did give us moments to finally connect with her emotionally.


Oh, you mean about these Roger?

Ok, let’s all address that ending…Bree’s gone to Scotland to see her mother?!?!?!?!  While we want to be ‘poor Roger’ with his broken heart, we’re more like “Why the heck are you just sitting there and not running for you’re car?”

Some things worth noting:

  • The vision of the Cherokee healer and the “death” she mentions to Claire.
  • The information Roger has about Jamie and Claire’s fate that he hasn’t gotten to share with Bree yet.
  • Claire in breeches??? Where’d she get those from?  Ian’s would probably be too slender in the hips and Jamie’s too big – did she cobble some together?
  • Ian being adorable in his “manly” moments. We can’t help it, he’s just too adorable not to mention it.
  • Jamie can knit!!!! Fans everywhere are now waiting for their “Knitted by James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser” scarfs ;P Which also leads us to crossing our fingers that we get a scene where Jamie is teaching Claire to knit, because you know that’s going to be hilarious.

Next Episode: “Savages”

Claire’s medical expertise proves invaluable for a family of German settlers, but she begins to fear for her life when tragedy strikes her patients’ household. Jamie and Young Ian travel to a nearby town to recruit settlers for Fraser’s Ridge, but find their progress hindered by a burgeoning political movement.

Can you believe we’re not half way through yet?  What did everyone think of this episode?  How do you feel the show is handling some of the tougher topics?

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