×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Outlander’ Recap: Brianna Goes ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ — and Another Familiar Face Returns

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Down the Rabbit Hole,” the seventh episode of “Outlander” Season 4.

“Down the Rabbit Hole” is likely to be a divisive episode, especially for those viewers who have read the books. While the return of Frank was a lovely surprise — Tobias Menzies is a talented actor and it was nice to see him get scenes with Sophie Skelton — the show also took some major liberties with Brianna’s (Skelton) journey back in time that changed the tone of her entire time in Scotland.

After landing in 1760s Scotland, Bree took off across the cold and barren landscape to try to find the harbor where she could sail for America. But she was alone and not exactly outfitted for hiking miles across the Scottish wilderness, so of course, she twisted an ankle and eventually collapsed in a shivering mass.

Who should find her but none other than everyone’s favorite wretch, Laoghaire (Nell Hudson)? She had been living alone with her younger daughter Joanie (Layla Burns) and constantly complaining to Ian (Steven Cree) about Jamie not sending her enough money. Of course, neither woman had any idea of their shared connection, so Laoghaire was perfectly lovely to Brianna, at least at first, taking care of her until she was well enough to continue on her way.

While there, Brianna bonded with Joanie over them both not really knowing their biological fathers as well as their parents’ hearts being broken by someone they loved who didn’t love them back. It created an interesting parallel between Laoghaire and Frank, and made Brianna’s flashbacks to the time right before her father died fit in well with the episode’s main plot.

Anyway, over the course of Brianna’s stay, Laoghaire slowly revealed just how mentally unhinged she still was when it came to Jamie (Sam Heughan). Laoghaire severely romanticized Jamie’s feelings for her, convinced that he was in love with her until Claire (Caitriona Balfe) bewitched him with a love potion and hardened his heart against Laoghaire. It would actually be pretty sad — if Laoghaire hadn’t tried to have Claire burned as a witch.

It eventually came out that Brianna’s biological parents are Jamie and Claire — and Laoghaire lost her ever-loving mind. She immediately told Brianna all sorts of lies about her parents, including that Claire was a witch and that Jamie didn’t have room in his heart for a baby and sent Claire away when he found out she was pregnant. She also locked Brianna in her room with the intent of having her burned as a witch as well, but luckily Joanie could see the writing on the wall in regards to her mother and took Bree to Lallybroch.

The show spent so much time with Bree and Laoghaire, which wasn’t a story adapted from the book, that Brianna’s time at Lallybroch was majorly truncated. When she arrived, her Uncle Ian welcomed her wholeheartedly and quickly helped her find a ship sailing to America. The last thing Bree did before departing was take on a chambermaid named Lizzie (Caitlin O’Ryan), in order to save the young girl from being sold as a concubine.

While all this was happening in Brianna’s new “present day,” she kept thinking of Frank, the man she thought of as her father because he raised her, which provided the show a chance to flash back and offer a glimpse into their time together before his death. He found out about Claire and Jamie’s deaths in the 1770s from Reverend Wakefield and struggled with whether to tell Brianna about it, ultimately deciding he not only couldn’t explain the time travel but also couldn’t ruin Bree’s world like that.

But Bree knew that he was keeping something important from her and lashed out at him. Then later, he informed her that he and Claire were divorcing, which hit her hard even if she had to know they were unhappy because of all of their fighting. But it’s still hard for a child — even a grown one — to deal with his or her parents’ divorce, and she blasted him for his decision and told him there was no way she’d go with him to England to study. Frank was offered a position at Cambridge and wanted Bree to come with him, but she refused and stormed out of the car. Then that night he was killed in the car accident and Bree blamed herself for not staying with him that night.

When she departed for America with Lizzie, Bree had a vision of her father wishing her well on the docks and seemed to find peace with his memory. It was great overall interweaving of Brianna’s two lives, even if it was a shame we didn’t get to see her meet her Aunt Jenny (Laura Donnelly) and other Lallybroch family members.

While that certainly felt like enough material to fill an entire episode, the show also managed to include Roger’s (Richard Rankin) adventures trying to find Bree — and wow, was it dark.

After traveling back to 1760s Scotland, Roger beat Brianna to the harbor, owing to the fact that he didn’t get waylaid in a “Misery”-type situation with a twisted ankle and a twisted woman. But he found a twisted, evil being of his own when he booked passage on Stephen Bonnet’s ship, the Gloriana.

Aboard the ship, Roger quickly found out how ruthless Bonnet (Edward Speleers) could be when a young girl was showing signs of smallpox and he tossed her out a window into the sea. Her mother jumped in after her, which showed Roger that he had to protect another young mother (Elysia Welch) and her baby who had a rash because he was teething.

Roger hid them and snuck them rations until Bonnet found out about it, and it was only by the luck of a coin flip that he didn’t kill Roger right then and there. It wasn’t a surprise that Bonnet was bad, but this was another glimpse into just how evil he is.

Outlander airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.

More TV

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • R. KellyR. Kelly in concert at

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Producers on the Lifetime Doc's Ripple Effect

    The ripple effect of “Surviving R. Kelly” continues to widen more than a week after the documentary aired on Lifetime, renewing public interest — and outrage — over the litany of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B artist. Lady Gaga and Phoenix have apologized for working with him. Chance the Rapper and other artists are said to [...]

  • Yellowstone

    Viacom Lays Off Paramount Network Staffers Amid Reorganization (EXCLUSIVE)

    Viacom has laid off a number of staffers in its entertainment group, with the majority of the affected employees hailing from Paramount Network, Variety has learned exclusively. A Viacom spokesperson declined to comment. But a source with knowledge of the situation that the number of affected employees was fewer than 20, or less than 2% of [...]

  • The Last OG

    TV News Roundup: 'Last O.G.' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date on TBS

    In today’s TV News Roundup, “The Last O.G.” announces its Season 2 return date and Variety has the exclusive first look at Fox’s new legal drama “Proven Innocent.” FIRST LOOKS Netflix has announced its new limited series “Black Earth Rising” will launch on Jan. 25. The contemporary thriller series stars Michaela Coel as Kate Ashby, a Rwandan girl [...]

  • Matt Walsh

    'Veep' Star Matt Walsh to Lead ABC Comedy Pilot 'Happy Accident'

    Matt Walsh has been tapped for a lead role in the upcoming ABC single-camera comedy pilot “Happy Accident.” In the series, two Pittsburgh families – a father (Walsh) with three adult daughters, and a hotel lounge singer with her med student son – are forced together after a decades-old secret is revealed. Walsh currently stars in [...]

  • Jane Fonda

    'Grace and Frankie' Renewed for Season 6 at Netflix

    Netflix has renewed “Grace and Frankie” for a sixth season ahead of the Season 5 premiere this Friday. The series stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the titular characters who found their lives turned upside down when their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, respectively) revealed they were gay and left the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content