SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “The Deep Heart’s Core,” the tenth episode of “Outlander” Season 4.
In the aftermath of Brianna’s (Sophie Skelton) rape and pregnancy news, it would seem like everyone knew what was going on, but that was not the case — and these secrets caused some serious heartbreak and anger in “The Deep Heart’s Core.”
But first, in one of the best scenes between Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Brianna from the books that was adapted very well on the show, the father and daughter had a very frank discussion about Brianna’s rape. Jamie was convinced that Bree needed to be married now that there was a baby on the way, at which modern-day viewers might all laugh, but that was how things were back then, as executive producer Maril Davis tells Variety.
“In Jamie’s time, women got married earlier and certainly having a child out of wedlock or having sex with someone out of wedlock — in our more liberal culture, it’s a little more rare to get married to someone you haven’t been intimate with. But for someone like Jamie, it’s just not done in his time. That doesn’t make him a neanderthal, he’s just a product of his time,” says Davis.
But the bigger issue for Bree was that she still blamed herself for the attack, telling her father that she should have fought harder to stop Bonnet (Ed Speleers) from raping her. Jamie obviously felt that this was ridiculous, and his method of getting that across to Brianna was to get a bit ugly for a minute, wondering aloud if maybe Brianna secretly wanted him to rape her, maybe she enjoyed it. Jamie wanted to make her so mad that she would try to hit him and then he could demonstrate how a smaller woman would not stand a chance against a bigger man.
“It took courage not to fight. If you did, he would’ve killed you,” Jamie told his daughter — a beautiful moment and a really important thing to convey to Bree. It was also one that led into her asking if Jamie fought back against Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies). Jamie was slightly surprised that Brianna knew about that, but he told her that he agreed not to fight back to save Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) life and he’d do it again. Brianna also asked if killing Black Jack made Jamie feel better and he said it didn’t really help. Only time could heal something like the trauma from a sexual assault. It was a terrific scene, really great work on the actors’ part.
Later, Claire talked to Brianna about a possible abortion. Claire was open to the idea and not at all judgmental about it — not that anyone should be surprised by that — but she did have to be honest about how risky it would be and that she only had alcohol for the pain. Brianna considered it, but ultimately she felt that since there was a chance the baby was Roger’s (Richard Rankin), she couldn’t bring herself to do it. And there was another thing to consider — if Bree wanted to travel back to the 1970s, she had to get moving right away because she couldn’t risk taking an infant through the stones. Plus, they were under the impression that the closest stones were in the Caribbean, so Bree needed to consider the travel time just to get to the stones. She basically had to decide the entire direction of her life in a matter of days.
The decision kind of got made for Brianna when the story of what happened to Roger finally came to light. After Bree had a nightmare about the rape, Lizzie (Caitlin O’Ryan) revealed that the man who hurt Bree would never hurt her again and it all came out about how Lizzie thought Roger was the rapist and when he came looking for Bree at Fraser’s Ridge, she told Jamie and Jamie beat him bloody and sent him away. Bree was furious at Jamie, Ian (John Bell) and Lizzie for the horrible misunderstanding, even if none of them knew the whole story. But it was only compounded by Jamie’s horrified reaction that Bree willingly slept with Roger before she was raped by Bonnet. He couldn’t really wrap his head around that and pretty well slut-shamed his daughter, even when he realized she was actually raped — instead of making a poor decision and then claiming it was rape, which is what Jamie initially thought. Bree threw in his face that her “real father” — aka Frank — would never have said those ugly things to her, but Jamie was nothing but a savage.
And then the Bonnet reveal came out, which made everything worse. Jamie had already vowed to make things right for Bree, but now the man he helped set free raped his daughter. Jamie didn’t know quite what to do with his anger, but Brianna rightly chastised him — “You do not get to be more angry than me!” And she insisted that they go get Roger back.
It was such a strong, emotional juxtaposition to their earlier conversation, and it was also the first time Claire and Jamie were really at odds.
“We talked about how interesting it was that Jamie and Claire are so loyal to each other and there’s no one that can get in the way of that, but what happens if Claire’s daughter comes back?” Davis says. “This is your child and you have certain loyalties to your child that supersede even your loyalty to the love of your life.”
It definitely put Claire in the middle of everything, but she clearly stood by her daughter, even if she could see how things got so badly mixed up with all the misunderstandings and secrets. Still, Claire and Jamie had some issues to work through — they didn’t usually keep secrets and if they hadn’t here, maybe none of this would have happened.
But either way, it was time to try to find Roger and make things right, so Jamie, Claire and Ian headed out to try to catch up to the Mohawk. Bree wanted to come, but she would be so far along on the ride back that it would be dangerous for her and the baby. Instead, Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and Lizzie took her to River Run, where she just had to cool her heels until everyone returned. Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) was delighted to see Murtagh, an old friend from childhood, and welcomed them with open arms. But Murtagh wouldn’t be staying long; Jamie asked him that once he had delivered Bree to River Run to go to Wilmington and find Bonnet. Jamie was going to kill him when they returned.
In a small bit of levity, there was a side plot of Ian having a crush on Bree, and he proposed to her before they left, just so that she’d have someone if they couldn’t find Roger. Yes, they are cousins, but in this time, cousins marrying was not a big deal.
While all this was happening on Fraser’s Ridge, Roger was being marched behind the horses of the Mohawk tribesmen that Ian sold him to. The tribe was from upstate New York and had almost a week’s head start, which meant that Jamie and Co. had quite the ride ahead of them to try to catch up. To his credit, Roger had been keeping track of the days and the landmarks so that when he did manage to escape, he could get back to Brianna. Unfortunately, when he eventually got away, that meant he was also running away from where Jamie and Co. were headed, but he didn’t have any idea they were coming for him.
Roger ended up running for his life through the woods and came upon some other standing stones! They were buzzing the same way the ones did at Craigh na Dun, and with the Mohawk hot on his tail, Roger reached out like he was going to travel through time. But to when, and would he even be able to control things that well in his current state?
“Roger is on the run and his life is at stake and if anyone else had the opportunity, they might take that,” Davis says. “He’s in a very dire situation right now … what would you do?”
“Outlander” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.