SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Man of Worth,” the Season 4 finale of “Outlander.”
With almost 900 pages in “Drums of Autumn” and only 13 episodes in which to adapt them, the “Outlander” writers had a lot of material to get through in Season 4 — and a lot to get through in the finale alone. The main action focused on Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and young Ian (John Bell) trying to rescue Roger (Richard Rankin) from the Mohawk. When they reach the Mohawk village, things seemed to be going well until the tribe saw Claire’s necklace. She had been wearing the giant uncut opal that she found with Otter Tooth’s (Trevor Carroll) skull way back when she got lost in that lightning storm. The Mohawk recognized it because Otter Tooth was one of their tribesmen, and they demanded that Claire and her party leave at once.
Claire and Jamie were confused by the sudden change, so the chief explained that Otter Tooth was a crazy person who ranted and raved about the future and brought nothing but destruction to their camp. They banished him to the forest where they believe he became possessed by an evil spirit, and they eventually killed him. So the Mohawk were not too keen on seeing his necklace around Claire’s neck.
But a small group of Mohawk wanted to know more about Otter Tooth’s warnings of the Native Americans’ downfall and Claire agreed to help them if they would help get Roger out of camp. Unfortunately, when they tried to sneak Roger out of camp, a guard saw them and all hell broke loose. After the melee, the chief banished the leader of this little insurgence, Wahkatiiosta (Carmen Moore), and then said Jamie and Claire would have to be on their way because they didn’t have anything to trade for Roger.
Of course, Jamie instantly offered himself up as a trade because he made a promise to Brianna (Sophie Skelton). But as he said goodbye to Claire and promised he’d find a way back to her, Ian sneaked over to the chief and offered himself up instead.
In the book, Jamie, Claire and Ian spent a lot more time with the Mohawk. In fact, there was a girl with whom Ian was quite taken and the story went a long way to explain that was why he decided to stay, in addition to wanting to make things right with Brianna after the part he played in Roger’s ordeal.
Ian had always been an adventurous lad, and he seemed to feel at home with the Native Americans, so he decided to stay with them to save Roger’s life in the show, as well. This may be the last we see of young Ian for a while, but he definitely went out as a “Man of Worth.”
In a bit of juxtaposition, the Mohawk put Ian through a gauntlet of getting pummeled before they welcomed him heartily to the tribe, while Roger and Jamie came to blows in the forest. Those two had some serious issues to work out, and the show had to cut some important Jamie-Roger bonding time in the Mohawk hut from Diana Gabaldon’s book. So, they worked things out with their fists.
Briefly it seemed as if Roger was all set to return to Bree — until he heard about the baby and how it might not be his. Jamie took some major umbrage with the fact that Roger didn’t instantly agree to return to River Run, not really caring what the reason was for Roger’s hesitation. So, Jamie and Claire left Roger in the woods and rode back to River Run without him. It was obvious that Roger is no “Man of Worth” in Jamie’s eyes.
Back at River Run, Brianna had been anxiously awaiting any word of her parents or Roger, but quickly found herself distracted by giving birth and bonding with her infant son. Two months then passed as Jamie and Claire made the long journey back, with Brianna refusing to name the baby until she could talk to Roger.
When her parents showed up without him, Brianna was crushed. She had been waiting all this time for Roger to come back to her and now she was alone with a new baby — and might have to go through with marrying Lord John (David Berry), which would be awkward on so many levels.
But Bree’s concern was short-lived, as about a day’s ride behind her parents came Roger, having apparently decided that he wanted to be with Bree no matter what the situation was. When he told her during their joyous reunion to take him to see his son, the look on her face said it all — she forgave him and they were going to make this work. These star-crossed lovers may still have some serious issues to work through, but things are well between them for now.
And speaking of romantic unions, guess who hopped into bed together? Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Many have speculated about this ever since Murtagh didn’t die at Culloden on the show like he did in the books, and it finally came to pass in the finale.
Except… it couldn’t be all happy endings for the “Outlander” family. In the waning moments of “Man of Worth,” Jamie received word that Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) ordered him to form a militia to combat the Regulators. So not only was Jamie now pressed into service for the British Crown (something he undoubtedly wanted to avoid), but also his own godfather was one of the leaders on the side he was tasked to eliminate. That should prove awfully tricky to navigate next season.