The episode we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived, and we couldn’t be happier with this reunion! Here’s our review of “The Birds and the Bees.”
“The Birds & the Bees” immediately follows the aftermath of last week’s traumatic episode “Wilmington.” Bree goes into her room and begins undressing. Lizzy asks if she was with that man (Roger) and Bree tells her yes, and then she tries to help Bree get undressed, but she flinches away.
Lizzy understands what happened to Bree, but she doesn’t mention it in words. The next morning, Lizzy even washes all of Bree’s clothing from the night before, but Bree tells her that she doesn’t plan on wearing it again.
Bree gathers new clothes and tells Lizzy that they’re leaving Wilmington that day. She needs to get to her Aunt Jocasta so she can find her way to Fraser’s Ridge.
While this is going on upstairs, Roger runs into Stephen Bonnet downstairs. It seems like Roger was going to avoid getting back on the Gloriana, but him showing up where Bonnet is, changes things.
After Bonnet tells him that he’ll either lose the lass or a limb, depending on if gets on the ship or tries to stay behind, Roger quickly tells the barkeep to let the young lady he was with know that he came to check on her.
Brianna comes downstairs later and asks if Roger had come by, and when she finds out that he did, but he’s sailed with the Gloriana. Bree rushes to the docks, but the ship is gone. On her way back to the tavern, Lizzy finds her with some very happy news.
It seems that a woman operated on a man in the theater the night before, and her husband is a strong Scotsman…by the name of Fraser! Lizzy even knows where this Fraser man is located, and she tells Bree. Bree rushes to the place and is told that Mr. Fraser went around back.
Bree comes up behind Jamie, who’s peeing, and he’s not too thrilled at first.
“What do you want here, lass?”
“I’m sorry, lass. I’m a married man.”
This scene is so intensely beautiful. I’ve been waiting for Jamie to meet Brianna for so long and to be able to hold her and acknowledge her as his daughter. Bree is especially vulnerable after what happened the night before, and the relief of completing her journey is just too much. She hugs Jamie and sobs against his chest.
Sam is incredible in this scene. The tears in his eyes and the choked up voice as he greets his daughter for the first time is enough to make viewers tear up. I know I did.
Claire reuniting with Bree is just as emotional. You can see the shock and surprise on her face, but then the relief. Claire’s desperately relieved to know her daughter is okay. Later, it sets in there should be concern why she traveled back all this time, but at that moment, Claire is a mother who knows her child is okay.
After all the hugs and love, Bree explains why she’s come to North Carolina. She knows that her mother and Jamie will die in a fire. Of course, Jamie’s not happy with the printer:
“Smudged date. Unforgivable mistake by the printer.”
Jamie and Claire tell Bree that she can join them at Fraser’s Ridge for the time being, and Bree explains about Lizzy. Jamie tells her that Lizzy’s welcome there as well. Then Ian pops up with his dimples and they introduce him to Brianna, his cousin.
He makes the comment about not asking Auntie Claire too many questions, and y’all know he’s come to expect crazy stuff from being around her all this time.
In keeping with the pacing of the season, we jump to the river boat and the midway point in the journey to Fraser’s Ridge. Lizzy’s making eyes at Ian, who thinks she’s complimenting Rollo, and below deck, Bree is talking to her mother about Roger.
Bree explains that she never wanted Roger to follow her, but he did and they were hand fastened. Claire is happy for Bree, and skeptical that Roger would leave to go back through the stones after one fight.
She also gets Bree to say something she hasn’t said yet…that she loves Roger.
Brianna does leave out an important part of her time in Wilmington, though. She doesn’t open up to Claire about the rape, and Claire seems to know that something else is bothering her, but she doesn’t push it.
On the river as they go to Fraser’s Ridge, Young Ian tells Bree about their first trip down this river, particularly this spot. He relays how an Irishman with a certain charm had fooled them all. Killed a friend right in front of Claire then took her ring.
Brianna makes the connection to the man who raped her, and now she knows his name. Stephen Bonnet.
She flinches away from Ian’s touch as he tries to console her, and she tells him that she’s okay. He just painted a very vivid picture. He apologizes and moves away.
“I’m sure it’s only in our nightmares that he can trouble us now.”
You have no idea, Ian. That’s when Bree takes the ring out of her pocket and looks at it before putting it away, deciding not to tell her mother about what happened to her.
On the road to Fraser’s Ridge, Jamie questions Claire about Bree and her relationship with Roger and why he left. He tells Claire that he can tell she’s brokenhearted, but they’ll try their best to mend it.
Then he brings up the fire and asks Claire what she thinks:
“It certainly is disconcerting. We could make sure we’re never in the cabin the Sunday before January 21st.”
“It could be a year or a decade.”
“We could make a holiday out of it.”
I love that she tries to be lowkey worried about her own death, but Jamie points out nothing is ever simple for them.
“We don’t have much luck changing history in the past, Claire.”
I mean, he’s not wrong. As they hit the ridge, they stop and take a look. Jamie and Bree look out over his land, and she brings up Daniel Boone. That’s when she realizes he’s probably alive right now. She explains who he is and what he’ll do as Jamie listens. She apologizes for getting ahead of herself and Claire says:
“It’s okay. He’ used to it.”
Once they reach Fraser’s Ridge, Murtagh comes out to greet them. Jamie lets him know that Tryon wants him tried for conspiracy and that Murtagh has a spy among his men.
Murtagh corrects Jamie, so that’s the end of that.
Another reunion is on the horizon when Murtagh sees Bree and Lizzy and assumes Ian brought home two women.
“This is Brianna. Our daughter. Brianna this is my godfather, Murtagh.”
“What took ye so long, lass?”
Murtagh looks emotional about meeting Jamie’s daughter, and he’s the only one who can question what took her so long because he’s the only one who knows about her time travel.
That evening they’re having a family dinner, and Murtagh regails them with a story of Jamie’s youth and his first kiss with Dougal’s daughter, Tabitha. The conversation leaves Bree a little unsettled, so Claire changes the subject.
“You’ll never guess who I met.”
With next to no enthusiasm on the subject, she excuses herself to bed. Claire knows something isn’t right with Bree, but doesn’t push it.
Claire walks Bree to the settle to sleep. Murtagh takes this time to connect with Jamie and say what we’ve all been thinking about Brianna arriving in North Carolina.
“She’s here. You suffered enough pain in your life, lad. I’m glad she’s here.”
Jamie wishes that Bree would come to think of this as her home, and Murtagh tells him to give her time.
The next morning, Claire and Bree are inside the cabin working on herbal remedies. Claire believes that Lizzy may have malaria. Finally, Bree drops the bomb on Claire:
“Daddy knew…that you came back. I saw the obituary on his desk years ago. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I remembered it after I came across it recently. He knew you came back to Jamie.”
“Frank was an astute man. He always knew my heart was here.”
“I can see it, too. I see why you had to come back to Jamie.”
Claire tries to get Bree to talk about her feelings in coming back in time and how overwhelming it can be, but Bree knocks over a basket of stuff and then freaks out a little over doing so. Claire tells her that she can talk to her about Roger. Bree tells her mother she can’t do anything about it now. She can’t phone him or know where he’s at. It’s hopeless.
Off in Philadelphia, Roger has made his final voyage for Bonnet. Instead of getting paid in money, he asks to be paid in the gems he stole from Jamie and Claire. He gives Roger two stones, and that’s his planned passage back to Scotland with Bree later.
A montage follows of the next few weeks at Fraser’s Ridge. Bree helping around the land, visiting with Jamie and Murtagh. She’s still distant, and Claire can’t reach her.
One evening, Jamie and Bree are shooting at targets, and she nails on in the center.
“Christ, where did ye learn to shoot like that?”
“Frank. I know the name. Your mother told me about him.”
Later, they’re at Jamie’s stills and Murtagh finds out that Brianna’s nickname is Bree, and gets a kick out of it. Jamie doesn’t tell her what it means in Scot. In fact her tells her that it doesn’t translate.
That night when he’s talking to Claire, he tells her that a “bree” means a disturbance in Scot. Jamie didn’t want to tell Bree this because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Claire tells Jamie that perhaps he should take Bree hunting with him so they could have some private bonding time.
Jamie takes Claire’s advice, and he goes to wake her up early the next morning. Bree’s smiling in her sleep, and Jamie just watches her for a moment, caught up in this fatherly moment of love.
He asks if she’ll go hunting with him, and she nods.
“So? What are we hunting?”
“Bees? How do you hunt bees?”
“Look for flowers. It’s good to spend time with you, a leannan, m’annsachd.”
“You’ve called me that before. What does that mean, a leannan? And the other word you said.”
“It means…it means ‘my darlin’ and m’annsachd, ‘my blessing’.”
Jamie explains to Bree as they walk what flowers they’re looking for. Birds like fluted flowers and bees like flat flowers that they can roll around it. Once they spot a bee, they follow it to the honeycomb and wait until dark. Jamie says they’ll smoke them out and then carry the hive back to the cabin.
Then they’ll have their own honey.
Bree questions whether or not the bees will be happy with the move, and Jamie explains that they’ll become used to it. They can’t go back, and if they could, there’s no home to go back to. Bree understands what he’s getting at, so she tells him that she does have a home.
Jamie uses this to segue into the conversation they’ve been needing to have about Frank.
“I dinna not wish to replace your father. He was a good man.”
“I feel disloyal to him even being here with you.”
“I’m grateful to him. He raised you for your mother’s sake. A child of another man. A man he had no cause to love. He stood by ye both, and he loved you even though he didna see himself in you. I had to give you to him, but I canna say I’m not glad that you came back to me.”
“You sure I’m not a “bree”? A disturbance, huh? Murtagh told me.”
“Aye, ye are. As was your mother before ye, but ye’re one I welcome. Ye’re my flesh and blood, and since ye returned to me, I’m findin’ ye’re my heart and soul as well. So I will keep callin’ ye Bree if you dinna mind it.”
“I don’t know what to call you.”
“You can call me da.”
“Da? Is that Gaelic?”
“No, it’s only simple.”
Once they get home, Jamie tells Claire that he doesn’t want Bree to go back to her own time. These last few weeks have been precious to him. Claire hugs him and understands, but explains that this isn’t when Bree is supposed to live. She has more opportunities in the future, and that’s where she should belong.
In a heartbreaking moment, Jamie shares that Bree called him “Da”, and the look of pure happiness on his face is enough to get me through the new year.
All the interactions with Bree, the paternal protectiveness, the ability to be a true father for the first time to Brianna is what sets Jamie up for the decisions he makes at the end of the episode.
The next morning, Lizzy comes out of the shelter and sees Bree staring into a bush at some baby birds. She tries to push Bree into talking to her about her bad dreams, but Bree dismisses her and says she’s fine.
Lizzy then says that she’s going to go with Ian down to the mill. Bree plans on helping her mother pick herbs.
Bree and Claire are picking herbs, and Claire asks Bree to tell her if there’s something else. That’s when Bree tells her momma if she can read her mind. Claire looks at her with concern and asks her how far along she is.
This prompts Bree to tell her that she’s about two months along, and after she explains about Roger, she breaks down and tells Bree about the rape. How it happened the same night as Roger, how she didn’t fight back like she should have, how she doesn’t know who the father is.
Claire holds Bree while she cries, crying herself, hating that she couldn’t protect Bree from this horrific event. Claire tells Bree that this wasn’t her fault at all. In all of this, Bree doesn’t mention that it was Stephen Bonnet because she knows this will push her mother’s guilt even further.
Once they get home, Claire tells Jamie about Bree’s pregnancy and rape. He’s livid.
The next day, the scenes of importance run parallel to each other as Claire finds out the truth of who raped Bree, and Jamie finds the person he believes raped Bree.
Claire is gathering laundry and finds her ring in Bree’s clothing. When she confronts Bree about it, she realizes that it’s Bonnet who raped Bree in exchange for the ring. Brianna tells her mother that she didn’t tell her because she didn’t want her to think it was her fault.
Meanwhile, Lizzy sees Roger as he’s on the road to Fraser’s Ridge, and tells Ian that he’s the man who hurt Brianna. They rush off to Jamie, and Lizzy repeats, in graphic detail, Brianna’s state the night she returned to the room.
Jamie tells Ian to get Lizzy away and not speak a word of this to anyone. When Jamie finds Roger, he attacks him, beating him so badly his eyes are swollen shut. The only reason he stops and doesn’t kill him is because Ian stops him since someone is coming down the road.
What happens next will absolve Jamie from any of the pesky problematic nature of what happens to Roger because he tells Ian to take care of Roger. He doesn’t have to kill him, but he needs to get him out of his sight.
I need this show to calm down on the miscommunications. We’re already moving at warp speed on the content. Jamie’s going to feel guilty af when he finds out he almost killed the man Brianna actually loves.
What did you think of “The Birds & the Bees”? As we hit the downhill slide of season four, do you think we’ll see Roger get reunited with Brianna soon? Will Stephen Bonnet get what’s coming to him finally?
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