With everyone separated and only two episodes left, Outlander has us stressed. Let’s see what everyone is up to in our review of “If Not For Hope”!
“If Not For Hope” lives up to its title by the end of the episode. Honestly, if we didn’t have hope, we wouldn’t know what to do while watching this show. The episode follows four different paths, and that’s how we’re breaking down this review!
When we first see Bree again, she’s up late, drawing, and Lizzy is bringing her something to eat. When Lizzy sees the drawing that Bree’s doing, she’s shocked and says that Bree is possessed.
“Lizzy, I’m not possessed. I’m hurt and angry.”
I really need Lizzy to dial it back. I know she’s a product of her time, but goodness. Before she leaves the room, she asks if Bree can forgive her for messing things up the way she has, and Bree tells her that there’s nothing to forgive.
That’s when Lizzy asks the big question:
“And what about your father? Will you forgive him as well?”
“Even if I could forgive the things he did to Roger, I can’t forget the things he said to me.”
I respect this. I hope she doesn’t hold too much of a grudge, but what Jamie said was absolutely shitty.
Throughout the rest of the episode, we see that Aunt Jocasta is playing matchmaker for Bree. Phaedre tries to construct a new dress for Bree, but Bree shuts her down pretty quickly. She doesn’t need a new dress because she doesn’t want to meet any new people.
The conversation is tabled because Bree starts to draw Phaedre after seeing how the light hits her just right. It’s obvious that Phaedre isn’t comfortable at first, but as she sits there, she smiles slightly.
Later, Auntie Jocasta uses her MacKenzie nature to manipulate Bree into agreeing to dinner. She tells her that she knows she’s worried, but company is good.
When Bree tells her that she’s happier by herself, Jocasta tells Bree she’s very much like her grandmother, Ellen. This hits Bree’s heartstrings, and she ends up agreeing to go to the dinner and letting Phaedre alter one of Jocasta’s dresses for her.
At the dinner party, Bree makes a splash by admitting to drawing Phaedre and other slaves. Mistress Alderdyce is shocked that Brianna would want to draw them.
Bree is introduced to Mr. Forbes, Judge Alderdyce, and Lieutenant Wolff.
Mr. Forbes is earnest, kind, and look at my riches!
Lieutenant Wolff is overplaying his hand, talking about excursions outside of River Run.
Judge Alderdyce is holding all kinds of secrets.
Then as if sensing that his presence is needed, Lord John Grey pops up and I’ve never been so happy to see this man. He’ll make sure things are okay.
At dinner, Bree does a little psychology exercise in which see has everyone close their eyes, picture a forest, animals, and then someone is walking with them. When she puts her skills to the test, she makes Alderdyce so uncomfortable that he leaves the table. This all makes sense later because she said he was hiding something.
Toward the end of dinner, Bree says she’s feeling tired and excuses herself, but almost faints when she stands up. Lord John helps her to another room, and Lizzy blurts something about “her condition”. Lord John puts it all together and realizes that Brianna is pregnant. Jamie sent him to River Run to check on her because he was worried, but Jamie didn’t tell John the whole situation.
After he excuses himself, Jocasta comes to Bree and tells her that it’s time they found her a husband. Of course, Brianna says she doesn’t want a husband, and Jocasta is forced to lay it all out to her.
“What about love? You said my grandmother married for love.”
“Aye, she did. Like ye, Ellen was with child before she wed. Our brother, Colum and Dougal tried to arrange a marriage for her but she outwitted them when she eloped with Brian Fraser, but the important thing is, the bairn was born in wedlock. If yours is not, he’ll be branded a fatherless bastard. His life will be ruined. Brianna. I ken ye once had a man ye loved, but he’s gone. It’s not what ye want to hear, but he’s not coming back. He’s with the savages now, dead or alive. The sooner ye accept that, the better. Ye canna live on hope.”
This is a lot for Bree to take in, and she begins to realize that she doesn’t have many options at all. In the middle of the night, she gets hungry and goes into the kitchen. She hears something and follows the noise and sees Lord John having sex with Judge Alderdyce.
Looks like she was right with that secret!
The next day is a trial for Brianna. She finds out from Phaedre that Mr. Forbes is there to propose, and she asks Lizzy to be discrete and tell Lord John Grey to meet her at the edge of the property.
The dynamic between Brianna and Lord John is fantastic!
Bree asks him to marry her, and she does it knowing full well that he has an interest in men. When he tells her no, she tries to blackmail him, and that doesn’t go over well at all. They calm down enough to have a civil conversation, but Lord John tells her that he can’t marry her. Bree also realizes that he’s in love with Jamie during this same talk.
He pleads with Brianna not to give up on Roger, the opposite of Jocasta, telling her to not give up hope. She then tells him that she was raped and the child might not be Roger’s and what if he doesn’t accept the child?
Brianna goes back inside, prepared to accept Mr. Forbes proposal when Lord John saves the day by coming in behind her and saying they’ll be getting married.
We leave Brianna and Lord John Grey engaged and hopeful. Lord John also tells Brianna that his son, William, isn’t biologically his, but he loves him no matter what. That William is his son despite not sharing blood.
He believes that if Roger is as good a man as Brianna says, that he’ll love this child the same.
The scene ends with Brianna opening a letter that Jamie sent her through Lord John Grey.
Murtagh and Fergus
We haven’t seen Fergus since he warned Murtagh off robbing Tryon’s carriage, but he picks up this episode running an errand for Murtagh.
In the same tavern where Bree was raped, he finds a man who tells him that Stephen Bonnet will be back in Wilmington in about a week. The man goes on to tell Fergus that it won’t do him any good to approach Bonnet because he won’t take a man with one hand on as crew.
This highlights the trouble for Fergus this episode. Since he only has one hand, he’s not able to get work around Wilmington and he’s not even seen as an asset to the Regulators.
He tells Marsali that there’s no work for him in Wilmington and indicates that it might be time to move on.
In a moment of quiet between them, Marsali tells Fergus that she doesn’t like Murtagh in their home, running meetings in their dining room.
That night, Marsali goes into the kitchen after everyone’s asleep, and purposely wakes up Murtagh.
At first, I was concerned that Marsali might sell out Murtagh for the reward money because they need it, but then it becomes very apparent what she’s trying to do…
She wants Fergus to feel like he’s whole, and that prompts her to ask Murtagh to invite Fergus to join the Regulators.
“Then I’m hopin’ ye’ll do somethin’. Tell Fergus ye want him to fight alongside ye.”
“Marriage not all ye hoped it would be, lass? If ye’re wantin’ rid of him I can teake him out back and–”
“If I wanted him shot, I’d do it myself. And it wouldn’t be Fergus I’d take aim at first. He doesn’t put his boots in my blankets. I’d like ye to ask Fergus to join ye and yer men to fight if and when the time comes.”
“I kin. Then ye understand why I’m askin’ ye.”
When Murtagh approaches Fergus about this later, Fergus can’t believe that Murtagh is asking him.
“Join us, will ye?”
“Join our militia.”
“You want me?”
“Ye’ve courage, and I trust ye. If I’m to fight Tryon’s army, I can think of no man I’d rather have by my side.”
“I’m honored that you’ve asked, but my place is here, with Marsali and Germain.”
Marsali is listening in from the other room, and you can see the relief on her face when Fergus turns him down.
Y’all Fergus is a good man, and I adore him.
With that out of the way, Murtagh and Fergus go to the tavern. Bonnet is set to arrive any moment, and they want to catch him without anyone seeing. After the man points out Bonnet, Fergus and Murtagh follow Bonnet up to his room.
Bonnet tries to rush Murtagh and gets pistol whipped for his efforts. Honestly, it’s insanely satisfying to see Bonnet get knocked out.
As Murtagh and Fergus try and get Bonnet to the wagon, though, they’re caught by two soldiers. They recognize Murtagh, and he whispers to Fergus to leave before punching him in the stomach. Murtagh saves Fergus and then gets the officers to look at Stephen Bonnet, who is still knocked out beside them.
The episode ends with both Murtagh and Bonnet being arrested.
Jamie, Claire, and Ian
When we see this trio for the first time, they’re speaking with the Cherokee about the necklace Ian received from the Mohawk.
Jamie and Claire are to the side, and the theme for them this episode is obvious. The distance between them isn’t seen, but you can feel how far apart they are in their conversation.
To start, Jamie asks Claire if she knows anything about these Mohawk, and she tells him that she’s seen them in movies before, but:
“Sometimes it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.”
“When you dinna have two sides to the story, aye, it is.”
This is a subtle shot from Jamie at Claire for keeping Bree’s secret from him, and Claire feels it. However, we understand pretty quickly that Jamie isn’t angry at Claire so much as he’s angry about the situition.
He tells Claire that they’ve lived through being separated and not knowing whether the other is alive or dead, and now Bree is living through that. Sam’s fantastic here because the pain is written all over his face.
Later, when they stop for the night, Ian goes to Claire and tells her that she needs to go to Jamie and talk. She feigns obliviousness and asks why, and Ian says that they’re both sorry for what happened to Roger. They didn’t realize.
Claire proves here that she’s on the same page as Jamie because she says she’s not angry with them. She’s worried for Bree and Roger and what they must be feeling right now. Throughout the journey, Jamie and Claire still aren’t speaking much. Jamie cuts himself and doesn’t ask Claire for help. It’s too quiet and cold.
That’s all broken up when Rollo runs into camp carrying a large bone. Ian gets it from him, Claire realizes it’s from a human so they follow Rollo to a body. The bone belongs to the man who was with Roger and the Mohawk. They know it’s not Roger, so there’s still hope that he’s alive.
They bury him all the same, and Jamie makes the remark that they may not know him, but he was someone’s child.
Finally, that night, Jamie and Claire talk. They share their worries. Jamie tells Claire how he feels he’s failed Brianna, and he’s never going to be a father to her, especially after what he said to her. He’s jealous of Frank and wants to prove himself worthy of being Bree’s dad.
Claire tries to reassure him. She tells him they both said things in the heat of the moment that they regret.
The scene ends with Jamie and Claire reconnecting and a steamy scene for the first time in a long time.
“If Not For Hope” had a cold open that made my heart drop, but poor Roger. Of course he was thinking of a hot shower! Anyway, he didn’t go through the stones, and he’s still with the Mohawk.
After a long journey, Roger arrives in the Mohawk camp. As they enter camp, the Mohawk warriors alert the others, and everyone gathers around. Soon, Roger is pushed down a line of warriors, and they beat him with clubs and their fists. The episode ends with Roger getting knocked out by a Mohawk warrior, and every audience member thinking Roger’s suffered enough.
What did you think of “If Not For Hope”? Are you as worried for Murtagh as I am? Will Claire and Jamie find Roger and get back before the season ends? We only have two episodes left!
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