Outlander is back and all feels right in the world. Well, it would, if I didn’t want to punch that thieving bastard Stephen Bonnet in the face, but let’s not jump ahead here.
Coming in at just over an hour, “America the Beautiful” introduced the new land and reality our characters encountered in 1767. We spent the whole hour with the Fraser company and I loved every minute of it — evn though I truly hope that next week we get to check in with Brianna and Roger in the 20th century.
Without further ado here are the top five moments of “America the Beautiful”:
Claire and Jamie Fraser being together
I realize this is vague, but there’s no way I can pick just one moment to describe how immensely wonderful it was to see Jamie and Claire again. After being separated for twenty years and two centuries, it was satisfying — in a way beyond anything I had ever felt for these two — to just be content to be with each other.
They’ve fought so hard to get here and, God willing, they’ll get to live out their own dream of having a home together. The premiere makes quick work of the challenges they’ll face in pre-Revolution America and, for the first time, the British aren’t likely to be their biggest problem. Claire’s knowledge of what’s to come will, hopefully, help them this time around, but Jamie’s struggle to not let it keep him from supporting his wife and family was touching in a way I hadn’t anticipated.
After all this time, I loved that Claire reiterated with true sincerity that all she needed to be happy was to be with him. Their relationship has always been fraught with external challenges, but for the first time I saw a sense of serenity when they were together, regardless of what was going on around them. I give so much credit of how their characters have evolved — not just to the writers, but to Sam and Caitriona. They know Jamie and Claire now, and bring to life the subtle depths to their relationship — it’s something magical to watch it onscreen.
Rollo plus Marsali & Fergus
I know it was only a couple of minutes, but I firmly believe I was not the only one who jumped out of their seat when Ian showed up with Rollo. Yes, I’m a sucker for this kind of thing in stories, but Rollo fought back on that river too, and he’s family now. Marsali and Fergus were alive and well, thank God, and bursting to announce they were having a bairn! Pure joy are the only words that came to mind when they shared the news, and I’m praying they stay that way for a long while.
Jamie helping Ian with his Bakra experience
Another surprise was that the writers are not letting past experiences be forgotten so easily — they sure as hell wouldn’t in real life after what Ian went through. If there’s anyone alive who could understand what Ian went through, it’s Jamie — and it kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting so badly to hug Ian, after what Geillis put him through. Jamie knew just what to say not to make it better entirely, but that he understands – Ian knowing he is not alone is the best medicine he could get.
Meeting the one and only Stephen Bonnet
Before I get into the specifics, I need to give kudos to the casting department for landing Downton Abbey alum Ed Speleers for this role. He is spot on in every scene and I’m excited to see more of his portrayal — even if I spend every second hating Bonnet himself. Creepy doesn’t even begin to come close to how devilishly charming this man was in his introduction to the Fraser clan and Outlander universe.
From the slick manner he used to free himself to when his true brutal nature came to light when he robbed Claire and Jamie of their rubies and Claire’s wedding ring, he had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. What a villain to hate and (hopefully) get his comeuppance for hurting my favorite fictional couple and family on Starz.
A peek into Colonial America
Technically this is not a moment, but I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t geek out over this part of Outlander. If I hadn’t known it was filmed in Scotland I wouldn’t have thought for a second they didn’t take America itself back to 1767. I’m a history nerd, so one of my many reasons for loving Outlander are the lens we get to see through to parts of the past we’ve only read about. Time travel may not exist, but I’ll be damned if they don’t make history come alive. The fact that it’s still thrilling four seasons in is a testament to how much love is put into all aspects of this show.
The fourth season of Outlander started off quiet and ended with a bang of an ending sequence. The song choice — emphasizing the violence with which Stephen Bonnet attacked the Frasers — brought an amazing premiere to a heart wrenching end, and set the stage for what looks to be amazing fourth outing of this show.
Outlander airs on Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.