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Review of 'Outlander' 4.11

Meets 'Pride and Prejudice'

Outlander 4.11 was quieter than usual, reminiscent of something Jane Austen might have written, a story of manners, as Aunt Jocasta tries to arrange a marriage for the unwilling—and very pregnant—Brianna.

Well, I don't think Jane Austen ever wrote a novel about a young woman in need of marriage, already pregnant, but the 1820s weren't all that much in the future of Outlander's 1770s, and this episode did a pretty good job of it. The two initial suitors are both obviously unsuitable—and unappealing—to Brianna, and the man she wants to marry her is Lord Grey.

She wants him to marry her for all the wrong reasons... well, for one big wrong reason. She sees him going at it with another man, and figures he would, therefore, be safe for her to marry. She still loves and wants Roger, and she reasons that Lord Grey would not expect anything carnal from her. He, at first, turns her down—for the right reasons—but after he learns her full story, and she his, he comes in at the last minute and announces their engagement. Jane Austin would have been pleased.

Speaking of Roger—boy, was I fooled last week by those time-traveling stones in America, not far from the path the Mohawks were taking with Roger. I guess that should have tipped me off. But what do I know about frequency of appearance of those crazy stones across the world? So that was all Roger's dream. But Outlander needs to be careful. Too many crucial developments that turn out to be dreams can be injurious to a narrative's getting us to suspend our disbeliefs, and Outlander has reached its quota.

One undilutedly good thing in 4.11, which I'm sure isn't a dream: Claire and Jamie apologizing to each other near the end, and being fully together as they should. Happy endings are always welcome in episodes of Outlander, and this isn't even quite the ending of this excellent season.

Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages. 

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Review of 'Outlander' 4.11
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