Outlander Season 4 Episode 4 Review: Common Ground

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I guess Claire wasn't up-to-date enough in SJW politics by the time she passed through the stones to quell her fears about Indians.

So, on Outlander Season 4 Episode 4 the Cherokee were seen through the eyes of someone from her time, and that included the term Indians and being fearful of living near them. Well, at least Claire was concerned. Jamie was a bit more even-keeled. He's practically one of them, after all.

Yes, Governor Tryon compared Highlanders to the "savages" who didn't make great citizens of their new lands just like those pesky subjects not wanting to pay the Townshend taxes. Go figure.

Stopping to Celebrate - Outlander Season 4 Episode 4

That was surprising and rather refreshing, to be honest. 

It would have been unnatural for Claire and Jamie to stake a claim to lands already occupied and not encounter any flack from the locals. And I was genuinely having a difficult time understanding why the King's men were so eager to hand over 10,000 acres of beautiful land to Jaime Fraser.

Once Tyron compared him to the locals, though, it made a lot more sense. If the Brits were having issues with the locals and there was a savage Scot they had already tamed a couple of times (by way of trapping his wild ass in prison), then why not expect him to be a perfect go-between for those currently in control?

It was ingenious as much as it was stupid and lazy.

Don't Say a Word - Outlander Season 4 Episode 4

As many times as they had Jamie in prison, Jamie also went right back to doing what he felt was right for him and his people. The Brits always underestimated how badly those they ruled wanted their freedom.

I'm trying to imagine how many stakes, red flags, and how much rope was needed to draw the boundaries of 10,000 acres of land. While I'm sure, it was a beautiful walk and exciting beyond belief to claim their territory in the new world, that had to be a lot of work.

Related: Outlander Season 4 Episode 3 Review: The False Bride

Considering how much wood they would also need to build their cabin and outbuildings, maybe it was too much work. 

Would Cherokee (Good on Ian for studying the natives and learning so much about them) give two hoots about a few stakes in the ground? It seems unlikely.

Surprise Guests - Outlander Season 4 Episode 4

Their visits were eerie, and it made sense for Claire to be afraid. Jamie's point about them not minding a false border meaning it wouldn't matter where on the property they chose to build their homestead was an even better point, though.

If they were going to be early Americans, they would have to deal with all the critters they never knew in Scotland, and that included the Indians.

Jamie tried his best to make contact with them when they came to the property, but with the language barrier, it wasn't as easy as he had hoped. Their warning trips didn't seem to amount to much more than threats, though.

Prepared for a Fight - Outlander Season 4 Episode 4

I have to admit I don't exactly understand what went down with the man-bear and the Indians.

From what I gathered, the Cherokee used an opportunity they had with a threat from their past to scare away the new settlers, even if it meant possibly taking a life or two.

Is that being too generous? How dangerous was the man-bear if it was manipulated so easily by Adawehi and those around her maniacally pawing at the air while she blew her special dust into the fire and all that medicinal jazz? 

Related: Watch Outlander Online: Season 4 Episode 4

If the man was as much of a threat to their community as they said he was, couldn't they have similarly driven him off of a cliff or into the den of a real bear causing him actual harm?

From the Bottom of Myers' Heart - Outlander Season 4 Episode 4

Instead, they used him like a puppet, and he gravely injured John Myers and the horse, Finley. If Jamie wasn't as brave and protective of his family as we know him to be, the man-bear could have ripped apart all of them, leaving them for dead.

They took our meat! Do they mean for us to starve?


Or was Adawehi only allowing the man-bear to harm people and animals to the extent she knew Claire would be able to heal them?

It was a particularly confusing story, and my guess is that there was a lot more context in the book. All's well that ends well, and they made friends from the situation, but it seemed more harmful overall than necessary given what Adawehi can see.

Related: Outlander Stars on Their Interesting, Relatable Couple and Upcoming Emotional Roller Coaster!

She can even see the impending death of Claire and Jamie if we're to connect all of the dots between the past and present.

What Does Roger Know? - Outlander Season 4 Episode 4

Claire was mighty confused when Adawehi's son's wife told Claire she shouldn't be troubled as death will not be her fault. That's a lot to swallow from someone who has already guessed you're a mighty healer.

At the same time, Roger has uncovered the history of Fraser's Ridge and delivered it to Brianna.

Roger: Claire found Jamie. They were reunited. They lived in North Carolina from about 1768 at a settlement called Fraser's Ridge. It's not far from Mt. Helican which is now called Grandfather Mountain.
Brianna: The place where the festival was held.
Roger: Aye. The same mountain range.
Brianna: So they were early Americans.
Roger: Aye. I have here before me a land grant showing Jamie received 10,000 acres from the Governor of North Carolina.
Brianna: You're kidding.
Roger: And a letter from a woman to her family in England which mentions James Fraser and quote, his wife, Claire, a healer.

Once she knew that, Brianna started digging around in her parents future, too. Who wouldn't? You couldn't have kept me away from history if my history was my parents' future.

It's so crazy, but very beautiful, too.

We can guess why Brianna is in Scotland. What will Roger do about it? Is there anything he can do?

Related: Get Starz via Prime Video Channels for Captivating Original Series & Hit Movies!

For the time being, we'll keep watching some happier times between Claire and Jamie, which is a welcome change from the first three episodes of Outlander Season 4

They're making friends, taking time to cherish each other, and Claire even took a moment to reconsider leaving Brianna behind when she realized the enormity of her life that lay ahead -- marriage, children, Claire's grandchildren! 

Over the Threshold - Outlander Season 4 Episode 4

I appreciate when Claire isn't thinking of herself first. She doesn't have to be a social justice warrior from the future. She came from the sixties, sure, but by today's definition, they were beating a more loving drum. 

Claire donning pants and being a part of her small family life on the mountain is so fantastically delightful. I'm looking forward to more of it. She knows so much about the future that it's always a pleasure when she gets time to relish the past. 

What did you guys think about this one? Were you pleased with the more realistic nature of the storytelling? What did I miss about the Cherokee and their man-bear? Is there more to that story than meets the screen?

Thanks for sticking around, and I can't wait to hear from you!

Don't forget; you can watch Outlander online anytime right here via TV Fanatic!!

Common Ground Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Outlander Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Christ. That pole's crooked. The shed will be too. Canna have a crooked shed.


Claire: Is that a cabin I see before me?
James: That it is, aye, unless you want to live under grass and moss for the end of your days.