Outlander Season 4 Episode 11 Review: If Not For Hope

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Every episode is better when Lord John Grey appears!

If Jamie and Claire have not aged much, it's Lord John who has defeated time itself as he becomes the most handsome gentleman in any room on Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

It was very fun seeing the smiles on all the available fellows' faces drop when he appeared as their chances to swoop Brianna off her feet diminished.

Brianna Relaxes - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

Little did they know that Lord John was there on a personal mission on behalf of Jamie and had no intention of pitching into the fray of available suitors vying for Brianna's hand.

Not that it mattered. 

Related: Outlander Review - The Deep Heart's Core

With as little as Brianna seems to know of the social mores of the time she stepped into through the stones, it must not have been an era either she or Frank ever found of interest in their studies. 

While I can understand Frank purposefully steering clear to keep his mind from dwelling on Claire and Jamie and the origins of his daughter, once Brianna learned she was a child of the past and present, it's hard to fathom she didn't want to learn all she could about the 18th Century.

Put on Display - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

But with as much as she has yet to learn about survival as a pregnant single woman at the time, she couldn't have possibly studied it and done it with the authority of the historian she claims herself to be.

She's not still reeling from the sexual assault, although she carries with her a reminder of it (as she will every day for the rest of her life). And yes, her parents are off looking for Roger, and Brianna is clinging to hope they'll come through with a miracle.

But certainly, it wasn't that shocking for Brianna to hear from Aunt Jocasta that her child being born a bastard would bring much scorn upon him. Things had only recently changed in the 1970s for children born out of wedlock. A stigma had carried on through the centuries.

Not that Brianna should be thrilled with the thought of carrying the child of one of two men and then find herself shown like a prized cow at auction.

A Portrait - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

It was incredibly awkward watching the scene, so to be the girl in the tightly pulled corset dress hiding a baby bump staring into the eyes of strangers as they sized her up couldn't have been a day at the beach.

All things considered, Brianna handled it all very well. 

Related: Outlander Review - The Birds & the Bees

Sharing with everyone that she sketched a portrait of Phaedra didn't lead to the best responses, but it was a strong moment for Brianna not only for standing her ground in front of her new peers but doing it gracefully.

Even with pregnancy hormones, she didn't let too much get to her, which is high praise for the girl who just slapped the hey-ho out of her father and cousin in seconds.

A Friendship Blossoms - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

It was disappointing she immediately stooped to blackmail to force Lord John's hand in marriage, but Brianna's desperation is easy to understand when only moments earlier she was shopping for jewels for her engagement ring in front of an eager crowd.

Everything about Lord John and his reaction to Brianna's behavior at the dinner and during her impromptu blackmail perfectly fit the man in love with her father. 

His understanding of the new world and why it inspires hope was beautifully said, and it's no surprise at all that after a minute alone he realized he could save Brianna with an engagement and even marriage if it should go that far.

His faith, though, in Jamie and Claire and the magic they manage to produce in any situation probably plays as much into his choice as his realization that spending the rest of his life, even platonically, with the daughter of Jamie and William's sister wouldn't be as torturous as it sounded at first.

Jamie Hunts - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

And Jamie is going to do everything he can to return Roger to his daughter.

Could Ian have been any sweeter as he worried over his uncle? He was trying so hard to get Claire to see Jamie's plight in the same way he was reading it, and it was adorable.

Related: Outlander Review - Wilmington

Even better was that we finally got a much needed emotional surrender from Claire that addressed the elephant in the room -- her part in the fiasco that led to where everyone is right now.

Claire: I'm sorry I didn't tell you it was Stephen Bonnet when I knew. Had I, it might have saved Roger. I never thought I would keep a secret like that from you.
Jamie: Until Brianna.
Claire: When I made you that promise there was no one else in my life that would come before you. But I don't know if I can keep that promise anymore.
Jamie: I understand, but I cannot be a father of to her.
Claire: Of course, you can. She's just hurt right now.
Jamie: She doesna need me. I never thought I'd be jealous of a dead man.
Claire: Of Frank?
Jamie: You heard what Bree said. Frank would have never said those things to her or made the mistakes that I have.
Claire: Frank made plenty of mistakes. All parents do.
Jamie: Bree thinks he's a better man. I thought perhaps you were beginning to feel the same, Sassenach.
Claire: You fool. Come here. She didn't mean it. She doesn't want you to go to hell.

The Thigh Bone - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

As a viewer, that's all I needed. Holding back on that moment for so long seemed so uncharacteristic of Claire, and it wouldn't ordinarily take Ian to point out Jamie's obvious sullen mood to her.

What will happen now, though, that they found one of the men traveling with Roger dead in the woods and Murtagh has been caught after his hunt for Stephen Bonnet?

Murtagh has died once before. Is he going to die again? Isn't his punishment going to be as harsh as that of Bonnet's? AKA hanging? 

Roger is of importance, but he may or may not be alive. If Fergus takes off to find Jamie with word Murtagh is in line for the hangman's noose, Jamie can't turn his back on his godfather for a hunt for Roger that might be fruitless instead of returning with Fergus to help Murtagh.

Gotcha! - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

Maybe Murtagh will be shown some mercy for turning in Stephen Bonnet. Or maybe Lord John will have some pull to keep Murtagh alive.

How the heck did Jamie chit chat with Lord John about Brianna anyway? It's not like they have telephones or cars and can pop 'round on each other for a brief visit. 

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It takes a lot of time to travel the countryside and exchange information. That was weighing on me. In some instances, it seems like it takes forever to get somewhere and in others, it's like they're neighbors.

Then there is poor Roger, who was still being dragged across the new world by a rope around the waist.

The Long Haul - Outlander Season 4 Episode 11

Was anybody else momentarily stunned by the opening with Roger taking a hot shower? 

I sincerely thought he took the plunge, got a shower and was plucked back by the Mohawk man who was of a line of the skull Claire found earlier in the season. Yes, my head can compile a LOT of thoughts in a matter of seconds.

Roger was having a pretty heady daydream about a steamy shower instead.

I'd like to spend more time with Roger even though we barely know him. Fleeting shots of him aren't enough when his trauma is so very real. He was left off with yet more misery to come in what I guess is his new home.

That was quite a greeting, but at least they stopped beating him when he hit the ground. It must be a welcome ritual and show of respect for the journey. They don't want to kill him, but want to see what he's made of. After a thousand miles on his feet, let's consider him sturdy and give him a hearty meal!

Now let's talk it out. 

Were you happy Claire and Jamie got to talk over how she views her relationship with Brianna as something separate from what she shares with her husband?

What lies ahead for Murtagh? Who will be saved first, him or Roger? Strike up a conversation below after you watch Outlander online and, of course, don't forget to share your thoughts about my review (which was a bit recappy!) as well as the program itself. 

If Not For Hope Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (10 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 11 Quotes

Lord John: Your father would never divulge to me anything that you did not wish me to know. He's an honorable man.
Brianna: Don't talk to me about my father.

If there was a moving picture about me, I'd be seen as a fearsome brute.