‘Outlander’: Roger Reevaluates Things & Bree Makes Peace in ‘Providence’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 12 of Outlander, “Providence.”]
The penultimate Season 4 episode of Outlander has arrived which means fans are one episode away from their next droughtlander.
But we shouldn’t dwell on what we can’t control, so instead, we’re recapping the latest installment “Providence” which found its two leads — Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) — noticeably absent from the action.
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From prison breaks and facing past demons to showing mercy in the most unimaginable moments, “Providence” gave viewers a lot to mull over. As always, beware of spoilers ahead as we make a deep dive into the episode’s most crucial scenes.
The end of last week’s episode revealed that Roger (Richard Rankin) didn’t leave the 18th century through the standing stones, and we rejoin him as the Mohawk “welcome” him into Shadow Lake where he remains a captive. Back in Wilmington, Fergus (César Domboy) makes the Regulators aware of Murtagh’s (Duncan Lacroix) arrest and they begin a plan to save him from the noose.
Meanwhile, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) learns from Lord John Grey (David Berry) that Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) has been captured. Upon hearing the news she reveals she wants to see him, but before Lord John can protest she shares Jamie’s letter, in which he tells her forgiveness is her best course of action against Bonnet. Lord John understands where Bree’s head is at and agrees to make travel plans for Wilmington.
Back at Shadow Lake, Roger continues to go through the ringer as we see he’s been keeping up with his knots (indicators for days since capture). One native woman, Johiehon (Sera-Lys McArthur) shows kindness toward Roger by trying to treat him, but then overseer Kaheroton (Braeden Clarke) tells her that Roger was sold by his own people.
While Roger continues to walk on eggshells, Bree and Lord John arrive in Wilmington where she takes a moment to lament missing her mother. He comforts her in a way that makes her say, how could anyone not like him? But really, who doesn’t like Lord John? He’s one of the purest souls Outlander has presented fans with thus far in the series.
And as if 18th-century graces weren’t enough to learn, Roger faces having to adjust to the Mohawk’s customs with no training. He ultimately fails in the eyes of Kaheroton and is brought to a hut — like his own personal prison, but he has a cellmate.
Father Alexandre introduces himself to Roger as a missionary who came to Shadow Lake to spread the word of God. He also reveals to Roger that they’ve made it to New York, which makes Roger laugh as he realizes he’s walked all the way there from North Carolina. The mysterious man also confides he’s there because he fell in love with one of the native women.
It’s all a solid set-up for a doozy of a story, but before he can tell it, we’re transported back to Wilmington where Fergus’ plan becomes clear to Marsali (Lauren Lyle), and she surprises her husband when she says she’s happy he plans to rescue Murtagh. Of course, Marsali wants in on the job and offers her assistance in the escape attempt. Ultimately, the couple agrees that their best option is to move on to Fraser’s Ridge if they’re successful.
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When the episode returns to Father Alexandre, he relays his great love story to Roger, detailing how he fell in love with a woman who treated him while he was ailing with a fever. Together, he and the woman had a child and even then, they lived in peace until he refused to baptize the baby — he no longer believes he’s eligible to provide the sacraments after breaking his own vows to God.
Roger’s modern viewpoint is at first incapable of understanding the Father’s decision, as he notes the natives probably don’t mind he broke his vows, but Father Alexandre is adamant he won’t damn his own baby. When the natives come in to cart the Father away, they strip him of his clothes and Roger immediately begins his escape attempt by digging a path underneath the side of the hut.
He makes little progress before the Father returns short of one ear and shaking… yikes. It only gets grimmer from here. Father Alexandre tells Roger the natives are giving him one last chance to agree to the baptism, but he’s still refusing. Now it’s Roger’s turn to tell his story, and he’s not delicate about it as he unloads his baggage on a man he now calls an idiot.
How does he know Father Alexandre is an idiot? He tells the man it’s because he’s been one himself. In a shocking admission, Roger states that looking out for one’s self is the lesson he’s learned from this journey. In clear pain, Roger tells the Father to turn his back on love and convinces him to help keep digging the escape path under the hut.
After a night of not-so-successful digging, the Father wishes Roger luck as he doesn’t share the same opinions — he resolves to stay and endure punishment which is slow-burning on a pyre. When the natives come to collect Father Alexandre, Roger resumes his digging alone.
Back in Wilmington, we’re shown Fergus and the regulators pouring a line of gunpowder around the perimeter of the prison. It’s then that Bree and Lord John arrive and, despite her nerves, she finds the courage to approach the shackled Stephen Bonnet on her own. And as Bree enters, Fergus and the Regulators infiltrate the prison entrance. Needless to say, there’s a lot going on.
In one of the episode’s most uncomfortable moments, Bree faces her rapist and reminds him of who she is and her relation to Claire and Jamie. At first, he thinks she’s after Jamie’s jewels that he stole, but she tells him she came to give forgiveness before revealing her pregnancy. When Bonnet begins to call it a bluff, Bree rebuffs him and says she has no reason to lie. She says she hopes the information provides him with comfort in his dying moments.
Bree continues, saying that he won’t be remembered but her child will be, and he or she will be good, unlike him. In a surprising move, Bonnet pulls a gemstone from his gums and offers it as a form of payment for the child’s upbringing.
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Outside of Bonnet’s cell, a lot is happening as the Regulators hold the guards at gunpoint. That’s when good ol’ Lord John attempts to be a hero. Thankfully, Fergus recognizes him and and orders the Regulators not to harm him. With Murtagh in their midst, they’re ready to make a move, but when Bree enters the chaotic scene, Lord John and Murtagh dispute over who will escort her.
Eventually, they decide Lord John is the better option as Murtagh is wanted by the authorities. Back in Bonnet’s cell, a pair of loose keys offers him a convenient escape, but before we see what he does next, the prison explodes. Murtagh and Fergus dive into the back of Marsali’s carriage, while Bree and Lord John walk on to their own coach. When authorities ask where Murtagh was heading, Lord John claims to have no knowledge.
But instead of ending on that happy note, we return to Roger who can hear Father Alexandre screaming from the pyre. Finally loose, he takes off at a steady run out of Shadow Lake, but the wails of Father Alexandre break his resolve. After all of his talk about looking out for number one, it’s surprising to see Roger turn back but he does. And when he takes in the scene he notices that the woman he met before — Johiehon — is standing up front with her baby in her arms, clearly the lover of the man on the pyre.
In an act of mercy, Roger grabs a barrel of alcohol and pours it on the flames much to Kaheroton’s displeasure and the burning man soon becomes engulfed in roaring flames. Silently Johiehon puts her baby down and runs into the pyre to die with her love, the episode closes with Roger being dragged away as he watches the couple burn.
There were a few moments from this episode that viewers will have to keep in mind for the… finale (say it isn’t so!):
- Did Bonnet escape or did he die in the explosion? Considering we didn’t see the notorious pirate escape, we’d say the odds are stacked evenly. Still, the idea that he survived makes us wonder what a duel between him and Roger may look like one day.
- Are Jamie and Claire going to be in the finale? Obviously, that’s a fairly moot question, but the bottom line is we really missed them in this episode. Plus, we have yet to see their progress in finding Roger since they came across that corpse in the woods last week.
- Marsali and Fergus are planning to live at Fraser’s Ridge. Will we see a happy family reunion by the finale’s end? It’s never a guarantee with Outlander,but we hope so.
Outlander, Sundays, 8/7c, Starz