“The False Bride”
Directed by: Ben Bolt
Written by: Jennifer Yale
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Roger says goodbye to the manse. He goes to America to see Brianna and perform in a Scottish festival. Roger shares his intentions. Brianna shocks Roger. There is a row that strains Roger and Brianna. Jocasta throws shade at Claire. The Frasers and Young Ian leave River Run with funds, a guide, and a mule. Young Ian goes adventuring with John Quincy Myers. Jamie and Claire are caught in a terrific storm. Claire gets lost and encounters a ghost. Jamie and Claire find each other supernaturally. In the mountains, the perfect spot for Fraser’s Ridge is found.
What stood out?
In the 20th
This episode spoke to me about the clash between tradition and modernity even down to the ghost being a modern traveler (silver fillings for the win) going back in time to a more traditional period for some purpose.
Roger Wakefield demonstrated, even SCREAMED tradition every moment onscreen. From giving Fiona and Ernie a traditional welcome to the manse as he prepared to leave with the last boxes of his family home, his clothing, the song he sang at the gathering, and when refusing to bed Brianna unless he knew she would marry him.
Brianna displayed a stark contrast to Roger’s tradition with her clothing, approach to sex, and voicing she may not even believe in marriage. It’s the 1970’s after all.
The hot and heavy scene between them that turned into a deep conflict shows us without a doubt the expanse between them.
Roger stops a topless Brianna (save for that excessively unsexy bra of the day) from going any further until he could give her back her shirt and the bracelet while pouring his heart and intentions upon her. The engraving inside the silver bracelet is based on a poem, it says, “Je t’aime un peu, beaucoup, passionnement, pas du tout.” In English, it means, “I love you a little, a lot, passionately, not at all.”
Roger realizes the divide between them when he asks her to marry him. She responds with it’s moving too fast. He wants her to be his wife. To make a home. To have children. Dogs. But, she’s not ready for that.
As he goes to leave, she grabs him and kisses him hard then it all unravels into hurt feelings, harsh words, and misunderstanding.
Roger: “What in God’s name are you playing at?”
Brianna: “You said you wanted me. I want you too don’t you know that?”
Roger: “Oh, ye don’t want to marry me but you’ll fuck me?”
Brianna: “You don’t have to use that language.” She sneers.
Roger: “Oh, you can suggest such a thing, but I cannot say the word? “If all I wanted was to have my way with you, I would have had you on your back a dozen times last summer.”
She slaps him, bloodying his mouth.
Roger: “If ye don’t care enough to marry me. Then I don’t care to have ye in my bed.”
She says it doesn’t make sense. He shouldn’t have sprung the proposal. She has things like school and never thought about kids.
Roger: “Well then what d’ye mean by making me such an offer—a nice Catholic girl? I thought you were a virgin?”
Brianna: “I am. What the hell does that have to do with it?”
Is Roger a hypocritical brute because he’s had sex with women before?
Roger is a man steeped in tradition, his job as a historian, his views on love and marriage, his desire for home and hearth in the wake of losing his adopted father, and the manse being rented by Fiona and Ernie, and his performing songs from the past each speak to his temperament and longing for roots.
He doesn’t care whether or not Brianna is a virgin; he cares whether or not she commits to him before he shares her body, heart, and soul. He is shocked knowing her Catholic upbringing, and it went against what he thought she believed. The difference between the women Roger had lain with prior and Brianna is clear, he didn’t love them. It was sex without the heart, body, and spirit comingling. His love for Brianna yearns for permanency, for the foundation, to comingle every part for something deeper than physical sex. The love he desires to give and to receive is the love we see between Jamie and Claire.
I say Roger is not hypocritical. It’s a misunderstanding and inability to articulate exactly what she means to him. Roger has equal parts of similarity to Jamie and Frank and sometimes cannot act outside his abject male self.
Brianna is in a completely different emotional headspace only thinking of sharing bodies though born out of love; she thinks that’s what Roger wants. Perhaps it’s immaturity or hope on her part that sex would and could be a bridge without thinking too far into the future. She does love Roger. She has not had sex because she wanted it to be with someone she loved. It deeply matters to Brianna, yet she did not say it or share why the future cannot be agreed upon now. She’s complicated and traumatized from the revelations of the past few years. She cannot enter into marriage until she is SURE. She cannot repeat a marriage of duty like Claire and Frank. She also wants the whole marriage enchilada.
Both of their offerings failed to hit the mark. Both of their offerings frustrated the other. They each have reasons for holding steadfast to their position.
Meanwhile in the 18th
Claire and Jamie meet a ghost and find the land they will build their home on after taking the Governor’s offer. Jamie will get to be the laird he was meant to be since his brother died. Claire will get the home of her heart. A home built on all-encompassing love, including duty and passion. Jamie can build and grow lands to protect his family and the men who will come. The opportunity to replace all that has been lost.
- Roger about the deer: “He’s pretty canty looking, for a deer on the worst day of its life. Yer half the deer you used to be.”
Links of Interest:
- Roger singing “The False Bride.”
- The lyrics to “The False Bride“
- Where is Fraser’s Ridge?
- Je t’aime rhyme
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