Superstitions and Savagery
Directed by: Denise Di Novi
Written by: Bronwyn Garrity
My basic thoughts follow below, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get my complete thoughts.
Summary: Claire and Adawehi bond. A misunderstood truth is given. The white sow is challenging her worth. Jamie shares a supernatural dream. Claire midwife’s a mountain family. Jamie and Young Ian go to recruit settlers. Claire quashes a conflict. Settlers are difficult to come by. Measles claim lives. A dear friend is murdered. Someone special is found. Retribution is demanded. Family finds itself opposing one another.
It is impressive how Claire is integrating and participating in the community and blending cultures through her healing practice, her relationship with Adawehi, and in her clothing (gloves and fur undervest). She even temporarily belays bad blood between the Cherokee and Herr Mueller.
The continuing theme of Claire as a loving mother who misses Brianna. Adawehi tells her Brianna is here, but Claire misunderstands the meaning.
Who doesn’t love MURTAGH? RAWR! They’ve turned him into a serious silver fox. Move over Jamie, Murtagh is in town and seems to be single. Living well post indentured servitude has him doing well for himself.
The reunions between Jamie and Murtagh, Murtagh’s reaction to Claire returning, and Claire’s reaction to Murtagh coming up the path to the cabin are all squishy warm feeling delights.
The sheer superstitious savagery that Herr Mueller displays in believing the Cherokee cursed the water and his family leading to the measle related deaths of the baby, Petronella and Tommy are awful and painful to watch. Claire’s reaction when he hands her Adawehi scalp because the curse was broken through her death is revolting and wrenching. Herr Mueller puts the savage in savagery. The retaliation by the Cherokee for the death of Adawehi erases the Muellers from the New World. Mueller and his wife perish at their hands, and their cabin is burned to the ground. Mueller is the antithesis of the good neighbor Jamie and Claire are trying to be.
Jamie and Murtagh being on the other side of the law and Governor Tryon is setting up a storyline of challenge and decisions between them.
The way Brianna departs the 20th century is baffling and irritating. She appears to have left in a moment of rash decision when she learns on her own of the bad news about a fire at Fraser’s Ridge. She didn’t call Roger to tell him of the fire and obituary notice. When Roger goes to Inverness to track her departure and find clues, Miss Baird (presumably the daughter of Mrs. Baird the Innkeeper) gives him a letter Brianna asked her to hold for a year. She couldn’t take the heartbreak on Roger’s face.
The letter Brianna left is cold and dare I say cruel. She gives no indication she loves him or what her intentions are. She doesn’t even say what bad news she found that led her to leave. She tells him not to follow her into the past. And then, simply says goodbye.
Is she trying to push him away purposely? She seems utterly detached and uncaring. “Oh well, think of me happily in the past.” Ho hum. Nothing to see here.
Where is the deep love and wanting that is supposed to be building the foundation these two characters are bound by and drive us into the next generation willingly?
Roger’s character will have him following her without a doubt. BUT WHY would he follow her? She has left nothing for him to hold onto or to be encouraged by.
I am underwhelmed by the Brianna and Roger storytelling and find myself not caring if he follows her or not.
And don’t get me started on the Holly Hobbie dress she is wearing. It must have been a truly rash decision to head for the 18th.
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