Down the Rabbit Hole Ep 158

Season 4 Episode 407

Down the Rabbit Hole

Directed by: Jennifer Getzinger

Written by: Shannon Goss

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Summary:  Roger follows after Brianna with the help of a friend. Brianna is ill-equipped for the rigors of the 18th century Highlands. Brianna remembers her daddy. Unexpected hospitality is offered. Roger becomes a crewman for a wicked captain. Brianna learns a terrible truth about her host. Ian Murray helps her to the coast. Brianna secures a travel companion and passage to The Colonies.

Brianna’s Quest

Brianna appears to have made a fast getaway into the 18th century because of her inappropriate clothing and purse choices. She doesn’t even don gloves or warm knitwear. She watched her mother quickly prepare for her departure yet seems to have not heeded the example at all well. In a nutshell, she’s on foot and trying to get to the coast from the standing stones to secure passage to North Carolina but injures herself and ends up being taken care of by Laoghaire “Damn Her Eyes” MacKimmie and her daughter Joanie at Balriggan.

Brianna gets to bond with wee Joanie, who seems to be the real adult in the household. She also gets an earful about Laoghaire’s deadbeat former husband. It’s a perspective check that strains what Claire has said of Jamie.

Brianna sees the hateful and wretched side of Laoghaire when it’s revealed in the conversation who her mother is, who her biological father is, and who Laoghaire’s ex-husband is. With the tongue of an adder, Laoghaire strikes Brianna. It’s poetic justice when Brianna tells Laoghaire Jamie never loved her. At least until Laoghaire threatens to have Brianna arrested as a witch and locks her in her room. Joanie saves the day by freeing Brianna and taking her to Lallybroch. Uncle Ian gives her money, a trunk of Claire’s old clothing, and advice to find Aunt Jocasta when she arrives in Wilmington.

We also get to see the relationship she had with her daddy Frank and how the revelations about her parents’ marriage and his death have taken a toll on her. Between that and the effects of her mother’s secrets and subsequent return to the 18th, it’s quite easy to understand the depth of trauma that has accumulated within Brianna.

What the Frank?

Frank returns in flashback highlighting the strain of his and Claire’s relationship, his closeness to Brianna, and the last time she saw him before he died.  We see a side of Frank that has gone largely unexplored in the series. Did the obituary give him the onus to divorce Claire, tell Sandy he wanted to marry her, take the job at Cambridge, and ask Brianna to go with him to England? I find myself angry that Frank spilled the divorce beans to Brianna after his last fight with Claire. What a hellish last conversation to leave her with before he dies. At least his final words to her were “I love you.”

Roger’s Journey

Fiona takes Roger to Craigh na Dun so that he can go after Brianna into the 18th. He’s very smartly clean shaven to deter lice and fleas from infesting his facial hair.  In period clothing, he goes through and becomes a crewman of the Gloriana. The ship is captained by none other than the malevolent Stephen Bonnet.  Roger shows his grit by vehemently decrying Bonnet’s actions in front of the passengers and the crew. Suffice it to say throwing an ill child out the window is not something Roger can tolerate. Roger takes it a step further and hides a mother and her baby (Morag MacKenzie and Jemmy) when the baby has a teething rash. Roger is a man of principals and does what’s right even if it could cost him. By the flip of the coin, Roger’s fate to live or die for his indiscretion against the captain. The luck of Danu was with him.

The Faces of Laoghaire

  • She’s a lovely, generous, and kind hostess to Brianna.
  • She’s a good and loving mother.
  • She has a skewed version of Jamie, their marriage, and what lust or love means.
  • She turns her temper on a dime when Jamie, Claire, or alimony is brought up.
  • She’s bitter about men and tells anyone who will hear.
  • She’s unreasonable and locks Brianna in a bedroom.
  • She sees herself as a victim.
  • She cross contaminates her food. Did you see that cutting board?
  • She has an ax to grind with Claire and Jamie and passive-aggressively grinds it into Brianna. Such a flaming b**ch.

Bonnet, Bonnet, Bonnet

  • The swagger.
  • The humor.
  • The danger. He threw a child overboard for goodness sake.
  • The RING.
  • And Danu.


  • Frank loved Claire more than she loved him.
  • Laoghaire loved Jamie, but he never loved her.
  • Frank knew Claire was telling the truth about time travel and would eventually return to Jamie.
  • Brianna is Jamie’s daughter. I thought Laoghaire would vomit right there.
  • Frank wasn’t going to ask Sandy to marry him (he did say “come with me” to Brianna when he told her about the divorce and getting a job at Cambridge). Maybe truth.


  • Brianna walking and walking and walking like she’s going to Mordor to throw My Precious into the lava before getting rescued by a stranger after passing out, is reminiscent of Claire wandering around that blasted island in Uncharted last season. The writer of this episode wrote that one.
  • Roger being held back by the men as he fights and yells at Bonnet is similar to Jamie being held back while the Cherokee threaten William. Or countless other times Jamie has been held and unable to protect someone from harm.
  • Brianna’s flashbacks of memories that remind her of what is going on in her current situation, such as the argument between Laoghaire and Ian.

Shout Outs for Book Readers

  • The case of the missing PB & J is solved.
  • We meet Morag, baby Jemmy on the ship and The Weymss at the dock.

Links of Interest

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The entire Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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