The Fraser Fire

Season 4 Episode 410

The Deep Heart’s Core

Directed by: David Moore

Written by: Luke Schelhaas


My thoughts are below, but you’ll need to listen to the podcast to get my in-depth perspective.

Summary: Jamie teaches Brianna a valuable lesson. Roger continues to travel with the Mohawk. Claire offers Brianna a choice. Young Ian is smitten. Claire’s at home in the garden. Homestead life thrives. Claire and Brianna play a missing game. A nightmare causes revelation. “Where’s Roger?” Brianna rages. Punches and slaps are thrown. A plan is made. Jamie asks for a favor. Young Ian proposes. Everyone departs. Aunt Jocasta meets Brianna. Roger makes an escape. A buzzing calls to Roger. An anguished decision is being made.

The Fraser Fire and Many Shades of Parenting

There’ve been glimpses of the Fraser fire in Brianna in the past couple of episodes, but tonight the emotional dam breaks and she lets loose. Following in her English parents’ footsteps, she generally doesn’t open up easily, but she can’t seem to stop herself at any point in the episode. If you’ve ever been through a serious traumatic event or events, sometimes emotions can’t be held in regardless of intent. All the internal box lids come flying off and emotional chaos ensues and hopefully, healing can begin.

Brianna’s emotional transformation begins with her telling Jamie he must hate her because she’s an unwed, pregnant, and so forth daughter. This is more about her self-image and what she believes about herself than what Jamie thinks. Jamie to his credit expresses he doesn’t hold her accountable for what someone else did to her before he jumps in and says she’ll be wed before the baby comes. Because you know it’s the culture of the time. Regardless, she has someone in the 20th, her Historian so she won’t wed anyone else. Jamie is feeling her out and giving her parental space while being reassuring.

When Brianna begins talking to herself about how she is stupid and at fault because she didn’t fight and should’ve known better than to follow “him” into a dark room, Jamie jumps in telling her it’s not her fault, but she doesn’t believe him. Jamie’s parenting style takes a dark turn for many, but demonstrating the truth is more impactful than telling it. He begins to taunt her, tells her maybe she’s lying, or she liked it. Her anger riles, and she goes to take a swing at him, he grabs her placing her into a choke hold. Brianna can’t move no matter how she fights. She takes his point and finally understands there’s nothing she could’ve done to stop the man from harming her. I love how they sit together, and he speaks into her what she is feeling. That she is a coward because she couldn’t fight off a wolf.  In my mind, this is a nod to the books, where Claire did, in fact, fight off wolves bare handed outside of Wentworth.  He knows Brianna would’ve died at her attacker’s hands had she fought.

Brianna is in a state of vulnerability that can’t sit by itself, she asks Jamie about his experience with Black Jack Randall. Did he fight back? Did seeking vengeance help? Did killing his attacker make him feel better or forget? Jamie took the questioning in stride. He’s walking a fine parenting line, having his private pain sitting next to hers without judgment, only openness, and wise guidance.

The next level to Brianna’s emotional breach is after a nightmare (a really beautiful nod to Jamie’s nightmare in Season 2 where Black Jack Randall is swapped for Claire) when she learns from Lizzie that Roger came to the Ridge and was mistakenly beaten up and sent away by Jamie. The way she barges into the cabin is the bull in the china shop we expect. She yells, growls, slaps, says terrible things to Jamie, and generally commands the room.  Jamie being the adult and the parent, takes her tongue lashing, he takes her brutal words, he lets them absorb without turning on her (even though some furniture is not so lucky). He is the Da. He learns what parenting this daughter, a Fraser daughter means during this moment. There’s no altering her course or changing her opinion. Claire is the protective mother yet is at a loss seeing her daughter unhinged when Brianna goes beyond all measure and punches Young Ian in the face.

Brianna is grown and claiming what is hers. She wants Roger back no matter how long it takes.

Last, she goes on to make her mother leave her because she doesn’t trust Young Ian and Jamie will get the job done because of their judgment and because Roger will need to see a friendly face and a doctor. She puts the pursuit of Roger in front of all else, even if that means her mama misses the birth of the baby while she is safe at River Run under Aunt Jocasta’s care.

When mentioning shades of parenting, I have to address Claire offering Brianna a surgical abortion. It’s a tender and most gentle offering. Though we don’t get the background in the show, Claire referred patients who sought an abortion to other doctors. She couldn’t do them because she could feel the life force of the fetus. She’s a healer. For her to offer the choice to Brianna by her own hand, is a very big deal to Claire as a mother and as a physician. When Brianna asked Claire If she considered it (with her pregnancy), Claire was astonished and horrified at the thought. This squeezed my heart for Brianna to get that reassurance and the truth from her mama. And it not only speaks volumes about how Claire felt about the baby she was carrying and Jamie, but how she trusted Frank even though she tried to send him away.

I like this vulnerable and fiery Brianna. I love this truly connected mother and daughter pair. For the first time maybe ever, Brianna gets her mama as she really is and shares the pieces of her heart she long concealed in the 20th century.

Brianna and Jamie have a long way to go to repair and grow their relationship, but the seeds and foundation are there to be reaped when he brings Roger back.

Run, Roger! Run!

The note about Roger is about his utter devotion to getting away from the Mohawk and back to Brianna. He accidentally escapes (boy, oh boy those Mohawk are bad trackers so far) and finds himself face to face with the standing stone we saw the ancient people dancing around in the first episode. He has the gemstones in hand. He is anguished and can escape this horrid reality right now if he wants to. We’re left hanging as he reaches for the standing stone when the camera fades to black. Could he really go without having a resolution in the 18th century? I can see why he would want to jump centuries and get the hell out of the nightmare.

Wrap Up:

  • What consequences will Jamie face over yet another secret?
  • Can Claire forgive him for Stephen Bonnet being alive and able to continue to wreak havoc?
  • Can Jamie forgive Claire for not telling him who the rapist is?
  • How will Brianna acclimate to River Run?
  • What will Murtagh do with Bonnet until Jamie returns?
  • If the Mohawk catch Roger and adopt him, who will take his place?
  • What is Jocasta scheming? You saw how she was feeling Brianna out like she is a prized beast.

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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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