TV Show Review

TV Review: OUTLANDER: Season 4, Episode 11: If Not For Hope & Episode 12: Providence [Starz]

Sophie Skelton Billy Boyd Outlander If Not For Hope

Outlander If Not For Hope and Providence Review

Starz’s Outlander: Season 4, Episode 11: If Not For Hope and Outlander: Season 4, Episode 12: Providence reviews. This article has been split into two parts. Click on “Next Page” at the bottom to read the second review.

Outlander If Not For Hope Review

Brianna “Bree” Randall Fraser (Sophie Skelton) catching Lord Grey in the act of coitus is the best moment of Brianna’s stay in Jocasta MacKenzie Cameron (Maria Doyle Kennedy)’s household, though Brianna did not know it at the time. Lord Grey, because of his sexuality, because of what he would never seek from her, is Brianna’s safe harbor in the growing storm of Aunt Jocasta’s household and the hungry wolves that prowl it (beckoned by Jocasta’s bell) looking for a suitable and pulchritude bride.

The impromptu dinner party in If Not For Hope is illuminating, humorous, and hard to watch. The latter comes from Brianna’s potential suitors falling all over themselves to garner her attention, impress her, and place themselves in the forefront of her mind i.e. her eventual thoughts about a suitable husband. Of all the suitors, Gerald Forbes (Billy Boyd) is absolutely embarrassing, creating cringe-worthy moment after cringe-worthy moment during the episode. The viewer gets it, Forbes thinks Brianna is pretty, alluring, someone that he could not normally acquire it weren’t for his riches, estate, and good standing in the community. What Forbes lacks is: reserve, charm, patience, and shame. He does seem like a good person, however, kind, and generous. I can’t imagine that he would ever deny Brianna anything. He would give her whatever her heart desired. The problem for all the suitors is that a.) Brianna’s heart belongs to someone else and b.) the true purpose of the dinner party is something that Brianna knows nothing about and does not condone.

Because of these facts, the endeavor would have been doomed from the beginning, at least in the way that its architect, Jocasta, initially hopes for (save for Gerald Forbes’ proposal), if it weren’t for Brianna’s ingenuity.

Asking Lord John Grey (David Berry) to marry her is a clever, strategic move on Brianna’s part in If Not For Hope – she can keep her vows to her hand-fasted husband and protect herself from the ere of 1700 American society as an unmarried, pregnant woman. Lord Grey eventually realizes that doing right thing for the wrongs reasons is what is necessary in the moment. His eleventh hour save is quite unexpected but completely within character. Lord Grey is already protecting one of Jamie Fraser’s children with his name, presence, and household. Protecting another one of Jamie’s children, a child in need, is second nature to Grey (after his conscience is buggered by the consequences of not helping her and what that will mean for her). Protecting Jamie’s children is the closet that Grey will ever come to Jamie. In Grey’s situation, something from his unrequited love, a part of Jamie i.e. guardianship of his progeny, is better than nothing at all. Through these continuous acts of kindness on Lord Grey’s part, Grey gets to stay in and apart of Jamie’s life while earning Jamie’s undying gratitude. Though done out genuine goodness and selflessness, I am sure these ramifications have not escaped Lord Grey’s acute perception one iota.

Jocasta congratulating Brianna for cultivating the favor of a visiting lord and garnering a marriage proposal from him in the course of an single evening is intriguing. Jocasta can’t see Lord Grey (figuratively speaking), not the real Lord Grey. Very few people can (his mask is that complete). All Jocasta ‘sees’ is his manner, his adherence to form, his title, and the way other people react to him. Jocasta sees the intangibles of Lord Grey but she is also an extremely practical person i.e. Lord Grey presents a wealthy and prestigious household whose union with her family may bestow all of these things and title on Brianna. Though Brianna does not see all of this at the moment, Jocasta can.

The strained relationship of Dr. Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie in If Not For Hope is symbolic of the strained relationship between Brianna and Jamie. Jamie had not only the situation that he created with Claire because of his lie to deal with, he had the “savage” remark by Brianna bouncing through his head. Claire’s explanation of her part in the Roger disaster (i.e. keeping Brianna’s confidence) is necessary and soothing but it is when Claire speaks about saying spiteful things in anger, that lights hope again in Jamie for continuing, someday, his positive relationship with Brianna.

When Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix)’s face begins to be recognized by the local authorities, he cleverly makes sure that if the situation goes completely south, that he takes Stephen Bonnet down with him. The trick with Claudel “Fergus” Fraser (César Domboy) is good but why didn’t Murtagh just leave Bonnet and exfiltrate as well? Bonnet would have been on to him if Murtagh tried to recapture him, Bonnet would know his face, but Murtagh would be free. Now Murtagh is a captured man, now the local authorities don’t have to use artist renderings to recognize Murtagh. They will have their living memories of his actual face. Perhaps Bonnet being brought to justice is more important to Murtagh than his own liberty and life.

Roger Wakefield MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) must have known that he couldn’t survive in the wild by himself for long and voluntarily went back to the Mohawk. He stayed in the past for one reason and one reason only – Brianna. The resolve on Roger’s face as he is beaten by the Mohawk (an attempt to ‘jump in’ Roger into Mohawk society I believe) and he keeps getting back up, speaks to Roger’s reconstituting fortitude. It is fitting that the episode ends with that segment. It left the viewer with the feeling of how love can drive and empower a person when they need extra motivation to keep going.

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Rollo Tomasi

A college graduate who started,, and after attending an eCommerce class in Business School. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies. In addition to writing for FilmBook, ProMovieBlogger, and TrendingAwards, he also edits the copy published on the websites, manages their writing staff, back-end operations, site finances, social media accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions.

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