Outlander Providence Review
Roger’s trials at the Mohawk village are harrowing but his time with Father Alexandre Ferigault (Yan Tual) are the pinnacle of his story-line in Providence. Father Ferigault is a mirror for Roger but one of extremes: Roger and Alexandre both have known a profound love in their life but Alexandre’s love of God and his vows are leading him to the gallows. Roger and Alexandre have both been brought to the point of breaking by the torments generated by their respective loves but Alexandre actually decides to give up and run, Roger having gotten through to him momentarily. Whether Alexandre decided to abscond to a fellow priest to ask for absolution or to runaway with his beloved and their child, it is never made clear. When Alexandre decides to dig alongside Roger, he has secretly decided on one of those paths. When dawn returns, so has Father Ferigault’s stubborn resolve, fueled by the desire to uphold his vows.
It takes a little longer for Roger’s beleaguered resolve to fully return, since acting against self-interest is extremely difficult, especially with one’s freedom at stake, but Roger eventually reverts back to his true self. Roger’s action with the fire accelerant can get him killed but he does it anyway, because another human-being is suffering and its the right thing to do.
When Johiehon (Sera-Lys McArthur) kills herself for love, to be with the love of her life for eternity, it affects all that see it, especially Roger. Roger sees the fiery face of true love in that terrible moment. He recognizes it. It is what burns in his heart. The deaths of Johiehon and Father Ferigault complete Roger’s reversion. As Roger is led away from the impromptu pyre, he is fully himself again, pre-time travel, per horrors of 1770 America.
Brianna going to see Stephen Bonnet in jail is one of the bravest things that I have seen in this TV series. The swirl of turbulent emotions and memories that hit Brianna as she walks down that short hallway (which must seem like a mile to her) were untold but have to be gargantuan. Reynald de Chatillon in the Director’s Cut of Kingdom of Heaven makes a very specific quip about a female character when that character does something dark and remarkable in the film. That quote is what I thought of when Brianna visits her rapist alone in Providence – “That woman has more back-bone than I do.”
Brianna’s time with Bonnet in the cell during Providence is also dark and remarkable.
The walk and the references to the rape were the dark parts of the Brianna / Bonnet scene. The remarkable part of the scene is that Brianna wants Bonnet to die with the knowledge that a part of him will still exist in the world (in the hopes that this will bring him some measure of solace). This is magnanimity and graciousness on the level of senior Vatican clergy. It’s so profound that it and Brianna’s other words crack Bonnet’s cold exterior, his disbelief that the child in Brianna’s belly is his. This prompts Bonnet to commit one of the most selfless acts of his life (speculation) and lookout for someone else’s needs above his own.
I formerly thought that Stephen Bonnet was a psychopath. I was wrong. He is just a self-centered, low-empathy, low-morals evil-doer. From Bonnet’s action, giving the ruby to Brianna, it seems Bonnet can feel a full range of emotions, including parental feelings.
Murtagh’s escape from prison at the hands of Fergus is entertaining with a dash of the absurd. Lord John Grey, a trained soldier and commander of men, turning his back to an open room full of rogues is lunacy. No trained soldier would ever do that. Lord Grey left himself wide open to being: a.) shot, b.) stabbed, or c.) bludgeoned from behind. After Lord Grey grabbed the lout, why didn’t he immediately turn and put his own back to a wall (so that no one could sneak up behind him), his captive his body-shield to the open room? It is a minor character inconsistency but it is noticeable and unfortunate. This small scene would have been so much better if Lord Grey’s soldier training and associated experience were on full display.
Whether Stephen Bonnet got out of the jail before the explosion or not is another matter. It doesn’t seem conceivable that he could since the jail only has one way in or out but if Bonnet hide in a corner furthest away from the explosion then immediately after the explosion, when everyone was disorientated, made his escape through the front door of the jail, its possible. I doubt Outlander‘s producers would introduce such a deplorable character that wrecks havoc on the lives of the main characters only to kill him off-screen. None of the major villains have died off-screen on Outlander and I doubt that they will start with Bonnet.
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