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Outlander season 4 episode 1

Outlander season 4 episode 1  America The Beautiful

Claire and Jamie have very often been strangers in a strange land, but Outlander fully commits to the framework of an immigration tale in its Outlander season four opener.

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When we catch back up with Claire and Jamie in America The Beautiful, the wife and husband have been in Colonial America for four months now, and they have found happiness, but they have also found pain.

For one, their friend Gavin Hayes is about to be hanged for killing a man in self-defence. Jamie isn’t able to save Gavin from the noose, but he does save a man who was meant to hang beside him: Stephen Bonnet, an Irish pirate who clearly appeals to Jamie’s grief and sense of powerlessness over having just lost a close friend. Claire and Jamie risk their lives (or at least their freedom) to bring Bonnet to safety and, when a soldier injures Bonnet with his bayonet, Claire uses her medical knowledge to heal the vulnerable stranger.

In one of the most interesting and later ironically tragic scenes of the episode, Claire and Bonnet bond over their fear of drowning, one that Claire has felt since she almost drowned last season and that Bonnet says has haunted him for his entire life. No doubt that fear is a metaphor for something larger (though, yeah, the sea is frakking scary): a fear of drowning in this new land with its often unkind rules, so far away from the support systems of community and family that can cushion so much of that potential pain in an ideal situation.

But, if we’ve learned anything from Outlander, it’s that even love and family and support can only go so far in a cruel world. Loved ones can help you move on from traumatic experiences, but they can’t completely shield you from pain. We’ve seen these characters tormented again and again, as often if not more so than they have been able to live happily and with some semblance of peace. One such example is brought up early in the premiere: the rape of Young Ian, and Jamie’s own history of sexual assualt.

“Some ghosts can only be banished by speaking their names and foul deeds aloud,” Jamie tells Ian in one of several nurturing, fatherly moments in the episode. He straight-up cuddles a sobbing Ian, and it is a thing of beauty — one we don’t normally get to see from our strapping male protagonists. Strength is far too often equated with emotional stoicism, but Jamie knows the truth: There are few things scarier and therefore braver than being emotionally vulnerable. And he’s passing that lesson on to Young Ian, as well, in a moment when he needs that kind of positive reinforcement of sharing his pain more than ever.

Thematically, this episode is very much about what the dream of America can and will mean for Jamie, Claire, and the little family they’ve created. Plot-wise, it is very much about trying to find a buyer for a gemstone Team Sassenach salvaged. It’s the kind of heavy-handed, ludicrous plot point that probably won’t matter in a few episodes and that Outlander endearingly makes use of all the time. (There’s a reason why the term MacGuffin is Scottish, amirite?)

In the process of showing off the gem to potential buyers, Jamie and Claire inadvertently sell something else: their status as white Europeans with friends they can convince to come settle and an aunt, Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta, in a position of power. The local governor offers Jamie a land grant in exchange for his loyalty to the crown and the promise that he will encourage more white Europeans like himself to come over.

Already, the fine print on the “American dream” Claire explained to Jamie is beginning to reveal itself. There are the indigenous people, who Claire tells Jamie will be slaughtered or, their ancestral homes taken from them and made to live in reservations. There are the many slaves who have no say in their own fates. There are the unconnected poor who cannot afford to pay the fees that come along with making their way to the New World and who don’t have rich and/or powerful relatives to make the deal possible. And there is anyone who isn’t “white,” by whatever definition those in power deem that to be in this time period.

“A dream for some can be a nightmare for others,” Jamie says wisely, understanding that the Jacobite cause is just one example of the powerful elite controlling, killing, and using the vulnerable masses to sustain and grow their own power and wealth. It doesn’t stop Jamie from wanting to stay in America, however, and try to have a positive influence on this land that will one day be his daughter’s home, but Jamie and Claire are going to have to get a lot more radical if they want to make a difference as white landowners in Colonial-era North Carolina. I await their community-organising subplot…

Jamie and Claire’s illusion of the American dream is also tainted by Stephen Bonnet, who comes back into their lives in a blaze of cold-blooded villainy. Boarding Claire and Jamie’s boat set for River Run (Jamie’s aunt’s place), Bonnet and his band of pirates slit the throat of the boat captain, beat up Jamie and Ian, and steal everything of value they have on them, including one of Claire’s wedding rings. Perhaps worst of all, they remind this family that the misuse of power is not something specific to the English or to Europe or even to institution. It can be anywhere, even in this new land of hope.

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Outlander season five preview – what next for Jamie and Claire ?

Outlander’s Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) and husband Jamie (Sam Heughan) have been busy starting their new life in North Carolina at the start of season five .

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Season four saw them joined by their daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and her partner Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin).

Now, one fan believes they could be joined with a face from Claire’s past and time in France – Master Raymond.

With the focus of the fifth season on the Revolutionary War, Claire star Caitriona revealed the family will spend less time interacting with the Native Americans.

Speaking at New York Comic Con, she said it was “unfortunate” they wouldn’t feature as prominently and episode 13 of season four really stood out to her.

“It was so beautiful to tell that time in American history,” she explained.

“It’s unfortunate we don’t have as many elements of that this time, I think it was just so rich and so beautiful, it just added another element to the show that we didn’t have before. So that’s special for that reason.”

Co-star Sam added: “Yeah the Native American side of it for me as well is just so fun to play and we have these fantastic cast that came over from Canada and brought their own culture and their own life to it.

“For me, it was really the scene with Willie when he saves Jamie from the Native Americans.

“For me it was really interesting point where you see him being Jamie’s son.”

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Diana Gabaldon takes her own Outlander tour

BEST-SELLING author Diana Gabaldon got to experience the Outlander effect for herself when she hit the tourist trail of the show’s top locations.

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The US writer stunned fans of the Jacobite telly phenomenon at the weekend as she turned up at Culross in Fife and nearby Falkland Palace.

Diana relaxes in Culross Palace gardens, used as fictional Castle Leoch herb garden in series

It was almost like a surprise royal visit as gobsmacked tourists mobbed the 67-year-old, who happily posed for selfies and signed autographs.

Diana said: “It’s always fun being in Scotland but usually I’m stopping somewhere for research purposes. So it’s been nice to just feel like a tourist for a change.”

The Scottish Sun joined The Outlander creator for the day with tour company Mary’s Meanders, who specialise in the show’s location visits.

First stop was Culross, which doubles, as the fictional village of Cranesmuir in the TV series.

Photographer Graham Harris Graham, who runs The Outlander And Beyond fine art gallery in the town, praised the Arizona-born writer.

The 54-year-old told Diana: “I would like to thank you for paying my mortgage — seriously.”

Next up she visited ancient Falkland Palace, with its famous Bruce Fountain.

Outlander fans will know that’s where the ghost of Sam Heughan’s Jacobite character Jamie Fraser visits time-traveller lover Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe).

Outlander’s Sam Heughan teases fans with ‘new tv show’ set in Miami

Spanish fan Ana Garcia was completely overwhelmed when she spotted her idol.

The tearful 46-year-old from Barcelona, who works for a mobile phone company, said: “I came here to visit Outlander locations but never expected to see the woman who made it all happen. I will never forget this moment.”

The show has seen a huge boom in Scottish tourism

Victoria Arias was also delighted to meet the woman whose books have sold 35million copies and been translated into 40 languages.

The 30-year-old French blogger said: “This is my third time in Scotland to visit Outlander locations but the first time I’ve met Diana.

“It was fantastic to see the person who started it all in a place where it is actually filmed.”

Diana’s visit came after tourist chiefs announced visitor numbers continue to rocket — up 67 per cent from 887,000 to 1.5million a year — on the back of the TV smash which is shown in 87 countries around the world.

But humble Diana said: “The Outlander effect is sort of a miracle — I had nothing to do with it other than writing the books.”

The mum of three was working as a professor at Arizona State University when she first began writing her story “for practice” — after famously seeing actor Frazer Hines play a Jacobite warrior in a 1969 repeat of Doctor Who.

It has since spawned nine books — with the latest, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, out later this year. And the fifth TV series — which is shown on Amazon Prime in the UK — will start filming around Scotland from next month.

We joined Diana on a scouting mission

But aside from all the official stats, Diana also receives personal testimonies about how Outlander has changed people’s lives.

She explained: “When we were filming an episode from the first series in Culross there was a little shop up the back street where myself and another writer went for a sandwich.

“But all we had on us were £20 notes and the owner didn’t have any change.

“I said ‘”We’re with the film thing and he said he knew because we had our cans — headphones — over our arms. He told us he’d trust us to come back and settle up later.

Outlander’s Sam Heughan reveals celeb crush and tells fans his favourite Scottish words

“But just as we left he came rushing after us and said, ‘I saw your name on your headphones and I’ve just realised you’re Diana Gabaldon — for you everything is free. Take anything you want’.”

She added: “Then there are people who make crafts and do art — there are thousands of Facebook pages that sell Outlander gear.

“One woman wrote to me saying she has a business doing stencils to go on bedroom walls of Outlander erotica and asked if she could use some of the more romantic quotes from my books.

“So there are these spin-offs all around the world, although Scotland is where you can see the direct financial impact it has had.”

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