What Outlander's Devastating Twist Means For The Rest Of Season 4

outlander season 4 the birds and the bees brianna
(Image credit: Image courtesy of Starz)
(Image credit: Image courtesy of Starz)

Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 9 of Outlander Season 4, called "The Birds and the Bees."

Life has not been easy for Brianna Randall since she made the trip back in time to try and warn her parents of a terrible fate that awaits them on their current course. Her fortunes managed to take a turn for the worse even after her frightening encounter with Laoghaire. After finally making it to Wilmington and unexpectedly handfasting Roger, Bree was brutally raped by Stephen Bonnet, and "The Birds and the Bees" revealed that she'll have more than just the emotional trauma to deal with moving forward. Bree is pregnant.

Brianna realized the terrible truth during a time that should have been wonderful for her. The immediate aftermath of her rape was of course awful, and Brianna was injured enough (and her petticoat stained enough) for Lizzie to realize what had happened and jump to the wrong conclusion about who had attacked her. Bree's luck changed when she learned that Jamie and Claire just so happened to be in Wilmington, meaning that her quest to find her parents could end earlier than anticipated.

Unfortunately, she believed that Roger had taken off for Scotland due to their fight, and she is currently unaware that he'd simply had to stick with Stephen Bonnet until his ship made final port in Philadelphia. The heartbreak affected her joy as she met Jamie and reunited with her mom, and she was shaken up on the journey by boat to Fraser's Ridge, when Young Ian informed her of Stephen Bonnet's attack, leading Bree to realize that he had been the man who raped her.

Brianna didn't reveal what had happened to her and instead let everybody believe that her sadness was entirely due to Roger's apparent abandonment, although Claire clearly suspected something else was wrong even as Bree learned the fine arts of distilling whiskey, hunting bees for honey, churning butter, cutting herbs, and more. The truth finally came out when Claire realized that Bree was pregnant, leading Bree to admit that she's two months along.

Knowing that her daughter had handfasted Roger, Claire naturally assumed that Roger was the father of her child, which led to a slight moment of levity when Brianna protested that she didn't think she'd need to bring condoms on her journey to the past. Sadly, Claire learned that Roger may not be the father of her child, as he had pulled out in a crude attempt at birth control... and Brianna had been raped by a man who shared no such scruples.

At this point, I have to give kudos to Caitriona Balfe and Sophie Skelton for their performances in the scene when Brianna finally opened up about her rape. Bree's shame and devastation opposite Claire's horror and heartbreak at what had happened to her daughter felt very authentic, and the actresses really nailed a pivotal scene.

Bree seemed somewhat relieved to finally be able to share the truth with her mother, although she did omit the detail that Stephen Bonnet was the culprit. It wasn't until Claire found the ring Bonnet had stolen from her and then given to Brianna after raping her that Claire connected the dots. Claire filled in Jamie on Bree's rape and pregnancy, but she promised Brianna that she wouldn't tell Jamie that Bonnet had done it, as Bree believed that Jamie would go after Bonnet and get himself killed in the process.

outlander season 4 the birds and the bees jamie

(Image credit: Image courtesy of Starz)

This omission had bloody consequences for none other than Roger. After Lizzie spotted Roger on his way to Fraser's Ridge, she claimed to Jamie and Young Ian that he was the man who had raped Brianna based on the incomplete picture she had of that awful night. Given that none of these three knew what Brianna's Roger looked like and Jamie didn't know that Stephen Bonnet was the rapist, Jamie didn't exactly react well to Lizzie's claim that Bree's rapist was on the road to the Ridge.

No, Jamie chased down Roger and attacked him, brutally punching him over and over again in the face until Young Ian showed up to stop Jamie and warn him that somebody was approaching on the road. It was enough for Jamie to cease his attack, and Roger wasn't in any shape to call out to the people on a cart passing by. Disgusted, Jamie ordered Young Ian to get rid of Roger. He did make it clear that he didn't want Ian to kill Roger, as he didn't intend to make a murderer out of his nephew.

Roger was last seen slumped, bloody and unconscious, on his horse as Young Ian led him away. Based on Jamie's words, we can assume that Roger isn't dead, but based on his actions and wrath, we can also assume that Roger is in rough shape and unfortunate circumstances. After all, Young Ian already seems fond of his cousin, and he isn't likely to be especially kind to Roger, even if he won't kill him.

Jamie demanded that neither Lizzie nor Young Ian tell Claire and Brianna that Bree's "rapist" was approaching, which certainly won't end well. As a consequence of this episode, we have Claire and Bree hiding the fact that Stephen Bonnet is the rapist, Jamie and Co. hiding that Roger had attempted to reach Fraser's Ridge, Brianna pregnant and stuck in a time not her own, and Roger in uncertain shape with nobody likely to look for him.

Can we go back to everybody being happy about Murtagh being alive and nobody being raped and pregnant? Poor, poor Bree. Now, let's get into some of what we can likely expect in the rest of Season 4 based on the events of the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander book saga.

Spoilers ahead for the Drums of Autumn novel. Assuming the show more or less continues to follow the major beats of the book, we can expect Bree to move from Fraser's Ridge to River Run as her pregnancy progresses and she needs to stay somewhere safe. There, Bree will meet (and attempt to blackmail) none other than Lord John Grey, who should be a friendly face as she struggles to live as the guest of a slave owner.

As for the Roger story, he will have been handed over to a group of traveling Native Americans who don't exactly give him celebrity treatment, and he'll be in rough shape by the time anybody is able to track him down and rectify Jamie's massive mistake. Unfortunately, one of the Frasers will have to make a huge sacrifice in the process. Given how quickly Season 4 is racing through the source material, we may be able to expect all of this to go down sooner rather than later. End book spoilers.

Based on what we know of the next episode, the Frasers will continue to struggle with their secrets. Tune in to Starz on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of Outlander Season 4 in the midseason lineup.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).