The fourth season of Outlander has come to an end, and fans are heading into another hiatus to speculate about what’s in store next for the extended Fraser fam. Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie in the time travel drama, weighed in on a certain storyline that was difficult for him to play in the fourth season, and it just so happens to be one that drove a lot of the story in the jam-packed Season 4. Here’s what Heughan had to say:
This season for me was a love story to Brianna. Jamie and Claire, they're fine, everything's good: That is the constant. But for Jamie, it's this loss of not being part of Brianna's life. He's finding a way [to] try to influence it by molding this land into something and building a legacy for her. Somehow, he'd want her to live and thrive, so for her to appear [in the 18th century] is just, well, it's mind blowing, isn't it? How do you play that?
Outlander Season 4 featured a lot more of Brianna than seasons past, which required some adjustment from viewers accustomed to Claire and Jamie as co-leads. In a way, that paralleled what Jamie was going through, as he first attempted to do something for Brianna in the past to benefit her in the future and then tried to adjust to having her handy. Everything was going swimmingly for daughter and her “da” at first, but the reveal that she’d been raped by Stephen Bonnet and became pregnant turned everything sideways.
As much as Jamie’s unconventional method of helping her cope via berating her for not fighting back did help her deal with what happened to her, their relationship seemed broken after Jamie mistook Roger as her rapist and beat him into submission, before allowing Young Ian to dispose of him by handing him off to the Mohawk. (This was a bad call for many reasons.)
All Jamie wanted to do was help his daughter as best he knew how; unfortunately, for a 20th century young woman, the “best he knew how” wasn’t acceptable, and not just because he would have been okay with Bree marrying her cousin. Sam Heughan’s comments to BAZAAR.com reveal that Jamie’s place in Brianna’s life after two decades’ absence was tricky for him to play. Based on the final episodes of Season 4, it’s probably safe to say that he’ll be playing that dynamic in the seasons to come.
Spoilers ahead for the Season 4 finale. Brianna safely gave birth to a healthy baby boy, who Roger claimed as his own despite the child’s uncertain paternity. Unfortunately, Bree lost the option to return to her own time and raise her child in the 20th century, with all the advantages of modern medicine and no looming Revolutionary War.
Brianna is seemingly stuck in the 18th century with her family whether she likes it or not. The good news is that she seemed content enough at the end of the season, poised to return to Fraser’s Ridge with her parents, baby, and the newly-returned Roger.
The good news is that Outlander has a long future ahead of it, even if it will probably be a while before we find out precisely what happens next. The Season 4 finale did set the stage for a fast-paced Season 5 already, and there are always the books to read to fuel speculation! Otherwise, you can find some TV shows to pass the time on our midseason TV premiere schedule.