Outlander season 4, episode 4 recap: Common Ground


Outlander focuses on Jamie and Claire’s version of marital bliss as they work on building Fraser’s Ridge.

Outlander is already four episodes into the fourth season, and Scotland and Lallybroch now feel like a distant memory. North Carolina is officially the Frasers’ new home and in this week’s episode, “Common Ground”, the lovebirds start building the foundation of their cabin.

But before they begin the actual building, there’s the matter of signing the deed to the land that Lord Tyron currently possesses. That is how this week’s episode of Outlander began with a four-eyed, wise Jamie sitting down to sign the deed and officially be handed over 10,000 acres of land. While he does the signing, Lord Tyron inquires about Claire and what she will be doing while Jamie builds.

Jamie comments that Claire will be assisting in the building, and naturally, Lord Tyron is perplexed at the notion. It’s a literal IDGI (I don’t get it) moment for him, but come on Tyron, don’t you know how badass Claire is? And how supportive and amazing Jamie is as her husband?

Meanwhile, Claire is getting ready for their journey ahead downstairs at the inn during which Marsali confides in her. Due to her pregnancy, Marsali is missing her mother and wishes she was with her now. Despite Laoghaire and Claire having bad blood between them, Claire is respectful of Marsali and assures her that it will all be okay. She believes Laoghaire has done an amazing job in raising her and she knows that Marsali will provide the same love and care for her child.

For those of you wondering why Marsali and Fergus aren’t going with them, it’s because they intend to wait until the baby is delivered. Once the baby arrives, the two of them will travel to Fraser’s Ridge and settle down with the rest of the group.

Talking to Marsali made Claire nostalgic for Brianna and made her think about all the things she will miss out on–Brianna’s wedding and her having kids, etc. Jamie reminds her that he too was without Claire for many years and the memories of her pulled him through tough times. He believes Brianna will do the same, and make do just as he once did.

Ian, Claire, and Jamie travel to Fraser’s Ridge and start working almost immediately. Jamie sets up the stakes that outline the boundaries of the property and begins to outline what will go where. It’s all rather cute to see this couple finally settling down and making a home from scratch. They’ve been through the wringer so it’s wonderful to see them catch their breath, even if for just a moment.

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However, Outlander doesn’t let things feel too calm for too long. While working on the cabin, the Cherokee tribe in the area show up on the property. To show them that they mean no harm, Jamie drops his knife and without saying anything, they all walk away.

Later on, they return once again but this time they aren’t looking very happy or friendly. In fact, they kick down one of the stakes that Jamie has placed around the boundary and then leave once again.

Unfortunately, Jamie, Claire, and Ian can’t really go anywhere else because the Cherokee will still be unhappy with their presence.

They decide that they will present some sort of gift that shows they mean well and hope it will be enough to appease them. It’s ironic that this Outlander episode came out on Thanksgiving weekend, right? Later that night, the trio woke up to realize that their meat stores were missing. According to Claire, it wasn’t the Cherokee that stole it, but a bear.

The next day Myers helps Jamie figure out a plan and suggests they gift the tobacco they have and offers to do it for him since the tribe knows who he is. And while Myers works on that, he suggests that Jamie lay low with the building so as not to piss anyone off further.

During a ritual, we see the Cherokee smoking from a pipe and dancing around. Simultaneously, everyone wakes up at the camp because Rollo takes note of something and runs off. It turns out that something attacked Myers, and it appears to a bear. While Jamie goes to investigate, Claire and Ian stay back to help take care of Myers.

Very quickly we learn that it isn’t a bear, but in fact, it is a man wearing bear skin that is hurting people. Jamie figures this out when he comes face to face with the man, while Claire notices a bite mark on Myers’ neck. Without getting too injured, Jamie eventually kills the man and manages to survive.

He then takes the body to the Cherokee to show them it wasn’t a bear but rather a man pretending to be one. It turns out they know the man because he was once a part of their tribe. However, he was banished after raping his wife after which he sort of lost it and put on bear skin.

Before leaving, Jamie gives the tribe his assurance that he nor his family mean any harm, and they will not do anything to break the peace. Luckily, the tribe’s leader took note of Jamie’s good intentions and went to visit him to say he intends to maintain the peace.

Credit: Starz

Claire has a cryptic conversation with one of the young women in the tribe who tells her that her husband’s grandmother had a dream about her. During the dream, she saw that Claire will eventually possess a lot of wisdom and have medicine that will allow her to help. However, she also saw something that alludes to Claire’s death and informs her it will not be her fault. Hmmm, Outlander do you enjoy making us feel this miserable?

While the Frasers found common ground with their native neighbors, there was a quite a bit happening back forward in 1971. While perusing through the book his ex-bae gave him, Roger came across a picture and description of Fraser’s Ridge. He then proceeded to send a letter to the book’s author, hoping she would have some answers.

And boy, did she ever! In her reply to Roger, she sent a copy of Lord Tryon’s deed with Jamie’s signature on it, along with a letter that mentions Claire the healer. Ecstatic yet still feeling awkward, Roger calls Brianna to tell her that her parents were able to reunite after all! Unfortunately, that’s as far as their conversation goes and then he doesn’t hear from her.

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When he goes to Inverness, he runs into Fiona who tells him she’s always known about the time travel and stones. In fact, she may have some devastating news that she is afraid to share. It turns out her grandmother had collected a lot of the research she did with the Reverend. Amongst that research was an obituary announcing Jamie and Claire’s death–by fire.

There we have it, Outlander fans. The shocking news that is not so shocking because obviously by 1971 they are going to be dead anyway. But still, knowing how it will happen hurts so much, and we don’t even want to think about it.

Roger hesitantly calls Brianna but learns from her roommate she isn’t around. Where is she exactly? Oh, that would be Scotland–visiting her mom. Uh oh.

Outlander airs every Sunday on STARZ at 8 PM EST!