Outlander Episode 404 – Common Ground

Outlander Episode 404 was entitled “Common ground” a theme that plays strongly throughout the episode from sharing literal common ground with the Cherokee Indians to creating figurative common ground when Jamie defeats a shared foe. Jamie and Claire revel in the joy of creating their personal common ground at Fraser’s ridge while at the same time working through their common ground of a shared sadness of missing Bree. Bree makes the choice that she can no longer go without sharing physical common ground with her parents…that may be stretching the metaphor a little far but I think it works.

Jamie has a knack for diplomacy when dealing with the Cherokee, he knows a thing of two about unwanted newcomers making claims on your land. The redcoats wreaked havoc on Scotland and the Scots were none too pleased, Obvi. However, Jamie has his work cut out for him proving that he means no ill will and desire to live in peace.

I am loving how Ian is asserting his manhood and really owning his independence its gosh darn adorable although I am sure Ian would be offended if he was labelled adorable and not manly….and it is totally manly that Ian can knit. I love that Claire was gutting fish while Ian was knitting. I also love Claire’s obvious announcements in this episode like, “I get the feeling there is something behind me,” and “This isn’t the Cherokee, this is a bear.”

I always enjoy the sweet, shared moments between Jamie and Claire, When Jamie can see that Claire is missing Brianna and the sexy flirting against a certain tree trunk. Jamie really ruins it for all others husbands because he always knows what to say and he looks so effing hunky and sincere while saying it. Can I get an Amen?

Now, some of you may not agree with the following statement and that is totally fine and feel free to write your own blog about that (just kidding…sort of) but I have to announce that the single best part about this entire episode is when Jamie’s season one hair made a glorious cameo and by the firelight to boot! Not only do we get to drink in the beautiful ruggedness of his perfectly shaggy locks but we also get to see him in full highland warrior glory dragging a carcass behind him, face bloodied and shirt ripped. Hallelujah the Outlander God’s have answered our prayers.

So typically I don’t have too many critical things to say about the artistic choices that the showrunners make in order to fit the massive text of the Outlander books into a television series but I can not wrap my head around why the Tskili Yona also known as the crazy bear man, needed to be a crazy bear man and not just an actual bear. The same message could have come across, the whole man in the bear suit thing just seemed really wacky to me.

Anywho moving on…I loved the moment Claire had with the Cherokee women and the interpretation of the dream. It was just how I imagined it in the book. “You must not be troubled, death is sent from the God’s. It will not be your fault.” Whew! Goosebumps all over.

Fiona lets a big bomb drop on Roger and lets him know that she is woke to the whole time travel thing. This makes me so happy for Roger to have a real confidant. Roger’s face was so hilarious when Fiona said, “You mean when she went back in time to find Jamie Fraser?” Although Roger seemed pretty accepting about the shared knowledge, I myself would have felt a bit more shocked. I wasn’t sure if they were going to write in the whole potential death of Claire and Jamie to leave things more open but I was glad they stayed true to the book but by golly, Roge is TORE up about this news. This poor guy will literally not catch a break this season.

Did anyone else tear up during the inspirational music that played while Jamie worked on the logs? I mean…sigh…it really is perfect isn’t it Claire?

We are left with Roger making the dreaded call to Brianna and Gayle drops another bomb, Brianna has gone to Scotland to visit her mother. Holy shoot it is about to get good people!!

How did you guys feel about this episode? What did you love, what did you not quite love? I CAN NOT wait to see Brianna in the 18th century, it’s going to be so good!

XO, Lauren

7 thoughts on “Outlander Episode 404 – Common Ground

  1. Love your blog, Lauren! I love this episode more than any other in a while. Just a sweet couple trying to make it in the wilds of early America! I also liked how all the Cherokee braves were young and nice-looking! Haha! They were all sooo clean. Looked like brand-new costumes! My husband laughed when I read the part of your blog where you said Jamie has ruined it for all husbands. (He already knows that!) Heehee! Keep it coming…..I’m all ears!

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  2. The reasoning for a the bear man rather than a real bear was largely practical:
    1. A CGI bear would be extremely expensive and would probably end up looking pretty cheesy. No one wants them to spend an entire season’s budget on one scene. They looked into making CGI animals in season 1 (when Claire fights the wolf when she’s trying to rescue Jamie from Wentworth) and found it impractical at the time. That’s still true.
    2. Having Sam Heughan (or a stunt man for that matter) fight an actual bear is too dangerous, for both man and bear. Even a trained bear would be dangerous, and there aren’t that many trained bears! Having an animal not react with all their strength to a show of aggression goes against natural instincts.
    3. Black bears live in North Carolina but the show is filmed in Scotland. Again they could have one flown in, but that would be expensive and once again there are safety concerns.

    But there were also artistic considerations in the choice. Having Jamie fight a real bear could have come across as too superhero-ish. Jamie is a person, not a caped crusader after all! Also, viewers who have read the books know what to expect regarding these things and I think production likes to throw in a few surprises. Sam Heughan talks about it a bit in this interview:

    Really having the man-bear served the same purpose IMO. It’s someone that the Cherokee can’t kill for cultural reasons (he’s already “dead” to them) and Jamie doing so does them a favor and earns their respect. It gives them a basis for sitting down and coming to an agreement to be respectful neighbors.

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  3. I loved a lot in Outlander – Common Ground. Thanks Lauren, i appreciated the “common ground” theme connecting with Bree, Jaime and the Cherokee. I was disappointed that a real bear was not used, but I understand. I think they gave us a quick look into the values of the Cherokees, by playing out the scene with a “man” bear. I loved the moment between Claire and Marsali, especially since, there is conflict between Claire and her mother. That was very sweet and Jaime in turn comforting Claire about not being there for Brianna. Well acted, by all of them.

    I liked that they had Roger reading the description of Fraser Ridge, and then showed Jaime, Claire and Ian working on making a home at Fraser Ridge, at the same time. I thought that was so cool. Of course, the conversation between Roger and Brianna was so heartbreaking – so much unspoken, unresolved feelings. I thought all the scenes with the native Indians were great, and felt real and authentic. The Outlander casts and crew have done an awesome job in getting so much details in this episode. Loved it.


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