#Outlander nails relationships, even when they go wrong | tv.avclub.com

Jamie Fraser's Leather Sporran

“The False Bride” finally brings back Roger and Brianna’s storyline in 1970s America to widen the universe of Outlander’s fourth season. It’s also technically a mythology episode, building on some of what was already hinted at in terms of a slightly telepathic bond between Claire and fellow time travelers. But as Claire and Jamie embark on their new chapter, playing their favorite little game of lost-and-found, the relationship dynamics that play out between Roger and Brianna make up the meat of the episode, highlighting just how exception Outlander consistently is when it comes to writing complicated, convincing, evolving couples.


First, the episode does a solid job of dropping us back into Roger and Brianna’s lives and communicating the buzzing attraction between them. Brianna calling Roger pretty is a genuinely lovely moment. She has bits of both Claire and Jamie in her—impulsive, determined, confident. Roger is so obviously smitten, can barely conceal his shy little smile when she publicly refers to him as her boyfriend.

But then, it all blows up. Pretty much mid-foreplay, Roger decides this is a good time to give Brianna a bracelet and ask her to marry him. Brianna correctly points out that this is all moving very fast and breaks it to him that she isn’t ready to be married or to even be engaged. Roger flips out and honestly comes off as a jerk, seemingly uninterested in sleeping with Brianna unless she can commit to marrying him, which he blames both on being old-fashioned and also in love. The tension is sudden and explosive and yet feels real, both Brianna and Roger saying things they might not entirely mean, fueled by alcohol and miscommunication and intense emotions. They let the real conversation run away from them, which is something that can happen a lot in a relationship, even one as young as theirs.

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