Outlander – Season 7 Episode 4 “A Most Uncomfortable Woman” Recap & Review

A Most Uncomfortable Woman

Episode 4 of Outlander season 7 titled ‘A Most Uncomfortable Woman’ begins in the 1980s with the MacKenzies moving into Lallybroch. Construction is still underway to make it liveable but they don’t have enough money to fix up the bedroom.

Back in time, the Frasers and Ian are making their way to a port for passage to Scotland. Young Ian is haunted by his guilt of killing Mrs. Bug which is coupled with Arch Bug’s threat and Jamie tries to comfort him.

Elsewhere William Ransom doesn’t seem to fit in with his regiment due to his glorious ideals about war. However, the rest are no better as they laugh when a drunk soldier sets a prostitute on fire. William covers her with his coat but it is too late.

At modern-day Lallybroch, Roger is trying to record the story of the Frasers and MacKenzies for his children but it is an expansive and ambitious task. He works on it while fiddling with the musket ball when he notices that underneath the soot, it is made of Jacobite gold.

Meanwhile, little Jem takes apart the radio and blames it on pixies. His parents are not sure if they should believe him as magic is real. Roger jokes it could be because of the gold musket ball and then wonders if they should ask Jem about the Jacobite gold but Brianna wants to delay it as he is just a child.

As for William, his actions are noticed by his senior and he is trusted with the task of taking top-secret letters to Samuel Cartwright, Henry Carver and Joshua Harrington in Dismal Town located in the swamps. His mission is a secret and should he succeed, he will be assigned to New York.

Meanwhile, Brianna faces good old misogyny as she tries to apply for a plant inspector position at the local dam but the interviewer tries to deter her as it might not be safe for her. He orders her to get him tea and thinks she wants to be a secretary. She wonders if it is because he hires male employees who would assault a female co-worker.

As he is stumped, she points out their incompetent infrastructure and offers prompt and economical solutions should he hire her. Her half-brother faces difficulties as well as midway a snake attacks his horse and he falls. William is further shocked to see a branch poking out of his arm.

Seems like a bad day for the Frasers as their father too faces an obstacle. As Jamie heads into town, Harnett spots him and recruits him to fight for independence. Harnett reveals he has the authority to conscript him or force someone else to fight on Jamie’s behalf. Of course, the honourable Jamie Fraser would never allow that and begrudgingly agrees. 

He also confesses to Claire that he doesn’t mind fighting for a free America as it would indirectly be for her, Brianna and his grandchildren. She joins him as an army surgeon and young Ian too, shows his interest. However, Jamie stops him as he promised his sister that Ian would return to Scotland no matter what. 

Back in Lallybroch, Jemmy keeps messing around with Mandy and locking her in the secret room. Roger cannot figure out how to discipline his son and at that moment, a cheerful Brianna arrives and announces that she got the job. Roger ends up making it about himself as he is not too happy that she is working while he is at home since he wanted to protect their family, provide for them and be the breadwinner.

And he has been failing miserably. Unlike Bree, he doesn’t even know what his life is supposed to be as his faith in God has been shaken after he was able to alter history and save the Frasers. As Brianna comforts him, he apologises for not showing his enthusiasm and tells her he is proud of her.

Trudging through the swamp, a wounded William comes across Ian who is continuing his path to the nearest port. Ian is wary but offers to take a look at his wound. On learning his identity, he is more friendly with his cousin. William doesn’t remember visiting Fraser’s Ridge but is polite enough. His arm is in bad shape and he wonders if he is dying.

He asks what the Mohwaks do and Ian reveals they have a death song where they sing about their achievements. William tries and fails as he has no achievements yet and Ian tries to cheer him as that means he should stay alive. Ian’s dog, Rollo takes a liking to him and Ian states that means his pet sees William as family.

Back in town, Claire runs into Tom Christie and they are both surprised to see each other as they thought the other was dead. He immediately kisses her and she is dazed. They catch up and it is revealed that the Frasers’ obituary was anyway printed as Tom thought they died in the fire and got one made. As for his miraculous escape, Martin hired him as a secretary on learning he could write.

Once Martin got an official secretary, with nowhere to put Tom, the man escaped. He also adds that he doesn’t regret loving Claire despite everything. With Claire and Jamie being the gossiping besties that they are, she tells him about the encounter. She is still frazzled that Tom kissed her and Jamie finds the whole thing amusing. He starts teasing her and they end up having sex. 

As for the cousins, Ian rushes William to the local physician, Denzell Hunter and his sister, Rachel. Ian locks eyes with Rachel and it seems that there are some sparks. Focus quickly falls on William whose arm might have to be amputated. The young soldier strongly refuses but Rachel puts him in his place. Ian tries to distract him by reminding him that he doesn’t have a death song yet and also gives him Jamie’s cross.

As Denzell starts sawing, William faints. However, the pus seeps out almost immediately and William’s arm is saved. Ian stays by his side all night and decides to leave the next morning. Rachel tries to get him to stay but he cannot. He gives her money for William and also tells her to relay that he can keep Jamie’s cross. 

At Lallybroch, the MacKenzies are having a hard time with Jem. With biscuits going missing, he claims that he had to give them to the Nuckelavee, a horse demon that had threatened to eat Mandy. Their parents are not sure what to do with him but they also do not want to suppress his imagination.

It cuts to a much better William bantering with Rachel as she shaves his beard. She marvels over his beard and his new scar, and he teases her since she is religious and shouldn’t think about anything too worldly. The topic turns to liberty which she declares is a gift from God and has inspired them to join the independence movement. With William on the opposite side, he is troubled.

But he is further shocked to hear her mention that Denzell will be joining as a surgeon at Ticonderoga on the advice of a soldier, Samuel Cartwright – the man he is tasked to meet. He tries to hide his surprise and offers to go with them to give them company and protection. She knows he is hiding something but agrees. Meanwhile, we also see the Frasers and tons of soldiers heading to Ticonderoga as well.

The Episode Review

Outlander hasn’t visibly explored much of the magical aspect so it will be fun to see what it does with Jem’s storyline which they have been teasing since before episode 4. As for his father, something has been off about Roger ever since his introduction in season 3. He somehow ends up making everything about himself. Sure, he is supposed to be a grey character with good and bad sides but he is either bland or annoying.

If you’ve noticed, he is the one who keeps wondering if they should ask Jem about the gold and it is always Bree rejecting the idea to protect their son. And instead of being happy about her new job, he wallows in self-pity. One can argue that he is just being in character with the sexist ideas of his generation but she deserves much better, that is for sure. 

While we didn’t care much for William initially, his interaction with Ian and Rachel was indeed sweet and we’d love to see more of him. And we probably will, what with him ending up in the same place as Jamie. But does that mean we are getting a love triangle with Ian, Rachel and William?

While it is obvious that something will happen between Ian and Rachel, it feels forced due to their short interaction. However, she and William’s bantering was much more natural. We hope we do not have to choose between the cousins as Ian is a fan favourite while William is slowly creeping into our hearts.

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