Title: Outlander S4.E04 “Common Ground”
Released: 2018
Series:  Outlander

Kilt Drops: 0

Previously on Outlander: Claire and Jamie head into the wilderness, where they’re separated during a storm. Claire finds a human skull and has a vision of a Native American man/ghost who she believes leads her back to Jamie and the spot they choose for their future home. In the 1970s, Roger heads to a Scottish heritage festival in North Carolina. He proposes to Brianna, but when she says she isn’t ready for marriage, he throws a temper tantrum and leaves.

Before we dive head first into this week’s episode, don’t forget about the new and improved FYA Outlander drinking game

Jamie’s gone back to accept Governor Tryon’s offer of land. Wearing the world’s tiniest glasses, he signs the deed and the guv’nah is like “be a good boy and pay all your taxes, okay?” and Jamie’s like “yeah sure I am great at law abiding.” It’s very tense and foreshadowy. But lo! Jamie and Claire are now the owners of 10,000 acres of North Carolina land, all because they found a spot where they liked the view, and as y’all might’ve heard, white people just swooping in and taking things they like is ~kind of our thing~. They say goodbye to Fergus and Marsali, the latter of which is feeling the effects of pregnancy and missing her god awful mother. Jamie tells Fergus to gather some Scots and head out their way when they can and, to the tune of what my Closed Caption is calling [anticipative western music], the Fraser’s head out.

Claire’s selective memory of the horrors of American history is strong this week, because now she’s traipsing around the woods singing “My Country Tis of Thee” while she, Jamie, and Ian hammer posts into the ground to mark their territory. Claire’s patriotism inexplicably gets Jamie all riled up, but before he can drop kilt against an oak tree, Ian calls them over to a pair of huge trees called the “Witness Trees,” and literally steps in shit. He’s all cute like “Oh, is that from a raccoon? I’ve heard of those!” and Claire is explaining bears and panthers to the Scots when [tense music] a group of Cherokee arrive, armed to the teeth and looking none too thrilled.

They leave without a fight, but the next day, when Jamie is showing Claire the she-shed he’s gonna build for her, the Cherokee show up again and angrily deposit the posts the Frasers used to mark their land. Claire wants to move their settlement away from the shared border, but Jamie’s really feeling “the rightness” of the place. That night, they wake to Rollo barking again, and when they go out to investigate, Finley the Horse hobbles up with HUGE claw marks down his side and Claire realizes they’ve got a bear problem.

John Quincy Myers is back and looking hella sharp in his racoon hat and dope ass necklace, explaining that the Cherokee are on edge because they too are scared of the Tskili Yona, which roughly translates to evil ghost bear, and means that Jamie and the natives have a shared enemy! Jamie wants his help making a good impression with the Cherokee, so JQM agrees to present them with some tobacco on Jamie’s behalf. Unfortch, that doesn’t happen because the Frasers find JQM mauled nearly to death that night. While Claire is patching him up, Jamie goes to hunt this bear. And all the while, we’re shown flashes of the Cherokee people having a ritual that could be offensive or defensive, we don’t know. [ominous music] Jamie is trying to reload the rifle when the bear attacks and…isn’t actually a bear. It’s a man in a bear hide–teeth, claws, the works. He gets a couple of good scratches in before Jamie manages to kill him. The next day, Jamie takes the body to the Cherokee people to show them that he has killed Tskili Yona, and the Cherokee tell him that this man was once part of their tribe, but he was banished to the woods when he raped a woman. He went crazy out there, and has been terrorizing them ever since.

Everything seems to be chill with the Cherokee after that. Their chief gives Jamie the name Yona Dihi a.k.a. bear killer, and the elder woman healer, Adawehi, tells Claire that she had a dream about her in which Claire was a white raven with some serious healing powers. She also quite ominously tells her that “death is sent from the gods” and that it “won’t be [Claire’s] fault.” Also, JQM is fine! So the Fraser’s get to building, and hatcheting, and sawing, and doing other pioneery stuff [warm string music] and as soon as Jamie gets the first part of their cabin built, he wastes no time carrying Claire over the threshold and telling her where the bed will be, cuz he nasty like that.

Meanwhile, back in Scotland in 1971, Roger’s wearing turtlenecks and sad-sighing out of windows, so clearly he’s not over his breakup with Brianna [soft dramatic music]. While he’s reading the book she gave him, he comes “Fraser’s Ridge.” He calls the author and manages to get a copy of the land deed that Jamie signed in Governor Tryon’s office in 1768. He then calls Brianna to tell her all of this, and despite her happiness that Claire found Jamie after all, things are, rightly, sort of awkward. Later, Fiona (who admits she knows ALL about the time travel stuff because her grandmother used to dance at the stones) gives him something she found while she was cleaning out the Reverend’s house–an obituary for James Mackenzie Fraser and his wife Claire, who died at Fraser’s Ridge when their cabin burned down sometime in the 1770s. But Roger can’t tell what year because the ink is smudged–for all he knows, it could be anywhere from two to twelve years after they settled at Fraser’s Ridge. Roger is freaking out, but gets up the courage to call Brianna, whose roommate tells him that Brianna left a couple of weeks ago to “visit her mom in Scotland.” Okay, scratch that, NOW Roger is freaking out.

Kilt Drops: 0

There was the whole “My Country Tis of Thee” moment but alas, no kilt drops. I feel like we’re way overdue.

Wit and Wordplay

Jamie: “He’s only a man, not a monster.” 

Cherokee warrior: “Oftentimes man is monster.”


  • Was anyone else getting sell-your-soul-to-the-devil vibes in that Governor Tryon scene?

  • Were you book readers disappointed that they changed the bear fight to a man-dressed-as-a-bear fight? Apparently having a bear on set to fight your actors is expensive and dangerous, but like, hello! Game of Thrones did it! And isn’t Outlander just Game of Thrones: Ribbed For Her Pleasure?

  • What did the Cherokee woman’s dream about Claire mean? What was the powerful stone she’d have after she went to the moon or whatever?

  • And WHAT was that death omen about? Who will Claire fail to save? Ian, maybe? He wasn’t mentioned in the obituary. Or Marsali, perhaps, since she’s so scared about giving birth, and Claire would probably be the one to assist with that?

  • Do you think Brianna will make it through the rocks at Craig na Dun and find Claire on the other side? (I hope not.)

Next week: Brianna arrives at Craig na Dun, Jamie and Claire get a stodgy old visitor who doesn’t get along with the neighbors like they do, trouble ensues.


Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her husband and cocker spaniel. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. She is a brand designer who loves tiki drinks, her mid-century modern house, and obsessive Google mapping.