Season 4 a look back….what went wrong, what went right.

t's book

by Theresa Williams

I love Outlander, the books, the show, all of it.  If you’re reading this then it’s likely you do too.   While we so enjoy these books brought to us in screen media form, this season has definitely had its highs and lows.

I cannot begin to imagine the work that goes into bringing this series to life.  All I know is what I know and what I know is that Diana Gabaldon (almost always) gets it right.

To be clear, and please hear me out, I have not written this compilation to bring forth negativity at all.  It’s not to point out the things the writers and the powers that be “got wrong.”  That has been sliced, diced, and hashed out ad nauseam and I have certainly not held back in my opinions.  Rather, I compiled this list in the hopes that non-book readers will pick up the books and travel this adventure that is Outlander to learn how the story is truly told.

Above is my copy of Drums of Autumn. It has been poured over this season, divided and marked as each episode progressed. Its poor spine is about to break!  My system was simple, the sticky notes mark what we DID get and the black clips mark what we DIDN’T.

From that I compiled the list below:

Chapter 12: The Return of John Quincy Myers
Omitted: Jamie in full Highlander regalia; JQM’s hernia operation on
River Run’s dining table.

(I think this was the chapter with the Claire/Jamie discussion of accepting RR, Jamie relates living as a slave/Jamie refusing his aunts offer of River Run?)

Chapter 13: An Examination of Conscience
Omitted: The murdered laundress/ Sgt. Murchison/Pollyanne the slave storyline.  This included Jamie’s confrontation with Murchison, backstory at Ardsmuir prison and their trip to the Tuscarora Village.
Chapter 17: Home for the Holidays
Omitted: Bree’s trip to Scotland – relationship establishing time with Brianna and Roger at the manse and at church, some of it quite funny.  Bree offers herself to Roger and he amicably refuses it.


Chapter 19: Hearth Blessing (I had a notation in my book that I loved this chapter.)
Omitted: Jocasta’s generosity/forgiveness of Jamie’s refusal to take RR.  Blessing the hearth (Highland tradition)  The beginning of life on Fraser’s Ridge. (Parts of this chapter were in episode 404)


Chapter 21: Night on a Snowy Mountain

Omitted:  Jamie gets lost/injured on a snowy night and Claire rescues him.  They spend the night discussing Brianna.  Memories of Frank. (We did get memories of Frank but not Claire’s memories.) This section contains Jamie questioning Claire about Brianna’s birthmark which we did get to see but in a different setting.  In the book this is a set up for Jem’s birth.


Chapter 25: Enter a Serpent
Omitted: The snake in the privy storyline which was hilarious and established a relationship between Ian and Willie.  I missed not seeing them together.


Chapter 30: Into Thin Air
Omitted: Roger receiving Brianna’s box of “history.”


Chapter 32: Grimoire

Omitted: Entire chapter – Fiona gives Roger Geillis’ grimoire with background information on time travel.


Chapter 33: Midsummer’s Eve
Omitted: Roger goes with Fiona to the stones.  He attempts to go through the stones and fails the first time. He sees his father. (This was filmed but edited out.)


Chapter 34: Lallybroch (This omission was my biggest disappointment of the

Omitted:  Almost entire chapter.  Bree meets her Scottish relations and is “introduced” to Jamie through them.   Ellen’s portrait – which establishes that Brianna looks just like her and where she gets her artistic ability.  Ian takes Bree to see Jamie’s cave.   Brianna’s confrontation with Laoghaire, the rest of the family learns what Leery did to Claire, the pearl slam. Hogwash!


Chapter 36: You Can’t Go Home Again
Omitted: Roger in Inverness in 1769.  The indentured family at the port which tore at the heartstrings.


Chapters 63-64: These chapters were hit and miss in the

Omitted: Claire delivers baby Jem while Jamie is forced to be the most uncomfortable birthing coach ever.  Roger at the stones for the second time.  Ian and Emily’s entire relationship.  Roger’s blood vow accepting Jem as his son.  (Is this the chapter the blood vow is in?)


Chapters 65-71 were omitted completely – perhaps these will be covered in season 5.

As stated above this is not to complain but to encourage non readers to discover the riches of the story as it is presented in the books.


As for my book, the sticky notes and clips have been removed, the book jacket has been placed back on the book, and it is now placed securely back on the shelf right beside The Fiery Cross which will get the same treatment in season 5.  See you then!


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