Hard to believe we are over halfway through season 4. There have been so many heated, well thought out and random discussions in the fandom and then here I am…picking something out of the blue to yammer on about.
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. For the surprise appearances and how they made me feel. There were a lot of those…feels.
I believe, like the characters in this episode showed us, the bonds created in our life help form who we become. They are huge contributors to developing our personalities and how we relate to others. Genetics is one thing but the influence of those we surround ourselves with and the interactions we end up having with those people is a large part of who we become.
We see a great deal of Brianna’s past in this episode. Not just in the literal past, but her past. The relationship she had with her father, Frank. Which I think most daughters can say, good or bad, help form who they become as women. That relationship will establish how deeply we trust, our loyalties and most important of all be a major contributor to the confidence we have (or don’t have). The father figure etches parts of us that we can’t recarve. It’s there. We can sand it back down but it takes work and it whittles away at the way it was. Brianna was blessed to have a beautiful experience and positive relationship with the father who raised her.
This episode showed us, it doesn’t matter what we may think about Frank. Our opinion, our view of him, won’t ever be a reflection of Brianna’s experience. She was ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ and even though that comes with its own set of challenges, Brianna has a deep love for her Daddy. She, of course, wants to be independent and strong, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want his validation. Naturally, Claire’s determination and willfulness comes out in Bree and Frank handles it with a gentle hand, more so than he did with Claire. That in itself shows the care he had for Brianna and why she saw him the way she did.
Brianna continued to seek Franks approval. Even after he died. Apologizing for arguing with him, not telling him she loved him, wishing she agreed to go with him to England and finally by promising him to “Soldier On”. Taking his final words to her and using them to fuel her journey to her mother. Seeing him on the dock at the end of the episode wasn’t simply a farewell. It was a moment of this is your time and bless and release. I saw this as the moment that Brianna finally understood what her father meant when he told her one day she would understand. She got it and knew it was time to go, head held high, with purpose, determination and her father with her.
Frank will never leave Brianna because he lives in her. He helped shape who she is, what she will accept in life, how she will trust, who she will be loyal to and how she will process and form new relationships. He is a part of her every day without being a physical part of her journey. It’s something people should get used to.
I think Brianna’s grief over the loss of her parental bonds speaks very loudly in the person we see now. She is not broken…but there are cracks in the armour. Cracks she has to build walls around in order to feel safe. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love or feel. It means she protects herself from pain. She puts the feelings aside, in order to meet the task ahead, it seems to me that is what is keeping her upright. For now. Kudos to Sophie Skelton this episode. She did a fantastic job spanning all those years.
There is another bond here that I found immensely interesting. It involves Laoghaire. Brilliantly portrayed by Nell Hudson. I know this because I really really do not like this woman, seeing her makes me make that face you make when you bite into something when you think its something else. Go ahead…take a moment to boo and hiss!
I don’t think we were shown “another side” of Laoghaire as much as we were shown her normal every day as a mother. She picked up a stranger off the road that was in distress, she fed, kept her comfortable, shared stories of her daughter and her life with her. All very motherly stuff. However, the ultimate defect in her character was compounded by the severed bond she had with Jamie. Just as solid and tender bonds help form who we become, so do the broken ones. Very often, the broken ones are the ones that create the traits we are less proud of and likely show less often.
We ALL know people that are lovely, wonderful people. They treat most others with kindness, they love their children and would do absolutely anything for them. But. They have “that person”. That person they despise. If that person’s name is mentioned…that lovely wonderful human turns into someone you never would have expected. The car keying, punch throwing, gossip spreading devil! Horns, spit, fire…they go off the deep end to get an ounce of satisfaction in hurting the person that has done them wrong.
Am I sticking up for Laoghaire? Oh hell no! Am I saying Laoghaire reminds me of Karen down the street whose ex-husband married Rita? You betcha! Karen can be a real piece of work. Laoghaire takes shit to level 98, mostly because it’s TV and going to a level 5 just isn’t worthy of our visceral hate of her.
You know who else demonstrated a bond in this episode? Roger. Richly played by Richard Rankin.
Roger, a man who chose to leave his own time for a woman he loves. Roger, who lost his own mother as a young boy. Roger who so innocently told a child there was no such a thing as a sea monster and later on – the young girl was thrown overboard by one.
For a man like Roger, the horror of seeing suffering doesn’t break him, it does, embolden him. Roger, quickly formed a connection with a young mother aboard a ship full of strangers. Putting him in the position of protector, Roger takes risks he knows he shouldn’t but follows his morals above all else. He was determined to keep Morag and her child safe from certain death. The child’s teething rash was likely to be mistaken for smallpox and they would face the same fate as the others, tossed overboard. Roger actions were selfless and swift. Some may question his motives but I think it was simply Roger’s need to feel like he was doing something with all the chaos going on around him. This relationship with Morag and her son grounds him to the goodness he has inside. That goodness nearly cost him his life.
You could see when he thought Bonnet meant to gamble Morag and the child’s life with a coin toss that he was horrified. Yet when it was his own life, he was scared, but he seemed resigned to it. As if, this was more acceptable to him.
Rogers word is his bond. He does not give it lightly but when he does, he will stake his life on it. Which means for the next 6 episodes, we are in for a damn interesting ride.
Sher (ABOotlander Founder)
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