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"Common Ground" finds the creators of Outlander once again dancing around the inherent race issues of the show's source material to produce an episode packed with plot twists -- and Claire in pants.
I'm no historian and I'm sure there were peaceful interactions between colonialists and natives, but the idea that this conflict was so easily resolved is a little bit hard to swallow.
The symbolism of Jamie killing a Native American by impaling him with one of the stakes that marks his (stolen) land is completely bonkers.
Common Ground, slows down to take in the beauty of Fraser Ridge and in doing so crafts a beautifully paced episode with little else left to desire by the end.
Writer Joy Blake has expertly weaved the tales of the Cherokee, the Frasers, the relationship and pulls of a mother and a daughter, and a man desperately in love.
A pretty significant piece of information... adds some genuine suspense to the story, and Outlander reveals it fairly late in the episode, making for a solid cliffhanger.
Claire donning pants and being a part of her small family life on the mountain is so fantastically delightful. I'm looking forward to more of it.
The image of Claire and Jamie embracing within the foundation of their new home shortly before the scene crossfades to a roaring fire is MEAN, SHOW.
The episode does seem aware of the friction between framing Jamie as its hero and the fact that he's settling on ancestral Cherokee land, but fleetingly...
GIVE US THE BEAR FIGHT, SHOW.
"Common Ground" makes room for both the optimism and boundless potential of starting fresh in a new land, and for a reminder that the land was only "new" to the white people who took it over.