Why the confusion between Lizzie and Brianna was completely understandable in Outlander

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Outlander delivered a beautiful episode with Brianna meeting her parents, but it had a horrific end. While book fans are quick to judge Lizzie and Brianna in Drums of Autumn, the series showed it as understandable confusion.

It’s easy to get an opinion and then stick with it. We’re all quick to make a judgment and form an opinion. One thing I love about Outlander the TV series is that it can turn a storyline on its head. It can offer a slight adaptation that makes confusion completely understandable, and that’s exactly what happened with the confusion over Roger and Bonnet.

As I’ve said, the only person responsible for Roger being confused for being the rapist is really Bonnet. Had he not raped Brianna, none of this would have happened. Brianna might have been more open to discuss who Roger was. In fact, she’d have realized who Lizzie was talking about.

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Brianna’s lack of communication isn’t to blame

I get the feeling that Brianna had no idea who Lizzie was talking about during the beginning of Episode 9. Sure, Brianna glanced back into the pub as Roger pulled her out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she saw Lizzie come down the stairs. I know when I’ve glanced back walking out of somewhere, I don’t necessarily fixate on anything.

Brianna wouldn’t know that Lizzie saw Roger. Since Lizzie had spent the day in the inn, Brianna could have immediately thought “was it him” meant Stephen Bonnet.

Plus, Brianna didn’t have to talk about what happened to her. This was just after the rape, so she was still processing it all.

There are so many feelings and emotions after rape: confusion, guilt, blame, anger, fear, shock. I know I’m missing others. The last thing Brianna would want to do is tell a girl she only barely knows about it when all she wants is to find her parents.

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Lizzie understandably jumped to a conclusion

When it comes to Lizzie, it’s easy to see why she jumped to one conclusion. She never saw Bonnet but knew that Roger had pulled Brianna from the inn. Without hearing the conversion, all she saw was an argument and Brianna getting pulled away. She had no idea about the handfasting or the argument afterward.

Then Lizzie saw the aftermath. The bruises, the blood, the shaking. Lizzie knew that something bad had happened and her mind took the two events and pieced them together.

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We’re all guilty of making these sorts of assumptions. Right now, many of us are watching the show seeing both Lizzie and Brianna’s storylines play out together. Had we only seen Lizzie’s up to this point, we’d all have made the same assumptions.

Lizzie’s fear made sense. Telling Jamie everything she saw made sense.

We can’t blame lack of communication when it comes to the TV show. Outlander played out this story expertly, showing how it’s easy to jump to conclusions and mistakes can be devastating. Neither woman is to blame for Roger’s beating, as both are a case of mistaken identity.

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What did you think of how the show adapted this part of the book slightly? Could you see this from Lizzie’s point of view? Did you understand Brianna’s reluctance to talk? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander continues on Sundays at 8/7c on STARZ.