Outlander Season 4: Sophie Skelton and Matt B. Roberts defend Brianna’s slap

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

Fans are divided on Brianna slapping Jamie in Outlander Season 4. Sophie Skelton and Matt B. Roberts defend her actions and explain the reason for them.

Love it or hate it, Outlander Season 4 delivered a moment where Brianna slapped Jamie across the face (and punched Young Ian). It’s a moment that has left fans divided, and it was certainly an adaptation to the book scene. Sophie Skelton and Matt B. Roberts have shared their reasoning behind the slap with Entertainment Weekly.

I’ll be honest and say that I understood Brianna’s actions. It’s easy to go into a show with our modern-day thinking. However, a period drama needs to be thought outside of the constraints of our own time. Brianna isn’t just a modern-day woman 200 years in the past. She’s a 1970s woman, 200 years in the past.

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We already have the 200 years in the past time jump. But then there’s the consideration of a 20-something in the 1970s, whose life has been completely turned upside down since the death of the man she knew as her father.

Skelton and Roberts both defended Brianna, sharing that it’s important to look at this moment from Brianna’s POV — something I’ve seen many Outlander fans guilty of not doing. When I analyze actions, I’ll look at it from the characters’ POVs, understanding their individual storyline and taking out my feelings towards other characters. It’s the only way to be fair.

Throughout preparing for and filming Season 4, Skelton took time to research rape victims and their actions afterward. Everyone is different. Some will brush themselves off and move on, others will be more mentally scarred from the attack. Brianna couldn’t just be a rape victim, though. There were so many other elements thrown into this storyline that would have affected her personality in this argument with Jamie.

What’s also important to remember is that Jamie called Brianna a w***e. He outright told her that she’d lied about the rape. Just being called a liar naturally brings up anger, but being told you’re lying about rape or sexual assault — especially when he’d been a victim himself — crossed a line.

Related Story. 7 best Brianna moments in Outlander Seasons 2 and 3. light

Skelton also shared that this was a way to show Brianna is Jamie’s daughter. It’s a comment that’s brought up later in the season by Claire. Brianna and Jamie act first. They’re stubborn and they have fiery personalities. It may not be an excuse, but Jamie isn’t perfect, even though we’d like him to be. He’s made mistakes in anger, and this was Brianna’s mistake.

Roberts also acknowledged just how hard it is to adapt these books. It’s not about the time or budget, but about the diversity of the fans. There are some book fans who are purists — they want everything to be exactly as it is in the books. Then there are others who are fans of the books but accept the show as something different. Finally, there are those who watch the show first.

The series needs to make sense to those who haven’t read the books. Think of it as a cliff notes version of the books. It needs to give the details and make sense, but then there’s a whole world to discover within the tomes Diana Gabaldon has written.

For me, Brianna slapping Jamie was the perfect decision for the scene. Tensions were high and the anger was waiting to explode. Jamie had said some awful things to a rape victim, and the slap was a reaction in the heat of the moment.

It wouldn’t be for us to judge a 1970s 20-something thrown back 200 years dealing with the mess of the situation she’s found herself in through mostly (since she did choose to go to the past) no fault of her own. We’ve never been in that situation so it’s hard to say exactly how we would react!

dark. Next. 20 best moments in Outlander Season 4

What did you think of Outlander Season 4? Do Sophie and Matt’s comments help to shed more light on the slap? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Season 5 is currently filming. Like Claire and Jamie on Facebook for more updates straight to your feed.