Outlander Season 4, Episode 2 ratings look back: A big tumble

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

The ratings for Outlander Season 4, Episode 2 saw a big tumble from the previous episode. We look at why that happened in our anniversary look back.

This time last year, Outlander Season 4, Episode 2 aired for the very first time. In our ratings look back, we assess the big tumble in the Live + Same Day ratings that occurred.

According to TV Series Finale, the ratings dropped 19.5% in the total audience and a big 38% in the demo. Drops from the first to the second episode of any season is common, but this was a large drop in both metrics. In fact, it took both metrics to the second-lowest of the entire season. The total audience dropped below the million for the first time since the second season.

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Was it a sign of failure on the show’s part? Possibly but also possibly not.

Remember that the ratings are only for the Live + Same Day ratings on the channel. These figures don’t include the number of those watching directly through the STARZ app, or those watching through the likes of Amazon Channels and the Hulu channels add-on. It is certainly possible that people went from watching through the channel during the first episode to watching on the app for the second episode.

However, it is also possibly due to the first episode seeing mixed reviews. The ending of the Outlander Season 4 premiere included that moment of “America the Beautiful” playing over the attack on the boat. For some, it worked. For others, like myself, it was too jarring, taking us out of the period setting of the fourth season. Even with the explanation behind it, it still didn’t work for me.

I’ll admit the second episode felt a little odd. While I appreciated that we saw the doctor side of Claire, who needed to save everyone and didn’t necessarily understand everything about the slave trade of the 18th century, it was hard to watch her attempt to save someone who would have to be killed anyway because it was the law at the time.

Outlander Season 4
Outlander — Courtesy of STARZ — Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

I also disliked the fact that she tried to play hero, being the one person against everyone else attempting to change the entire slave trade a century before it was ready to happen. Yes, I’m against it, but it was far too tropish to have someone from the future attempt to change something that had everyone in the time period following.

These points may have seen a drop in the ratings. There’s no doubt that people follow the groups on Facebook and reviews on Twitter. They would have seen the negativity around this episode and may have decided to wait until later to watch the episode, instead of needing to watch it live.

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What did you think if Outlander Season 4, Episode 2? Were you surprised at the drop in the ratings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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