“Outlander” has a history of breaking fans' hearts, but in terms of emotional drama “The Ballad of Roger Mac” is right up there. The Fraser family took a brutal beating as the crown pushed through the Battle of Alamance, but tragedy isn't done coming for this clan just yet. From a broken syringe and a major character’s death, to the fate of another lead being left in the air by the quiet, closing moments, there's plenty of uncertainty and unrest throughout this week’s hour.
As history predicted, the Red Coats easily overtook the rebels with their superior cavalry, but after Bree Sophie Skelton rode out to warn her parents and Roger Richard Rankin that Murtagh Duncan Lacroix and his men would inevitably fall, the family did their best to avoid war one more time. That meant Roger, who has struggled to find his place since deciding to stay in the past with his family, needed to put himself in danger and travel to the opposing camp in an attempt to call the Regulators off.
Unfortunately what makes Roger so likable in his own timeline — his logic, kindness and love — is exactly what men of the past are unable to reconcile in their own heads. He's a threat simply because he is different, and ultimately that's what endangered his life by the time the war kicked off. Despite Murtagh heeding his family's advice and trying to call off the men and save lives, honor was on the line and the farmers were all-in on the bloodshed. Still, things might have worked out for Roger anyhow had he managed to escape the camp, but then fate stepped in and brought him face-to-face with Morag MacKenzie Elysia Welch the woman he had saved on Bonnet's Ed Speleers ship.
When Morag's husband caught Roger hugging her a modern display of affection easily misconstrued here, he immediately turned violent, which was hard to watch emotionally for a number of reasons. Firstly Roger was trying to save the man's life and had offered a future for them at Fraser's Ridge, but secondly because it was that man who led Roger to being captured and — if the assumption at the end of the episode is correct — hanged.
There have been plenty of emotional moments throughout the history of the show, but Roger's potential death ranks right up there with the loss of Claire's Caitriona Balfe baby or Brianna's assault. Knowing his fate in the books and not knowing how the writers will follow that story makes it hard to write about here viewers who haven't read the books and don't want to know should be careful with their quick Google fingers, but even the fact that Roger could potentially be dead will sit heavily on Claire, Bree and Jamie Sam Heughan in the episodes to come. War is devastating; war involving family is next-level. Every decision...
Though “The Plot Against America” took its time to get going, it’s full steam ahead for David Simon’s Philip Roth adaptation by Episode 4 — but to what end? With just two episodes to go, the drama has certainly flared up: The Levin familial bonds are being pushed to the brink as Sandy falls increasingly under Lindbergh’s spell, with the help of Aunt Evelyn and her new boyfriend Rabbi Bengelsdorf. The lines have been drawn, and it’s not looking good for either side. While this was by far the most exciting episode so far, it still feels as though Simon is obligingly following Roth’s outline rather than forging his own path.
In both the novel and the series “The Plot Against America,” there’s an unmentioned but implicit rhetorical question reaching out from beyond the page and screen. To borrow from the musical “Cabaret,” one of the only pieces of pop culture to artfully grapple with this unthinkable dilemma: What would you do? If a fascist were elected president of your country, if your sister started dating one of his shills, if your son was secretly sketching his visage by flashlight — how would you behave? Would you flee to Canada, organize the resistance, or stick your head in the sand and hope for the best?
The fourth episode hones in on these questions with laser-like precision, enjoying the fruits of the preceding three episodes that felt, both in retrospect and in real time, mostly like set-up. Having returned from his “Just Folks” adventure in Kentucky, a Hitler Youth-esque recruiting tool of Rabbi Bengelsdorf’s John Turturro design, Sandy has quite literally become the poster child for assimilationist Jews. Evelyn Winona Ryder proudly features him in a brochure for the program, against Bess’ Zoe Kazan wishes.
Sandy’s transformation has been building since the pilot episode, which ended with him surreptitiously sketching Charles Lindbergh from of a newspaper clipping. Having planted the seeds deliberately, the show earns its most uncomfortable moment so far when Sandy spits at his parents, calling them “ghetto Jews — narrow-minded ghetto Jews.” His transformation is complete. When Bess slaps him across the face, it’s hard not to let out a silent cheer. Your Jewish firstborn becoming a Nazi sympathizer may be the rare instance when a kid deserves a good wallop.
Less effective is a Shabbas dinner argument between Herman Morgan Spector and Bengelsdorf, where Herman puts aside any last shred of civility to tell the Rabbi what he really thinks of his man Lindbergh. Maybe it’s the fact that only the men are talking while the women make sidelong glances of...
The BBC has announced plans to host a coronavirus telethon on April 23, bringing together its two charity partners, Comic Relief and Children In Need, for the first time.
Produced by BBC Studios, The Big Night In will go live for three hours on BBC One and aims to cheer up the nation by spotlighting stories of kindness, humor and hope during the catastrophic coronavirus pandemic.
Along the way, the show will invite donations which will go towards vulnerable people who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Comic Relief and Children In Need will funnel the cash to local charities on the frontline.BBC
The BBC said the show would be star-studded, but is yet to name any famous names taking part. The broadcaster’s last telethon, Sport Relief, was hosted by the likes of Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness and featured contributions from the Stranger Things cast.
The BBC added that The Big Night In will be broadcast live while respecting “all current social isolating government protocols.” Peter Davey and Colin Hopkins will executive produce. It was commissioned by BBC director of content Charlotte Moore, entertainment chief Kate Phillips and Katie Taylor.
Moore said: “BBC One will bring the nation together for this special one-off live charity event. I would like to thank both BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief for joining forces in these unprecedented times to provide their support to local charities, projects and programmes across the whole UK; and to all of the stars taking part in this unmissable night of entertainment when the country needs it most.”
The BBC’s Big Night In follows similar plans in the U.S., where Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert will front One World: Together At Home across NBC, ABC and CBS on April 18. The event, which is curated by Lady Gaga, has been put together by social action platform Global Citizen and the World Health Organization.