Spoilers ahead for Episode 12 of Outlander Season 4, called "Providence."
Only one episode of Outlander's fourth season remains before yet another hiatus kicks off, and there are plenty of plots that need to be resolved before the final credits role. Brianna and Roger's romance is one that could use at least some degree of closure, but the latest episode may have indicated that any closure for the two lovebirds might not be so great. Will their relationship be broken after the end of Season 4?
The two have been separated ever since they reunited, handfasted, fought, and then were sent in different directions back in Episode 8, and a lot has happened to both of them since then. Brianna was raped almost immediately after she and Roger went their separate ways, and she ended up pregnant and technically not officially married in the 18th century.
As for Roger... well, Jamie beat the stuffing out of him when under the impression that Roger had raped Bree, and Roger was sold to the Mohawk. These experiences could very well traumatize both characters to the point that further romance with each other just wouldn't work. Even book readers can't say for certain what's in store for them, as the show has taken some liberties in Season 4. Let's start with why Brianna may not be in a place to rekindle the relationship she once had with Roger.
As much as Bree has been devoted to Roger in his absence and hinging everything on his return when it's actually fairly unlikely, her priorities by the end of Season 4 are different than they would have been before she realized that she was pregnant. Everything -- from staying at River Run while her family tries to find Roger to attempting to blackmail Lord John Grey into a betrothal -- has been about protecting her unborn child, and we shouldn't expect that to just end once she gives birth.
Earlier in Season 4, Claire revealed that she couldn't imagine loving somebody more than Jamie or prioritizing somebody over Jamie until she became a mother. Doesn't it stand to reason that Brianna would prioritize her child over even her beloved Roger, if she was faced with a choice between the two?
What if Roger is so altered by his experiences with the Mohawk that he rejects Brianna and can't live with the fact that the child might belong to the man who raped her? I can't imagine Bree not focusing more on her child than on Roger if the situation calls for her to make a choice, and I also imagine that Roger might not be thrilled if he makes it back and discovers that Brianna held onto a jewel given to her by Bonnet, hidden in his tooth until Bree dropped the bombshell on the soon-to-be-hanged man that she was pregnant after being raped.
Admittedly, that jewel might mean a way for Bree to return to her own time, and Roger likely has one of his own. Still, my money is on Bree loving both her handfasted husband and her child very much, but siding with the protection of her child if need be. The question is whether need will be.
Roger has been devoted to Bree from almost the very first time he met her, immediately smitten and then so in love with her that he traveled back in time on the slim chance of finding her and winning her over to marriage.
He was lucky enough to find and handfast her, and despite the fight that unfortunately sent Bree into a situation where she met Stephen Bonnet, he never wanted to give up on her. Even when given the opportunity against all odds to travel back to his own time and away from the Mohawk, he loved her too much to leave.
The events of "Providence" may have disillusioned him on his deep and abiding love for Brianna. He called himself a fool and and an idiot for sticking in the 18th century when he could have returned to his own time, without looming death at the hands of the Mohawk. In fact, when he met a fellow prisoner who wound up in trouble with the Mohawk because of a romance, he tried to talk the man out of a grand gesture that would result in his own death.
The other prisoner was a priest by the name of Father Alexandre. He had come to the Mohawk to try and convert them, and he fell in love and conceived a child with the Mohawk healer. Although the Mohawk welcomed the situation, Alexandre felt that he had disgraced himself as a priest of the Catholic father -- a.k.a., meant to be celibrate for life -- and couldn't in good faith baptize his child. This displeased the Mohawk, and he was to be slowly burned to death unless he gave in.
Despite all of Roger's attempts to persuade him to stop being "an idiot" for love and just baptize (or at least pretend to baptize) the baby to save his own life, Father Alexandre went the route of a martyr. Roger managed to dig himself out of the hut where they'd been contained, but he proved that he hasn't lost all of his heart when he ran back to the village after hearing the tortured screams of the priest.
Unable to save Alexandre from being killed, Roger nevertheless threw fuel on the fire so that it would consume him faster, and he died painfully but quickly. Yay? Unfortunately, Alexandre's Mohawk lover set down their child and walked into the flames after he perished, embracing his corpse and dying as well. Not so yay. Roger witnessed this, and if he wasn't traumatized with regard to relationships before, he may be now.
Assuming that Claire and Co. manage to rescue Roger and return him to Brianna, are they too broken by their experiences individually to heal their relationship? Even without their respective traumas, they have some issues to deal with after how their wedding night ended.
How will Roger react to Brianna's pregnancy? Could he accept a child that might belong to a man who raped her, a man who Roger already hated for his own reasons? Are they too different as people now for each other?
As a book reader, I can guess what's in store, but after Outlander went wild with Murtagh's story, I won't bank on anything. At this point, I just hope they're both safe, alive, and recovering by the end of the season, whether or not they get a happily-ever-after. Only time will tell. At least Murtagh didn't die in this episode!