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Outlander – S1E11 – The Devil’s Mark

Previously on Outlander, ‘By the Pricking of my Thumbs’

Last week Claire and Geillis Duncan were arrested as witches and were going to be thrown in the Thieves Hole, which is exactly where we find them at the beginning of this episode. Since they have all night together there’s plenty of time for them to hash things out: whether Claire led them to Geillis, how Dougal won’t be riding in to save them, why Claire thinks this is all Geillis’ fault. It’s a long, cold night of back and forth bitchiness that gets them nowhere, because in the morning they’re pulled from their hole to go to trial.

burn the witch

Things are already looking grim for the ladies–the villagers aren’t wasting any time building their funeral pyre–but who should ride in to save the day but Lawyer Ned! It’s…Ned. I would have prefered Jaime or Dougal or anyone with a big sword and a fast horse, but sure. I guess a lawyer could be helpful.

Ned does actually end up being helpful, turning many of the witnesses around on themselves. At the end of the day he is actually hopeful that things will be sorted out, which I’m sure kept the ladies warm in their second cold dank night in the hole. At least he gave them whiskey! Their second night of imprisonment was far friendlier than the first: they gossiped (Geillis loves Dougal!), they revealed secrets (and she’s a Jacobite!!), they drank whiskey together. It’s a regular slumber party with these two.

witch with a b

The second day of trial was not quite as promising as the first; after all, these villagers went through all that trouble of piling all that wood up. They want to see a burning, dammit! Luckily Laohaire came down from Castle Leoch, and by the time she’s done with her tears and her blonde hair, the crowd is practically lighting the courtroom on fire. And then in stomps Father Bain, looking like a righteous Matrix extra, and gives the very definition of fire and brimstone speech about Claire saving a young boys’ life when he himself could not. It’s looking up, right? When the preacher is on your side, surely you’re not a witch! But then some jerk from crowd–and there’s always one at these kinds of things–gets all worked up about how this witch made a Man of God lose his way, and that was basically the end of all hope.

scared witches

Ned pulls the ladies aside and tries to convince Claire to testify against Geillis. It’s not a bad plan, really; everyone thought Geillis was a witch anyway. Claire waffles and wavers between her desire to be a good girlfriend and her desire to not be extra tasty crispy, but when Ned calls on her to testify, she can’t do it, which is kind of too bad because she was immediately convicted of witchcraft right after that. Ned pulls a gun in court, which seems to be frowned upon even back then, and in all the commotion Geillis whispers to Claire that it is possible–that she can go back to 1968.

Wait, what???

Claire Whipped

No time for Claire to register that conversation–she’s being pulled down from the podium by the angry mob, defrocked, and whipped across her back. As she’s screaming out at each lashing (Rightfully so. That looked brutal), we see a tall ginger head bobbing through the crowd. JAIME! It’s Jaime and he finally showed up to save Claire and even though he took his sweet-ass time getting there and waited until the very last minute, at least he’s here!! He holds the crowd off at sword point and Geillis screams out into the crowd. She’s the witch! She has laid with Satan and is having his baby and bears his mark–and Geillis, who is doing all of this to save Claire, rips the sleeve off her dress to reveal the same round cigarette-looking scar that Claire has on her shoulder. Claire realizes what she is, who she is, what she said, and then has to be pulled away while the crowd carries her one true friend and fellow time traveler off to her death.

heart to heart

“I believe you, Sassenach. Although it would have been a good deal easier if you’d only been a witch.” – Jaime

In the relative safety of the woods, the moment has come for Jaime and Claire to have a little heart-to-heart. Not wanting Jaime to think she’s a witch, she explains the smallpox vaccination scar she and Geillis had. She explains about Black Jack Randall and the standing stones, how she became a healer, she explains everything with the single silliest phrase of all time: “I’m from the future”.

Jaime believes her, of course. Or he says he does, and to prove it he takes Claire the back way up to Craigh na Dun. One last sex scene and then he has to give up his wife forever. As she makes her way to the stones he pulls her back one last time, not ready to give her up, but then gets over it immediately and leaves her up there to see herself out. He sets up camp down the hill, and Claire spends her alone time realizing that she doesn’t want to be left alone without Jaime. She runs down the hill, yelling his name. He wakes up by his campfire, hears Claire calling him, and searches for her in the dark, the two finally finding each other and swearing to never be apart again.

never say goodbye

THAT’S how it should have happened, but it didn’t. Claire decides she can’t leave Jaime and sneaks up on the poor sleeping bastard by his campfire. Then in the 100% most unromantic way she could think of to tell him she’s not leaving him, she stands over him and says, “On your feet, soldier”

  • I loved this episode! It felt like such a season finale–it had excitement and romance and almost death and a good whipping (Just kidding. That part actually made me cry out). I can’t believe there’s more to come!
  • Two ladies who spent the night in what is essentially cave have really never looked so good. It’s hard to really buy into the fear when their hair is still flawless. Messy flawless.
  • Geillis’ Gandalf impression. I would have paid money for her to actually say “Fly, you fools!”
  • Speaking of LoTR, didn’t this feel like the episode with 5 endings? Each time the scene was over I was certain that had to be the end. Claire reaches for the stones, fade to black. Jaime leaves her on the hill, fade to black. Claire stares at her rings all night, fade to black. Not that I’m complaining. This is the one instance where I love that an episode feels like it’s going to last forever.
  • ”I’m from the future.” I just cannot believe they couldn’t find a less hokey-1950’s-sci-fi way to say that! Everything was building and her story was spilling out of her and then: thunk. What a heavy brick of a line.
  • And then speaking of being from the future, didn’t Claire take the most ass-backwards route to revealing the truth to Jaime? Instead of telling him all of the things she knows that she shouldn’t and the hows and the whys, next time LEAD with being from the future. Every other explanation will pretty much fall into place after that.
  • Are we supposed to like Geillis now? I know she’s now Claire’s time-travel buddy, so she’s also stranded in another time, and she did just save Claire, but being her friend has been nothing short of a pain in the ass. And she was weird. I don’t think the show is going to suffer with her gone, and I’m not gonna miss her.
About Robyn Horton (94 Articles)
Robyn grew up a military brat whose parents let her indulge in her love of literature, mythology, movies, musicals, and Kings Quest (without telling her how nerdy they were). She is now a reformed graphic designer with a husband, two dogs, a Sweeney Todd themed bathroom, and a burning need to know how many books really can fit in one house.

1 Comment on Outlander – S1E11 – The Devil’s Mark

  1. This was a really good episode, gosh sam heughon is one fine man. This episode just felt like one thing after the other, just to try and knock you off your feet. I loved your recap cause I could relieve the episode all over again. And did you notice how Jamie was about to burst out of his jacket? #Damn

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