Previously on Outlander, ‘The Devil’s Mark’
The road to Lallybroch is a long and stunning one, but Jamie and Claire finally make it. Once it comes in to view, Jamie remembers to fill Claire in on the rumors of Jenny’s bastard child with Black Jack Randall (don’t forget–the first time Randall flogged Jamie it was at their home, right after he ripped Jenny’s clothes off). His suspicions are confirmed when they’re greeted by a toddling little boy, and then once more by his sister Jenny’s again-pregnant belly. Once he discovers that Jenny has married their longtime friend Ian Murray, though, and all the knocking up was his responsibility, the accusations and name-calling cease. Well, it stops long enough for everyone to get inside and sit down, at least.
Ever the understanding brother, Jamie demands that Jenny tell him what happened that day with Randall. She’s only going to tell this story once, but damn it’s a good one: basically, her and Randall smacked each other around once he dragged her to the bedroom, and when she realized he couldn’t make his Lil’ Captain salute her, she laughed in his face. Repeatedly, until he smashed her head into the bedpost; when she woke up, he was gone.
Jamie clearly owes Jenny an apology for thinking she was a slut for the last four years, but when Claire points that out, Jenny shuts her down; as she and I said in unison, “Bitch, this is not your conversation.” More or less. Then, because this is Be Shitty to Claire day, Jamie has to pull her aside to explain that she can’t just sass-talk him in front of the servants. He’s the Laird, dammit! Okay, he actually very respectfully explains that they have to present a united front if they were going to be respected by the people of Lallybroch.
Upstairs in the Laird’s Chambers (previously known as Jenny and Ian’s bedroom, about 20 minutes prior to this), Jamie reminisces about growing up at Lallybroch, then about his father–more specifically, how his father died. Papa Fraser went to Fort William to beg mercy from Captain Randall for his incarcerated son, and Randall made Jamie an offer: he could flog him from behind or he could flog him from behind, if you know what I mean. Jaime declined the buggering, and his father dropped dead in the prison yard as he watched his son get whipped.
The next day is Quarter Day, which is a much better version of rent day when the rents are brought to to the Laird instead of him having to collect them. The MacKenzies should take note. Jenny snippily explains to Claire that the tenants are like family, and that no one would think of turning Jamie in for the reward money. What Jenny doesn’t know is that the tenants are more like that one cousin who always has to borrow money from you, and Laird Jamie lets the rent slide until next time. He’s not generous to every tenant, he explains to Claire as he whiskey flops into bed that night; he doled out the Laird’s justice to MacNab, who Claire witnessed beating his son Rabbie earlier that day. The best part is that, on top of not collecting any money for the household, Laird Jamie actually added another mouth to feed when he took Rabbie in.
This Laird business is a hard gig, and Jenny has no sympathy for him–can’t blame her, since she and Ian seemed to be running things pretty well until Jamie waltzed back in. He demands her respect, which has to yet to actually work on any woman in any century, then demands to know why the bread is so bad. The mill is broken, but the new Laird won’t stand for it; he stomps down to fix it himself, Claire in tow. As he’s underwater trying to get the waterwheel to turn, a bunch of Redcoats ride by and Jenny has to song and dance to distract them from the big ginger fugitive underwater. Satisfied that everything is fine, the soldiers ride away, and this happens:
Worth the price of admission.
For the first time, Jenny sees the scars on Jamie’s back, and later that night she approaches him at their father’s gravesite. She thinks his flogging was all her fault, just like Jamie thinks their father dying was all his fault; they laugh, they cry, they forgive each other and all is well. Jenny doesn’t mention any reason she’s being such a bitch to Claire, but maybe that will come up next time.
That night, Jamie and Claire go to bed content to finally be home. The next morning, Claire isn’t surprised Jamie’s gone when she wakes up–he is an early riser, after all, just like Ian said. She walks out of their room on to the landing to see Jamie on the floor below with three men, their pistols trained at his head.
- I used to hate the theme song. I still don’t like it, but it sure is Pavlovian to hear it, dislike it, and still get excited. This show really gets under my skin in the best possible way.
- That opening scene got an audible gasp out of me. They really captured a Scotland that still looks so wild and green; I have no idea if it actually looks that way now or if it’s just talented cinematography, but it adds such a dense layer of believability to the whole story. None of this would have been as grand and epic on a sound stage.
- Underwater Jamie. Holy God in Heaven. Let’s visit that again, shall we?
- Black Jack’s Lil’ Captain… prosthetic or no? It had to be a prosthetic. At one point it looked like a half-filled water balloon.
- Claire finally said “I love you” to Jamie! I knew she hadn’t said it yet, and I felt it coming in that scene, but it still took me by surprise a little. I didn’t find it completely believeable, because it still feels like Jamie is the giver in this relationship, but I’m excited. I would love it if the romance scenes felt as intense as the sex scenes–like Claire was as 100% in as Jamie.
- Are we supposed to like Jenny? As Jamie’s sister, I thought we automatically would, but so far she’s thoroughly unlikeable. She’s got a lot to rebound from. I also read that she auditioned for Claire, which totally would not have worked. She looks like Muffy Mouse from Today’s Special…in a good way!