Previously on Outlander, ‘Lallybroch’
There are still strangers in the house, and they’re still holding a gun to Jamie’s head while Claire looks on. According to this band of men, they “know” the Lallybroch family and they don’t take well to strangers in the house, which of course is absurd and ironic. Jenny walks in and quickly clears up the misunderstanding–the strange men are part of The Watch, and this tall ginger man they don’t recognize is her cousin, erm, Jamie. Jamie McTavish. Geez, Jenny, he’s trying to stay undercover. You couldn’t even come up with a better name than his actual first name?
The Watch is essentially a group of criminals that go around collecting donations from the locals in exchange for protection from the Red Coats. When Jamie finds out Jenny and Ian feed and house these bandits every few months, he loses his shit. But Jenny has a Fraser temper to match his and lets loose right back at him. What choice did they have but to pay The Watch? They have it better than most families, and so far The Watch has protected them.
Um, they also eat all their food, drink all the whiskey, make insinuations at the dinner table, get into Ian’s good tobacco, and then set a wagon of perfectly good hay on fire, just for funsies. Jamie kicks some Watch ass after that little stunt, and the fight is broken up by their leader, the slightly respectable and not as despicable Taran MacQuarrie. He tries to recruit Jamie to The Watch, which Jamie of course declines because you don’t go riding about the countryside dealing with Red Coats when you have a price on your head that your new friends don’t even know about.
Jamie’s price won’t stay secret for long, because who just showed up but freakin’ Horrocks. Horrocks is the man Jamie paid to find out that Black Jack Randall killed the soldier Jamie is accused of murdering. It’s a very twisty plot point from episode 8, but it’s all coming full circle now that he and Jamie are under the same roof.
Horrocks doesn’t publicly admit to knowing Jamie, but that’s all so he can blackmail him for money. When Jamie doesn’t give him enough, he makes threats towards the family. You’ll not be surprised that those remarks don’t sit well with Jamie, but what is a surprise is that just as Jamie is about to draw his gun, a blade pokes through the front of Horrocks’ belly. Ian just ran Horrocks through with a sword! Apparently having only one leg makes you extra sneaky, and Ian was just as nonplussed at Horrocks’ threats.
Back at the ranch Jenny is going into labor, but it’s not an easy road ahead; the baby is breach, the midwife is out of town, and Claire has technically never delivered a baby. In the ultimate act of sisterly love, she offers to reach inside Jenny and guide the baby out. Even back then you at least have to buy the lady a drink first!
Taran has noticed that three men went out that afternoon, but Horrocks never returned. Jamie minces no words and admits not only to killing the Irishman, but also to the price on his head and the blackmail. There is little love lost between Taran and Horrocks, that Irish bastard, but in exchange for his complete understanding of the murder of one of his men, Jamie has to accompany The Watch on their Chisholm rent party raid. Even though everyone seems to trust these fellas, Ian insists on also going out on the raid to watch Jamie’s back. Since Jenny has forbidden Claire to tell him about the dangerous delivery ahead, he has no idea that he could come home a widow.
Dangerous delivery, indeed. Jenny spends a lot of her labor instructing Claire on how things will work when she’s gone–she has the look of someone who has come to terms with her impending death, as long as her baby is safely delivered. Once Claire is elbows deep in Jenny, though, everything takes a turn for the better and a healthy baby girl is delivered! In thanks for ushering baby Maggie into the world, Jenny gifts Claire with some truly hideous bracelets that once belonged Mama Fraser, gifted by an admirer on her wedding day. Wise move giving those to Claire after she’s removed her forearm from your uterus.
The ladies sit on the steps and watch for their men to come home. It’s been three days with no word, and as they glimpse Ian being half-carried into the yard, they realize he’s not being carried by Jamie. The raiding party had been a trap crafted by Horrocks and the Red Coats, and just as Jamie realized they were in a blind with no exit, the English set on them from above and fired at very close range. Most of the men were killed, Ian explains, but when Taran was hit Jamie wouldn’t leave him behind–and now the English have Jamie! AGAIN!
Thoughts on this episode:
-Well they can’t all be the best episode, can they?
-Considering what a snot Jenny was to Claire last week, they sure did find the time to become fast friends. I don’t think nurses take a hippocratic oath, so Claire must be a far better person than I am to hand deliver that baby. Seriously, the most unrealistic thing to happen on Outlander in thirteen episodes is for two women not to talk it out after one of them cops an attitude.
-As if childbirth weren’t already terrifying enough, now let’s imagine it with lack of modern medicine and clean facilities, where you’re totally prepared to meet your maker just to get a baby into the world. It is truly remarkable that women have had babies for thousands of years. Now everyone go call your mother.
-Another delicious goodbye scene for Jamie and Claire. Those two sure do have a way with parting words, although at some point they’re going to figure out that everytime they say goodbye, one of them finds themselves kidnapped and/or almost killed. Just stop saying goodbye already and go everywhere together–it’s what true newlyweds were meant to do anyway!
-If you’re as entralled with all things Outlander as I am (and if you’ve made it to this sentence, I’d wager that a yes), read this article about Terry Dresbach and the unbelieveable undertaking that is costuming Outlander. They make all the freaking plaid themselves!! Halloween costume ideas in 3…2…
-Ten bucks that the new royal baby’s name will be Margaret Ellen Marie. I hear the Duchess is a fan.