Previously, on Outlander: “Sassenach”
As Jamie and Claire and rest of the party arrive at Castle Leoch, they’re greeted with cheers and welcome and Mrs. Fitz, the castle housekeeper. She provides Claire with the necessities to tend to Jamie’s still wounded shoulder, and as Claire binds him and fixes him she catches sight of his grotesquely scarred back. Jaime tells her the story of Captain Randall’s visit to his farm, which led to the disrobing (and probable rape) of his sister Jenny, his flogging (which explains the scars), then subsequent arrest. As Claire bursts into tears over her“not alive” husband, Jaime comforts her by promising his protection…as long as they’re in the same room (cue ominous music).
The next day Claire is woken to Mrs. Fitz finally giving her “something more” to wear around the castle. The flurry of dressing is because Claire has been called to meet with Himself, Colum MacKenzie. As Claire waits for him in his office, she snoops around to discover that she is definitely in the 18th century–1743, to be exact, almost 200 years earlier than her previous life. Colum finally shows up for the meeting, his twisted bowed legs most likely being what took him so long. He makes it clear that while he doesn’t believe Claire’s story, he will treat her as a guest until he can send her back to Inverness in a few days. Now all she has to do is keep her head low and blend in.
That plan is immediately shot as Claire walks into the Grand Hall for dinner. It’s hard to be inconspicuous when an entire room grinds to a halt as you enter. She sits with the Brothers MacKenzie and is grilled by Colum as she dines (mostly on wine). It’s only when she awkwardly identifies young Hamish MacKenzie, the heir of Leoch, as being Dougal’s son instead of Colum’s that she realizes the Brothers have gotten her quite drunk in order to pump her for information.
The next morning, after she’s slept off her wine haze, Claire seeks Jaime out at the stables to bring him food and change his bandages. Over the picnic, Jaime tells her more of his outlaw story: when his friends sprung him from prison a British soldier was killed, and who better to blame it on than a recently escaped inmate? His uncles, the Brothers MacKenzie, brought him to Castle Leoch and gave him a nom de guerre to keep him hidden and presumably safe.
As Claire leaves the stables she confronts the hulking Scot who has been side-eyeing her and following her all over the village. The scene seems like it’s going to be yet another attempted rape, but Rupert instead reveals that he is the most charming of the men that Dougal has ordered to keep tabs on her. When she confronts Dougal, who so far is the only man on the show able to make Claire hold her tongue, he merely tells her that he thinks she is a British spy, and that he’ll have her watched every hour if it pleases him until he is convinced otherwise.
Put to work by Mrs. Fitz, Claire meets Geilles Duncan in the woods while she forages for food and herbs. Most of the villagers think Geilles is a witch, and she displays a knowledge of herbs that intrigues Claire. They start up a friendship, and that night in the Hall she translates for Claire the village disputes presented to Colum for judgement. The last case, a teenage girl accused by her father of “loose behavior”, is to be whipped as punishment, but Jaime steps in and takes the beating for her.
Tending to his wounds in the kitchen later that night, he admits to Claire that he did not know the girl Laoghaire (pronouned “lee-re”) but knew how hard it would be for her to earn her reputation back after being shamed. Laoghaire also turns out to be Mrs. Fitz’s granddaughter, and since Claire is leaving to return to Inverness the next day, she bids Jaime farewell and makes room for the pretty blonde girl to come thank him in private.
As Claire readies for her potential journey home the next morning, she answers one final summons to see Colum MacKenzie in the basement of the castle. The basement used to be the surgery–until their last healer died. Since Claire has knowledge of herbs and healing, Colum has decided that she should stay and work as the castle’s surgeon instead of catching her ride back to Inverness.
Most Memorable Moments:
- Claire’s face during her interrogation was priceless. It’s no wonder the Brothers MacKenzie think she’s a spy when every answer out of her mouth practically comes with it’s own suspicious eye-roll.
- Holy crap, Colum’s legs! It would be impossible to be in the same room with those legs and look anywhere else. I wonder what they called Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome before Toulouse-Lautrec. (the answer: Pycnodysostosis)
- This episode had a lot of juxtaposition, and I’m really digging it. Flashbacks can bog a show down and keep the current story from moving forward, but seeing Claire in the castle in 1743 and then flashing to her in the same room with Frank in the 20th century. Who knew her sexy basement would also be her new surgery? Maybe it’ll become a sexy surgery.
- The scene with Claire walking through the sheep pasture while Run, Rabbit, Run plays. This scene, aside from being beautifully shot (how else can you shoot scenery that idyllic?), perfectly encapsulates the entire episode. Her escape back to the 20th is always in the forefront of Claire’s brain, but she seems to find enjoyment in her new life and temporary surroundings. How long can a person live with that kind of internal conflict? At least two seasons, since the show’s renewal was announced earlier this week.