Previously on Outlander, “A. Malcolm”
Claire fights off her bedroom attacker with about the most enthusiasm she’s shown all season; this is definitely not the weepy, forlorn Claire from the beginning of the season. Unfortunately she’s a little too enthusiastic, and the man cracks his head on the fireplace and passes out. He’s only mostly dead, so naturally Claire wants to save the man who just threatened to kill her. Jamie, who is not interested in saving wife-attackers and would-be rapists, recognizes him as one of Sir Percival’s goons, which really cements the “should we let him die?” argument. Should cement it. But because Claire is Claire and is going to do what she wants regardless of the very present danger to her and her husband, she sets off to collect her surgical tools while Young Ian and Fergus liquidate the illegal whiskey hiding in the brothel basement.
Well that was a lot of angst and arguing for nothing. Even with the most medieval-looking skull drill of all time (word of the day: trepan), the intruder died on Claire’s table; now there’s still a body to get rid of. While Jamie hides the body in a cask of créme de menthe (possibly improving the flavor, since it certainly can’t get worse), Claire visits Archibald Campbell, who she met in the apothecary shop. Archie’s sister Margaret is soft in the head, and ol’ Arch spends half of his time keeping her drugged and quiet and the other half exploiting her as a “seer”. Real stand up fella, that one. He’s about to leave for the West Indies, which must be an important enough plot point that we have to sit through an entire conversation about it. Claire points him down a path of better treatment for Maggie for the trip and the rest of her life, namely less drugs and more tea.
All this drilling into bones and prescribing dirt water has Claire itching to get back into the hippocratic action; it’s been about 3 days since she showed up in Scotland and she’s practically itching to start her own surgery. Explaining all of this to Jamie is put on hold when Old Ian (worst nickname ever) shows up looking for his son. Knowing that Young Ian is off getting rid of evidence for his uncle, it’s surprising to hear Jamie say he has no idea where the kiddo is. Or maybe it’s not that surprising, since he and Claire then have to song-and-dance the hows and whys of Claire being alive. Maybe lying is just Jamie’s thing now. Back in the privacy of their brothel-room, Claire and Jamie have yet another philosophical discussion on the nuances of truth; at this point, I think they’ve spent more time arguing then having fantastic reunion sex, which clearly means they’re doing it wrong.
At least Fergus and Young Ian are out having a good time. They’ve offloaded all of Jamie’s contraband, including a few casks of questionable mouthwash-flavored drink, and are taking in the sights at the local tavern. The sights in this case are a lovely blonde named Brighid, and with the encouragement of Fergus and Whisky, Young Ian takes Brighid back to the print shop for some QT. Coitus is interruptus by Sir Percival’s one-eyed lackey. Young Ian tries to defend the castle but then accidentally reveals the hiding place of Jamie’s treasonous fliers. Fighting ensues and all of a sudden the whole place is up in flames. Jamie arrives just in time to pull Young Ian from the flames, but not in time to track down the one-eyed man or get his hands back on the fliers that he grabbed. Just like that, Jamie is an enemy of the crown and probably going to hang for treason.
Luckily, if you can call it that, he’s been using a pseudonym the entire time he’s been in Edinburgh, so Jamie Fraser has a chance of making it out alive while the hunt is on for Alexander Malcolm. He and Claire will make for Lallybroch to “return” Young Ian to his family, while Fergus will find the lawyer Ned Gowan; it seems that Jamie will need some legal advice on what to do with his other wife now that Claire is back.
That’s right: other. wife.
Worth mentioning (and there’s not much):
-This season’s pacing is all over the place; this episode felt really drawn out and slow, and I quite literally had to stop and restart because my eyes kept slamming shut. They can’t all be sexy reunion-caliber episodes, but I didn’t think their life would be back to “business as usual” so quickly. The reunion barely lasted one night!
-To date, Fergus has been the only one actually excited to see Claire again. Jamie passed out and has been holding her at arms’ length, and Old Ian’s reaction was mostly suspicious leaning towards accusation. At this rate, Jenny will probably spit in her face and call her a witch.
-So Jamie and Young Ian had the same sex-ed class; at least Jamie could blame his inaccuracies on learning from horses. Young Ian had to admit he learned it from whores, and he still didn’t have the facts! You’d think Jamie could have pulled him aside at any point and given him the heads up.
-It’s a hard day when Claire is being melodramatic and difficult and you still have to agree with her in the end. All of Jamie’s excuses about keeping Young Ian’s whereabouts a secret seem shady and self-serving with just a thin disguise of caring about the boy. And then that bombshell drops! And from all of the meaningful glances they’ve been sharing for the last few episodes, it looks like a secret that the entire family is in on. Next episode is going to get ugly.
Outlander S3E7 Review Score
"Créme de Menthe"
Outlander – S3E7 – “Créme de Menthe” | Caitrona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies