On last week’s Outlander, Jamie spanked Claire and Claire held a knife to his throat while they had sex. Colum found out about the Jacobite sympathies among Dougal’s men and that Dougal sired Hamish, Colum’s son … who is actually his nephew, I guess. Wow. Laoghaire tried to use her boobs to end Jamie’s marriage. It didn’t work. What a great week we had!
After a quick shot of someone loading a gun (ominous!), this week’s episode formally begins with Jamie’s head buried between Claire’s thighs, which, quite frankly, is the way every episode of every television show should begin. I don’t care what it’s about or who’s in it — like … Game of Thrones? Perfect. American Idol? I’d vote them through to the next round, no question. How about season two of True Detective? Less broody manpain, more Claire/Jamie cunnilingus.
But seriously, Outlander is the most pro-cunnilingus, pro-female sexuality cable drama I’ve seen and I just … I want to say:
But! Amidst all the heavy breathing and panting, a loud banging (lol) on the door interrupts the sexplay. Jamie initially looks up at Claire and says “no, NO” because this man is committed to two things: 1) enthusiastically performing oral sex on his wife and 2) making me LOSE MY DAMN MIND.
But Jamie eventually relents and lets Murtagh in. Murtagh — after bashfully realizing what he’s interrupted — explains that the Duke of Sandringham has arrived and he’s staying nearby. Jamie is encouraged by this, because the Duke of Sandringham apparently has a soft spot for the lad. And for…several lads? INTERESTING! Jamie doesn’t really care at all that the duke is gay; the man might actually be able to lift the murder charge Jamie’s been accused of. But: Claire reveals that the Duke of Sandringham is Black Jack’s protector and warns Jamie not to trust him; she’s cagey about how she knows this because time travel, obviously.
Murtagh advises that Jamie consult with Ned Gowan before meeting with the duke. Jamie takes this opportunity to smolder-remind Claire that if the price is lifted from his head, they can both return to Lallybroch, he can be the laird of Broch Tuarach, and she his lady. I refrain from swooning. How can anyone refuse this man ANYTHING?
Taking Murtagh’s advice, Jamie visits with Ned, who cautions that even with the duke’s support, it’ll be Black Jack’s word versus Jamie’s in a courtroom. But Ned also advises that a good strategy would be to establish that Black Jack is too much of a liability for the Duke of Sandringham to keep him as an ally. (THIS Ned would be excellent in Westeros!) Ned draws up a petition accusing Black Jack of crimes against the Scottish people and for breaking the king’s laws. If Jamie can convince the duke to deliver this petition to the lord president of the court in session, it could lead to a court martial or a reassignment out of Scotland for everyone’s favorite sadist. HOORAY! (And also boo/hiss a little? Idk, guys, this show has messed me up.)
If Randall were disgraced, THEN Ned might be able to win Jamie a general pardon in court. Oh, yes, I can give this a fully unqualified HOORAY.
Meanwhile, Claire strides purposefully into the kitchens to chat with Laoghaire. Some fans of Outlander have taken to calling Laoghaire “leg hair,” but honestly that’s an insult to leg hair, which has done nothing to deserve such a vicious comparison. The proper pronunciation of her name “Leery” is all too appropriate because she’s a creepy leering asshole. Begone with ye, wench.
As politely as she can manage, Claire asks Mrs. Fitz to clear out so she can talk to Laoghaire. Once they’re alone, Claire confronts Laoghaire about leaving that creepy little stick thing under her bed. Laoghaire plays dumb (not hard, is it?), but Claire presses on, reminding Laoghaire that Jamie was never hers. Well, that tears it for ol’ Leering Creep. She says Claire’s trapped Jamie in a loveless marriage, calls Claire a “cold English bitch” and says Jamie must have to get drunk “before he can stand to plow your field.”
That’s right! Claire channels her inner Jersey Shore goddess and smacks Leering Creep right across the face. Claire immediately halfheartedly apologizes — but Leering Creep is pretty happy to confess that she DID put the bad juju stick-thingy under Claire and Jamie’s bed, and she WILL have Jamie, because nothing is a fuller expression of true love than using magic to force someone to be with you. Leering Creep also gloats that Claire’s good buddy Geillis Duncan sold her the ill wish doll. I wish I could I say I was surprised. I’m not. Claire is.
Claire pays a visit to the Duncan residence — Geillis isn’t there but we do get a few quality minutes with her fart-y husband, Arthur. Gross. The Duncans’ maid instructs Claire that Geillis will be out in the woods that night because it’s a full moon. Once she’s in the woods, Claire witnesses a half-naked — and pregnant! — Geillis engaging in a ritual eerily akin to the Samhain rite Claire and Frank saw at Craigh na Dun. Once the ritual’s done, Geillis invites Claire to come out of hiding. Claire congratulates her on the pregnancy but is kind of like “Arthur? Really?” Geillis promptly lets Claire know that she’s gone nowhere near that gassy fool. No, Geillis has a lover and…hold on to your hats, people: it’s DOUGAL.
Goddamn, Dougal gets around. Like if Dougal were the captain of the starship Enterprise, the prime directive would not be non-interference, it would be pointed interference of a very specific kind:
Wisely, Claire does not tell Geillis that Dougal, staunch Jacobite rebel and stauncher advocate of the Panty-Dropping Prime Directive, has been hitting on Claire for quite some time. Geillis brushes aside the fact that she’s married and pregnant by a man who isn’t her husband. Our redheaded witchy woman just performed a “summoning,” a request to Mother Nature to make all of these problems go away. Huh.
Walking back through the woods, Geillis swears she had no idea that Leering Creep was going to use the ill wish against Claire. Claire’s mollified and calls Geillis her friend, and the two walk mostly happily, arm-in-arm as Geillis says some unkind things about Dougal’s “slag of a wife, Maura” (which: dang, Geillis, go easy, you’re boning this woman’s husband). None of us, including Claire, even knew Dougal was married so there’s another delightful surprise. Oh, and the Duke of Sandringham gave Dougal some lovely trinket, which he passed on to Geillis. Apparently the duke meets with Colum in public and then in private with Dougal — presumably about Dougal’s OTHER directive re: the Jacobite cause.
But why would the duke want to meet with Dougal? Recalling Frank – oh Frank, I’ve missed you. Hi! Hello! You look well! Claire remembers that Frank and his cleric friend discussed that the Duke of Sandringham was a suspected Jacobite himself. Very twisty!
Back in the woods, Claire and Geillis hear the eerie cries of a baby. Claire’s concerned, but Geillis is like “that baby’s a changeling, it ain’t real, ignore it.” Um, you also think Dougal’s faithful to you. Excuse my lack of faith in your judgment, Geillis. Claire agrees with me because she’s worried, quite reasonably, that it’s just a sick child and not actually a fairy illusion. Claire and Geillis part ways, and Claire finds the baby tucked up on a tree branch, but she’s too late. The baby’s already passed away. Cradling the child, Claire weeps.
After running into Geillis, Jamie finds his heartbroken wife and gently takes the baby from her and…puts it back on the tree branch?? He explains that the parents of that sick child are as provincial as anyone else here, and perhaps they find comfort in clinging to a belief that their ill baby was a changeling and that their real child is actually “healthy and well, living forever with the fairies.” Jamie, you are killing me. It’s suddenly very dusty in this room, as I type. I wipe tears brought on by dust — NOT BY BEAUTIFUL SORROW — from my eyes.
Claire and Jamie go over the petition Ned’s drawn up, which includes Black Jack’s “repeated sexual provocation” of Claire. Claire’s still a little suspicious of the Duke of Sandringham’s true loyalties, but she signs the petition for Jamie and for his dreams of returning to Lallybroch.
But without Jamie’s knowledge, Claire sneaks off and meets with the duke to discuss Black Jack’s behavior before Jamie formally presents the petition. Sandringham thinks Jamie sent Claire ahead to see the duke “to play on [his] well-known sympathies for the weaker sex.” Which is deeply ironic, because:
Claire reveals that Jamie didn’t send her, nor would he approve of her being there. The duke apologizes but in spite of his distinct fondness for Jamie, he can’t hear a word against BJR. Claire says she knows how difficult it must be to hear ill words spoken about a friend, placing a curious emphasis on the word friend. “Friend?” the duke says, jumping up. “I hardly know the man…” and then he speaks some noise about how being friends with Black Jack isn’t even a big deal anyway!
Hahaha, oh my goddd, here’s my official submission of the theory that Black Jack is the duke’s Super Embarrassing Hook-Up/Friend with Benefits who he has to keep covering for. Black Jack is like the guy who’s pretty good in bed, but just too loathsome to tell your friends about, even after five mimosas at Sunday brunch. (BTW, I would definitely invite the Duke of Sandringham to brunch.)
The duke reiterates that he really doesn’t have time for Claire’s complaints and they’re probably all lies, but isn’t she just so pretty and he’s definitely not having very enthusiastic possibly sadomasochistic gay sex with a certain rough-around-the-edges British officer, and the duke’s just about to usher Claire out when she plays her trump card: she threatens to reveal that he’s a Jacobite supporter. With the prospect of the gallows facing him, the Duke of Sandringham finally begins to take Claire seriously. The duke toasts her and Jamie — and he toasts to restoring Jamie’s good name. Wheeee!
After returning to Castle Leoch, Claire’s summoned to attend to Dougal, who’s in quite a state. Dougal’s “slag of a wife, Maura” has apparently died. Wow, that summoning spell works fast! But Dougal is maybe less happy about this than Geillis anticipated, because he’s now very drunk and violent, tearing up the hall in his raging grief. With Angus’ help, Claire slips a sedative in some alcohol and Dougal happily takes it … and passes out immediately. Colum storms out because he has literally lost control over everything.
Geillis is practically glowing with joy as Claire meets up with her in the market outside Leoch. While Geillis praises Mother Nature for answering her prayers, Claire is oddly skeptical. Claire, I love you, but um…you literally time traveled right after a pagan ritual. Are you seriously putting Maura’s death down to pure coincidence? This is like if Dana Scully were on an alien spaceship and denying alien existence TO ALIENS. Come on, Claire! Anyway, Claire points out that Arthur’s not just going to let Geillis run off with Dougal. Geillis smiles sweetly and walks off. Oh, you naughty girl, what are you planning?
Jamie officially meets with the Duke of Sandringham and presents the petition. The duke is again slightly abashed that everyone knows he and Black Jack are buddies. (At my fantasy brunch, the duke waves a piece of bacon as he says “I don’t even really LIKE him. He found me at a weak moment, you know? My cat died last week and I just…he really DOES have some tender moments.” I nod sympathetically while quietly judging him.) But the duke has finally given up on his old pal, as protecting Black Jack from the consequences of his actions is a full-time job, and the duke “loathes work.” Haha, God, Simon Callow is so perfect in this role.
The duke, however, wants Jamie to return the favor — by being his second in a duel with Andrew MacDonald over an unpaid debt. Shots will be exchanged, but no one will be harmed. Sounds easy! Entranced, the duke waxes poetic about how Jamie is a sublime combination of beauty and belligerence while…stroking Jamie’s face. Well, the man isn’t wrong.
Murtagh, who is definitely the overly cautious Bilbo Baggins of this group, doesn’t think Jamie should participate in the duel, but it’s a risk Jamie has to take to win back his freedom and the right to return to his home.
That night at Castle Leoch, the duke feasts with our assembled Clan MacKenzie folks and they toast Scotland and the king (the duke’s face falls hilariously as Colum toasts the current monarch). Jamie “introduces” Claire to the duke, and Claire swiftly finds a pretext to send Jamie away so she can rake Sandringham over the coals for getting Jamie involved in a duel. Sandringham tells Claire to cool it, since his safety means Jamie’s petition makes it to London, and stalks off.
But the excitement is far from over, kids! Arthur Duncan falls over, choking and foaming at the mouth. Claire and Jamie immediately run to his aid and Geillis and Dougal exchange a Look, which Colum — oblivious to almost everything else — somehow catches. After smiling at Dougal, Geillis theatrically hurls herself at Arthur’s now very dead body and wails her grief. Claire VOs that she could smell bitter almonds — the scent of cyanide.
Why wait for a highly effective summoning spell when poison is available, I guess? Jesus, Geillis, could you have waited awhile longer so this wouldn’t be SO INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS?
The next morning, the duel commences and both the Duke of Sandringham and Andrew MacDonald purposely miss and it seems like everything’s cool. Well, that’s a relief. The duke wants to get very s-faced with Andrew but the fellows of Clan MacDonald don’t want to drink with Jamie because inter-clan rivalry blah blah blah. They exchange some insults, the MacDonalds accuse Jamie of boning the duke, Jamie’s like “You all have sex with YOUR MOMS” and he and the Duke share a lol over that. Extremely good, clever and inventive burns, everyone. Set up a burn unit right here.
Anyway, that last insult to the MacDonald moms was a step too far, so one of the MacDonalds comes at Jamie with his sword drawn. Jamie takes an early hit but reacts quickly and the fight is on! SOUND THE BAGPIPES OF ASSKICKERY ONCE AGAIN, BEAR MCCREARY! Even injured, Jamie kicks three MacDonald asses very handily. Seeing Jamie bleeding sets the duke on edge and he very nervously assures Jamie that it’s just a scratch and could Jamie please make it clear to Claire that the duke wasn’t AT ALL INVOLVED? Can Simon Callow get his own spin-off show as the Duke of Sandringham where he just gets into scrapes and then charms and drinks his way out of them? Please?
Feeling quite guilty, the duke takes Jamie’s petition and promises to deliver it to London. Back at Leoch, Claire once again mends Jamie’s wound. Claire remains silent because her rage at Jamie’s injury has rendered her speechless.
Meanwhile, Colum — who didn’t realize Hamish wasn’t his kid until Dougal TOLD HIM — has somehow very quickly put the pieces together re: Dougal and Geillis. I feel for Colum; he’s the laird but Dougal has all the power and all the women. I guess being the eldest doesn’t save you from Jan Brady Syndrome. So he’s exiling Dougal. For his part, Dougal’s like:
But Colum is pretty firm on this exile business; he’s also agog that Dougal might have real feelings for Geillis. Dougal admits that he loves her — after all, she’s carrying his child. Um, Dougal? Maybe bringing up your incredible potency isn’t the way to persuade Colum to let you have your way. Since, um, you recently admitted to screwing his wife and that you’re his son’s real father, Maury-style. So Colum declares that they’ll just say Geillis is having Arthur’s baby and Dougal will leave, and Jamie will accompany him. Jamie tries to object, but Colum is just NOT having it.
Colum then turns his anger at his own impotence (in all the ways) on Jamie, who tangled with the MacDonalds without Colum’s approval. Jamie tries to explain that he was attacked first, but Colum really wants to emphasize that he is The Laird, so he orders Jamie to watch over Dougal until a time he deems appropriate and — to keep Jamie loyal — Claire will stay at Leoch. Oh joy, Claire’s a prisoner again.
Before he leaves, Jamie counsels Claire to stay far from Geillis since Colum’s likely to set his sights on her. And without Dougal around, Geillis won’t have anyone to speak up for her. Needless to say, without Jamie around, Claire won’t have anyone to speak for her either, should she somehow land herself in hot water. Sigh. Jamie gives Claire a deep, longing kiss before he saddles up and rides off with Dougal.
In the kitchen, while tending to one of Mrs. Fitz’s burns, Claire receives a letter from Geillis that urges her to “come quick.” Never one to follow a man’s orders, Claire makes haste to see her friend. But Geillis is surprised to see Claire. She hasn’t sent any letter. While Geillis dismisses this as a prank, Claire is worried and urges Geillis to leave immediately. For a usually savvy woman, Geillis is weirdly unconcerned.
Claire confronts Geillis about poisoning Arthur and warns that Colum will come for her. And Claire’s concern is apparently well-founded as wardens pound on the door – but even this isn’t enough for Geillis, who calmly disposes of the poison she used to kill Arthur. “Dougal would never let anything happen to me, to us” she says. Um, Claire? Claire? Tell her Dougal is gone, WHY AREN’T YOU SAYING THAT, CLAIRE?
Geillis has her maid let the wardens in and they promptly arrest her for witchcraft — and they also arrest Claire?! “What on earth have I done?” Claire shouts. “You’ll hear all about it at the trial,” the warden tells her. Geillis and Claire exchange a worried look as they’re led outside and into a wagon. Looking through the bars of the wagon door, Claire spies Leering Creep smiling with glee. Oh MAN. Ugh. Laoghaire MacKenzie, I accuse you of BITCHCRAFT! Also, I’m the judge and jury so you’re hereby convicted of bitchcraft. You have to go to prison for a million years.
On the bright side, Geillis and Claire enduring this trial together takes them one step closer to being the Snooki/JWOWW-level BFFs I know they could be.
Next week: Claire and Geillis go on trial for witchcraft! Hopefully Claire will have another conveniently useful flashback where Frank’s knowledge of history comes through yet again? Because she needs to get out of this and I need to see Tobias Menzies. Also, maybe Laoghaire will be taken by the fairies? As we wait for next week, check out more Outlander recaps here.