Outlander season 1, episode 2 just aired, and after a very long “Droughtlander,” it was a satisfying return.
Clearing Jamie’s name
Jamie and the Highlanders had pinned their hopes of clearing Jamie’s name of a murder he didn’t commit by speaking to a deserter from the British army who witnessed the crime. The task proves fruitless, as the name of the real murderer is Captain Jack Randall. Before Jamie can make further plans, he is informed that Claire has been taken hostage by Randall, and he and the men plan a rescue.
Jamie, with the help of the Highlanders, manages to break into the fort, learn of Claire’s location, and repel down a wall to get the screaming Claire. It’s an interesting meeting. Black Jack hasn’t seen Jamie since their last meeting when he flogged him, and now he realizes that Claire is Jamie’s wife. It makes Black Jack’s conquest of Claire all the sweeter in his eyes, and he taunts Jamie with suggestions of a threesome among other things. Fortunately, despite provocation, Jamie keeps his cool, outwits Black Jack with an unloaded pistol, knocks Black Jack unconscious, and escapes with Claire.
Fighting and forgiveness
After their escape, Jamie and Claire have a screaming match on the road where each reveals truths, but at the same time wishes they hadn’t expressed their thoughts in such a blunt manner. Claire accuses Jamie of not listening to her just because she’s a woman, and thinking of her as only “property and a place to stick your cock.” Jamie, in turn accuses Claire of not thinking of anyone but herself, and throwing herself into harm’s way to get back at him for not protecting her in the glen.
Their words strike chords within each, perhaps Claire’s more with Jamie as he breaks down and tells Claire that she’s “ripping my guts out.” He and the men came to her rescue with just their bare hands, not firearms, and he’d do it again because he loves her. The two reconcile, but all is not well yet.
Though Jamie might have forgiven Claire, the men have not. As Jamie points out to her, if a man had done what she did and not followed orders, he’d have been shot, killed, or had his ears clipped. Jamie lets her know that there is such a thing as justice and although Claire has promised not to do something foolish again, Jamie thinks she might because she doesn’t take things seriously enough. He think she comes from a place where things are easier and disobeying an order won’t get yourself and others killed. He goes on to say that there’s a difference between understanding something and really knowing it deep down in your bones.
Jamie tells Claire that he knows first-hand how a good thrashing makes you considered the harm you’ve done, and that there is justice to be paid to the the men for her actions. With that, he proceeds to spank Claire, with Claire fighting him tooth and nail all the way. Claire accuses him of being a bastard and a sadist who is enjoying her thrashing, to which Jamie quips, “I dinna say I wasn’t going to enjoy it.” (See our thoughts on this controversial scene here, and give your opinion.) Their relationship remains frosty, but civil, through their return to the castle. Although they are on speaking terms, Jamie is unwelcome in their bed.
Back to Castle Leoch
At long last, the weary travelers are back at Castle Leoch, and mostly everyone is happy to see them. When presented to Colum and Letitia, Jamie and Colum have a tense moment, and the reason becomes apparent later.
Lagohaire is distraught over having lost Jamie to Claire. Jamie starts to explain that it was an arranged marriage, but is cut off before he gives full details. He says that they will talk more later. Lagohaire finds Jamie by the stream, and that talk leads to a whole lot more than Jamie bargained for. Lagohaire makes it clear she can see through his marital tensions, and she wants Jamie her herself. She reinforces her claim that he must feel something for her based on the beating he took for her, and the way he kissed her. Though momentarily conflicted, Jamie turns Lagohaire down. He won’t break his marriage vows.
Colum vs. Dougal
Column has discovered that Dougal, aside from collecting for rent on the road, was also collecting for the Jacobite cause to put Bonny Prince Charlie back on the Scottish throne. Column feels the actions put the clan at risk, while Dougal does not. In the heat of their argument, Dougal blurts out in front of both Ned Gown and Jamie, who are standing there, that Dougal is Hamish’s father, not Colum. This fact was long suspected, but it is the first time anyone has confirmed it.
Later, after Colum dismisses everyone but Jamie, it is revealed that he is angry with Jamie because he married a “sassenach” and now no one will accept him as head of the clan. It seems, unbeknownst to Jamie, that Colum (who must be well aware of his mortality due to his medical condition) wanted Jamie to lead the clan until Hamish came of age. In the end, Jamie finds a way to mend the peace, suggesting that Column give Dougal the money while he “plays the rebel” to a cause, for the moment, that is going nowhere.
After witnessing the tensions between Colum and Dougal, and how Column, a rigid man, could bend and yet retain his strength, Jamie proposes to change the way he had been brought up to regard husbands and wives. He swears upon his knees a sacred vow that is not dissimilar to the clan loyalty oath seen earlier this season. He pledges, “I swear upon the cross of my Lord, Jesus, and by the holy iron which I hold, that I give you my fealty, and pledge you my loyalty. If ever my hand is raised in rebellion against you again, then I ask that this holy iron might pierce my heart.” He then presents the dagger to Claire with the blade pointed to his heart.
When Claire at first has no reaction, Jamie asks if she wants to live separately, and Claire responds that this is what she should want, but she doesn’t. Jamie then reveals that she has had the key to his heart and his home on her finger. Her wedding ring was fashioned from the blade of the key to Lallybrook, his home. The two then reconcile and make passionate love; however, Claire manages to get the upper hand. She hold his dagger to his throat, and lets Jamie know that she forgives him, but if he ever breaks his vow, she will cut out his heart, and eat it for breakfast.
The episode ends on something of a cliffhanger. Claire finds an oddly shaped bundle of twigs and herbs under their bed. When she asks Jamie what it is, he responds that it is an “ill wish,” an item meant to serve as a charm to bring harm to the couple. Jamie reveals that he thinks Lagohaire is the one who put it there.
Outlander is back again next week at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.
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