After last week’s excitements, this week’s episode of Outlander felt more like filler, or a bridge to the next episode. That’s not to say that ish didn’t go down. As did Jamie. Let’s start the recap.
So, that opening scene, though? Yaaasssss! What more can you say? Lord have mercy. Let’s just take a minute or 2 to appreciate the gifts Starz gives us. No, you don’t get a gif. Jamie and Claire may be fictional, but Sam and Caitriona are not. Have some boundaries.
We Claire and Jamie are rudely interrupted by pounding on the bedroom door. Leave it to Murtagh to c-block, but at least Claire got hers. After teasing Jamie about married life making him lazy (not with all the work he just put in), Murtagh announces the Duke of Sandrigham has arrived and Jamie gets all little boy excited that this could be his chance to clear his name. Claire isn’t so sure, knowing what she knows about the Duke and Black Jack Randall.
Jamie and Murtagh go off to discuss strategy with Ned Gowan, while Claire uses her time to put a bitch in her place. She and Laoghaire have words over the ill-wish, which Laoghaire at first denies having anything to do with. Claire attempts to be diplomatic, but comes off condescending. Laoghaire comes out swinging, claiming Jamie was and is hers, and the poor man must have to get drunk to “plow [Claire’s] fields.” Only if he’s drunk in love, Leg Hair, ’cause you obviously missed the wake up call we were treated to. Anyway, Claire reacts the way I think any woman would when insulted in that manner: she slaps the snot of Laoghaire. Kudos to the make-up department for the redness of Nell Hudson’s cheek. Claire’s slightly apologetic, telling the delusion girl that she shouldn’t have done that (oh, but you should have). Laoghaire’s not quite finished, telling Claire that it was her ‘friend’ Geillis who sold her the ill-wish and that Claire is as wrong about her as she is about Jamie. Claire warns Laoghaire to stay away from her and her husband, but we all know Laoghaire is plotting her death.
Claire is a busy girl this episode. After the Laoghaire confrontation, she sneaks off to meet with the Duke of Sandrigham for some tea and blackmail. And off she goes to find Geillis to talk about this ill-wish business. But, Goody Duncan isn’t at home, because she’s off in the woods dancing with the devil by the pale moonlight. Or summoning Mother Nature according to Geillis. It will be interesting to see how next week plays out, since Geillis’s pregnancy will no longer be a surprise. And Geillis is basically nude here, but we don’t see a certain scar that lets book Claire know a huge secret about Geillis’s origins. After sort of dismissing the ill-wish and finally revealing that Dougal, the baby daddy, is married, Geillis and Claire hear a baby crying. Geillis tries to explain fairy hills and changelings to Claire, but our Claire still hasn’t fully grasped that she isn’t in the 20th century anymore. And really, you can’t be mad at her. How many of us could ignore the cries of a sick child? Oh, hey Jamie. Where you been? He takes the dead child from Claire’s arms and puts it back, also telling her that she doesn’t understand the way things work in the superstitious highlands.
Back at the castle, Claire is called in to help sedate Dougal, who’s having a guilt trip for the ages, because the wife we just found out about died of a fever. Rather a convenient coincidence.
Not a good day for spouses.
While at a dinner in the Duke’s honor, poor Arthur Duncan dies right in the middle of the great hall. Claire realizes it’s poison. Geillis doesn’t seem too upset, considering the look she just shared with loverboy Dougal. A look Colum was all too aware of. Geillis then plays the grieving widow, a little too late.
While all this has been happening, Jamie has his own meeting with the Duke, who’s kind of a dirty old man and is way too touchy-feely with Jamie and Murtagh. He convinces Jamie to be his second in a duel with the MacDonalds in exchange for his help. Jamie gets injured and Claire is none too happy. The silent treatment – and needles – is very effective.
At least the Duke takes his petition. Colum isn’t thrilled with Jamie either for shedding MacDonald blood without his permission. Nor is he happy with Dougal getting Geillis preggers and thinking he’s in love with the woman. Off he sends Dougal home and Jamie with him, without Claire. Colum couldn’t be more up to something if he tried.
Jamie and Claire kiss goodbye. And kiss. And kiss. And we’re all jealous right now. Dougal makes a quip about not swallowing her, which ya know, Jamie seemed to enjoy earlier. Jamie warns her to stay away from Geillis because as anyone should realize, Geillis will be next on Colum’s shit list. Later, Claire receives a note supposedly from Geillis telling her to come quick. Let’s review some things:
1. The 2 people standing in the way of Geillis and Dougal being together have both died under suspicious circumstances.
2. Your husband says stay away from Geillis; times are dangerous. Colum’s coming after her, etc.
3. You saw with your own eyes that Geillis was “summoning” something in the woods.
4. Not to mention her blasé attitude about Dougal’s wife dying. And her lack of reaction when her own husband dies, by what you yourself suspect as poison.
5. She sold the ill-wish to your competition.
Yet, you still go to the village because of this note. Oh Claire…
Surprise, surprise! Geillis didn’t send the note at all. Claire tries to talk Geillis into running for the sake of the baby, but Geillis thinks Dougal will protect her. Apparently Colum thought that as well, which is why he sent him away. This is why he’s laird and Dougal is not. Magistrates show up to arrest Geillis for witchcraft; Claire is arrested right along with her. And who should be lurking and smirking in the cut? Laoghaire, who we realize wrote the note to get Claire out of the castle.
So, that’s By the Pricking of My Thumbs. Not my favorite episode. Maybe a little disjointed. A little chaotic. Certainly lots of bouncing around to gives us all this info we didn’t get in earlier episodes. But, some really good scenes were in there. Next week, The Devil’s Mark, should be a good one. Witch trial! See you next Saturday.