So I took a little vacation last week. The whole blog did, but anyway…
Last week Jamie took Claire back to Lallybroch and found out that you can go home again, but don’t expect a royal welcome, especially when you insult your sister’s honor and act like a brat the whole time.
Just when Claire thinks things are getting better at the homestead, she wakes up to find Jamie being held at gunpoint by members of The Watch, the Highland version of Neighborhood Watch. Probably more the George Zimmerman type, unfortunately… Some quick thinking from Jenny saves her brother from getting shot at point blank range. Introductions are made — Cousin Jamie McTavish — and everything is tense and awkward. Jamie’s upset that Jenny and Ian pay the watch to protect them. Jenny and Ian aren’t having it from the man who has been MIA for 4 years. Everyone warns Jamie to keep his head down and be cool, but we’re all thinking that’s so not going to happen.
The Watch makes themselves at home, like relatives who overstay their welcome. Eating your food. Setting fire to your winter hay. Cue Jamie losing his cool #1, which also draws the attention of Watch leader McQuarry to Jamie’s fighting skills; the Watch could use him, McQuarry says. As if things weren’t bad enough, Horrocks the Deserter shows up with plans for a raid or something. Apparently, the standards for membership in The Watch are very low. Horrocks, of course, recognizes Jamie and tries to extort money from him in exchange for keeping his mouth shut.
Meanwhile, Jenny and Claire are bonding after a rocky start. At least she’s Claire now and no longer the trollop. While doing laundry, Jenny’s water breaks and she goes into labor. This woman is a beast. Not only is she in labor for what seems like an entire month and certainly scared out of her mind that she’ll die in childbirth like her mother, but her baby is breech and she has to deal with the possibility of Claire reaching inside and guiding the baby out. I’d be begging for a stiff drink too. Good thing no one knew about fetal alcohol syndrome back then.
Some of the best moments of the episode happen during Jenny’s labor. Claire’s curiosity about pregnancy and her desire to have children of her own are so poignant here. Confessing to Jamie later about her fear that she may not be able to give him children is so heartbreaking for them both. The ominous goodbye before Ian and Jamie leave with The Watch. Emmys, Globes, and SAGs better be paying attention to these scenes.
Ian and Jamie rekindled their bromance after the 4 year hiatus. I can’t say enough how perfect Steven Cree is as Ian Murray.
After Jamie fills Ian in on who Horrocks is, Ian suggests Jamie pay him off with money Brian Fraser has hidden on the estate. Jamie wants to leave that money for future Frasers and Murrays, though. But, Ian insists. Off they go to pay Horrocks his hush money, but the bastard gets greedy and demands more. Badass!Ian puts an end to it all with a sword thru the back. Horrocks’ demise doesn’t go unnoticed by McQuarry, though. Jamie confesses to killing the man to protect Ian, but must now take his place in the raid. Ian, not wanting to leave his chief alone with these men, comes too. As anyone might expect, Horrocks was indeed a total bastard. Said raid was really an ambush to turn the men over to the Redcoats.
Ian and one other man manage to get away and make it back to Lallybroch. Our Jamie, staying behind with the wounded McQuarry, was taken by the British. And oh God, if you haven’t read the books…I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. What’s coming is going to be disturbing and painful and heartrending. Nothing will prepare you.
Trigger warnings. Trigger warnings for everything.