Previously on Outlander: Jamie had Claire’s wedding ring made from the key to Lallybroch. Jamie told Claire the terrible tale of the time the English came to Lallybroch and Jack Randall whipped him and attacked his sister. Claire finally confessed to Jamie about her time-travel through the stones. Then she chose to remain with him, rather than return to her own time.
As if meeting new in-laws isn’t already nerve-wracking enough, Claire gets to walk into a minefield of Fraser drama without a fresh change of clothes or a flask.
While Jamie and Claire are riding to Lallybroch, she’s telling him more about her time, and he’s especially fascinated by airplane travel. That’s just because he’s never been stuck in Newark. He asks how old she is, and she surprises him with the fact that she’s 27, nearly 5 years older than him. I think I’ll stay right here in my own time, where 27 is not considered old. Jamie is proud to show Claire the view of Lallybroch, but is also having flashbacks of the last time he was there, when Black Jack Randall stripped his sister in front of him, and whipped him bloody. He tells Claire that he later heard rumors that Jenny had given birth to Randall’s bastard child.
At Lallybroch, Jenny is thrilled to see Jamie, though chastises him for being out of touch for four years. He’s not happy to see the small toddler at her side, his namesake. He reproaches Jenny for naming Randall’s bastard after him and for obviously being pregnant with another. How she keeps from slapping him in front of her son, I’ll never know. Strangely enough, she doesn’t care for Jamie insinuating that she’s played the whore to the redcoat captain. Claire tries to intercede during Jamie’s tirade, but Jenny will have none of it, and Jamie is too busy ramming his foot in his mouth. Jenny’s husband, Ian, arrives and answers the question of who’s the father of her children. Once inside, a pissy Jenny agrees to tell Jamie what happened between her and Randall four years before, while Jamie was unconscious, and possibly dead, as far as she knew. Jenny tells of Randall’s attempt at seduction, which is super rapey, because it’s Randall. Creepy as all hell, he sticks a finger in her mouth, WTF. She tries to knock him out with a candlestick, but it only makes him angrier. Jenny notices that he’s desperately trying to ready himself, and doesn’t want to look her in the face, so as a last resort, she laughs at him. It pisses him off enough that he accidentally knocks her out, but it saves her from a rape that day. After she finishes recounting, Claire insists that Jenny deserves an apology from Jamie. But Jenny, says this is between her and her brother. That Jenny is a hardass. Jamie takes Claire aside to speak to her about conducting themselves as a laird and lady in front of others. It’s clear he expects she’ll be disagreeing with him, he’d just prefer she did it in private.
Alone in their room, Jamie tells Claire about the last time he saw his father, at Ft. William, a week after the first time he’d been flogged. Then Jamie had to suffer through a personal interview with Jack Randall. The torturous S.O.B tells Jamie things could be easier on him, if he gave himself to Randall, make free of his body. Jamie tells Claire that he thought it might be less painful and over quicker than a another flogging, and he considered it. And hell if I blame him. But the thought of what his father might think, was enough for him to choose the flogging. And we see another brutal flashback at the whipping post, that is so horrifying, it causes his father to keel over from a heart attack.
After having Jenny and Ian move out of the laird’s room so he and Claire can have it, and having a super awkward family dinner, they then have to host Quarter Day. A big party is thrown to make it less painful for the tenants to pay their rent? Claire receives lots of gifts of bouquets and preserves, because they don’t yet know that whiskey is more her style. Jamie is overly generous with the folks who can’t pay their rents, and Ian and Jenny aren’t pleased, since they actually know what it takes to run an estate.
Claire sees a man beating his kid publicly and intercedes. She separates him from the child, and hopes Jamie might do something about the situation. Late that night, a drunken Jamie stumbles in, after Claire is asleep. He tells her that he got in a fistfight with the boy’s father and the kid, Robbie McNab, will now be living in their household. Jamie proves to be an obnoxious drunk, who talks too much and takes up too much of the bed. Been there, girl.
The next morning, Jamie is impressively hungover and in no mood to listen to Jenny berate him for not collecting any rents from their struggling tenants. Jamie finds out the flour mill isn’t working properly and decides to deal with it himself. Because no matter the century, dudes think they can fix anything. A redcoat patrol arrives while Jamie is underwater, attempting to unstick the mill water wheel. Jenny came to warn them, but is too late. In a panic, she orders Claire not to speak, so they won’t know she’s English. Just as one of the soldiers is about to try and help fix the water wheel, Jamie gets it unstuck, and the patrol heads on their way, and the danger is over. For now.
After a late night talk with Ian, Claire decides to wake Jamie in the night to basically tell him Laird Jamie is being a giant horse’s ass and needs to knock it off. The next day, Jenny finds Jamie in the graveyard to apologize. She saw his scars at the mill and she blames herself for how savagely Randall beat him. They both blame themselves for their father’s death, but they make up.
That night, Claire tells Jamie she feels like she belongs at Lallybroch, and he tells her he always knew she belonged there, and they confess their love for each other. There is definitely an off-screen kilt drop. Dammit, show. The next morning, Claire wakes and goes downstairs to see Jamie being held at gunpoint in his own living room. The hell?
Kilt Drops: 2
- Do we have to count flashes of Black Jack Randall?
- Jamie drops trou, to fix the flour mill, although it’s not very salacious. But he’s wearing less when he comes out of the water, due to losing a shirt in the water wheel. We’ll take what we can get!
- Jamie wears pants to return to Lallybroch. WHY?
- “Well, if she’s your wife, then she’s more familiar with your balls than I am.”
- “Do you drink whiskey?” “I’ve been known to take a pass or two.” Way to downplay, Claire.
- “I’m not the meek and obedient type.” “I don’t think anyone would make that mistake, Sassenach.”
- “I am speaking, and you can talk when I’m finished.” I am Claire, Claire is me.
- Can we talk about Lallybroch? It’s far grander than I ever pictured.
Next week: Claire and Jamie are held hostage at Lallybroch by several men for reasons that escape me.