Previously on Outlander: Jamie filed a petition of complaint against Jack Randall for crimes against the Scottish people, and hoped to get the Duke of Sandringham on their side. Jack Randall wanted Jamie to offer up his body, to avoid his second flogging, but Jamie couldn’t do it. While out with the Watch, Jamie was captured by redcoats, sent to Wentworth, and condemned to hang. Claire assembled a pitifully small rescue party.
Hi, Outlander fans! Welcome to the hour of television that no one wants to talk about, ever! Hope you brought your cask of whiskey.
Filthy and shackled prisoners are standing in an orderly line, waiting their turn to be hung, in a most unceremonious manner. Jamie and MacQuarrie, who talked him into joining the stupid Watch, are making idle conversation. MacQuarrie would like to go out blazing, and Jamie agrees to wrap the shackles around the neck of the soldier that grabs him, and MacQuarrie should grab the musket. MacQuarrie warns they’ll be shot down like dogs, but Jamie thinks it’s preferable to how his wife will never forgive him for getting himself hung. MacQuarrie only manages to get in some insults against the English, before being hung badly, his neck failing to break instantly. Jamie does try to put up a fight, on the way to the noose, not that it does much good. He’s about to be kicked off the platform (which should rightly take three men to do) when Jack Randall comes racing into the yard on horseback, demanding the execution be halted, and that Jamie be remanded to the dungeons. At this point, Jamie is probably wishing for the noose.
While chained in the dungeon, the guards bringing Jamie a meal (compliments of Jonathan Randall, Esq.) warn him it’s no use trying to break out of the chains, because the walls of Wentworth are solid stone. The guard advises him to have a hearty meal, a wash, and “your luck could change any minute, boyo.” Ugh, the gross complicity.
Claire, masquerading as Mrs. Beauchamp, visiting a distant family relation, a common Scottish criminal, as her Christian duty, tries to persuade the warden of Wentworth to allow her a final visit with Jamie. When Sir Fletcher leaves the room, we see that Claire is barely holding it together. Sir Fletcher won’t allow her to visit Jamie, but brings Jamie’s personal effects, for her to deliver to his family. She barely makes it out of the prison walls before vomiting and collapsing. Murtagh sweeps her up and carries her away.
Half of Claire’s little rescue group is content to gamble in a pub, while Jamie waits to be executed, which pisses Claire and Murtagh off. But it turns out Rupert and his cohort were gambling with Wentworth jailers and obtained some useful information about when Sir Fletcher leaves his office unattended in the evenings.
Jack Randall arrives in the dungeon, with his henchman Marley, to gloat over having obtained Jamie’s petition of complaint against him, from the untrustworthy Duke of Sandringham, which he admits would have been pretty damning. He burns it in front of Jamie.
Claire arrives back at Wentworth, when she knows Sir Fletcher is unavailable. While the warden is being fetched, Claire and Murtagh search the office for a map or keys. Their search is interrupted by the guard, who Murtagh has to knock out. Claire goes off on her own, to rescue Jamie, claiming she can make up a believable story if caught. Murtagh warns her she has less than an hour, and they’ll meet her behind the prison.
Black Jack seats himself and asks if he may call Jamie by his first name, as if they’re not in a filthy dungeon where Randall holds all the cards. Jamie tells him he’d prefer the noose to Randall’s company. Randall launches his psychological torture, wanting to know if he haunts Jamie’s dreams, and if Jamie thinks of him, when his wife traces the scars on his back. And Randall informs him that he’ll have Jamie’s surrender before it’s all over. Jamie agrees to show Randall the scars on his back, but of course it’s just so that Randall gets close enough for Jamie to attack him. He gets him down pretty well, but the hulking Marley comes to the rescue, and nearly strangles Jamie, before Randall can intervene. He has Marley hold Jamie down so that he can break his hand with a mallet. Jamie is nearly unconscious from pain, but still trying to fight Randall. Randall just uses the proximity to put Jamie’s hand on his crotch.
Claire desperately searches the prison, calling Jamie’s name in the least stealthy manner. Then she hears his screams from the dungeon. She waits until the coast is clear to go and unlocks the exit nearest to the dungeon. Then she finds Jamie’s cell and tries to free him from the shackle that has him chained to the floor. He feebly warns her to go before Randall comes back, but she refuses. When Randall does arrive, he comments on how often she shows up at the most inopportune times. We could say the same about you, dude. He declares her a fit match for her husband. He has the beast, Marley, coarsely grope her in search of weapons. Randall and Marley both paw at her and sniff her hair. Claire incites a scuffle, and Jamie is able to slit Marley’s throat, but Randall gets Claire in a chokehold and is able to use her as the leverage for Jamie to surrender his body. As a show of good faith, Jamie lays his bloodied, smashed hand on the table, so that Randall can nail it there. Claire sobs against him, and Randall demands that Jamie kiss him. Randall promises to return shortly, and escorts Claire out of the prison. He tells her that he heard that she’d been on trial for witchcraft. She admits that she is a witch, and curses him. From Frank’s (oh hey! remember him?) old genealogy records, she has his full name, and the date of his birth. The date of his death seems to especially freak him out.
When Randall returns to Jamie, the show doesn’t linger. I’ve always believed this is an important part of the story. What happens here informs Jamie’s character for the next 30 years. And it’s bravely subversive, that it happens to the male hero, not the heroine, of a romance novel (which is how Outlander was originally published). But the brutality was incredibly difficult to read, and just as difficult to watch.
Claire stumbles through the dark woods, screaming for Murtagh, while wolves howl in the background. They’re sheltering with Sir Marcus, a friend of the clan. But he can’t muster any men to help rescue Jamie, for fear of the danger that it would place his family in. Claire offers to pay him, with the pearls that Jamie gave her on their wedding night. He’s surprised at the sight of them, since he’s the one who gave them to Jamie’s mother, Ellen, on her wedding day. He feels moved to help Ellen MacKenzie’s son. When Sir Marcus’ servant arrives in the yard with 19 head of cattle, this somehow gives Murtagh an idea for how to save Jamie.
Kilt Drops: 0
And that is just fine, since eff all non-consensual kilt drops.
- Gotta be honest, I was hoping we’d get all the worst of this story over with in one episode, but it looks like it stretches into the next finale. #[email protected]&%*!
- Confession: I still have trouble telling Murtagh and Rupert apart. Please tell me I’m not the only one?
- And be honest, you forgot Frank Randall was ever on the show, too? Tobias Menzies is so terribly good as Jack Randall, how will we ever be able to look at Frank the same way again?
- “F—ing sadistic piece of s–t!” This episode employs Claire’s filthy mouth to perfect use.
- I don’t even remember exactly how the cows are used as part of Jamie’s rescue, I just remember that it was awesome.
Next episode: The finale goes further into Jamie’s torture, rescue and whether Claire can heal him.