Title: Outlander S1.E16 “To Ransom a Man’s Soul”
Released: 2015
Series:  Outlander

Kilt Drops: 0

Previously on Outlander: Jamie was captured and sent to Wentworth Prison, condemned to hang. Jack Randall was going to use that imprisonment to torture and abuse. Claire and Murtagh planned a rescue.

Holy extra INTENSE violence and nudity warning, Starz! They might as well have said “Get out! Get out while you still can!”

Jamie is lying on a bed, naked and bloody, with a particularly dead look in his eyes. A naked Jack Randall lying beside him, rises and gets dressed. Jamie reminds Jack “you owe me a debt.” Jack unsheathes a knife and heads towards Jamie until he’s interrupted by the sound of clanking metal and stomping hooves. When he goes to investigate, he’s promptly knocked out and trampled by a herd of cattle stampeding through the door Claire left unlocked. Murtagh and Rupert (or maybe Angus?) find Jamie on the floor and nearly writhing from pain, and they tell him they’ve come to rescue him.

The redcoats ineptly try to deal with the invasion of unruly cattle, while Murtagh and Rupert (or maybe it’s Angus?) smuggle Jamie out of the prison and load him in a wagon and head for Claire. In his delirium, Jamie keeps trying to strangle everyone, thinking they’re Randall. They quickly get him to a monastery, where the brothers have agreed to provide shelter, while Claire tries to mend Jamie. When Claire asks what Randall did to him, Jamie flashes back to his prison torture. It might be the most brutal thing that’s ever happened on television.

Claire works tirelessly to try to repair Jamie’s wounds. The hand break is particularly horrible, since she has to re-break it to set it properly. Jamie develops a fever and refuses to eat, but Claire insists on saving him, whether he wants to be saved or not. This is what happens when you marry a bossy woman.

Finding her praying in the chapel, Father Anselm offers to hear Claire’s confession. She tells him it won’t make any sense, but he urges her to continue. So she tells him the whole story, beginning in 1945, with husband #1.  I think she blew the poor man’s mind. He thinks it all must be a miracle.

Murtagh and Jamie argue in Gaelic, without subtitles. I imagine Murtagh explaining all the reasons Jamie will not be starving himself to death. It seems as though Jamie explains all that he went through that makes him want to die. And we flash back to more of Jamie’s torture, where Jack Randall invoked the memory of Claire while Jamie was delirious from pain.

Claire and Jamie’s kinsmen decide the safest plan is to smuggle Jamie out of the country, to Jamie’s merchant cousin in France. Willie goes to Jamie to tell him of the plan and urge him to eat, and get better, and asks what he can do. Jamie demands Willie hand over his blade so Jamie can put himself out of his misery. Of course, Willie won’t do it and runs to tell Claire. Murtagh admits to Claire that he knew that’s what Jamie wanted, but he’d promised Jamie he wouldn’t tell, and he won’t watch Jamie waste away. Claire faints in Murtagh’s arms.

Claire recovers quickly and she, Murtagh, and Brother Paul discuss whether Jamie can be saved. His wounds are healing, but he won’t recover if he can’t get past the darkness in his soul. Murtagh wonders if “Maybe the only way to save Jamie is for someone to step into the darkness with him. “ Claire takes an unorthodox path, using Jack Randall’s preferred oil of lavender, to try and get Jamie alert enough to snap him out of his death wish. They have a physical scuffle, and Claire finds the brand left by Randall’s signet ring. She’s able to coax Jamie to reveal the details of the torture that haunt him the most. Jamie believes Randall broke him, and he can no longer be a husband to Claire. It takes her threatening to die right there with him to get him to come back to her. Once Murtagh cuts the brand out of Jamie’s skin, the brutality is finally done.

Claire says goodbye to Willie, Rupert and Angus. Rupert takes advantage of the situation and plants an inappropriate kiss on her. Murtagh will be accompanying Claire and Jamie on the voyage to France. Once they’re all on the ship, and getting underway, Claire suggests that maybe she and Jamie should try to stop Bonnie Prince Charlie from beginning the coming war in Scotland. Oh, and she’s pregnant.

Kilt Drops: 0

None that count for this category.


  • While Jamie was being rescued from the prison, the ludicrous idea that any of those men could have flung the unconscious giant that is Sam Heughan over their shoulders, took me completely out of the moment.

  • “Keeping you and Jamie out of harm’s way seems to be a full time occupation.” One that the MacKenzies are not interested in continuing.

  • Bye Willie! I’ll miss you most of all!

  • “Change the future? The two of us? That’s madness, isn’t it?” Yes, Jamie, it IS. Trying to stop the Scottish uprising is a little too zany, even for Claire.

  • Could you imagine a more inconvenient time to end up pregnant? Like EVER? Mazel tov, you two!

Outlander returns next season! Hopefully with eleventy percent less brutal torture.


Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.