Previously on Outlander: Claire met sickly Alex Randall, brother of Black Jack, and tried to talk him out of courting Mary Hawkins. The brothers MacKenzie disagree on the Jacobite rebellion. The army continues to head toward imminent defeat at Culloden.
The Scotsmen have become demoralized by their ordered retreat from the British army, as well as dwindling supplies and worsening conditions. At the war council, Jamie passionately tries to convince the advisors, and Prince Charles, that Culloden Moor would be a terrible place to make their stand against the English, and that the men don’t have the strength for the fight. He begs Charles to wait for the arrival of the promised French gold that could supply them with much needed food and weapons. Believing God will provide, Charles opts to march towards Culloden.
Back in Inverness, Claire runs into Mary Hawkins procuring medicines for her fiancé, Alex Randall. Mary is angry with Claire, for meddling with their romance in Paris, and Claire wishes to make amends. While visiting them, Claire is appalled to see Black Jack, but Mary tells Claire that Jack has been paying their bills, since Alex can no longer work. Mary refuses to accept that Alex is dying, especially since she’s now pregnant. Alex makes a deathbed request for Jack to wed Mary, to protect her and their child. Jack fights the request, and makes disgusting threats, in hopes of getting Claire to plead his case. But she’s convinced that Mary requires the protection of Jack’s name and station. Claire and Murtagh bear witness to this doomed union.
An obviously ailing Colum MacKenzie arrives at the Jacobite encampment, wanting to see Dougal and Jamie. Claire confirms what Colum already knows, that he’s dying soon. Colum is amused to see that Jamie is wise enough to not give Dougal any important responsibilities. Colum reveals that he’s appointed his young son, Hamish, as the next chief of Clan MacKenzie, and wishes for Jamie to be Hamish’s guardian until he’s of age. Dougal is enraged by the slight. The brothers fight over Dougal being a terrible leader, and the fact that Hamish is biologically Dougal’s son. Colum asks Claire to help him end his life.
Claire barters with Jack Randall, her assistance in alleviating Alex’s pain, in exchange for the whereabouts of Cumberland’s army. Jamie is infuriated to learn that Jack Randall is back in their lives, but ready to use the information to their advantage. The army plans a surprise attack at Cumberland’s birthday celebration. But Prince Charles screws it up, and they’re forced to cancel their last ditch effort to avoid the battle on Culloden Moor.
Kilt Drops: 0
Sadly, as Jennie has previously mentioned, war really isn’t sexy.
Wit and Wordplay
Claire: “The woman I am now, is not the woman I once was, Captain Randall.”Caitriona is so good in this scene. Really cold and brittle, that you can actually see the changes in Claire.
Colum: “I’ve been dying for years. It’s a wearisome process. I welcome its conclusion.”
Murtagh: “If you need to vent your frustration, then I’ll happily oblige you.”I LOVE MURTAGH SO MUCH.
Black Jack: “And I regret none of it.”How did Claire not kill him on the spot? I continue to be amazed by how intensely great Tobias Menzies is as Black Jack, even when I completely hate his guts.
- Colum reveals to Claire that Geillis Duncan was able to give birth before being burned for witchcraft. It seems like a minor detail now, but it will be relevant again later.
- Murtagh offering to wed Mary Hawkins to protect her from Jack Randall? And then Claire ruins it by telling him how Jack Randall is such better husband material on paper, with his pedigree, and officer’s pension. UGH, Claire. Murtagh is the best, isn’t he?
- “That doesn’t sound very gentlemanly.” Don’t you wonder if Prince Charles really said crazy stuff like that about the general who would be known as Billy the Butcher?
In two weeks: Culloden, death, and heartbreak.