Previously on Outlander: Newly reunited with her husband, Claire finds out that he lives in a brothel, and is a seditious printer and whiskey smuggler. Ian Murray Jr. arrives looking for his Uncle Jamie. Claire surprises a burglar in their brothel room and is attacked.
Claire fights off her rapey attacker, and nearly kills him, when he smashes his head into the fireplace. Because it’s Claire, she decides she has to try to save his life, despite Jamie’s opinion that they should let God sort it out. Madam Jeanine and Fergus show up at their door. A search of the stranger’s pocket identifies him as an exciseman. He’d been searching for Jamie’s ledgers, which tells them that their prior bribes for the authorities to look the other way on Jamie’s smuggling activities no longer seems to be effective. Claire sends Jeanine for some surgical implements, and Jamie sends Fergus to sell off the contraband liquor as quickly as possible, since the Crown is likely on the way.
Claire runs off to the apothecary for emergency supplies and encounters Archie Campbell whose sister has a nervous complaint that Claire agrees to go and treat later. Margaret Campbell turns out to be a raving lunatic, in between bouts of laudanum-induced catatonia. Archie claims Margaret is a seer, and he translates her visions for a modest fee. Claire gives him instructions for some tonics to use on Margaret for their upcoming voyage to the West Indies.
Sir Percival, the Crown’s agent, and the exciseman’s employer, comes to search the brothel, believing Jamie has been holding out on him. They search the premises, while Claire, with the assistance of Yi Tien Cho, performs some super rudimentary surgery on the exciseman, but fails to save him. Jamie doesn’t really feel too bad for the guy who tried to kill his wife, and stores the body in a cask of créme de menthe (hilariously, not realizing Young Ian had promised that particular brew to a buyer as a gift with purchase).
Claire and Jamie discuss their future, and she suggests setting up shop as a healer, to bring in some money, since, oddly enough, she’d rather not live in a brothel forever. The elder Ian Murray shows up, looking for his son, and is astonished and tearful to find Claire alive. Jamie asks Claire to go along with his lie to Ian that they haven’t seen Young Ian. The Murrays are worried because he ran away from home weeks before, and they haven’t heard from him. Later, Claire and Jamie fight about the ethics of Jamie lying to his family, versus the lies they continually tell about where Claire has been for the last 20 years. And Jamie is still being a judgey arse about Brianna’s bikini.
A man breaks into the print shop looking for the contraband while Young Ian is entertaining a pretty tavern wench. The man finds Jamie’s seditious pamphlets instead, and starts a fire while fighting off Ian. Ian manages to burn the man before the whole place catches on fire. Once they receive word of the fire, Jamie and Claire rush to the print shop, and Jamie just barely gets Ian out of the burning building in time. When Ian tells Jamie the man saw his pamphlets, they realize Sir Percival will now be able to link Jamie to smuggling and treason, and he could hang. They decide to head to Lallybroch to take Young Ian home, and evade the law. Jamie asks Fergus to send Ned Gowan to Lallybroch regarding that matter he inquired about. He’ll get around to explaining it to Claire at some point.
Kilt Drops: 1
I can see why they seem to have aged up Young Ian a bit. Better luck next time though, buddy.
P.S. I’m choosing not to count the live sex shows that seem to be constantly happening at the brothel. But, what is that about?
Wit and Wordplay
Lesley: “I’ve been wanting to gut a filthy exciseman for years.”Jamie’s henchmen are hardcore, and I love them.
Young Ian: “If Aunty Claire was forced to kill men, likely they deserved it.”Truth.
Fergus: “Milady does not yet know about your other wife?”I share your appall, Fergus.
- GROSSSSSS, show. I really didn’t need to get that up close and personal with 18th century brain surgery.
- I’d cheerfully watch an entire hour of Fergus, the Lothario of Edinburgh, giving Young Ian all the tips. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.
- Having read the book, I’m curious why they decided to make Archie Campbell manage his sister’s fortune-telling services instead of being a stiff and conservative reverend.
- I get the feeling Jamie’s accusations about Claire loving Frank have more to do with his own guilty conscience. What do you think?
Next week: Claire and Jenny have a Lallybroch confrontation, and Claire finds out what Jamie’s been hiding from her. Spoiler: She’s kind of pissed.