Previously on Outlander, Claire wandered off initially out of boredom and then because she realized how close she was to Craigh na Dun only to be nabbed by Black Jack AKA Evil Frank’s officers –RUH ROH. Just as Evil Frank was about to rape our Claire, Jamie burst in the window –end scene. Nearly six months later we’re back, and we can finally find out if Jamie is able to SAVE Claire.
This week the VO is from Jamie’s point of view and I do NOT dig it, I miss Claire.
The convenient plot device to get Jamie away from Claire so that she could get herself kidnapped by redcoats AKA Horrocks who is also supposed to tell the gang who really killed the dude Jamie is accused of killing SHOCKS them all by stating that Black Jack Randall killed the man. Jamie realizes that he is an outlaw once more because he can not free himself by accusing Randal of the murder. As they let Horrocks go wee William (at least I hope that’s his name because I like thinking of him as “wee William”) rides up and tells Jamie he lost Claire to the Redcoats. I love that he also notes that Claire tried to fight them off –GO CLAIRE!
Jamie and Murtagh kilt-up and break into Fort William to rescue Claire yet again from rape and violence –oh Claire you fought Nazis only to go back in time and get mauled by English soldiers every fucking day. The 18th century was a really shitty time for ladies to go walking alone AND I want to note that they were covered from head-to-toe which debunks that whole asking-for-it bullshit. Anywho back to the action, Jamie scales a wall in a kilt and it does NOT look convenient. He breaks in through the window on Randall trying to rape Claire (see gif at top). Randall is gleeful of the knowledge that Jamie is Claire’s husband AND he propositions Jamie to join in on the raping (I’m thinking that Randall might swing both ways). Evil Frank is NOT a nice or pleasant dude. Randall is able to get Jamie to put the gun down by threatening to kill Claire BUT the catch is that the gun is empty and Jamie is able to knock Randall out. In the VO we learn that Jamie didn’t kill Randall right there because he is defenseless BUT that he should have. Jamie and Claire are able to escape back to the group because of an explosive diversion created by Murtagh.
The gang ride through the not-at-all-gorgeous countryside, when they stop to rest the horses Jamie and Claire have a private moment which turns into a verbal fight that would have made Bogey and Bacall proud. The gist is that Jamie wants Claire to apologize for wandering off. Claire isn’t pleased by his tone and insinuation that she wanted to get kidnapped by Redcoats. Jamie then says that Claire wandered off to punish Jamie for the rape that nearly happened the day before. Claire swears a bit (okay, a lot), Jamie calls her a bitch and then he sits down on a rock and cries (manly tears). Also he sadly tells her how scary it was to have to hear her scream when he was armed with an unloaded gun and his fists. They forgive each other because though Claire is tough even she is not immune to a hot ginger crying on a rock in complete defeat.
They ride to an inn to spend the night before they get to Castle Leoch and Claire is shunned because she is a pain in the ass who wandered off which leads to Jamie giving her a literal pain in the ass. Which brings me to this. So here are the facts of the spanking scene, Jamie enjoys giving Claire the thrashing and the fight she gives him, Claire fights back the entire time which is the exact opposite of consent, and the show plays this as comical and cute. Those are the facts and like the book I didn’t find any of this problematic, mainly because I think the show does a good job of setting up that Jamie won’t hurt Claire excessively and makes it clear this is something that would happen to him if he were to wander off and put the entire party in danger (though for him it would most likely be worse). He is clearly using it so that she learns that where she is now is much harder and less safe than where she is from. Also Claire needs to realize that real and very dangerous consequences happen for someone who wanders off not just for herself but for the entire party (though I think the fact that she keeps nearly getting raped is a much better deterrent than getting spanked).
What I didn’t appreciate was that without Claire’s VO we don’t really know what she is thinking and that’s a big loss, unlike in the book, where we are able to read how Claire deals with the whipping–before, during, and after. Though the show does a good job of setting this up as a historical form of punishment, the book through Claire’s narration made it clear how she saw the event and we as modern readers have a greater understanding why she forgives Jamie. I am okay with the show changing the plot from the books they have too for a variety of reasons but the VO should always be Claire. Claire is our window to this world, she is our talisman and it makes it easier to take the violence if we can here Claire process it.
The morning after the spanking, Claire is teased a bit from the party. What I enjoyed about the teasing is it’s more “everyone has been spanked before” camaraderie and less “Jamie had to teach his woman a lesson.” And now let’s get back to Castle Leoch and never talk about spanking again. I mean if we want to have a real feminist discussion about violence and Outlander we should discuss that poor Claire’s tops always get ripped down the front which I suppose is possibly historically accurate but I have about had it with seeing Claire’s bosom in peril AND I know for a fact she has a dress that’s all wool and ties down the back (dear Claire, If I were you I’d wear the wool tartan).
When they return to the castle they are warmly greeted by Mrs. Fitz and Colum’s wife who is excited about a wedding and less warmly greeted by Colum (and Jamie’s ex-girlfriend Laoghaire). After Colum gives a steely greeting to Claire he then just stands there and says nothing while we pan to everyone’s face, it is hella awkward. Other things Column is not pleased about is that Dougal was raising money for the Jacobite cause. In fact he is so pissed he takes the money. This makes Dougal so angry he admits that Colum’s son was sired by him not Colum. Dougal and Ned leave and Colum yells at Jamie for marrying a sassenach which will not allow him to be Colum’s heir if need be.
Back in the honeymoon suite Jamie recounts the meeting to Claire. You can tell Claire loves gossip as she is engaged and not steely with Jamie but once the convo is over and his ass tries to get in bed Claire puts a kibosh on hanky panky and makes poor Jamie sleep on the floor.
After a heart-to-heart with BFF Murtagh Jamie gets the idea to broker peace between Column and Dougal. He tells Colum to give the gold back Dougal because there isn’t even a Jocobite army so he should let Dougal play the rebel. It will pacify Dougal and gives Colum time to decide which side he will fight on if and when the Jacobite cause forms an army sufficient enough to take on the British.
Now that Jamie brought peace to the clan he goes for a solitary stone throwing session to think about the state of his marriage which is ruined by a nubile Laoghaire who tries to convince Jamie to leave his wife because she is a virgin. Jamie kisses her but realizes he loves his wife. He goes back to the honeymoon suite and tells Claire that he thinks their marriage needs to be different from his parents and the their parents. He pledges his love and loyalty and that he will never raise a hand to her again in rebellion. Claire somewhat hesitantly agrees to want him once more in carnal pleasure.
After Claire forgives Jamie she consents to some sexytime fun. As she is straddling him she notices his dagger and takes it to his neck and tells him if he ever tries to lay a hand on her again she will cut out his heart and eat it. I also want to point out she never stops fucking him, not once, Caitriona Balfe is committed to making good sex scenes. Game of Thrones could learn a thing or two from the sex scenes in Outlander. My favorite part is after during pillow talk Jamie asks Claire what “fucking” means and what a “sadist” is. She defines them and he isn’t flattered but is amused by the suggestions.
Next time more Scottish shenanigans and hopefully the return of Claire’s VO (I missed Claire’s POV and wry observations) and Geilly Duncan’s catty maneuvers to learn all of Claire’s secrets (seriously she is like the Bette Davis of 18th century Scotland).