Outlander Recap and Reflection #113 – The Search for Jamie! A Road Adventure with a Dancing Murtagh!

Jamie’s been taken by the English…again!

It’s a wonder Jamie and Claire ever step outside since it doesn’t end well for them! This week we have a road adventure, a vaudeville show and, wait for it, a dancing Murtagh! Just when you thought you’d seen it all…

Recap – Episode #114 “The Search”

With Ian’s sudden return and the news that the English have Jamie, Lallybroch is in a tizzy as they prepare to go off after Jamie before he can be taken to Fort William (and Black Jack Randall). Ian is determined to join in the rescue party, but he’s too injured to go. He wants to mobilize some of the tenants, but Claire won’t let him since that would mean sanctions by the English.

Instead, Claire gets ready to ride and, to her surprise, so does Jenny even though she gave birth just a few days earlier. But Claire doesn’t know the land or how to track so she needs Jenny and a lot of luck. The ladies peel out though the lushly green highlands with a gorgeous Bear McCreary soundtrack.

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They pick up the trail of the English even though they have no plan. Claire hopes to reason with Lord Thomas, Black Jack’s commander, but Jenny doesn’t think that will work. They find the soldiers and MacQuarrie, but there’s no sign of a large red-headed Scot. When they see a messenger take off, the ladies decide to grab him to see what he knows.

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The captured redcoat refuses to cooperate and doesn’t quite understand how determined Jenny can be. (Answer: Very determined). The whimpering solider finally points out he is just a courier so Claire grabs his dispatches. One letter is indeed an update on Jamie who escaped before they could take him to Buele. The dispatch is calling for help from Fort William (ie…Black Jack) to send soldiers to search the countryside. By tearing up the message, Fort William won’t know that Jamie has escaped. Whew!

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However, the English know that Jamie is around so he can’t go home to Lallybroch. Instead, he’s gone off to hide. Claire wants to doctor up the tortured solider, but Jenny knows that the poor sod can’t live if they want to save Jamie. Neither lady needs to bloody their hand as Murtagh arrives and slits the guy’s throat.

Ian sent Murtagh to help and this gives Jenny the freedom to return home to her newborn babe. She gives Claire the Lallybroch rents and a knife for protection. In return, Claire wants to give her a bit of advice from her knowledge of the future – the gift of the spud! War will break out with the English and it’ll be followed by famine. Potatoes were not commonly grown in Scotland then, but there’s time to plant them now since it could save them in a few years.

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Now it’s just Claire and Murtagh and they need a plan. Murtagh decides it’s easiest to find Jamie if Jamie finds them instead. Murtagh wants to head on a tour of the Highlands featuring Claire’s doctoring skills. As a healer, people will come to them and put the word out about a female healer. Murtagh decides to add to their fame by sword dancing. Yes, Murtagh dancing!

Sure, word gets around that a female is doctoring with a dancing clansman and Jamie must automatically think “Claire and Murtagh!” That’s what we all think…right? Ahem…

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Murtagh’s dance is sort of a Riverdance around a pair of swords placed on the ground in an X-pattern. (He’s oddly sensitive about his craft so don’t question him about it.) He decides they need to amp up their little side show act and Claire dresses up as a man and starts to a sing bawdy Scots song. Things are a little surreal in Scotland right now.

Murtagh is hoping that a doctoring Sassenach singing a song from Jamie’s childhood is bound to get his attention. They travel and perform across the Highlands until they reach the sea. Still no sign of Jamie.

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Then they find a gypsy camp who’ve stolen their act! A sword-dancing Highlander and a bawdy-song singing Sassenach! What are the odds? Claire is worried that Jamie will now find the wrong singing Sassenach. She bribes the tribe into not using the song with the Lallybroch rent money.

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Without a better plan, they continue their world tour. Both are getting discouraged and Claire accuses Murtagh of not understanding what its like to lose someone you love. Murtagh confesses he was once in love with a “saucy lassie” who had another suitor. He tried to prove his manliness to her by killing a boar with just a dagger. He took the tusks and made them into bracelets for his love. Lightbulb!

Murtagh was Ellen MacKenzie’s mysterious admirer – the one who gave her the boar tusk bracelets as a wedding gift. Jamie was the son he never had and the son of the woman he loved. (Sob!!)

One day, the gypsies meet up with Claire and Murtagh again. Yes, they broke their word and kept performing the song. But one day they did get a message for The Sassenach which is clearly meant for the real Sassenach, Claire. The message is to meet at a specific place.

Murtagh and Claire are off like a shot and they find…Dougal! Not quite who they were expecting. But Dougal has an update on Jamie. He’s alive, but he was recaptured when he came to see The Sassenach sing. Doh!

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He’s now in Wentworth Prison (oh dear), has stood trial for murder (oh dear) and was convicted to hang (!!!!) three days ago. He could be executed at any moment now. Ahhhh!!!

Before Claire can go after Jamie, Dougal wants a word in private. (Private words with Dougal never go well.) Dougal offers Claire protection as her husband. Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser isn’t in need of another last name and she’s horrified that Jamie’s uncle is making a move on her before Jamie’s even dead.

Claire wonders that Dougal isn’t mourning his soul-mate Geillis who burned at the stake with their baby. He points out that Black Jack will be after her for the Scottish lands she’ll inherent. Ah ha!! Dougal is after her for her huge tracts of land (literally and in the Monty Python definition). That’s why Dougal fed Jamie false rumors of Jenny having Jack Randall’s baby to keep him away from Lallybroch — to eventually take it.

That is true – Dougal is after Lallybroch, but he’s still interested in grinding some corn. Claire is very clearly not, but she sees an opportunity. She agrees to marry Dougal IF he helps to rescue Jamie and they don’t succeed. Dougal agrees that she can try to persuade the men to help her save him, but he won’t order them to.

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Claire talks to the MacKenzie men who really don’t want to break into an English prison. After pointing out Jamie would do it for any one of them, young Willie is the first to volunteer. Shamed, Angus and Rupert decide to join in on the fun.

Claire, Murtagh, Willie, Angus and Rupert against Wentworth Prison. Sure. Yeah. What could go wrong?

Reflection – what did we think?

Erica: If this isn’t a commercial for visiting gorgeous Scotland, I don’t know what is! I wish I had my own soundtrack when I went out on a trip! I loved seeing Claire and Jenny, two tigresses, going after Jamie. I wish we got to see more of that. Not necessarily more torture, but just seeing the two of them Thelma and Louise across Scotland would be fun.

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Alicia: Agreed. There wasn’t enough time with the two of them together. While I appreciate the fact that we’re supposed to be as anxious as Claire and Murtagh to find Jamie…that bit went on a wee bit long in my opinion. I did like how they used the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” tune for her bawdy Scottish song. Quite clever.

Erica: There was a lot of the musical sequence. At least Caitriona has a nice, clear voice. Thank God we haven’t had to hear Jamie sing yet! I don’t know if Sam has a good voice or not, but Jamie does not.

Alicia: I find the changes in Claire interesting. She starts off all resourceful, spunky and determined to take her fate into her own hands. Then she starts to stumble a little, gets lost a bit. Now at the end of this episode she’s back to take charge Claire. Fascinating. Can’t wait to see what the final two episodes bring us!

—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Erica: Who’d have thought there’d be a music video montage in Outlander? This was definitely expanded versus what’s in the books.

Alicia: I didn’t like that they have Dougal telling Claire that it was word of her “show” that got Jamie captured. In the book it’s just an unfortunate accident.

Erica: It’s interesting how they’ve focused focus Dougal’s motives a bit. There’s no talk about how Dougal tried to kill Jamie with an axe. Dougal doesn’t say anything about Geillis’ fate or that the baby is with a foster family now.

Alicia: Well what I find interesting about that is in the book, we leave Geillis still at the trial. In the show she’s being carried off to the burning pyre. So how are they going to work around that? It’ll be hard to make sense of the crowd waiting when they were In such a frenzy at the time and she even says she’s going to a BBQ.

Erica: Once they get her on the pyre, but before it’s lit, Ned (or someone) could arguing a stay of execution since she’s pregnant and the babe is an innocent.

Alicia: All in all it was an odd episode…first one that I haven’t enjoyed and found the changes jarring. But I feel this was the ‘breath’ before the final sprint. And what a sprint it’s going to be if they stay as close to the book as they have so far in these cases. YIKES!

Erica: Speaking of Geillis’ baby, season 2 of Outlander has started filming but no word on casting for Roger or Brianna. I wonder if they are keeping the modern day scenes from Dragonfly in Amber

Alicia: I don’t see how they can do it without the present elements…that’s such an important part of the book. Unless…they move chronologically through and the last couple of episodes are a jump forward giving them time to cast those two characters.

Erica: They could even wait until Voyager really. Stay chronological until Claire goes back to the 1940’s. After she gets back to the future, the story could jump forward to present day and then use flashbacks to tell Jamie’s story post-Culloden. Or, maybe, they are filming those modern scenes in a block and haven’t finalized casting yet.

Alicia: Brianna will be a little hard since she’s supposed to look so much like Jamie. I’m interested to see how they’ll age Caitriona.

Erica: Let’s see if they can find a 6’ redhead who’s young enough that an aged Caitriona and Sam will make sense!

—–END OF BOOK READER DISCUSSION ——————————————————

You’ve read what we think, but how did you like this episode? What was your favorite part?

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