#Droutlander is officially over! We have arrived at the magical oasis and finally drunk from the…stinky spring that lets everyone know we are not lying when we say…FINALLY OUTLANDER HAS RETURNED TO US!
Batten down the hatches everyone. If the rest of the season is anything like this episode we are in for one wild ride!
Recap – Episode #109 “The Reckoning”
The episode opens with Jamie skipping stones along a brook. It’s our first Jamie voiceover! Yep, this episode is the first from Jamie’s point of view! He’s mulling over choices he’s made that have led him to certain points in his life. We’re all mesmerized by that lilt with the rolling R’s when suddenly a woman approaches…a blonde woman…
WAIT…THAT’S NOT CLAIRE!!!!
Jamie, Dougal, Angus, Rupert, et al are speaking to an English Army deserter who names Black Jack Randall is the real killer of the soldier Jamie’s been accused of killing. They pay the deserter who skedaddles when young Willie rides up sans Claire. Of course Jamie’s a wee bit concerned by this and learns that she’s been taken by the English.
And opening credits. ARGH!
Fort William – Murtagh and Jamie creep from the shadows, take down a guard, and find out where Claire is being held.
Off Jamie goes while the other MacKenzies stay below. He climbs from the roof of a turret to rappel several stories below to Claire’s room. He hears her scream just before landing on the window sill and flinging the shutters open to point a gun at Black Jack he snarls: “I’ll thank you to take yer hands off my wife.”
(This is where the last episode ended, of course.) Black Jack is eerily delighted to see Jamie. Holding a knife to Claire’s throat, he makes Jamie hand over his gun and Black Jack gleefully threatens to make Jamie watch him rape Claire. (We’ve never seen Black Jack so happy.) After some taunting words, Black Jack decides to shoot Jamie with Jamie’s own gun…only the gun is empty! Jamie attacks and knocks him out, even while thinking that perhaps he should have killed Black Jack then…um you think?
Jamie and Claire make their escape with an explosive assist from the rest of the MacKenzie strike team. Jamie and Claire jump from the top of Fort William into the ocean below.
Jamie and the commandos take a break while traveling back to regroup with the rest of the clan. He finally gets a moment to talk to Claire privately and asks if she’s alright. He waits expectantly. He informs Claire that he’s waiting for an apology. That doesn’t go down so well with Claire who was captured and nearly raped (again) — never-mind that she was captured trying to leave him to go back to another man. It’s an adrenaline-fueled, screaming match since he was freaked about trying to rescue her from a British fort without any weapons. When Jamie loses all his fight, he confesses: “You’re tearing my guts out Claire.” Oh. That knocks the wind out of her fight and they end up forgiving each other.
When they meet up with the rest of their crew, the men all ignore Claire, even when she tries to thank them. Shunned, she retires to bed. Murtagh points out that she doesn’t realize how much danger she put them all in. Jamie knows this and goes to ensure Claire is justly punished. In the bedroom she’s all conciliatory and Jamie tells her there is still one more matter to clear up. He slips his belt off and tells her to kneel by the bed.
Hell no! Claire points out she apologized and promises not to do it again. Jamie says yeah yeah, but you won’t really mean it unless you feel it. Gulp! They dance around it for a while, but eventually Jamie gets the job done even if Claire got her own licks in. The MacKenzie men are satisfied with the sound of the scuffle and they’re back to being sunshine and roses with Claire the next morning.
The troop is done collecting the rent and with the possibility that the British are after them for Claire’s rescue, they return home to Castle Leoch. The estranged pair enter the Great Hall to find everyone gathered to wish them well on their blissful nuptials. Well, not everyone is so happy.
Colum is rather strained and a weepy, young Laoghaire unsuccessfully tries to get an explanation out of Jamie. Guess the horse-dung, love potion Claire gave her at the Gathering didn’t work!
Colum summons Jamie, Dougal and Ned to his chambers to see if there will be any fall out from the Fort William incident. Jamie assures him the blowback will be entirely on him since its, um, personal with Black Jack. Colum then calls out the trio for raising funds for a rebellion (remember Dougal’s speechifying for the Jacobites and Bonnie Prince Charlie?). During the ensuing war of words, Dougal basically announces, in front of Jaime and Ned, that he fathered Colum’s son and heir.
Yep, Clan MacKenzie is on the brink of civil war between the Chieftain and the War Chieftain. After Dougal and Ned leave, Colum berates Jamie for marrying the Sassenach, since Jamie’s marriage to an Englishwoman means he can never rule Clan MacKenzie. Jamie seems okay with that, but Colum’s not feeling very brotherly about Dougal, and he’s not happy with one less possible successor.
The marriage isn’t quite working out for Jamie since Claire hasn’t forgiven him for striking her and kicks him out of their bedroom. Ouch.
The split between the MacKenzie leaders trickles down and when Jamie and Murtagh try to break up a fight, they are told to butt out of MacKenzie business. Now Murtagh’s convinced they should stay out of this MacKenzie fight and leave. Jamie is not ready to go on the road with a wife to support. Murtagh’s comment about Prince Charlie living it up in exile gets Jamie thinking…
Jamie has a quiet word with Colum, persuading him to give back Dougal’s fundraising stash to avoid a Clan war. Since the Prince won’t be coming back anytime soon, Colum can wait to choose a (winning) side and Dougal can continue to covertly rebel away. Colum takes Jamie’s advice, which patches up things with Dougal. Colum even suggests hosting the Duke of Sandringham to secretly suss out the English perspective on the Jacobite cause.
Tah dah! Jamie has healed the breach between the brothers. Now what to do about Claire? We’re now back to the opening scene with Jamie expertly skipping stones when a woman pops up…it’s Loaghaire and she’s brought her cleavage!
She’s..ahem…down to the essentials under her cloak and declares she wants Jamie to be her first and only lover. Jamie manfully resists and declares that he’ll remain faithful to his vows. Laoghaire runs off humiliated and hurt.
Jamie realizes that a strong man can bend (like Colum) and that marriage with Claire is going to be different from his father’s. He falls on his knees and uses the fealty oath to pledge loyalty to Claire. When she doesn’t respond (gulp!), he asks if she wants them to live separately. She melts and they make up — Jamie and Claire style…tee hee. In the middle of their make out up session she pulls his dirk on him and threatens that if he ever strikes her again, she’ll cut his heart out. They make up real good don’t they? Never a dull moment with these two!
They have well and truly made up when Claire finds a voodoo-looking doll under their bed. Jamie identifies it as an ill wish – placing pain, harm or even death on a person. Claire asks who would do that and immediately Jamie knows the answer: Loaghaire.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
AND THIS WAS JUST THE START OF THIS HALF OF THE SEASON
Reflection – what did we think?
Alicia: I liked seeing things from Jamie’s perspective. At the #TartanAffair showing in L.A., Matt Roberts talked a bit about how they decided to change the perspective from the first half so now it’ll be split between Jamie and Claire. It was a nice way to set up the differences between the first half of the season and this half. We’ve already been told it’ll be a lot more action filled and they did not disappoint.
Erica: Wow! This was a nice change of pace! A more masculine view with lots of action. I’m glad that we finally get to see more of Jamie since, up to this point, it’s only been flashes from Claire’s perspective so it was hard to really get to know Jamie in the series. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this!
Alicia: This may be controversial, but I’m glad they kept the spanking scene in. It was wonderfully done with Jamie explaining that his world and hers are very different. Essentially we modern women are Claire in that moment and it was a reminder to us all that this was a time where women were essentially little more than property and how easily one little mistake could mean life or death. And let’s not forget that being spanked with a belt a few times is nothing to nearly getting an entire group of men killed. Making nearly all of them possible fugitives and who knows how this will come down on the head of the Clan MacKenzie.
Erica: This is actually a pretty major scene since it means their relationship will be very different from others since he’s since vowed not to raise a hand to her…no matter how she may deserve it! Lol! I thought it was very well done – balanced the reasons why without Jamie coming off like some barbarian. (Barbarians = eavesdropping MacKenzie men who demanded retribution for the rescue.)
Alicia: The scene at the beginning with Black Jack, Claire and Jamie was fabulous. Tobias is soooo good as Jack Randall. Those dead eyes, that cold demeanor… I hate him so much and love him all at the same time. It’s disturbing.
Erica: I always thought Tobias was a solid actor, but I have a new level of respect for him. He’s very scary as Black Jack and just so charming as Frank. Can’t wait to see what comes up next…
Alicia: I know I’m always saying this…but OMG THOSE SHOTS OF SCOTLAND KILL ME! It hurts it’s so beautiful!
Erica: It’s been so long since the first half that you can forget how gorgeous it all is. And it’s now spring so be prepared for so much more dazzle!
—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Alicia: For the most part I didn’t mind the changes. Condensing all that road travel into them returning to Leoch, the bits about the gold and Prince Charles, and that being where Jamie and Claire make up didn’t really take away from any of it.
Erica: Agreed. Simplification is necessary in TV.
Alicia: The only two things that bothered me were: 1) Them jumping from Fort William into water – because, I’m sorry, but that much wet wool and she would’ve sunk like a lead stone. 2) Changing the order of his pledge to her. In the book Claire threatens to cut out his heart, then Jamie takes the knife and pledges his oath to her, which I think makes it a lot more powerful.
Erica: When they first jumped into the water, I thought about how jumping into a just-past-Scottish-winter at night is not a good thing…especially when fully clothed. A romantic, but not very realistic way to escape.
Erica: You’re right about the order of the threat and pledge. I think Jamie is more emotional than I pictured in the books…that is part of it and also because the voiceover is starting now and we don’t get that for several books. It doesn’t make him less of a man, but it is a tweak.
Alicia: You hit it on the head. He seems a lot more practical and passionate in the books vs. practical and emotional like the show. It’s not a bad change, mind you, but just different. I feel in the book he also laughs at her a lot more because of her queer woman ways, but that’s when they’ve got all this traveling time together to establish their rapport. I feel we may get more of that as they’re relationship continues on the show.
Erica: Since the wedding ring has a different origin story, there were also changes. Remember that Claire got into an unconscious jealous fit when she thought Jamie was off talking/consoling/canoodling with Laoghaire when he’s actually getting her a wedding ring. The bit about using the Lallybroch key to make her ring so she knows it’s also her home was nice though. It still gave Claire an “oh crap” moment when she realized she had the wrong impression.
Erica: There is still a lot of plot to get through since I originally thought the mid-season break would be further along. It makes me feel like the Father Bain/exorcism bit was a time vamp so now everything is going to go like a rocket in the second half. Some of my favorite moments are coming up!
—–END OF BOOK READER DISCUSSION ——————————————————
You’ve read what we think, but how did you like this episode? Was it worth the 6 month wait? What was your favorite part?
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