Tonight’s episode marks the midpoint for the fall season of Outlander. It’s been great to date and we still have some major moments yet to come! We’re launching our next Outlander prize pack so enter below for your chance to take home some Outlander swag! But first, let’s chat about this week’s episode which may have the biggest departure yet from the book.
Recap – Episode #105 “Rent”
Claire, modeling a fabulous fur-trimmed traveling dress, is traveling with the Clan MacKenzie men who are touring the lands to collect the rent. She makes friends with the MacKenzie lawyer, Ned Gowan who’s been with the MacKenzies for years. Ned journeys with the merry band of kilts to help keep track of the rents and such since he’s the trusted bookkeeper and man of letters.
Lucky for Claire that Ned’s around since she’s the only female and a Sassenach to boot so the other men seemed to be pointedly excluding her from their reindeer games. They stick to speaking in Gaelic and telling colorful anecdotes that are unfit for maidenly ears. (Not that Claire is particularly maidenly, but the point is made.) This helps strengthen Claire’s resolve to escape to Craigh na Dun and the 20th century.
They journey to the first village where Ned sets up shop to collect coins, grains and livestock for their MacKenzies rent payment. Bored, Claire watches the proceedings and notices that not all the coins go into the rent collection bag. Hmm…
She wanders around the village and hears a group of women singing while they work. She joins in as they work the dye into cloth with the help of urine which helps the color to set. (Ewwww!) Gamely, she joins in with the ladies and then relaxes with a strong drink. She learns that the price of the rents can be quite high as a young baby will go hungry tonight. Claire starts to probe the ladies on where Craigh na Dun is when Angus pops in, angry that she’s been away from the menfolk for so long.
Angus manhandles her in front of half the village as the MacKenzie traveling band is ready to go. Feisty (and possibly a little intoxicated) Claire wants to leave a goat behind to feed that starving baby.
The heated discussion attracts the attention of one of the villagers who is concerned for Claire’s safety, but not concerned enough to fight off the dozen or so MacKenzie clansmen who tell him to butt out. Angry, her would-be savior walks off and, in the privacy of the stable, puts on his English red coat and rides off. Doh!
That night, Dougal and the boys relax with the local villagers where he makes a great big speech in Gaelic. At the end of the speech, Dougal walks over to Jamie and rips the shirt off his back to show the scars from his flogging. After gasping in horror and throwing Jamie looks of pity, the locals gather their purses and hand Dougal some money.
Claire chats with Ned to confirm her theory that Dougal is cheating Colum out of rent money. Ned doesn’t deny it and Claire gets creepy looks from Dougal (are there any other kind at this point?). Dougal continues to watch her closely so Claire is despairing of making a break for it.
They settle into a pattern of rent collection by day and stripping off Jamie’s shirt at night (but not in a fun way). In their travels, they run into a homestead that’s been accused of being a traitor to Scotland so the Watch has burned them to the ground. Jamie hides himself off since the Watch would gladly turn him into the English for the price on his head.
The English also went through a different village and basically took the food and money right before Dougal’s group arrived. Dougal generously gives them back their rent and asks them to join him for more drinks.
That night, Dougal gives another long speech and strips Jamie, but this time Claire catches the end of the speech where Dougal ends with “Stuart” and Claire realizes that Dougal isn’t robbing Colum of rent money, he’s raising funds for the Jacobites.
What’s a Jacobite? Well, it’s a political group that wanted to restore the family of Catholic King James II back to the throne. The current claimant in that family line, Charles Stuart, is in exile and waiting/hoping to one day take the throne.
Dougal is using Jamie’s scars to enrage the Scots about English rule in Scotland. Jamie also gets enraged since he doesn’t want to be the object of pity, but Dougal is his uncle. Claire remembers her history discussions with Frank and knows that Bonnie Prince Charlie will never sit on the throne so this fund raising is for a lost cause.
The MacKenzie travelers see more evidence of English cruelty when they find two Scots hung out to dry for being a traitor. Dougal’s speech in the local inn stirs up a lot of donations and anti-English sentiment. In the middle of the night, Claire hears a noise and heads out to investigate, only to trip over Jamie (again!).
This time Jamie is guarding her door (not hiding in the stables) since the anti-English sentiment is so strong that night. (Aww!) Since sleeping in a doorway is awkward, she invites him to sleep inside her room which immediately offends Jamie’s maidenly sensibilities since that would ruin her reputation. Different times, ye ken?
At breakfast the next morning, Claire tries to convince Ned that the Jacobite cause is futile, but he’s just as determined as Dougal. Meanwhile, the local villagers exchange words with the visiting MacKenzies which ends in a full-out brawl. The MacKenzies get the best of the locals and, as Claire attends to their wounds and berates them for bar-fighting, she learns that they were fighting to protect her honor.
After all this time and so much suspicion, this little bit of care from her captors throws Claire off. To try to make it up to the guys, she tosses off a bawdy insult to Rupert who erupts in laughter. For the first time, Claire is feeling friendlier with the troop, but she stops laughing when she learns they’re headed through Culloden.
200 years from now, she and Frank will visit Culloden which was a huge massacre for the Highlanders during their crusade for Bonnie Prince Charlie. The Battle of Culloden will take place in three years from where Claire is now and it will mark the end of the Highlander way of life. No clans. No kilts. No Gaelic. Soberly, Claire starts to wonder which of the men beside her may die in that battle a few years from now.
They continue on, but Dougal has heard about Claire’s opinions on the Jacobite funding and he confronts her alone. He’s worried that her words are sowing some doubt among the men. He’s worried that she’s seen too much of his fund raising and may run to the English. She fires back that she’s actually trying to save his life.
Before the argument can escalate further, a whole bunch of English red coats show up. Whoa! Not the way to diffuse the tension!
One of the red coats approaches and Claire recognizes him as her would-be savior from weeks ago. He introduces himself as Lieutenant Jeremy Foster and, once again, pointedly asks after her well-being. Dougal is the only MacKenzie around and he and Claire are surrounded by the red coats. Dougal tries to impress the Lieutenant with his title as War Chieftain for the MacKenzies, but Lt. Foster is focused on the Englishwoman he believes they are holding against her will.
Lt. Foster asks Claire if she’s there by her own choice and…the episode ends!!
Reflection – what did we think?
Erica: A cliffhanger!! Like it wasn’t hard enough to wait for next week anyway!
Alicia: Right?!?!?! It’s odd to say, but I feel this episode was a lot heavier than previous ones. Not in a bad way, but even though they’re outside and enjoying the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, it felt more suffocating for Claire in a way. I think it’s because she is really out of her depth here. No other women around to befriend her, surrounded by Clansmen telling crude jokes, seeing all this land and not knowing where she is or how to get to where she’d like to go, etc. I loved it.
Erica: In a lot of ways, I think the show is hitting its stride since most of the story is now set up and we’re focusing now on Claire’s mission. Lots of good stuff coming up next!!!!
Erica: The personalities of the men are being drawn clearer than ever which is great. It was also good to see Claire taken aback about Angus charging to defend her honor even after he was quick to be insulted by her earlier. Definitely the hot-tempered guy of the lot!
Alicia: There were so many times I was just waiting for her to hit one of them, or spit on them, or curse them out royally…evidently Claire is more rational than I am because the moment Angus started treating me that way I would’ve slapped him. And paid for it dearly I’m sure. Really great to see the brutality of the time. Not in that people are beating each other up, but how people pay rents, where they live, things seen along the way…really fascinating stuff.
Erica: One of showrunner Ron Moore’s missions statements was to be authentic and I think they’re doing a great job of that. With 16 episodes, I think the show gets to show slice of life moments about life in 1700’s Scotland. The working the wool scene was fun, but wasn’t needed to move the plot forward. Since the show has a shorter length next season (probably), I’m guessing we won’t see scenes like that next season. Enjoy them while we can!
Erica: If anyone was on the fence about the beauty of Scotland, this is the episode to change your mind! This is one of the best travel videos ever! Well, working with urine aside, I mean!
Alicia: Heartbreaking beauty. And I like how I could just feel how stifling it still was. Just sitting around and no books!?!?!?! Riding all day, thinking of how they all must smell, seeing that she really has very little to break up her monotony…
Erica: Not an easy life, was it? I can’t wait to see what happens next week since Lt. Foster is a TV invention. Damn you cliffhanger!!!!
—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Erica: I’m intrigued with the twist of having Lt. Foster come to Claire rather than having Dougal bring her to Randall. I suppose it’s odd that Dougal would bring Claire to Randall if they spent the first episode running from Randall.
Alicia: Yeah…not sure about this. I feel like all these changes really alter Dougal as a character. Not in a bad way, but so far he’s the one character that’s strayed the most for me. I can’t tell if they’re trying to make him more sympathetic or unlikable or if that’s the point at all. For me, he’s far more unlikable on the show.
Erica: Dougal was never a very vivid book character for me. I agree that he’s probably the most different from the books so far. I think the next couple of episodes will really show us their vision for him. I’m very curious to see how they are going to play this. The cliffhanger certainly gives Claire more power since the next move is hers.
Alicia: I’m interested to see how exactly she winds up in front of Randall again. I mean Dougal bringing her sets up a tentative trust between him and Randall, but this way that’s gone and all the history there is basically null and void, particularly when it comes to Jamie’s time being a prisoner. Although they may surprise me…
Erica: I’m going to trust that they have an ultimate plan for this. It certainly keeps book readers on the edge of their seat as well! I can’t believe there are only three episodes left! I thought they would break the fall season when they go to Lallybroch, but now I’m not sure since it’s episode 7 that’s titled “The Wedding.” There’s a lot of plot between the wedding and Lallybroch and I’m not sure one episode can handle that.
Alicia: NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I’ve shifted my theory on where they’re ending this season now. I think it’ll be a big old cliffhanger with her “decision”. Either way, we still have to wait another whole episode before “The Wedding”…grrrrrr…
Erica: It’s going to seem like forever before we can get the second half of this season!
—–END OF BOOK READER DISCUSSION ——————————————————
You’ve read what we think, but how did you like this episode? Comment below and tell us what you think!
Want to take home some cool Outlander stuff? We’ve got a NEW Outlander prize pack to give away! This prize pack is pulled from a whole bunch of Outlander events and features our last Heughligan shirt!
1 #Heughligan/Real Men Wear Kilts shirt (XL)
1 Outlander canvas tote bag
1 Pocket Jamie
1 Outlander bookmark
1 “Summer of Sassenach” Outlander pin
All you need to do is use the rafflecopter below! Comment on each week’s Outlander recap for additional entries! Follow on social media! (See, it’s easy!) This month’s giveaway starts today and will close October 3rd.
(This contest is open to US residents only. Sorry! If there’s a big enough demand, we may open up one of these monthly giveaways or hold a special one just for our overseas friends. Let us know via email or the comments below if there’s enough demand! We may just randomly send something to our overseas friends anyway!)
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