Outlander Recap and Reflection! Claire Tries To Escape! Men in Kilts at the Gathering! Author Diana Gabaldon’s Cameo! Last Week for the First Outlander Prize Pack Contest!

Recap – Episode #104 “The Gathering”

Members of Clan MacKenzie are visiting from far and wide and Claire can’t wait to use the Gathering as an opportunity to escape Castle Leoch and head back to Craigh na Dun and home.

OUT_104 Colum
For the past weeks she’s been scouting out escape routes, memorizing sentry patterns, hording food and mapping out her path to home. Claire plays games with the castle kids to give her an excuse to explore and test the attentiveness of her guards, Rupert and Angus. A chat with Old Alec at the stables gives her the name of a sweet tempered horse that may work for her escape. She was hoping to run into Jamie, but Alec says Jamie is laying low and should stay that way until the Gathering is finished.

Geillis drops by with some supplies and she immediately starts to probe why Claire has a bunch of food around. Geillis wonders if Claire has an illegitimate child on the way, spurring her urgent need to get away. Claire makes it clear that she’s not pregnant and it just makes her sad as she thinks about Frank.

Geillis talks a bit about being a stranger herself since she came to the region with little besides her knowledge of herbs. She married Arthur since he’s a nice, stable husband, but not because she had the hots for him or anything. Geillis takes her leave with a bit of an ominous warning that the Highlands are not the place for a lone woman. But then everything Geillis says is a little ominous, right?

Claire gets ready to make her escape during the big ceremony and heads to the kitchens to pilfer a knife for protection. Unfortunately she runs into Mrs. Fitz who insists that Claire is Colum’s guest and must be present for the festivities. Mrs. Fitz escorts Claire back to her room to get changed and then to the great hall. Doh!

Mrs. Fitz exchanges some, um, pleasantries with one of the guests, Iona MacTavish, and then the ladies perch on the sidelines to watch the ceremony. Murtagh translates for Claire as Colum kicks off with the war cry “Tulach Ard!” and opening remarks. As Colum’s right hand man, Dougal is up first and gives the ritual oath. The rest of the clansmen line up to repeat the process.

OUT_104 Colum and Dougal
Claire tries to sneak off and gives Angus a bottle of doctored Port to help keep him occupied. She makes her way to the surgery when Laoghaire drops by and asks Claire for a love potion. She figures Claire must know something to help her win Jamie’s heart which seems less willing even as his lips aren’t. Claire gives Laoghaire some horse dung and Laoghaire heads out happy that she has the key to Jamie’s heart. Um, yeah…that could work 😉

Claire then makes her carefully calculated escape, but she runs into some drunk visiting clansmen who decide to take some liberties with such a lovely lady. She’s rescued by Dougal who sends the men off. Dougal is a bit drunk himself and he decides he wants a reward of the same nature from Claire. Yikes! Luckily he is drunk so Claire is able to grab a nearby stool and clock him in the head. Claire runs off to resume her plan.

Claire makes it to the stable and is about to approach her chosen horse when she trips over Jamie who’s hiding in the stables. He guesses her plan, but points out a flaw in her great plan – the guards are doubled during the Gathering since the whole clan is gathered. Whoops!

OUT-104 Claire stables
Jamie offers to walk her back to the castle, but Claire is reluctant since she knocked Dougal unconscious. After chuckling at the image, Jamie reassures her that Dougal won’t remember or fess up to being decked by a lassie.

Jamie tries to take her through a hidden entrance, but the guards find them and decide that Jamie, as Colum’s nephew, should be lining up to affirm his oath with Colum like the rest of the clan. They force Jamie to get ready and head to the hall.

The two head to hall where the ceremony is winding down with the last of the oath takers. Jamie’s presence causes a stir and Murtagh finally explains why Jamie’s been trying to lay low during the Gathering.

Jamie is a MacKenzie by blood, but that’s not the name that he carries. If he takes the oath, he becomes an official part of the clan and eligible to replace Colum as laird. Since he’s well-liked and a good fighter, he could easily gain support from the clan. Dougal doesn’t like that since he’s been aiming to take over, probably all his life. So if Jamie takes the oath, Dougal may have him killed so he can remain the top choice to succeed Colum. If Jamie publically declines to take the oath, then he’s also likely to be killed. Yikes! So that’s why Jamie was trying to stay hidden all week! Claire starts to feel guilty since Jamie’s head is now on the chopping block because he escorted her back to the castle.

But Jamie finds a way to give Colum and Clan MacKenzie his obedience while he’s on MacKenzie lands without giving the ritual pledge. Colum finds the oath acceptable so Jamie can keep his head and is not a direct threat to Dougal’s plans. Whew!

OUT_104 Jamie oath
The next day the clansmen gather for a boar hunt and lucky Claire is brought along in case they need a healer. Despite the horses and weapons, the boars injure a couple of the guys. Dougal saves Claire from a charging boar, but is unable to defend his friend Geordie. Geordie is mortally wounded so Claire and Dougal can only offer him comfort as he dies.

To release his frustration, Dougal joins in a really violent game of pick up hockey. He basically starts to wail on the participants until he starts to fight Jamie. The two are evenly matched and continue to pummel each other for a while. Dougal isn’t the most touchy-feely guy…

Dougal recognizes that Claire’s seen men die from violent deaths before. Impressed with her skills and poise, he decides she will join him and the other men when they go around the MacKenzie lands to collect the rent and “other business.”
OUT-104 Dougal on horse leading
Claire has little choice in the matter, but she’s hopeful that somewhere on the road, she can make her escape and head back to the standing stones at Craigh na Dun.

OUT-104 Claire Horse

Reflection – what did we think?

Erica: How fantastic was Diana in her cameo? Very brave of her to have a line and speak with a Scottish accent!

Alicia: I know! At first I was afraid I’d miss her, what a pleasant surprise she was so prominent and got a good little zing in there. I also spotted Ron Moore so now I’m wondering how many other people behind the scenes were hidden amongst the clansmen/women.

Erica: An interesting use of 1940’s music to remind us that however, comfortable Claire is getting, she doesn’t belong here. I’m guessing that may fade in time. I have really enjoyed the score so far since Bear McCreary is such a great composer. Lots of bagpipes in this one!

Alicia: I’m a little torn about the music. I get the reasoning behind it and agree that there will be a switch, I think it’s the placement that is off for me. Seems a bit random at points, but perhaps another viewing or two (or much more) will convince me. I look forward to being proven wrong 😉

Erica: Each week, I’m pretty amazed by how good Caitriona is as Claire. While she was one of the last characters cast, she’s a terrific choice.

Alicia: I’m impressed with all the costumes and locations. They add so much to the overall feel of the show. Especially the everyday dress, it looks practical (well for that time) more than trying to look stylish. And I like how they keep the interiors as true as you can, making sure nothing is too brightly lit and how a lot of the evening meals happen when it’s still light out. Little touches that add so much.

    —–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————

    Erica: They are doing a lot to develop the relationship between Dougal and Claire. He’s definitely menacing and his fascination with Claire is pretty clear.

    Alicia: They made that scene with Dougal and Claire – where he kisses her – a little more menacing then I read it to be, but the moment during the stag hunt was perfect.

    Erica: I’m looking forward to seeing more of Jamie! So far he’s been beat up and been charming, but we’ll get to see Jamie more vulnerable and thoughtful and such. I think Sam’s been good so far, but I really am looking forward to seeing more sides of the character.

    Alicia: Agreed. He’s done an amazing job thus far, but now Jamie is about to become a major part of the story. However, I do love the way Sam has been giving little looks and actions that give you the sense that there’s a little more to Jamie’s feelings for Claire than hers for Jamie. Reading them they just seemed to be a part of Jamie’s character, but watching Sam play them out, there seems to be a bit more swagger. The quarterback trying to impress the head cheerleader…or something like that.

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

You’ve read what we think, but how did you like this episode?
Book readers: How did the show match up to what you envisioned in your mind? (Please keep the comments spoiler-free!)
When you comment below, please identify yourself as a book reader or if you’re new to Outlander and tell us what you think!
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