Outlander Recap and Reflection! Witch Trials, Escape and Home… Claire’s Big Decision!

Recap – Episode #111 “ The Devil’s Mark”

Last week we ended with Claire and Geillis being arrested on the charges of witchcraft and Laoghaire giving Claire a rather evil smirk from the shadows. Sorry to say but that was not a dream.

The episode opens with Claire and Geillis being dropped down into a pit – which Geillis states is a thieves hole – where they’ll be held until trial. Geillis is fairly certain they’ll be rescued until Claire tells her that Colum sent Dougal and Jamie away to attend Dougal’s wife’s funeral in the country. Upon hearing this Geillis seems to lose a bit of swagger and admits that it looks bleak for them both. She suggests that they both huddle up together for warmth but Claire isn’t so interested in cozying up to a woman who killed her own husband.

Morning shines down into their pit and we hear chants of “going to burn the witches” which doesn’t seem like the most pleasant alarm clock. Soon, the cell doors are opened and a ladder dropped down into the pit so the ladies can be brought up and taken to trial. Along the way they pass the burning pyres being built for them. Lovely. Inside the court room, Claire realizes how bleak the situation is since no one she knows from Leoch is there and the citizens are obviously wanting a good burning. However, shortly after the charges are read, Ned Gowan shows up and claims he will stand as trial lawyer for the “accused” according to Scottish custom.


First up for the prosecution is the Duncan’s housekeeper who claims to have seen Geillis make all sorts of potions and incantations and that she witnessed Claire colluding with Geillis on multiple occasions. Ned comes to the defense by pointing out that the housekeeper had petitioned to Castle Leoch for a position on multiple occasions because she was simply an unhappy housekeeper and is now trying to get revenge on Geillis for this. One down.

Next up is the mother of the baby Claire found dead in the woods. The woman blames Claire for her baby’s death because she interfered with the fairy folk coming to rescue it. She and her husband watched Claire take the baby from its spot since they were hiding a wee bit away, hoping to see the fairies give them back their own, real child. Ned points out that if she thought Claire was going to be a hindrance then why didn’t she stop her from touching the child?

Essentially the mother is as much to blame since she allowed the Sassenach to interfere, and at least now the mother can rest easy knowing her real child is alive and happy with the fairy folk. Two down.


Next up, a boy claims he saw Geillis standing upon parapets and calling down a storm. He saw her fly and call down lightening, thunder, etc. Ned has no rebuttal for this one. Doh! As court is dismissed for the day, Ned all but admits to a departing Claire that Colum might be partially to blame for her current predicament.

That night, Claire and Geillis talk about the trial and Geillis fatally admits that they will burn. Claire gets Geillis to open up about her relationship with Dougal and discovers that Geillis initially hooked in with Dougal because she’s a secret Jacobite and wanted to join the cause. She’s a rather fervent Jacobite which Claire sums up with “I regret that I have but one life to give for my cause” which is, of course, a play on the last words Nathan Hale spoke before being hanged by the British as a spy during the American Revolution, which doesn’t take place for another 30 years. Claire probes Geillis who won’t admit that she’s in love with Dougal. Geillis returns the inquisition and asks Claire if she loves Jamie — and Claire remains silent.

Next morning, Claire awakens and looks out of their hole to see a starling flying. She tells Geillis of a time she saw a flock of them in Brighton, swooping and almost dancing in the sky. She claims they did this to protect each other from the Falcons who wanted to attack them. Geillis says it’s unfortunate there is only the two of them against a flock of Falcons. Suddenly voices approach and they are taken from their hole.

Back in the court room, things take a grim turn as Laoghaire is called to witness and tells the court how Claire stole Jamie’s love from her by placing a spell on him. Ned points out she’s jealous but Laoghaire turns that around by agreeing since Claire broke her and Jamie’s hearts.

Then Father Bain comes to testify and admits that Claire did what he could not and she saved a young boy’s life. He asks the parish to set him free since he is not worthy to be their spiritual leader. Um, what??? Doesn’t Father Bain hate Claire? Of course the people turn this around saying Claire has used her evil to turn the mind of a man of the cloth and they deny his request. Upon going back to his seat, Father Bain has an evil, self-satisfied smirk. Oooooo…well played Father, well played!

Crap! Things look very bleak indeed.


Ned asks for a recess and takes the ladies to a private room where he admits he can only save one of them since the people want a burning and they won’t be denied. He suggests Claire denounce Geillis since Geillis has been around longer and rumors about her and witchcraft have existed for far longer. He gives the ladies a couple of moments to discuss, but the mob is calling for blood.

Claire’s head is spinning. Should she turn against her only friend? What other options does she have? Geillis abruptly demands to know the truth of why Claire is in Scotland. At first Claire doesn’t understand, but then she realizes that Geillis may think her a spy as well. She tells Geillis the same story – she was traveling and all she wants to do is get back. Geillis starts mumbling to herself that she thought Claire wanted to change things and ‘it’s all for nothing.’ Suddenly Ned bursts in since he can’t keep the mob at bay any longer. Geillis exists with the parting shot “Looks like I’m going to a fucking BBQ.” Umm…what did she say?

Back in the court room, Ned states Claire has something to say, but after a moment Claire just can’t bring herself to turn on Geillis. The mob goes crazy as they make a grab to bring the ladies to the stake. Mild-mannered Ned pulls a gun (!!!) and time slows…Geillis turns to Claire and suddenly says some random numbers: 1968. Time resumes its normal pace and angry and frightened Claire screams that God will condemn them all for murderers, which doesn’t go over well. They decide to whip her before burning her (which seems rather excessive) so they tie her up, strip her clothes from her back and someone starts to whale on her.

Amidst her screams, we hear a familiar voice yelling for her and Jamie bursts onto the chaotic courtroom. He makes his way to Claire and knocks the men holding her back. He tells the court that he took an oath before God to protect this woman and no one would keep him from his duty. Geillis looks at the pair and in that moment makes a decision. She confesses to the court that she is the witch, not Claire, that she used Claire’s ignorance against her. She pulls down her top show her arm where she carries the Devil’s mark. Only Claire knows it’s not a Devil’s mark, it’s a smallpox vaccine scar and in that moment Claire realizes that Geillis was telling her she travelled back from 1968. Geillis is a time traveler too!!!! What!!!!!!! Wait, what?!?!?!?

OUT_111-Geillis confesses

Before Claire can process this, Geillis mouths at her to run, then strips herself and shows her pregnancy claiming its Satan’s child. Game over for Geillis! The townspeople drag her out to the pyres and Jamie whisks Claire away.

Somewhere in the woods, Jamie tends Claire’s wounds. He is also familiar with the smallpox vaccine scar since Claire has one, too. He reiterates their wedding night promise to always be truthful, but he knows there are things she’s not ready to tell him. Claire agrees, then Jamie asks her if she is a witch.

After being locked up in the hole, on trial for her life and being whipped in public while almost being condemned to be burned alive, Claire’s defenses are down and she can’t hold back any longer. Knowing Jamie will think she’s either lying or crazy, she tells him everything. Traveling through the stones, why she knows about Jack Randall and Sandringham, about the doomed Jacobites and a place called Culloden, the World Wars and Frank. Jamie is slowly processing all of this (a bit of a surprise, ye ken?).

Out 111 - Jamie  (2)

He’s horrified when he realizes that when she was captured by the English it was because she was trying to get to the stones and back to her own time and Frank. And he beat her for it. She’s surprised he believes her, he admits that in the end it might be easier if she was just a witch 😉

Exhausted, the pair keep traveling to get as far away from Cranesmuir as they can. Claire is in a daze while Jamie tries to entertain her with a lot of great stories about his home. One night he and Claire have an intimate encounter and the next morning you can tell that she’s awoken with a greater sense of peace than the day before. Jaime asks her if she’s ready to go home and when she agrees, he points to the top of a hill. When Claire gets to the top, she realizes that Jamie has brought her to Craig na Dun. What? She thought they were headed towards Lallybroch, but nope, Jamie has brought her to the place she’s been trying to get back to for several months now.

OUT_111-To the stones

He takes her hand and walks her to the stones. He asks her which one and how it worked. She begins to walk toward the middle stone and starts to her the odd buzzing noise from the big stone. Her hands reach out and suddenly Jamie pulls her back. He apologizes for stopping her, admitting he wasn’t quite ready yet to let her go. He takes a last look at her and tells her to go because there’s nothing but violence and danger with him and she belongs in her own time. After a tense silence, he walks away telling her he’ll stay at camp through the night to make sure she can work the stones again. He walks away after Claire tells him goodbye.

Out 111 - Jamie  (1)

Claire sits in front of the stone. She stares at both her wedding rings, caressing them both, then looks back at the stone. She looks at Frank’s ring again and then back toward Jamie’s camp. She stands and walks toward the stone…listening to the sounds getting louder…

Out 111 Claire decides

It’s night and Jamie is asleep by a fire. Suddenly a voice says “on your feet soldier” and he opens his eyes to see Claire standing there. She asks him to take her home to Lallybroch and amidst his tears they embrace each other.

Reflection – what did we think?

Erica: Boy was this a packed episode! The whole witch trial and Claire’s big decision to stay. This was sort of where I expected the first half to end since it matches where the book separates into two sections. The rest of the season will be action-packed.

Alicia: Yeah…I expected the first half to end on the “What will Claire do?” cliffhanger as well. It was a really exciting and extremely frustrating episode. Mostly because as a modern woman…witch trials…grrrr. And oh, that Father Bain moment. Oh I wanted to smack him.

Erica: A clever twist that makes the man more evil than ever. Bravo Outlander writers!

Alicia: And Laoghaire, I mean how evil are you deep down inside that you see nothing wrong with seeing someone burned to death just because of your jealousy? Oh, I hate her.

Erica: Brat. Witch trials never go well for anyone, right? I kept thinking of the Monty Python cry “Burn with witches!” Nice bit of drama there, though Claire really was getting hot tempered.

Alicia: Yeah, there are times when it’s great to be strong willed and speak up…and other times to shut it. As the saying goes, ‘there is a season…’

Erica: I’ll miss Geillis! She brought such a lightness and a bit of comedy to alleviate the tension. What a shocker to know that Claire isn’t the only traveler! Only it seems Geillis knows quite a bit more about the whole business since she came on a mission. Too bad they never got to talk about it!

Alicia: I know! Poor Claire, someone who would understand her plight and just as she discovers the truth about Geillis…well…there’s a BBQ (sorry had to say it). You kind of wonder if things might have changed a bit had Geillis confronted Claire earlier because you get your suspicions that she had a notion of the truth already.

Erica: Such a big turning point for Claire! This was actually one of the moments I wanted to see the most. Oh the feels! This part gets me every time!

Alicia: I know! I liked her moment with the rings. I will say, though, that throughout this half I just don’t feel like they’ve built the trust between the two of them enough for this to make sense. They haven’t really spent that much time together so far.

—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Alicia: I mean in the book they spend all this time with each other so that by the time she comes to this moment you get her angst. In this they’re rarely together unless they’re having sex…I mean it must be some phenomenal sex…

Erica: Well, I don’t they have the luxury of putting a lot of that in the show. But I agree, I’m not sure the bond between them has been completely earned on-screen yet. I don’t know if a cheesy montage of clips of Claire and Jamie would’ve helped show Claire’s thought process on the decision, but it is a quick jump to “I’m giving up hot showers and toilet paper for you!”

Erica: Interesting that they chose to have Ned give the suggestion of saving Claire and blaming Geillis. I thought it took away from Geillis. I liked the shock of having Geillis do it on her own in the book because it makes her that much more sly and mischievous.

Alicia: Truth. I did like the way they ‘revealed’ Geillis truth and the moment where she stormed out saying she was going to a BBQ…priceless! Lotte did an amazing job with this character.

Erica: I also miss Jamie’s confession after Claire decides to stay — the one where he confesses he prayed for the strength to let her walk away and now that she’s stayed, he feels he has the strength to head to Lallybroch. Here, it’s been their intention to go all along. I wonder if we’ll still get the big Jamie and Jenny fight when he comes home and sees Wee Jamie for the first time.

Alicia: He might tell her that in the next episode. Yeah, the Jamie and Jenny fight is great…but ah, the Claire and Jenny meeting…can’t wait!

Alicia: Laoghaire…I mean seriously Jamie? It’s the one thing in all the books I will never forgive him for. It felt like a huge betrayal to me and I know I’m jumping ahead here, but watching her in this episode just brings all that anger rushing back. You book readers know what I mean….GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Erica: I guess the flash of bosom by the lake did its job then. Sigh. Men!

—–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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Comments (1)
  1. kim Sweeney April 19, 2015

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