Welcome back readers to this week’s Recap and Reflection of Outlander’s third episode! Claire is adjusting to life at the castle and working to convince people she isn’t an English spy. Here’s a look at the episode, our take on how things went and another chance to win some swag!
Recap – Episode #103 “The Way Out”
Flashback to the 1940’s! This is one of the 10 days that Frank and Claire saw each other during WWII. They’re saying a bittersweet goodbye at the train station. Frank comments that it’s backwards that she’s headed off to the frontlines (to nurse the wounded on the battlefield) while he stays at home. Well, staying at home to play spymaster, but the irony doesn’t escape him. As she boards the train and it begins to leave the station, Frank makes Claire promise that she’ll return to him. She promises. Sniff! Sniff!
We jump back to ‘present day’ 1743 and Claire is going through the chore of getting dressed with the help of Mrs. Fitz. In a moment of weakness, Claire confesses that her husband is alive and that she’s traveled from the future. Mrs. Fitz freaks out and calls her an evil demon and starts to cross herself. Claire panics as Mrs. Fitz frantically declares that Claire is a witch and then Claire…
…wakes up from her daydream. Sigh. It’s another morning for Claire as the “guest” at Castle Leoch. Mrs. Fitz is getting Claire ready for the day and blathering on about “The Gathering” where men from all around come to Castle Leoch to re-affirm their loyalty to Clan MacKenzie and to the MacKenzie himself, Colum. That means lots of sick people for Claire to treat. Mrs. Fitz emphasizes that doing a great job would earn the favor of Himself. Hmm…
Claire takes stock of the primitive and creepy medicines leftover in the castle surgery. Rupert and Angus are still keeping an eye on her, but they are bored as she gets into a routine of treating various ailments. The pair plant themselves by the drinks in the kitchens, and when Claire comes to get their help on an issue, she hears about a young boy who’s died because he dared to visit the “Black Kirk.” Locals believe demons run around this ruined monastery and they tend to stay away.
Claire is summoned to visit Colum who requests a massage to help his aching legs. Every hopeful, Claire agrees to help him, but tackles the problem by massaging his back, which provides temporary relief. In return, Colum invites her to come hear the Bard play in the great hall.
She attends the concert that night and sits with Laoghaire and Jamie. Laoghaire has quite the crush on her savior. Claire tries to help this along with a few comments, in between sips of potent Rhenish wine. (Claire at night = glass in hand!) Jamie misses the hint and poor Laoghaire feels slighted. That feeling gets magnified when Jamie asks Claire to adjust his bandages and the two head off, leaving an unhappy Laoghaire behind.
Jamie and Claire head to her surgery and he confesses it was just an excuse to get her safely out of the hall since he suspects she’s a wee bit buzzed. (Very true.) She mentions she should’ve adjusted the bandages while she visited him at the stables, but Jamie confesses he didn’t want the stable master, Old Alec, to see the scars on his back. Jamie is uncomfortable with anyone seeing the scars on his back since he doesn’t want the pity, but he somehow doesn’t mind that Claire has seen them.
The next day Claire heads out to gather some herbs and runs into the ever cheerful and informative Geillis. Geillis tells Claire that Mrs. Fitz’s nephew Tammas also visited the Black Kirk and he’s now “seized with evil” and will be the object of Father Bain’s exorcism. Claire is skeptical of this diagnosis but Geillis warns her not to get involved.
Like that will stop Claire! She heads over to see young Tammas and notices signs of poisoning. Before she can start any treatment, Father Bain appears and begins the exorcism. Since the family are firm believers, there’s nothing more Claire can do so she reluctantly leaves.
Upon returning to the castle, she sees Jamie making out with Laoghaire so it seems he wasn’t completely oblivious to her big doe-eyed looks. Claire teases him at dinner and gets chided by Murtagh who comments that if word gets around, Jamie might have to marry the girl and that would be bad. Jamie needs a woman and not a girl. I’m sure there are plenty of volunteers…
Claire realizes she’s jealous, not of Loaghaire and Jamie, but of their intimacy. She misses Frank. Her melancholy thoughts are interrupted by Dougal who declares he’ll take her into the village to replenish her herb stocks and spend a day with Geillis.
A day out of the castle! Girl talk! Claire is excited to see Geillis and the two herbalists work and gossip away the afternoon. They stop work when they hear the sound of a mob. The townspeople are bringing a young boy to the Fiscal (ie. judge) to be punished for stealing. Geillis’ husband Arthur just happens to be the Fiscal and he pops up into Geillis’ workshop to get a remedy since he’s particularly gassy today. Yep, Geillis married a real winner here!
Claire is alarmed that the young boy will likely have his hand cut off for stealing some bread, so she tries to reason with Arthur who ignores her. Geillis sort of rolls her eyes and gets down to business in charming her husband into downgrading the punishment. Less bloated and convinced he’s a saint by his hot wife, Arthur commutes the boy’s sentence to getting his ear nailed to a post in the village square.
The ladies continue herbing and Geillis presses Claire on why she’s so unfamiliar with their punishments and dismissive of demons and such. Claire explains she traveled a lot as a kid which perks Geillis’ interest. She’s dying to hear more about where Claire came from. Whoops!
Claire gets a reprieve from sharing her secrets by Jamie who arrives to fetch her back to the castle. On the way out, she convinces Jamie to help the young lad who is still nailed to a post in the village square. Since he’s so helpful, she asks him to take her to the Black Kirk.
He obliges so the two spend a lovely time chatting about his childhood as they wander around the picturesque ruins at sunset. Claire discovers a poisonous plant that looks similar to another harmless edible plant and guesses she has the source of the boy’s illness.
She heads back to Tammas who is really weak. Father Bain orders Claire out, but Mrs. Fitz is desperate and overrules him. Claire gives Tammas what she hopes is the correct treatment and dosage for his ailment. Almost immediately Tammas gets better and Father Bain leaves in a huff with a proclamation that God will have the last word. Claire may have saved Tammas, but she’s made an enemy out of Father Bain who doesn’t want to look like a fool, especially by a woman.
Claire is now known as the miracle worker and earns awed/suspicious looks from everyone who hears that she brought the boy back from the dead. Claire hoped that good healing would gain some trust from Colum and be one step closer to freedom. However, Colum is taking credit for hiring her on as the Castle doc and now he’s less likely to her go. Some gratitude, right?
Feeling more isolated than ever, Claire starts to despair that even if she got to Craigh na Dun and the stones, there’s no guarantee they’d even work or if they do, there’s no proof that she’d get thrown further back in time rather than forward to her own.
With the promise of more Rhenish wine and drunk oblivion at the latest music concert, she heads out and Jamie translates the folk songs for her. One song tells the tale of a woman who approached some stones on Samhain and was taken to a faraway land. There she fell in love and then touched the stones again to return back to her own land and her first love. Familiar, anyone?
While just a folktale, it gives Claire some heart that she really could get back home to Frank. She resolves that she’s no longer waiting for permission from the MacKenzies and that she’s going to try to get back, no matter what.
Reflection – what did we think?
Alicia: Every week I fall more in love with Caitroina and Sam as Claire and Jamie. Together they are coming up with some really great moments. However, as much as I love Jamie (and Frank) I don’t find myself constantly impatient for them to show up. I’m truly interested in what is happening with Claire wherever she is and whomever she’s with. This episode proved that I’m invested in the show because of how good it is and not just because I love the books.
Erica: While Caitriona was an initial adjustment for me (just because she’s different from what I pictured for so long), she’s doing a great job. I mean really, really great. She has to carry the show so it’s no easy feat that she’s really embodying Claire.
Erica: I also really like Sam, but we haven’t seen a whole lot of Jamie yet so I think the best is yet to come.
Alicia: Geillis…Lotte Verbeek is really doing an interesting job with her. I read her a little more mysterious and dangerous in the book in a cat and mouse way. Lotte’s Geillis is more like the Mad Hatter playing around with Alice. Definitely up to something and definitely dangerous, but with just enough playfulness and mystery to keep you wanting to go back and figure her out. And let’s face it, Claire has definitely fallen down a rabbit hole so it’s a pretty apt portrayal.
Erica: Because she seems to be laughing at everyone, she’s sort of a nice relief from all the other characters since she breaks things up with a very different energy. Geillis definitely knows what’s going on and she may or may not let you in on her secret.
Alicia: They keep working in flashbacks with Claire and Frank, which I think is smart, in the book we get to read about her thoughts, but the visuals will help as the series keeps going. I mean, let’s face it, we’re all falling in love with Jamie and that gorgeous countryside…we need to be reminded of why Frank is great as well 😉
Erica: How bittersweet romantic was that train station flashback? I must say I love TV Frank while I don’t love Book Frank. Tobias and the writers are doing so much to flesh him out better.
Alicia: Some of the scene swaps and reformatting I think help a watching vs. reading audience a lot. Like watching Geillis manipulate her husband vs. her just telling Claire in the book.
Erica: I think so too. The thing is, someone who’s new to the world of Outlander can’t watch the show and read the books at the same time since they don’t parallel each other. The TV is absolutely true to the book’s spirit and some of the dialogue is right out of the book, but the books are not the screenplay. And that’s okay since TV is a different way of telling this story and it all makes sense so far.
Erica: While the first two episodes were directed by John Dahl, this episode was directed by Brian Kelly. Pretty seamless if you ask me. I’ll be curious to see next week’s episode since it’ll be the first one that Ron Moore didn’t write.
—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Alicia: That scene with Mrs. Fitz nearly stopped my heart, but once I caught on to what was really happening I had to laugh. Well played, Ron and company, well played.
Erica: Yeah. That had me going there for a while. I was thinking “well this a major departure! Why did they do this?!?! Is it a dream?!?!” Nice way of keeping bookies on our toes!
Erica: What did you think of the whole Father Bain/Tammas story? This is the first really major departure from the book, but it feels right. It also gave us some really lovely Jamie/Claire quality time at those ruins.
Alicia: I’m pretty sure it was used to replace ‘the changeling’ incident from the book and therefore think it was handled nicely. And yes, the moments at the “Black Kirk” were verra good. I also liked the last scene in the hall when Jamie’s all “didn’t you see me waiving at you? Come sit with me!” So adorable!
Erica: The Gathering next week! This should be fun!! We should start to see a lot more of Jamie starting with the next episode…
—–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!
Want to take home some cool Outlander stuff? We’re halfway through the contest for the first prize pack! Remember, you can enter each week!
Just use the rafflecopter below! A detailed list of the prize pack and the rules appeared in the first Recap and Reflection which you can read about here.
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