Great writing with fights that felt full of angst in all the best ways
Some great performances by some old favorites and some returning actors that really brought the goods
It's nice having people we love to hate again!
Of all the things Claire told Jamie about what was good about living her life in the future and her DAUGHTER wasn't one of them?
Please someone get Claire another dress.
Claire and Jamie are back in Lallybroch on this week’s Outlander, and it isn’t home sweet home
Outlander started with more Claire voiceover and the most subtext of subtext-full scenes when Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Ian (John Bell) reach Lallybroch. Jenny (Laura Donnelly) and Ian (Steven Cree) are there and they aren’t happy. Jenny that Claire lied that she wasn’t dead. Ian that Jamie lied about Young Ian being alive and not having seen him. Young Ian also gets everyone in a lot more trouble as his big mouth spills details of the smuggling. And the fire. And basically everything. Ian and Jenny give Jamie a tongue lashing and everyone is in the dog house for a bit.
Young Ian and his sister young Janet (Cora Tsang) get into brother and sister mischief and older Ian and Jamie start on the road to mending their brotherly relationship. Claire on the other hand isn’t making any headway with Jenny who is throwing shade from all angles. She also gets the cold shoulder from Young Jamie (Conor McCarry) before Jenny makes it patently clear there isn’t a place for her in the family just now. Jamie tries to tell Jenny a version of the “Claire is missing” story to try to mend fences, but Jenny let’s be real. Jenny’s not an idiot and she can tell Jamie’s full of garbage.
Later that evening Jamie and Claire weigh their next steps and how they should proceed with Jenny. Claire rightly assumes that Jenny is the one to win over. While they weigh that Jamie fills Claire in on his prison escape after Duncan Kerr raved to him about La Dame Blanche. In a long extended sequence Jamie fills her in about what he did find which includes a giant chest of rare coins and jewels before heading back to the prison because he couldn’t carry and keep all of it just then. Jamie shares a story about how certain types of birds mate for life and they’re full of romantic feelings before Jamie starts to finally confess his big secret to Claire when two adorable kids burst in calling Jamie “Daddy”! Well knock us over with a feather. On the heels of that revelation a blast from the past bursts in Laoghaire (Nell Hudson)- You remember her, right? Awful teenager who tried to have Claire burned as a witch in the first season so she can have Jamie for herself? Yeah, that Laoghaire.
After trying to comfort his stepdaughter Joan (Layla Burns) Jamie returns to a wounded Claire who is busily trying to pack. Things have really come to a head for Claire and Jamie. The ruthless fight between the two of them starts with reason as Jamie tries to explain how it was between him and Laoghaire but quickly gets ugly as twenty years of resentment, hurt, and longing spills out between them. The explosive fight takes a dark turn as the fight turns into some revenge sex before Jenny pours a bucket of water on them and shames them.
While Claire ponders what to do next in front of the fire young Janet comes and apologizes for causing the entire mess for telling Laoghaire about Jamie and Claire but she then throws Jenny right under the bus by telling Claire it was her idea. Jenny then arrives with perfect timing and Claire has the opportunity to accuse him. Judgy Jenny goes right after Claire though because she never backs down, blaming Claire for turning Jamie’s life upside down but really going after her hardest for not having been in contact for twenty years. Claire tries again to explain her absence and does a better job this time but Janet Murray isn’t one to forgive and forget. She can tell Claire is still lying about something and tells her so.
Claire tries to leave again but Jamie pours his heart out to her. Who knows if it would’ve worked because Laoghaire shows up and she’s crazy. She shoots Jamie and that’s the push Claire needs to make her decision about Jamie. Using her fancy 1950’s medical tools she manages to save Jamie. Claire asks Jamie for the real story about how he came to marry Laoghaire and how he just wanted a family to take care of. He loved the children but with Laoghaire things just didn’t work. Because of her fear of his touch Jamie surmised she had been abused and cause him to flee to Edinburgh.
After saving her brother Claire tries yet another heart to heart with Jenny. This time Claire manages to convince Jenny of how much she loves Jamie and Jenny shows a bit of a crack in her armour. On her way back she meets Ned Gowan and they go over how to extricate Jamie from his marriage to Laoghaire which might be a little more complicated than they think especially if Laoghaire is to stay out of prison given that owning a weapon is a crime. They agree to pay Laoghaire the money she wants (because money solves everything) and in order to get that money they need to pay a trip to Jamie’s island where all the jewels were left. Jamie’s hurt so they decide to send Young Ian before going to France to pawn them and get the money.
After promising they’d take care of Young Ian they head to selkie island to get the money. While he’s busy swimming Claire tells Jamie she’s scared that she’s making a big mistake by staying and that maybe her life without him wasn’t so bad. Jamie shuts that down by saying it was nothing compared to having her and baring his soul and asking her to stay. In true Outlander fashion this heart to heart is broken up with the arrival of a massive ship! And it kidnaps Ian! What are Claire and Jamie going to do?! It cannot possibly end like that!
There is so much to say!! Let’s get going!
Jenny throws shade, and it is dark
We knew we could count on Jenny for a little taste of reality for Claire. Someone had to make things uncomfortable for her! If your long lost sister in law turned up after twenty years wouldn’t you be a little hurt? Her reaction is right on par with how we’d feel. Let’s get real. Jenny isn’t nice. She’s a total nightmare. Jenny had her daughter get Laoghaire after Claire shows up and it’s really next level shade. But we don’t have to like everyone. In fact it’s nice to have someone to dislike. If the path back to Jamie was easy the show would be boring. We’re tired of internal conflict. The mess that Jenny causes some of the best parts of the episode. She’s savage.
“So that’s why you’re home, with your tail dragging. An wi’ a stray. Who’s dropped back into our lives after twenty years as though nothin’s changed.” -Jenny
Did Jenny take things overboard? Hell no! The show did a nice job of giving Jenny human qualities. And humans are terrible. In the book after Claire sees Laoghaire for the first time and Jenny interrupts their revenge sex she just hands Claire a bag and tells her it would be better if she left. Even though we’re still super annoyed she stopped the revenge sex, after there’s a heart to heart between the two of them where Jenny makes it clear to Claire that leaving for twenty years with no word is really crappy of her (truth, though not really anything Claire could’ve done anything about). It’s well done and Laura Donnelly and Caitriona Balfe coax shades of color out of their sparring and subsequent detente that evoke a rainbow. Jenny takes every opportunity to hurt Claire as much as she was hurt by her unexplained disappearance as well as taking a few stabs at her brother. It’s family, and it’s messy and beautiful and perfect.
Whoa, Laoghaire, who you kissing with that mouth?
Back when we first met Laoghaire she was spoiled, vengeful, and full of spite. Nice to see that some things never change! She doesn’t want Jamie, but she sure as hell doesn’t want Claire to have him. Maybe there are some redeeming qualities about Laoghaire. Or maybe not. But importantly it doesn’t seem Jamie cares about her at all. What he does appear to care about are her daughters and we loved this. Jamie has lost two children. When he saw the girls at Lallybroch at Hogmanay and danced with them it was so sad and totally adorable. Why wouldn’t Jamie be looking to fill that hole in this life?
“You’re the one that told me to be kind to the lass!” -Jamie
Yes. Jamie’s an idiot. To tell himself it would be fine to marry Laoghaire when she literally tried to kill Claire is just ridiculous. But he thought he’d never see Claire again and she was as good as dead to him. And Mr. Oblivious could lie to himself about whether or not Claire would be angry by telling himself she told him to be nice to her. But it wasn’t really about Laoghaire. It was the kids. And that adorable conversation with young Joanie was a delight from start to finish. We were denied Daddy Jamie with daughters two times before, first with Faith then with Brianna. Seeing him with little Joan was a bit of a balm to us and him.
Married life is hard, y’all
Jamie and Claire have been back together for what’s probably a week and marriage just isn’t going the way they’ve planned. Though technically Jamie never lied to Claire about Laoghaire we get why she’s pissed. Their fight brings the heat and passion back between them. Claire and Jamie often disagree that’s not new. But throughout season two and in episode seven sometimes their fights just seem mean spirited as hell for the sake of being nasty. Not the case here. Here is the dirty awful stuff that comes from that deep dark place inside of you. That terrible place you hope you can keep the lid on because it’s unfair and you know it’s not you. But it is you, and here it’s all Jamie and Claire. They wanted to tear each other apart as only two people who really get under each other’s skin do. We were never so pissed to see water tossed on two people in our lives.
“If there’s a pot of shiite on to boil you stir like it’s God’s work.” -Ian Sr.
How on earth does Ian Sr. deal with Jenny on a daily basis? She doesn’t seem to listen to him. She doesn’t actually seem to listen to anyone come to think of it. Thank goodness he called her out on her crap. Not only did he call her out on it he really had her number. Jenny can try to defend her actions but Ian knows what’s up with her. Good for you Ian. Jenny’s nosy and she needs to get that she’s hurt but you can’t have things both ways. Jenny either wants Jamie happy or she doesn’t. She can’t choose what his happiness is.
Final Verdict: There’s the Jamie and Claire we know
It was a really great idea to focus Jamie’s marriage on the affection he felt for his children. It was also a great idea to set Jenny up as a real antagonist for the two of them as a couple while still making her actions grounded in reality. We don’t like what Jenny did but we get it (though we’re never going to forgive her for barging in and stopping the revenge sex- they weren’t that loud, Janet, get over it). And after the trouble he’s caused Jenny and Ian by corrupting Young Ian with smuggling in the first place Jamie is going to have a hard time explaining losing him after he specifically promised he’d protect him!
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Claire needed one person dumping on her this episode. Even young Jamie was a nasty jerk. Guess he’s his mother’s son. But we’ll take young Ian any day! Even though he can be colossally stupid (you seriously believed she had those surgical implements made kid?) we loved his being so supportive of his auntie Claire.
So Jamie hadn’t told his family about anything on the selkie’s island for all that time? And they haven’t needed any of that money before? It was a little strange that nobody seemed to have heard about it before. And even more strange that it seemed like Jamie hadn’t been back to get the money before. But sure let a sixteen year old just swim right on out to an island to get it. That plan is definitely going to work.
Laoghaire still looks good but god is she the worst. And even Jamie and his savior complex couldn’t do anything for her. A part of us feels bad for her because she was abused by one of her husbands but then we remembered that she was awful before that. She doesn’t want Jamie to touch her. She doesn’t love him. She just wants his money and the woman who wronged her not to have him. And in front of the kids? She’s as terrible as Nell Hudson is great. The writer (Joy Blake) and creatives making it about the kids for Jamie definitely helps us see why Jamie married her. Jamie’s savior complex is coming forward again.
When Jamie and Claire are on the cliff and she’s telling him that she thinks perhaps she made a mistake coming back,why didn’t Claire use her one ace card? Why the hell didn’t she mention Brianna? Yes her life isn’t so bad really, she’s got a pretty great job. Wait. What? A job? Oh right and a kid, Claire. You’ve got a freaking kid too.
Bring on the awesome Jamie lines. Him saying Claire belongs with him just feels good to listen to. We can’t wait to see how Jamie and Claire get themselves moving after young Ian is taken. Poor kid. Well he did want some adventure and now he’s in a bit of a pickle! We’re on to the sailing portion of our Outlander voyage and we can’t wait till next week!
Comments and Questions: Kebbe lebbes for days
- Oh Young Ian. You’re so naive. He wasn’t nearly suspicious enough of Claire’s medical tools.
- Welcome back Ned Gowan! That little lawyer is a delight.
- We always thought you pronounced “Marsali” like Mar-SA-li. It’s MAR-sa-li, like parsley? That’s so weird.
- Young Jamie was really mean and he was the kid who could’ve remembered Claire! These Murrays are hard to win over.
- Claire has been back in the 18th century for a decent amount of time now, isn’t it time someone get her another freaking dress? Doesn’t anyone have anything she can borrow?
- Poor young Janet. She was the one stuck doing her mom’s dirty work! Nobody likes a snitch, Janet.
- What was with Claire and Jamie screaming towards the island when they saw the ship? Who did they think was going to hear that, the bionic man?
Outlander returns Sunday, November 12th, 2017 at 8/7C on Starz.
We're taking a boat trip next!We’ll be back next week with another full review of Outlander fun, and check out our roundtables where fans like you get to sound off about your opinions about the episode! You can also live tweet with us every Sunday at 8.
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