Well, well, well. I hope you’re happy Laoghaire because Claire and Geillis have been arrested and they are literally dumped into the thieves hole. The prison guards have stairs for coming out of the hole, but going in, it’s broken ribs and concussions. The hole has three main attributes: cold, damp, and infested. Claire screams out, “I’m going to give you the worst Yelp review ever!”
It’s natural that the ladies are stressed, so they bicker. Geillis says she is not a witch, to which Claire says, “No duh.” Geillis does admit to poisoning Arthur, saying she first went the Madame Bovary route with arsenic, to no avail, before she went full cyanide. But dinna fash Claire! Dougal will come and save them! But Claire quickly disabuses Geillis of that notion because Colum banished Dougal because of Geillis. “No one is coming, Geillis.” Then Geillis starts stress eating the Panera bread bowl the guards threw down to them.
In the morning, the ladies are taken to the Cranesmuir church-cum-courthouse, walking past the pyre as its being constructed. I love to see a community investing in new infrastructure!
The courthouse is full of the screaming citizenry. Everyone in the pews looks alike: beige and basic. And just as the trial is about to begin, Ned Gowan bursts in, pulling some old statutes out to argue the ladies are entitled to a defense. Judge Judy #1 says he will allow it.
Ned Gowan > Alan Dershowitz
Let’s summon the witnesses! There is Jeanie, the Duncan’s Maid. Her complaint? Geillis sang too many Taylor Swift songs in the hallways. Also, Geillis is not a cat person. The next witness is the mamma of that dead Baby Alive doll. Ned does a good job twisting their testimony in favor of Claire and Geillis.
Claire looks around at the audience, wondering what makes them all so ready to see her and Geillis burn. Entertainment, Claire. If they had Netflix back in 1743, none of this would be happening. “Hey Madge? Wanna go with me to the witch trial?” “Fuck nooooo. I’m binge watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Then some dude named Alistair Duffy takes the stand, saying he saw Geillis call down the lightning and take flight. Wait, is Geillis one of Khaleesi’s missing dragons?
As they call it a day, Claire asks Ned if Colum sent him to help. Nope. Colum would not be pleased if he knew Ned were helping. His defense services are on the down low. Claire then asks if Colum had something to do with her arrest. Ned does not answer and slips her a flask of something, to keep her warm that night. I think it’s Early Times Whiskey. Shudder.
Back in the thieves hole, Claire and Geillis share the flask and engage in a little girl talk. Geillis says she had forged over 1000 pounds “for Scotland.” She dreams of a Stuart king back on the throne. Claire says, “You’re a bloody Jacobite!” Politics brought Dougal and Geillis together. Claire tells Geillis that Dougal has a wandering eye, but Geillis doesn’t give a crap because she loves him and he shares her beliefs. They are the Bill and Hillary of the Highlands! And Geillis doesn’t care if she dies, because she dies knowing she made a difference.
To that Claire says, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Which seems…an odd choice. Nathan Hale said that. Nathan Hale, American patriot and official state hero of Connecticut – the parking lot of New England. Do they teach a lot of Revolutionary War History in England? I mean, England lost that one. And the Brits have so much more history to cover than we do here in the States, what with their Empire building and all. To think they would focus on a skirmish in which they got their asses handed to them?
Geillis looks taken aback at the statement, and says, “Nicely put,” as if she recognizes the saying. Seems to me, if the writers wanted a quote both Claire and Geillis would definitely know, it would be, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Churchill. Boom. Drops mic. (I googled “Churchill’s Bestest Quotes Eva!”)
Geillis ask Claire if she loves her ginger-haired lad, and Claire gets all fidgety.
Geillis hears the secrets that Claire keeps…when she’s talking in her sleep. -The Romantics.
And that secret has a name: Jamie!
Geillis and Claire have a nice moment in the morning, bonding over a discussion about starlings. Ornithology brings broads together.
Just as they are leaving the hole, Claire presses her hands into Geillis’ pregnant belly. Respect her space, Claire! Pregnant women are not public property. (Full disclosure, I loved people touching my belly when I was pregnant. But I’m weird. I also love frozen Ore-Ida french fries. So lesson is, don’t touch a pregnant woman’s belly without asking.)
Back in front of the Judges Judy – the plural is like Attorneys General – they bring out the next witness: LAOGHAIRE. The best way to combat humiliation? Revenge. Typical Scorpio. Laoghaire’s pitch: I came to Claire for a love potion, and Claire took it herself. Claire hexed Jamie! She hexed him and sexed him, alright.
Claire counters that Laoghaire tried to seduce her husband, and Laoghaire says without reservation, “Aye. He was the love of my life.”
Witch shaming > slut shaming
I knew the next witness would be bad when Bear McCreary starts playing the Imperial March from Star Wars. Oh crap. It’s Father Bain. Looking like a bald-headed bastard version of Karl Lagerfeld.
Father Bain starts his soliloquy, calling Claire the Whore of Babylon. He says he prayed to God, and God answered his prayers – in a very unexpected way. God told Bain he made a mistake, that Bain abandoned hope, blinded by hubris. Bain made a mistake rebuking Claire. Claire Fraser saved that dying boys life. Um…come again? Is Bain on Team Claire? Is this turn of events meant to give us hope only to have it snatched away so quickly?
Bain turns in his two weeks notice as the town preacher. But then some sooty faced duckfucker stands and says that only Satan himself could turn away a man of God. (In reality, Jessica Hahn, male prostitutes, and meth can also turn away a man of God, but let’s not quibble.) The crowd goes wild, and Judge Judy #1 forbids Father Bain from leaving his parish. I guess the Highlands are not a right-to-work state. Then as he is leaving, Father Bain gives Geillis a smirk. Okayyyyy, so his confessions was all a clever ploy?
Ned takes the ladies to the chamber in back. Basically, it’s “You are screwed.” Ned proposes they save one of the ladies. Geillis is beyond saving, and Claire should renounce her. Claire asks, “If we don’t?” Ned says, “Then you will be lit up like a Balsam & Cedar Yankee Candle at Christmas time.”
Ned leaves, and the ladies’ panic sets in. If Geillis is going to die as a witch, she needs the truth. “Why are you here, Claire?” Claire says her coming was an accident. “An accident?!” Devastated to hear Claire only wants to go home and is not in Scotland for a purpose, Geillis becomes a nihilist. It’s really is all for nothing.
When Ned returns and asks what they are going to do, Geillis gets the award for line of the night.
It looks like I’m going to a fucking barbecue.
Neds says that Claire would like to address the court, but she can’t do it; she can’t throw Geillis under the wagon. She thinks of those starlings, flying in a pack, protecting each other from the hawks. She starts to sing Billy Joel’s Good Night, Saigon…and we will all go down together….
Me? I can’t suffer fools. The 18th Century Church? It can’t suffer a witch to live. Geillis and Claire are guilty. The crowd goes wild. The camera cuts to Father Bain grimacing, thinking, “I hate these fucking townies. When does the packie open?” I’m so confused as to how we are to feel about him.
Judge Judy #2 yells, “To the pyre!” Ned gets all Steven Segal, grabbing a pistol and trying to save the women. In the midst of the melee, Geillis looks at Claire, and says, “1968.” That is the year the Rolling Stones released their album Beggars Banquet, which has the track Sympathy for the Devil. Coincidence???
Claire is not pleased at being sentenced to die by kindling, and she calls them all murderers. Snitches get stitches, and mouthy lassies get lashes (rhyme fail). They strip her shirt and start whipping her as Geillis stares from the stand in horror.
And then?! And then?!
James Alexander Motherfucking MacKenzie Fraser bursts in.
BACK THE EFF UP OFF MY WOMAN! Wait! Amy needs a hit of Albuterol.
Jamie is cracking skulls, telling Judge Judy #1 he made a vow to God to protect this woman. “First man forward will be the first man down!” His swords are very convincing.
Geillis yells out that Claire is not witch. Geillis confesses she killed Arthur and bewitched Claire. Geillis absolves Claire and starts stripping. She pulls her sleeve off to reveal a smallpox scar! Is she is witch? Nooooooo! She’s a Baby Boomer!
Since some viewers are young – Gen Y, Gen Z, or Gen Student Loan Debt From Hell – Claire gives a voiceover to explain it.
Geillis tears open her frocks, showing her naked pregnant belly, declaring herself the mistress of Satan. Jamie and Claire run, as Geillis dives into the crowd like Eddie Vedder on the Ten tour. The crowd carries Geillis off towards the pyre, but we never see the flames or smell the body brisket. I was half praying that Murtagh had accompanied Jamie, and would swoop in on a big horse and cart Geillis away. Someone write this fanfic for me stat! Geillis and Murtagh on the run. The Lion, The Witch, and Her Lack of Wardrobe.
Away from Cranesmuir, Jamie takes Claire to the greenest spot on the planet to tend to her wounds. His voice catches as he tells her that the cuts on her back are not deep and she will not be marked.
Jamie sits beside Claire on the log and says, “Time for some real talk.” He asks if she is indeed a witch. He has seen that same smallpox scar on Claire’s arm. Claire is not a witch but she unburdens herself. “I am from the future.”
And Jamie believes her. He doesn’t understand it, but he trusts her word and her heart. Claire explains who she was in the 20th century and what led her to take a detour to 18th century Scotland. Jamie realizes with horror that the day she was capture by Randall, she was only trying to get back to the stones. “And I beat you for it.”
They pick up a copy of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and set off on a camping adventure. Jamie brings Claire fresh sushi, while she constructs a kite out of sticks and twine. Now that she has told Jamie everything, Claire’s emotions are a mess.
Later as she dozes by the fire, Jamie kisses Claire and inches his hand up her thigh. I’m just going to stop right here and say this may have been one of the hottest love scenes I’ve ever seen. It’s tender. It’s passionate. It’s effective. When have we ever seen a woman fingered on television, the man only focused on her pleasure? Jamie rubs Claire, and when she says, “I want you inside me,” Jamie replies, “No mo duine. I want to watch you.” Oh, my stockings and garters. The intimacy of that moment came out of the screen and knocked me upside the head.
The next morning, Jamie asks Sassenach if she is ready to go home. She thinks he means to Lallybroch, but he shows her where they really are: Craig na Dun. This is why Jamie is the King of Men. You say you are from the future? He believes you. He fingers bangs like a champ, and he is willing to sacrifice his own happiness for Claire. Jamie says she can now go home for real, but Claire is most unsure.
Claire walks towards the “portal stone” explaining she has no idea how any of this works. She reaches for the stone, but Jamie grabs her, and I scream and wake up my 6 year old daughter who emerges from her room to ask what’s the matter. “What’s the matter, Ruby?! Claire is ripping Jamie’s guts out…again!”
Jamie says he was not yet ready to lose her. But Jamie knows the importance of home, and he tells Claire to go. He says go back to Frank, and Claire is like, “Who dat?” She only has eyes for Jamie in this moment. Jamie will stay at the camp until nightfall to ensure her safety, and he leaves her.
Claires sits among the stones, playing with both her wedding rings. She makes a mental pros & cons list of leaving. The pros include radiant heat, panties, shoe stores, and Glenn Miller. The cons list is just JAMIE, JAMIE, JAMIE, JAMIE, JAMIE.
We see through the eyes of Claire as she walks straight towards the gray rock like she’s trying to get to Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross! I’m holding my breath, but then I remember I’m asthmatic, so I just hyperventilate instead. Good thing I keep a brown paper bag handy.
It’s now night time and Jamie is by the fire, half sleeping/half crying. A voice from the darkness calls out. “On your feet, soldier.” It’s Claire! It’s Claire! She didn’t leave! She tells Jamie to take her HOME to Lallybroch, and I squeal like maniac. My daughter Ruby reemerges from her room, looks at the screen, and says, “Ugh. Kissing. Can I watch Peppa Pig?”
A random musing: Outlander opens up with the sky filled with starlings, making beautiful patterns over a loch, and Bear McCreary’s music reminded me so much of Little House on the Prairie, I was transported back to 1981. Who needs standing stones for time travel?
So what did y’all think? Did you need any medication? What sex position would you like to see next on Outlander? Did the writers miss the perfect time to slip “waterweed” in there?