Outlander gave us a fantastic episode last week with Jamie and Claire reuniting after twenty years apart, but the 18th century always presents issues for the pair.
At the end of last week’s episode, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) was attacked (yes, again) by a man searching for Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) ledgers in their room at the brothel. We also saw the return of Fergus (César Domboy) and young Ian (John Bell), who are now both young men; Jamie’s print shop where he is involved in printing treasonous pamphlets; and learning Jamie is hiding a secret as well as being involved in smuggling alcohol.
Another Bloody Situation
‘Crème de Menthe’ picks up with Claire being attacked, but Claire quickly strikes back with a knife. Unfortunately for the man, dodging the blade causes him to trip and hit his head. Naturally Jamie walks in immediately after the altercation, however, the man is still alive and Claire wants to help him, despite Jamie’s protests.
She explains what happened and Jamie realises Sir Percival Turner (Paul Brightwell) isn’t keeping his promise to turn a blind eye to his smuggling and if this man doesn’t return, it will only cause more trouble. Jamie then instructs Fergus to move the alcohol while Claire asks Madame Jeanne (Cyrielle Debreuil) to collect some instruments for an operation.
Jamie is frustrated by Claire and claims she does not remember how this time works, but Claire ignores him and races to the nearby apothecary and promises to help a man’s sister if she can cut in front of him. Meanwhile, Jamie and his group of merry men attempt to move the alcohol, even if it means taking a loss. When she returns, she finds Mr Willoughby (Gary Young) and Jamie causing her to operate immediately just as Sir Percival turns up to inspect the premises.
Mr Willoughby is concerned when Claire stills to drill a hole into the man’s skull, and Jesus H Roosevelt Christ, it was both intriguing and intense. Percival inspects the basement, but thankfully the alcohol has been moved much to his dismay.
Jamie returns to find the man dead and Claire upset as she could have done more if she was in Boston, but Jamie says there will be others to save. This causes Claire to apologise about the trouble she’s already caused in the one or two days she’s been back with Jamie, however, he’s just grateful she’s there.
Don’t you see? Since you left, I’ve been living in the shadows. And you walked into the print shop and it was as if the sun returned and cast out the darkness.
Young Ian, Love, and Bromances
Fergus and Ian sell the alcohol when Ian begins to ask about Claire. Fergus tells him that Claire was spirited, brave, and could easily heal men without flinching, although she took a few lives herself. However, Ian doesn’t appear phased by this and says if she killed them, they most likely deserved it.
They celebrate their sales with Ian pining over the barmaid, so Fergus calls her over. Ian is nervous as he’s never bedded a lass before, and asks Fergus about his first experience, which turns out to be a ménage à trois at the age of 15. He also teaches Ian the art of seduction: compliments, alcohol, and then repeat.
After repeating these steps a few times, a drunken Ian poorly sings his way into the print shop with his lass. Funnily enough, Ian’s just as clueless as Jamie once was and attempts to bed her in the same way Jamie tried with Claire on their wedding night. They are later interrupted when they hear noises, which turns out to be one of Sir Percival’s men searching the shop for the alcohol. Ian tries to make him leave, but the man ends up finding Jamie’s treasonous papers and before Ian can stop him, he fires his gun. Shortly after, a fire begins to take hold within the print shop with Ian trapped inside.
Claire returns from her healer’s visit to find the man has been taken care of in a barrel of crème de menthe when she asks if they can find a place of their own, but Jamie seems to be content with the brothel… As usual, Claire yearns for something more and wants to earn money working as healer, but their conversation is interrupted when Ian Murray (Steven Cree) stops by in search of his son. Jamie warns Claire not to say anything about young Ian, and when they go downstairs, Ian is overwhelmed at seeing Claire and even sheds a few tears. He says young Ian has run away again, but Jamie says he doesn’t know anything. Before he leaves, Ian says Claire must have taken the news well, but Jamie says he hasn’t told her yet.
Claire later wonders when Jamie started lying to his family and Jamie claiming he is merely teaching young Ian “the ways of the world”. This doesn’t sit well with Claire causing her to say he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a worried parent. Naturally, this upsets Jamie because of Willie and Brianna, but he steers the conversation to if Claire fell in love with Frank again. The pair are interrupted once more by Madame Jeanne with news of a fire near the print shop.
Up In Flames
They race to the print shop when Jamie realises Ian must be inside and begins to enter the now engulfed building. With a dramatic swish, Jamie dons his own Batman piece and jumps from the balcony of the second floor—lets hope his 45-year-old joints held up. He finds Ian, but before he leaves, he retrieves the portrait of Willie and exit the building much to the relief of Claire and Fergus.
Ian comes to and tells them what happened with the papers, and Claire says they need to take Ian back to Lallybroch. Jamie instructs Fergus to attempt to intercept the man and to fetch Ned Gowan before coming to Lallybroch. Fergus is then shocked to discover Claire does not yet know about Jamie’s other wife (here we go….). The episode ends with Jamie wistfully staring at his business burning to the ground.
While this episode was by no means a stand out or really of much significance, the series finally felt like it was at the pace it was once at before. The episodes this season have felt quite drawn out with the jumping back and forth between Jamie and Claire, and even in the last episode, it featured the same pace with the lovers attempting to get to know one another again. I do hope the rest of the episodes keep up at this pace as I know personally, I felt more invested during this episode due to the action and pace even though it wasn’t great.
Judging by the preview for next week’s episode, it looks as though there’s going to be quite a bit packed in there with them returning to Lallybroch and a sweet cuddle scene on their way to somewhere else, or perhaps these scenes will take quite the culling in comparison to the book… Only time will tell!
What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below!