On Outlander, You Can’t Go Home Again

Above, Claire is all of us who are still waiting for Claire and Jamie to feel right again.

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Spoilers ho!

Last week we left the intrepid couple in a smoky Edinburgh, resolved to go back to Lallybroch - and sure enough they are riding up the driveway...er...rideway?...when we come back this week. They return Young Ian home to Jenny and Ian, who are none too pleased that Young Ian left, or that Jamie lied about it. Ian has told Jenny about Claire, but she’s still surprised to see our heroine in the flesh. Surprised, and a bit distant; Jenny keeps making passive aggressive comments to Claire as she goes about her business at home.

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Once Ian is punished for running away (by having to handle manure, not by Jamie giving him the belt...which I sense was a choice on the show’s part not to include any more beatings, but also deprived us of an entertaining book moment where Jamie hands Ian the belt and makes him thrash Jamie right back), everyone settles in for the night. Claire and Jamie are in their room chatting, and then right when Jamie is about to spill the beans about his other wife, two little girls burst in and call Jamie “Daddy”! And then their mother comes in behind them...it’s Leoghaire!! Jamie’s second wife is Leoghaire!

Claire is understandably shocked...and furious. Even though technically Jamie hasn’t lied, per se, he has omitted a rather shocking truth, and for selfish reasons by his account - to keep Claire from reacting exactly how she is reacting now and wanting to leave him. Claire still feels betrayed. Even more so when she finds out that Jenny sent for Leoghaire.

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Claire resolves to leave first thing the next morning, until Leoghaire comes back - armed. She claims Jamie as “hers” and is determined to keep him...and then the gun accidentally goes off into Jamie’s shoulder. Luckily it’s just buckshot, which Claire could handle blindfolded, so she stays to pull out the pellets and stitch Jamie up, Young Ian serving as her assistant. Claire stays afterwards to monitor Jamie’s recovery, which gives him time to explain how he came to marry Leoghaire. It was Hogmanay, after Jamie returned from Helwater, and he was brooding in a corner when Leoghaire’s daughters (Marsali, which I appear to have been mispronouncing in my head all these years, and Joan) coax Jamie out of his sulking to dance. Jamie even laughs!

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So he and Leoghaire marry, Jamie hoping to find some semblance of a home and a family, Leoghaire just wanting to finally have Jamie, I suppose. But it wasn’t a happy marriage; Jamie hints at some past abuse Leoghaire suffered which drove a wedge between them. So Jamie up and went to Edinburgh, sending back money to sustain the girls. And that’s where Claire found him.

It’s not enough to resolve things, but it is enough to keep Claire from bolting back to the 1960s. Claire and Jenny also have a heart to heart. Ned Gowan shows up to arrange things, legally speaking: Jamie will maintain his first marriage but will pay alimony to Leoghaire and her daughters until the girls are wed. The required sum, 20 pounds, is more than two years’ earnings at Lallybroch. Luckily Jamie happens to have a secret stash of jewels that he found back when he escaped from Ardsmuir all those years ago, so the plan is to go retrieve the hoard, sell the jewels in France, and bring back the extra money for Leoghaire. (And to build a cottage on Lallybroch lands, and live happily ever after as a peaceful farmer.)

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The secret stash is hidden on an island about a quarter mile off the coast, and Jamie’s arm isn’t in swimming condition, so Jenny and Ian consent to let Young Ian go with them, since he’s bound to run away from home again either way. And since Jamie and Claire swear to protect the boy. Swim, get the jewels, sell the jewels, come back home. What could go wrong?

HAHAHA, you fool, this is Outlander. Just as Ian gets to the secret stash, a ship somehow sneaks up on them, grabs Ian and his newly retrieved riches, and sails away, Claire and Jamie staring helplessly aghast from the shore.

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Next week, come sail away with Claire and Jamie as they seek Young Ian...and run afoul of a British Man O’ War.

Random thoughts:

  • Poor Jamie, everyone wants to rub it in his face that he doesn’t have his kids.
  • The actress who plays Marsali looks amazingly like the actress who plays Leoghaire.
  • Apparently the only thing that ages on people in 20 years is their hair.
  • That penicillin casually mentioned two episodes ago sure came in handy! Batsuit pocket #11!
  • That is the sneakiest sneaky ship that ever sneaked.
  • If Claire and Jamie don’t belong together anymore, then Starz and I don’t belong together anymore.
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