'Outlander' Recap: What Rhymes with Witch?

Claire got into trouble the minute Jamie left her alone

Photo: Starz

Fresh off his vow to be a more progressive husband, Jamie (Sam Heughan) showed his dedication to Claire (Caitriona Balfe) by performing oral sex on her in the opening scene of Saturday’s episode of Outlander. Is this enough to redeem Jamie? Not quite, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, they were interrupted by repeated knocks on the door despite the fact that it was clear (from Claire’s moans) that they were busy. So what news was oh-so-important it had to be delivered at such an inconvenient time? It turned out the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) was coming to visit.

For Jamie, this was great news. He knew the Duke as a boy at Castle Leoch and hoped that he could be convinced to help him get a pardon so he could finally return to Lallybroch.

But Claire, who has the distinct advantage of being born 200 years later, wasn’t so keen on this plan. “I’ve heard of him,” she said darkly, thinking back on her conversations with her 20th century husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). “You mustn’t trust him,” she warned, though for obvious reasons, she couldn’t tell Jamie why. Instead, she simply said he was a close ally of Black Jack Randall’s (also played by Menzies) and “a friend of Jack Randall’s can be no friend of yours.”

Jamie wasn’t so easily dissuaded, however. He sought a second opinion from the castle’s resident lawyer, Ned Gowan (Bill Paterson), who said he’d draw up a petition accusing Randall of crimes against the Scottish people. If Jamie could convince the Duke to deliver that petition to the Lord President of the Court of Session, then it could lead to Randall’s court marshal or, at the very least, his transfer elsewhere. “With Randall in disgrace, I believe I can take Jamie’s case to court and win him a general pardon,” Gowan declared. Jamie’s puppy-dog eyes swelled with hope.

Cat Fight

Meanwhile, Claire set off to confront Laoghaire about the ill wish she left under Claire and Jamie’s bed. “What cause would I have to do such a thing?” Laoghaire asked innocently.

Claire tried to handle it gently, telling Laoghaire she understood what it felt like to have her love spurned (but did she really? Claire is married to not one, but two amazing husbands – does she even know what rejection is?), but Laoghaire wasn’t having it. “He was never yours to begin with,” she said, adding, “Jamie Fraser was and is mine.”

“You’re mistaken, child,” Claire countered. But Laoghaire wasn’t done throwing shade. “My poor Jamie, trapped in a loveless marriage,” she continued. “He must have to get drunk before he can plow your field.” That’s when Claire ditched the pleasantries for a good old-fashioned slap. “Stay away from me. And my husband,” she said before storming out.

Claire, on a roll, then went to confront Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) about giving Laoghaire the ill wish. She found her doing a naked dance in the woods, which was hardly surprising. What was surprising was that she was pregnant. “I have a lover,” Geillis told Claire once she was done communing with Mother Nature. “It’s Dougal MacKenzie.” She added that she was praying to Mother Nature to ask for their “freedom” since both Dougal (Graham McTavish) and Geillis are married. What she meant by freedom wouldn’t become clear until later on.

Suspicious Circumstances

Unbeknownst to Jamie, the next day Claire went to meet with the Duke. That information she alluded to at the beginning of the episode? It turned out to be that the Duke was a suspected Jacobite, a traitor to the crown. She confronted the Duke with her suspicions and essentially blackmailed him into helping Jamie. In exchange, however, Jamie was later tricked into accompanying the Duke to a duel. It did not end well.

When Claire returned to the castle, she found Dougal in tears, threatening the men with his sword. His wife, it seemed, had died and he was really broken up about it, despite the fact that, you know, another woman was carrying his child. Claire spiked his drink and Dougal promptly passed out.

Geillis, of course, was thrilled and credited the death to her naked dance in the woods. “You don’t really believe it had anything to do with that summoning of yours do you?” asked Claire while the two shopped together. But Geillis was convinced. “Now Dougal and I can be together,” she sighed. “Your husband might have something to say about that,” countered Claire.

But he didn’t have much to say at all because that night, at a dinner for the Duke, Geillis’ husband broke into a coughing fit and died. Claire rushed over to attend to him, but it was too late. And by the smell of almonds – a sign of cyanide poisoning – nothing could have been done to prevent it anyway. “What I found was anything but a grieving widow,” Claire ruminated in voiceover. Her one friend, it seems, is a cold-blooded killer.

But the murderous couple didn’t get to live happily ever after. Colum (Gary Lewis) kicked Dougal out of Castle Leoch and forbid him from taking up with Geillis, who hadn’t been nearly as subtle about the whole murder thing as she thought. And, just for good measure, Colum sent Jamie along with him as punishment for that whole duel business with the Duke. “You’ll leave that wife of yours here,” Colum ordered.

Claire was less than thrilled about being left home, but she quickly had her own problems to deal with. She received a letter from “Geillis” and went to check on her. “‘Twas not me who sent it,” Geillis declared merrily. “I suspect someone’s playing a prank on you.” And what a prank it was. As Claire launched into admonishing Geillis for murdering her husband, a knock sounded at the door. Claire was convinced they’d come to take Geillis away, but it turned out the men were there for Geilis and her.

The ladies had been accused of witchcraft – and nothing either of them said could convince the men otherwise. As they were led away, Claire caught sight of Laoghaire lurking in the shadows, a knowing smile on her face. For all of her so-called innocence, Laoghaire is a world-class bitch.

Outlander airs Saturdays (9 p.m. ET) on Starz.

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