Outlander Recap: Claire Is Forced to Choose Between Jamie and Frank
And she narrowly avoided being burned at the stake (Geillis was not as lucky)
Be honest: Did you cry all the tears while watching Saturday’s episode of Outlander? Because we sure did.
At the end of last week’s episode, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) were taken into custody after being accused of witchcraft by Laoghaire (Nell Hudson). Predictably, “The Devil’s Mark” opened with the two ladies arguing over who’s at fault for their imprisonment. “I kept your secrets, Claire. You should have kept mine,” Geillis said. “Are you saying that this is my fault?” countered Claire.
But the two put their fight aside as they were led from the underground cell where they were being kept to the courtroom. Claire spotted the eager villagers already building a pyre and noted cannily in voiceover, “My knowledge of witch trials told me that the accused rarely walk free.”
Fortunately, Ned Gowan (Bill Paterson) got wind of Claire’s predicament and showed up in the nick of time to act as her (and Geillis’) defense lawyer.
At first, Claire was certain she and Geillis were in trouble. The prosecution, having had significantly more time to build a case, brought a cast of colorful witnesses against the ladies, including Geillis’ own housekeeper, who testified that she’d witnessed many come to Geillis’ residence looking for talismans and the like. (Actually true.) Another woman testified that Claire had killed her baby (“I didn’t harm your child, I was trying to help it,” Claire said angrily.)
But somehow, even with the crowd calling for blood, Ned managed to turn the testimony around on the witnesses. Geillis’ housekeeper became a jealous woman, unhappy with her position at the Duncans’ house. And the woman who accused Claire of killing her child became a horrible mother who cared nothing for her wee babe.
“Ned’s skill at turning an argument on its head started to show promise,” Claire noted in voiceover.
The ladies were ultimately taken back to their prison cell to await a second day of trial. They passed a flask back and forth and talked about men, as two gals fighting for their lives are wont to do. (Women, am I right?)
Claire wondered how Geillis could love a man such as Dougal (Graham McTavish), and the expectant mother revealed that she, too, was a Jacobite. They’d been brought together by their mutual love of Scotland. But when the conversation turned to Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire was uncharacteristically silent. “Do you love Jamie?” Geillis asked. Claire said nothing.
Day 2 of the trial got a lot more heated. After all, people wanted to see a burning. Laoghaire kicked the day off with her own heartbreaking testimony. She revealed she’d asked Claire for a love potion to attract Jamie but said that Claire instead took the potion herself. “It wasn’t an actual potion,” Claire scoffed, not doing herself any favors. “Clearly she’s a jealous young lass with a broken heart,” chimed in Ned.
But Laoghaire worked the crowd to her advantage. Every story she told was genuine, proving that the best lie is grounded in truth, and by the end, everyone was firmly in her pocket.
However, it was Father Bain’s (Tim McInnerny) testimony that truly sealed the ladies’ fate. He relayed the story about Claire saving the life of young Thomas Baxter, whom Father Bain believed to be possessed (in reality, he had just been poisoned). “Claire Fraser did what I could not: Saved the boy’s life,” he lamented. It seemed like a tribute to Claire’s character, but then Father Bain dropped this bombshell: “I am no longer worthy to serve the people of this parish,” he said, asking for the people to release him from his duties.
The people, of course, rallied in his favor: “She drove a man of God away,” one shouted. Claire couldn’t believe it.
Ned called for a break where he told Geillis point blank she needed to confess to witchcraft. She, needless to say, wasn’t a fan of this idea, but she agreed: “Looks like I’m going to a f—ing barbecue,” she declared.
Back in court, Ned called on Claire to testify, but she simply couldn’t sell Geillis out, so she sat right back down again and allowed herself to be convicted of witchcraft. Ned pulled a gun to defend them and in all the hubbub, Geillis finally trusted Claire enough to real her deepest secret. “I think it is possible,” she whispered to Claire. “What?” Claire asked. “1968,” Geillis answered, looking at Claire knowingly.
Claire didn’t get it, at least not right away. The angry mob pulled Claire down off the podium to be whipped, but they only got in a few shots before Jamie showed up to save her. It didn’t look like he’d manage it, however – until Geillis stepped in to sacrifice herself. She insisted that she’d bewitched Claire and pulled down the sleeve of her dress to prove it. There, on her left arm, was a small pox scar. “The mark of the devil,” Geillis called it, but Claire knew what it really meant: Geillis was from the future. Specifically, the year 1968.
Jamie didn’t hesitate. He pulled Claire away while the mob set its sights on Geillis, who disappeared under a wave of bloodthirsty villagers. Is she alive? Is she dead? For now, it remains a mystery.
Back to the Standing Stones
Jamie and Claire took a moment in their escape to have a heart-to-heart. “Are you a witch?” asked Jamie. “Are you serious?” answered Claire. But Jamie is no fool. He’d seen the scar on Claire’s arm, her own small pox vaccine, and Claire knew she could hide the truth about herself no longer. She was even relieved. She told him everything and Jamie, being the perfect man that he is, believed her. “I trust you,” he said. I trust your word, your heart. Whatever you tell me, I will believe you.”
She even told him about Frank (Tobias Menzies) – you know, her other husband. Jamie was heartbroken, but not for the reason you’d think. He knew then that when Claire had left camp a few episodes back and been captured by Black Jack Randall (also Menzies), she’d just been trying to go back to her 20th-century husband. “I beat you for it,” he said quietly. “I’m so very, very sorry.”
To make up for it, Jamie decided to take Claire back to the Standing Stones at Craigh na Dun. The night before they arrived, Jamie watched Claire while she slept, tracing her face. Eventually, his fingers made their way south and she woke up. “I want you inside me,” she whispered. “No. I want to watch you,” he said with a soft smile. Claire and Jamie have had their fair share of sex scenes, but this was by far the sweetest.
The next day, Claire finally made it back to the Stones. Just before she could touch one of them, Jamie pulled her away. “I’m sorry,” he said, clearly pained. “I stopped you. I shouldn’t have done so.” Unable to watch the woman he loves abandon him, he left her on Craigh na Dun to make her own way home.
But Claire couldn’t do it. As she stared at her two wedding rings side by side, she realized she made a life in the 1700s – and she couldn’t leave it (or Jamie) behind. The episode ended with her finding Jamie’s camp and telling him to take her to Lallybroch. Jamie never looked happier in his entire life.
Did Claire make the right decision? Will we ever learn what happened to Geillis? Do you feel just the teensy bit bad for Frank? Sound off in the comments below.
Outlander airs Saturdays (9 p.m. ET) on Starz.