Outlander Recap: An Exorcism, a Bloody Ear and an Exit Strategy

Outlander Season 1 Recap Claire

You’ll have to excuse poor Claire in this week’s Outlander. After all, a desperate person will grasp on to any hope – no matter how slim, improbable and/or inspired by a folk song – if it means achieving a desired outcome. And Claire is as desperate as they get.

So to you and I, pegging all of one’s aspirations on the information contained in some bard’s pretty chorus doesn’t sound like a plan for success, but we also haven’t been thrown back in time, accused of sorcery and forced to use a chamber pot. All I’m saying is, if Mrs. Randall Ms. Beauchamp thinks she’s stumbled upon a way back to the 1940s, who are we to say, “Och, that’s no yer best idea ever, lassie”?

To paraphrase Frank, woe betide the person who gets between Claire and what she’s set her mind upon. So let’s step aside and review what happens in “The Way Out.”

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FITZ FIT | After a flashback to Claire and Frank during the war — he wants to call in favors to get them assigned to the same place, she thinks it’s unfair to all of the soldiers who don’t have any strings to pull, then he lovingly calls attention to her stubbornness – we meet up with Claire in the 1700s as Mrs. Fitz helps her bathe.

Claire seems utterly bereft… which is the only explanation for the insanity that follows. She starts to spill her story, her real story, saying things like Frank “hasn’t been born yet,” “I seem to have fallen through time” and “I’m not an English spy. I’m from the future.” The older woman doesn’t take it well – “Begone, evil demon!” she shouts – and just as I’m wondering why the heck the series chose to insert this scene into the narrative, we see that it was just a product of Claire’s mind wandering while Mrs. Fitz combs her hair. (Side note: Phew.)

Fitz is nattering on about the upcoming Gathering, when all the men of the clan will come to Castle Leoch to pledge their loyalty to Colum. Speaking of the clan’s head, he becomes much more enamored of Claire and her presence at the castle after she works some massage magic on his twisted legs and tortured back. The deep-tissue session earns her an invite to hear the castle bard, as Colum’s guest, that evening.

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WINE, WOMEN AND SONG | The concert is nice and all, but I’m more interested in what goes on in the audience. First, Claire and Laoghaire – the girl for whom Jamie took a beating in the previous episode — formally meet. Then, when Mr. NotMacTavish himself comes to sit with them, he’s no verra interested in Claire’s attempts to make him notice the overeager blonde teen on the bench beside them. (Side note: Smart man.)

Eyeing how much strong wine Claire has imbibed, Jamie sees her safely to her surgery, where they proceed to be very cute together. Though she’s tipsy, she stops him from leaving by offering to check his shoulder wound. Goodness gracious, these two shouldn’t be able to smolder while uttering the words “scabbed” and “drainage,” but there you have it. He eventually leaves, and she exhales slowly. Yep, right there with ya, Claire.

Despite his seeming disinterest in young Laoghaire, Claire later catches Jamie smooching the girl in an alcove, which she teases him about at dinner. Two things: 1) Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan have nailed Jamie and Claire’s playfulness, and 2) Murtagh totally sees through your gentle mocking, Claire, and he’s got something to say about Jamie’s romantic prospects: “He needs a woman, not a lassie, and Laoghaire will be a girl until she’s 50.” As Claire looks chastised, her voiceover admits that she’s jealous of the intimacy she witnessed between Jamie and the blonde. In a strictly missing-Frank way, of course

Outlander Season 1 Claire scarfEXORCISMS AND ESCAPES | The next day, while gathering greens with Geillis, Claire learns that Mrs. Fitz’s nephew has been taken down by the same “evil” that killed Colum’s chambermaid’s son. Turns out, both boys had been trying to prove their manhood by eating some (unbeknownst to them) poisonous plants, and Claire’s administration of the antidote – though successful – is seen as meddling witchcraft by the misogynistic local priest. (Side note: Can someone please knit me the gorgeous scarf Claire’s wearing in this scene? I’ve helpfully inserted a photo of it here. Shouldn’t be too hard, for you crafty, Ravelry types. So go on and get those needles a-clickin’!)

Claire’s 20th-century sense of justice continues to be affronted when, during a visit to Geillis’ house in town, a boy who has confessed to stealing is punished by having an ear nailed to a post in the public square. (That’s the lenient sentence, by the way.) Jamie’s unexpected arrival both gets Claire out of having to answer Geillis’ prying questions and helps her free the boy from an extended bout of pain and humiliation.

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Back at the castle, after sporting some handwarmers that cannot possibly keep her hands warm but I don’t care I still want them, Claire is crestfallen to find out that Colum is so impressed with her healing skills, he plans to keep her around a lot longer.

Crestfallen, she drinks her sorrows and attends that night’s concert, where Jamie translates the singer’s lyrics for her. She perks up when a folk song tells the tale of someone hurled through time who then returns home. “I must escape Castle Leoch and get back to the stones as soon as possible, or die trying,” Claire voice-overs. Eh, I’ve come up with far worse plans after a couple of glasses of wine…

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Do you have thoughts on Geillis’ not-so-gentle prodding? Are you growing a soft spot for Claire’s constant, Dougal-ordered companions? And seriously: Can someone knit me that scarf and/or those handwarmers? Be mindful of divulging spoilers, oh good book folk, and sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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29 Comments
  1. Brittany says:

    Loved the episode. Almost had a heart attack at the Mrs Fitz scene at the beginning – didn’t think they would go that off book!!! And YES I love Claire’s scarf and want one of my own! Anyone know of an Etsy shop that will grant me this wish?

    • Nicole says:

      RememberADay’s shop on Etsy has a few things VERY similar to Claire’s scarf. A little pricey, but the quality of her work is really fantastic.

    • Apollo says:

      Yeah I was so relieved when it turned out being Claire’s imagination. Almost threw a shoe at the screen.

  2. Kayline says:

    First run through I was a little disappointed but on second viewing it really had a lot of exposition that was necessary to move the story forward. I’m still intrigued and am surprised how closely they follow the book so far. Sam and Cait were made for these roles. completely believable.

  3. Laura says:

    Loved this episode!!! LOVE this series! LOVE the strong women and I am obsessed with Jamie and Claire. They have quickly become my fave couple on TV. Can’t wait for next week and every week after and having this show on forever. Anyone whose not watching is missing out big time!!!!! So grateful for such a smart and well done show!!!!

  4. Tasha says:

    I liked tonight’s epidsode. I really want to read all of the books. As for the scarf, I loved it. As a raverly member I can tell you this: if there is not a pattern similar to the scarf on Raverly today, there will be one by the end of the week if not sooner.

  5. vi. says:

    I have to say Jamie translating the bard to Claire in the hall while Laoghaire is left to the side was a scene I was looking forward to seeing brought to life. And they did not disappoint.

  6. Apollo says:

    I loved this episode. This show is only getting better and better. Definitely on of the best shows on TV.

  7. Liz says:

    - First of all: I LOVE your recaps!!
    – Second: ohhh yeah, the Jamie & Claire chemistry is amazing, and the little blond girl doesn’t have a chance. He’s a smart boy indeed, he goes for the smart & beautiful woman.
    – Third: I love Geillis, and the way she can manipulate the men (her horrible husband, and even Dougal to bring Claire to her house! Mmm.., weird).
    – Fourth: that priest was creeeepy!! I never want to see him again! *shiver*
    – Fifth: I SO want that scarf too!!

  8. Tee says:

    Oof, if I wasn’t already learning to knit, I think seeing Claire’s scarf would have lit a fire under me.

    I haven’t read the books yet – a (male) friend recommended them to me several years ago, I think I might have even picked up the first one, but the description on the book just didn’t appeal. When I saw the show being promo’d, figured it wouldn’t hurt to check it out. I’m really enjoying it so far, going to have figure out what I did with that never-read book….

  9. Queen Mab says:

    I read somewhere that Ron Moore’s wife, or someone from the production’s wife is knitting all these scarves, wraps and arm wraps!!
    Great show, they NAILED the scene with the earnail! lol

  10. Alichat says:

    Was anyone else bothered by Geillis’ hair? Especially during the scene in the garden…..the brown swath down the center, framed by the two bright red streaks. Does she have this unusual hair coloring in the book? It was very distracting during that scene.

    • JamLil says:

      OMG! I thought i was the only one who thought so too! Its like they forgot to color the middle of her head! Almost couldnt pay attention to the scene!
      No, in the book she is a fair haired, tall green eyed woman, that is very striking!

    • LaBete says:

      I noticed this, too! The odd thing is that the actress actually has beautiful red hair, so what was up with the hair and make-up on that scene? Are they trying to make Geillis look like she is graying? Maybe it was the lighting but on my TV it looked like she had mouse brown hair on top and two cherry Kool-Aid streaks on each side!

    • Ray says:

      Yes!! How terrible for the cameras to capture such a bad hair day. All I could do was focus on how Geillis’ hair appeared to be thinning in the middle due to the strange center parting and discoloration. Massive, massive oversight by the styling department. Especially when her hair looked rather lovely in the first episode in which she appeared.

  11. Kathy says:

    Loving this series. Chemistry is through the roof. I haven’t read the books, kind of want to, but don’t want to ruin it. Maybe wait until season 1 is done? Oh and that scarf!

    • Megan says:

      Well, each episode is only 70pgs of the book, if you wanted to read along and had the self control to stop(I wouldn’t)! I have read them all, and the show is doing a brilliant job, IMO

  12. Meri says:

    Loving the show so far. I think the cast works so well together. (Especially Sam and Cait). Have been re-reading the book along with show and agree that they are following the book rather well. Still not sure about the voice overs. I believe it works well at times and other times not at all.
    And who does’t want that scarf! I live in Minnesota and it would be well used . My co-worker makes the fingers gloves

  13. CourtTV says:

    The costumes and sets have all been fantastic. Claire also wore a dark brown scarf that looked luscious.

  14. Isobel says:

    Hopefully her knitted garments prove as popular as the killing’s Faroe sweaters ;)

  15. jami1331 says:

    Fantastic recap once again! Loved the episode! Glad they kept the line about Lagohaire being a girl until she’s 50. The Claire/Jamie scenes keep getting better and better!!

  16. Christine says:

    I’m so glad I found this recap! I think it’s great to have it written by someone who is very familiar with the books. This is the first one I’ve read that has identified Laoghaire and Murtagh by name.
    I have been enjoying the episodes so far and am very happy with the casting of everyone. They have done an exceptional job of bringing this wonderful story to life.

  17. cegluna says:

    I couldn’t help but enjoy it when Jamie handed off his empty glass to Laoghaire as he walked away with Claire ;)

  18. LaBete says:

    Thanks for the recap! I love the episode because there were so many good Jamie/Claire scenes. Claire needs to stop pretending otherwise and ‘fess up to herself how much she wants that boy for herself! He knows it! I think that was why he kissed LegHair in front of her. Oh, and I also loved her cowl-scarf–along with that fur cowl she was wearing. Beautiful costumes!

  19. Deirdre says:

    I will make you a scarf if you wrangle a chance for me to meet Sam. Seriously, though, it’s incredibly easy.

  20. Ray says:

    Haven’t read the book series, but I’m really digging these recaps. Hope Geillis turns out to be the real deal (ie. an actual witch), and not just some ahead-of-her-time midwife type who’s well versed in the art of healing. She seemed to have this latent air of knowing about Claire’s situation.

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