Outlander Recap: Homecoming Sting

Outlander Jamie Jenny Lallybroch Recap Season 1

Jamie acts like a right arse in this week’s Outlander — and that’s a good thing. Here’s why.

Aside from sending some rather mixed messages to Laoghaire, Claire’s husband has made all the right moves in the short time we’ve known him. He’s deftly navigated complex clan politics. He’s landed a smart, hot, capable wife. He’s even believed the most unbelievable of stories — that Claire is a time-traveling nurse from the 1940s — with a wry grin and a love-endures-all attitude. We’ve rarely seen him make a misstep; the guy is on point.

That is, until he returns to his childhood home. It’s nice to know that even the unflappable Mr. Fraser reverts to being an insecure, slightly annoying teenage version of himself after spending even the smallest amount of time with the people who’ve known him since birth.

Showing us Jamie’s flaws makes him more relatable, and that makes him seem even more like a flesh-and-blood person than a romance-novel hero… which in turn makes him so. much. hotter. Well played, Ron Moore.

Let’s take a look at what happens in “Lallybroch.”

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HOME SOUR HOME | Post-Claire’s decision to stay in the past, Mr. and Mrs. Fraser are a little giddy. But as they draw closer to Lallybroch, the Fraser family home, Jamie darkens. He can’t stop remembering his last time there, when Randall whipped him and then raped Jamie’s sister, Jenny.

Jamie grimly informs Claire that Dougal said there were “rumors” that Jenny had gotten pregnant after the incident. Claire points out that rumors aren’t facts, but when they run across a little boy playing in front of the home, Jamie’s brows are knit together so closely in anger, Claire could wear them if she ever loses that gorgeous cowl. (Sidenote: Book readers, Lallybroch looks much grander than I’d imagined. How did it match up to your expectations?)

Jamie perks up when Jenny comes out, drops her basket, grabs her pregnant belly and runs to him. They embrace, but the happy reunion is cut short when Jenny proudly introduces the boy as her son, who’s named after his long-absent uncle. There’s barely time for Jamie to introduce Claire as his wife before the Fraser siblings get right down to some very ugly, long simmering business.

Outlander Jamie Jenny Reunite LallybrochHe insinuates that the rape turned her into a loose woman and that naming the child after him is a terrible insult. She calls Claire a “trollop” (!) and brings up the fact that she hasn’t heard from him in four years. Then Jenny talks about grabbing her brother by the testicles — Claire’s “what the heck have I gotten myself into?” face at that moment is amazing — to really get his attention. It’s all diffused (slightly) when a man with a peg leg arrives and calmly announces himself as both of the children’s father: It’s Ian, Jamie’s old friend and Jenny’s husband.

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THE WHOLE TRUTH | The tension doesn’t ease when everyone moves inside. Ian, echoing my approach to dealing with uncomfortable family gatherings, makes sure the hard liquor is easily available. Jamie steels himself and asks about exactly what happened when Randall took Jenny in the house that terrible day, which leads us into her flashback of the event. Misstress Fraser thinks quickly and brains the captain with a heavy candlestick while he’s making her fondle his fly, but all it does is make him angry. He throws her around the room a bit, then tosses her on the bed and tries to “make himself ready,” Jenny recalls. And… wait a minute, is that…? I’ll just read you my notes, verbatim, from this part of the episode: “OMG TOBIAS MENZIES’ PENIS WHAT.” Yep, we see Capt. Randall’s little Redcoat a few times during the horrible scene.

Jenny relates that when she started laughing at his inability to stand at attention, so to speak, it made him mad. So she kept doing it, and though he eventually knocked her against a bedpost, rendering her unconscious, he did not, in fact, rape her. When she woke up, he was gone.

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RANDALL RUINS EVERYTHING | You’d think that after hearing what his sister went through, coupled with the relief that his worst fears hadn’t been realized, would make Jamie soften and apologize. You’d be wrong. Meanwhile, here’s a list of things Jenny is not psyched about: Jamie’s chumminess with the British (i.e. Claire and the Duke of Sandringham), the fact that he and Claire plan to live at Lallybroch, and the notion that she and Ian have to move bedrooms because they’ve been sleeping in the biggest one — the “laird’s room” — and now it’ll go to Lallybroch’s actual laird, Jamie. When Claire protests that they can sleep anywhere, he quickly stifles her, saying that’s how it should be. Jamie, honey, you’ve been master of the house for all of three minutes; let’s just calm down a wee bit, aye?

When they’re moved into the big bedroom, Jamie has a little flashbacking of his own to do. It’s how we meet Brian, his father, and see how he died after collapsing while watching Jamie’s brutal second flogging at the fort. (Outlander, if we’re all very good, do you promise never to make us watch that grisly business ever again?) Even worse, Jamie sadly confesses to his wife, he could’ve avoided the whole thing if only he’d given in to Randall’s request that he “make free of your body.” Claire sympathetically (and probably correctly) says Randall probably would have whipped him anyway. “We’ll never know,” he says sadly.

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SIBLINGS SMOOTHED OVER | The following day is Quarter Day, where all of the tenants on Fraser land come to pay rent and party with the laird. Jamie gets drunk on both the free flowing booze and his own importance, grandly telling the poorer tenant they can skip paying their tab this time. When he finally makes it up to the bedroom later that night, it’s a study in how not to get laid. Step 1: Be so drunk you can barely take your clothes off. Step 2: Brag about beating up a tenant (even if said tenant is an abusive father who totally deserved it). Step 3: Repeatedly smack your wife on the hindquarters like a heifer who doesn’t want to return to the barn. Step 4: Pass out, snoring, before anything even remotely sexy can happen.

The next morning’s hangover? Epic. (And the music that accompanies these scenes is pretty great, too.) A grouchy Jamie sets out to fix the property’s busted mill, a bit of housekeeping that I normally would not care about except that it requires him to drop his kilt and dive into the millpond, and suddenly I am really, really interested in 18th-century engineering. When some British soldiers happen upon the scene, Jamie stays underwater (where he somehow loses his shirt) until they leave. He surfaces in the altogether, palms his junk like a street magician playing three card monty and yells at Jenny to look away so he can get out of the freezing pond. She’s affected by seeing the scars on his back for the first time. I’m affected by the sheer amount of man flesh we’ve seen so far in this episode.

That evening, Ian happens upon Claire. Their conversation, in two words: “Frasers, amiright?” Boosted by his insistence that Jenny and Jamie are stubborn beasts, she yanks Himself out of bed and schools him. “You’re trying to be someone you’re not,” Claire says. The words must take root, because he apologizes to Jenny the next day when they both visit their father’s grave at the same time. Then she apologizes for kinda-sorta blaming him for their father’s death, a notion that disappeared when the scars indicated how much he’d suffered. “It’s my fault that Randall beat you so,” she cries in earnest, and Jamie reaches for her and says that everything that took place that day — and everything that followed — was Randall’s fault and no one else’s. Hurt feelings mended, she genuinely is happy he’s back. “Welcome home, laird Broch Turach,” she says.

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A FIRST | “Broch what?” you may ask. Broch Turach is another name for the estate, and it refers to the circular tower on the property. Upstairs in their bedroom that night, Claire wears a nightgown and a stunningly beautiful shawl (the detail work!) as she listens to Jamie talk about the first time he knew they were supposed to be together. “I wanted you from the moment I saw you, but I loved you when you wept in my arms that first night at Leoch,” he says, all low-voiced and swoon-inducing. (My inner jerk’s commentary: Didn’t stop you from macking on Laoghaire in the hallway that time, did it?) Claire makes a big point of telling Jamie she loves him, and that’s the first time in the series we’ve heard them utter those words, right? (If I’ve gone soft in the heid and forgotten an earlier incident, you can yell at me in the comments.)

The next morning, Claire wakes up all smiley but alone. And that’s because, as she soon learns, Jamie’s standing in the foyer downstairs while a man holds a gun to his head. [Insert Gaelic curse word here.]

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Let’s hear about it 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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59 Comments
  1. A. D. says:

    That sure was one boring, dull episode.

  2. zac says:

    I really tried to like this show. The first few episodes were engaging but my interest kept waning after every episode.
    I guess I’ll be checking the happenings on TVLine rather than watch it.

  3. Mauigirl says:

    Ugh! I haven’t read any of the books, and I’m sure the violence depicted is very realistic for the time, but it is still stomach churning. Agree there was a lot of men flesh, but would have preferred to see more of Jaime and none of Randal. Loved the soft moment between Jaime and Claire when they finally spoke of their love for the other. I have a feeling I may have to hide for the next couple of episodes based on previews and interviews about how bad it will really get for Jaime. Is there a happy ending at the end of the book?

    • Alichat says:

      Yes, you may have to hide during the upcoming episodes if they are as graphic as the book is. I was uncomfortable reading that part of the book because it’s startling, graphic, and heartbreaking. The book does have a happy ending, but I don’t know if the season will end where the book does. Ron Moore has stated that the season will not end where fans are expecting.

      • Drew says:

        I wonder if it would be best for them to skip showing the most graphic parts and convey the trauma of it through Jamie telling Claire, as he did in the book. Not only can the imagination make things more disturbing, but I don’t know if that scene is something we need in great detail in order to convey.

        • Alichat says:

          I’m not sure how graphic it will get. They may do as you suggest, although they have filmed some really tough stuff. Ron Moore had mentioned in interviews……and maybe at the Paleyfest panel….that Sam and Tobias had filmed some really difficult scenes together that are tied to that bit in the book.

        • tsevca says:

          Personally, I would prefer it that way, because of two reasons. Claire has the rescue plan in motion and has no idea if Jamie is even still alive, if they make it before Randall does anything. As don´t we. It´s better, because people have no idea what state Jamie would be the next time he´s back. Jamie seems better at first, only later we find out how much damaged he was. That makes the revelations more surprising and powerful. We get the information in dozes. It isn´t such a huge blow to fans. Everytime we get some new information, new detail, we are more and more disturbed and some parts are revealed books later. We can handle it, because it isn´t one huge load at once.
          The second reason is that seeing it will not do a justice to the emotional trauma Jamie survives with. It´ll be horrible look, but Jamie telling the story is what makes us understand.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s the only part of the book I wish I could forget.Inread it 20 years ago and it still makes me ill.i just might fast forward through it.

    • Ananda says:

      Yes there is a happy ending but there is a lot of bad things that will happen before that and very graphic. It will be hard to watch so let’s she how it’s handled.

  4. ninergrl6 says:

    I loved the Lallybroch chapters of the book SO MUCH that maybe I was bound to be disappointed by this episode. I expected it to be lighter, cuter, funnier, but drunk!Jamie and naked!Jamie aside, it was pretty heavy. I agree that it’s important for Jamie not to be too perfect, the writers amped up the tension between Jamie & Jenny unnecessarily. I loved their relationship in the book. Yes, there’s a lot of baggage from the past that needed to be addressed, but I really expected this episode to be cute and light. For the first time, the show really let me down.

    • lori says:

      I agree. And Jennie wasn’t as hostile as they are showing her to be to Claire. I think a lot of the relationships that Claire had in the book are made overly hostile in the series. Kind of disappointing.

      I’m also worried about what they are going to show between Randall and Jamie based on what was shown tonight.

    • Ananda says:

      I must agree with you. I was excited to see this episode because of the great stories that were told and the humor, but none of that happened. I was really put off by Jenny because that’s not how she was in the book at all.

    • Christine M says:

      Actually in the book, the argument between Jamie and Jenny goes on for a LONG time and get’s pretty nasty. I believe Claire goes outside just to get away from the clishmaclaver and meets Ian for the first time outside. Jenny is pretty prickly and it does take a few days for her and Claire to relax with each other. The show is condensing things a bit, probably because there is so much yet to happen in the first book.

    • KT says:

      That’s how I feel, too. I didn’t want to have my hopes up too high, but I was bummed by Jenny and Claire not getting along. I get that Jamie acting like a bit of a jerk was to make him not seem so perfect, but it wasn’t much fun to watch. I also get a little tired of how show Claire acts since she seems snobbier here than in the books. I also hope we are done having to see the flogging scenes. Good God, we get it! Knowing that the darkest stuff is coming up quick also makes me feel some dread. I was hoping/expecting this episode to have been lighter and happier. I missed Jamie and Claire talking more after she chooses to stay and Jamie being so happy and in disbelief that she does. I was really hoping for some scenes based on that from the book.

      • ninergrl6 says:

        After watching last night’s ep, I re-read the Lallybroch section of the book & found no less than 10 sweet/cute/funny/romantic moments that didn’t make it into the show. From Jamie & Claire talking about why she stayed to Jenny fixing Jamie’s hair for quarter day to Jamie teaching wee Jamie “the fine art of not pissing on his feet” to Jamie & Claire exchanging stories about their first kisses, there were SO MANY great moments that were missing. They might not have been integral to the plot (though I venture that the Jamie/Claire relationship stuff certainly is), but they’d certainly be more entertaining than watching Jamie get flogged AGAIN.

        • Christine M says:

          You’re right about that. I think we all miss those small humorous moments a lot, and we could have done without seeing the flogging scenes again. Hopefully, the producers will show the sweet/funny moments more in future episodes because they are so integral to these characters.

        • Fayola says:

          I agree that is what I had loved so much about this chapter in the book….and I miss those tender moments between the two especially since there is so much pain to come..

    • tsevca says:

      I agree. Every episode has to have drama, something always must go wrong, so they leave out the best parts. But no one´s life is always drama. That was what I liked about the books, that was what made them good, but still realistic, that Diana was able to balance the drama not to make it boring and normal parts of life that are actually in people´s lives.

  5. Rachel says:

    So how old is Jamie supposed to be?

    • Mauigirl says:

      He said when he is 40 Claire would be 245, and since she is 27 he is 5 years younger or 22. She reminded him that his math is off.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      In the book right before they arrive in Lallybroch, Jamie says he’s 23.

    • Abby says:

      She’s 27 and he’s 24 in the book.

    • Alichat says:

      I believe at this point in the book, he is 23. And he should be 23 on the show since he was 19 when taken by Randall, and it’s been four years since he came home. Claire is actually 28 in the book on the day that Jamie saves her at Cranesmuir…..after she tells him she’s from the future, he wishes her a Happy Birthday because it is the 20th of October. Since they changed around the timeline of the show (having her go through the stones at Samhain instead of Beltane), she is still 27 in the show.

      • ninergrl6 says:

        I was waiting for that happy birthday line last week & was SO disappointed that they didn’t include it.

        • Alichat says:

          Yeah….they’d have needed to adjust her birth date for the line to fit. Right now on the show, they are in spring, moving into summer. In the book, they would be in October, moving toward Christmas. Christmas has passed on the show….(remember in ep 8 when they are sitting at the campsite before the Grants raid them, Jamie says it will be yuletide when they get back to Leoch)……which visually, if you think about what you’ve seen so far in the way of scenery, doesn’t make sense.

          • Frank says:

            YES, there are lots of continuity issues that I can’t seem to get over. Aside from things like their appearance (one episode, their hair is short, the next long)….to the weather..(snowing week before last, now it’s warm and sunny). It would have been nice to have more conversation about Claire being from the future aside than the one silly reference to airplanes.

          • Alichat says:

            I thought the elephant reference was a cute future moment. But, regarding the weather and continuity, that was one of the reasons I thought they needed to verbally reference the time passage in ep 10. Visually they came back from collecting rents and should have celebrated Christmas, New Year’s, and then moved onto the witch trial. The hair issue was due to them filming 9 and 10 out of order……they were filmed before 6-8 I think. They could have lengthened Claire’s hair, but I think Jamie’s would have been difficult.

          • tsevca says:

            Yeah, but they return early. Either way, it´s changed and confusing. That night at Wentworth it starts to snow for the first time. They should have keep it that way. It really fits there.

    • tsevca says:

      In books, he is 23.

  6. bonniew88 says:

    Great recap…I laughed out loud!

  7. Susan says:

    Did anyone else think that during times in this episode that Clair’s nose and eyes looked swollen?

  8. Susan says:

    This episode really made me afraid for Jamie. Him being back at Lallybroch made me wish he was back at castle Leoch where he was safe. All I can think is that soon he will be back in the hands of Black Jack Randall. Which makes me not want to watch the next few episodes. Since I haven’t read the books can someone tell me who the men are at the end of the show holding him at gunpoint?

    • Alichat says:

      That bit is not from the books. I believe they are the Watch, which were mentioned in ep 5, The Rent, and will be responsible for Jamie ending up back in Randall’s custody. I’m not sure how they’re mapping it out next week, but in the book, the Watch were never in the house.

    • redjane12 says:

      I also found the Jamie-Randall bits in this episode (adding to all that’s happened before) disturbing and I expect we’ll have to brace ourselves for what’s to come. No spoilers but you may want to check out reviews / recaps before watching live…

  9. Alichat says:

    This episode was a bit calmer and more subdued than all the previous, but I enjoyed it. Jenny’s disdain for Claire was annoying though. I do wish there had been a bit more humor in it. In the book, there were some funny moments at Lallybroch. I was pretty startled when we got a few clear shots of Tobias’ manhood. But I love that they didn’t shy away from that or from the scene with Jamie at the mill pond. Both were realistic to the scene, and it’s nice to see that they’re being balanced and not applying different rules regarding nudity based upon the actor’s gender. Lallybroch did seem more elaborate than I had imagined, and I had always pictured Ian having more movement. However, that may have been my mind applying 21st century prosthetic movement to Ian’s peg.

  10. Rook says:

    So I am 100% clear and not reading into things by saying “make free of your body” Randall really meant “I want to take you on this table right now”

    • Alichat says:

      Umm…..pretty much. Randall was asking Jamie to completely submit to him and allow him to do whatever he wants to Jamie.

    • tsevca says:

      Practicly. Even though I believe table isn´t his favourite place.

      Was he this specific in the book? I don´t have this one in English and translation is sometimes not very good, let´s say. In my version, he talks about giving him his body and how he always wanted to try it, which is a light version comparing to “make free of your body”. Plus he also makes it seem he has never done it, which is wise, considering it´s a crime that he wouldn´t get away with opposite to raping a girl.

  11. LABete says:

    After last week’s stellar episode, this one seemed like a bit of a downer. There was too much bickering, lecturing, and BJR flashbacking for me. I also felt like there was a real lack of humor and romance in this episode. After Claire’s big decision to stay last week, I felt we should’ve had some kind of momentous romantic scene where they both profess their love and Claire tells Jamie she stayed because she couldn’t live without him. Instead we got a somewhat melancholy scene that seemed to gloss over their first “I love you”s.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I agree. This episode should have been the sweet, charming palette cleanser before all of the trauma to come in the rest of the season. Instead we got more family angst and a lot less levity than the way it was written in the book. I probably would have enjoyed the episode more if I had no expectations and didn’t know what was *supposed* to happen.

    • redjane12 says:

      100% agree – i guess after a pretty good run there had to be a weak episode but yep, this one was very weak for all the reasons you describe… this episode clearly had cut book material down from the book so that it all boiled down to just a few scenes from what in the books was Jaime & Claire’s relatively long stay at Lallybroch and in doing so sadly it shed also all of the charm… I am sick of flashbacks about sick BJR… Ugh…

  12. JAO says:

    The episode unfolded leisurely and beautifully. It was rich in textures and nuances. Yes it was slower but I didn’t mind. I was mesmerized by the acting once again. ESP Tobias’ Black Jack. The colors of the red coats… The scene with Jamie’s father. Like a fine tapestry, I delighted in the details.

    • I completely agree. I enjoyed this episode for the characters. It was lovely to just *be* with the characters and get to know them better without the plot frenetically driving the episode. This the part of the book I savored and I’m glad the show is giving it its due.

  13. Susan says:

    It just occurred to me after watching this episode, and maybe it’s not relevant , but where is Murtaugh? He’s always at Jamie’s side, like his protector. Is he not to be seen again? Isn’t he part of Jamie’s clan?

  14. Kim Bozman says:

    In answer to the question ‘Who should play Rodger and Brianne?’ After seeing Sam, I want to see more of the stellar actors from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

    • Drew says:

      The funny thing about acting is that someone can be brilliant after years of training or a genius with no training at all. Based on what I’ve seen of Sam, I think he has true talent, not learned skill. I don’t think that the school should get the credit for making that happen or that untrained actors should have points counted against them automatically.

  15. Ali says:

    I’d love to see Summer Glau play Brianna.

  16. Jennifer Sturdivant says:

    Beautiful episode. I totally agree that we needed to see Jamie’s faults but we also got to see the perfection that is Sam Hueghan. OMG. Love this show and love how Ron Moore is handling these books. I have treasured this story for many years and had always thought that there was no way that these books could be translated to film, but after each and every episode I am convinced that we just had to wait for the right person to get ahold of the material. Truly beautifully done. And I too loved the tender moments at the very end. Really becoming a huge Catriona Balfe fan. She’s brilliant as Claire!

  17. rachelle says:

    I’m not a book reader, so I have no idea what’s gonna happen and I have no expectations. This show makes me cry practically every week. Usually at the cute between Jamie and Claire! And sometimes because of all the horror Jamie had to endure. Ugh. I love this show.

  18. Pat Cork says:

    Well here goes…I do wish this episode had followed the book more but well…As I recall the discussion between Jaime & his sister about her babies was done in private and that Claire had excused herself. I suppose they had to make Jamie appear as an oaf but this was not the place. Reading earlier of Jamie’s behavior as well educated, respectful of woman and not a ‘hayseed’ I am sure he would have handled this issue differently. Neither was Jenny so rude. As a proper Scottish woman of property, I do not see her being so catty even though Claire is English. Cold, yes, but not rude. There were more homey moments I missed but well poetic license? Oh and by the way did Jamie seem larger in the water than in his clothes? My only real disappointment was after they expressed their love for each other I expected another HOT, HOT make out session!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Pat Cork says:

    I do agree with others about the flagging scene… I cringe and look away but even the sound makes me shutter…The suffering inflicted on Jamie near the end of the book sickened me to read. I do not know what I will do if all of this cruelty is played out on the screen. It would not hurt so badly if I remember they are acting, but they do it so well that I, and I am sure others, believe it to be real. I watched episode nine almost every night last week. I also cried each time he walks away and leaves her by the stones. I knew each time she would return to him but I wept. To love someone enough to let them go really breaks your heart.

  20. tsevca says:

    This was the worst episode so far. It was a collection of things Jamie and Jenny wouldn´t do. And the scene, when Jamie reveals he loved Claire from the start? It´s so meaningful and big moment, suprising. Well, in the books. Here, one wouldn´t notice important revelation was made.
    And what the hell is wrong with Tobias Menzies?! This was the second time I saw his dick. Didn´t ask for it even the first time! How did Ron say it? That they show what is important to the story and so they didn´t show Jamie´s in the wedding episode, because it was not about that? Well, we sure would be robbed of important piece of the story if we only saw his hand move that way in that area, we had to saw it with our own eyes. Irony, people. Not to mention that it was supposed to be so big, it scares a certain person later. I´m no expert, but actually showing it alone makes this information debateable.