Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Outlander. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
After the heart-pumping, breathtaking episode last week, Outlander slows down a bit as we arrive to Lallybroch. It’s a bit of a restless episode as we get to know more of Jamie’s past and family. Outside drama is put on-hold as Jamie and Claire acclimate to life at Lallybroch. Jamie is laird, and he’s too preoccupied with what being laird means than actually living up to the duty. If we didn’t know better, you could almost say that it was a filler episode, but all the information divulged is ultimately important to Outlander’s overarching plot.
Regardless, the episode has its great moments, and those center around Jenny, Jamie’s older sister. Jenny is easily one of my favorite characters in the book series, and I have been anticipating her introduction onto the TV series. Casting Laura Donnelly was a great choice because she puts so much fierceness and heart in her portrayal of Jamie’s stubborn, but smart sister. She goes head-to-head with Jamie so well, and I love how she doesn’t hide her feelings. She clearly doesn’t trust Claire completely, which makes things uncomfortable between the two. Now that this is transforming into both Claire and Jamie’s story, adding on another strong female character helps keeps things in balance. Jenny’s husband, Ian, is her opposite in every good way. He gives Claire insight on Jenny’s soft side, which helps her—and the audience—understand her better.
Part of why I felt so restless during this episode is because of Jamie. From the moment he returns home, he seemed different. Over the course of the episode, I wanted to knock him over the head with how annoying he was being. Luckily, a combination of Claire, Jenny, and Ian’s efforts eventually make Jamie see some sense. It leads to a touching moment with his sister, where the two drop the tension and resolve the bad feelings from Jamie’s years-long absence.
Flashbacks are littered throughout the episode. We revisit Jamie’s flogging scenes and are given more context on what led up to those moments. For one, Jenny was never raped by Black Jack Randall, like Jamie had assumed. She avoided the sexual assault by giggling at Black Jack’s inability to be ready for the act. The reason behind that may very well be because Black Jack is homosexual. We learn that Jamie had a chance at avoiding the second flogging if he were “to make free of his body” to Black Jack. Jamie refuses Black Jack’s offer, and we know Jamie takes that awful flogging, which inadvertently caused his father’s death. The main takeaway is that Black Jack clearly has a thing for Jamie, if it wasn’t noticeable before at how he always seemed to leer at our handsome red-headed hero.
Once life at Lallybroch seems to be all well and good, Claire wakes up to find Jamie at gun point. By who? Guess we’ll have to wait until next week. If anything, I hope Claire and Jamie get to stay at Lallybroch a little while longer, since I don’t want to say goodbye to Jenny and Ian just yet.
One final thing I want to note: I love how Jamie has reacted to “the truth.” He casually asks questions about airplanes and elephant rides. He’s mostly in wonder, rather than disbelief. It’s an endearing little part of his personality, and I get a lot of joy from those moments. Oh, and Claire and Jamie finally said they love each other! Aww.
Outlander is rated TV-MA and airs Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz. Watch a preview for next week’s episode below: