Last night’s episode of Outlander was titled “Vengeance Is Mine,” and it certainly delivered on its promise.
As the episode opens, the Jacobite forces have pushed into Northern England and Charles Stuart wants to take his chances and see whether they can capture London. However, his war council is united for once and they say no way, no how. Jamie is the only one who supports the prince, so of course the generals tell him to fuck off to Inverness and await further orders. Which means that, even though the clock continues to tick steadily down toward Culloden, our band of Scots are on the road again.
Please note that, in addition to her many other medical skills, Claire has taken up dentistry.
She should really kick Rupert out of her waiting room, though—I know he just lost his best friend but his bedside manner really isn’t great!
Really feels like we aren’t getting as much firelight flickering over Jamie’s massive shoulders lately. All we got was this glimpse as he prayed over Claire, before they had to ride out again. Honestly, the man is a natural wonder of the world.
So they make for Inverness, riding through lots of gorgeous scenery, before stumbling upon a redcoat patrol and scattering. (Look, we had a bunch of extras and it was time to cut it back to our core group of dudes, less Angus and plus the Lallybroch fellow with the ponytail.) Rupert gets hit and they stop off at a church for a little impromptu surgery; he loses an eye but he’ll be fine. Honestly, he seemed more like his old self once he’d had a hole punched through him.
Unfortunately the redcoats find them yet again and it’s either come out with your hands over your head or we set the thatch roof of the church on fire. Very bad news. At which point, Claire concocts a scheme: She’ll pretend to be an Englishwoman they’ve taken into custody, so they can turn her over in exchange for leaving unscathed. Hey—it’s already worked once this season. They figure they’ll just bust her out of a British garrison and that’ll be that.
Unfortunately, they take her to a stately home by the name of Belmont, the lawn of which is currently housing a substantial encampment of British soldiers. And—wouldn’t you know?—Belmont belongs to our old “friend,” that weasel the Duke of Sandringham.
Here I was, all ready to compliment the Duke of Sandringham on his new wig and cheerful willingness to play both sides of the fence. Not honorable, surely, but he didn’t identify her on sight as the English wife of the infamous “Red Jamie,” so that’s a good sign, right? (Pause to appreciate that Jamie has become “the infamous Red Jamie,” like some character from a border ballad.) And he even wants to escape with Claire! And also it turns out he’s godfather to Mary Hawkins, who is staying at Belmont, because apparently there’s only five people and three places to live in the United Kingdom.
I think his wig is maybe a separate living entity? Maybe it’s some sort of host organism situation? Symbiosis?
So Claire sends word to Jamie and Murtagh where they can find her, in a letter written in Scots Gaelic so bad, so incompetent, that it’s a miracle they can understand where she’s hiding.
And then she notices the birthmark on a servant’s hand, recognizing it from the night she and Mary were attacked. Turns out Claire was the target all along. Turns out the Comte St. Germain wanted Claire murdered for costing him that cargo shipment way back at the beginning of the season, and the Duke owed him a great deal of money and was called upon to repay his debt, but he convinced the Frenchman that the thing to do was arrange her rape. Again, reminder, Mary Hawkins is his goddaughter.
Claire attempts to sneak out and get word to Jamie it’s a trap and finds herself stuck, killing time over a cold roast with the Duke of Sandringham. Mary overcomes a lifetime of training insisting she should sit quietly with her needlepoint and delivers word instead, and so it all comes to a head in the Belmont kitchen. Jamie bursts in; Claire tells him the servant is the man who attacked them in Paris; the Duke tries to smooth-talk his way out of trouble; in a very unexpected move, Mary promptly kills the servant with a single stab wound. And then Murtagh dismembers the Duke and presents Claire and Mary with his head.
“I think we’d better go,” Mary replies cooly.
Honestly, Jamie’s great, but if I were Claire, I’d long since be done with this time period and headed back to those standing stones on bare feet in the pouring rain if that’s what it took to get back to the 20th century. I’d take my chances with the 1950s, thanks.
Images via screenshot/Starz