This week’s episode opened with Claire stumbling upon a fallen Highlander and meditating on all the death she’s seen, followed by another fight over tactics and whether they’re necessary at all, or if the Scots can just run screaming at the English waving broadswords and win the day.
They should’ve named this season Outlander: Cockblocked by History. Thanks to their busy schedule of first attempting to prevent and then wholeheartedly joining the Jacobite Rising, Jamie and Claire have barely gotten a chance to steam up our screens. Instead, we’ve spent so much quality time with Bonnie Prince Charlie. Anybody else had about enough of this dork?
We all know Charles Stuart’s rebellion will end in defeat and ruin for the Highlands. And as we accelerate toward Culloden, let’s take a moment to appreciate the costuming done for this particular character. Everything he wears is just slightly the wrong color, washing him out or skating too close to off-brand sorbet. Instead of wearing the embroidery, like St. Germain, the embroidery wears him. And now, he shows up to lead the Jacobite Rising wearing what looks like 18th century Alexander McQueen. It’s magnificent, but never trust your life and future to a man who cares so little about taking care of his own things that he’ll wear McQueen while invading a notoriously muddy country.
This particular costume works especially well, because it’s such a striking visual reminder that this man understands sweet fuck-all about Scotland. Like so many idiot sons of kings and pretenders alike, he thinks that if he dresses the part and talks about God’s will, men will fall into line behind him and military success will simply flow forth. He will be greeted as a liberator! Only, he’s blending about as well as a thorn in somebody’s foot, and the bill will inevitably come due at Culloden.
The Jacobite troops carry the day at Prestonpans, but we lose the bearded Lallybroch farmer as well as roguish season-one favorite Angus. Not Angus!!! What is Rupert even going to do with himself? He’ll have to run off to America to mock young Willie. And poor Fergus now has enough firsthand experience of battle to understand he doesn’t want any more. Meanwhile Dougal’s bloodlust gets him banished to the position of guerrilla cavalry leader—which is what he should’ve been doing along, as that’s where his talents lie.
It was a bleak, depressing episode. We did get a brief moment of levity, however, in the form of a literal pissing contest. Claire demanded Jamie pee into a glass jar to make sure his kidneys were okay; an English soldier bet he couldn’t hit the glass from a significant distance. But before Jamie could demonstrate his aim, Charles Stuart turns up to talk about how it pains him to defeat his English subjects. Pretty sure his English subjects just wanted to see whether Jamie could hit that glass.
Images via screenshot