This week on Outlander, Jamie attempted to whip the men of Lallybroch into fighting shape without Dougal undermining his best efforts, while Claire dealt with the memories triggered by spending time in a military encampment. Because there’s always another fucking war.
This week’s episode was essentially an hour-long training montage. And it wouldn’t be a training montage without some conflict between the brash young gun and his gruff mentor! You see, Jamie doesn’t think the troops are ready, and so he insists they camp out and train until they understand at least the rudiments of military skill. (Until this episode I had completely forgotten that he’d spent time in Europe as a mercenary.) But Dougal has arrived, completely delighted to find Jamie converted to the Jacobite cause—he’d sure love the true backstory on that—and he thinks they need to get their butts to meet Charles Stuart, so they can jockey for position in the man’s entourage. A dick-measuring contest ensues.
For instance, Jamie delivers a stirring speech about the importance of discipline and knowing your drills so instinctively that you don’t have to think in the heat of battle. He’s wearing a leather jacket to drive the point home.
So Dougal comes running up out of the woods with Angus and Rupert, shirtless and yelling and insisting that all you need to defeat the English is proper Scottish wildness. America’s history tends to suggest that guerrilla warfare is all well and good, but you really need the mighty French involved enough that the British say, “Fuck it, good luck with your dumb little country.”
Again, I cannot believe how happy I am to see Claire’s earth-tone tweeds and plaids. Every time I sit down to watch the show I forget all about the dull roar of my window-unit air conditioner straining to the limits of its mechanical ability.
Also delighted to see these two rogues again. Young Willie, however, went and married an Irish girl and has decamped to America with her family.
Let’s also take a moment to appreciate how great Claire’s hair looked, even in the wake of D-Day while she was busy supporting the Allied advances into France. Apparently her ability to maintain surprisingly great hairstyles in even when time-warped back to the 18th century is not an amusing quirk of being on a television show, but just one of Claire’s natural talents.
Also, good facial expressions on the two Americans when she informed them that black pudding is sausage, but pudding is still pudding. No wonder she does such a good job of charming every soldier she runs into—she’s been working with them for a decade now.
Unfortunately, her flashbacks were not merely for fun, but to illustrate the fact that hanging around an encampment has triggered Claire’s PTSD. There’s been so much plot crammed into this season that it’s sometimes easy to forget that before she ever landed in Scotland, our protagonist spent years and years as a combat nurse in active war zones, and watching all these men training is bringing back memories of the American she couldn’t help, whom she had to hear die while she lay huddled in a ditch on the side of the road. But as much fighting as he’s done, Jamie gets it—and he gets it when she insists on staying. (Plus, he knows there’s nothing he can do to convince her otherwise.)
And apparently it wouldn’t be Outlander without a moment of sexual menace, even if this week they hit their quota with Jamie and Claire faking it for the benefit of young William Grey, to shake whatever information they could out of him.
One last image to send you off into your Monday:
Lead illustration via Starz. Additional images via screencap.