Recap: ‘Outlander’ – The way out isn’t with sugar and spice and everything nice

08.23.14 3 years ago

When we last left Claire, she was in the care of men who think entrapping would-be assassins and giving them access to your health care is a fine idea. It”s basically the world”s slowest game of Russian Roulette. I dub thee the Scottish Gambit!

And now I keep thinking about if Marvel”s Gambit had an 18th-century Scottish twin and…I need a moment.

….

Okay! Let”s see what shenanigans the gang is up to this week in “The Way Out.”

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We open on Platform 9¾ as Frank is about to ship Claire off to Hogwarts for another year. Wait, no. Frank is shipping Claire off the front lines and he is not happy about it. Not that it matters because what enemy could even shoot straight while looking at Mrs. Randall is her stunning army uniform? Seriously, when is military chic coming back into fashion, Ms. Wintour?

But fashionable attire as armor aside, Frank is worried about Claire”s safety and jokes at the irony of this role reversal. The loving husband sending his wife off to war. He balances self-effacing jokes to his masculinity with legit fear and wow this show is doing a terrible job of making me hate Frank. As Claire swears to him she will return to him no matter what – FORESHADOWING – and disappears into the misty night, I am still solidly #TeamFrank.

Cut to Claire finally getting bath! It”s like they read my mind, you guys. Of course, standing in a basin while an elderly lady comments on the smoothness of your skin (creepy yet historically accurate) and douses you in ice cold water is not exactly the luxurious unwinding one hopes for when they hear the word ‘bath.” But boiling enough water to fill a metal tub, then dragging said tub into the room, then moving all the furniture to make it fit, then bathing, then dumping it out and cleaning up would be such an arduous, sweaty task you”d need a bath from the act of taking a bath. So a brisk bit of cold water in a cold room it is! “Bloody hell” indeed, Claire.

However, the water seems to have washed away Claire”s common sense as well. While being dressed and having her hair brushed, she decides now is a good time to sound like a crazy person. If you”ve been wondering if the speech from the commercials was real- where Claire declares she fell through time and gives the audience a primer on her situation – this is the scene it came from. I appreciate the visual of having Claire wet and physically vulnerable during this emotionally vulnerable proclamation but girl, no.

Mts. Fitz does her best impression of trying to keep a straight face while internally screaming, but the waves of “This bitch is crazy” is radiating from her too wide eyes…and we”ve lost her. Mts. Fitz is convinced Claire is a witch, which RUDE. Clearly she”s just mentally unbalanced and/or has the worst cover story in the history of English spies.

HAHAHA JUST KIDDING. It was all a dream. Claire just pulled a “Who shot JR?” on us. My faith in her common sense is restored. 

But wait, what was Mrs. Fitz saying while Claire daydreamed about being burned on the pyre? Another gathering? With ALL the MacKenzie clan? It”s a Scottish Santa Smorgasbord! Hopefully they all wear their best mullet kilts.

Before we can go to Santa Valhalla though, Claire has to become the best damn medicine women since Dr. Quinn…or is Dr. Quinn the best damn medicine woman since Claire Beecham? Damn you time travel!

Most of what the previous healer was using was gross and unsanitary. Things like powdered human skull and the world”s grossest Surprise Can. You know, like when you open a can labeled ‘nuts” and fake snakes pop out? Imagine that, only the can says “AOWIHJEOIF” (Gaelic probably) and out pops millipedes. The 18th century is awful…just awful.

Claire powers through because what”s a handful of bugs when you”ve been elbow deep in a screaming infantryman? She sorts through the useful stuff from the garbage, all while her guard watches from the stairwell. Hey buddy, maybe be a little less creepy with the phallic handling of your knife while staring daggers into the lady”s back. Or get bored because she”s just helping heal the the injured and not doing any cool Spy Stuff™ and go get a drink. 

It”s so hard to find good guards these days. If Claire were really an English infiltrator, these drunks would be dead in their cups by now.

Claire goes to find her wayward guard because she is still confused on how this “escape” thing works, and instead is privy to a lady in the kitchen drop a glass in a fit of despair. Turns out her kid was possessed by Satan recently and died. Seems legit. Shhhh, listen. You can almost hear Claire”s eyes roll so hard they fall out of her head. But while Ms. Fitz sends the poor distraught mother home, all I can this is how pissed Letitia is going to be. That was a flawless crystal glass. Part of a set. Surely super expensive and rare. SOMEONE WILL PAY FOR THIS.

Everything is a bit of downer when another kid shows up to declare Column wants to see Claire. This kid is named Thomas and is related to Mrs. Fitz because she is obviously the Mitochondrial Eve of the Scottish Highlands. I assume Thomas is both important and also in peril of his life for being BFF with the poor possessed dead kid. RIP Thomas, I assume.

Upon being summoned to the Prettiest Room In All Scotland™ Claire stands by while Column is outraged by his tailor trying to hide his legs with a long coat. Maybe Column should be more outraged by the fact he is obviously wearing Crocs. We get a moment where I wondered if the Laird of Leoch is indeed a supervillain – hell bent on killing minions for the slightest of mistakes – but he saves it at the last moment. Huzzah!

He then earns a metric ton of brownie points by not only asking Claire for an oil massage without any implications of a Happy Ending but also by engaging her in a conversation to make it less awkward and generally being a decent enough guy. You know, for someone holding a woman prisoner against her will. Side note: Column is really trusting of someone he thinks was sent to assassinate him and fracture the Scottish noble hierarch. “Here, let me get naked and alone with you, hope you don”t kill me!”

Well this isn”t the butt we all wanted to see. Sigh. But any dude butt is a step in the right direction for equal-opportunity gratuitous nudity. At least that”s what I”ll keep telling myself.

Time for the nightly entertainment! A gentlemen is going to sing and play a harp-like instrument. Claire is getting drunk of rose Rennish because that is the proper response to having to oil up a stranger. Ninja Dougal needs a puff of smoke or something to announce his arrival because a man that large should not be that sneaky. Also, is Dougal negging Claire? “Good job helping Column. You know, for a bitch.” Claire responds by getting more wine and a better seat to watch the show. Good call. 

We hang out next to the pretty blonde who almost got beaten for liking boys. I just Googled how to spell her name and lol nope, we”ll be calling her Leery because that”s what it sounds like. Which makes her sound like the lost Eighth Dwarf but whatever. Nicknames are cruel mistresses. You take what you are given.

Leery clearly has a crush on Jamie. Which makes sense given he literally played her knight in shining armor. I”d be more worried if she didn”t have a crush on him. Claire attempts to play matchmaker, sitting the two together for the show because she is adorable and doesn”t pick up well on flirting cues. It happens after marriage. All flirting just looks like niceness. 

Claire is now well and truly drunk because no matter how pretty a Gaelic folk song is, boredom is inevitable. She should thank her lucky stars she was sent back to the 18th century from a decade before central air, cable television, or internet. Because quite frankly, I would be dead from not continually checking Twitter. However, I am super jealous she is this shit-faced after only three glasses of Rennish. Obviously Scottish wine is far stronger than boxed wine.

Speaking of Claire not picking up on what Jamie is putting down, he excuses them so Claire can check on his ‘chafing.” Maybe this guy has some game after all. Wait, no. He just wanted to walk her safely back to her cell…room…before someone took advantage of her drunken state. Awwww. Enjoying how not every man in this castle is a lug. Actually so far none of them have been lugs. 

Despite being drunk as a skunk, Claire sums up this series perfectly. “I”m the hero after all. I”m in charge.” Damn right girl. Let”s go burn some corsets and demand the right to own land or something!

Jamie shares a sad story about how he doesn”t want anyone to see the scars on his back because knowing someone is flogged and seeing it are two different things. People pitying him would be a fate worse than death and…wait a damn minute. WHY WERE ALL THESE CANDLES ALREADY LIT BUT UNATTENDED FOR HOURS!? Smokey the Bear is super disappointed in y”all right now.

The next morning we join Claire and the witch Geillis – henceforth known as Gilly because reasons – in the garden. Claire”s escort is super annoyed at all this walking around and moving and good Lord woman it”s like you enjoy exercise! Personally, I hope Claire walks 5 miles a day just to agitate him.

Gilly is full to bursting with news of the plot. Turns out Thomas was indeed possessed by the same demon that killed his Red Shirt friend! You can almost see Claire internally screaming while all this talk of demons and faeries and possession happening like sane people discuss sports scores of the weather. But I get the impression Gilly is digging for something and my suspicions are confirmed when she all but says, “How can you not believe in magic and demons when you literally fell through a hole in time, you git!?” With her thoughts focused on saving Ms. Fitz”s nephew from exorcism, Claire doesn”t pick up on it though. Gilly totally knows what”s up with the alleged Mrs. Beacham. Also pretty sure she pushed exactly the right buttons on Claire to make her go straight to Thomas”s house.

Claire walks to town. Which for my own smug satisfaction, I will assume is at least a 5 mile round-trip. Even in six layers and a corset, she handily out power walks her guard.

The guard dances with death by telling Claire “It”s not your place,” when it comes to healing Thomas. He is so lucky humans haven”t found a way to turn disdainful hate into laser eyes or he”d be dead on the ground.

Ahhh, a good old-fashioned exorcism. Despite being too weak to sit up, Thomas is tied down because he”s making creepy Japanese ghost children noises. Claire is pretty sure he”s been poisoned but before she can confirm her suspicions, the priest arrives. And what a priest he is. Did the village get him from God”s House of Discount Goons? Because dude seriously looks one metal grill shy of being a Bond villain. Claire beats a strategic retreat. You don”t mess with the priest equivalent of Jaws.

That night Claire seems pleased with her successful matchmaking skills as Jamie and Leery suck face. But when she teases him about it at dinner, he freaks out and leaves. What is this? A high school cafeteria? Once Jamie leaves, one of his buddies is like “Stop trying to hook the baby up with Jamie. The lad needs a woman, not a girl…if you know what I”m saying.”

Claire doesn”t know what he”s saying.

But at least she admits to herself that she was being a Mean Girl because she”s super jealous. Not that Leery gets to make out with Jamie (LIAR) but because she”s lonely and misses making out with Frank. She manages to take a moment alone on the stairs to cry but suddenly NINJA DOUGAL appears. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ someone put a bell on him or something! Who just skulks in the shadows waiting to ask if you might want to go into town tomorrow? Stop. Being. Creepy.

In town we trade in Ninja Dougal for Gilly”s Homemade Plot Points. So yeah, turns out the priest is a goon that thinks women should be beaten daily to keep evil out of them. But considering how the Church worked in the 18th century, the recruits were 80% dudes with deep-seated Mommy issues, 15% gay guys, and 4% noble second sons pressed into service, and 1% actual good people wanting to help the downtrodden. Gilly is still delightful and ethereal and and strange and I love her and worry for her safety. She is the Luna Lovegood of “Outlander.”

We”re getting a bunch of stuff about herbs and what not when hark! A child stole a loaf of bread and they might take his hand because I”m suddenly in Disney”s “Aladdin.” Will a monkey come to his rescue? Nope, just Gilly and her womanly wiles. Having slept with a human fart joke named Arthur – because she believes in sleeping her way to safety which, hey it”s a valid strategy – she convinces him to spare the boy.

Unfortunately sparing the boy looks a lot like torture to 20th century Claire. An hour with his ear literally nailed to the pillory and he”ll only be free when he rips himself loose. Only to die of bacterial infection next week. The boy”s bloody ear reminds me though. Gilly is wearing SUPER CUTE red shoes!

Just when Gilly is about to get Claire to finally spill the beans about her “unusual upbringing” Jamie appears to rescue her. Maybe next time Gilly will just ply her with Rennish until she caves. Because girlfriend seriously seems to know what is up. Instead we witness the ancient tradition of false platitudes. Only instead of “we should have coffee” it”s “we should do this again soon.”

But if Jamie thinks Claire is leaving with that poor boy still nailed to the wall in the middle of town, he has another think coming. Hatching a plan later used to great effect in “The Pirates of the Caribbean” Claire pretends to faint at the opportune moment, letting Jamie rip the nail out of the kid”s ear. Maybe he can put a diamond stud in there and be the baddest boy in town?

Now that Claire knows Jamie is up helping, she engages him in a quickly escalating game of “let”s sneak around these ignorant sadists and save the children” which is a really fun party game and it”s a shame it ever went out of fashion.

At the ruins where rumor has it only the cool demons hang out, Jamie talks about having a tutor so he”s definitely nobility, if we had any doubts. But even tutors teach you about demons and faeries and stuff because separation of church and state and stupidity is a few centuries off. Luckily Claire isn”t buying it and what do you know. Turns out all the berries these kids have been eating to prove their manhood are actually poisonous.

Not their fault though. Lily of the Valley isn”t native to Scotland. So just where did these bushes come from? Herbology minded demons? No, just the Prussians/Germans. Jeez, Claire ran 200 years away and still can”t shake these assholes. 

Armed with this new knowledge, Claire books it back to Mrs. Fitz nephew and it”s just in the nick of time. Father Jaws is about to religion the kid into the next life. Claire swears she can help him but healing is obviously the devil”s work so the priest is like “Get thee hence foul temptress!” And just when we think Thomas is going to die because of stupidity, Mrs. Fitz pulls up to her full height of 4″0” and lays down the righteous fury. Mrs. Fitz doesn”t want to have to smack a bitch.

But she will.

Even Father Jaws is no match for the mighty howitzer Mrs. Fitz, and capitulates. Claire administers the drought and Thomas recovers in the lightning speed only found in television show because time lapse is boring. The priest pitches a fit and basically calls Claire a demon for making him look like an idiot. Newsflash buddy, you were doing a swell job on your own.

SCIENCE 1, RELIGION 0.

Back at the farm, Jamie is wiping down a black stallion with straw because okay sure. But that”s beside the point. Which is that Claire is wearing BLUE. Something important is about to happen. And that something important is that Column finally trusts Claire. In fact, he”s bragging about her healing skills. And now she can never leave because she”s awesome.

SHIT. Plan “Be As Nice As Humanly Possible Instead Of Busting Out Under Dark Of Night After Drugging Guards” backfired spectacularly. 

Cut to that night at another round of minstrel singing. Claire is drunk as hell and her hair is down because witches/healers get the privilege. Also it is super hard to work bobby pins while wasted. But can we take a moment to appreciate Letitia”s Cersei levels of dress here? Girl is a little too fancy for the room. Either she came from far away or she”s imitating what she thinks proper noble ladies look like. Whichever the case may be, she”s tacky and I hate her.

Just when our heroine is about to resign herself to becoming an alcoholic doctor centuries before Dr. Cox, the singer saves the day with a folk song. The song tells of a girl who fell through time via standing stones when the night was dark and winds were high. And then later she fell through again back to her own time and her beloved. Phew. Good thing whoever else this happened to had the good sense to put it to song. Unless. Did Claire write the song? WHY CAN'T VERBAL WORDS BE COLOR-CODED SO I'D KNOW?

Claire is reinvigorated. She will break out of Castle Leoch and touch the stones again. Screw waiting around. Hell yeah. WAIT. No. The song said only on certain nights would the stones work. Girl no, we weren”t listening. You can”t just run up there willy-nilly or it won”t work! Shit.

So what did you guys think? Should Dougal have to wear a bell like a cat? Is that priest the scariest priest ever? Will Claire go up to the stones on the wrong night and be caught and re-imprisoned because she didn”t listen to the directions?

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