As Jenny and Claire set out from Lallybroch to find Jamie, they’re joined by Murtagh on the road. The search takes an interesting turn when Claire and Murtagh use song and dance to lure Jamie to them. Full recap (with gifs and new images!) of Outlander episode “The Search,” which first aired Saturday, May 9 at 9:00pm ET|PT on STARZ.
When “The Search” began, Lallybroch in upheaval. Ian (Steven Cree) was healing from the Red Coat ambush, though he was missing his wooden leg. He watched as Jenny (Laura Donnelly) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) made preparations to set out and search for Jamie (Sam Heughan). In particular, Jenny had the servants start milking the goats (since baby Margaret would need milk in her absence). Ian was injured, but didn’t like the idea of Claire and Jenny going alone. He wanted some of the male tenants to arm themselves and accompany them; however, Claire refused. If Ian engaged the British Army, Lallybroch could face retribution from the Crown, something Jamie wouldn’t want. Instead, Ian drew a map to their approximate location when the Red Coats attacked. Claire (armed with the map) and Jenny (armed with two pistols) saddled up and rode away.
Jenny had a keen knowledge of the area and used hoof marks to track where the Red Coats might have gone. When Jenny and Claire found where The Watch was attacked, they found the dead bodies being set upon by vultures. After they said quick prayers for the men, Jenny found more track marks showing that the Red Coats had a cart (hopefully, Jamie was alive and inside of it). They followed the trail through the forest and took a break so Jenny, who was lactating, could pump her milk. She knew she couldn’t leave Maggie for too long.
While Claire wondered if they’d find Jamie, Jenny believed that they would. The Red Coats were a few hours ahead and if they reached Fort William, Jenny feared Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) would finish what he started with his whip years ago. Claire suggested avoiding BJR all together by bargaining with Lord Thomas (John Heffernan), commander of the British Army in this area and Black Jack’s superior. When they met at Brockton, he did seem to like Claire. And Lord Thomas clearly despised BJR. However, Jenny didn’t think the plan had much merit.
After setting out again, they finally came across a group of Red Coats with MacQuarrie (Douglas Henshall, bound in the cart), but Jamie wasn’t with them. Jenny still believed Jamie was alive…he wouldn’t be daft enough to pick a fight in these circumstances (Claire was a little doubtful given her husband was a “headstrong Fraser”). While hiding in the bushes, they noticed one of the soldiers riding away by himself. Jenny and Claire followed him and set up a trap. Jenny pretended to faint in front of the soldier’s horse and when he got down to check on her, she and Claire pulled their pistols on him. They bound him to a tree and questioned him about Jamie’s whereabouts.
The soldier wasn’t forthcoming with information—he actually called Claire and Jenny harlots and sluts. But Jenny continued to hit him with the butt of his rifle. An interesting situation arose when Claire “good cop” tried to convince the soldier to take the easy way out and just tell them where the big Highlander with red hair was. On the other hand, Jenny “bad cop” kicked the soldier and used a hot poker to burn his foot. When Jenny threatened to burn his bollocks, the soldier finally admitted that he was just a courier. Claire went through the letters he carried and found one addressed to Fort William. The letter said that Jamie had escaped and the Red Coats were requesting a search. But if they never received the letter, they wouldn’t know Jamie escaped, so Jenny and Claire tore it up.
But where was Jamie now? He wouldn’t go back to Lallybroch (the first place the Red Coats would look). Jenny believed Jamie would go north, further into the Highlands, banking that the Garrison wouldn’t travel that far away from their supplies. Claire and Jenny breathed a sigh of relief, but a disagreement quickly ensued. While Claire wanted to bandage the courier’s foot and send him on his way, Jenny didn’t believe there was any way this soldier could live. He knew they were looking for Jamie and would certainly share the news. How long would it take before the British Army descended on Lallybroch? Jenny could see the judgement in Claire’s eyes, but there was no room for sentiment. As they faced off, Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) arrived and killed the courier himself. (*FLAILS* MURTAGH!) He’d been following Claire and Jenny’s tracks and then heard the soldier’s screams. Murtagh told the ladies they’d be setting up camp for the night and went to go find dinner.
While Claire was gathering wood, Jenny came to her again: “Love forces a person to choose. You do things you never imagined you could do before.” And that was that. However, Claire assured Jenny that she wasn’t judging her. In fact, if Murtagh hadn’t have shown up, she would have killed the courier herself. Later that night, Claire and Jenny got to know each other a bit more. Jenny was impressed with Claire’s knowledge of the outdoors, knowledge Claire gained from her Uncle. Jenny shared that she’d learned her tracking skills from Jamie and Ian when they were younger…she forced them to let her tag along with threats to put bugs in their supper. When Murtagh returned with dinner, he shared that Ian had sent him to join them. However, from what he’d seen, he believed Claire and Jenny to be “natural outlaws”.
The next day, Murtagh and Claire continued on the search while Jenny went back to Lallybroch. Before she left, Jenny gave Claire the rent money from Quarter Day and a knife. Claire, being a prophet of sorts, told Jenny to start planting potatoes as soon as she got home. The crop would keep for longer and had higher yields than wheat. Jenny was skeptical…potatoes weren’t grown in the Highlands. Claire’s response: “They will be.” In the next two years famine and war was coming…they’d need as much food and gold as they could store. Jenny took the news in stride. Jamie had warned her that Claire might share things and that his sister should do exactly as asked. Claire and Jenny embraced one another, both knowing that Claire would do whatever it took to bring Jamie back.
Murtagh and Claire would head northwest, but they didn’t really know much else. Travelling would be hard on Jamie as he tried to hide during the day and stay off main roads. How were they supposed to find him? According to Murtagh, they wouldn’t: Jamie would find them. He had brought Claire’s medicine chest and said that she needed to build a reputation as a healer and attract attention. Murtagh and Claire travelled openly and slowly along main roads, stopping at every village, and treating the ill in the community. While Claire did her work, Murtagh asked about Jamie. He also attracted attention with his dancing (though the crowds weren’t very impressed). “Very few fortune-telling healers roam the highlands with a dancing Fraser clansman in tow.” (LOL!) Murtagh believed Jamie would come to them eventually.
At another village, Claire suggested Murtagh add a song to his dancing to “jazz” things up…annnnnnd she started singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters” from 1941! Murtagh liked the idea and had Claire dress in men’s clothing and take to the stage with a bawdy Scottish song (one Jamie knew well because Dougal would always sing it when drunk). After some initial stage fright, the performance went well and got a lot of attention. Word spread about the singing/dancing Sassenach dressed as a laddie. As Murtagh would collect tips from the crowd, he would ask if anyone had seen a red-head highlander. After six villages, Claire was skeptical, yet they rode on, performed, and asked of Jamie.
When they got to another village, they came across a performing troupe with another singing/dancing Sassenach. (Clearly copyright infringement!). Claire and Murtagh confronted the gypsies and tried to convince them to stop. It was a special song with the intention to lure Jamie to them. When Claire admitted that she was travelling the highlands, singing that song, to search for her husbanc, the gypsies promised not to perform that song anymore (a bag of gold also helped do some convincing). But Murtagh didn’t trust their word. So now both groups would be singing the song and Jamie wouldn’t know who to go to. Murtagh told Claire to return to Lallybroch…he’d track the gypsies in case Jamie turned up. But Claire wasn’t going anywhere. Jamie was her husband and as she saw it, she outranked Murtagh. Claire would keep singing until she found Jamie. And the process continued from village to village…but no Jamie.
One evening later on, Murtagh and Claire had a confrontation. He blamed her for their lack of success and the way she dealt with the gypsies. But what did Murtagh know? He’d never lost anyone he loved. Of course, Claire was mistaken—Murtagh had lost someone at the MacKenzie Gathering many years ago. He’d loved a woman who had another suitor. To prove himself, Murtagh killed the boar during the hunt, took the tusks and made them into bracelets to give to the woman as a wedding gift……………..Jamie’s mother! (Claire had the bracelets since Jenny had given them to her). So Murtagh knew loss and he felt this one deeply because Jamie was a son to him. Claire apologized, embraced Murtagh, and sobbed while they comforted each other.
What to do now? They’d just have to start from the beginning and manage somehow. While Claire was in a tavern reading fortunes, the gypsy troupe from before approached her. The leader (Mr. Ward, Martin Brody) admitted to breaking his word and performing the song…they’d made lots of money. But during one performance a messenger had left word for the singing Sassenach (who was supposed to he Claire!). Ward had the message, but wouldn’t give it for nothing. But Claire had enough. She wouldn’t give this man anything and demanded he leave. Perhaps Ward had some scruples because he gave the message—Claire was to go to Glenrowan Cross.
When they arrived, Jamie wasn’t there; however Dougal (Graham McTavish) was! He was smuggling for the Bonnie Prince, but had news of Jamie. He was alive, but was taken by Red Coats when drawn out by Claire’s song. Jamie was now in Wentworth Prison—he’d stood trial and was condemned to hang. Claire wanted to go to Jamie immediately, but Dougal wanted a word first. When alone, Dougal asked Claire to let Jamie go and to marry him instead. Unsurprisingly, Claire was livid. Didn’t Dougal have any shame? Jamie would be hanged any moment and here he was making a play for his nephew’s wife. And what about Geillis, Dougal’s love? Dougal wasn’t interested in talking about any of that, but he did know that once Claire inherited the Fraser lands, Black Jack Randall would come to Lallybroch. She needed the MacKenzie’s protection. Claire saw through Dougal’s scheme and called him out saying how all along he’d plotted to keep Jamie away from Lallybroch so the MacKenzies could have it. But what would Jamie want Claire to do…to protect herself and Lallybroch…?
Claire had another idea. If Jamie could save her from Fort William with only a handful of men, she and any willing MacKenzies would try for Wentworth. But if she failed, Claire promised to marry Dougal. When Claire and Murtagh asked, Angus (Stephen Walters) and Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) rejected her idea. But wouldn’t Jamie have done this for any of them? They were family! Willie (Finn Den Hertog) was the first to agree to the plan…then Angus and Rupert joined. As the episode ended, the five of them arrived at Wentworth Prison.
If you missed tonight’s episode, you can watch “The Search” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.
What did you think of this week’s Outlander? Share your thoughts in comments!
[Video/Gif Source: Outlander STARZ]