Claire tries anything and everything to free Jamie from Wentworth Prison. Unfortunately, Black Jack Randall gets to him first. Full recap, new clips, and new stills from Outlander episode “Wentworth Prison,” which first aired Saturday, May 16 at 9:00pm ET|PT on STARZ.
“Wentworth Prison” picked up with Jamie (Sam Heughan) and MacQuarrie (Douglas Henshall) in the prison courtyard with their fellow inmates, looking on as, one-by-one, the Red Coats called their names, led them to the platform, tied a noose around their neck, and hung them. While they watched, MacQuarrie reflected on what it would be like to die by the noose. Jamie tried to strategize, saying that when the Red Coats came to lead MacQuarrie to the platform, he would wrap his chains around a soldier’s neck while MacQuarrie grabbed a musket. But MacQuarrie refused…the Red Coats would shoot them down like dogs. However, for Jamie, perhaps it was better to be shot and die “like men”. Jamie said he wasn’t necessarily afraid, but he knew his wife would never forgive him for getting himself hung. As for MacQuarrie, he always knew he would be destined to die at the end of the rope, so be made sure not to leave anyone behind who would mourn him.
At that point MacQuarrie’s name was called. He ascended the steps and spoke out, saying that he regretted his last view of the world would be of pasty Englishmen. He shouldn’t have wasted his life as a thief when he could have served as a patriot for the one true King…
…MacQuarrie wasn’t able to finish stating his Jacobite support because the Red Coats pushed him off the platform where he hung and struggled. They then called Jamie’s name. He tried to fight off the soldiers, but they beat him and dragged him to the platform. By the time he arrived there, MacQuarrie was dead. The jailers placed the noose around Jamie’s neck and were tightening it when Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) arrived in a flurry. BJR called for the executions to be halted, spoke to the Wentworth officers, and then the rope was removed from Jamie’s neck. Jamie was led to the prison dungeon and as he left the courtyard, he and Black Jack made ominous eye contact. The other hangings continued.
In the dungeon cell, Jamie tried to break the chains around his feet that were bolted to the stone wall. As he was worked, the jailers brought him a meal, compliments of BJR. It was clear Jamie was ravenous…he ate the bread and then continued trying to dismantle the chains.
In another part of the prison, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) met with Sir Fletcher Gordon (Frazer Hines), the warden of Wentworth Prison. She was posing as a high-born English lady, a friend of the Fraser family, who had come to see Jamie as part of her Christian duty. She wanted to visit and help Jamie reconcile with his family before he was hanged…perhaps even take a letter to his “mother”. Sir Fletcher wouldn’t allow Claire to see Jamie (too dangerous) or allow Jamie to write a letter. But Claire could return his personal effects to his family…his kilt pin/brooch, dagger, the SAWNY carving. She took the box and left.
In this moment, Claire tried to stay strong (***goodness, such fortitude and fearlessness***), but when she got outside and met Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), she broke down. Claire collapsed and vomited, and Murtagh had to carry her away.
At the inn, Claire, Murtagh, and Willie (Finn Den Hertog) sat stoically while Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) and Angus (Stephen Walters) laughed, drank, and gambled. Didn’t they realize Jamie was about to die? When Rupert and Angus finally joined them, they were very cheery…apparently, the men they gambled with (and lost to) were jailers from Wentworth. And in the course of their gambling, Rupert and Angus learned that every evening Sir Fletcher took his meal and 25 minutes of uninterrupted prayer/reflection. This meant the warden would be away from his office for a full hour…and Claire could definitely work with this.
She and Murtagh went back to Wentworth under the guise of collecting a letter from Jamie, which Sir Fletcher supposedly said he could write to his family. Obviously, the warden was indisposed, so Claire promised to wait patiently in the office. When left alone, she and Murtagh searched for keys and a map to locate Jamie. Later on, they had the keys, but no map and time was running out. At that point the jailer returned to check on Claire, but noticed the office was in disarray. Before he could call for help, Murtagh knocked the jailer out. Claire would have to go searching for Jamie and then meet Murtagh in the woods behind Wentworth. Claire descended into the prison, avoiding Red Coats and guards, calling for Jamie when she arrived at different cells. An older man in one of the cells told Claire that Jamie was likely in the dungeons below.
Meanwhile, Black Jack and his manservant (Marley) came into Jamie’s cell while he continued to try and break his chains. Marley lit a fire in the room as BJR talked. He expressed surprise (disingenuous) that Jamie couldn’t keep out of prison long enough for his pardon to come through. Black Jack actually had the petition of complaint in hand…he’d gotten it from the Duke of Sandringham. Clearly, if the Scottish Court of Session got the document, BJR would likely be hanged himself. So he tossed the letter in the fire and watched it burn.
BJR sat down and tried to have a conversation with Jamie. Jamie refused to beg for his life, but Black Jack admitted that he couldn’t save him even if he wanted to. Their time together was only a momentary reprieve. Before Jamie left this life, BJR meant to make him surrender…to acknowledge the connection between them, forged at Fort William, and forever emblazoned on his scarred back. If so, BJR would give Jamie a final gift and allow him to choose another way to die (cleanly, honorably, and of Jamie’s choosing).
Jamie thought about it…and then categorically refused to surrender to BJR or any man. This seemed to be what Black Jack expected. He then asked to see Jamie’s back, and Jamie seemingly agreed. But when BJR got behind him, Jamie fought back, knocking Black Jack to the ground. Marley came to his master’s aid and tried to subdue Jamie with a mallet. They fought, but Jamie got caught in his chains. The two ended up on the ground with Marley on top, strangling Jamie. At that point, BJR intervened by kicking Marley in the face. “Idiot. You could have killed him!” BJR had Marley get Jamie up and bring him to the table. Marley forced Jamie’s wrist to the table and held it as BJR broke Jamie’s hand by repeatedly smashing it with the mallet.
BJR was upset. Why would Jamie force Black Jack to hurt him like that? As Jamie fought passing out from the pain, Black Jack took Jamie’s good hand and forced Jamie to fondle his penis. (Keep in mind, Marley was still in the room watching, but did seem put off by what he was seeing). BJR eventually stopped, saying he wouldn’t give into “coarse passion.” He then pushed Jamie to the ground and left the cell.
Claire was hiding in the shadows and heard Jamie’s screams. When BJR left, she ran to a door that led outside and unlocked it (this was how she’d escape). Claire then went to Jamie’s cell, and let herself in. She comforted Jamie and tried to break the ankle chains so they could run together. Jamie begged her to leave and tried to stay awake.
And as she worked, Black Jack came right back into the room (*EEEEP*). Claire faced BJR head on, called him a beast, a “fucking sadistic piece of shit,” then she attacked him with the mallet. Marley stopped her and held her. Here, Claire exclaimed that she should have slit BJR’s throat at Fort William. His response: “Yes. I’m afraid you will come to regret that small act of humanity.” Claire screamed and fought and BJR seemed to be impressed. He gave her his form of praise by calling Claire a fitting match for Jamie. At that point, two Red Coat soldiers came to the dungeon. They believed Claire was involved in an escape attempt. BJR wanted them to leave him to his interrogation, while Claire begged to be taken to see Sir Fletcher. Black Jack wasn’t about to let that happen; he ordered the soldiers to leave and tell Sir Fletcher that he had the situation in hand.
Marley searched Claire for weapons, molesting her while he did it. BJR then gave Claire to his manservant for his “use”. However, Black Jack had no intention of watching. He’d stay with Jamie. When BJR had turned around, Claire was able to knock Marley down, push Black Jack into the wall, and then tried to strangle him with a chain. Jamie came to and sliced Marley’s throat with a jagged piece of wood before he could get to Claire. Unfortunately, Black Jack overpowered her and knocked Claire down. BJR seized Claire by the throat and was about to beat her with the mallet. Jamie screamed for him to STOP!
BJR: “Make me a better offer.”
Jamie: “Have me. Let her go in safety and you can have me.”
Jamie gave his word not to struggle…and as a test of his sincerity, allowed BJR to hammer a nail into his already broken hand. Claire and Jamie held each other, her weeping, his cringing, as this went on. Afterwards, BJR demanded Jamie’s kiss. But before he could continue, Jamie begged for Black Jack to take Claire away. She struggled, cried, but Jamie was adamant that she leave: “I love you mo nighean donn.”
BJR dragged her away, while Jamie remained at the table, his hand nailed to it.
As they proceeded down the hall, BJR mentioned to Claire that he heard she’d been tried as a witch in Cranesmuir. Claire admitted to being a witch and cursed Jonathan Wolverton Randall with the knowledge of the hour of his death…which she whispered in his ear (we, the audience, didn’t hear it). Then BJR pushed Claire down a hole.
When BJR returned to Jamie, he unchained him. Black Jack gave his word that Claire was away safe, while patting Jamie’s hand (in reassurance?). BJR then took his dagger, sliced the back of Jamie’s shirt and fondled and kissed the scarred flesh on his back (“his masterpiece”). “Shall we begin…”
Jamie sat still (as promised), but one tear fell down his cheek.
When Claire fell down, she landed in a ravine with the dead bodies of the hanged prisoners. Claire actually came face-to-face with MacQuarrie. She crawled out of the ravine, stumbled into the woods, calling for Murtagh. Angus found her and brought Claire back to Sir Marcus MacRannoch’s (Brian McCardie) home. She was adamant that they return to Wentworth that night and break Jamie out…she’d left the door open! But MacRannoch could offer no men; he couldn’t risk his family by bringing on the Red Coats’ ire. Claire offered to pay MacRannoch and gave him the pearls Jamie gave her on their wedding night. MacRannoch recognized the pearls. He’d given them to Ellen MacKenzie, his betrothed…before Ellen ran away with Brian Fraser. (*SIDENOTE* Wasn’t Ellen MacKenzie Fraser a PIMP?! Murtagh, MacRannoch, Brian Fraser. She must have been quite a lady!) MacRannoch wouldn’t take the pearls, but still couldn’t take such a risk. While they chatted, one of MacRannoch’s men arrived with cattle. And with 19 cattle, a plan was born…
If you missed tonight’s episode, you can watch “Wentworth Prison” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.
What did you think of this week’s Outlander? *HUGS YOU TIGHT* Let me know what how you’re feeling and share your thoughts in comments.