Will the Duke of Sandringham agree to help Jamie and Claire? Get a recap of Outlander‘s mid-season premiere and preview the upcoming episode “By the Pricking of My Thumbs” with two video clips and 10+ photo stills. The new show airs this Saturday, April 11 at 9:00pm ET|PT on STARZ.
As expected, “The Reckoning” focussed on Jamie POV for the first time and began with him reflecting on how choices influence the trajectory of one’s life. He and the band of MacKenzies were meeting with Mr. Horrocks (Lochlainn O Mearáinn) who revealed that it was Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) who shot the sergeant that Jamie was accused of killing. Soon after the revelation, Willie (Finn Den Hertog) arrived to tell them that Claire (Caitriona Balfe) was taken by the Red Coats. Jamie and a contingent of the other Scots took off straight to Fort William to rescue her. After taking out and threatening some of the soldiers on patrol, Jamie found out that Claire was being held in the tower. We arrived at the point where we left off six months ago…with BJR about to assault Claire and Jamie perched in a window thanking him to remove his hands from his wife.
This confrontation between Jamie, Claire, and BJR went on for longer than I initially anticipated. Claire cursed BJR and eventually begged Jamie to leave her. Black Jack taunted Jamie and Claire…threatening to rape her in front of him and even inviting Jamie to join them. Jamie looked on with anger and dread in his eyes. Alas, Black Jack made a miscalculation when he tried to shoot Jamie only to find that the pistol wasn’t loaded. Jamie was able disarm BJR, knock him unconscious, and escape Fort William with Claire by taking a leap from the tower into the watery depths below. It was so interesting to hear Jamie muse about how it never occurred to him to kill Black Jack…almost as if he knew what a tragic, unfortunate mistake he made by leaving him alive…
Now that “Operation Save Claire” was a success and she was safe, Claire had some explaining to do. Jamie couldn’t believe that Claire put herself in danger by disobeying his directions to stay put. She needed to apologize! But Claire wasn’t having it…as far as she was concerned, this situation wasn’t her fault. Furthermore, she could do whatever she damn well pleased. She was NOT his property. Goodness, Sam and Cait were PHENOMENAL in this scene. Their emotions were palpable…the fear, rage, anxiety, and ultimately forgiveness. Then to have Jamie admit that he would forgive Claire anything because he was falling in love with her…*FEELS*
And yet, even though Jamie had forgiven Claire, it was still his responsibility to discipline her. Claire begged, bargained, kicked, screamed, scratched, and cursed, but that wasn’t enough to keep Jamie from spanking her with his belt. Yet again, Sam and Cait knocked this scene out of the ballpark…it was portrayed even more vividly than I imagined while reading.
As the group returned to Castle Leoch, news of Jamie and Claire’s marriage was celebrated by most, but with two notable exceptions. Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) was heart-broken. She loved Jamie, confided in Claire about it, and was waiting for him. Laoghaire couldn’t understand what had changed and she appealed to Jamie to reconsider.
Oddly enough Colum (Gary Lewis) wasn’t happy to hear that Jamie had married some Sassenach without his permission and then raided Fort William to save her. But, perhaps, Colum was more upset about Dougal (Graham McTavish) collecting money for the Jacobites, also without his permission. Here, we really saw the confrontation between the MacKenzie brothers—Colum wouldn’t be forced into supporting the Jacobite cause; and for Dougal, after everything he’d done for his brother (including assuring his bloodline), this gold for the Stuarts was a small thing to ask in return. (*sidenote* I think we all knew that Hamish wasn’t Colum’s biological son, but to hear Dougal say it out loud was jarring!)
The Colum/Dougal conflict was already driving a wedge among the clansmen…whose side would Jamie take? Jamie’s actions here really demonstrated the extent of his charisma and shrewdness. He convinced Colum to give the gold to Dougal, especially since there wasn’t an immediate need for the clan to support the Jacobites. Dougal could quietly rebel and Colum could bide his time and later decide whether to side with the Stuarts.
Jamie was able to apply this same charisma to dealing with his wife, who was still upset with him for the spanking. Watching him pledge fealty to Claire… *SWOON* Of course the make-up sexy times that followed were HOT HOT HOT. I thought Claire threatening Jamie with his dagger mid-sex was a tiny bit dark, but their light-hearted banter returned afterwards. I will forever cackle like a crazy person when I think of Jamie asking her to define “fucking” and “sadist”.
Unfortunately, the laughs didn’t last long—Claire discovered an ill-wish under their bed. Someone wished her death and Jamie knew who: Laoghaire.
So, I’m no fan of Laoghaire’s, but I’m not very pleased with the way Jamie handles the situation either. The way he articulates it, Jamie is just with Claire out of obligation…so, Laoghaire believes that if she gets Claire out of the way, the “problem” will be solved. And we’ve only seen the beginning of the lengths to which Laoghaire is willing to go…
Jamie hopes the newly arrived Duke of Sandringham will help lift the price from his head, while Claire attempts to save an abandoned child. (via STARZ)
Welps, those of us who have read the book have a pretty firm idea of the events the upcoming show will be setting up. Take a look at these two clips from episode 10.
In the first (“Turn Against One’s Friend”), Claire and Jamie have gone to the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) with information about Black Jack Randall’s nefarious deeds. Claire mentions that she knows the Duke and BJR are close, yet the Duke is quick to discount the existence of any friendship. And in the second clip (“Changling”), Claire and Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) are in the forest and see that a child has been left on the hill. Claire is determined to save the baby, but Geillis tries to warn her about interfering, no matter what she might think of the fairy superstitions:
The Duke of Sandringham is just as showy and flamboyant as I perceived from the books. And in terms of the second video…how many times has Jamie warned Claire that she mustn’t meddle with the way Highlanders do things, even if she disagrees??? *sigh*
What do you think of the sneak peeks?
Check out these 12 photo stills from “By the Pricking of My Thumbs” and make sure to tune into STARZ at 9:00pm ET|PT for the new Outlander. I’ll be live tweeting, so come join me on twitter as we watch!