If last week was the Outlander version of an episode of The Sopranos, this week’s latest — “The Search” — was most certainly their take on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. As Western as it comes and goes, Claire and Jenny (and Murtagh, too!) were forced to take up arms and go out on their own to find Jamie now that he’s been taken by the Red Coats. And it’s a race against time — and hope against hope — that the duo will find him before Black Jack Randall does. And though the end of the episode proved that they may, in fact, be too late, it was still a heck of a lot of fun — and incredibly insightful, character-wise — out on the road.
First thing’s first: Jenny Fraser is a gift to us all. This Scottish Pocahontas seriously saved Claire’s ass more than once this episode and solidified her place in our hearts as the All-Time Best Sister, Ever. Thelma and Louise over here managed to do the lionshare of getting-it-doneness during their time searching for Jamie together. And oh how exciting the lot of it was. Look at Jenny noticing tracks! Watch her as she puts her hand in horse poop like it’s NBD! Amaze at her ability to torture a man and convince us all that he must be murdered while casually — and very boss-lady like — making sure her lactating boobs don’t cause her a ruckus! (I mean homegirl even uses a cup instead of just going hog-wild, spraying milk like she’s an extra in a Katy Perry video. Hello, class act — thy name is Jenny Fraser.
And it was nice to see the two finally bond in a way that proved a lot of mutual respect has been earned. Which is fantastic — too often the competitive narrative is forced upon strong and capable women, making them enemies instead of allies. But here, Jenny and Claire’s mutual admiration for Jamie was only the the thing that forced them together. Their bond came explicitly out of a deeper, more intimate understanding of one another that ultimately made them a force with which to be reckoned. Which made us sad when Jenny ultimately had to return to Lallybroch, but hopeful that these two sisters-by-marriage will have more time to develop their relationship and hopefully become friends.
After retrieving the note from the Red Coat courier, however, it was Murtagh’s time to take over the search party. After killing the man the women so expertly tortured, this unlikeliest of duos took off across the countryside, hoping to draw Jamie out of hiding by making Claire a known entity for her skills as a healer. When that doesn’t work, however, the two are forced to farce, taking up dancing and singing (quite the dirty ditty — via the tune of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”) in order to ferret him out. But when their plan ended up working too well and an entrepreneurial gypsy steals their act in order to steal their money, all hope seemed decidedly lost.
But Murtagh will not give up — nor will Claire, following her heart and trusting that the love that guides her will bring her the man she’s been after. And after getting some further insight into Murtagh’s relationship to the Fraser’s (he loved Jamie’s mom! He gave her the bracelets! Wait oh my god does this mean Murtagh is secretly Jamie’s father? THE PLOT THICKENS), the duo reaffirmed their dedication to the cause and continued on singing and dancing, convinced that Jamie was theirs to find.
…Only not so fast. As it turned out, the song and dance routine did ferret out someone: but that someone was Dougal, not Jamie. After crossing paths with the gypsies once more — who were the ones to get and relay the “mystery man” message (that later turned out to be the gruff MacKenzie war-monger) — Claire and Murtagh traversed a cave to find the grim proposition that awaited them at the end. Dougal, all but convinced Jamie’s life is not worth saving after discovering he was nabbed by the Red Coats, suggests that Claire marry him in order to remain “secure” in the world after Jamie is killed.
Naturally, this doesn’t sit so well with Claire, and can you blame her? She spent how many months running around in a smelly juggler’s costume singing and dancing? Yeah, so naturally she’s less than keen to accept Dougal’s proposal that is clearly nothing more than a ploy on his part to gain more land (marrying Claire would make him laird of Lallybroch) and therefore more power for his Jacobite cause.
Thankfully she’s got that handy-dandy out that no one else knows about (save Jamie): Craigh na Dun. So even though she does agree to marry Dougal, if the worst does happen, she can simply disappear to the stones and return to her life with Frank. Thankfully, with so many of the MacKenzie men willing (well, just barely) to take up arms in the name of saving Jamie, we’re hopeful the lad will be saved.
STILL! We’re pretty, pretty nervous about just how freakin’ grim things are looking for wee Jamie. Now, we’re not book readers or anything, but something tells us Black Jack Randall is not going to let the ginger prince out of his sight so easily this time. Gulp. To steal a line from Game of Thrones, the night is dark and full of terrors.
What did you think of Saturday’s episode? Let us hear it in the comments.