One thing feels certain: it’s really, really inconvenient to be a woman with a brain in 1740s Scotland. Like, logic and intelligence aren’t exactly a winning combination of traits for a lady to have in a time filled with maybe-magic, lots of superstition, shady mysticism, and general ill-will toward those that don’t follow the status quo and mind their pre-established societal roles. All things associated with Claire Fraser, for better or for worse. And in Saturday night’s episode of Outlander (“By The Pricking of My Thumbs”), all that staunch character and general modernity came back to bite our poor girl in the ass. And just after hers finished healing from that smacking Jamie dished out last week. It’s hard out here for a sassenach, y’all.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Because there was a heck of a lot of plot in this episode, no? Not that we’re complaining in the slightest — the episode overall was more interesting than the midseason premiere. But if you weren’t paying attention and had your first half of the season knowledge handy, it might have taken a minute to acclimate yourself to the story.
Like the price on Jamie’s head, which we revisited after he finished giving head, because that’s just the sort of courteous fella we’re dealing with here, folks. (Always let a girl get off before opening the door up to strangers. Rule number one.) This brings into the fold the Duke of Sandringham, a political nincompoop playing all sides from the middle for his own advantage. He’s buddy-buddy with Black Jack Randall, has the hots for Jamie and clan MacKenzie in general …plus a whole bunch of others (like the McDonald’s), in addition to being an aristocrat and therefore friend of the British king. All of which are not exactly simpaticos, considering the brewing Jacobite Rebellions.
Claire’s not going to take all of this bullshit and political jockeying as a barrier — oh no. She uses her 1940s/Frank-given knowledge to try and strong-arm the Duke into playing her game and get her husband off. Although that’s probably not the actual “get off” the man would prefer in relation to Jamie. Because — goodness gracious — literally everyone wants to stick it to Jamie and yes I mostly mean that sexually. Claire, Black Jack, Laoghaire, the Duke, the audience: everyone is up on this man’s junk. Pretty people problems are real, guys.
That isn’t even the worst of it, though: Leery Laoghaire is up to no good, buying hexes from Geillis (more on her later), trying to assert her place as Jamie’s one and only. I almost feel bad for her teen girl delusion — if she had any idea what went on between their sheets she’d probably develop a bit of a complex. I mean we all SAW that opening scene, right? Of course maybe she did hear it (or them), their voices echoing down from within the castle walls, and it threw her into a blind rage of jealousy. Heck: she was there at the end when Geillis and Claire we’re taken off for the trial.
Because ♪♬ the players gonna play (play, play, play, play) and the machinators machinate (nate, nate, nate, nate), but Claire’s just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. Shake it off! Shake it off! ♪♬ Who cares if Laoghaire’s selling ill wishes to try and hex her marriage? And the Duke of Sandringham wants to stick it to her husband? Claire’s nothing if not resourceful, and her strong will and knowhow will carry her into the future — whenever that may be, ha.
Though the biggest story of the evening goes to Geillis. Oh Geillis! Tricky, tricky, mysteriously shady Geillis. Not only is she possibly-maybe a witch, killing her husband and Dougal’s wife (somehow? WITCHCRAFT!) and evoking the dance we saw in the beginning of season one, she’s also pregnant with Dougal’s baby. Add the wee bairn to the list (since we all know Hamish, Colum’s heir, is also actually Dougal’s. What a fertile Myrtle)!
And that’s where we’re left: on a cliffhanger of irrefutable badness. Without Jamie and Dougal to help their ladies out of this jibbity jam — and Laoghaire’s evilness ensuring the duo would be together — it’s going to take a heck of a lot of tricky maneuvering to get out of this one. Oh and hopefully Geillis will finally spill ALL the beans on what her deal is, because c’mon, there’s no WAY her only secret is that she’s witchy-ish.
Other Things to Note:
– Love this quote from Ned Gowan: “Truth or lies have very little to do with the law.” TOO REAL TOO ACCURATE.
– That CHANGELING stuff. Too sad and creepy and weird.
– Also: even though we saw some magic that looks like it might’ve been real, we know that it’s not real, right?
– R.I.P. Maura MacKenzie, we hardly knew ye. (As in we 100% never knew you even existed at all until tonight.)
– LEAVE IT TO A YOUR MOMMA JOKE to break out a bloody brawl. Man some things never do change, do they?
What were your thoughts about the episode? Let us hear it in the comments!