Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Outlander. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Last week’s episode of “Outlander” left Jamie and Claire in a precarious situation. This week, we pick off right where it ended with Jamie at gun point. The situation is quickly diffused when Jenny walks into the room and explains to the men that Jamie is a visiting cousin, not wanting them to really know who he is, in case they know about the price on his head. The men are a group called The Watch. They protect families from opposing clans and the British at a cost. They aren’t the most honorable of men, and the fact that Jenny and Ian have used The Watch to protect Lallybroch irks Jamie. Things take a turn for the worst when Horrocks, a Red Coat deserter we met in episode eight, arrives to give The Watch some intel on a possible British ambush they could facilitate. Horrocks knows who Jamie really is, and the threat that comes along with it causes for a tense episode.
Although we spend a good amount of time with The Watch and Horrocks, I love that this episode revolves around the Jamie and Ian’s friendship and the new one evolving between Jenny and Claire. We barely got into how strong Jamie and Ian’s friendship is. Jenny explains to Claire how Jamie and Ian were as thick as thieves growing up, even going to the war together. They always had each other’s back, and they clearly still do. We see that when Jamie is facing Horrocks, who blackmails Jamie into giving him money. When Jamie pays up in exchange for Horrocks’ silence, it’s not enough, and the man begins to threaten Jamie’s family. Jamie, hand on pistol, is ready to take out Horrocks, which would be a dangerous move, since he’s armed as well. Then, out of nowhere, we see a sword slice through Horrock’s chest. It’s Ian who made the surprise killing blow. Ian is shaky afterward, not killing a man in quite some time. Together, they go to bury Horrock’s body and we begin to see the deep bond these two friends share.
All the while, Jenny goes into the labor, and Claire realizes that the baby is breached. The hours that Jenny is in labor gives both women a chance to know and understand each other better. Things were tense between them before, but as Claire healthily delivers a baby girl for Jenny, a new strong and intimate bond forms between them. I especially enjoyed the scenes between them throughout the episode. It gives an honest and authentic glimpse at the strength of women and the relationships they form with each other. One thing I appreciated is that Jenny and Claire aren’t pitted against each other. They gave them a chance to skirt around each other, test the waters, and eventually form a true friendship.
A moment between all of the chaos gives Claire a chance to tell Jamie another truth she withheld from him. When Jamie mentions how he imagines his and Claire’s children running around Lallybroch one day, Claire tells him that she doesn’t think she’s able to bear children. She admits him that she and Frank had tried, but they never conceived. Jamie looks sad, but goes to hug Claire who looks even sadder. He tells her it’s probably for the best, given their current situation. When she leaves the room, Jamie does look a little disappointed by the news, but I think we can trust that he would never let Claire see that.
The head of The Watch takes a liking to Jamie and invites him and Ian to go ambush a group of Red Coats who are nearby. (Remember that this is based on Horrocks’ “intel.”) Jamie and Ian take up the offer and they ride off, leaving a worried Jenny and Claire behind. Once they arrive, Jamie immediately realizes it was a trap. We switch back to Lallybroch where we see Claire and Jenny eagerly waiting the return of their husbands. Ian returns bloodied with the help of one of the men from The Watch. They come with the news that the Red Coats have taken Jamie. Now, we guess it’s time for Claire to save the day.
“The Watch” is a stronger episode than last week’s. It digs deeper into the new supporting characters and their relationships with the main couple. We are now headed into the finale of the first season of Outlander with three episodes left. Prepare yourself because there’s going to be a lot to talk about in the coming weeks.
Outlander is rated TV-MA and airs Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz.