Recap: I was pleasantly surprised that the second episode picked up right at the end of the first, Claire’s arrival at Castle Leoch.
After two days and nights on the back of a horse and in the company of the rough man, our Claire is now pretty sure she’s going to need someone’s help if she’s to get back to those stones, and so she needs to ‘bide’ her time, keep a low profile [YEAH!] and draft someone to aid her …maybe.
The audience is taken to the bosom of the Castle Leoch as much as Rupert and Murtagh are to Mrs. Fitz’s. We get a glimpse of many characters that will in some way touch our heroine, among those are the Laird Colum MacKenzie and his wife Leticia; Old Alec, the stablemaster; Geillis Duncan, herbalist that befriends Claire; little Hamish, the heir of Colum MacKenzie. And of course, the woman who runs the show, from top to bottom, Mistress Fitzgibbons, Mrs. Fitz as she likes to be called.
From that first moment that Mrs. Fitz spots Claire, we know this woman is warm,
affectionate and don’t take ‘shite’ from no one. A formidable woman who our heroine is better off to heed, yet our Claire is one strong female as well and stands her proud self erect while the older dame casts a suspicious look at her, having Jamie introduce them and explaining how they ‘acquired’ her.
After insisting to Mrs. Fitz that Jamie needs tending and that she’s capable of doing it, all three head into the castle, at which point Claire is reminded of her visit to its ruins with her Frank.
Mrs. Fitz finds some decent lodgings for Claire and leaves her and Jamie alone by the fireplace so she can tend him properly. Both we and Claire get to see the deep, ugly scars spanning from one end of his back to the other.
He tells her they are from a few floggings administered to him by the Redcoats. As she asks him the crimes he committed, he recounts a few and tells her of the first flogging done by Captain Jack Randall.
His father was at a funeral, he in the fields, and Redcoats came that day to ‘collect their levy’. He heard screams coming from the house, ran to see what was happening and found his sister Jenny fighting off the Redcoats. He doesn’t hesitate to help her, telling her to run into the house, and taking on the two guys, only to be stopped by the casual, low-voiced Captain Randall, holding a gun to his sister’s head.
He surrenders to them and asks the Captain to let his sister be. Randall is intrigued by the fact that this is his sister and compliments her on her beauty then very calmly wipes her dirty face with his saliva and suggests that he’d like to “take a closer look”, ripping her bodice open, exposing her naked breasts. The man shows he’s one son of a bitch even more by having his men hold Jamie and lifting his head to look at her!
He then proceeds to whip him until he’s all sweaty and thirsty from all that ‘hard work’ of whipping a tied man. He asks Jenny if he should continue or is she ready to offer him “better entertainment”, at which point Jamie orders her not to do it even if she has to watch them cut his throat. She finches as Captain Randall reaches for his knife, approaches Jamie and …knocks him out. He then tries to excuse his sisters compliance with the evil Captain by telling Claire why she chose to join him in the house, and how he ended up in the back of the cart with the chickens, who were not the best of company on the way to Fort William.
As Jamie comments on her kindness, gentle touch and that her husband’s a lucky man, her thoughts flashback to Frank and what he might think of her disappearance, which brings her to tears. Jamie asks her to tell him what’s distressing her and she tells him, prompting him to offer her some comfort her by holding her. Both are a bit surprised by their connection; his compassion and her confusion add to the awkward moment of quick separation and a hasty exit, but not before he tells her not to be ‘scairt’ of him or anyone else in the Castle, as long as he’s with her, yet when she asks him what happens when he’s not around, he tells her to remember that she’s English in a place where that’s not so popular.
The next morning Claire is woken from a deep sleep by Mrs. Fitz, who brings her some porridge and tries to get her ready to be presented to the Laird of Castle Leoch. It was so poignant watching this scene where she sheds all her 20th off for the 18th Century. A look on Mrs. Fitz’s face was priceless as she is confronted with Claire’s bra which she explains as a ‘French’ fashion.
Murtagh escorts Claire to a meeting with Colum, and she is now sure of the century but not the year, so she does some quick look-about Colum’s quarters, trying to find anything that would help her find out the year she apparently ‘fell into’. A letter dated 1743 on his desk helps her greatly when it comes to Colum’s gentle interrogation. As they sit and talk, she tells him who she is [using the knowledge Frank once imparted about interrogations], so she sticks as much as she can to the truth, telling him she’s a widow from Oxfordshire, on her way to see distant relatives in France.
She was robbed by brigands, and then attacked by Captain Randall. Colum isn’t buying her story and tries to point some facts about the Captain, but our Claire stands her ground and veers the conversation to the arranging her transport to Inverness as soon as possible, which it seems is only five days away. In the meantime, he offers her his hospitality and she accepts it, leaving him and heading out for some fresh air and trying to hold onto her sanity, I believe. She spots Dougal jovially sword playing with some boys and especially the one red-headed boy, picking him up and twirling him around. She is comforted to believe that ‘this alien world’ may not be so much alien after all.
“It’s true that Captain Randall has a certain reputation. But he is an officer. A gentleman. And you’re saying that a man bearing the king’s commission decided to rape a stray lady traveler that he came upon int he woods for no good reason?” – Laird Colum MacKenzie
“Is there ever a good reason for rape, Master MacKenzie?” – Claire
That night she joins the people of the castle for their evening meal in the hall and is greeted with stares from many, and offered a prominent seat between the brothers, Colum and Dougal. Colum’s wife Letitia, seated to his right, is introduced to her and they converse a bit and while Colum is always ready with her wine refill, she tries to find out where might Mr. Mactavish be.
Dougal tells them all that he has him at the stables, taking care of the horses and outside the castle walls. Colum questions that decision for only a minute but complies with Dougal’s decision, and at the same time continues the questioning of Claire.
She welcomes the distraction of the young red-headed boy she saw earlier in the day with Dougal and introduces herself, at which point Leticia asks the boy to give her his name, Hamish he says, and Claire assumes he’s Dougal’s son, and tells him she saw him play with his father, reminding Dougal of the incident. Well, you could hear a feather drop in that hall after that little exchange! The boy is a bit confused and tells her he’s the son and heir of Colum Mackenzie …and as our heroine is just about to pass out from all that wine, she thinks retreat is the best course of action. The permission is granted by the great Laird and off she goes on her wobbly feet, but still holding her head high.
The following day, Claire is pointed by Mrs. Fitz into Jamie’s direction, by the stables and she’s off to feed and re-bandage the young man. We see that she has acquired a ‘shadow’ [Rupert is the 'eyes' of the 'head' of Dougal and is now watching her closely].
She smiles as she spots Jamie training a horse and she tells him why she’s there, so they hide from the rain under the roof of the open stable to have a bite of food. Jamie decides to trust her and let’s her know why his uncles from his mother’s side, Colum and Dougal, have him hid in the stables [a good price on his head for murder that he didn't commit but was responsible for]. He also tells her his surname is not Mactavish, but never divulges what is.
As they finish the meal, she heads back but stops to talk to Dougal’s ‘eyes’ and Rupert admits to watching her at his orders, telling her she better be happy Angus isn’t following her! Her decision to face Dougal might have been smart at the time, but the man has no gumption telling her that he believes her to be English spy and threatens to have her as long as she’s with them. Well, what’s a woman to do?! She tells him to have fun next four days as she’ll be leaving on a Saturday with the tinker! Take that and smoke it, Dougal! The man is shocked at that information and she can tell, so she drives that point right in. It looks like he doesn’t ‘ken’ his brothers mind!
To kill the time, Mrs. Fitz has her working in her gardens, gathering herbs and vegetables for the kitchen and that’s where she meets Geillis Duncan, a very interesting village woman that’s into herbs as much as Claire. They hit it off and are later seen in the hall of the castle as the Laird dispenses his justice among his people, with Dougal standing to his right.
One of those that are seeking his counsel and punishment, is a father for his wayward daughter. In steps Jamie volunteering to take the punishment for her, choosing fists and not the straps and Rupert is the one doling out the punishment. Before Rupert starts beating the crap out of Jamie, Murtagh warns him that his Uncle Dougal is up to something and to be careful. Well, needles to say Rupert gets on with the business of punishment, but is always looking at Dougal for the sign’s to stop, which doesn’t come until the blood is drawn from Jamies eye. Poor Claire is ready to rush in and help the poor lad but Geillis stops her from interfering and takes her to him as he leaves the hall.
While tending to his wounds yet again, she is curious about why he did it, did he know her? Jamie tells her that he’s seen her around but never talked to her and the reason for doing it is simple. It would be harder for the girl to get over the shame of being punishment in front of everyone, while he’s only bruised a bit.
Mrs. Fitz steps in the kitchen [the girl Laoghaire’s (Leree) grandmother], bringing Jamie some concoction for pain. As Claire finishes tending him, she tells him to he’ll be taking off his bandages by himself as she’ll be leaving tomorrow with a tinker. Even though this comes as a surprise to Jamie he wishes her a safe journeys and that’s when Claire spots Laoghaire hovering by the kitchen door obviously wanting to speak to him alone, she bids him goodbye and retreats to her rooms.
Saturday arrives and we see Mrs. Fitz and Claire running down the steps to meet the
tinker and as soon as they bid their farewells, BOOM! Dougal stops by the cart and tells her that Colum would like to talk to her and points her back to the castle. She soon realizes where he’s taking her and is very apprehensive about it, feeling that something is up but not knowing what; she is left with no choice but to follow Dougal into the room only two days ago her husband made love to her in.
Meeting Colum in that room did nothing but bring memories of her and Frank, and she really tries very hard to hold her own and demand to be let go after learning that Colum changed his mind and decided to keep her as long as it takes for him to make sure her secrets are not going to hurt his family and his clan. She is devastated as she can’t help but, once left alone in the dark apothecary, break into sobs.
Bookworms, am I the only one that’s totally immersed into the Outlander World? Are you watching it? What do you think about it so far?
The above photo’s are my favorite moments [among many]. Tell me which one was yours?
CREDITS: Written for television by: Ronald B. Moore
Directed by: John Dahl
Starring: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Duncan Lacroix, Graham McTavish, Gary Lewis, Lotte Verbeek, Nell Hudson, Annette Badland