Catch up on Outlander: “The Way Out” — Aug. 23, 2014
Nurse Claire Randall had a rough week. She accidentally time traveled from the 20th century to 1743 without her husband, Frank and was immediately nearly raped by Frank’s doppelgänger ancestor, the sadistic redcoat Black Jack Randall. Claire was rescued/kidnaped by Scottish rebels and is now stuck at Castle Leoch. The castle’s sickly laird, Colum MacKenzie, compelled her to stay on as a healer. On the upside, she gets to work from home in the locked dungeon and has a chance to tend chiseled, accident-prone dreamboat Jamie Fraser, a rebel soldier. They share so much in common, an appreciation for music, hatred of Black Jack and a knack for coming up with aliases to save their bacon.
Outlander wants you to know that Claire’s ahead of her time, so we get a shot of her husband waving goodbye as she goes to serve at the front as a nurse. It’s yet another one of those classic locomotive scenes, but with a gender twist. Frank avoids running alongside waving a hanky. Poor Frank, are there any Frank and Claire shippers? Do they have an amalgamated name yet? Until someone fills me in, I’m going with “Crank.”
Back in the 1700s, Claire has a fake-out fantasy sequence in which she confides her Tardis tale to head housekeeper Mrs. Fitzgibbons. Even in Claire’s daydream, she’s denounced as a witch, so she reconsiders oversharing. That whole demon thing comes up again when a chambermaid’s child dies. This show insists on aiming Chekov’s gun at your head so we know all this demon talk is going to be a theme.
Claire’s mission is to gain trust with Colum and his brother Dougal. Good luck with that last part. Having diagnosed Colum’s degenerative disease, she uses herbal remedies to ease the pain. A spine-massage from Claire does not suck for the bare-bottomed laird. The massage scene results in a happy ending, the laird invites her to enjoy music at the hall that night. Dougal’s form of praise is to refer to Claire as a slightly less feral cat than the one he found on the road. At least, he’s not threatened to slit her throat again, so baby steps.
We learn two things at the recital, Claire talks during performances and Jaime is oblivious to flirtatious lasses when Claire is next to him. The lovestruck lassie is Laoghaire MacKenze, the allegedly “loose” girl whom Jamie saved from a humiliating public beating by being Katniss Everdeen. Despite Laoghaire’s attempts to capture his attention, Jamie basically says, “Here hold my glass, I gotta go use my wounded shoulder as an excuse to unresolved sexual tension all over the place with Claire.” Jamie “MacTavish” escorts a tipsy “Mistress Beauchamp” to her romantic candlelit dungeon/office so he can exhibit his talent for delivering smoldering glances while simultaneously looking shy. So many mixed messages with this one.The next day Claire sees Laoghaire kiss Jamie. At dinner, Claire snarks about how swollen his lips are and asks if he’s been kicked by a filly. He responds with some footsie under the table. Oh, these two. Claire goes off to cry alone because she
wants him so bad misses intimacy with Frank.
Geillis Duncan, Claire’s new friend, and possible witch, tells her that an exorcism is being performed on Mrs. Fitz’s young nephew. Claire scoffs, but Geillis who purrs all her lines in a way that suggests subtext, asks if Claire doesn’t believe in the supernatural. That Geillis knows something about Claire’s predicament, I’m certain of it. In any case, Claire gets to visit her friend in the village since she’s now Claire’s official herb dealer. In addition to exorcism, the year 1743 tortures hungry boys who steal a loaf of bread. Beautiful young Geillis is wedded to the public prosecutor Arthur. He looks like an old toad and is prone to flatulence. Take a moment to swoon, ladies. Geillis uses her seductive charm to convince Arthur to reduce the boy’s horrific punishment to something marginally less horrific. All the child has to do now is to have his ear nailed to a pillory until he rips himself away. This passes as village entertainment. The only way for Claire to help is by distracting the crowd with a dramatic fainting spell while Jamie rips off the Band-Aid by quickly pulling the boy from the nail. See? That wasn’t so bad. Claire’s next order of business is to piss off cruel, superstitious and misogynistic Father Bain by interrupting the exorcism of Mrs. Fitz’s ill nephew with actual medical care. Mrs. Fitz and her sister are grateful. Bain goes home to grumble about witches and cry over his copy of The Crucible.
Jamie brings Claire to another night of music where the bard sings of a folktale about a woman who touched some stones which led her to travel in time, when she touched the stones again, she went back to her own time. Claire finds this song inspirational. The 18th century thinks of ways to keep her around because the year 1743 is a hardcore shipper.
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