Outlander: “The Devil’s Mark” — April 18, 2015

Claire and Jamie kissCuriosity about paganism caused 20th-century nurse Claire Randall to tumble through a portal, which landed her in 18th-century Scotland without her husband Frank.The year 1743 doesn’t have much going for it, but there is the dreamy Jamie Fraser. His likes include rebelling against the British, handsoming all over the place, saving Claire from dire predicaments and making ovaries explode. Claire’s hobbies include mind-blowing sex with Jamie and not understanding how 200 years ago works. She has one friend, suspected witch, Geillis Duncan, and one enemy, the charmless Laoghaire MacKenzie who understandably wants Jamie for herself. When Jamie left on a mission, Laoghaire set Claire up to get charged with witchcraft.

Let’s go!

Laoghaire’s plans to vanquish Claire are going quite well. Thanks to her knack for always being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Claire was on the scene when Geillis was dragged from her home on charges of witchcraft and also got accused of being a sorceress. There are no pleasant country club jails, so the women get tossed in a dank hole and are not feeling chummy. It goes like this.

Geillis: This is probably your fault, snitch.

Claire: I think maybe you shouldn’t have been dancing naked in the moonlight, that sort of thing leads to chatter.

Geillis: I am not a witch, the only thing I’m guilty of is delivering all my lines with a little smirk and subtext so the audience always knows I’m up to something naughty and also the only other woman on this show who they’d want to hang out with.

Claire: You did murder your repugnant and flatulent husband so you could be with Dougal MacKenzie, though.

Geillis: Well, what would you do if you were having Dougal’s lovechild? He’s going to come to the rescue.

Claire: Nope, Colum MacKenzie, the wimpy laird, sent his brother Dougal to bury the wife that you probably killed and commanded him to stay away from Castle Leoch and you — or else. Obviously, this makes no sense because Dougal is an alpha male who could easily defeat Colum, but I guess this is how 1743 works. Jamie was sent to accompany him out of town so he doesn’t know I’m in trouble, thanks for that, Ginger.

Geillis: We’re about to get burned at the stake then, I hope you’re cool with that.

The trial commences and a bunch of grimy extras demand that the women burn at the stake. Fortunately, word gets out to 1-800-Lawyers, so Ned Gowan shows up to defend the ladies. The year 1743 hates lawyers, some things never change.

One by one the extras come forward to make up stories about the women and get their SAG cards. The star witness is Laoghaire (or as the fandom calls her, Leg Hair) who explains how Claire used beauty, sophistication, intelligence and talent to steal Jamie, who would certainly prefer to be with a dull, unappealing, clingy pest. Sounds like an open-and-shut case.

Remember Father Bain who thinks a high fever is a sign of the devil? He swoops in to save the day by explaining that Claire’s medical expertise cured a child, obviously his superstitious beliefs about exorcism were wrong, so backsies! Aww, he isn’t so bad after all. Before leaving, Father Bain turns and smirks at Claire. Wait, what? This is some sort of 18th-century passive-aggressive thing which makes Claire look even more guilty and Father Bain is a douche. Geillis keeps quiet, but Claire doesn’t play like that so she keeps shouting about her innocence in an assertive manner, which only a sorceress would do, amirite?

While they’re taking a break from being crucified, Claire learns something about her friend: Geillis and Duncan got together because of politics, Geillis is also a Jacobite.

Ned tells the women that Geillis isn’t going to wriggle out of this, but Claire can get off by snitching. Claire doesn’t do that kind of thing. You know what Ned doesn’t do? Stand around idly, he pulls a gun on the crowd which is so ballsy. The extras subdue him. It looks like he’s still alive, I can’t tell. I hope he’s okay. The mob grabs Claire and literally rip her bodice to whip her. Jamie rushes in and threatens all the extras. Geillis has her most awesome moment, it goes like this.

Geillis: Hey everybody, I’m a witch, but Claire’s innocent. Take a look at my smallpox vaccination scar, it’s a mark of the devil. Psst, Claire, I’m from 1968.

Gutsy Geillis rips open her dress to expose her belly and claims that the child belongs to Satan. The naked Geillis bodysurfs out while the authorities demand that she be covered up. So, burning women is okay, but boobies are a cause for alarm? Okay, 1743. They do yell something about her being pregnant, so I hope she gets her a pass, I love Geillis.

There’s nothing Claire and Jamie can do for Geillis so they slip away. When they’re safe, Jamie tends to Claire’s back, which is a change of pace since he’s the one who is always getting injured in order to take off his shirt. He asks his wife for the truth and wants to know if she’s a witch. Claire confesses that she’s from the future and has a husband back in 1945. As we all know, Jamie is nearly perfect so he believes her and even apologizes again for that unfortunate spanking incident.

They’re not returning to Castle Leoch, Jamie says he’s taking Claire to his home, Lallybroch, where he will assume his rightful role as laird. But first, they must sit by a fire and do what they do best. There’s no thrusting or straddling or Latin this time, Jamie displays a new skill. He wants to see Claire’s face, there’s not a ladylike way to talk about it except to say that it involves hands and continues to thwart men everywhere by raising expectations. Afterward, he leads his wife to Cragh na Dun, the ancient stones she touched before she fell through time. Jamie says that he knows that’s what Claire has wanted and his era is too violent and dangerous to be safe for her. Oh God, please stop being so perfect Jamie, women are running out of ovaries to explode and now Googling unnecessary body parts. (For the record, we don’t need wisdom teeth, tonsils, sinuses and some other things.)

Jamie walks away and tells Claire that he’ll camp out until she leaves. Claire rushes up to the stones and everything goes black. Claire is not crazy, she sees the smoke and recognizes that modern conveniences are for the weak. Sorry Frank, you just can’t compete and Claire couldn’t give a damn about her ovaries.

Please note that comments don’t appear immediately. If you’ve read the books, please don’t share any spoilers for those of us who have only watched the TV show. Thanks!!!

Elaine G. Flores, Chief Editor
Elaine is the chief editor of TV Recappers' Delight. She's an experienced entertainment reporter, reviewer, editor, blogger, columnist and Bon Vivant.

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