There are times when you’re watching Outlander, you find yourself saying, “This can’t get any worse!” and then it does.
When we last left Claire and Jamie, it had been a painfully slow episode where nothing really happened except Claire had to continue to follow her rigid moral compass and Jamie let slip a little secret for just us to hear: he has a second wife. Which leads us to the painfully uncomfortable episode, The First Wife.
If anyone sits and watches Outlander with me, they will quickly learn that I cannot stand Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser Malcom whatever her name is now. I understand that she’s supposed to be this forward thinking 20th Century woman who has a strong head on her shoulders, is able to think for herself, and manages to save the day countless times. It’s a breath of fresh air from so many classic period pieces where the heroine seems to be more the damsel in distress than anything else. But for some reason, Claire is just infuriating. She never wants to listen to what people have to say–especially when it’s her Scottish husband from the 1760s who is trying to keep her safe in 1766 Scotland. Her bullheadedness gets her (and others in the story) into trouble so many times, I’ve seriously lost count.
That being said, this episode was the first time in awhile that I didn’t find myself hating Claire… if anything I was just as traumatized as she was.
Upon returning to Lallybroch, Claire sees that life has gone on without her… in more ways than one. The Murrays are distant with her. Only one of her nieces or nephews actually refers to her as “Auntie.” The grandchildren have no idea who she is. Oh, and apparently Jamie has another wife now and that new wife isLaoghaire.
Yes.Laoghaire. The brat of a girl who was so obsessed with Jamie in season one, she not only threw herself at him (half naked) after he had married Claire, placed an ill wish under Claire’s bed, and even accused Claire of being a witch which resulted in an actual trial andGeillis Duncan being burned at the stake. This girl is A). obsessed B). unhinged C). dangerous or D). all of the above. And yet, Jamie decided to marry her–this girl that has done nothing but try to destroy Claire and her relationship with Jamie. Understandably, Claire is not only taken aback but she is genuinely upset by this new revelation. And–even though I usually hate Claire for her over reactions and constant judgments passed on Jamie–I can understand why Claire is as upset about this as she is. Jamie had managed to tell her the truth about his bastard son, Willie, but not this? This is definitely some dirty laundry that needed to be aired asap. He claims that it’s because he’s a coward and didn’t want to lose her again if he did tell her the truth. But now, not only have they reconnected both physically but also emotionally. Claire knew that coming back was a risk–of course Jamie would have a new life and why couldn’t he remarry? But LAOGHAIRE?!?!?!? Talk about the ultimate betrayal and something it doesn’t look like Claire will be getting over any time soon.
Once again, the only one walking around with any sense of reason in this episode was Jenny, Jamie’s sister and the lady of Lallybroch. She’s always been a tough nut to crack. She disliked Claire when she first arrived but over time, she opened up and grew to love Claire… only to have her sister-in-law disappear after the Battle of Culloden for 20 years. No word. No letters. Nothing at all for 20 years until she just suddenly reappears in their lives after they had finally learned to heal and move on. You can tell that Jenny has closed herself off to Claire again. And who could blame her? She doesn’t open up to many and the one person she chose to trust abandoned her family in their greatest hour of need. Of course, she doesn’t know about the 200 years of time travel, but it still looks like Claire is going to have to do a heck of a lot to get back into Jenny’s good graces. Like… I don’t know… rescue her son from being kidnapped by the British navy?
The episode ends with Claire and Jamie on a cliff watching young Ian Murray swim across to Silkie Island to get the lost gold we heard all about in the first few episodes. They can do nothing but watch as he is taken prisoner, boards a ship, and disappears across the sea.
It looks like Outlander is becoming Pirates of the Caribbean in next week’s episode,The Doldrums.Check out the preview, here:
This week’s episode made up for last week’s feeling as if nothing happened. We traveled to Lallybroch, got a slew of new characters, and had theLaoghaire bomb dropped on us. Claire was relate-able for the first time in a long time and we found ourselves squirming and cringing along with her. It was a stressful, uncomfortable episode (in a good way?) which ended on a fun cliffhanger that gets our two love birds out of the nightmare that is Scotland and out onto the high seas.
+Claire’s likability returning.
+Laura Donnelly as Jenny (as always).
+The shocking return ofLaoghaire.
-The shocking return ofLaoghaire.
-Squirming uncomfortably knowing that everyone knows Jamie is married toLaoghaire while Claire is oblivious.
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Amanda Woomer-Limpert is one of the Geekiverses writersand anOutlanderfanatic. Now that Claire and Jamie are together, shes counting down to their reunion with Murtagh.
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