Here’s the beer. I’m not a huge fan of I&G’s attempts to “innovate” – why a Scottish brewery would resort to rum barrels for aging when they have casks of scotch strewn about the island is beyond me. I guess it’s like working at an ice cream shop – there’s just so much of it about that you quickly become sick of it and try to escape it anyway possible (perhaps suicide by fried Mars bar?).
Anyways, the episode. Some stuff happened this time, but it was all character development and flipping the plot caber along. Starz’s special effects money must have all been blown on the Laird Wacky Ankles’s magic socks, so there was nary a shoulder wound to be seen.
We start with a backstory flashback that shows that Claire has always had problems with time. Unaware that there is a war on or that other people have places they need to be, she and Boring Brutus hang out on a train track having a discussion that they could have had on the way over but postponed in order to do it on a steam-shrouded train track and make everybody late. Boring is all like “I can pull some strings for you, please respect my masculinity” and Claire’s like “NOPE.”
Flashforward-I-mean-back to Olden Tymes and Claire is finally being tortured like the hostile spy she is! Cruel ice cold waterboarding! “I’m going to skin you and turn your perfect skin into a coat,” Padmore croons (paraphrased). No wait, that’s just Claire getting a bath. As a prisoner, she is then tortured with Warm Fur Robes and More Fancy Clothes and perhaps even The Comfy Chair by Mrs. Padmore. The treatment proves too much for Clare and she cracks, confessing that she is indeed a spy from the future come back in time to steal Scotland’s RenFest secrets. Padmore flips out, summons the authorities, and Claire is executed by match.
Oh, wait, no, it was all a dream.
This pretty frustrating. Jen points to stuff like this as showing that Claire is actually thinking about the implications of being a time traveler, but if that’s the case, why does she go on demonstrating her ‘advanced’ medical knowledge? I mean, she already sticks out because of her height (due to better diet), clear skin (no childhood diseases), and literacy, why add to it if you’re not going to embrace it? There’s some sort of clan get together and Claire immediately starts showing off her fancy book learning to the assembled yokels. “If I save them all, they will like me and I can escape!”
No, if you let them all die they will realize you are a shit healer and will let you go (or will all be dead so you can just walk out).
Anyways, afterwards, Claire wanders down to the kitchen and starts to steal food from starving people. Padmore padmores about and says something about Evil Kirk, so I guess she’s a trekker too. No, turns out I just heard wrong and it’s a Black Kirk (Church) that people die after visiting because Satan. Claire’s like “Bah, the Devil? Curses? There has to be a scientific explanation for this that I, a time traveler who came back in time due to magic, can figure out!”
Before she can get her proton pack on, though, Claire is called up to Laird Wacky Ankles private chambers for a massage. Not for her, mind you, but for the Laird. Claire voice overs something about massaging a different part of his body and I’m all like STARZ BE BRINGING IT but instead she just oils him up and rubs his back. The show then wastes an opportunity to work in a Greased Scotsman Simpsons reference, but at least we don’t need to see Wacky Ankles’ presumably equally Wacky Wang. In the afterglow, he invites Claire to see the Bard.
Again, I brace myself for wang…
…but the only wang that shows up is Jamie. ZOOM! He’s getting all chatty with Leghair who, I admit, I would get chatty with as well. And since he took a beating for her, I’m pretty sure she’s receptive to his advances. Claire puts a stop to that! Poor Leghair. All she wants is the love of a decent man and skin free of bruises, but nooOOoo, here’s a time traveler to ruin all that! But for Claire, she and Jamie would be together and she’d die in childbirth late next spring.
We have another scene of bandage dressing, so I guess that’s something to add to the Official Outlander Drinking Game.
Next day, Claire gets ready to do some ghostbusting or exorcisms or something with SCIENCE. There’s a kid who took some candy from Evil Kirk and so he’s dying. A totally badass priest shows up and begins casting and castigating and Claire the magical time traveler is all “No, but science!” but the priest, who Jen has informed me is Lord Percy from my beloved Blackadder so even more awesome, is all “Begone! Don’t you know I am Father Bane?! I mean, seriously, that’s a name reserved for Batman villains and evil financial companies! I am clearly a bad guy who will mess you up so you need to back off!”
Claire backs off, not wanting to be burned as a witch. So of course she goes to hang out with Crazy Eyes, whom everyone calls a witch. Smart move, Claire! No such thing as guilt by association here in Ye Olde Tymes! Just fair minded justice! Why, just look at the boy arrested for stealing! He’ll lose a hand, no wait, will just get his ear nailed to a post because Crazy Eyes bribed a farting judge with peppermint.
This is the story you waited your entire life to see on screen, Jen. A judge farting and begging for after dinner mints. You did it. You finally made it. Gratz.
Jamie shows up because somebody remembers that he’s supposed to be in the episode more and tries to whisk Claire away from Crazy Eyes who is all like “So tell me your entire backstory and all your secrets” in a SUPER SUBTLE MANNER. They don’t make it far because that kid is nailed to a post and Claire has to subvert the cause of justice by getting Jamie to free him. Jamie is all like “This is why they call me Prybar Fraser! I can totally rip this slick, blood soaked nail out of this post with my bare hands!”
And so he does.
Seeing that she has a willing accomplice, Claire then unfurls her Honey-Do List of Justice Chores. First stop, the Black Kirk! In an effort to strike back at Father Bane, Claire copies another of Blackadder’s dimwitted sidekicks and pretends to be Dr. House. The magical time travel discovers that of course it wasn’t magic making that kid sick, he was just a dummy that ate poison! Stupid dummy.
So she Houses up a cure and the pair run off to save the kid, who I guess is still yet another relative of Mrs. Padmore’s.
Nobility Tip: When hiring a cook for your castle, consider staff who lack large, often-imperiled families. As family members are saved from their fates, the staff member will develop a sense of obligation to their saviors that could undermine your authority.
So Padmore chases off Father Bane who tried to stop Claire for using medicine drug on stupid patient. There’s no way a guy named Bane would hold a grudge, so I bet that’s the last we see of that guy!
More stuff happened, but I couldn’t hear it over Jen’s squealing and Claire’s long drawn out voice overs and oh my I guess that rum aged stuff hit harder than I thought.
Save me, Claire.