Outlander: The Watch

Outlander 2014Previously on Outlander: Jamie took Claire back to Lallybroch, where he immediately started acting like a complete asshole to his ball-busting sister, Jenny.

‘If you’re going to hell, I might as well go too. Lord knows you’ll never manage alone.’

‘I’m a fighter. I got tired of fighting for rich dukes and monarchs. I realised the world is mine. And money taken is twice as sweet as money earned.’

The camera pans around what looks like a pocketwatch abandoned on the ground somewhere before we rejoin Jaime bravely mouthing off to the man who has a gun to his head. Jenny comes strolling in and immediately orders the man, Taran, to put his gun down, because Jamie is her cousin, not just some random guy who wandered into her home. Jamie picks up the lie and introduces himself as Jamie MacTavish. Taran pulls back his gun and Claire is able to breathe again. The men are surprised to realise Claire’s English and Jenny jokes that she was almost ready to kill Jamie himself when she realised Claire was a Sassenach, but Claire’s ok, so they’re letting it slide. Taran bows to her and introduces himself, saying he’s sorry for the confusion, but they assumed Jamie was there to rob the place. Yes, that’s a completely reasonable conclusion to jump to when you meet someone you don’t know in a house that isn’t yours.

Ian comes in and puts on what seems like false cheer as he welcomes the men, adding that he didn’t expect them until the following month. He then sucks up a bit by handing Taran a sword that he’s had cleaned up and sharpened for him. Taran calls for some supper and Jenny goes to fetch it.

Jamie follows her to the kitchen and asks her what she’s thinking, welcoming the watch into her home. She tells him to just chill out, so Jamie turns his wrath on Ian, calling him out on his obsequious behaviour. Claire watches all this quietly. Jamie says the men are all criminals, but Ian says that they look out for the family and their tenants. Jamie remembers that he’s got a price on his head (something he was curiously unconcerned about until now) and that the watch would turn him over in an instant if they knew who he was. Jenny says that’s why they’re going to feed them and do whatever they like, and send them away happy. Jamie’s still pretty pissed off about all this and starts in with the ‘If I were running things…’ but Jenny cuts him off and reminds him that he wasn’t there, so maybe just shut the hell up already. They stare each other down, and Jamie backs off first, turning away to sulk. Ian plays the peacemaker, saying this has taken a toll on him and Jenny and they’d love for it to end, and if Jamie has a better idea, they’d love to hear it. Of course, he does not.

Jenny doubles in pain, explaining that the kid kicks like a mule on fire. Heh. Claire tells Jamie to just back off and don’t upset anyone. Let’s just see how that goes.

Taran and the others enjoy their dinner, though they crap on the whisky a bit. Taran asks Jamie what his story is and Claire offers that Jamie spent time fighting in the army with Ian. Wouldn’t you know it, Taran spent some time abroad fighting as well. Everyone gets a ‘careful, now’ look on their faces and share some vague stories. Taran joins in, having served in the same area a couple of years after Jamie and Ian were there. They all share some memories and a toast. Taran asks why Jamie’s never been mentioned in Ian’s army stories and Jenny blames their faulty memories on the booze. Taran accepts that for now and toasts everyone. Claire asks how long he and his men plan to stay and he says it’ll be a few days. They have more men arriving the next day, because they’re planning something big, and secret. Also, his horse is lame and needs tending. Jamie immediately volunteers, eager to see the backs of all these guys.

The next day, Jamie checks out the horse while some of Taran’s men screw around in the barnyard. One of them, being a total douchebag, sets a cart full of hay on fire, just for giggles, and thinks that’s absolutely hilarious, because a cart piled with highly flammable materials in a barn in a time before running water is totally controllable and funny as hell, right? What a moron. Jamie hurries to douse the flames, aided by other men from the house, while the watch guys just stand there laughing. What the hell is wrong with these people? The fire is brought under control and Jamie starts (rightly) yelling at the guy who started it for doing such a stupid thing to a family that’s taken him in. The guy, naturally, responds by pulling his pistol. He thinks that’s funny too, so I’m immensely happy when Jamie manages to surprise him with a horseshoe to the face. Jamie fights off all the men, as Taran comes strolling into the barnyard and calls a truce. Once peace is restored, Taran apologises for the others’ behaviour and invites Jamie to join them, since he’s quite the fighter. Jamie responds that he’s done enough fighting.

The dogs start barking, indicating new arrivals,. And Jamie and Taran go out to greet them. Wouldn’t you know it, one of them is Horrocks, who looks at Jamie with a distinct, ‘well, hello again!’ look that Taran notices. Horrocks claims not to know Jamie, however, and follows Taran inside.

Jamie reports to Claire, figuring Horrocks will turn him in sooner or later. Claire thinks the guy must want something, or he would have spoken up already.

Jamie goes downstairs, where Horrocks is telling the rest of the watch where they can ambush a rent-gathering party. Jamie listens for a bit, then goes on his way.

Outside, the ladies are doing laundry and playing with little Jamie. He’s sent back to the house with the cook and Jenny sighs that it’ll be nice to get some chores done without a kid underfoot (I hear you, lady). But soon enough he’ll have a brother to play with. Claire asks how she knows the baby’s not a girl and Jenny reels off all the old wives’ tales that we now know have nothing to do with what sex you’re carrying: no morning sickness, craving salty food, carrying low. She says it’s good for a man to have a brother. Jamie lost his brother aged eight, from smallpox, and after that Ian became a sort of replacement brother.

Jenny starts gasping in pain and realise her waters have broken. Claire gets her inside and does a quick exam that reveals the baby’s in breech position. She tells Jenny they’re going to have to turn the baby, which I hear is a rather awful process, but luckily Claire did a rotation in OB, or something, because she totally knows what she’s doing. She can’t seem to turn this stubborn kid, though. ‘He’s determined to land on his feet,’ Jenny observes. ‘He’s a stubborn one, just like a Fraser,’ Claire adds. She offers to fetch Ian, but Jenny says to just let him know the baby’s coming, but that his presence isn’t necessary.

Jamie finds Horrocks checking out some of the books in the house and Horrocks tells him they have some talking to do. He knows that Jamie’s not a cousin, but the home’s rightful owner. Jamie demands to know what the man wants and Horrocks says he fancies heading to Boston. But he needs cash to get there. Jamie tells him he’ll have plenty after they raid the tax collectors. Horrocks says that’s not enough and straight-up shakes Jamie down.

Jenny’s pacing back and forth, telling Claire that she can feel the baby’s dropped now. Claire tries to distract her by asking what it’s like to be pregnant. Jenny says it basically feels like wind in the early days, and then the baby starts really moving and it feels like a fish on a line, a quick tug now and then. They’ll stop moving for hours, and you’ll begin to panic, thinking they’ve died or something. And you try to wake them and then they kick again and you’re just overjoyed. Yup, that’s about right. One of the servants comes in and informs the ladies that the midwife’s been called away. Of course she has! Claire tries to reassure Jenny and tells her that you can deliver a breech baby, but she might have to reach up inside Jenny and guide it out. Jenny says she’s going to need a good stiff drink. Yeah, you will.

Ian and Jamie clean up the burned hay and Ian observes that Jamie seems mad. Well, yeah, Ian! Jamie can’t understand why Ian doesn’t hate these guys. Ian basically says that the guys aren’t as bad as they could be, probably because Ian’s friends with them. He actually kind of likes Taran, because he doesn’t seem to pity Ian. Also, Taran reminds him of Jamie and he protects them from the redcoats by paying them to stay away. He’s determined that what happened the day Jamie was beaten and Jenny nearly raped will never happen there again. Jamie confesses that Horrocks knows him and wants a payoff. Ian asks what he plans to do and tells Jamie there’s a bit of cash squirreled away. Jamie refuses to take the money, but Ian insists on it.

Jamie goes to Claire and tells her that the money was meant for them, and their children. He sadly says that he’s let her down. Claire gets sad and then tells him that she’s actually let him down, because it looks like she probably can’t have children. She says she and Frank had been trying, but no dice. That could have been Frank’s fault, you know. Was male sterility not well understood in the 40’s? I’m pretty sure it was known, especially amongst medical folk. Anyway, Claire, weeping, says she should have told Jamie before they got married, but she never anticipated falling in love with him and actually wanting his glorious babies. Jamie absorbs all this, then suggests it’s for the best, since childbirth was awful and dangerous back then and he couldn’t bear to have anything happen to her, or to have her in pain. He holds her comfortingly, then suggests she go back to Jenny. She nods, then reassures him Jenny will be fine. No baby is going to fell that woman, surely. Once he’s alone, Jamie sits down on a trunk and looks sad.

He arms himself and goes to meet Horrocks somewhere outside, away from the house. He has a bag of money with him, which he tosses at him. Horrocks is pleased, but he wants more, of course. Jamie says he has no more to give. Horrocks suggests he sell off some land or raise rents or something. He also, stupidly, threatens Jamie’s family, all of whom would be thrown in prison if they were found to be harbouring an outlaw. Jamie reaches for his pistol, but then a sword point bursts out of Horrocks’s chest, and he falls, revealing a very shaky Ian. Jamie thanks him for the help, retrieves the cash, and gets ready to bury the man. Ian tries to put his weapon away, but he’s shaking too badly. Jamie reminds him to wipe the blood off first.

Jenny’s entering the really hard part of the labour—the part where you really just don’t give a shit anymore and start screaming your head off. She takes off her wedding ring and asks Claire to put it away in her jewellery box. Inside, Claire finds a carved snake, which Jenny says their eldest brother made for Jamie when he was little. She found it recently and wanted to give it back to him. Aww. Seeing it now reminds Jenny that her mother died in childbirth two years after Willie went. She asks Claire to make sure Jamie gets the toy. How awful that, while you’re struggling to bring a new life into the world, you also have to consider the very real possibility of you leaving it. Claire promises Jenny she’ll be able to give the toy to Jamie herself.

Jenny’s wails can be heard downstairs, where the watch has gathered to be assholes some more. One of them bellows up the stairs for her to quit her screaming. I wish someone would hold something really hot against his crotch and tell him to stop screaming. Jamie and Ian come in and the dickhead who set the fire complains about the noise. So go elsewhere, you assholes! Ian shoves the man aside as he heads upstairs and Taran has the grace to look embarrassed at these men’s behaviour. He offers up some cash to cover the hay that was burnt, then wonders where Horrocks has disappeared to. Jamie claims not to have seen the man. Taran looks at Jamie hard and says Horrocks had better turn up soon, since they leave in the morning.

The next morning, Jenny’s still in labour, so it’s just the guys for breakfast. Taran says Horrocks still hasn’t turned up, which is strange, since his horse is still there. He hints that Jamie and Ian had something to do with the man’s disappearance, adding that he knows Jamie and Horrocks know each other, because he’s not an idiot. He asks Jamie why he killed the guy and Jamie tells Taran that he’s a wanted man with a price on his head, and Horrocks knew it and threatened Jamie and his family, so Jamie had no choice but to get rid of him. ‘Good,’ Taran says, surprisingly. Apparently he hated Horrocks. But now he’s a man short for this raid, so Jamie’s now coming along. Jamie has no choice, really, so he agrees to go, just this once. Ian gets to his feet and volunteers as well. Taran’s like, great, two for the price of one!

They report to the ladies, who are not happy about this at all. Claire urges Ian to stay behind at least, since his wife kind of needs him now, but Jenny pipes up that Jamie needs someone to watch over him, so actually they both should go. Ian goes over to her and takes her hand. She tries to smile, but mostly just grimaces in pain.

Out in the hallway, Claire gives Jamie the little snake, which he’s quite happy to see. She urges him to hurry back, ‘or else,’ she adds. ‘Or else what?’ he asks playfully. She says she’ll go after him and drag him back if she has to. They kiss, then lock eyes and exchange a ‘this is how it has to be’ nod.

The men ride out, in the rain, and Jamie asks how Taran manages to make it on the road. Taran says he’s a fighter by nature, and he got tired of fighting for rich dukes and monarchs and realised the world was his. He hands Jamie a souvenir of their last raid: a watch set in a silver skull—the same watch we saw at the top of the episode. Taran finishes by saying that he doesn’t mind death as long as it comes under the open sky. He then offers Jamie a partnership, raiding the rich and powerful across Europe. Jamie’s like, ‘sounds good, but, you know, married.’

Jenny’s starting to lose hope, asking Claire to promise to look after Ian. She moves into the ‘I can’t do this’ portion of the hour. The baby’s coming, so she gets on all fours, screaming her head off and Claire starts working to get the baby out. You know how they say you forget the pain of childbirth afterwards? Total bullshit, by the way.

The men reach the spot where their ambush is to be set—a spot picked by Horrocks, I feel I should point out. Jamie looks around and clearly gets a ‘something’s not right here’ look. He notices that there’s no way for them to easily escape this spot, just as redcoats start appearing overhead. Looks like the ambushees are being ambushed themselves. Soldiers start appearing from all angles and fire.

Back at Lallybroch, Claire hands Jenny her newborn daughter. Aww.

Three days have passed, with no sign of the men. Claire rocks the baby on the front step, watching the gate, waiting for them. Jenny comes out and tells us the baby’s name is Margaret, after Jenny’s grandmother. Claire says the name suits her and thinks the baby looks like a Fraser. Jenny takes the baby and hands her off to the housekeeper for her nap. She then observes that Claire looks good with a baby and will surely be holding her own soon enough. Claire sadly doubts that, and Jenny, misunderstanding (or, at least, only half understanding) firmly says that Jamie will be back. He always comes home, eventually.

Jenny reaches into her pocket and retrieves a pair of HIDEOUS bracelets that have been fashioned out of boar tusks. She gives them to Claire, explaining that they were her mother’s and she thinks it’s only right that Claire should have them. Claire struggles to come up with something polite to say and finally offers that they’re ‘unique’. Heh. Jenny clearly knows she’s unloading something awful and says some secret admirer gave them to her mother as a wedding gift. Claire gives her a thank you kiss on the cheek, which Jenny practically flinches away from. That’s just not how Jenny does things.

The dogs begin to bark, and the ladies rush to the gate to find Ian, peg leg-less being helped to the house by one of the other watch guys. They explain about the ambush, figuring Horrocks cut a deal with the redcoats. Jamie’s been taken prisoner.

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