Previously on Outlander: The Jacobites won the Battle of Prestonpans, as expected, but we lost Angus, so now we’re down one comic relief character.
CVO tells us the Jacobites have been moving south into England and doing well, but haven’t been receiving the expected support from the people.
Charles is being advised to turn back, but he’s determined to press on to London. Even the Quartermaster agrees they shouldn’t keep going. Jamie, being insane now, I guess, stands behind Charles and his suicidal plan to press on southward and somehow magically evade the three British armies in their way. Jamie makes a bit show of swearing to back Charles no matter what, but the others conspicuously refuse to fall in line. Charles throws a wobbler over that and accuses the others of betraying him and warns them God will damn them for this.
Claire is apparently now mostly occupied with dentistry work while Rupert drinks. Just FYI.
Charles comes stomping out of the meeting, past Claire, followed by his protesting advisors. Jamie comes out more slowly, embraces Claire, and apologises for failing to persuade the others to march to London. She rightly points out that, even if they did take London, they could never hold it. Jamie agrees, but says that if they had taken London then things would have gone differently than her history books say. Yeah, the massacre would have taken place somewhere other than Culloden. It probably still would have happened, though.
Ross asks if it’s true they’re turning back and going back to Scotland for the winter. Jamie confirms it and promises to see them all safely home. He makes the same promise to Claire.
Later, Jamie watches Claire sleep and calls down a Gaelic blessing on her. She wakes, smiles up at him, and asks him what he was saying. He says it was nothing and they snuggle and kiss.
Dougal’s back with a message for Jamie, ordering him to march to Inverness. Dougal says that this is exile: General O’Sullivan thinks Jamie has too much influence over Charles. They’re to prepare winter quarters for the army and obtain provisions, but aren’t actually being given any funds to do so, because O’Sullivan believes Charles’s loyal supporters will be happy to extend credit. Sure. Jamie decides to go to Charles directly, but Charles is gone. And he took Jamie’s horse, because he’s a dick. So, we’re off to Inverness now.
Road trip! Jamie and his men and Claire sloooowly (literally: they’re shot in show-motion some of the time) make their way to Inverness. While they’re resting, they’re found and fired upon by some British soldiers. Jamie gets everyone on their feet and hurries them away. They regroup and start firing back while Claire and Jamie and Dougal and Murtagh Rupert and Fergus…gallop away? Did they just abandon the rest of the men? Surely not, but what’s that about? And it’s for nothing, because some mounted Redcoats find them, fire, and one of them hits Rupert. He somehow manages to stay on his horse as they all continue to flee. They evade their pursuers long enough to hide somewhere. The Redcoats gallop on past.
Once they can stop, we see that Rupert’s been shot through the eye, by the looks of things. Somehow, he’s not dead. They’re hiding behind some wall near a church, and Jamie steals up to the building to see if anyone’s inside. There is, but it’s just Ross. Rupert’s brought inside and Claire gets ready to go to work on him. He’s cracking jokes, if you can believe it. I don’t even want to know what the hell she’s doing with that knife.
Later, she finishes up and puts an eye patch on him. He’ll be fine. Cycloptic, but fine. Through the window, however, they spot trouble: Redcoat soldiers. They’ve found all the apparently poorly hidden horses and have the place surrounded. They call for everyone to come out or they’ll burn the roof. Jamie offers to give himself up in exchange for everyone’s freedom but Claire thinks fast and starts screaming for help, telling Jamie she’ll pretend to be a hostage and he can offer her up as a bargaining chip. Jamie’s not willing to play with her life in that manner, but Dougal is. Claire says that the safety of all these men is her responsibility as much as it is Jamie’s, and she wins the argument. Dougal goes to the door of the church and offers to disarm and to hand Claire over if they can all go free. The British officer agrees, so long as Claire has not been harmed.
Back inside, Dougal guesses the soldiers will take her to the nearest outpost, at Hazelmere, and Jamie promises to go pick her up ASAP. He goes to escort her out, but Dougal points out that Jamie’s a known and wanted man, so it’s best he not show himself. He takes Claire out instead. The men also hand over all their weapons. Claire, pretending to have fainted, is given to the officer, who sets her down under a tree, offers her a drink, and asks if she’s been harmed. She says she hasn’t. She and the British soldiers ride away. Once they’re out of sight, Jamie comes out, telling Dougal and Murtagh to take the men on their way while he goes to get Claire. Murtagh refuses to let him go alone and you can’t argue with Murtagh, so off they both go.
Claire and the soldiers stop in Crich for the night, and a beggar man stares at her as she passes. She sees wanted posters up on the door of the inn with Jamie’s face all over them.
Inside the inn, the soldiers order food and beer and Claire watches as one of the officers receives a dispatch. Another soldier makes a pass at her.
The next morning, she’s roused from her spot by the fire by a young lieutenant, who tells her she’s being taken to Bellmont, not Hazelmere, which she’s not exactly happy to hear, because Jamie will have no idea to find her there.
Outside the inn, the beggar (oh! It’s Munro, that mute guy Jamie’s friends with!) comes over to her and is roughly shoved aside by the lieutenant. Claire scolds the lieutenant, helps the man up, and quickly whispers that Jamie’s looking for her at Hazelmere, before loudly wondering why she has to go all the way to Bellmont.
Bellmont looks nice. It’s a giant mansion, and oh look, it’s owned by Sandringham! Of course! Because this is easily the smallest world ever! The lieutenant hands over a message from his captain and asks Sandringham if he’ll shelter this Mrs Beauchamp they’ve just rescued. Sandringham’s a little surprised by the new name but plays along, and when the lieutenant leaves, he suggests food and drink and probably an explanation.
Murtagh and Jamie get ready to steal some horses.
Over dinner, Claire tells Sandringham the whole story. I’m sure he’s happy to have the excitement and distraction. There’s some talk of him having spent some time in the Tower of London, which is why he’s now hosting a lot of British soldiers on his land—to prove he’s not disloyal after all. He figures Jamie’s on his way to rescue Claire and she confirms it because sometimes she really has no sense. Since when could you trust this man, Claire? Sandringham’s happy to hear that, because he wants to get out of there as well. He offers to get a message to Jamie, telling him how to safely get into the place, in return for being extracted and spirited away to a safe place. Claire reluctantly agrees and drafts a note to Jamie in Gaelic, in case it’s intercepted. She tells Sandringham to deliver it to a beggar named Munro.
As she’s folding up the note, who should come in but Mary! Apparently she’s Sandringham’s goddaughter because, again, small world. Also, in that case, it’s incredibly strange that he never acknowledged her presence when they were in Paris, even in scenes where they were both in the same room. Sandringham announces that Mary’s getting married, then leaves to dispatch Claire’s note.
Mary takes Claire to the kitchens, the only place she feels she can speak freely, and begs Claire to help her get out of marriage to Mr Granger. It’s something of a marriage of convenience: Granger’s a merchant who wants to attach himself to a grand family, and he’s also a conspicuous loyalist so Sandringham looks like he’s totally a fan of the king. Claire promises to speak to Sandringham on Mary’s behalf.
The messenger finds a man on the road and asks if he’s seen Munro. The guy points him in the right direction and the messenger finds Munro, explaining he has a message from Sandringham. He hands it over, explaining who it’s from and for. Munro takes it and rushes off.
Claire does as she promised and brings up Mary’s engagement with Sandringham, who says that die is cast, so Claire just drops it. Claire sucks. Sandringham announces he’s managed to convince the British soldiers to go away for a bit. Being a duke has its perks. He hands his cloak off to his valet, and Claire notices the man has a distinctive birthmark on his hand. The same birthmark Mary’s attacker back in Paris had. He notices Claire staring at his hand and quickly covers it up. She asks Sandringham how long this man has been in his employ. He says he hired him in Paris, then puts a few things together, turns to the guy and yells at him for getting himself recognized. Woah. Sandringham had his own goddaughter raped? WTF? He calmly explains that he was in on the whole thing with St Germain, to whom he owed a great deal of money. St Germain wanted Claire killed in retaliation for the loss of his cargo, which is pretty insane, really, but Sandringham thought that’d be a shame, so he managed to convince the guy that just having Claire raped would be sufficient. I…can’t even. Also, aside from just narrative simplicity (and laziness), why is he telling her all this? Nobody would just spill their plans in this manner, unless they’re a Bond villain. The valet chimes in that he could still kill her. Claire warns them that there’ll be trouble when Jamie shows up, but Sandringham informs her (again, stupidly) that Jamie’s riding into a trap: the British soldiers know Red Jamie’s on his way and are only making it look like they’ve gone away. Handing Jamie and Claire over to the British will go a long way towards reconciling Sandringham with the crown. He creepily purrs over how romantic it’ll be for the two of them to be hanged side-by-side. Then he gets bored and sends Claire off to her room.
[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”33%”]Who just reveals all their nefarious plans like this? Is Sandringham a Bond villain?[/cryout-pullquote]
Munro intercepts Jamie and Murtagh on the road and hands over the message. With some difficulty (Claire’s Gaelic is terrible), they manage to discern that she’s with Sandringham and there are soldiers all around the house. They ask Munro to show them the way to Bellmont.
Claire paces anxiously around her room and spots Munro sneaking across the lawn. Her bedroom door opens, revealing Mary, who wonders why Claire was locked in. How did Mary get in? Did they lock the door but leave the key? Man, these people are idiots. Mary begs Claire to take her along and Claire agrees, as long as Mary helps by finding Munro and telling him to warn Jamie. Mary’s not keen on going out in the middle of the night to meet a filthy beggar so Claire tells her sharply just to stay put and stay quiet.
Claire steals through the house, which is rather dangerously still lit by lots of candles, even though everyone should be asleep by now and Sandringham’s admitted to being short of money (wax taper candles were not cheap, folks). She gets down to the kitchen, where she finds Sandringham enjoying a midnight snack. He invites her to join him and she irritably shuts the door she was about to go through.
Sandringham presses her for details of how St Germain died. She gives few. Mary comes in, startled to see her godfather there, and stammers that she wanted something to eat. Sandringham tells her to go back to bed and she takes the tart he offers and goes, finally finding her spine and going out to find Munro. She hurriedly tells him that Claire’s in the kitchen and Jamie’s heading into a trap. Munro runs off as the valet comes around the corner, asking Mary what she’s up to.
Munro returns to Jamie, who presumably adjusts his plans accordingly. He sneaks up on one soldier, unsheathes his dagger and runs towards the house.
The valet brings Mary to Sandringham, telling his master he found her at the front door. She lies she was trying to run away but got scared. That’s when Jamie comes in to effect his rescue, but the valet’s too quick for him and grabs Claire and puts a knife to her throat. There’s a brief standoff, and then Murtagh comes in another door, distracting the valet long enough for Claire to elbow him in the stomach and get away. She tells Jamie this is the man who attacked them in Paris. Sandringham calls for calm and the valet says that Sandringham put him up to it. Claire confirms it. Jamie punches the valet in the face and goes after Sandringham. Mary picks up a knife while everyone else is busy and stabs the valet in the stomach. Go Mary! You know what, before he expires, go ahead and cut his balls off too. It’s really what rapists deserve, no? Murtagh then makes short work of Sandringham, whacking him several times with an ax and then chopping his head off, spattering himself and most of the room with blood. He holds the head up for the ladies and tells them he lays their vengeance at their feet. Mary looks like she’s going to be sick but manages to say it’s probably time for them to go. Well, that was all…unexpected.