I’d like to point out before launching into this week’s “Outlander” recap that we’re already on Episode 3, and that Claire and Jamie still haven’t hooked up yet. Which is fine, I guess. I like a slow burn as much as the next gal, but I’m really hoping we don’t have to wait too long. THEIR 18TH CENTURY CHEMISTRY IS TOO HOT FOR ME TO HANDLE.
Anyway, today’s episode, or, as I like to call it, “Jamie Fraser Appreciation Hour," begins with a flashback. (Or is it a flashforward? Since when did “Outlander” become as confusing as “Lost”?) Claire is in her own time, dressed smartly in a World War II uniform, and suddenly I’m thinking that maybe Sam Heughan’s not the only hottie on the show, becauseCaitriona Balfe is sure rocking the khaki pencil skirt. Frank’s there too, reluctantly sending her off to the frontline, and the scene is a nice little reminder that Claire is anything but a damsel in distress. Frank remarks on how backward it feels, and Claire replies cleverly: “Welcome to the 20th Century.” YEAH GIRL.
Time Travel vs. Daydreams: Round 1
We’re pulled abruptly to the present, where Claire is attempting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with the help of Mrs. Fitz. Claire assures the housekeeper that she’s perfectly capable of bathing herself, to which Mrs. Fitz replies that Claire has a killer complexion and that her next husband will be lucky. (Sigh. Life was so simple back then before OKCupid and Google-stalking.) After being toweled down, Claire decides to come, er, clean to Mrs. Fitz about everything. That her hubby isn’t dead, that he's just not been born yet. And that she’s from the future and she’s not crazy, she SWEARS.
Mrs. Fitz takes it about as well as you’d expect an old Scottish woman from 1743 to take such news. That is, she calls Claire an evil devil and flips out completely. It’s a powerful scene until we’re pulled back abruptly again to realize that Claire daydreamed the whole damn thing while Mrs. Fitz babbles on about the MacKenzies and some sort of gathering (which I’m guessing isn’t a Scottish Tupperware party)?
Claire decides to get into Colum and Dougal’s good graces so they’ll let her go and throws herself into what she’s good at: healing. Because modern medicine is a thing of the future, she’s got to learn to make do with jars of slaters and pigeons’ blood. Yum.
Claire and Jamie: The next/first Sherlock and Watson?
When Claire isn’t in the surgery, she’s hanging out in the kitchen, where she finds out a little boy has died recently, because he visited an old abandoned monastery – according to the Scots it’s haunted, and he died because the devil took him. Is this how malpractice lawsuits were invented? We don’t find out because Claire is summoned away to Colum MacKenzie’s chambers. Don’t worry, later on we find out it wasn’t the devil at all, just a rather poisonous plant the boys in the neighborhood kept ingesting. She and Jamie solve the mystery after a bit of sleuthing, and Claire gains herself some extra brownie points with the MacKenzies.
Claire tries her hand at matchmaking. It is terrible.
Remember the young lass Jamie rescued last episode from a public spanking? Laoghaire? During a performance of a renowned bard who’s come to visit Castle Leoch, Claire introduces herself to the girl and then tries to set Jamie up with her. Hilariously, Jamie is only interested in talking to Claire. At this point, Claire, who has had a fair amount to drink, is suitably wasted, and Jamie is a gentleman who escorts her back to her room safely. There, they discuss all manner of deep and meaningful subjects, such as Jamie’s scars and how he feels comfortable around her and how perfect they are for each other AND THEN HE LEAVES.
THEY DON’T EVEN MAKE OUT.
What’s worse? Later on, Claire spies Jamie and Laoghaire playing tonsil hockey (hockey’s Scottish, right?), and it’s pretty much the worst 15 seconds of all of our lives.
The episode closes out with Claire resolving to attempt to get back to the stones in order to find her way home by any means necessary. Considering that Starz has already commissioned a second season of “Outlander,” we’re guessing that’ll be a long time coming.
1. Is Gellis blatantly trying to out herself as a witch? The way she mysteriously floats about her magical lair asking Claire very pointed questions about her past makes me kind of uncomfortable.
2. Jamie and Claire double-teaming, fighting crime and solving mysteries this episode was really adorable, and I’d sure as hell watch that spinoff.
3. Gratuitous Jamie Fraser muscle shots were at an all-time low this week. Maybe we'll do better next week?!