GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73
The third episode of Outlander opens with a flashback memory that Claire has of saying goodbye to Frank as she goes off to her nursing post along the front lines, leaving him behind to play spy. As her train is pulling away, Frank makes Claire promise to return to him, and she does. I find myself really enjoying the flashback moments that Claire has of her life with Frank. In the book, Frank is present for such a short time and then he’s gone, but in the show, the writers have given us a more fulsome character. It’s nice to get an answer to the question of “What about Frank?“, especially one that provides us with a clearer look at Claire’s relationship with her husband. So as Claire comes back to the reality of her current situation, it is this promise to return to Frank made so many years ago, that is clearly weighing on her.
Early on in the episode, a very popular travelling poet and musician, Gwyllyn, has arrived at the castle to provide entertainment for the Laird and his clan. Claire finds herself sitting with Jamie McTavish and the young girl Laoghaire, who clearly has a crush on Jamie. Claire tries to point out how lovely Laoghaire looks to help the young girl’s cause, but it all basically falls flat. It is clear that Jamie is not interested in the young girl. Not too long into the evening, Jamie asks Claire to take a look at his bandages, and off they go to the surgery, leaving Laoghaire to enjoy the night’s entertainment on her own.
Later on in the episode, Claire makes some comments speculating on Jamie’s love life while talking with Murtagh and his opinion of Laoghaire is classic! Murtagh points out that Jamie needs a woman, not a lassie, and that Laoghaire will be a lassie still when she is 50. No truer words have ever been said, as those you who have read farther in the series might appreciate the accuracy of that statement.
Back at Claire’s surgery, Jamie and Claire share an intimate moment, where they discuss how he doesn’t mind her seeing his scars, but that he doesn’t want others to see them. Jamie explains that once people see the scars, that is all they can see about and they no longer see him for who really is. As Claire is examining his shoulder wound, we see the first real sparks of chemistry between them. Sam Heughan definitely has the “smouldering” look down pat! All I can say is give us more!
Also in this episode, we get to see some foreshadowing of future troubles to come. The bottom line is no one trusts Claire, with the exception of perhaps Jamie, which is natural given the fact that she’s saved his life and patched him up many times over in their brief acquaintance. But no one else from Colum and Dougal to the staff of Castle Leoch to the villagers really knows what to make of Claire’s sudden appearance. As much as she is trying to fit in, Claire isn’t fooling anyone, including Geilles Duncan, the fiscal’s wife and local herbalist, who seems to have quite the knack for always steering the conversation back to Claire and her life before arriving in town.
Then there is Father Bain. He is clearly one of those priests that thinks ruling with an iron fist is the way to do God’s work. He believes that Claire is a servant of Satan when she interferes with the treatment of a sick boy. Claire realizes that the boy has been poisoned, but the priest insists on an exorcism. After much hoopla, Claire, with the help of Mrs. Fitz (the boy’s aunt), forces her way past the priest to give the sick child the treatment that he needs, ultimately saving the boy’s life. Instead of being grateful, Father Bain is livid. He doesn’t care for being upstaged by a woman, and a Sassanach to boot! I suspect that in the 18th century, this response would have been a fairly typical reaction by most men (see Auralee’s post on surviving in the 18th century). So while it is clear that Claire has garnered the respect of Mrs. Fitz, she has also made an enemy of Father Bain.
As the episode comes to a close, Claire has some renewed hope that she might actually make it back to her own time. Gwyllyn tells a story of woman who travels through time, about 200 years, coming through some standing stones during “Samhain” (pronounced “Saween” what is known as Halloween today) just as Claire did. The woman in Gwyllyn’s story goes on living her life in the past, and even falling in love, but then eventually returns through the stones to her own time. Claire realizes that this legend must have some truth to it, now that she has lived the experience herself. Claire is more determined than ever to get back to Craigh na Dun, as she vows to do whatever it takes to leave Castle Leoch.
The Gathering (S1, Ep4) – PROMO