‘Outlander’ Season 1 Episode 11 Recap: “The Devil’s Mark”

Outlander Season 1 Episode 11 Recap - The Devil's Mark
Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) and Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) in ‘Outlander’ season 1 episode 11 (Photo © 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc)

Tonight is Girls Night and the trial of the 18th Century all rolled into one! Our beloved Sassenach (Caitriona Balfe) is in a pretty difficult situation in Outlander season one episode 11, mainly because she did what Jamie (Sam Heughan) said NOT to do and went to Geillis’ (Lotte Verbeek) house. But in her defense she can’t help wanting to go to people that need help, the nurse instinct ye ken? She underestimated Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) and the links she would go to get Jamie.

This episode starts with the Lasses being thrown down into the thieves’ hole. What a lovely place this is! Just full of comfy rocks, mud, and RATS!!! The Lasses have a lovely little chat about the fact that Geillis killed her husband, and that Laoghaire set them up. Then a rather round man comes to drop a half-torn bit of bread down to the Lasses. Claire tries to tell him that she is the wife of the nephew of the Laird. Enter the wise-cracking guardsman who says, “And I’m King Arthur!” Nice try but no dice in getting out of that hole tonight.

Geillis doesn’t know that Dougal (Graham McTavish) and Jamie were sent away. Geillis thinks Dougal will come for them, but Claire makes her understand that both their knights in shining armor are nowhere near by. They are on their own. They settle down for the night to sleep. In the morning they get taken to the court to start the witch trial. The Lasses are walked past a platform being built as a place to burn them. How kind of them to plan ahead before the trial even started!

Enter the knight in a long waistcoat instead of armor, Ned Gowan (Bill Paterson). Such a smart and caring man, but he stepped into a den of vipers this day. He gallantly tried to get the trial dismissed, to no avail. But he did manage to be allowed to stand as the Lasses’ lawyer so they could have some defense before the blood-thirsty crowd. Enter the line of witnesses providing various arguments. As a person in the current century we know that none of what is being said is witchcraft, but in that time so very many things were considered evil that the list of accusations is very damning to them both. At various points Ned does poke holes in the situations. He is a very accomplished lawyer indeed, and is able to turn much of the arguments around. Though, he can’t redirect all issues. Enter the issue of Claire going to the fairy hill and trying to save the sick baby just a few days before. Ned does manage to lessen this blow a bit, but Claire just can’t keep her mouth shut. The Lasses are taken back to the hole. Geillis admits to Claire in the hole that she is in favor of the Jacobite cause and that is what drew her and Dougal together. Claire quotes the line from a bit of American history by Nathan Hale, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

The next morning the men come for the women again, back to the court, and the first witness this time is Laoghaire. She turns on the tears and the charm. Who knew she was so deceptive? Maybe Jamie should have let her get a ‘good hiding’, as Jamie puts it, for a hard whipping back in the second episode at Castle Leoch. Then, enter the theatrics of Father Bain. He turns the situation around and makes the crowd feel sorry for him, and thus turning the example from episode three around on Claire for saving Thomas Baxter’s life.

Ned is given permission to take the women into a side room to talk for a few minutes. He has to propose a new strategy; he can only see a way to save one. Claire has to turn on Geillis to save her own skin. Geillis knows that Claire is hiding something. Claire alludes to the mistake of going through the stones without openly saying it to her.

Lotte Verbeek in Outlander Season 1
Geillis Duncan (played by Lotte Verbeek) in ‘Outlander’ (Photo © 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc)

Geillis knows she is done for and will burn. Claire has the opportunity to save her own skin by renouncing Geillis but she doesn’t do it. She sticks by her friend. They are both then pronounced witches and condemned to burn. They have a second and Geillis says “1968” to Claire. Claire begins to spout off at that moment and upsets the court when she sees them tackle Ned to the ground. Our gal sure doesn’t hold her peace. They open her bodice and whip her several times. ENTER JAMIE FRASER!!!! He pushes them all back and is holding them at bay with his sword and dirk. Geillis sees there is no way for her and Claire both to get out of this, but she can at least save Claire. She sacrifices herself and shouts out that she confesses while showing the mark on her arm to prove it. We know that was a vaccination scare for Small Pox, what they see is a witch’s mark. Claire then realizes Geillis is from the 20th Century, too. Jamie pulls her away as Geillis tears her bodice to show the child she carries and completes her show with screams while professing the child was Satan’s. They carry her up the hill to the platform and the pole waiting. Jamie gets Claire away.

Jamie has her in the forest now and is trying to tend the stripes on her back. He sits down and asks her to give him honesty and promises to give it in return. Claire agrees to this, that she will give him honesty. He then asks her if she is in fact a witch. He mentions the mark on her arm like that of Geillis, the same mark that Geillis said was the Devil’s mark. Now she has to spill the entire thing, she can’t have him thinking she is evil! She has held this information alone, afraid to tell anyone because she knows they would think she was fully NUTS. She admits to EVERYTHING! That she is a nurse, that she is from the future, that she is married to Frank (Tobias Menzies). To Jamie’s very great credit, he listens and believes her. He can’t fully take everything in yet, but he believes her. There are moments when blind love is a good thing. Though, he does admit that it would have been easier to believe if she had only been a witch.

He trusts what she is saying about all of it. He realizes that when she ran off that she was headed back to the stones. He is upset with himself now because he realizes that she was trying to go home, and he whipped her for it. She tells him about the fall of the Scottish army at Culloden, and all the history she knew. They travel for a while, and Jamie tells Claire more of Lallybroch. They camp and that night Jamie is lying next to Claire watching her sleep. It is so sweet when men do that when they are in love. It is not sweet when they have a creepy vibe, but of course that is not our Jamie!! Jamie loves her so much but he is a man after all, so he can’t help but touch her while she is sleeping. He REALLY knows how to wake a woman up. In the last episode he wakes her with the butterfly kisses between the thighs, and this time with a roaming hand. She begs to have him inside her, but he says he wants to watch her reactions. He is such a tease! He comes so close but won’t kiss her fully, either. So mean, but a good kind of mean! {kegel tingles for everyone; dear friend @beulahcrusoe gave me that..lol}


The next morning she is washing by the creek and he asks her if she wants to go home. She thinks he means to Lallybroch. But Jamie tells her to climb the hill near where they were camped. At the top she can see Craigh Na Dun a bit away on the next hill. She is surprised to say the least. He admits he brought her back so she could go home. That walk between the two hills would have been torture for me to do. Torn between her husbands, Jamie and Frank, and I would think it was terrible for Jamie as well fully expecting to lose her forever. Jamie walks over and touches the stone but nothing happens. He asks Claire what she did and she demonstrated that she just walked toward them. The sounds in the stones started and she was almost gone. Jamie was afraid and pulled her from going. He apologizes and tells her to go. Okay, the tears are flowing just like they did when I read this part of the book. He told her to go, and didn’t see it as a decision at all. She would be safer on the other side. They say goodbye and he walks away. As the saying goes, if you love them you will let them go. She is left to her internal battle, is it Jamie or is it Frank? At length she has made her choice. If they love you they will find their way back. Clearly she loved Frank, but loves Jamie a bit more. There is that one person in the world, and once you find them you know it. Nothing explains it either. She wakes Jamie, with visible tears on his cheek {heart breaks for the tears}, to ask him to take her home to Lallybroch. Shock transitions into joy, and they embrace. Roll credits and everyone grab your courage; the ride is just beginning…

This episode was very much like the book except for a few of the items. They camped at a nearby hill close to Craigh Na Dun instead of going back to the cabin that was in the end of the first episode when Claire went through the stones the first time. They also made Claire realize right away that Geillis was from the future like her instead of it taking a little bit of time for her to piece that together after the trial. Last episode, “By the Pricking of My Thumbs,” was considerably different than the path the book took. That’s what is so amazing about this show. They deviate from the book in ways that are transparent to the story and yet still manage to find their way back to the book’s portrayal of the tale. This is the very reason the readers enjoy the show as much as the books.

– A Look Back: Season 1 Episode 10 Recap

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