‘Outlander’ Season 1 Episode 12 Recap: “Lallybroch”

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Outlander Season 1 Episode 12 Recap

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in ‘Outlander’ (Photo © 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc.)

Home Sweet Home! Or maybe not!!! On the 12th episode of Outlander season one we witness Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) return home after four years. The first clash with Captain Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) took Jamie away. But before we get to Jamie’s flashbacks of that terrible day, we need to actually arrive at Lallybroch. The episode begins with the breathtaking scenery of the Highlands in Scotland. As our couple comes into view, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is explaining airplanes to Jamie. I love these little interjections of the 20th century into the 18th, now that she can talk to Jamie about all of it after the last episode, “The Devils Mark,” where she admitting she came from the future. Jamie says, “It must be God’s own view,” when looking out from a plane. Too cute how he is really trying to envision the world she speaks about. He then asks Claire how old she is. Rudeness, you don’t ask a woman her age!! She says she is 27 years old, about four years older than Jamie. I’m sure many might think Jamie is older than he is, especially given all he has already endured in his life, but he is only around 23 years old. Of course Claire has been through a world war as well, so age has little to do with wisdom sometimes. And, then again, it often has something to do with poor judgments and Jamie makes a few of those during this home coming.

They crest a hill and in the distance Jamie points out to Claire that it is Lallybroch. They hop down from Donas (Sleepy is the horse’s real name) and walk the rest of the way to the front of the castle courtyard. Jamie immediately has a flashback to his whipping by BJR as he was tied to the entryway. That scene was in the second episode “Castle Leoch” when Jamie tells Claire about the scars on his back. Walking up to the castle Jamie also tells Claire that Dougal told him of a rumor that BJR had gotten his sister pregnant. In the book Jamie is much more tormented by all of this. He hasn’t written home to even tell his sister he was still alive because he felt so much guilt over anything she had endured, especially the possibility of a child by BJR.

They walk up to the front entrance and Jamie stops short, with another flashback to the situation with BJR. Claire walks in and starts chatting with a little boy sitting near the steps to the house. Jenny (Laura Donnelly) comes around the house just then. She drops the basket of wash she was carrying and runs, holding her current pregnant belly, to give Jamie a hug. Jamie saw the boy run over and thinks it is Randall’s child. Jenny introduces the boy as wee Jamie (Aaron Wright), named after himself. Enter the argument between brother and sister. The book has it as a huge blow out that goes on for a long while. The stubborn streak in both is in full flare. The show does not make the confrontation between them as big, though some words are thrown around to be sure. In the show Jenny threw a good dose of venom at Claire, the book it was not so obvious. There was an initial suspicion of Claire from Jenny, but in the show she is openly hostile to Claire.

About the time Jamie is chastising Jenny for the second child on the way, Ian (Steven Cree), Jenny’s husband comes walking up and corrects the entire situation with the truth that Jamie wouldn’t receive from Jenny. Ian is her husband and both children are his. Inside, Jamie makes Jenny tell him what happened with BJR after he was knocked out. Jenny reluctantly explains what happened. This part was very close to the book and how BJR treated Jenny when he took her inside the house that day. Jamie thought BJR raped her, and that was his intention at the time. But at this time it is unknown what BJR’s true sexual preferences are. Jenny tells Jamie that he is rough with her, and throws her on the bed. He then starts stroking himself to get ready but can’t get it up. She starts laughing at him, and he knocks her around a bit more. She keeps laughing at him and he eventually knocks her out cold. He leaves her there and departs. He never did rape her.

Laura Donnelly and Steven Cree in Outlander

Laura Donnelly and Steven Cree in ‘Outlander’ (Photo © 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc)

Claire joined in with Jenny asking Jamie for an apology and Jamie takes Claire into the other room to educate her again on how a wife should act in public. He doesn’t tell her not to be herself in private, but in public she is not to contradict his word or opinions. Our Sassenach does remind him that he will still hear her opinions in private. I don’t think Jamie would expect anything less from her. She does still have to get used to the customs of this time, so Claire shows she is still feeling her way. In this episode, Jamie demonstrates he is trying to do the same thing. He is Laird with responsibilities that come along with the position.

The next day is a rent-gathering day from the tenants, and a time to celebrate the Laird’s return. Jamie shows arrogance to begin with, which is very much out of his character. A certain level of boyhood arrogance is expected, and demonstrated in the book…but very little. The show overdoes this element to the point of it being excessive. Much of the show involves interactions where Jamie is butting heads with Jenny, and he continues to remind her he is just trying to be what their father would have expected. There is a need to demonstrate this element of course, and the book does as well. It just feels like too fine a point is placed on it for too long in the episode. I will let you be the judge for yourself, Mo Charaid!

They are then taken to the Laird’s chamber to settle in. Jamie begins to tell Claire much more about his father, and even reaches under the bed where his father’s sword is still placed. I miss that they don’t say anything about his mother in this episode. Claire just grins as Jamie is relaying memories of his father to her. Jamie eventually gets into the discussion around the last time he saw his father, Black Brian (Douglas Henshall), alive. It was at Fort William on the day he was flogged the second time. He saw him for a brief moment in the hallway on the way to BJR’s office. His father just barely had time to give him a kiss on the cheek and tell him to be strong. Jamie was whisked away to BJR’s office for a little ‘chat’. Nothing with Randall is ever little.

Much is revealed about the man in the proposal he puts before Jamie. He gives Jamie an alternative to being flogged. Jamie could be ‘buggered’, as he calls it, by Randall or take his flogging as scheduled. This is our first real understanding that he likes the lads instead of the lasses. Jamie, still feeling his father’s kiss, decides against the offer that would have given him his freedom. When Jamie is telling Claire about this he appears almost embarrassed that Randall wanted him, his body. In the book there is a little Bible that Jamie carries that fell into his hands through the doctor at the fort. A man’s name is in the book, and is the reason he carried it. BJR had broken that man to the point he killed himself. We know that Jamie to be a man of a profoundly strong will, and he wouldn’t take Randall’s offer because he wouldn’t let the man break him. But the sight of his son being flogged was what did cause Jamie’s father’s death. Jamie didn’t know he was there at the time or that he had died. Jamie found out later when he was determined to be strong enough to hear the news. Of course Jamie feels responsible for his father’s death after all this. Natural reaction!


The next day was Quarter Day when rents were gathered and all those of the lands come to pay their respects to the new Laird. You get to see some of the people of the area. Such great Scottish people!! Jamie does go against his sister’s and Ian’s advice for what is needed. They have been running the lands for the four years while Jamie has been away, and yet Jamie does not even so much as ask how the community has been handling the difficult past few years. At the end of the long day of drinking and socializing, Jamie staggers up the stairs to the Laird’s chamber. Claire is already in bed, and WAS asleep. They have kind of a “drunken husband home from a night out with the guys” conversation, and Jamie passes out. The inevitable hangover follows the next morning.

Jamie finds out that the mill is not working after biting into a piece of bread that’s like eating pebbles, so he and Claire go down to look at the mill. Not the wisest of decisions since he is still wanted by the British. Jamie has to strip down and get into extremely cold water to go under the mill wheel. Gratuitous butt shot moment that we Sassenachs love!! Jenny races, as fast as she can heavy with child, across the field after them. Claire, ever the nurse, tells her she shouldn’t be racing up there in her condition. Jenny turns Claire around to see a British patrol coming. Jamie has to dive and stay underwater for a very long time. The British have one of their number get down from his horse. He just happens to have a mill on his own property so he’s offering to help. Just then the wheel starts to turn, with a shirt stuck to it. Upon the British exit, up pops a completely all natural Jamie from the freezing water. Not wanting his sister to see him naked, he turns around and she sees for the first time the strips on his back left there by BJR. He asks her to turn around so he could get out “before his cock snaps off” as he puts it. I can’t make up a better line than that. I could make a shrinkage crack, but why put insult to injury..{snort}. Having seen his scars for the first time, Jenny runs off feeling responsible for them. She thinks BJR did it because she laughed at him.

That night Claire is walking the halls and Ian happens by. Claire was looking at a picture of their mother, Ellen. Claire and Ian have a nice exchange about Jenny’s picture hanging right next to her mother’s picture. They have a sweet interaction about Frazer stubbornness. What in-laws do not bond over the traits of the siblings? Through this interaction Claire is reminded that she needs to bring Jamie back to reality a bit, so she goes right into their room to do just that. Okay, now tell me what wife hasn’t rolled their husband out of bed at least once during their marriage? Claire gives him a bit of an attitude adjustment and reality check rolled up into one, so the next morning Jamie goes to visit his father’s grave. Jenny and Jamie have a talk and finally get it out. They come to the shared understanding that it really was Black Jack that caused their father’s death.

That night Jamie tells Claire when he actually fell in love with her. This has been an exchange that fans have been waiting for and is one of the most loved passages of the book. Though more could have been communicated from what was written in the book, it was a nice exchange between Jamie and Claire. The next morning Claire wakes to find Jamie already gone from the bed. She rises and gets dressed. She comes out of the room to look down from the balcony overlooking the main living area to see a pistol pointed right at Jamie’s face. What a way to start your day, even before your morning coffee!! I guess we know how next week will start.

A Look Back: Outlander Season 1 Episode 11 Recap

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