Outlander‘s 13th episode of season one (“The Watch”) is one that greatly deviated from the book, so I won’t spend too much time on differences. The Watch didn’t inhabit Lallybroch in the book. They did end up with Jamie (Sam Heughan) after he gave the child-abusing Scott an attitude adjustment. Jamie mentioned it to Claire (Caitriona Balfe) when he woke her up while drunk in episode 12, “Lallybroch.” We ended the previous episode with a musket in Jamie’s face. That is exactly where we pick up this episode. Musket still pointed within inches of Jamie’s face. Does he know how to rub people the wrong way or what?!
Jenny (Laura Donnelly) enters and tells the man to put down the gun, that Jamie is her cousin. And now we are back to Jamie McTavish as a name. The guys of The Watch ask for dinner, so Jenny runs down to the kitchen to get it started. Jamie follows, mad as a hornet, and of course they start fussing. Claire and Ian (Steven Cree) always have to bring these two hot-heads to reason. Sound familiar in anyone else’s house? Jamie is boiling mad the entire time The Watch is around. There is one of their number in particular who seems to send Jamie’s ire into orbit. Rightly so, he is an arse of the highest order. While Jamie is trying to shoe his horse, the damned fool puts a wagon of hay on fire with his pipe…ON PURPOSE! Our strapping, aptly redheaded, hero kicks his butt in fine fashion for that. He also gets a few licks in on a few of the others. It comes around to Jamie holding a pistol to one of their heads before it is said and done. The leader, Taran MacQuarrie (Douglas Henshall), who appears to be a good fella, calms them all down and extinguishes the situation. He even pays Jamie for the hay that was burnt, but later on in the episode.
As Jamie and MacQuarrie get to know one another, they kind of get to the same understanding Ian was trying to tell Jamie about. That the leader is a good guy all things considered, and is not unreasonable in his request as well as in the protection he provides. Jamie, Ian, and MacQuarrie bond a bit over French war stories. Ah, the life of the soldier. And then, enter Horrocks (Lochlann O’Mearain)! This is not good at all. Horrocks tries to extort money from Jamie to keep silent about the price on his head. Gotta love the ethics of a British deserter. This is also a substantial deviation from the book.
Claire and Jenny are outside doing the wash, talking about Jamie and Ian being thick as brothers when they were growing up. As a baby will do, they come when they want to, so just then Jenny’s water breaks and her labor begins. They go inside and Claire discovers that the baby is breach, not head down as it should be. Claire and Jenny have a much more cordial relationship now, instead of two predators circling the prize…Jamie…as it was in the last episode. To take her mind off things, Claire has Jenny tell her what being pregnant feels like. The Scots have such a way to explain things.
Jamie and Ian are fixing a wagon outside, the one partially burned thanks to that idiot Watchman. He tells Ian about Horrocks and how he knows that Jamie has the price on his head. Ian tells Jamie to use money they had put away, the estate’s savings, to buy his silence. Jamie doesn’t want to do it, and is relaying all this to Claire later. He feels he let her down in having to give away the future he thought he could secure for her and their children. Claire tells Jamie that it is really she that has let him down. She tells him that she doesn’t think she can have children. Claire admits that she and Frank tried before she came through the stones, without success. It is a blow for Jamie, but ever the understanding man he says it might be for the best. He is seeing his sister go through so much and says, “I can bear pain myself, but I canna bear yours. It would take more strength than I have” – one of the favorite lines from the book. It is still a blow to him, of course. He makes a valiant effort in not showing it to Claire.
Jamie then goes to meet Horrocks to give him the money Ian told him to give. Of course Horrocks tries to extort more. Jamie did go armed, and was about to shoot him when a blade shows through Horrocks chest. Ian had come up behind Horrocks and stabbed him through the back. It might take a while, but that type of person does come to the end of their line if they don’t change their line in a better direction. Horrocks had no intention of doing so. Ian covered Jamie’s flank as he has always done.
Back we go to the laboring Jenny up stairs. Claire and Jenny are trying to bring this little lad or lass into the world. A contraction passes and Jenny pulls a little carved snake out of a drawer for Claire to give Jamie. Jenny found it she said. It was a present for Jamie when he was around age five from their big brother Willie who had died of small pox. Jenny also told Claire how their mother, Ellen, died two years after Willie while in childbirth. That message hits home since Jenny is in the same place and with a breach baby no less. Claire is determined to help Jenny through this, alive.
The next morning (Jenny is still in labor, by the way) the men go down to breakfast. MacQuarrie brings up the subject of Horrocks. He pretty much corners Jamie and Ian with the points that don’t add up to why Horrocks is missing. Jamie admits he ran him through with a blade before Ian could say anything. The Watch leader admits he is glad about it. But that doesn’t let Jamie off the hook just yet. The Watch is now down a man so they force Jamie into riding with them and taking Horrocks’ place for the raid they were going to do. Ian says he will go too, ever the man to cover Jamie in a fight.
Upstairs they tell Jenny and Claire. Both are none too happy with the idea, but Jenny tells them to get on with it and come back quickly. Claire tells Jamie he had better hurry back or she will follow him and drag is his butt back by his thick red curls. After a classic passionate Jamie/Claire kiss, he takes his leave. Off in the soft Scottish weather they go, that is to say in the rain. The Watch leader and Jamie have a chat about Jamie riding with them more permanently. Jamie asks, “Or what? You’ll turn me over?” In the show MacQuarrie says they won’t turn Jamie over. In the book they do exactly that. The group ends up riding into an ambush in just the place Horrocks says they could set one for the British. They are boxed in from all sides by the British and fired upon.
We then return to Jenny after giving birth to their new wee lass. Jenny had thought the entire time that she would have a brother for wee Jamie (Aaron Wright). As Jenny and Claire are sitting watching the road for the men to come home after being gone three days, Jenny gave Claire the bracelets that belonged to her mother. Those of us who have read the books know the person who gave them to Ellen. Jenny tells Claire that only Ellen knew who gave them to her. They were a wedding present. Just then two men come hobbling in the gate to Lallybroch. It is Ian and one of the Watchmen. They tell the women that most of the men were killed in the ambush. Claire is asking frantically where Jamie is. Ian said the Redcoats captured Jamie. Claire looks out down the road and the episode ends. The next episode is aptly titled “The Search.” As Claire said, she would go find him so… Tulach Ard!!!!
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