‘Outlander’ Season 1 Episode 14 Recap: “The Search”

Outlander Season One Episode 114 Recap
Caitriona Balfe and Laura Donnelly star in ‘Outlander’ (Photo © 2014 Sony Pictures Television)

Female determination pretty much sums up the 14th episode of season one of Outlander. “The Search” begins with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) doing exactly what she told Jamie (Sam Heughan) she would do if he didn’t return from his outing with the Watch. She grabbed him by his “thick red curls” and told him she would hunt him down and drag him back by said curls.

Claire doesn’t realize that Jenny (Laura Donnelly) is doing the very same thing. Having just had a baby girl a few days before, Jenny is not really in an ideal state to ride across the countryside. But tell a Fraser no and that is equal to saying, “Go get’em!” So the lasses saddle up…Tulach Ard!! Claire is able to live off the land having grown up with her uncle, the archeologist. She grew up at dig sites and out in camp sites. But she doesn’t know the Scottish countryside as Jenny does, so she really is in no position to argue.

The lasses head toward the location of the ambush where the British took Jamie captive. The Scottish countryside is truly an additional element to this show. Such amazing scenery is gifted to the viewer throughout this entire episode. They find the few Watch men that were killed still lying in the location where Jamie was taken, with birds eating one of the man’s eyes out, how lovely! As the lasses pick up the trail and continue across the country, Jenny has to hold up for a little bit. A clear reminder that she has recently given birth, her breasts are bursting with milk for the baby that is not with her. Any woman who has had a child knows how miserable that milk engorgement feels. I’m sure bobbing along on horseback is just as pleasant only a couple days after delivery. And men had the nerve to think women weak much of the world’s history. {Snort} Not these lasses! They continue tracking them and find the cart and soldiers at last.

They shinny up a ridge to look down at the group, minus one very large ginger-haired Highlander. Jamie is nowhere to be seen among the soldiers. One of the soldiers is handed a letter, so he mounts up and leaves the camp. Jenny and Claire follow. Jenny masterfully faints in front of the horse to stop him and Claire puts a pistol to his head. Next you see him tied up and the women “interrogating” him. Basically Jenny brands the man’s bare foot a couple of times with a fire-heated metal musket rod. He is stubborn to keep his tongue, but sure does let out a yell. Claire hears him say he is only a courier, so she searches his things and finds the letter. It’s asking for reinforcements to search for Jamie because he had escaped. Heartened that he is out of British hands, they rationally consider where he might go… North, well out of reach of the patrols. That’s the master plan!! As they turn back to the soldier, Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is there slicing his neck with his dirk. So much for witnesses, or the lasses having to decide who would do it.

They make camp for the night. Jenny thinks Claire was judging her for saying that they couldn’t let the soldier live to spread the word of what they were trying to do. Claire tells her that she would have killed him herself if she had to, but Murtagh saved them both the trouble. That night Claire tells Jenny a bit about how she grew up with an archeologist. Jenny tells Claire how she learned to track so well, taught by Ian (Steven Cree) and Jamie.

The next morning Jenny has to go back home to tend the baby. Murtagh is there now, so he and Claire will continue the search. Claire had to tell Jenny something important before she let her go. She tells her to plant potatoes instead of wheat. Claire, always afraid to share too much of the future, simply had to try to prepare Lallybroch for the coming years of hunger and difficulty. Jamie had told Jenny to heed anything that Claire might tell her, even if it sounded odd or crazy. Jenny trusted her brother enough to know it was for the best, and she did listen to Claire’s advice. They embrace and Jenny knows Claire will not stop till she has Jamie with her.

Outlander Season 1 Episode 114 Recap
Caitriona Balfe and Duncan Lacroix in ‘Outlander’ (Photo © 2014 Sony Pictures Television)

Claire and Murtagh hatch a plan to smoke Jamie out of hiding. Jamie has to find them; they will not be able to find him since he is in hiding. Claire starts out tending people’s illnesses and wounds. Doctors are few and far between, so it draws attention. Murtagh asks around while she is doing that for news of Jamie. They quickly realize they need to increase their exposure so word of mouth travels faster. Murtagh begins dancing and Claire tells fortunes. They sound an awful lot like the one told to her in episode one by the good reverend’s housekeeper. Still nothing is heard of Jamie. Claire mentions that Murtagh needs to up his entertainment game by adding a tune. She sings a little bit of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and Murtagh gets a great idea: enter the singer Sassenach. None of this musical element is in the book, but it sure is entertaining in the show.

They dress Claire up as a boy juggler, with pants and a tri-corner hat to complete the look. She starts signing the same rhythm as the “Bugle Boy” tune, but she has Scottish lyrics. This is a tune that Jamie has known since he was a lad, sung by Dougal (Graham McTavish) when he was drunk. An English woman singing a Scottish tune is a sure way to tell him they are looking for him. They go from village to village, all the time asking if anyone has seen someone with Jamie’s description.

Then they come upon a group doing their little ditty. They are true gypsies who stole the scheme to make money. They confront the gypsies after they finish the show. Claire gives them money, most of what they have left, and begs them to stop doing it. They are trying to reach Jamie and the song is vital to that effort. If another group is doing it they could get Jamie to go to the wrong place. Murtagh doesn’t believe the gypsy, but Claire has to have faith that they will keep to their word not to perform the song again. This makes Murtagh angry and he tells Claire to go back to Lallybroch. Claire reminds him that she is the Lady of Lallybroch and outranks him. She is determined to find Jamie and that is all there is to it.

They continue throughout the country until they get all the way to the far north shore. They camp in a cave for the night, upset and disappointed at not having found Jamie. They both had been keeping it together up to this point, but frustration and emotions have them both on the edge. Murtagh tells Claire the story of the love of his life that he lost after Claire wounds him by saying he had never lost anyone. It happens that this lost love was a lass who he gave a set of tusk bracelets to on her wedding day, that same set that Jenny gave to Claire at the end of the last episode (they belonged to Jenny’s mother). Claire pulls them out and shows them to Murtagh. They both breakdown about the pain they are feeling at losing Jamie.

The next morning, a new understanding between them, they decide to go back to the beginning and start over. While in a tavern the gypsies show back up with a message. Someone found them and asked they meet them at a certain location. They make for the meeting place in all speed. When they arrive they think they will find Jamie, but in fact they find Dougal and some of his men. Dougal, up to his political tricks, has a few things stored up for the rebellion he is hoping will come. But Dougal admits that he does know where Jamie is. He tells Claire and Murtagh that Jamie has been taken to Wentworth Prison. All of those who have read the book weep at the thought. Dougal has another proposition for Claire. He asks her to marry him, but Claire figures out all his scheming motives behind the proposal. He has a few valid points as to why she should do it, but this sends Claire into a rage. She pretty much calls him out on all of his crap. It’s surprising that Dougal lets her say all that to him. He doesn’t exactly strike me as the type of man to take lip from a woman, but he takes it off Claire. And she is completely right!

Dougal is manipulated by Claire into allowing her to ask his men to go with her. She agrees to marry him if Jamie is killed. She doesn’t agree to marry him in the book, but the reasons laid out in the show make sense for the time period. Claire does shame some of the men into coming with her and Murtagh. And NOW, off to Wentworth Prison… Anyone else have a shudder run through their bones? I most certainly cannot say Je Suis Prest, in all honesty! I am SO NOT ready for what is coming. Claire, synch up your corset girl…danger awaits. I’ll be watching these next two episodes from behind a pillow. Who is with me?!

A look back: Outlander season one episode 13 recap

– By dedicated Outlander fan Laura Putnam

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