We pick up this week exactly where we were left cruelly hanging as Lt. Foster, (new Twitter sensation @TomBrittney), asked Claire in his sexy, cultured theatre-trained voice, ‘are you here of your own choice? I’m certain my Commander will wish to speak with you.’ Claire pipes up with ‘I can assure you I’m a guest of the Clan McKenzie’ thus allowing Dougal a millisecond to unclench his buttox muscles and rewire his synapses. Lt. Cutie-pie says he’s gonna haul her down to the precint and Dougal says, ‘where the lady goes, I go’ and with those words Dougal and Claire are on their way with the redcoats. As much as Dougal can be a sonofabitch, he could have let Claire go on her own with a ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’, but he did not and I’m gonna give him a gold star for his actions even if his motivation was most likely fear of Mrs. Fitz due to her admiration of Claire.
The next scene finds the tables turned as Dougal, Claire and the English soldiers enter the village as the camera pans over one of the young soldiers with the worst raccoon sunburn I’ve ever scene. (For God sake, you’re English, use SPF 75+)! Lt. Cu-T-Pie takes Claire and Dougal into the officer’s dining room which is painted ‘Washington Blue’ from Benjamin Moore’s Williamsburg Collection which I have as an accent wall in my guest room. The Lt. introduces Dougal to ‘Brigadier General Oliver Lord Thomas That’s A Mouthful’ who commences to make condescending remarks to Dougal as though it is not his land upon which they stand. It’s a bit disconcerting to see War Chief of the Clan McKenzie treated thusly and my own buttox muscles clench a bit at the manner in which he is treated. And like last week, I realize why this is not being shown in the UK until the vote is over cuz the English don’t come across very well to say the least. Claire is immediately seated, handed a drink in the same, or similar, lovely wine glasses from the Gathering (Crate & Barrel, Leoch Collection?) and a rude excuse is given why Dougal is not welcome at their table. All the men then take out their wee wees and clang them around, a ruler is brought in and they have a measuring contest (Alright, I’m making that part up, but it seemed like they were getting ready to). Claire finally scolds the boys and threatens them with ‘time out’ and they all promise to behave if they can have dessert. Dougal is dismissed and sent downstairs to the tavern. I’m confused. What is this place? A village? A hotel? A small castle? Ye Olde Olive Garden?
With Dougal dismissed, they all get down to eating their fancy dinner (cloth napkins!), an invisible harpsichord begins to play, Claire morphs into Scarlett O’Hara as she bats her eyes, fans herself like a coquette and entertains the troups with her stories. She seems pretty confident, she’ll be back at Craigh Na Dun before you can say ‘My first husband is slightly boring” when the door flies open and …speaking of her first husband, Black Jack Randall noisily stumbles in. Randall is condescending to the men and I wonder about their rank. I’m a little confused….Black Jack is towards the middle, My Dear Lord Oliver Whatshisname is the boss and then there are other soldiers of mysterious rank. How can BJ (oh my, that’s unfortunate!) Randall, talk to his bosses like that. If this were corporate America, he’d be sent straight to H.R. BJ begins baiting Claire about her time with the MacKenzies and she FALLS for it. I suppose it’s due to his uncanny resemblance to her beloved, first boring husband, but I don’t remember ‘book Claire’ being so obtuse. She defends the Highlanders so vociferously that at one point she stands on the table, pumping her fist in the air shouting “Attica, Attica, Attica”. Note: There’s a slight chance I imagined that part.
Private Somebody bursts in and says there’s been an ambush and they can’t find the physician and Claire pops up, “I done told you I love docterin” and runs down the stairs bellowing for boiled water and clean cloths. At the bottom of the stairs is Dougal, who pulls her aside for a quick, whispered convo, “Are you alright Lassie?” Claire: “I’m not a collie and Yes, stand aside at once I must save another life!” Dougal: “Helz No! BJ Randall is here, we must away!” Claire: “Okay, but first I must amputate this disgusting arm” and she grabs a sword and chops it off like a samurai. (another possible exagerration) I wonder about the people sitting in the tavern trying to enjoy their lunch with blood spurting into the pesto. Do you get a refund or a discount when someone’s limb is being amputated at the next table or is that a ‘goes with the territory’ kind of thing in 1740 something?
Claire returns to the dining room where Corporal Hawkins is shaving Randall’s neck (Randall addresses her as Nurse Beauchamp which confuses me because I thought the only nurses they had back then were wet and filled with milk) and Claire flashes back to when she shaved her generic first husband’s face during WWII with his family’s straight razor (Don’t look now, but it’s the same one!) Corporal H accidentally cuts Randall’s neck and Randall sits him in the chair and holds the razor to his neck taunting and terrifying him. He dismisses him and tells Claire from now on it’s just the two of them since all the mentally-balanced, yet condescending soldiers have gone to the scene of the ambush. Thus begins 30 minutes or so of the sickest, wiliest game of cat and mouse I can ever remember watching. Randall freaks me out so much, I decide on the spot to renew my yearly membership with ADT Alarm Company with the option to connect straight to the Police Department.
Randall takes Claire for a ride-along flashback of the second time he whipped and almost killed Jamie and truthfully, I had to mute the volume and peak through my fingers. Not something I’m proud of but, …..since we’re being honest….. All you need to know is Randall is one sick bastard and I want him dead and Jamie is young and so very brave, he breaks my heart. (I want to rescue him, clean his back, feed him soup and be his mom.) #ImARecentEmptyNesterAndWantToAdoptEveryone During their conversation, Randall seems intelligent, charming, thoughtful, introspective and Claire begins to fall for his giant load of B.S. because she wants him to be a good man like her husband. But Claire, please remember, he is NOT. He charmingly tells her to stand up and sucker punches her with enough force to knock the wind out of her and even I can’t breathe and I’m thousands of miles from Scotland. Then he calls in Corporal Hawkins and orders him to kick Claire. Hawkins is appalled and terrified and ‘pretend’ kicks her until he is ordered to kick her hard, and so he does. (Note: Corporal Hawkins, You need to put in for a transfer….STAT)
I never thought I’d say this but thank GOD for Dougal who bursts in the room, picks Claire up and with only his bravado and courage saves her and half carries/half drags her out of the room after promising to return her to Randall and Ft. William Prison within 24 hours.
They gallop away when Dougal pulls off the highway at the first exit and leads her to an enchanted pond with magical waters that burn hell out of your throat or somesuch if you tell a lie. He asks again if she is a spy and she says no, and now he finally believes her. He tells her he has been powwowing on his cell with Ned Gowan and the only way to save her is to change her from an Englishwoman to a Scot. To do that she must marry a Scot. She looks at him with horror and says, “What? I have to marry you!?” as if he suggested she take off her clothes and dance with the Loch Ness Monster. He charmingly answers “I must admit the idea of grinding your corn does tickle me” <Ew> but no she will not marry him.
“Then who? Not Angus, Not Angus, Not Angus!” her heart and mind scream in unison! No, thank God, here comes Jamie with a bounce in his step the likes of which we haven’t seen since first we met. He hands her a wine cooler or equivalent and says, ‘there’s no one else I want to marry and can we get this show on the road?’ She says, “so as far as you’re concerned, we can start the honeymoon tomorrow?” “YES!” declares Jamie along with at least 5,000,000 women from around the world as ice floes crack, volcanoes erupt and 1,000 trains speed through tunnels.
Then they have the long-awaited conversation, Claire: “I’m not a virgin”. Jamie (looking around): “yeah…uhhhh……. about that…..”
I’m not too proud to admit I then watched next week’s previews, pausing, re-winding and pausing again like some kind of sick, twisted addict trying to see something, anything that looks like ‘Claimie’ love. I was NOT disappointed. And judging by the 300+ re-tweets of the photo I ‘grabbed’, the rest of you weren’t either. Now, all we have to do is wait it out until next week~~