Rarely have I seen anything as mystical and ethereal as the birds flying in beautiful patterns over the loch, then I remember my kids used to love to watch a large flock do a similar thing at a much less appealing destination a few miles from our home.
Claire and Geillis are unceremoniously dropped 15′ or so into the thieves hole since nobody cared enough to go find a ladder. They begin to argue because Geillis blames Claire for her predicament and thinks Claire blabbed all her witchy secrets. Claire tells her even after she realized Geillis poisoned her flatulent husband, she didn’t say a word cuz she thought his murder would be both a public service and an ecologically sound decision due to the amount of contaminated methane Arthur released into the environment.
A guard drops down a stale heel of bread and it lands in the dirt.
Geillis picks it up and offers half to Claire who declines. Geillis whispers they won’t be there long because Dougal will save them. Claire finally pipes up that he and Jamie were sent out of town by Colum and no one is coming. ‘That information would have been nice to have toward the end of last week’s episode!’ sneers Mistress Duncan.
It’s the morning of the witch trial and Claire wakes up shivering. A ladder is lowered into the hole (FINALLY), they climb up, their wrists are tied and they’re pulled through town past the WBP Witch Burning Platform. I am astonished to see it being assembled by a man who’s a favorite of both Mrs. Fitz and myself as he has helped us keep our kitchens spotless for so many years.
The court room is packed with dirty, hairy people who look like they might be rejects from a reality show about gators if they had TV back then. Suddenly Ned Gowan pushes his way into the courtroom. Our Ned may not look like Jamie, but make no mistake, the man’s a hero. It takes balls the size of grapefruits to take on this crowd. Gowan is brilliant and lays on some fancy footwork bringing nods of agreement and burst of laughter from the gallery. He does all this because he’s still grateful to Claire for her actions way back in Episode 5 when she relieved his asthma and gave him his best buzz since Woodstock.
Court is in session and we are presented with witnesses for the prosecution:
1) Jeannie, the maid. She says she saw both women involved in numerous evil activities including gathering herbs and grinding them into medicines. #IsItOppositeDay? In addition, ‘Mrs. Duncan sang ominous incantations that caused her kitty to run from the room’. ‘So, now we are supposed to take the testimony of a cat?’ asked the lawyer, implying that all cats lack intelligence and sensitivity and causing my cat, Gus, to be offended.
2) Lady With Spooky Eyes Who Left Her Sick Baby in the Woods. She testifies she left her sick baby in the fairy tree and Claire interfered with the entire changeling scenario and it all quickly went to hell in a handbasket. Ned listens and pretends she’s not Cuckoo for Cocoapuffs and counters with, ‘perhaps, we should thank Mrs. Fraser instead of condemning her.’
3) Next Dude: Describes seeing Geillis standing outside in a storm, calling down lightning, turning into a winged bird and flying into the sky. Is it me or does this guy sound like he might have gotten into Claire’s ‘thornapple’ stash.
Claire and Geillis stand for hours at a time….just staring at the crowd, not knowing what will happen, alone in their thoughts.
Court’s finally adjourned and Ned quickly hides a flask in Claire’s pocket to keep her warm during the night. She and Geillis settle in for the world’s most depressing sleepover as the cable’s out and all they’ve got is the whisky.
Claire asks if Geillis was after Dougal’s power and his money. ‘No’ she proclaims. She stole over 1000 pounds from Arthur and only wanted Dougal due to his passion for the Jacobite cause and his overall hotness. Claire points out he’s a womanizer and Geillis says she doesn’t care. Other than occasionally murdering a husband or two, Geillis might be every man’s dream. She’s hot as hell, has plenty of dough and doesn’t give two figs if you cheat. She probably watches football all weekend on the flatscreen and thinks it’s endearing when her man leaves Cheetos and spilled beer strewn over the coffee table.
Claire and Geillis wake up the next day with something akin to mutual caring and friendship after the previous night’s bonding. Claire gently places her hand on Geillis’ stomach and Geillis bends and kisses it. Claire shouts up to her captors for a couple of necessities that they’d appreciate before their day begins.
4) Laoghaire. Mean Girl admits she went to Claire to buy Love Potion No. 9 to seduce Jamie but instead Claire took it and stole her one true love. She whines that ‘Jamie should’ve loved me and his rejection’s got nothing to do with my being a selfish, self-absorbed, ignorant twit!’ Claire shouts, ‘She put a flipping ‘Michael’s crafting fail’ under my bed and tried to steal my husband!
5) Father Bain makes an entrance like it’s his first time doing summer theatre in the Poconos, chewing the scenery as he glides down the aisle. He calls Claire ‘the whore of Babylon’ and yammers on about how he prayed for God to curse her yada yada, but since she saved Thomas Baxter, he’s gonna hand in his notice because he really blew that job. Rupert’s homely cousin stands and says that only Satan could drive a man of God away, ergo, Claire is Satan. Bain turns his head smirks at Claire and walks back to his seat with a parting shot.
Ned calls for a time-out and takes the ladies to the Green Room (it’s furnished with some lovely antiques and collectibles!) and tells them he can only save Claire and she must renounce Geillis and let her burn at the stake. Ned explains there’s no other choice, cuz since she’s come to town, Geillis has all but ridden a broom down the aisle of the Cranesmuir Stop & Shop. Claire says ‘but neither of us is a witch’. ‘It’s not what you are, it’s what people think you are,’ he replies. Truer words have never been spoken, Mr. Gowan. Also, Geillis Duncan is screwed.
They are taken back to the courtroom and Claire stands to speak. But she cannot throw Geillis under the bus because she has integrity of gold and ovaries of brass. They are sentenced to burn and Ned pulls his gun on the crowd and some men grab him and toss him over the rail as though he’s light as a feather. #HowFarAreWeGonnaDeviateFromTheBook? Two men hold Claire’s arms and and they rip her dress open and whip her back as she screams and cries out in pain. Laoghaire leans into her face and sneers ‘I shall dance upon your ashes’ making it very difficult for me to defend her in further re-caps.
FINALLY, Jamie appears and pulls both his sword and dagger. Cranesmuir has an open carry law and everyone else pulls their swords and daggers too. Jamie says he’s sworn an oath before God to protect her and if the crowd ‘thinks their authority is greater than the Almighty, then I must inform ye that I am not of that opinion myself’. Dude can sure think on his feet.
Geillis seeing no other option, tears off her clothes exposing her Dougal bump and her vaccination scar calling it the mark of the devil and I thank the Lord nobody in the room is savvy enough to take a peek at Claire’s arm….or mine for that matter. Geillis goes on to confess to the murders of Arthur Duncan, JFK and Jimmy Hoffa as well.
Jamie and Claire have escaped and are in the forest by a river and he’s cleaning her back with a cool cloth. ‘Are you a witch’? he asks ‘I’ve seen the scar on your arm too.’ Claire explains what vaccines are, how they work and why she has the scar. I’m relieved Jamie is an ‘educated man’, every other guy in town would have her on the next bus back to Cranesmuir. When he realizes she ran away to try to get back to her husband and he beat her for it, Jamie’s eyes show so much pain I begin to cry and also wonder how I can possibly be funny after this.
Jamie takes the news like a champ and says he believes her. My husband gets cranky and asks more questions when he discovers we’re out of milk for his morning cereal. But not Jamie, he’s the King of Men.
Claire reminds me of the time the yard guy accidentally ripped a hole in the side of our pool and all the water gushed out. Girl cannot stay quiet and the words pour out and her relief is palpable as she’s been holding it all in for so long.
That night Claire is sleeping under the stars and Jamie is memorizing her face because he’s already begun to say goodbye. The fact that she doesn’t yet know that, does not help keep the tears from shooting out of my eyes so hard I think I’m going to need to stop the DVR and go get a beach towel.
She wakes up as he’s Mmphm’ing her and he’s so tender with her and it’s so tragic and he’s trying so hard to stop thinking of her as his wife, but as Frank’s wife instead that I want to contact Diana Gabaldon immediately and find out what sort of spell she has cast on me. But since I’m not insane, I restrain myself.
The next morning he guides her to look at the view and she is stunned to see they are at the foot of Craigh na dun. They climb to the top and Jamie smacks the stones a few times and nothing happens. Claire hears the buzzing and almost walks into it when he pulls her back. He says he’ll be waiting back where they camped the night before to make sure she has made it safely. She sits all day and ponders and that night after dark, she comes back to him and he’s laying by the fire with his eyes closed and he’s crying and when he wakes up and realizes she has chosen him, I lose it even more.
I’d like to know what you thought my friends. Did you cry so much your face swelled up and you frightened the livestock? Did the changes drive you slightly cray-cray? Please let me hear from you…..and see you all next week!