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Recaps

Two Takes: Outlander “The Gathering” 

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Claire is so very clever and strategic as she plots her escape. She’s able to study where the guards and sentries are posted and make plans to avoid them. She knows she needs to steal away during The Gathering and she’s marked her path well enough that she thinks she can find her way to Inverness and Craigh na Dun. But Claire has to give up on her plan after an unexpected run in with an unruly group of men, one of which is Dougal. It’s Jamie who makes her realize she just can’t get away and it’s as he’s accompanying her back to the castle that the real trouble begins.

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Kara: I’m reminded of something you said a few weeks ago about 1743 Scotland being such a brutal place. Claire has to worry about unwanted attention from some of the men traveling to Castle Leoch to pledge their fealty to Colum – as well as a drunken Dougal, who isn’t above taking liberties. As if that’s not enough, after Claire’s hopes of an escape are dashed, she has to worry about tending to the men wounded during the boar hunt. But her biggest fear probably has to do with Jamie, who was purposely staying hidden during The Gathering. Because he left the stables to accompany her back to the castle, he’s drawn into the ceremony. Of course the problem is that because Jamie has MacKenzie blood, he could technically become the next laird if he got enough support behind him. But if he doesn’t take the pledge Dougal and the rest of the clansmen won’t stand idly by while Jamie insults them. At first, I was kind of wistful that we don’t have traditions and ceremonies like this in the States, but it all seems complicated and potentially deadly, so I got over that pretty quickly.

Tina: I am beyond glad we don’t have traditions like this in the States. But, really, what this all boils down to is politics. The politics of Jamie potentially being the next laird makes things tense. Did you see Dougal up there? The men surrounding Jamie? They are ready to unleash some brutality if things don’t go the way it needs to go (for them). And, of course, Jamie does what he needs to do to get out of that situation intact. He’s not only hot, he’s smart. He pledges his obedience while he’s on MacKenzie land and says just the right thing to escape unharmed. As for Claire, she should have known it was going to be difficult to get out of Castle Leoch. She does give it a great effort, though. It just spectacularly backfires on her. Thankfully, she has Jamie to escort her back to the castle. But OMG. How many times is Jamie going to be knocked out or knocked about? It happens a couple of times in this episode: when he tries to lead Claire back to the castle. And then that Dougal vs. Jamie field hockey game. Is that field hockey they are playing? It sure looks like it but I don’t know. I’m not up on the history of Scottish sport.

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Kara: I barely follow modern sports, so I literally have no idea what they’re playing. Field hockey? Sure. Your guess is as good as mine. And, I agree, everybody seems to want a piece of Jamie and it’s all about control – even for Laoghaire, who goes to Claire for a love potion. Claire doesn’t think Laoghaire needs her help, but she wants his heart and Laoghaire hasn’t had any success getting that yet. Can we also talk about Murtagh? I like that we see him warm up to Claire in this episode. Claire doesn’t understand a word of the MacKenzie’s native tongue, so she’s usually dependent on someone – either Geilles or Jamie – to tell her what’s going on. So when Murtagh takes up that job, I know she’s earned his respect. I was going to say she’s earned his trust, but that’s something that’s earned over quite a long time. In those days putting your faith in the wrong person could get you seriously injured or killed and although Claire’s proven herself to be strong and industrious, there’s still a lot they don’t know about her. And what about Geilles? She is so observant. She’s the only one who picks up on the fact that Claire’s up to something. Geilles assumes she’s pregnant and that brings up Claire’s “dead” husband again and how she and Frank tried for children, but never conceived. I love that Claire is so careful with her words, at first. But in order to stick with her story, she has to proclaim Frank dead once again. But as she’ll now be traveling with Dougal and company to collect rents, maybe she’ll get her chance to get to Craigh na Dun and back to Frank.

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Tina: Is it just me or is there a Jamie/Murtagh bromance going on? Maybe I’m searching for one because I dig bromances, but there’s a real friendship there, regardless. I love Murtagh in this episode. He’s there for Claire. And he’s there for Jamie. He’s one of my favorite parts of this episode. As is Dougal. There’s so much going on with him. At times he’s scary and controlled. Other times he’s scary and out of control. There are moments when he’s utterly stoic. And then when his friend is dying from the boar attack, he gets downright emotional. There are so many different sides to the character. As for Geilles, she continues to be fierce. Anytime we see her, there’s no telling what she’ll say or what she’ll do. I really enjoy the unpredictability. She’s definitely going to keep Claire on her toes. I really enjoyed the performances in “The Gathering” immensely. And then there’s the cameo from the Outlander author, Diana Gabaldon. I read that she was going to be in the episode and I think she did a great job as the bitchy Iona McTavish, who shares scenes with Claire and Murtagh at the Gathering.

Kara: Did you see Ron D. Moore as well? He was also there.

Tina: I totally forgot! Now I’m going to have to watch again. Can I just say I love that an episode of Outlander aired on my birthday? Such a great present. Thanks, Starz!

Outlander airs Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz.

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2 Comments

  1. Teri

    Not sure if they’ve said it in the show or not but Murtaugh is Jamie’s godfather. They have a great relationship.

    1. Tina Charles

      Totally forgot about that. I don’t know if they mentioned that on the show. Would explain their closeness though.

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