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'Outlander' recap: 'The Search'

Claire’s hunt for Jamie takes her to the ends of the earth. Or, at least, Scotland.

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TV Show
Drama, Romance, Sci-fi
run date:
Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan
Ronald D. Moore
Current Status:
In Season

All together now: “On the road agaaaaaaaain. Just can’t wait to get back on the road agaaaaaaaain.” Jamie and Claire are, without a doubt, one of the most mobile couples on television—and without the benefit of planes, trains, or automobiles! Just imagine the capers they’d get up to if they had, like, a Honda Civic. In what has become something of a recurring theme in this first season, one Fraser has become captive, the other rescuer. In “The Search” it is Claire who must deliver Jamie from the clutches of the Red Coats.

But seeing as she doesn’t know the Highlands well (nor where to really even begin looking for him), Ian volunteers to accompany her. Except, well, he’s missing a leg—a casualty of last episode’s ambush. So, in his stead, recently pregnant Jenny will ride. (Just imagine Kate Middleton hopping on a stead to travel home from the hospital!) But Jenny’s a no-nonsense woman and an expert tracker, not afraid to squeeze horse poop in her palm to see how warm it is. Yuck. With Ian’s crudely drawn map of where he, Jamie, and the Watch were set upon, the two women are off. Soon Jenny notices vultures circling and follows—finding several dead Watch men. She prays over them, and picking up the tracks of the heavy cart likely transporting Jamie, they’re off once again.

Eventually, all that galloping does take its toll, as Jenny exclaims that she’s about to burst. The two dismount, but instead of popping a squat, Jenny expresses a bit of breast milk to relieve her pain. It’s during this respite that Claire lays out her plan: She’s going to go above Black Jack’s head and  appeal to his superior Lord Thomas (whom we met in “The Garrison Commander” episode). She believes he took a shining to her. Jenny is not impressed.

Up ahead they hear voices. Jenny double-fists her pistols like a Scottish Lara Croft and hands one to Claire. They take cover, spying a Red Coat encampment. Watch leader MacQuarrie is there, but where’s Jamie?

“Do you suppose they’ve killed him?” Claire asks, worried.

“Why would they?” Jenny responds.

“Because he’s a headstrong Fraser,” Claire says.

The two hatch a plan to get further intel: Jenny takes a fall in front of one of the mounted Red Coats as he leaves. When he leans down to check on her, she and Claire draw their weapons. Jenny, it turns out, has a very particular set of skills—beyond her bloodhound-level tracking. They’re torture skills. She takes a flame-licked rod and presses it to the soldier’s bare foot. Claire struggles to stomach the proceedings. When he doesn’t talk, Jenny gets really serious:

“Maybe if we smoke your bollocks, it will change your mind!” she declares.

Thankfully for the Red Coat, Claire has another plan. He had been carrying correspondence bound for Ft. William. She rifles through his bag for clues and finds a notice about Jamie having run away. If they simply tear it up, the search parties will be none the wiser. But there is the dirty little business of the soldier. Jenny reasons that they can’t just leave him there, after all. They must kill him. As they bicker about their next course of action, their captive begins emitting some strange noises. They turn around and see Murtagh (whom Ian dispatched) slicing his throat. Someone else made the hard decision for them. (Though Claire does confess to Jenny later: “I just know that if Murtagh hadn’t turned up when he did, I would have done it myself,” confirming her undying love for Jamie).

The next morning, with Murtagh now on the scene to escort Claire, Jenny returns home. But not before the two trade supplies and advice. Jenny gives Claire a knife and a bag of coins; Claire tells her to plant potatoes because there’s going to be a famine in a few years.

“Jamie said you might tell me things,” Jenny says. “It didn’t make much sense at the time, but he said if you did, I was to do as you ask.”

NEXT: There’s no business like show business