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'Outlander' recap: 'Wentworth Prison'

Claire attempts to rescue Jamie, but Black Jack isn’t having it.

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© 2014 Sony Pictures Television


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

The end is nigh, Outlander fans. Tonight’s “Wentworth Prison” and last week’s “The Search” have set the stage for a brutal end to season 1. (You’ll want to note that the finale airs May 30—not next week.) So without further ado, let’s revisit the bloody events of this penultimate episode.

We open on gallows—a veritable conveyor belt of hangings. One after another after another. Jamie and McQuarrie, in chains, wait their turn. Jamie tries to hatch an escape plan, but McQuarrie isn’t game.

“Is it the rope you’re afraid?” he asks Jamie.

“No,” Jamie replies. “What grieves me is to think my wife will never forgive me for foolishly getting myself hung.

“Aye, nothing like a wife to make a man feel disquieted in his own death,” McQuarrie answers, before his own name is called and he mounts the gallows. He goes down declaring fealty to Scotland, but he’s not out. The force didn’t break his neck, so he’s left squirming on the rope as Jamie is summoned. The Laird puts up a fight, but there’s not much a man in shackles can do. The noose is placed around his neck when a voice calls out to stop the execution. It’s Black Jack. But he’s no savior: He throws him in a dungeon cell, fate uncertain.

Meanwhile, Claire is enacting a plan of her own. She pays a visit to prison warden Sir Fletcher, asking if she may visit Jamie (whom she shrewdly explains is a distant relation). Paying her respects her duty as a good Christian woman, after all. He denies her request (it’d just be too dangerous), but does return with a box of his personal effects.  

Claire and Murtagh, who accompanied her, take their leave and go to a nearby drinking establishment, where Angus and Rupert are merrily rolling the dice with the locals. Their seeming insensitivity to Jamie’s plight is actually a ruse for deep intel gathering. As it turns out, their competitors are jailers at the prison and they’re chatty drunks. Angus and Rupert learn that the warden insists on having his evening meal in private followed by a 25-minute Bible-reading session and quiet reflection. Which means that he’s away from his office (and important things like, say, keys) for about an hour. Just enough time to break out Jamie?

Back at Wentworth, Black Jack finally makes an appearance in Jamie’s cell. And he’s not alone—he’s brought his heavy, a very large man named Marley. In his hands, Randall holds Jamie’s petition. It turns out the Wentworth bar flies aren’t the only ones with loose ale lips. (Yes, we’re looking at about you, Sandringham!) Randall sets the parchment on fire, effectively dashing any hopes Jamie has of becoming a truly free man.

Claire returns to the prison at the hour of Sir Fletcher’s respite, insisting that she had a letter to pick up from the warden. The guard—confused—seats Claire and Murtagh in Fletcher’s office to wait, while he goes about his duties. Claire and Murtagh hurriedly search the office for anything (a map) that will help them locate Jamie. But they’re soon interrupted by the jailer, whom Murtagh swiftly dispatches with a swift hit to the face. With him out of the way, Claire has less than an hour to not only find Jamie in the serpentine structure, but to also get him out. She peers into cells yelling his name (maybe use your inside voice, Claire?), until one of the prisoners tells her to look downstairs. “That’s where they keep those of us that hanging is too good for,” the old man says ominously.

NEXT: Fifty Shades of Black