You know what they say: Into each drama, some rain must fall. And such was the case — both literally and figuratively — for this week’s Outlander episode, “The Fox’s Lair.” Literally because, well, we’re back in Scotland and that’s just what happens there. Figuratively because, well, this episode was slow-moving and — dare I say? — a little dull. But that’s the nature of the episodic beast. Some episodes’ purpose is simply to bridge the narrative gap from one plotline to another. So maybe we can dispatch with this particular episode rather quickly?
As I mentioned, Claire and Jamie have made their way back to Scotland (and Lallybroch) to reunite with Jamie’s sister, Jenny, and her husband, Ian. And with the day’s post comes some rather unfortunate news: Not only has Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland with an army, but Jamie’s signature has been forged onto a document petitioning on behalf of the Stewart crown. So as much as Jamie and Claire had hoped they foiled the Jacobite uprising, it appears they, in fact, did not.
“It’s all coming to pass, isn’t it?” Claire worriedly wonders aloud. She suggests they flee to Ireland or the Colonies, but Jamie is resolute. He believes in Claire’s power to change the future (she did stanch a smallpox outbreak in Paris and convince Louise to bear Prince Charles’ baby, so…), so he wants to fight for his home and his family.
Jamie has an errand to run before joining the Prince and his troops, though: He’s off to see his grandfather, Lord Lovat — a scoundrel whom he’s never really met or gotten to know — in order to get his men to join the rebellion. (It’s here that Jamie reveals a family secret to Claire: His father is actually a bastard, as Lord Lovat impregnated a kitchen maid. It’s pretty adorable how Jamie fears Claire will think the worse of him for it.)
So the two depart the next day for their journey, with plans to meet up with Murtagh and Fergus after. When they arrive at Lord Lovat’s they’re greeting by an unexpected (yet all-too-familiar) face. It’s Colum MacKenzie, and despite his distrust of Lovat, he has also come hoping to secure an alliance. Oh! And look! Another unexpected face. It’s Laoghaire! She has accompanied Colum on his journey, and unsurprisingly, Claire is not pleased to see her, given that their last encounter led to Claire being tried for witchcraft. Claire unloads on Laoghaire. And, you know, it actually does make her feel better.
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At dinner that night, Jamie lays out his plans to his grandfather and Colum, but they’re dubious of Prince Charles’ chances given that France has yet to pledge support.
“We will welcome the French support when it comes, but we don’t need it!” Jamie declares. His kin Simon (the son of Lord Lovat) pipes up in support of Jamie, but he’s quickly chastised by his father. (Simon, it seems, is not the most confident, assured of men.)
NEXT: La Dame Blanche returns