The Fraser’s have made it to Lallybroch. Scotland means a glimpse of Jamie’s thighs in kilt, which is always so much yes. Personally, I am glad the show chose not to follow Jamie and Claire on their journey from France to Scotland. There’s enough filler as it is, no need for an hour of Jamie puking on a ship. That said, lacking some sort of transition from France to Scotland made the episode disjointed. Also, we’re to understand that they have reconnected as a couple, but we aren’t shown this. As soon as they start to bone, it fades to black. Okay. Maybe I just want to see them bone and care nothing about seeing their re-connection emotionally.
The potatoes are ready for harvest, and everyone is excited to see a potato, if not confused as to how one eats a potato. Enter Claire and Fergus with the basics of potato cuisine. Next up- mail. In the novels, Claire receives a letter from Master Raymond, filled with herbs, tiny bones and stones with glyphs carved into them. Jamie receives a letter from Charles Stuart. This does happen in Dragonfly, however it’s a couple chapters later than Claire’s letter from Raymond. They have also settled into Lallybroch life, with Claire working as a healer, when another letter arrives that will disrupt their lives for years to come.
The letter Jamie receives is not so much a letter as it is it’s a document that Charles has forged Jamie’s signature on, declaring his support of House Stuart. Jamie now has no choice but to join the Jacobite Rebellion. Charles has essentially forced Lallybroch into the war. Claire suggests leaving for Ireland, but Jamie declines. He tells her he cannot leave his people alone in this, despite Claire pointing out that the document now paints him as a traitor, which ensures he will hang. Jamie is a bit more hopeful, pondering their ability to win the war. Claire doesn’t believe that it’s possible to change the future anymore, but Jamie points out that she already has- by not aborting Louise’s baby, there is now a Stuart heir and by having the Compte’s ship destroyed, she ended up saving Paris from a smallpox outbreak.
Jamie, Murtagh and Ian work on plans to gather Lallybroch troops for the war. Jamie informs Claire and the others that he plans on asking lord Lovat for help. Jenny is not a fan of this idea. On the show, part of the backstory is that Lovat tried to have their mother kidnapped and sent away to an island, which while not canon, is something Lovat would do. Charles, unaware of the Fraser-Mackenzie family drama is expecting to have both houses to be on his side. Jenny warns Jamie that the Old Fox, as Lord Lovat is known, does nothing that isn’t in his best interest; and not without a price. Jamie declares he will not let pride stand in the way of saving his family, Lallybroch and everything they hold dear.
That evening, Jamie admits to Claire that his father is bastard; recognized, but still a bastard. This is almost verbatim from Dragonfly, and gives the viewers a bit of backstory. Claire wakes in the night to find Jamie out of bed. She finds him holding Jenny’s new daughter, Katherine (Caitriona in Gaelic). This is also a scene from the novels, and it’s very well done. Jenny joins Claire upstairs, looking down on Jamie. She jokes that he’s trying to get on her good side. She tells Claire that you can talk to a newborn without holding anything back. It’s good for the soul, the way you talk to them before they are born. But for men, they have to wait until the child is born to have these convos and weep over things that will come to pass.
While Jamie and Claire prepare to leave, Jenny gives Jamie the rosary that she gave to Ian when he left for France. It “brought him back” to her. Jamie jests that they weren’t even betrothed and she was giving Ian trinkets. Jenny tells him not to make her regret giving it to him. Then, holding back tears she hugs Jamie, telling him, “If you don’t come back, I’ll hate you forever.” Where will this rosary make its next appearance?
Fergus rides up on a donkey, making his case for going with them on their journey. Jenny and Ian try to keep him at Lallybroch, away from the fighting, but helping Rabbie harvest potatoes is not on Fergus’s list of fun times to be had. Jamie says he’s right; Fergus belongs with them. He’s allowed to leave with Murtaugh, his new “commanding officer,” who will meet up with Jamie and Claire once Jamie has secured Lovat’s men. Claire and Jenny say goodbyes and Jenny warns Claire to watch out for Lovat.
In the voiceover, we learn that Lovat has been extremely loyal to both to exiled King James and the monarch on the throne. He’s had numerous affairs and 3 wives, 2 acquired by nefarious means.
Claire frets over not being able to freshen up, when they hear a voice telling Jamie to leave the random thistle heads in her hair, “They suit her.” Surprisingly, it’s Column. He’s there to discuss the rebellion as well. Claire is icy to him, bringing up the witch trial. Colum tells Claire he believes Laoghaire overstepped he had her beaten. Claire was not meant to be with Geillis when she was arrested. This is not from the novels. Colum meets with Claire, and only Claire, before the battle at Prestonpans, I believe. There, he apologizes to Claire and asks if she would like Laoghaire beaten. Claire declines the offer, as both she and Jamie are still alive. When Jamie presses Colum as to Dougal’s whereabouts, he says he has decided it best for the clan if Dougal remains at his estate. Claire points out she assumed he would be the one riding into battle for the Mackenzie clan. It makes sense, he is war chieftain, and the only brother able to ride a horse at all. Colum only comments that he has forgotten the curious mind of Claire.
Lovat shows up and immediately insults Claire and Jamie. Jamie fires back, which pleases Lovat, who then responds, “Enough breath wasted on a woman. Leave us.” Claire is dismissed. As she walks through the castle, she runs into Laoghaire, who kneels and apologizes for her actions. She tells Claire she has changed. Claire is not having it. She tells Laoghaire “I have fantasized all manner of violent acts that I would subject you to, ending with lighting the pyre beneath your feet and dancing on your ashes as you promised to dance on mine.” Dayum, girl. Claire ends her verbal beatdown telling Laoghaire she doesn’t hate her, she pities her for thinking she could have something she never will. That something, is actually a someone- Jamie. I mean, who can really blame the crazy little bitch? I think about boning Jamie all the damn time. That said, as stated earlier, when Claire was offered the ability to punish Leery, she declined.
Claire tells Jamie she feels better after the confrontation as they dress for dinner, where Claire is welcome as dressing that doesn’t speak. Jamie gives a speech about the clans needing to band together in order to win back the throne, and Colum quips that they are all lucky to have such a close confidant of the prince with them. They are lucky to have an inside look into this “holy rebellion,” to which Lovat responds, “Aye, but I dunno know how holy it is.” The question then becomes one of how much the French have given, and Jamie admits the French have not yet supplied money and weapons. Jamie says they don’t need the French, the rebellion is already 1000 strong and growing every day. Young Simon believes that since there a a 30,000 pound bounty for the head of Stuart, the English are taking te rebellion seriously, and are fearful. Lovat tears into him, pointing out that the Brits can just kill him for 30,000 pounds, and never wage an expensive war. Then Lovat pervs out on Laoghaire as she serves him.
After dinner, Claire points out that Colum was using Jamie to sway Lovat, and Jamie states its because Lovat doesn’t trust Colum. Jamie muses that while young Simon may be spineless, he could be a strong vote for their side. Lovat hasn’t said no to troops yet, and it dawns on him that Jenny was right- Lovat wants something from them. A short time later Claire walks down a hall and becomes viewing party to Lovat manhandling a woman named Maisri, his seer. Before Claire can talk to her, she runs off.
Jamie finally meets with Grandpappy Lovat, who believes amie’s dad, Brian, painted a black picture of him. He chose the “Mackenzie whore” over his own father. After her death, Lord Lovat claims Brian chose her memory and Lallybroch over being Lovats heir. Lord Lovat is also very interested in whether or not it’s true that Jamie never paid fealty to Colum. Ding-ding! Lovat wants Lallybroch. The rents would mean nothing to him, as small as they are, but he doesn’t care; his bitterness over Brian’s rejection is still affecting him. Jamie makes a comment about there being a possibility that Lovat isn’t really his Grandpappy, “Implying your grandmother’s a whore to keep what you want? Aye you’re my kin alright.” He wants his son’s estate, and he will go to great lengths for it, including threatening Claire “Lallybroch, for your wife’s honor.” This is a scene that comes from the novels, and it was well done. Jamie is like go ahead, after she’s done w you, I’ll send in the maid to sweep up your remains. Lovat says he’s had worse, Jamie’s grandma comes to mind. Oh, and he’s going to let a ton of men in the castle also rape Claire. Jamie says he doesn’t need to worry. Claire is a wise woman…Madame Blanche, a white lady. Lovat looks terrified. Jamie basically tells him she’ll freeze his balls off and burn his soul, then dramatically throws booze into the fire causing a small explosion.
Jamie gives Claire a rundown later on, and while the Old Fox holds stock in the supernatural, Claire needs to be careful. They both agree that Maisri is holding something back from Lovat. Next up, my least favorite subplot. I dislike everything in the episode involving Leery, because I see it as the beginning of an even bigger change from the books in following seasons. Laoghaire is hanging clothing, and Claire catches her smelling Jamie’s shirt. Claire tells her she could forgive her, and while Jamie will never love her, he may forgive her as well. Claire wants Leery to seduce young Simon, to convince him to stand up to Lovat. She doesn’t need to sleep with him, just suggest that siding with the Jacobites would please her. Laoghaire agrees, as long as Jamie is told.
While Claire was meeting with Leery, Jamie was meeting with Colum. It appears that Jamie has told him that he knows they will lose the war without Mackenzie and Lovat troops, and Colum thinks he sounds like a madman. Colum passionately tells Jamie that he cannot trade Lallybroch for a war they cannot win. They get the men and weapons, but Colum argues that if they don’t send men to fight, then they will be left alone, just as they had in the past. Jamie assures Colum her will do whatever it takes to protect his people, and that includes giving up Lallybroch.
Claire engineers a meeting between Simon and Laoghaire. Leaving the two alone, Claire finds Maisri in the church, “He asks what I see. Beats me when I tell him what displeases him.” Claire asks what the vision was she saw that made him mad. Apparently, Maisri saw Lovat being executed. Laoghaire is outside, having scared Simon off by turning their meeting sexual.
Claire finds Jamie and informs him that the vision was of Lovat being killed at the hands of an executioner. Jamie says he can’t go to the prince a failure, so unless Claire tells the people she’s from the future and what will happen, he must give up Lallybroch.
A deed of sasine for Lallybroch, and a neutrality agreement between the Lovat Frasers and the Mackenzies. Colum tries to discourage Jamie, but he reaches to sign the deed anyway. Claire enters, disrupting the signing of the deed. She drops a cup and feigns a vision, which, I get…but fans of the books have waited years for Claire to possibly one day actually turn out to be a white lady. Faking it is, meh. Lovat freaks out and Colum is like enough with the pretense. Lovat is like STFU, and demands Claire to tell him what she saw. Yada, yada. Claire tells him Maisri’s vision, adding that the ground was covered in white roses. Lovat moves to kill Claire, but is stopped by Simon. He calls Lovat and Colum fearful old men and backs Jamie (he refers to him as his cousin, but he’s actually his half-uncle, who happens to be close to Jamie’s age); he will fight for the exiled King James, even if Lovat will not. This prompts Lovat to sign the neutrality agreement with Colum.
As Claire and Jamie prepare to leave with Simon, Colum asks Jamie to go home, avoid the war. Of course Jamie refuses. Colum tells Jamie it’s a blessing his mother is dead, so she wouldn’t see what a reckless fool she had spawned. Jamie helps Colum into his carriage as Laoghaire walks by, making sure Claire has told him of her good deed. Ugggh wwwtttffff??? Nope.
“I’m told to thank you. For what I dinna know.” She says “I hope one day to earn your forgiveness,” and after he is a safe distance away, whispers, “And your love.” Imma cut a bitch. As they ride down the road, they see Lovat’s soldiers on the hill. Lovat tells his son that he is a weeping sot, and to tend his men. He has handed over his forces to Simon. both sides, per usual. He can say his son is his own man, and the neutrality agreement will keep him safe if the king wins; if King James wins, then he can say he was on his side all along, sending his son. Claire is hopeful in the final voice over that this will change the outcome of the war. She believes that these troops may change the outcome of the war.