‘Outlander’ Episode 14 Recap: “The Search”


File this episode under Jenny is a giant badass. With a gun at her waist, the new mother mounts her horse and rides out with Claire to rescue Jamie, stopping to bless the dead members of The Watch, follow Jamie’s tracks, and squirt some breast milk into a tin cup, which is the 18th century version of pumping in a Mamava lactation pods. Jenny truly Has It All, acknowledging that “everything having to do wi’ bairns is a nuisance” just before she shoves a hot poker in the fire, tortures a British dude into telling them where Jamie is, and convincing Claire that they have no option but to murder him once they get said information. “Love forces you to choose,” she tells Claire. By rooting around in the guy’s saddle bag, we discover that Jamie has escaped, and the British are most eager to recapture him.

Fortunately, Murtagh comes along and finishes the job for them with his knife, calling them “natural outlaws” as they make camp. Why thank you, Murtagh! At last, when Jenny returns home to #momlife, Claire thanks her by kindly warning her that there’s an impending famine and everyone’s going to die. Grow potatoes, though, Jenny. Grow those potatoes.

Murtagh’s plan is for him and Claire travel around the countryside and embark on a scheme to make themselves known: they’ll heal people, tell fortunes, and dance (yes, Murtagh dances!) in order to get word to Jamie in the hills of the North that they’re on his trail. Let’s all admit that if Jenny were here, they would have a much better plan that was a lot less bollocks.

Finally they hit upon a scheme most ridiculous; dressed up in male clothing, Claire will sing Scottish-ified versions of Andrews Sisters jazz standards which prove so popular that an imitator springs up, and steals Claire’s entire act as “The Sassenach.” As Claire and Murtagh squabble with the leader of gypsies on the performing circuit over which songs they can play (understandably enough, Claire wants exclusive rights to play Jamie’s special song) and quarrel amongst themselves about the nature of their “act,” Murtagh begins to seem a lot like Mama Rose, and Claire like Baby June. Nothing is coming up roses for either of them.

Finally, it explodes into a big row around the campfire. “Ye ken it all now do you, lass?” shouts Murtagh. Yes, she does ken she kens it all, but she does not actually ken it all. He tells her all about his own lost love and his sad feelings for Jamie, who is like a son to him. Then just as they decide to abandon their cause, they get word through the gypsy, who loves Claire’s gypsy soul, Van Morrison-style, that someone is waiting for them. It’s Jamie! they think, and depart in haste. But it’s not Jamie. It’s Dougal McKenzie instead, and the news he bears not good. Drawn by Claire’s song, Jamie came out of hiding, where he was taken by Redcoats, and stood trial at Wentworth prison, where he was condemned to hang. Jenny, where are ye now, lass?

Dougal immediately treats Claire like she’s already a widow, offering her his hand in marriage and protection, swearing it’s only because he wants to keep her out of the clutches of Black Jack Randall. Yet as they spar in Dougal’s secret lair of Jacobite gold (his fanatical patriotic man-cave?) Claire realizes what he’s about: he wants to annex Lallybroch.

Nonetheless, feisty Claire is determined to rescue Jamie if she possibly can — and only if she fails in that task and Jamie hangs, will she consent to marry Dougal. In the open air she gives Dougal’s men a stirring pep talk, Jerry Maguire style. And just like Jerry, she ends up with a piddling number of brave Renee Zellweger types who consent to join her in her attempt to break into Wentworth Prison. But when they get to the crest of the hill and see the fortifications that keep them from Jamie, their faces turn pale.