A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH

Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH expands the happenings at Lallybroch in the same way events at Castle Leoch are expanded upon. In the early episodes of this half of the season, Jamie involves himself in MacKenzie politics. Since his arrival home, he’s forced to face many new challenges, including The Watch and the troublesome return of a former acquaintance – Irishman and English army deserter, Horrocks.

With the former also comes a new potential threat in the figure of Taran MacQuarrie (played flawlessly by Douglas Henshall) – a sharp, observant man who holds Jamie in suspicion through most of the episode. We don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, and he keeps us guessing the entire time.

Claire arrived at Lallybroch with her own dose of lukewarm suspicion, mostly from Jenny. Well, all from Jenny. In THE WATCH, the atmosphere is considerably more cordial, as this episode brings the two women together – first as friends, then as confidants, and finally as sisters.

Jamie and Claire’s chemistry soars to new heights in this episode, all while keeping their clothing on. They share intimate scenes discussing the unpleasant situation in which they find themselves which leads to painful confessions from both sides of the marriage.

Toni Graphia returns with one of my favorite adaptations of the season. Her script effortlessly stitches together the new storyline elements involving The Watch, Horrocks, MacQuarrie and the grander Lallybroch with some of the most cherished scenes from the novel.

Metin Hüseyin joins the show with the first of two episodes he directs. He guides our beloved characters through each of their crisis – from Jenny’s breech delivery to Ian’s saving Jamie’s life and from Claire’s choosing to stay with Jenny to Jamie’s several run-ins with nefarious opposition – introducing us to their most heroic faces yet.


“I hope you kept your powder dry.”

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) begins right where we left off, surrounded by a group of that nefarious opposition I was just talking about. He is cool as a Scottish cucumber – which, believe it or not, is a real Scottish Country Dance step . . . but I couldn’t find any videos, so it must not be very popular.

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“Misfire . . . and I’ll ram that pistol down your gullet.”

he warns the stranger holding said pistol.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) rushes down the stairs to stand by her man, as the testosterone level in the room shoots toward the ceiling.

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“Taran, put your gun down,”

Jenny (Laura Donnelly) commands, increasing the estrogen level in the room upon her entrance – evening the hormone elevation a bit.

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“I’ve found this scoundrel in here, Jenny,”

the man now known as Taran (Douglas Henshall) declares, lauding his own steady hand for not putting a ball in Jamie’s brain.

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“That’s no scoundrel, you fool. That’s my cousin – Jamie,”

Whew! The tense situation is officially alleviated when MacQuarrie apologizes to “Jamie McTavish.” He further expresses his confusion, never having met Jamie and mistaking him for a thief.

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“No, Taran, we like to leave the robbing to you,”

Jenny says, making MacQuarrie chuckle as he pours himself a drink.

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With impeccable timing, Ian (Steven Cree) enters the room, further drawing attention away from the man wanted by the English – and every woman watching the show. Ian greets MacQuarrie with a cautious welcome:

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“We dinna expect you ’til next month.”

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Jamie’s eyes flash from one man to the other, not at all happy watching his family bootlick MacQuarrie and his band of merry Scots  The Black Watch.

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Ian presents the dubious MacQuarrie with the sword he had polished and de-rustified for the man who heads the Scottish patrol. MacQuarrie appears sincerely appreciative, but that doesn’t make Jamie’s head want to explode any less.

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When MacQuarrie announces:

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“My stomach’s rumbling like thunder,”

Jenny directs the members of The Watch to the dining room and dashes off to make supper. Now . . . I want to know . . . exactly what time did Claire get up this morning? Is there a block of time of missing from this storyline, or did she really just get up before supper?

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In the kitchen, Jenny starts work on her famous rabbit stew which is apparently the main reason The Watch likes Lallybroch so much. Note to Jenny: Don’t serve edible food and hide the good whiskey.

Jamie, Ian and Claire follow close on Jenny’s heels, Jamie protesting the Murray’s welcoming The Watch into the house.

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“Hold your tongue. It’s not like we had a choice, now, is it?”

Jenny spitfires back.

Ian vouches for MacQuarrie, claiming him to be “a decent fellow,” but Jamie remains unconvinced and thinks the whole of The Watch are,

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“. . . criminals – out to line their own pockets.”

Jenny’s heard enough. In Jamie’s absence, Lallybroch and the Murrays have had to do what they must to protect the farm and themselves.

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Ian plays diplomat between the fuming siblings:

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“You think it hasn’t taken it’s toll on Jenny and me. Well, it has. But it was our burden to bear. If you’ve got a better idea, let’s hear it.”

Before Jamie can suggest burying the lot in the priest’s hole – Does Lallybroch have a priest’s hole?  Wonder if it’s as luxurious as the rest of the house – Jenny’s baby adds his two cents by kicking mommy in the gut. Seems he doesn’t like The Watch either.

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“Tread lightly and don’t provoke them,”

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Claire bids Jamie, knowing fairly well that ain’t going to happen.

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Around the dining room table, Jamie glares at their unwelcome, slovenly dinner guests.

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MacQuarrie is well aware they are unwanted but plays the charismatic caller.

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“Jenny hides the good stuff away when we come, along with Ian’s fine tobacco,”

MacQuarrie laughs, quickly proving he’s not only observant but curious. He has his eye on Jamie and the many dirty looks the young Scot casts about the table. Jamie’s accent strikes MacQuarrie as not being native from the island where he claims to hail. Claire offers a simple explanation:

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“Well, Jamie spent time in France, fighting with the French army with Ian. Perhaps that’s what’s influenced his accent.”

One of the first rules of covert operations is to avoid common background history with the mark. Unfortunately, Claire doesn’t know anything about MacQuarrie.

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Being a former soldier himself, MacQuarrie jumps on this bit of information with relish. He points out that Ian has never mentioned Jamie’s name in all the times they’ve exchanged army tales. Ian insists he has.

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A pointed “No, I’m sure you didn’t” from MacQuarrie is followed by uncomfortable smiles, and the not so charming members of the watch party immediately turn to Jamie with wariness. Of course, I don’t think they trust anyone who smells better than they do.

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Jenny soothes everyone’s feathers calling them a bunch of drunks – too deep in the drink to remember anything correctly. MacQuarrie is appeased, mostly too polite to press the Murray’s hospitality, and stands to make a verra Scottish toast:

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“Here’s to a long life, and a merry one. A quick death, and an easy one. A pretty girl, and an honest one. A stiff whiskey, and another one.”

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Lunkhead Lennox (Douglas Russell) ruins the short-term harmony by putting his feet, with his damn muddy boots attached, on the corner of the dining room table. I’m sure it’s only a mixture of his superiority and jackassedness making him do it. Jamie looks ready to “tread harshly and cause provocation” but Claire speaks up first.

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“How long are you staying?”

she asks MacQuarrie while staring at Lennox’s filthy boots with laser beams shooting from her eyes. That table’s going to be an antique someday.

“A few days,”

he replies, slapping Lennox’s feet off the table. I tell ya. Men. Jenny should have served them dinner in the barn.

MacQuarrie goes on, telling his hosts that more men are joining his raiding, er, watch party. He has something big planned and can’t wait to tell Jamie all about it.

Okay. That’s not suspicious at all.

Jamie brushes off the fishy overture and offers to take a look at one of MacQuarrie’s horses who’s come up lame in their travels. Poor horse. Ineptitude must be contagious.

Bright and early the next morning – wonder if Claire is up yet – the Apple Dumpling Gang is hanging out near the blacksmith stall. Jamie notices Lennox has helped himself to Ian’s tobacco.

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“Fine tobacco it is,”

Lennox says with a smug smile.

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“Too fine for the likes of you,”

Jamie snarks back within earshot. In case there’s any doubt, this is called “provoking,” but only because the man he speaks to is less mature than young Rabbie.

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With the assistance of cutie-pie Rabbie, Jamie attends to the lame horse. Lennox, who takes offense to being put in his place – that happens a lot in Outlander – sets fire to the hay in a wagon, though he probably would have started a fire even if Jamie hadn’t put him in his place.

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Needless to say, once the fire is out – a fight breaks out. It’s not really a fight though. It’s mostly Jamie trying to knock some sense into each member of The Watch. They’re terrible brawlers, by the way, and act more like a pack of hyenas rather than men.

MacQuarrie shows up before Jamie can embarrass his men any further and breaks up the fight.

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“My apologies for the stramash. They’re good lads – just a wee bit coarse.”

he says. Good lads? We are talking about the same hyenas, aren’t we? Despite MacQuarrie’s crew, he knows a good fighter when he sees one and attempts to recruit Jamie:

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“I could use a man like you. Not just a bonnie fighter – a warrior.”

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“I’ve done enough fighting in my life. I’m settled now,”

Jamie replies, letting his calmed nerves prevail.

SPOILER I find these words to be the most poignant line of the episode, knowing what Jamie has yet to face. From the Jacobite Rebellion to the Revolutionary War, along with every small battle in between, Jamie places himself between the musket and those he cares for, again and again.

Jamie and MacQuarrie are interrupted with the ringing of the Lallybroch doorbell – Bhrain and Lucais barking at new arrivals. They head in the direction of the jangling of horses’ reins and find two men in the yard in front of the house.

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MacQuarrie greets one of the men as Horrocks (Lochlainn O Mearáinn), then promptly picks up on Jamie and the Irishman’s reaction to one another.

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“You two lads know each other?”

MacQuarrie asks, already knowing the answer.

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Wary blue eyes stare back at wily blue ones, but Horrocks offers up a denial before Jamie utters a word. Crafty MacQuarrie doesn’t call their bluff.

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Ah, never trust a man who winks at ye – unless it’s Jamie.

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Alone in yet another fabulous room of Lallybroch – looks like the study/library – Jamie breaks the bad news to Claire. First The Watch shows up on their doorstep, now Horrocks. They worry over how long the man will stay silent. Murtagh would sure come in handy about now . . .

Jamie laments over coming home to Lallybroch – the one place he thought would be safe. Umm . . . isn’t home the first place the Feds look for you?

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Claire doesn’t like hearing Jamie sound so defeated. Her primary role in this episode is that of morale booster:

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“Whatever happens, we’ll handle it – no matter the cost.”

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Does TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL mean anything to anyone?

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Segue to Jamie overhearing Horrocks’ insider information regarding the Chisholm rent party. The Watch is planning a friendly, little ambush along the border of Fraser land. I guess MacQuarrie doesn’t like the Chisholm rabbit stew at their house as much as Jenny’s.

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Out in the yard, Jenny and Claire are making nice, doing a bit of bonding and laundering and talking babies, which Jenny’s baby takes as a cue to start his delivery. I say ‘his’ because Jenny is convinced it’s a boy, and I have always been amused by every mother’s surefire methods of detecting a baby’s sex. Are any of them truly accurate?

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Upon examination in the privacy of a bedroom . . .

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. . . Claire discovers Jenny’s baby to be in breech position and attempts to turn the babe by palpating the little bugger through Jenny’s belly. Being half Fraser, he stubbornly refuses to cooperate.

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Jenny appears unconcerned for the moment and is calmed by Claire’s seeming medical knowledge. The two-time momma-to-be instructs Claire not to tell Ian anything, other than the bairn is on the way. Despite Claire’s worry, she agrees. Thank goodness Prissy isn’t around, helping with this delivery. (If you don’t know who Prissy is, I’m very sad for you.)

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This is the beginning of a lovely sequence of events between the two ladies of Lallybroch. Like the bedroom scenes between Jamie and Claire in THE WEDDING, the developing closeness between Jenny and Claire feels authentic, blending bits of the novel to enhance the gravity of the situation.

Downstairs, the men continue about their business. Jamie’s return to Lallybroch extends the “re-structuring” of his character. At Castle Leoch, he is elevated from horse whisperer – not a bad thing to be – to political adviser to his Uncle Colum. It’s not necessarily a new characteristic to his personality, but it’s a part of him highlighted in the television series.

Here, at Lallybroch, he doesn’t take to the fields performing manual labor – as I expected – but he strolls about the house as if handling higher affairs. Makes sense. Television Lallybroch is much grander with several hands working the house and farmland. Jamie is definitely more Laird than farmer.

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Unfortunately, Jamie’s status impresses greedy Horrocks, as Jamie learns when he comes across his houseguest loitering in the study – foraging, really. Not only does Horrocks covet Jamie’s estate, but his women as well.

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“What do you want?”

Jamie hisses, ready to rip Horrocks’ hair out by the roots. Horrocks wants to sail to the colonies – Boston, specifically.

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We come to the extortion part of the story. Horrocks wants to move to America – in style and luxury, of course. His cut from the Chisholm raid won’t do. He wants more from the Laird of Lallybroch.

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“You put up some money now, and I swear, you’ll not see my face again,”

Horrocks promises.

Please – someone tell me when this has ever worked. Kill him now, Jamie. But don’t get any blood on the carpet.

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Back upstairs, Claire and Jenny wait for the baby to arrive. Having no babies myself, I can only assume the waiting is the worst part – though probably the easiest.

Jenny walks about the room, bracing herself with each shot of pain. Claire attempts to distract her sister-in-law by asking:

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“Tell me what it’s like – being pregnant.”

Jenny describes the feeling of pregnancy in poetic terms. We watch Claire’s face as she tries to imagine the sensations in her own body. This scene makes me imagine Jenny as a bride. She looks simply stunning, sharing – what I believe – may be her most personal thoughts with Claire:

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“. . . towards the end, when the child moves a lot, it’s a feeling like when your man’s inside you. When he comes to you deep and pours himself inside you and that throbbing begins . . .

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“Feels like that. Only much bigger, like . . . Like it’s him you’ve taken into you instead. That’s what they want sometimes, you know. They want to come back.”

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Claire listens quietly to Jenny’s description, but her face shows a clear understanding of the final analogy.

They are interrupted with news that the local midwife is unavailable to assist with the delivery. Claire perks ups. Everything will be all right. She is confident she can deliver the baby, but she’ll have to reach inside to guide him out, she tells Jenny.

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“All right. You’ll be fetching me a stiff dram before we start,”

Jenny says. I’d ask for the entire bottle – and I don’t drink!

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“In that case, the baby will likely be drunk, too,”

Claire’s prudent side points out.

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“Then he’ll come into the world a true Scot.”

Considering Jenny’s been drinking like a fish through the entire episode, I’d say the baby’s been drunk since we got here.

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From baby talk to manly talk, Jamie and Ian are at work in the blacksmith yard, salvaging the burnt wagon. Jamie struggles to understand Ian’s tolerance of The Watch.

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Ian is forthright – when isn’t he, really? – letting Jamie know MacQuarrie treats the Murrays better than the other families in the area. A soldier kinship exists between the two men, to the extent MacQuarrie looks on Ian as a man, not a cripple. What’s more, The Watch commander reminds Ian of Jamie.

They do share similar traits, though the older man seems to have a cooler head than Jamie. Of course, we don’t know much about Taran MacQuarrie. How much of his character is facade and how much is sincere? Only time will tell.

Whether Ian likes the man or not, he’s determined to keep Lallybroch and everyone within its walls safe:

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“What happened here with Jenny, never will again. But no man can stand up to that monster Randall alone – not you, not me. It takes an army.”

SPOILER Perhaps an army of kine under the command of General Claire?

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But Jamie’s dislike of The Watch is not the only thing on the lad’s mind, Ian easily reads. Jamie reveals Horrocks’ extortion scheme, which prompts Ian to insist they use the money squirreled away by Brian to pay the dirty bastard off.

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“That money was meant for you, for our sons and daughters,”

Jamie relays to Claire later.

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The revelation forces Claire to divulge her difficulties getting pregnant by Frank.

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“I should have told you before we were married, but I never counted on loving you, much less having children with you,”

Claire admits, teary-eyed.

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Jamie listens quietly, but we see several thoughts run through his mind and across his face. His heart breaks for Claire, but he also grieves for the family he’s always dreamt of having.

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It’s a touching scene where each of them feels they’ve let the other down. In the end, Jamie offers the consolation that he doesn’t have to worry about Claire experiencing the pain or facing the dangers of  child-bearing.

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‘I can bear pain myself, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”

he says, kissing her on the neck before letting her return to his sister’s bedside.

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#EmmysForOutlander and . . .

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. . . we’re off to see the wicked Horrocks. Jamie cocks his shiny, precautionary measure . . .

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. . . as he heads toward their meeting.

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Horrocks whistles from a ridge above the road, where Jamie stops and tosses up a bag of coins. The deal is done . . . but not for Horrocks. He wants more – big surprise. Notice he doesn’t count the money. No matter how much Jamie had brought, it wouldn’t have been enough.

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Horrocks has a few helpful suggestions: Raise the rent on the Lallybroch tenants, sell off some livestock, sell off a little chunk of land. I’d like Jamie to take a little chunk from Horrocks.

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You know, blackmail is a delicate art – if you want to get away with it. Reminding the person whom you are trying to blackmail that you have loose lips is not a great idea. Ian especially thinks so . . .

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. . . as he shows, shoving his sword straight through Horrocks.

Ah, the old sword through the chest stunt. It worked so well on AMC’s The Walking Dead:

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And let’s not forget about Samwise Gamgee – our leading man’s namesake – saving Frodo’s skinny butt in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

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Though the Governor and the tower orc are ten times worse than Horrocks – the hairy, blue-eyed bastard still deserves it.

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He falls at Jamie’s feet, deader than a dead pirate.

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Ian – who, for some reason, suddenly looks exactly like Jeff Daniels to me – is quite shaken. He hasn’t killed a man since the war in France. But seriously, is there anyone Ian can’t sneak up behind with that peg leg of his?

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Jamie is a picture of calmness, having been saved from killing Horrocks himself. This is a side of him we’ve not yet seen. He expresses coldness toward the body on the ground amidst his tenderness toward Ian, watching his best friend’s hands shake while trying to wipe the blood from the sword.

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“Remember . . . we used to argue which was the bigger sin – fornication or killing – and worry whether we would go to Hell,”

Jamie says, reaching for Ian’s blood-stained sword. Ian smiles.

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“Well, if you’re going to hell, I might as well go, too.”

Brothers in arms. Brothers in life. Brothers to the end.

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Jenny is no where near the end of delivery. She and Claire are still cooped up in the bedroom, waiting for the newest member of the Murray clan to show his wee face.

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Pulling off her wedding ring, Jenny bids Claire put it in the jewelry box hidden in a dresser drawer. When Claire opens the box, she finds a small wooden snake carved with the name ‘Sawny’ – Jamie’s nickname. It was a gift from older brother Willie, who died of smallpox when Jamie was only a boy, Jenny explains to Claire.

For series only fans, the wooden snake is a token Jamie carries with him throughout all the novels.

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Downstairs, the men of The Watch stand around the fireplace – drinking, skulking and stinking up the joint.

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With the exception of MacQuarrie, they are all crass, lewd, and moronic. I’m assuming they fight the English better than they fought Jamie the previous day, else what is their use.

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Upon entering the house, Ian rushes up the stairs toward Jenny’s screams, leaving Jamie alone with their guests. MacQuarrie – who still hasn’t found the time to teach his men a few manners – throws a bag of coins on a table in front of Jamie. He calls it payment for the extra hay he and his men used. Jamie is starting to like this man, despite his earlier instincts.

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Then MacQuarrie brings up Horrocks, as no one has seen the man since supper.

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“Neither have I,”

says Jamie, cooly pouring himself a drink under MacQuarrie’s vigilant eye.

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The next morning, Jamie and Ian join MacQuarrie at the breakfast table. Poor Jenny still has not given birth, and I’m wondering how many drams she’s had in the last eight hours.

MacQuarrie brings up the missing Horrocks again and mentions the man wouldn’t walk ten paces to take a “pish.” I guess we should be surprised he didn’t ride his horse to the meeting then – 1000 paces from the house.

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“Three men go out . . . two men come in,”

MacQuarrie clucks, showing off his mathematical skills. Hmf. He can talk to me after he’s taken a class in vector calculus.

Jamie continues to play it cool:

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“I don’t get your meaning.”

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“Why’d you kill him?”

MacQuarrie asks directly.

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Ian is about to confess, although his guilt is plainly written on his face, when Jamie jumps in with:

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“I’m a wanted man. There’s a price on my head – ten pounds sterling. Likely twice that now. Horrocks knew it. He threatened me and my family, so I ran him through.”

I must say, this is Jamie at his finest. He’s doing real math here – configuring his options, calculating his position, counting on Ian’s silence, deriving MacQuarrie’s response, and driving the conclusion – all in a matter of seconds, while buttering a slice of bread. I hate to add, but he seems to be channeling a bit of Randall here, minus the sneer.

MacQuarrie’s response?

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“Good. I never liked the Irish bastard. If ever a man needed killing, it was him.”

He’s obviously never met Black Jack in the flesh. Or, has he? Not a spoiler. I really have no idea.

MacQuarrie’s a positive. MacQuarrie’s a negative. Don’t know which, but I do know he doesn’t have a problem taking advantage of people as he proves to Jamie when he forces him into joining the raid on the Chisholms.

Mathematical conclusion: When you murder someone, you have to bury the horse, too.

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Jamie and Ian deliver the bad news to Jenny and Claire. Ian may like MacQuarrie, but he doesn’t fully trust him. He’s decided to join the party, against Jamie’s and Claire’s protestations.

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Jenny is on her husband’s side. She wants her brother back safely.

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Claire and Jamie leave the room to say their own private farewell.

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“Haste ye back, or else,”

Claire says to her departing husband.

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“Or else what?”

James asks from behind a brave face.

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“Or else I will follow you. I will drag you back by your thick, red curls. And you won’t like it one bit.”

SPOILER I pause here because, once again, I’m flashing forward. It’s moments like this we attempt to summon, when we look back over our lives. You try to recall everything you were thinking, everything you were feeling – inside and out. Claire and Jamie know they live in a constant state of peril, but even they cannot fathom how much their lives will change from this moment forward.

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Jamie kisses his bride adieu . . .

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. . . and with a small nod to each other, they acknowledge the snake pit into which he is throwing himself – for the sake of Lallybroch, for the good of their safety, for the hope of their futures.

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And I’m beginning to think Outlander really means Sacrifice, rather than Sassenach.

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On the rainy road, Jamie rides beside MacQuarrie who’s taken quite a shine to our lad. Turns out, the old Scot – actually, he’s probably only twenty-nine-years-old – is a bit of a bromantic.

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“This doesn’t have to end after today, you ken?” MacQuarrie says to Jamie. “We could branch out – raid the royal tax wagons, English landowners. We could go places – Prussia, Flanders, Saxony. Make a name for ourselves. They’d write songs about us.”

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Jamie is flattered, and admits the bromance would be enticing if not for Claire.

MacQuarrie is of the opinion Jamie will change his mind once his blood is up and his pockets are full of gold.

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“Or what? You’ll turn me over?”

Jamie half-jokes – perhaps testing his companion’s intentions.

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But MacQuarrie doesn’t joke about the English. He’s seen the inside of the Tollbooth and would rather shoot a man than see him imprisoned.

Not the kind of reassurance I personally prefer, but whatever.

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Back at Lallybroch, Jenny is now down on the floor, trying to coax the new bairn out into the world. A few expletives directed at Claire, and  pop goes the little rascal . . .

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. . . just as Jamie and The Watch arrive at Lochaber Bridge. It’s a lovely spot Horrocks picked, with lots of dense bushes . . .

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and tall walls and . . . oh, wait.

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Jamie senses the danger about a day too late.

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Red coats surround the raiding party, then the shooting begins.

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Guess they should have taken Claire along. She can spot an English ambush from a mile away.

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“Three days, and still no sign of Jamie or Ian. Every day I sat on the steps and stared at the road, as if I could will them to appear.”

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Claire holds Baby Maggie in her arms, waiting helplessly for Jamie to return. The question hangs in the air – where the hell is Murtagh?

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Jenny joins Claire on the steps, her turn to boost morale:

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“Listen to me, Claire Fraser. Every day for four years, I stared at that very road. He will come home. He always does.”

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If that doesn’t work, jewelry usually perks a girl up. Jenny presents a matching pair of regal-looking bracelets to Claire:

“Each made from the curving, almost-circular tusk of a wild boar, polished to a deep ivory glow, the ends capped with silver tappets, etched with flowered tracery.”

From Outlander, Chapter 31

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They were a wedding gift to her mother – Jenny explains – from a secret admirer. Claire is overwhelmed by their beauty and distracted from her anxiety until Lucais announces someone’s arrival. I want these dogs, just once, to jump up and down and act excited.

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Claire and Jenny rush toward the gate as an injured, one-legged Ian hops into the yard, leaning against one of the men from The Watch for support – Crenshaw (Francis Magee), if you’re interested.

He lost his leg and his horse in the fight, Ian tells Jenny. I’m hoping he got to whack one of the English ambushers upside the head with his peg leg before he lost it.

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“Where is Jamie?”

Claire demands to know when her husband doesn’t appear.

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“MacQuarrie was wounded,” Ian tells them. “Jamie wouldn’t leave him behind.”

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“The Redcoats have him.”

SPOILER As Claire looks back toward the empty road, we don’t need to hear her inner thoughts. The worst thing that could possibly happen has just happened, though she cannot imagine how much worse it really is.


Ep. 113: THE WATCH captures the spirit of Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander novel by merging what we most love about the epic series – Jamie and Claire’s relationship – with new and surprising obstacles – clan politics, familial interchanges, mysterious adversaries. From large scale conspiracies to private bedroom settings, THE WATCH covers the bases with the perfect medley of intrigue, menace, brotherhood, sisterhood, heartache, and affection.

From the very beginning, the entire series has required a balancing act between Claire and Jamie’s characters. The first half of the season focused on Claire’s time-travel predicament and her conflict with Captain Randall. Obviously, the second half of the season is focused on Jamie’s troubles with the English and his fateful confrontation with the very same sadist. This episode, in particular, is especially well-balanced in that a large danger looms over Lallybroch, but it’s explored and exposed on intimate levels.

Since augmenting Claire’s perspective with Jamie’s, the story has become more complex and enriched. We associate with Claire and have from the very first episode. But now we experience Jamie’s pain and pleasure on our own, rather than through Claire’s point of view. The connection is personal.

But it’s not only Jamie with whom we’ve made a personal connection; we also have one with Jonathan Randall. What this means is a very powerful and profound episode between these two men when they finally come together, for possibly the last time. Get out your hankies, ladies and gents.

Lastly, I’d like to make special mention of the cinematography and lighting in this episode, which is always lovely, but this week more than a few scenes received extraordinary attention – specifically, Jenny’s birthing scene(s) and Jamie’s goodbye to Claire. Thank you to Neville Kidd for enhancing those scenes with your very talented eye.


Executive Producer Ron Moore is joined by screenwriter Toni Graphia and producer Matt Roberts during the podcast for Episode 113: THE WATCH. It should be available for free on  iTunes, or you can listen to it here. Mr. Moore also gives us an insightful Inside Look at the history of Scotland’s Black Watch.

Outlander lass, Mandy Tidwell, provides our Gàidhlig translations in her Great Scot! Episode 113 blog post: The Watch – The Gàidhlig Bits I Could Decipher.

Outlander Episode 114: THE SEARCH premieres on Starz on Saturday, 9 May 2015 in the U.S.

For more goodies on this episode, check out: Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH

And if you missed my previous recapped review, you can read it here: A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode 112: LALLYBROCH

23 thoughts on “A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH

  1. every week i wait for this blog, and for the 30 top looks….you are an amazing writer! your blending of the books, your bringing in other cultural references ( i especially liked your mentioning prissy this week!!! and being sorry for those who do NOT know who she is…lol, i feel sorry for those folks, too!), your humor, your poignancy…sigh….these blogs should be a book at the end of season 1 ! i would buy it in a heartbeat! thank you from this 20 something year fan of the series for delighting me so time and time again!

    1. Thank you, Kathie! Don’t see myself turning Top 30 into a book, but hopefully you’ll be willing to buy *my* book when it publishes – someday! :op

  2. Definitely agree. the episode doesn’t have the flash of what is to come or some expect, but it fleshed out the relationships between Jenny/Claire and Ian/Jamie in a slower pace around all the Watch business. And wee Jamie was cute again!
    Side note: The main meal of the day (supper or dinner at your choice) would have been served between noon and 2-3; meaning prep/cooking starting around 10-11am. So Claire may have been having a bit of a lay-in.

    1. Yes, I had the noon meal in mind as supper. Given that Lallybroch is a farm, I’m surprised Claire was able to sleep in so long. In the novels, she’s busy, busy, busy. Guess Jamie pooped her out. Poor girl . . .

  3. Every week I rejoice that a long- and well-loved tale is made flesh! Everything about this production is fabulous; the actors seem to have been born to play these roles, the costuming is superb; writing is flawless, and direction is spot-on. Sure, things looked different in my imagination–our Claire does not have sherry-colored eyes; I thought Lollybroch would be older, with a round tower–but who cares? It works, and it’s a wonderful tale brought to life. I can’t help but gush–squee!

  4. I’m still chortling over the “vector calculus” comment. Ah, Candida, I always appreciate every snarky observation each week (and the not-so-snarky ones as well). Thanks for amusing me each week!

  5. Dear Candida: You are AMAZING. Your review is a bestseller in itself. So eloquent, captivating, riveting. Thank you. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Candida’s MusingsSent: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 6:19 PMTo: bebangeles@gmail.comReply To: Candida’s MusingsSubject: [New post] A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH

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    Candida_LN posted: “Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH expands the happenings at Lallybroch in the same way events at Castle Leoch are expanded upon. In the early episodes of this half of the season, Jamie involves himself in MacKenzie politics. Since his arrival home, he’s fo”

  6. Well done, Candida! When it comes to intelligent, witty & insightful women, you totally rock! I get frustrated with those folks who were so mediocre about the last two “uneventful” episodes; you are spot-on! So much going on to weave story lines & relationships together, plus for goodness sake, we needed a breather before next week’s heartbreak! Loved your reference to Prissy – GWTW was my fav book until I picked up DG’s masterpiece. I daresay MM would have understood & loved her as well!

  7. Hi Candida, I am going to really thank your great humor for the remaining eps. Omg did you see the ep 16 preview that has cropped up? I am gonna get traumatized, pretty sure. Since you’re so good at math, how did you figure the Watch’s headman’s remark to dig 7 graves? Yeah, those dogs are weird, like not normal, too tranquil to be dogs. Well on a good note Claire still has her vase… but no more hot Horrocks. Think Ron&Co are making up some parts as they go along, like what was the point of introducing us to Rabbie’s dad? Anyway, thx again.

  8. Another great one, Candida!
    I think Toni Graphia (and all the writing collaborators) really hit it out of the park writing this episode. The adaptation is amazing. Everything is perfectly balanced. You are so right – it’s all about relationships and bonding. I just wish we could see more of Ian. Love Steven Cree.
    About having babies – with the first one, the waiting is the worst part. With any that follow, it’s not so bad because you’ve been there before. And can I just say kudos to Metin Huseyin for the actual birthing scene with Jenny crawling around on the floor. He’s clearly been there/done that.
    I know things are getting tense because I’m starting to grind my teeth again at night. Every day that passes I get more nervous for Jamie. And he’s a fictional character!
    One last thing – I encourage everyone to click the easy link Candida has provided and listen to Ron’s Episode 113 podcast. Toni Graphia and Matt Roberts sit in with him and the entire hour is chock full of interesting tidbits and insight into how they decided to do things the way they did. Well worth the time.
    As always, can’t wait for next time.

  9. Candida I have been following you since the series started and always find your commentaries insightful. You touched on Jamie’s wish that he never have to fight again in one of his conversations with Taran. Until you brought it up I hadn’t looked beyond the scene. Now I just want to cry. So many amazing moments but I find myself haunted by that long empty road.

    1. SPOILER: Along those same lines, when I was reading the true story “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, I was only able to trudge through the toughest parts because I knew Louis Zamperini survived and thrived. Of course, reading Outlander the first time, you don’t know what’s going to happen or whether Jamie will survive, not only physically but spiritually (not meaning religiously). Still, when I reread those chapters pertaining to his capture, torture and recovery, my stomach takes a hit. But knowing the wonderful life he will have with Claire makes it bearable. Which brings me to how much I hope Season 3 is greenlit, as I very much want to see Lord John Grey (a personal favorite of mine) and Jamie’s relationship developed on screen. I imagine they might even adapt parts of the LJG books into the television series to give each episode more depth, as they incorporated elements of The Virgins. I’m surprised by how many readers of the Outlander novels do not read (or do not like) the LJG series. They contain much history not included in the main books.

      1. I’m hoping to see more than season 3 green-lit. It’s time for a multi-season order, and maybe the Emmys will help with that. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your posts to tide me over between episodes, and I hope you’ll remain interested in delighting us with them for years to come.

      2. Have read most (and will eventually read all) of the LJG series. Love them, especially The Scottish Prisoner.

        Just a few observations:
        If I remember correctly, the Priest’s hole is added to Lallybroch after a suggestion by Claire when she tells Jenny to plant potatoes.

        The first part of Jenny’s pregnancy description is spot on, the second part…not so much.

        After having two kids, I can till you that the labor pains are the worst part and the waiting is only bad if you have a long labor and thus more pains.

        As far as the baby’s sex is concerned, neither of the ultrasounds I had (one each child) showed the baby’s sex (they stubbornly wouldn’t turn so that we could tell) which means I had to “guess” what they were and I was actually right. This was, however, probably just the luck of the draw. I wanted a son first and then a daughter and I lucked out. I will say, though, both pregnancies were completely different in more ways than one. At the same time, my daughter’s two pregnancies were also completely different and she had two boys which is why I say I lucked out.

        Lastly, I really liked your comment about Outlander really meaning sacrifice instead of Sassenach. There were a number of poignant moments in this episode. You noticed the slo-mo when Jamie parted from Claire the same way they used it when Frank left Claire. The latter foreshadowed the last time Frank would see Claire…

  10. I really enjoy Ronald’s D. Moore director’s podcast. It adds so much dimension to the story and shows his enthusiasm for directing Outlander.

  11. Also, if they have to stop the series before going through all of the books, I hope they at least get through Voyager.

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