Outlander Recap S01E04: The Gathering

A clansman keeps watch, a woman runs though the woods. It's Claire and she's being chased by the children. She slipped her guard, but not the children. They catch up to her when the kids do, but Claire isn't done playing. The guards however want to get on to the gathering, so Claire ends her game. The hunt was more than just a game, it was a way for Claire to plot a way to escape. The MacKenzies gather in an encampment to celebrate, and it warmed Claire's heart to be in there presence, even while plotting to get away. She thinks of a way to distract her guards, and a pretty woman seems a good distraction. One is set off for the lady, and the other, accompanies her to find a horse.

For the hunt she needs a gentle horse. Most of the horses are already spoken for, and Claire asks if Jamie can help her. But Jamie is busy with his horses. The stablemaster suggests Brimstone, who despite the name is a sweet horse.

With her plans in place she heads back to the apothecary and is startled by Geillis. Geillis notices all the food and wonders if Claire is pregnant, if that is the reason for her desire to get to France. Claire tells her that she has not been unfaithful to her husband, but Geillis points out that she can't be unfaithful if her husband is dead.  As memories of Frank float through her mind she tells Geillis that he is dead, which makes more sense than to say he hasn't been born yet. Geillis asks if she ever had children, and wonders if she's barren. Claire hasn't, through she and Frank tried, and it doesn't matter now. Geillis continues to look around, noticing things like the sleeping aid, and opens up a little about her past. Just because life doesn't turn out how it was expected, doesn't mean it won't turn out well. Geillis warns her that the highlands are no place for a woman alone.

Once Geillis leaves Claire continues her getaway plan. She's almost ready to make her dash. The evening would bring her chance to escape. Mrs. Fitz notices her in the kitchen, and more so her clothing. She takes her away to find more fitting clothes for the occasion, which allows her guards to draw back.

Everyone gets into their places as Colum arrives and takes his seat. He's clean shaven, and gives a rousing speech in gaelic. He couldn't hope for a better lot than those before him about to pledge their allegiance. Dougal is the first to offer his sword to his brother. The oaths are all the same, and with her guards both lined up to take theirs, Claire prepares to leave. She has one guard only in tow. He doesn't want to leave, but Claire wants to make preparations. He convinces her to stay, and she pulls a bottle to get into the festive mood. She takes a drink, and offers the bottle up. He drinks heavily from it, and doesn't notice her spit out hers. Someone is gonna be sleepy. He thinks the wine is strong, but good, and tells him to go ahead and enjoy it, share it with friends. Sneaky, sneaky. The more unconscious clansmen, the better.

Claire makes back to her room to grab her goods and getaway when Laoghaire startles her. She's come asking for a love potion. She needs something to hold a lads attention. She wants more than what's in his pants, she wants his heart too. Claire gives her some dried horse dung, which given the circumstances is very appropriate. She tells her to sprinkle the contents at his door and recite a very Wizard of Oz incantation.

She makes a break for the stable and bumps into clansmen at every turn. They're drunk and handsy. Dougal comes to her rescue, pulling them off Claire, but its out of the frying pan into the fire. Dougal is just as drunk, and proves to be handsy as well. Claire slaps him good, and Dougal tells her to be off before she pays a greater price. He notices her sack, and she knocks him out with a stool. Claire continues her escape, hiding from the centuries.

She makes it to the stables, and literally stumbles over Jamie. He asks how far she thinks she would get on horseback with half the MacKenzie clan after her in the morning. Claire thought she was prepared, but Jamie tells her that Colum has extra guards out in the woods. She wouldn't have gotten far. Claire wishes to go anyways, but the best trackers are there Jamie warns. Claire is an outlander, and she doesn't belong. Jamie convinces her to stay, offering to take her back to her room. Claire isn't so sure thats a good idea, remembering the drunkards she's already encountered. She can't go back, she knocked Dougal out. Jamie laughs at her story. With Dougal drunk, he'll never admit that a lass got the best of him, even if he remembers. Jamie takes her back but not the way she came. He takes her to the tunnel, but they're caught. The men plan to take Jamie to take his oath, but when one of them tries to keep Claire, Jamie rises to defend her, knocking out the one holding her, and getting knocked out by Claire's guard Randal in return.

Jamie dresses in preparation for his oath taking, and reveals that although Dougal and Colum's nephew, that he isn't part of the MacKenzie clan. Claire tells Murtagh that Jamie is there, and all eyes falls upon him in a hush. Murtagh tells her that if Jamie pledges allegiance to Colum, then he will become Laird when Colum passes, which puts him at odds with Dougal. Dougal sees his arrival, and takes him place by Colum's side. Should Jamie take the oath, Dougal won't likely let him remain breathing. All able bodied men must take the oath though, and should Jamie not take it, he would be killed by the others.. Jamie only needed to stay hidden until after the gathering and he would have been safe. Jamie kneels before his uncle Colum, he cannot give him an oath, but instead offers his vow of obedience so long as his feet rest on MacKenzie land. Colum accepts, and the tension is broken.

Claire readies for the hunt. The men draw the boar out. Randal stalks the forrest with his spear, Claire walks her horse. A whole horde of boars run, and gore one of the riders. Claire patches him up and tells Randall to take him back to the castle as she runs off towards the sounds of another injured man. A boar closes in on Claire, and Dougal saves her. The other patient isn't so lucky though. The leg isn't bad, but the abdomen wound is fatal. Dougal allows the man a good death under the blue sky. Jordy begins to panic as he loses feeling in his extremities, and Claire asks about his home to distract him. Jordy asks for a song, and leaves the world behind.

The boars are brought in, as is Jordy. Some of the men are playing a rousing game of shinty and Dougal throws himself in. The game is violent and things get heated between Dougal and Jamie, but Mutagh keeps it fair. It the end, Jamie flips Dougal over his shoulder. Dougal taught him well, maybe too well. The men go limping about.

With her escape in the past, Claire has to make a new plan. Dougal comes to visit her, asking if shes seen men die before by violence. Claire of course has, and Dougal thanks her for what she did for Jordy. Claire wishes she could have done more, but she gave him peace, and that is more than anyone can ask for. Dougal is there to set Claire free, kind of. He's planning on taking a road trip, and he's bringing Claire with him. He needs a healer, and she fits the bill.

The group leaves at first light with Dougal in the lead, Claire's guards, Claire and even Jamie.  She had no clue where the journey would lead her, but only hoped that she would come close to the stones of Craig na Dun so she could finally get home.


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