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Outlander Recap: Skull-Shaped Watches, Burning Hay Debacles and Fiery Hypnotic Gingers

Tara Ward recaps episode 13 of Outlander, including the arrival of the Black Watch to Lallybroch, a birth more momentous than the Royals, and Jamie’s incredible sense of smell. 

We last left Jamie and Claire firmly ensconced in the familial bosom of Lallybroch. But wait, what’s this? A pair of grubby bearded men in the kitchen, with guns pointed at the lustrous ginger tresses of our hero? This does not bode well…

Thankfully, Jenny knows the troublemakers and regularly welcomes them into her home. They’re the Black Watch, an informal army paid to protect Lallybroch from the Redcoats. These are bad, bad men: they don’t brush their teeth; they spit, and put their feet on the table. No wonder Jamie wants them out!

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The Watch’s leader Taran McQuarrie is suspicious of Jamie, until he witnesses Big Red’s superior fighting skills in a stramash over a burnt haystack. Yes, hay. That was Jamie’s hay, and he doesn’t take kindly to McRotting-Teeth setting it alight. McQuarrie asks Jamie to join the Watch. But Jamie has a bigger problem – Horrocks has arrived.

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Looks like Lallybroch should be renamed McTroubletown. First the Watch, now Horrocks – both are risks to Jamie’s security. “Lallybroch was the one place I thought we’d be safe,” he tells Claire, who tells him to chillax. “We’ll handle it,” she assures him. After the way Claire bitchslapped Tits McGee, Horrocks doesn’t stand a chance.

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While the men fight and argue, Jenny goes into labour. Off to the Lindo Wing we go! Claire entertains the delusion that being a World War 2 combat nurse automatically makes you a midwife, telling Jenny: don’t worry; I’ll just REACH INSIDE AND HELP IT OUT. Jesus H Roosevelt Christ, no wonder Jenny needs a drink.

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Horrocks is up to his old tricks and attempts to blackmail Jamie. Crafty ol’ Jenny has money hidden in the nook of the brook but Jamie’s reluctant to use it. It was left for his children and he feels he’ll let Claire down by giving it to Horrocks. No, reckons Claire, it’s me that’s let you down as I am barren and unfertile. You win, agrees Jamie, who looks sad at this news. Crestfallen, even.

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McQuarrie questions Jamie and Ian about Horrock’s mysterious disappearance. Jamie focuses his steely blue eyes directly on McQuarrie in an attempt to hypnotise him. In a calm voice, Jamie stares without blinking and utters, “your eyelids are becoming heavier. I’m a wanted man, Horrocks tried to blackmail me, and so I ran him through. Now cluck like a chicken.”

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Hypnotism works a treat. “Good!” shouts McQuarrie, “I never liked the bastard!” Just as I was starting to warm to him, McQuarrie asks for Jamie’s help in an upcoming ambush. No pressure, but decline and Jamie will be digging seven graves, including his own. Quickly Jamie, try that Paul McKenna trick again!

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Meanwhile, Jenny’s writhing around on fresh straw like she’s the prize winning Lallybroch sow. Treating a laboring woman like an earth goddess comes easy to Scottish men. “Your wife’s howling like she’s giving birth to a harpsichord,” McRotting-Teeth informs Ian. I expect that’s just how Jenny feels too, smartarse.

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As if Claire hasn’t got enough shit to deal with, Jamie and Ian arrive like kids at Christmas: “Wee! We’re off to rob some country folk with the big boys!” With cheekbones so chiseled I’m surprised Claire doesn’t cut herself, Jamie bids her a passionate farewell and Claire begs him to return safely so they can resume their bedroom shenanigans. Kids, this is no time for dirty talk.

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On their way to commit a heinous crime on some innocent victims, McQuarrie tries again to headhunt Jamie. He offers free health insurance and Casual Fridays to no avail – as a final incentive McQuarrie gives Jamie a watch in the shape of a skull. This convinces me the only place McQuarrie robs are those shops that sell incense, shot glasses and purple lace tie-dye dresses.

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What feels like eight days later, champion Jenny is still in labour.  For the love of God, nobody tell her the Duchess of Cambridge left hospital with full hair and make-up only ten hours after giving birth. “Here we go!” says Claire, and after last week’s full frontal penis shot I am nervous about what we’ll see next.

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Thankfully, it’s just Jamie and his shifty eyes. As the Watch waits, Jamie’s finely attuned sense of smell alerts him to the whiff of rotten Englishmen nearby. It’s a Redcoat ambush!  Horrocks, you bloody bastard!

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Claire nervously awaits Jamie’s return, standing on the doorstep holding what initially appears to be a corncob in a blanket. It’s actually the bairn, wee Princess Alice Elizabeth Diana Cambridge. Or Maggie Murray, if you’re a stickler for details.

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Claire and Jenny are totally BFFs now, and Jenny gives Claire two bracelets that belonged to Jenny’s mother. But what’s this? Ian returns, battered, bleeding and sans wooden leg – but where is Jamie and where are his mountainous cheekbones?

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And so, this week Outlander showed us the circle of life: war and peace, despair and hope, life and death. Hakuna Matata, etc, etc. But what of Jamie, captured by the Redcoats, his auburn locks no doubt disheveled and bedraggled? Claire better hope Mrs Fitz packed her finely knitted superhero cape – to save Big Red she’ll need to kick some Black Jack Randall butt. Let’s just hope she arrives before Black Jack gets a hold of Jamie’s crowning glory – and by that, I mean his hair.

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Click here for all of our Outlander coverage, including the rest of Tara’s season one, part two recaps. 

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