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Outlander Recap: Witch Trials and Husband Commentary in ‘The Devils Mark’

Tara Ward recaps episode 11 of Outlander, in which she introduces the show to her husband, Claire discovers the intricacies of the Scottish legal system, Geillis causes a scene and Jamie seeks The Future. If you missed last week’s recap, click here

We begin with a visit to that ever-popular Highland tourist attraction: the Thieves Hole. Claire and Geillis are thrown – literally lobbed – inside. “It’s dark, it’s cold – but don’t panic,” says Geillis, “my beloved bearded hero will save us.” Or words to that effect. Soz to be the bearer of bad news, but Dougal and Jamie are miles away. “No-one is coming, Geillis,” Claire says. “They’re screwed,” says my husband.

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Claire and Geillis are dragged like cattle past the pyre to the courtroom, where a mob of pointy-armed, shouty townspeople have gathered. Building the stake before the trial does not bode well but chin up, Claire. Ned Gowan is here, with his masterful knowledge of Scottish law and superior legal wit. Take that, miserable puritans! “Is that Billy Connolly?” asks my husband.

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A series of witnesses accuse Claire and Geillis of heinous crimes such as having visits from other women! Walking in the fields! Collecting herbs! The mother of the faery changeling baby accuses Claire of sorcery, but a weird flashback makes the mother seem more witchlike than Claire ever could. “That courtroom must really stink,” says my husband.

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The star witness is our old friend Laoghaire, who accuses Claire of using witchcraft to secure Jamie’s affections. “He was the love of my life!” whimpers Laoghaire, adding that Claire struck her. Claire probably wishes it had been harder. I fear this is turning into an episode of Jeremy Kyle. “Burn the witch!” the townspeople cry. “Have a wash!” my husband says, pointing and yelling.

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The final witness is Laugh A Minute Father Bain, who is wallowing in his own self-indulgent mid-life crisis. Father Bain! This is not about you! “What’s his problem?” asked my husband. Where to start?

The trial’s not gone well. Ned reckons he can only save one woman and it has to be Claire, as Geillis has been a witch the longest. Hardly a robust legal argument, Ned, but we’ll go with it. Claire must renounce Geillis in court, or else it’s bonfire night for both. “Looks like I’m going to a fucking barbecue” says Geillis. “Best line ever!” says my husband.

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Geillis won’t go quietly, and mutters something to Claire about returning to 1968. What the? Hold the line, Geillis. Claire just needs to take a few lashes for ironically telling these murderous bastards to burn in hell – then we’ll come back to you.

Hallelujah! The Ginga Ninja arrives, thrusting his weapon about in an effort to sort this joke of a justice system out. Call yourselves the law? I’m a big tall redhead with a giant weapon, and what I say goes. Release my wife, immediately!

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Geillis isn’t done. “This woman is no witch,” she declares to the court, “but I am!” Claire recognizes the ‘mark of the devil’ on Geillis’ arm as a smallpox vaccination scar, and suddenly puts ‘1968’ and ‘vaccine’ together to get FELLOW TIME TRAVELLER. Claire can’t think and flee at the same time, but FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS FLAMING AND HOT CLAIRE – GET OUT OF THE COURTROOM. Geillis rips her bodice away to reveal she is “pregnant with Satan’s child” while simultaneously schooling Ned in how to command a courtroom. “This is more like it,” says my husband.

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Safe in a forest free of stinky, pointy, shouty townspeople, Jamie is impressed by Claire’s matching His and Hers back scars. Having just rescued his wife from being burned at the stake, Jamie calmly asks, “is there anything you wish to tell me, Claire?” Not “what did you think I meant when I said STAY AWAY FROM GEILLIS DUNCAN, you crazy, independent wench?” Claire assures him that she’s no witch. It’s better than that – she’s from The Future! Jamie is puzzled, and his eyes move back and forth. The Future, he thinks. Is that near Loch Lomond?

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Although Claire escaped death by fire, was reunited with her hot hubby and can create an intricate woolen cape from three sticks and some grass – she is still miserable. She feels “anchorless in a running sea,” though that could also be Jamie riding aimlessly through the countryside, trying to find a village called The Future.

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Not for long, Claire: we’re back at Craigh Na Dun. “It’s what you’ve always wanted,” Jamie says. Claire approaches the stones, hands outstretched. Here she comes, Frank. Wait until you hear she met the Duke of Sandringham! You and the Reverend will squeal yourselves silly!

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But wait, what’s this? Awake and wipe that tear away, Jamie, for your beloved has returned! “On your feet, soldier,” Claire says to Jamie. Is this really the time for dirty talk, you two?

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So it’s decided: Claire is officially #TeamJamie. They’re off to Lallybroch, where Jamie can be Laird and Master and Claire can weave things on her triangle of sticks, living happily in an agrarian paradise filled with barley and gorse. “She stayed for the rumpy-pumpy,” says my husband. I suspect he’s right.

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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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