Tara Ward recaps episode 12 of Outlander, in which the Fonz comes to Lallybroch, Jamie goes commando and Claire shares some wisdom about meeting the parents.
Lallybroch, Lallybroch, oh Lally-lally-lally-lallybroch. For eleven episodes we’ve heard Jamie wax lyrical about Lallybroch. That Scottish Shangri-La, the hallowed Highland haven of Clan Fraser. Whatever could go wrong as our heroes arrive to claim their titles as Laird and Lady?
Claire’s about to finally meet her new in-laws, and doesn’t even have a bunch of flowers from the nearest BP to smooth the waters. The next time you return to your ancestral home far away from a petrol station, it may pay to heed the lessons Claire learns in Episode 12 of Outlander.
1) Beware the First Lady of Lallybroch
Jamie’s sister Jenny is a pint-sized pocket rocket with a tongue that bites. Big Sis is a teeny bit miffed that Jamie has turned up after four years in the wilderness, with not even a postcard from sunny Fort William to let her know he’s alive. Never mind your barely repressed rage Jenny, how about greeting your new sister in law with a friendly high five, rather than calling her a trollop and threatening to grab your brother’s testicles?
Blimey, this welcome makes me nostalgic for the hospitality of the good people of Cranesmuir. Four years of suppressed guilt and anger between Jenny and Jamie rises to the surface as soon as they meet. Blah, blah, blah, thinks Claire, why won’t Jenny serve me some wine already? Drink up, Claire – it’s Mrs Crook’s prize-winning stuffed cabbage tonight, and alcohol can only improve the flavour.
2) Beware the Laird Broch Tuarach
Jamie has only mentioned this a few hundred times, but we must all refer to him now as Laird of Broch Tuarach, aka A Really Big Deal. Jamie insists Jenny and Ian give up the Laird’s bedroom (shame they didn’t take that blue wallpaper with them) and tells Claire she must never admonish him in front of the servants. It’s totally not cool to shame the Laird in front of the other kids, Mum!
“My family, my land, my time,” Cock of the Roost explains, in case Claire didn’t fully grasp his situation. Jamie suggests she be more like Colum’s wife Letitia, who humiliates her husband behind closed doors rather than embarrassing him in public. Consider it done, thinks Claire.
On Quarter Day Jamie appears in a flash leather jacket, nodding and winking at his honest, grateful tenants. Had a bad harvest, Dishevelled Duncan? Dinna fash, the rents are on the Laird of Lallybroch! Poor Ian sighs and looks off into the corner. After years of dealing with one stroppy Fraser, he now has another on his hands. Who does this crazy fool think he is – The Fonz?
3) A problem shared is a problem…shared
Claire, while I’m genuinely interested in your reasons for staying in 1743 – at Lallybroch it’s all about the Frasers. This family has enough issues for a Dr Phil marathon. Jenny begins therapy time by recalling Black Jack Randall’s rape attempt: he dropped his breeks and she laughed hysterically, which he neither expected nor appreciated. Speaking of the unexpected, was that a full frontal penis shot? Sadly I’ve no time to double check, because we’re here for the Frasers.
(FYI Claire: you missed a great bonding opportunity with Jenny, swapping notes about flaccid ol’ Black Jack).
Next to share is Jamie, who feels guilt over his Father’s death. Imprisoned at Fort William, Jamie had his choice of punishment – take a further hundred lashes from Black Jack, or, erm, take Black Jack. Jamie’s decision to be flogged means we avoid a second viewing of the Captain’s privates, but did the sight of Jamie being whipped cause Brian to die? “Of course not,” says Claire, wondering when the bloody hell whiskey o’clock is in this joint.
Ian must be feeling left out. Does he not have a ‘I Nearly Had Sex With Black Jack’ story to share with the group? Alas, there’s no time to find out – Jamie wants to hear about the future. (There are elephants! And aeroplanes!)
4) Expect the unexpected
Poor Mrs Crook. First that English wench refuses to eat her stuffed cabbage, and now she’s grinding flour by hand because there’s trouble at mill. But I’m Broch Tuarach! says Jamie, eyes darting about. How dare the Mill break down, just to deflect attention from me!
There’s only one way to fix it – Jamie must get nude. Nude? I’m no expert on the machinations of pre-industrialised flourmills, but I who am I to question the Laird of Lallybroch?
As if a bare-bottomed Jamie was not drama enough, a troop of Redcoats arrive. Blow me down when one of the soldiers professes to be an expert in fixing flourmills. What an extraordinary coincidence. Were Jamie not naked, holding his breath in the freezing millpond and wanted for crimes against the Crown, this would have been a fortuitous turn of events!
The sight of Jamie, muscles rippling and cock in hand, spurs Claire back to reality. She didn’t stay in the eighteenth century to be ‘meek and obedient’, and nor does she plan on having an arrogant, leather loving dickhead for a husband. Jamie’s told to pull his head in and make peace with Jenny, so at the very least Claire can have more wine with dinner.
Lallybroch, it’s been real. We talked, we cried, we got nude. What’s not to love? Sadly, it looks like not all of Jamie’s tenants are impressed with his leather jacket return to Lallybroch. Or is a loaded pistol to the head just a quirky Highland welcome that I’ve not heard about? Either way, both Claire and I need a drink. Slainte!