After two lulling weeks at Lallybroch, it was good to get back into the saddle (quite literally) for more adventure. Having said that, I certainly appreciated Outlander giving us the time to really get to know and explore Lallybroch as Claire and Jamie’s home so that it feels like home. It’s important that we understand Claire’s attachment to it, and what it signifies, more so than say, Castle Leoch (where we’ve spent a lot more time).
In fact, that has never been more true than in “The Search,” where it was revealed near the end of the hour the Dougal has been vying for the Fraser land for a long time, and has been hoping to secure it out from underneath Jamie. This dick move against his own family isn’t particularly shocking, given how in the past he almost raped Claire, conspired with Gellis to kill their spouses, and has done other vile acts throughout our time with him. It’s disappointing, but also really hammers home the fact that the Frasers really do have to stand apart and on their own.
Overall though, “The Search” was an odd episode. Most of it revolved around Claire dressed as a boy, singing The Andrews’ Sisters throughout the Highlands (modified with Scottish references). But everything around that made “The Search” a mostly merry hour, especially scenes of Murtagh dancing (and being pelted with veg) and Claire learning how to have stage presence and read palms. The side-story with the gypsies was a little hokey in the end, but it served to show that Murtagh’s plan worked — even though it was Dougal who got word to them, and not Jamie.
On the road, Claire learned that she’s not afraid to do what is necessary to save Jamie, but she was right to hesitate over the fate of the poor courier (luckily Murtagh took care of that for them). It was great to see Jenny being a complete badass tracker just days after having given birth (squirting her milk out for relief along the way), and it showed just how capable women in those circumstances were expected to be as both mothers and fighters. Claire holds her own, too, as she builds a campfire to keep the warm at night, and goes along with Murtagh to search for Jamie.
Of course, in the end, it’s also Claire who galvanizes Dougal’s men into going to rescue Jamie from Wentworth Prison, assuming he hasn’t yet been hanged (I am assuming that he very much has not). Still, the fact that it was Claire, the Sassenach, who is giving the battle cry for a rescue shows just how comfortable she’s become in their world, and how dedicated she is to Jamie. And even more miraculously, that the men actually agreed with her and followed her lead (slowly, and not at first).
Ultimately though, “The Search” felt like a collection of stray scenes that could have fit in to other episodes, but it was still a nice bridge to get us from Lallybroch to Wentworth, where things are bound to be desperate and emotional. It also allowed for some gorgeous shots of the scenery, as Claire went galloping across the countryside, the shore, and through the forests first with Jenny, and then with Murtagh. But Black Jack awaits.
Episode Rating: ★★★ Good
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Was that the greatest establishing scene yet? The disappearing puppet slayed me.
— I love Claire, but Jenny adds so much extra energy to their scenes.
— Murtagh being the secret love (and fashioner of the tusk bracelets) of Jamie’s mother seemed a little too neat, and a very quick reveal. Still, I want to know more about it!
— Thank goodness for Willie, the only brave lad.
— I’m glad Claire got to do some worthwhile prophesying in this episode, too, and Jenny was just like “sure, fine,” ha!
— Dougal, you are an asshole.
— “Oh fuck” – Claire.