Outlander Imagined 307 Lallybroch
As a matter of interest, my episode breaks are done in a linear fashion, following the book Voyager. As the Outlander producers are masters of the flashback I feel there will be quite a few occasions where this device is used. For those who have not read the book, these breakdowns may pique your interest and encourage you to read them. There is much more detail than I mention here.
EPISODE 7 – LALLYBROCH
The scene opens on the vista of wide open wild Scottish Highland countryside, zooming in we see people on horseback – three people. They look lost in their own thoughts. Jamie is taking both Claire and Young Ian back to Lallybroch. Claire knows Ian will have told Jenny about her return. Jenny’s tendency to leap to judgement over her absence may find Claire unwelcome. Young Ian is wary, knowing his return will likely invoke a punishment. Jamie is concerned for them both.
They clear the last pass and see Lallybroch. It lies before them in the distance. Jamie asks Claire if it has changed. To the casual eye, it appears solid and immovable, however, closer inspection reveals it has also suffered. Some buildings are gone, repairs to stonework are visible as are new buildings. The rose bush, planted many years ago by Jamie’s mother Ellen, has grown large and tangled. Memories of happy domestic times flood Claire’s mind. Jamie and Claire both ponder their future together, can they call Lallybroch their home again? While wishing it could be so, Claire is worried. As for Jamie, he says “I dinna mind much else myself, Sassenach, so long as ye’ll stay by me.”
Tension mounts as they traverse the last rocky slope down to Lallybroch, uncertain of the reception awaiting them.
They are welcomed by a flurry of excited animals, including Ian’s half-grown puppy and a girl, Jenny’s daughter Janet, born after Claire had left. After some sibling teasing, including her noting he is growing whiskers, Janet helps Young Ian clean up before seeing his parents. Young Ian is doubtful that being clean will ease his reception.
Jamie and Claire find Jenny and Ian inside waiting for them, making an effort to welcome them with food and drink at the ready. The passage of time shows on Jenny’s face, her hair now has silver streaks. Jenny looks at Claire, almost not being a able to believe who she is seeing. It is only when Jenny embraces Claire that Jenny fully comprehends Claire is real, she marvels that Claire looks almost unchanged. Ian also joins in embracing Claire in welcome.
Pleasantries are shared along with food and drink. Claire notes Jamie has not eaten and only sipped his ale. Jenny and Ian failed to extend their welcoming embrace to him. Tension builds as polite conversation wanes. Claire makes the mistake of asking after the children. Jenny explains their whereabouts, including mysteriously, Michael, being on a trip to collect a package from France. It seems they have been sent away to allow Jenny and Ian to handle the return of Jamie, Claire and Young Ian unseen. Young Janet seems to slipped back unknown to Jenny. Silence falls over them again. Jamie decided to break the impasse, declaring they have brought Young Ian back with them. Any veneer of friendliness evaporates.
Ian retrieves Young Ian from the scullery, he enters the room like a man expecting to be shot. Nodding and acknowledging his mother, he receives a kindly motherly response. Perhaps things will not be as bad as he expected. Regrettably this is not the case. Ian gives Young Ian the dressing down he richly deserves for outright disobedience and causing his mother such worry. He is sent outside to await his due.
Jenny and Jamie finally clash over Young Ian, Jamie’s activities, his failure to tell them where Young Ian was and where the money comes from, criminal activities, and what is takes to become a man.
Ian declares it is cruel to make the boy wait for his punishment, and says he won’t do it. Jamie thinks his appeal for leniency has had effect until Ian pushes the strap into Jamie’s hands and tells him he is to do it instead. Jamie is horrified. Ian uses the reasoning that Jamie has often said Young Ian is like his own son. Jamie reluctantly accepts what he must do, but apologises to Young Ian for his part. Young Ian honestly says how many lashes he deserves and they get on with it. When finished, Jamie tells Young Ian it’s his turn to lash Jamie. They make a bargain that they’ll never need to do that again. Both are absolved by Jenny and Ian. Jamie reflects that while Jenny and Ian have successfully raised their elder sons, Young Ian is more like Jenny and himself than Ian.
That evening, Claire and Jamie share their warmth in bed, content in each other’s arms. They tease lovingly while exploring each others body. Claire reacquaints herself with the silvery tracery of scars on his back, noting a new one. Claire asks if he is being hunted, he says he thinks so. He does not know who, but the kens why. The tells Claire of the legend of the gold, and how he risked venturing out to the rocky island, admitting to Claire he thought he was going to die. Almost relieved to give himself to the sea but uttering an old Celtic prayer against drowning. Jamie hears his mother, Ellen call to him as a current takes him almost effortlessly to the islet he sought. Thus saved, he recovered strength and began to search, finding a box. The box is not large enough to contain the French gold, but it does have a treasure. He left the box in place, having nowhere to go and not wanting to risk retribution for anyone helping him, he allowed himself to be recaptured. At the prison he became the chief of a collection of men from various clans. He needed them as much as they needed him.
After a night of relaxed lovemaking Jamie and Claire finally feel safe.
Waking in the chill of a new morning Claire rises to set the fire. She closes the window, as she does so she sees three women on ponies coming over the hill from Broch Moradh. She believes Maggie, Kitty and Janet are returning home. Jamie awakens when a cold Claire returns to their bed, rekindling his hunger for her. They play and wrestle naked, the quilt is lost to the floor. His head is between Claire’s thighs as the door crashes open a shocked young blonde woman exclaims “Daddy! Who is that woman?” Another woman enters, it is Laoghaire, looking much older and worn. Laoghaire shrieks at Claire calling her a witch, and then slashes out at Jamie clawing his face. Jamie tells her to go downstairs.
Jamie tries weakly to explain to Claire that he has never loved Laoghaire, that he has not fathered the girls.
Claire is shocked to her core, numb and shattered. Beyond furious at Jamie’s deception, Claire prepares to leave, feeling betrayed. Jamie returns to their room, feebly trying to explain. Claire is physically restrained by Jamie. He cannot allow her to go. They fling verbal insults at each other. Then all their thoughts are irrelevant, cursed by their bodies own response, they fight each other, tearing and yelling at each other in a frenzy of animalistic lust until a disgusted Jenny appears and throws cold water over them. Jamie leaves.
The threads of his past are coming together, will they bind him to the past or free him for the future?
Depleted by passion, disgrace and disgust, Claire readies herself to go. Jenny finds her something to wear while young Janet brings food and whisky. Janet confesses she told Laoghaire about Claire, but only at Jenny’s directions.
Claire intends to return to the stones, leaving her beloved Lallybroch, and Jamie behind her. She leaves the photographs in Jamie’s coat.
Claire makes a lonely figure, as she departs, farewelled only by Jenny. Heartbroken and numb Claire allows her horse to make its own way through the Highland passes and glens, resting only at night when she collapses into desperate sleep. Grief stricken by the loss of the one person to whom she had truly abandoned herself, mind, body and soul, she collapses under a tree mournful and crying. Next day she is surprised by Young Ian’s arrival. He takes ages to properly explain his presence. After she left, Jamie and Jenny had a massive argument. Jamie has been shot by Laoghaire and is dying. Young Ian pleads with Claire to return to save Jamie. Now there is a rush for them to return to Lallybroch in time. Once they arrive it is clear Young Ian did not tell anyone he was going to retrieve Claire.
Jenny is at once annoyed at his going and amazed at Claire’s return. Downstairs Jamie lies fevered on a camp bed before the fireplace. It is obvious Jenny has been watching over him. Claire touches his forehead, he is roasting hot. Some logic returns to Claire’s thoughts as she watches over Jamie, understanding the responsibilities he endured while they were apart, and importantly recognising she had interrupted his life by coming back. He had not chosen the timing.