Outlander Recap 210 Prestonpans
The title card gives us an insight into what is to occur in this episode, the bagpipes of the Highlanders on one side and military drums of the British on the other.
In woodland, Claire happens upon a Highlander who had been dead for some time and ponders what she has seen in the war she knew, and what she will see in the war to come, as Jamie become slightly impatient at her absence. “How long do you need to take a simple pish?” Well Jamie, you’ve got it easy mate, just lift that kilt, not a bunch of petticoats and top skirts.
BPC looks like his over the top tartan and gold lace outfit is made of Teflon, not a splat of mud nor a drop of blood on him, the Generals differ on their tactics. Jamie points out the “meadow” on the map is really an impassable bog. I must point out, to be absolutely fair, that BPC is NOT the only one wearing gold lace. We get our first “mark me” from BPC, eventually it is agreed they must wait before engaging in battle.
BPC gives us another “Mark me” as he speaks to Jamie about Claire ministering aid to the wounded, insisting they give first attention to the British casualties. BPC is sure Claire will have no trouble obeying such a request from “her lord and master”, Jamie. INSERT wry look on Jamie’s face as he bends to kiss BPC’s pristinely clean hand.
Speaking of pristinely clean, we find the opposite of clean, Rupert and Angus misbehaving. Mainly Angus really, and teasing a couple of cotters, Ross and Kincaid, from Lallybroch, about their fighting abilities. Dougal becomes irritated at their antics and Murtagh says his bit until Jamie breaks up the “fight” with a word.
Jamie mentions there needs to be reconnaissance of the marshland which lies between the opposing forces. Jamie nudges Dougal away from the men to discuss the vexing issue. Dougal steps up and decides he will risk himself to test the ground, to prove his mettle to the Prince. Dougal bravely sets off on his horse, down the slope towards the bog, nearer to the British. He goes unarmed, holding out his arms. The British load and fire as he approaches.
The Highlanders gather on the crest of the hill observing Dougal. Angus proudly exclaims to BPC that Dougal is a friend of his. The British fire at Dougal as his horse falters in the boggy ground, forcing Dougal off his mount. A shot hits Dougal’s beret, knocking it off his head. Luckily Dougal is unharmed, except for a graze on the top of his head. We get another “mark me” from BPC as he praises and hugs Dougal after his safe return. Dougal bravely contends with BPC getting a little handsy with his beard.
Confirmation of the boggy ground means the opposing troops cannot engage each other. A General who suggests withdrawing back to Edinburgh is threatened with replacement. Jamie passes a bottle of whisky to Dougal, who he calls a lucky bastard. Dougal confesses he must go and change his breeks “as the hero of the hour has shat his pants”. All the men and Jamie laugh, so did we (and we needed a laugh).
Claire mentors her ladies who will be helping tend the wounded, explaining the benefits of honey water to their dismissive faces. Fergus, grows impatient at being confined to what he considers is women’s work.
Night falls and Fergus brings forth a lad, Richard Anderson, to Claire. His family own the land and he knows a secret path down the hill past the the bog. Claire sets up a meeting with the Prince, the commanders including Jamie. The young man informs them of the hidden trail.
The Prince commands they launch their attack on the British. The cotters, Kincaid and Ross make a pact about each other looking after their families if they die “what’s mine is yours, and yours mine”. Observing this Rupert and Angus look thoughtful, with Angus laughingly declaring that Rupert can have his sword, dirk and sporran, but they can’t take the pact seriously. Angus stating he’s leaving Scarlett to Rupert as well, “a part time whore and full-time barmaid.” Rupert will not shake hands on the pact. Jamie happens upon Murtagh repeatedly sharpening his sword. Jamie gives us a lovely bit of knee. Murtagh is burdened with thoughts of the coming battle, knowing what it is like to stare into the eyes of a man about to be killed, or who is about to kill him. He questions the value of his death or Jamie’s death in a battle involving so many.
Rupert and Angus announce the battle is about to begin, and Angus asks Claire for a kiss. She kisses him on the cheek. Claire asks Murtagh to watch over Jamie. Jamie kisses Claire wordlessly and she says “on your way soldier”.
We see the Highlanders walking along a misty trail through the trees and out on the the field, Jamie tells the Prince he must stay back from the fight. We get yet another “mark me”, as the Prince admits to Jamie that his father, King James, isn’t all that fond of him. Nevertheless Jamie tells the teflon Prince to stay behind the lines.
In the misty, early hours of morning the Highlanders follow Richard Anderson along the narrow trail, avoiding the bog, into the British camp. We see that Fergus has joined the men. The Highlanders charge across the field, their footsteps rumbling. A bloody, muddy, gory battle ensues. Hand to hand combat, swords against muskets, slashing and cutting with wild abandon.
The first casualties begin to appear at Claire’s makeshift hospital. The cotters arrive, one of them is dead. Fergus looks lost and frightened on the field of battle. Rupert sustains a sword blow to his chest, but he is mainly concerned about Angus who sustained a cannon blast. Claire tends to Rupert’s wound, a deep slash to his rib area. We see a replay of how their injuries occurred. Claire briefly looks over Angus, but he insists he is fine, but “bone weary”. Jamie arrives back declaring “the day is ours Sassenach.” Murtagh says the whole thing took only 15 minutes. Fergus is outside, looking wide-eyed with shock and tells Claire he thinks he killed an English soldier. Claire comforts and takes care of him.
Next we see the gruesome sight of an out of control Dougal killing English soldiers who are laying injured on the battlefield. It’s a horrible scene. One of the wounded is Lieutenant Jeremy Foster, who accompanied Dougal and Claire to the garrison commander. Ever polite, he asks Dougal for assistance in getting to the infirmary. Dougal laughs at him. He goes on to tell Dougal the Highlanders cannot defeat the British army. Dougal kills Lieutenant Foster in cold blood.
Back at the infirmary Jamie, Murtagh and Angus stand around Rupert, who lies in bed, wounded and repaired to the best of Claire’s ability. Angus is showing signs of not being well. Claire notices Jamie has a hoof print on his back and tells him to give a urine sample. While he is messing around, being teased by a British soldier, and betting about being able pee in a bottle from a distance, the Prince arrives, praising Claire and expressing his feelings about the situation they find themselves in, countrymen fighting each other. A maddened bloodthirsty Dougal rushes in, unaware of the Prince’s presence, and shames himself by grabbing women and reacting badly to the presence of the British wounded. The Prince defends the British, calling the men brothers. The Prince asks Jamie to remove Dougal from the muster roll immediately, saying there is no place for such wanton disregard in his army. Jamie calls Dougal a true warrior. The Prince describes Dougal as a bloodthirsty barbarian. Jamie suggests a resolution, by promoting Dougal to be captain of the Highlander Dragoons, effectively exiling Dougal so the Prince never has to see him again. The Prince agrees and now Dougal finds himself in Jamie’s debt. Dougal sees what Jamie has done as worthy of something Colum would do. Dougal goes to speak to Angus and ask about Rupert. As he does so Angus takes a turn and collapses onto the floor gasping for air. Blood bubbles from his mouth. Claire rushes to Angus’s side and sees the marks of the cannon blast on his body, realising he was bleeding internally but is ultimately helpless to save him. Angus dies. Rupert painfully raises himself from his bed, and goes to Angus. All are devastated. Rupert takes Angus’s sword, as Angus wanted, holds it to his chest and sits back down. Later the men are celebrating with drink. Murtagh, Jamie and Claire discuss the fact that Claire was right about Prestonpans, and that she is probably right about the disaster facing them at Culloden. Rupert comes out to join in the drinking and singing, but not in a happy way.