Recap: 'Outlander' - 'The Devil's Mark' has saved countless lives, you fools!
By the end of last week’s episode of “Outlander,” it had become clear that sexual frustration ruins lives. Scottish Santa’s need to ‘get jolly’ might have gotten his wife killed. Colum’s inability to perform got Dougal and Jamie banished because if the Laird ain’t getting laid, nobody is. And Leery’s teen angst got Claire arrested for witchcraft.
Nunneries are looking better all the time. Will Geillis and Claire survive 18th century justice? Since the show doesn’t end here, I’ll assume so. Time to find out how!
Without preamble, Claire and Gilly are tossed into a Thieve’s Hole. The locals could’ve at LEAST asked the Goblin King to install some Helping Hands™ to cushion the fall.
It takes approximately two seconds for the women to turn on each other out of fear. Gilly accuses Claire of selling her out and I’m gesticulating at the screen in disbelief when Claire puts on her genre-savvy hat and says everything I was thinking. Girl, you killed your husband and told everyone you were dancing naked in the forest while performing rituals. It’s a miracle you weren’t burned in the middle of town ten times over by now.
Claire scoffs at the idea her friend is a witch when it’s obvious Mr. Duncan was killed with good old-fashioned poison. Geillis seems shocked to be called out but recovers quickly. After all, what’s a little murder with witchcraft accusations in the air. Once Gilly admits she tried the long con with tiny amounts of poison but it was taking too long, I wonder if all Mr. Duncan’s ailments stemmed from the cyanide.
For some reason, Claire is not consoled by this admission. Seems slow, deliberate cold-blooded murder is a hard line for her. Prude.
After a night spent on the cold, hard ground, the women are hauled out of the Thieve’s Hole to a horde of unwashed peasantry. The commons loves a good show. I much prefer Geillis’s (probably feigned) annoyance to Claire’s baffled fear. Corralled into the defendant’s box, both ladies are charged with witchcraft and are on trial for their lives. Somewhere in the background, I imagine a man yelling “SHE TURNED ME IN TO NEWT! … I got better.”
Just when it seems the “trial” isn’t even going to have a veneer of impartiality, Budget Ben to the rescue! How he heard the ladies were in trouble is a moot point. He comes in wielding the law like a club and bludgeons the judges with it. In Scotland, witches get lawyers. Otherwise they’re no better than England. Ew.
First witness! Of COURSE it’s the housemaid. I knew Gilly couldn’t trust some backwater country bumpkin to keep a secret about dancing naked in the pale moonlight. Knowing which herbs won’t kill you is enough to cause suspicion in this time period, never mind getting your Woodstock on once a month.
Geillis’s face implies that if she really were a witch, this little sellout would be dead on the ground with worms crawling from her mouth. Luckily, Budget Ben knows exactly what to say to negate an hour of testimony. The maid was discontented with her job, and even came to Castle Leoch to disparage her employers and look for work. In a time before tape recorders, hearsay can work both against and FOR the defense.
Second witness! I knew that abandoned baby was gonna bite Claire in the ass. The parents were off-camera, eagerly awaiting the
death of their baby return of the fairies. But then Claire appeared and cursed the changeling child and scared off the fairy folk and clearly she’s evil. To drive this point home, the mom flings herself at Claire with intent to scratch her eyes out.
Unfortunately, trial by mud wrestling combat is not an option and some men break up the fight.
Budget Ben works his lawyer witchcraft and gets the mom to admit her cowardice killed her own baby and they should all be thanking Claire for killing the changeling so the human baby can live forever with the fairies. The defense is an absurd offense?
Third witness! Who is this pompous cretin? And just what did Gilly do to piss him off? Because that is the only explanation as to how he can stand there with a straight face and say Geillis Duncan called down lightning from the sky with blood-red eyes and then turned into a bird and flew away. Either that, or he was tripping balls.
No one bothers to point out that it is awfully kind of Geillis to withstand the indignity of this trial, what with the powers of Thor at her disposal. Somehow that never seems to come up at witch trials. These women have PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER, and yet they are not lording over you like the pitiful ants that you are? Please.
The judges break for the day and Claire wants Budget Ben to thank Colum for helping. Except Colum has no idea BB is helping and would be cranky if he did know. Colum’s cockblocking efforts truly know no limits.
Determined to power through their ordeal, Gilly and Claire drink themselves into amicable conversation via Budget Ben’s contraband. I’d worry about the baby, but fire is more of an immediate hazard than fetal alcohol poisoning.
Over the course of shared misery, Geillis let’s it slip how she met Scottish Santa: she’s been funneling money to the Jacobite cause. Over a thousand pounds embezzled from Arthur’s nest egg over of the course of two years. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! That’s the equivalent of about £190,000 in today’s money, or nearly $284,000. Just how much money does a Scottish public prosecutor make that he wouldn’t notice this dent in his fortune?
It might have started as strictly business, but it’s clear Gilly was after neither wealth or ennoblement when she took Dougal to bed. She’s obviously head over heels, but oh no, she won’t say it. She won’t says she’s in loooove. She will admit to being extremely practical. Sex isn’t love, and clearly Gilly believes being faithful in the heart is true fidelity.
Between the confessions and the liquor, Claire has softened towards Gilly’s murderous ways. “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country,” Claire quotes. Is that a look of recognition in Geillis’s eye? I think it was. But if she’s from the future as well, Gilly must know the Jacobite Rebellion is doomed to failure. Is she trying to change history?