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Outlander Recap: The Search, Episode 114

The search is on, on the moor. Inside your croft, on every floor. And the song's so loud, so he can hide. The pressure's high, is he alive? Cause the search is on. Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho.....*

When last we left Lallybroch our heroes' Scottish idyll had turned into a nightmare with Jamie having been taken by the redcoats. As we begin this episode, Claire is in full rescue mode. She has barely a glance to spare for bloody, miserable, feckless Ian who, let's face it, has had finer moments. He does offer to sketch a map for Claire as a bit of usefulness.

Jenny, meanwhile, appears to be tending to the newborn baby she had less than three days ago. What she's really doing, it turns out, is hatching a plan to leave her infant daughter and join Claire on her search for Jamie. As Claire mounts her horse, ready to leave, she goes into shock as Jenny appears all Annie Oakleyed up carrying two guns: one up front and one in back. Locked and loaded, Thelma and Louise Claire and Jenny take off from Lallybroch determined to catch up to the redcoats and Jamie.

Fortunately, Jenny has a knack for tracking and quickly finds the way to the gulley where Jamie and the Watch were attacked. They find disgusting birds, dead bodies, but no Jamie. Jenny discovers tracks from a cart laden down with a heavy load.

"Hopefully," Claire says, "'Cause there's a rather large red-headed Scot weighing it down."

It turns out Jamie's not the only heavy thing as Jenny has to stop and "relieve" herself of her breast milk before it becomes too painful. Claire takes it in stride even swallowing Jenny's comments about how you'd never choose not to have a child.

Claire confesses she's scared they won't find Jamie. So is Jenny. She's especially afraid of what will happen to Jamie if Black Jack Randall gets his hands on him first. As are we all, Jenny. As are we all.

But Claire has a plan: she wants to avoid Black Jack completely and deal only with Lord Thomas, the British Commander she met right before Black Jack punched her in the stomach. For some reason, Claire believes he may be more friendly towards her. Claire thinks as Randall's superior, Lord Thomas will put Black Jack in his place and give Claire back Jamie.

Claire and Jenny finally catch up to the redcoats only to discover that Jamie is nowhere to be found. As they discreetly watch from a cliff, the women discover a messenger leaving the camp and pounce on him. Using a bit of misdirection, they're able to take down the redcoat and hold him hostage. Jenny turns to Claire and confides, "I know it's crazy, but I just feel like I got a knack for this s***." Claire nods sagely saying, "I believe you do."

Jenny decides to take a page out of Black Jack's playbook and extract whatever information she can from the redcoat by force. Claire isn't happy, and beseeches the redcoat to confess for godsake and tell them where Jamie is because this woman is a Fraser and there's no controlling them once they've gone over the edge!

Despite Jenny's best efforts to turn the man into "stands with red burned out feet", he ain't talking. Just as things are about to get really ugly, the man blurts out that he's just a courier so staaaawp!

Claire grabs his satchel and discovers a dispatch that reveals Jamie has escaped.  It looks like the reign of Jenny the Foot Burnerer has come to an end. Jamie should be safe if they destroy the message. But there's still the little problem of what to do with the redcoat Jenny's redfooted. As they're arguing over whether or not to kill him, Murtagh shows up and takes care of the problem: slitting the man's throat.

Murtagh is none too impressed with Claire and Jenny's ability to commit a crime: they didn't cover their tracks, they let the man bellow out so much Murtagh could find him by his screams. Let's do better next time, shall we ladies? He tells them to make camp.

Over the campfire, Jenny and Claire do some more bonding. Claire shows off her fire badge and Jenny reveals that she can bedevil suppers, a trick of putting bugs in the food of people who bug you (i.e. her brothers). Jenny got Jamie to teach her how to track by threatening to skelp his lug (slap his ear) and tamper with his food. Jenny is showing off her torture badge.

The next morning Jenny heads home but not without some spooky prophecy from Claire: She goes all Nostradamus warning Jenny to plant potatoes as a famine is coming, war is coming, and devastation is coming. Jenny barely bats an eye Jamie having apparently thought to warn her that Claire might start to "say things."

It's down to Murtagh and Claire to try and find Jamie. Claire's not exactly reassured when she asks Murtagh how they're supposed to find him only to have him reply, "We're not." She's clearly thinking the Jenny partnership was going much better. But Murtagh has a plan: The A Team! Well, sort of. They're going to make sure everywhere they go, people hear of them. Claire's going to do some healing, and Murtagh's going to do some dancing.

The hope is, that at some point Jamie will hear about where they are and come looking for them. Things seem to be working, except for Murtagh's dancing. It looks for a moment like the Partridge Family is breaking up. Murtagh blames Claire's poor fortune telling and lack of faith. Claire advises Murtagh to "jazz" up his dancing a bit by singing a song. As it's still the 18th Century, Murtagh has no idea what she means. So Claire breaks out the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to demonstrate the kind of catchy tune Murtagh should be singing. That should clear things up...

Murtagh likes the song, but not for himself. He decides Claire fits the part of the Andrews Sisters much better than he does. But then confuses things by dressing Claire like a man. It's all part of the plan to draw attention: A Sassenach dancing and singing in men's clothes is sure to draw attention.

Claire wants no part of it, but like any good stage mother, Murtagh throws her onto the stage to the mercy of the drunken crowd. "Oh f***" exclaims Claire.

She manages to start singing and the crowd loves it. It turns into a Billboard Number One hit overnight with Claire in demand at every town they go to. Claire still has her concerns, but Murtagh lets her know the plan will work and he's sick of hearing about her doubts. She apologizes and says she'll keep her mouth shut. Murtagh's not buying it, replying "Aye, till we reach the horses I expect."

Unfortunately, the 18th century version of copyright pirates are alive and well in the form of gypsies who appropriate the song for their own uses without paying any licensing fees to Claire and Murtagh. This only muddies the search for Jamie as he might inadvertently turn up at the gypsy performance instead of Claire's.

Claire confronts the gypsies, demanding that they stop singing the song, confessing that it is a very special song. The gypsies don't care. Claire tells them she's looking for her husband, and only that song can find him. She even gives the gypsy a ton of money to stop singing it. (If only licensing worked this way). Yeah, Murtagh says, you might as well have dropped that money in a ditch. Murtagh knows that gypsy won't stop singing it.

Murtagh wants Claire to go home to Lallybroch, but Claire revives her World War II army nurse
persona and pulls rank on Murtagh. She's not going anywhere. Despite their best efforts, they don't find Jamie. And he doesn't find them. When they finally reach the end of the line, Murtagh and Claire collapse in despair in a cave for the night.

It's not pretty. Both blame the other for failing to find Jamie. Claire lashes out at Murtagh telling him that he doesn't understand because he's never lost anyone that he loved. This pisses off Murtagh to no end. He tells Claire all about a woman he loved a long time ago. How he loved her so much he killed a boar all by himself to impress her. Claire puts two and two together, realizing that Murtagh is the man who gave Jamie's mother the boar tusks bracelets. Murtagh confirms this, and tells Claire that he loves Jamie like his own son. Claire collapses into Murtagh's arms, sobbing. Murtagh is stunned but manages not to throw her down and instead holds her while she breaks down.

Claire and Murtagh decide to keep going. They will head back to the beginning and start over. It's at this time that the gypsy's heart grows three sizes causing him to go back and confess to Claire that he did not stop singing the song. Before Claire can deck him, he tells her he has a message for her. She is to go meet a man. And it could be Jamie!

Only it's not. It's Dougal in all his creepy glory. Before Claire can storm off, he tells her he knows where Jamie is. Dougal says he's in Wentworth prison, that he stood trial three days ago and was condemned to be hanged. As if this news isn't awful enough, Dougal then proposes marriage to Claire.

Claire pieces together the whole story pretty soon, cutting through Dougal's bulls***. She knows he only wants her so he can have Lallybroch and control the Fraser lands. However, Dougal in his own way seems to love her. Perhaps this is why Claire agrees in the end to marry Dougal if Jamie does in fact die. Or perhaps she figures that if Jamie's dead, she's just heading back to the future and away from all this craziness. Either way, before conceding to the marriage she extracts a promise from Dougal that he won't stop his men from helping her to rescue Jamie. Dougal promises, but he won't order them to help either.

The Leoch gang are not exactly receptive to Claire when she comes calling. The only one who steps up to help is Willy. This is enough to goad Rupert and Angus into going as well. The five of them set out to save Jamie as Wentworth Prison looms in the distance. As Murtagh says, "That was the easy part."

There may or may not be a recap next week depending upon whether or not Jamie is getting his guts torn out by Black Jack. It won't be as pleasant as when Claire did it to him after Fort William.

*18th Century Highland Hunting Song
Outlander Recap: The Search, Episode 114 Reviewed by Deborah Thompson on 1:15 AM Rating: 5

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