Outlander 3×07, “Crème de Menthe”
Claire has been back in the 18th century for like 5 minutes and she’s already created absolute chaos in Jamie’s life. I mean, I feel like his life was pretty much balanced on eggshells, but honestly!
The episode opens where last week left off, with Claire being attacked by random brothel rapist. She slashes at him with a knife and then knocks him down, where he hits his head on the hearth. Jamie bursts in to find Claire shaking and wielding a knife, with some strange dude knocked out cold on the floor.
Turns out the guy is an excise man, like an investigator for Sir Percival, the shady dude Jamie was paying off last week. Percival suspects that Jamie has expanded his smuggling business beyond Edinburgh without cutting him in on the profits, so he sent this guy to find out what’s happening.
He’s not dead, much to Claire’s relief and Jamie’s chagrin, and Claire insists on operating on him. She needs to trepan him, or drill a hole in his head, but first she has to run to the apothecary to get some supplies. Jamie isn’t thrilled—it would be much more convenient for him if this dude died—but Claire insists.
While there she meets a man who’s looking for something to help his sister. Claire offers to come see her if the man will let her cut ahead of him in line, and he agrees. Claire gets what she needs and runs back to the brothel, where Jamie and Yi Tien Cho have restrained the inspector guy.
Claire dumps laudanum down his throat and performs the operation, but unfortunately he dies anyway. Jamie’s relieved, but Claire’s deeply upset. He reminds her that she’s not in Boston or a hospital, and she’ll have plenty more time to save people, but it just wasn’t meant to be with this one. Jamie hides the body in a barrel of crème de menthe, claiming that no proper Scotsman has ever drunk the stuff, so I guess someone’s in for a big surprise later on.
While all of that is going on, Young Ian and Fergus are moving the barrels of brandy and crème de menthe out of the brothel’s basement before Sir Percival shows up. Ian gets a guy to pay 75 pounds for the brandy, and he says he’ll throw in 3 barrels of the crème too. Later Fergus congratulates him on his selling skills, and teaches him how to seduce the barmaid he’s had his eye on for a while.
Claire suggests to Jamie that they move out of the brothel and he’s just like *blinkblink* why would we do that?? I don’t pay rent here! It’s awesome!
Claire is unimpressed.
Ian, Young Ian’s Papa, shows up looking for his son, and Jamie says he hasn’t seen him. He’s astounded to see Claire, of course, and she tells him the same story she’s told everyone else.
Back in their room, Claire’s angry that Jamie lied to Ian. He points out that she did, too, but she says it’s totally different: she CAN’T tell him she went back to the future, duh! She says that Jamie doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a worried parent…which is sort of a low blow.
Jamie fires back that he would’ve raised Brianna not to run around in a bikini because that’s super duper low class, and then he asks Claire if she loved Frank. She says that Frank was a wonderful father to Brianna, and she did love him—before Jamie. It’s not really a fair question because DUH she loved Frank! It was why she wanted to go back to him! These two rn, I swear.
Their argument is interrupted because there’s a fire at the printshop. Young Ian was there with his lady having an excellent time, but Sir Percival’s hired man followed them. Ian tried to stop him searching the shop, and he pushed Ian against the secret panel and found Jamie’s seditious pamphlets. He then shot at Ian and started a fire. Lord Jesus it’s a fire in a printshop!
Jamie rushes in to find Young Ian, and good thing, because he’s passed out at the base of the stairs. He’s able to get both of them out, and he tells Jamie that the guy found the pamphlets—meaning Jamie could be hanged for treason. They decide they have to go to Lallybroch, because Percival knows him as Alexander Malcolm of Edinburgh, not Jamie Fraser of Lallybroch.
He tells Fergus to ride ahead and prepare things, and Fergus is like, “Uh you haven’t told Mi’Lady about your OTHER wife yet?” and Jamie’s like, “lol no, but I will don’t worry!”
Methinks this is far worse than living above a brothel, Jamie.
There’s not that much to say here, really. It was a good, solid filler episode of television. The show needed to get everyone from Edinburgh to Lallybroch, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Jamie and Claire by now, it’s that nothing happens easy for them. It’s always DRAMA! But that’s why we’re here, right? For the drama?
Poor Young Ian didn’t get to finish with his pretty bar lass, and things were going so well, too. I feel bad for him. Also Fergus is a scamp who apparently lost his virginity at 15 in a ménage à trois, but does that really surprise anyone?
Jamie’s behavior is causing me issues. First of all, it’s obviously a huge problem that he hasn’t told Claire about his wife. From the previews for next week, she’s going to be VERY hurt, and can anyone blame her? He’s here all “was Frank a good husband?!” Mr. Accusatory, while knowing full well he has a wife stashed in the country. And his excuse is gonna be “you asked if I LOVED anyone else, and I don’t love her!”
I still don’t understand why Claire chose to bring the bikini picture; clearly her assurances that it’s the style in the 60s haven’t reassured Jamie. He basically thinks his daughter is a…young woman of loose morals, and nothing Claire can say will change his mind. I get that his mindset is totally different than Claire’s, but he’s being a stubborn ass about it and it’s kinda pissing me off a little bit. Claire too, for that matter.
He’ll have a LOT of esplainin’ to do next week. I’m kinda looking forward to Claire giving him hell about the whole thing. NOT to Claire being hurt by his duplicity, but the other part.
Episode Grade: B. Good shit, well done.