Outlander Episode 308: First Wife

Well I feel extremely satisfied after watching Episode 308, First Wife. However, I realized how much I missed seeing plaid while watching this episode, it just seems so blatantly absent…damn that no kilt law.


We open at Lallybroch and it always feels like home when we’re there. However there was no warm welcome when Jamie, Claire and young Ian arrived. After a significantly awkward hello how are you after 20 years. Everyone moves inside to have an even more uncomfortable conversation.

Notice Jamie’s nervous tapping finger…

Young Ian begins to run his mouth after the question from his parents begins and he says a little more than he should. I sell alcohol and set fires and Auntie CLaire here murders people real good. Oh John Bell you are a delightful embodiment of young Ian. He has a little bit of Jamie, Jenny and Ian in him.  He’s brave, ballsy and trouble finds him just like his uncle. He’s stubborn and loyal like Jenny (and Jamie for that matter) but he’s also a peace maker and a liaison of understanding like his father.

Jenny excuses her son from the conversation upon learning how well Claire murders people. Ian gives Jamie the responsibility of punishing young Ian. In the book Jamie first gives Ian 10 lashings and then has Ian give him 10 lashings. That part was cut down to Ian making shit pies that “stinks like the devil’s ass” and we get to see him interact with his sister, young Janet, which was endearing. I like how they played this, mostly because Jamie has had the crap beat put of him so many times by really bad people, I just don’t think the audience could have justified Jamie beating young Ian like that. 

Jamie has a tender (although sometimes fierce) heart toward those he loves. Perhaps the elder Ian was on to something, maybe Jamie couldn’t punish Ian like he would a son. Or its possible he wouldn’t punish how own son that way as well. Either way the elder Ian and Jamie patch things up and all is well in that arena. Claire on the other hand is having a wee bit more trouble getting Jenny to warm up to her. Jenny ain’t afraid to throw some serious shade at Claire.

Claire takes it in stride, because there is no real way to explain what happened in a way that Jenny would fully accept. Also I appreciate the amount of times the word wee is spoken in this episode, for no particular reason.

Jamie and Jenny have a little chat about Ian, “You treat him as a child but he’s a man now,” Jamie says to Jenny. She makes a sound pisht…she knows Jamie is right but she’s not about to admit it. They also talk about Claire’s return and Jamie gives her an explanation about Claire’s disappearance. “The Claire I kent woulda never stopped looking for you,” Jenny replies. She’s right and Jenny never misses a beat does she?

Jamie and Claire are in a familiar setting, the bed chamber at Lallybroch and Jamie and Claire are chatting about making a new life together nearby. Oh if only thing were so simple…..

Jamie is gearing up to tell Claire about his current excess of wives…first Jamie tells Claire about his encounter with Duncan Kerr and the treasure on silkie island that was said to be guarded by the white witch. Jamie tells her that he thought it was her and he swam to the island and found the treasure but Claire was of course no where to be found. I think the purpose of the story was not only to remind us of the treasure but also for Claire to know that she is the hope of his life. I love these tender moments between them and how they share the pain of what life was like without each other and how their love for each other had never wavered or lessened. When Jamie talks about the Greylag bird that mates for life I nearly melted into a puddle of tears. If you kill the Greylag you have to wait until morning for its mate to come and grieve over it so you can kill the mate or else the bird will grieve itself to death.

 They share a sweet kiss and Jamie appears to be trouble about something…ya think? So Jamie FINALLY says, “CLaire there is something I’ve been meaning to tell ye.”

Oh good they will finally clear the air…oh wait hold on…and who busts through the door? None other than…oh two children we don’t recognize followed by Loaghaire! Oh.No.He.Didn’t!!!! Well he did. 

Oh man and Laoghaire let’s Claire have it, “Have you no shame you adulterous bitch? GO back to the hell ye came from!” Jenny’s cold shoulder is a blistering heat compared to Laoghaire’s.

Even though I knew this scene was coming and I was prepared for it in a sense, the way Caitriona played this was so moving. Claire is in complete shock, can you imagine the depths your stomach would have dropped if you were in her place. 

I probably would have thrown up. The looks crossing Claire’s face intensify the shock of the situation making me experience it all over again. Whew that was rough.

The moment with little Joan is sweet, thankfully I know that this is not Jamie’s biological child, I do feel sorry for the non book readers who’s hearts are tortured by this Bree look-alike child. I haver to hand it to Jamie in this situation, he really does a stellar job explaining why divorce can happen to this little girl without fully breaking her heart. They didn’t have a bond that keeps people together.

Oh and now we’ve solved the mysterious child Jamie is hugging in the first trailer for season 3, its wee Joanie.

Jamie heads back upstairs and Claire is frantically gathering her things with the obvious intention of getting the mother effing heck out of their. I’d imagine she’s having somewhat of a twilight zone moment. 

Jamie becomes frantic as well because he doesn’t want Claire to leave. Jamie tries to explain the situation with Laoghaire, all non book readers are starting to feel relieved…a little…even I am feeling relieved, I hated seeing Claire in the dark about all this.

Claire tries to leave the room and Jamie tells her she isn’t going anywhere. Claire asks Jamie why couldn’t he tell her about this (Leghair) when he told her about his son. Jamie replies with (take notes guys this is a good response) “Because I am a coward.” Then everyone just starts getting angry, “You left me!” Jamie accuses and then Claire gets her Oh Hell No face on.

In this scene we get to see them hash out allllllll their feelings…I mean there’s a lot of pent up emotion that they’ve acquired after 20 years apart. The frustrating thing I think for them is that they were forced into a situation and they can’t go back and change any of it. There is no one to blame, no one is at fault, which I think makes it all the more maddening. I love how desperate Jamie gets here as they roll down to the floor, “Claire, Claire, I love you, I love only you.” Their anger inducers passionate lust and they almost start to have sex as they’re  tearing each other apart on the floor. YUM **all the heart eyes**

Cold water is thrown on them in the midst of this by a most perturbed Jenny. Man Laura Donnelly is the perfect Jenny. The snuggle struggle comes to an abrupt end and Claire storms out and Jamie gives an awkward look to his sister, feeling rather sheepish I’d imagine. Jenny is no doubt calling him a clot heid in her mind right now.

Claire is staring at the fire in the fire place and young Janet comes to offer her a whisky and confess that she’s the rat. We find out that young Janet was instructed by her mother to alert the the cranky sow second wife that her husband returned not so empty handed.

Claire confronts Jenny about this and Jenny has a few of her own questions. There are missing pieces that Jenny can’t make sense of and Claire attempts to fill Jenny in the best she can. I like what they did here with Claire mentioning that she had a husband, it made it seem a little more believable. Jenny of course, never misses a beat and says to Claire, “I hear truth in what your telling me but I can see it in yer eyes there’s still something ye’re keepin’ from me.”

Ian has a little chat with his wife, “If there’s a pot of shit on to boil you stir it like it’s God’s work.” Maybe my favorite Ian line ever… I may have to start using it in my own repertoire.

The following morning Claire is out of the house early and ready to leave. Jamie is already outside and begins to plead with her not to leave, “I canna take back those 20 years or the life I’ve lived but I mean to make things right….I’m still the same person you fell in love with….I’ve only known one love in my life and that was with you.”

Cue psycho hose beast, I mean Laoghaire…with a gun pointed at Jamie and Claire, “So there’s the truth of it then!” she shrieks desperately. Jamie tries to talk her down but Laoghaire keeps talking until she interrupts herself when she accidentally shoots Jamie in the left shoulder. Claire body checks Laoghaire as she starts to come close and then Laoghaire runs off. Good riddance.

Jenny and Ian run outside at the sound of the gunshot. They get Jamie inside and lay him on the table so Claire can tend to his wound and dig out the pellets. Oh how I do love shirtless Jamie…too bad half the time he’s shirtless it’s because he’s got a bit of a flesh wound.  Heaven help me those muscles….and who looks that sexy smeared with blood as they lay down onto a table anyway. James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser, that’s who.

Claire begins the tedious task of removing the pellets from Jamie’s chest and arm. Young Ian stays by her side the whole time with a thoughtful curiosity about him and giving an encouraging word here and there. I love that they tied Ian into this scene because in the book Claire leaves on horseback and it’s Ian that comes after her to tell her that Jamie has been shot and he’s dying. Ian and Claire get a little more time to get to know one another in that scene of the book but here they tied it all together very nicely.

Hours pass and Claire is checking Jamie’s wound as he sleeps, he awakens at her touch and I love the way he looks up at her. I feel like it was a little call back to episode one season once when Jamie falls off his horse and awakens to Claire yelling at him for being more injured than he let on.

“She made a nice swiss cheese of your arm,” Claire says.

“I dinna ken what swiss cheese is but if it looks like that, I wouldna want it on my bread,” Jamies replies. Golly gee our TV husband is so funny even when he’s recovering from a gun shot wound…..and that look he gives her after she tells him that whisky is not a liquid, so hilarious! Jamie’s loves when Claire gets into bossy doctor mode.

Claire give Jamie the chance to explain himself and Jamie goes onto tell Claire about his first Hogmany at Lallybroch since he was a lad. He was lonely and it was the holidays, two little girls approached him and asked him to dance and he obliged.

 I love this scene, it is warm and inviting and you begin to understand why Jamie would have considered Laoghaire. Jamie’s desire to be a husband and a father never left him and he thought this could be the only chance he’d get.
Quick side note/tangent: I often wonder if Jamie even thought that Claire would return, aside from the whole Silkie Island mishap. Could it have never crossed his mind that perhaps she would return one day? Maybe he didn’t want to hope for fear his grief would overcome him, it’s possible that it was just to painful. Even still the probability was high, and Jamie is a smart man. He would have known that Claire probably could have found out that he was alive. Frank accepting Claire back and making her agree to never speak of her past again was not something Jamie knew would happen for sure or even at all.

I have to hand it to Claire, she is incredibly compassionate while listening to Jamie. You can see that she is beginning to understand and perhaps accept what Jamie has to say. Claire asks how he ended up in Edinburgh. Jamie explains that Laoghaire was most likely hurt in on of her previous marriages and she was basically afraid of him so he left, “I couldna bear the thought of someone being afraid of my touch,” Claire loves this about Jamie, he is tenderhearted and good.

Claire reaches out to touch Jamie’s hand and she can feel that he has a fever…uh oh that means an infection is heading his way….Claire asks him why he didn’t mention that and our funny even when feverish TV husband replies, “I thought it was the heat of shame.”

Claire promptly pulls out her syringes and prepares a dose of penicillin to inject into Jamie’s bum. Jamie asks how stabbing him with a needle will help his arm, “because germs are no match for penicillin,” Claire says with a smile of endearment.

Claire comes to talk to Jenny on the front stairs and everybody is a tad less fiesty after Jamie’s life being saved and all. Jenny may seem like a tough bitch sometimes but you have to understand that she’s been the woman of the house before she was even a teenager. She looked after her brother and Lallybroch for a majority of her life. Her mother died when she was a young girl and her father died before she was married. She’s a survivor, she gritty and she loves deeply but Jenny is not easily broken and I think watching her brother try and survive a broken heart broke her heart. Claire and Jenny seem to be able to patch things up as best they can in the moment.


Next we have a delightful meeting with Ned Gowan, I just adore that little old man…and he really did get old. We find out the only way to get Laoghaire out of their hair is to pay the outrageous sum she has requested.

Jamie and Claire discuss this with Jenny and Ian and they are shocked by the amount of money Laoghaire wants. Jamie tells them about the treasure and how he could swim to the island to get it. Claire quickly puts a stop to that idea citing Jamie’s injury.

Young Ian pops into the room and asks how far it is….a quarter mile, Jamie tells him. Young Ian insists that he can do that no problemo.

So Jamie comes up with a plan to get the cold, bring it to France for cousin Jared to trade to sterling so he can pay off sour puss second wife. Jamie asks if he can bring young Ian to France. He promises to keep Ian safe….because swimming a quarter mile to a strange island by yourself to grab a buried treasure seems super duper safe. Jenny and Ian permit this. “You can trust us,” Jamie says.


Jamie and Claire watch Ian swim to Silkie island. Once he’s safely gotten to the island Jamie asks Claire why she cant look him in the eye and Claire explains her doubts, she’s not sure if they are meant to be together anymore. Jamie is just not having that, “Being a printer was naught compared to being your husband….you belong with me. We’re mated for life Sassenach. Will you risk the man I am for the sake of the one ye once knew?” Golly jee I love that line, YES I’LL RISK IT YOU HANDSOME DEVIL!!! Sorry I yelled guys, I just love me some Jamie Fraser.

Well Claire doesna get a chance to answer this question because she notices a pesky ole pirate ship on the horizon heading straight for silkie island. Jamie watched through the spy glass as his nephew is grabbed by the pirates and taken off to neverland and Jamie can’t do a thing about it….except for have their body doubles run down the hillside and down to the shore. The camera pans out and the music intensifies and I clench my but in excitement for next weeks episode.


What was your favorite part of this episode? And how excited are you for the VOYAGE!?!


Until next week lovelies!

XO, Lauren

10 thoughts on “Outlander Episode 308: First Wife

  1. I think my favorite scene was after the beautiful love making and they both found that the bond was still there as was that special feeling they have for each other that they can’t put into words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great recap. I also loved that they had Young Ian help Claire when she was removing the shot from Jamie because it was a callback to him going after her in the book without having that bit in (because seeing Laoghaire shoot Jamie was better than just hearing about it), but I must say, in an episode with so many memorable lines (bollocks, anyone?), the most moving was Jamie’s explanation that he married again because he “wanted to be a father, and a husband.” The order he said that tells you all you need to know about his true motivation. He lost Willie, and he never even knew if Claire’s child had been a boy or a girl, but Marsali and Joanie were there, and he knew he could be a father to them (at least, he tried). The scene of Jamie telling Joanie that he would still care for her even though he and her ma didn’t get along was as sweet as it was sad. This episode was one of the high points of the season. I’ve been looking forward to reading your review of it. Thanks so much for your observations!

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  3. Another great recap of another great episode! I thought the fight was epic…Jamie and Claire love passionately and fight passionately, sometimes at the same time. His reflections about Hogmany when he finally came out of his shell and realized he could be a father (and fill the void in his life left by Claire) finally made his marriage to Laoghaire make sense in a way that the book’s explanation never did. And Jenny…oh Jenny…she also loves (and protects her family) fiercely, even when she doesn’t have all the facts. I’m glad we were able to see her evolution of attitude. The rest of the Murrays, Auld Ian, Wee Ian, Wee Janet, and the McKimmie girls were adorable. Just a wonderful episode all around!


  4. My favorite part for sure was Jamie’s passionate “possession” of Claire when she was trying to leave and he grabs her. Like he says moments before, he’d give everything up to keep her in his life (and maybe harking back to “possessing you body and soul” w/o losing his own in season 1). I loved how passionate he (they) express this physically. Without being dramatic and chick-flick romantic. That’s what I love about this show. The male love interest/ Jamie can still be truly manly and relate-able for husbands while still making all of us ladies swoon 😉 lol.

    My other laugh out loud favorite moment was when Jamie squeals about being jabbed in the ass. haha. Sam played that so well it made me think they either DID jab him or the needle was extremely cold to give such a response 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I watched this episode a second time to see Jamie taping his fingers nervously when they arrive at Lallybroch. I love when Claire and Jamie fight. They are so passionate, and their love for each other always wins in the end. I haven’t read all of the books, so I don’t know if Jenny ever finds out about Claire’s true origins. Murtagh could keep a secret, but I doubt if Jenny could.

    Liked by 1 person

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