‘Outlander’ Q&A: Claire’s in Trouble Again – The Stars Preview What’s Next

outlander claire arrested geillis
Image courtesy of Starz

Spoiler warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen “Outlander” Season 1, Episode 10, “By the Pricking of My Thumbs.”

There’s never a dull moment on Starz’s “Outlander” — no sooner had Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) recovered from their first fight (and Claire’s subsequent spanking) in last week’s episode than our heroine was confronting a jealous Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) over the ill wish she left under Claire and Jamie’s bed, a showdown that only made the entitled young Scotswoman more resentful of her English rival this week.

By the end of Episode 10, Laoghaire had concocted an elaborate and dastardly scheme that resulted in both Claire and her friend Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) being arrested for witchcraft and carted off to Thieves’ Hole to await trial. Even worse — Claire’s husband Jamie was sent away to accompany his uncle Dougal (Graham McTavish) back to his own estate after it emerged that Geillis was pregnant with Dougal’s child (and may have had something to do with the death of her husband and Dougal’s wife, in an attempt to clear a path for the two of them to be together), meaning that Jamie won’t be around to notice Claire’s absence at Castle Leoch.

“The relationship between Geillis and Claire is very complicated, and that’s why I love that we finally then devoted a full episode to it,” Balfe told Variety of this week’s installment. “It was just fantastic, because obviously she’s noticed that Geillis has done something to her husband and that’s not only shocked her, but horrified her, because here is someone that she considered a friend. She knew that there was a wall up between them, and as much as Claire was holding secrets, she knew Geillis was too — but this is bringing it to a whole other level. Claire is a healer — as a doctor you have the Hippocratic Oath, and to see someone take someone’s life, it’s shocking for her and it really rocks the foundation of [their relationship] — ‘Oh my god, can I still be friends with this woman?'”

Despite Claire’s feelings about Geillis’ actions, she still wanted to warn her about Colum’s (Gary Lewis) suspicions regarding Arthur Duncan’s death, a good deed which Balfe describes as “an instinctual thing. She still knows that there’s something about Geillis that she needs… and despite everything, Geillis has been her only friend, so for her to go and warn her, I think she felt like it was her duty. She’s not going to be buddy-buddy with her, but she’s going to give her friend a warning.” Unfortunately, that warning resulted in Claire and Geillis heading towards a potential date with the stake, with Laoghaire determined to remove Claire from Jamie’s life entirely.

Elsewhere in the action-packed hour, we finally met the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow), the patron and protector of Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) who could also hold the key to securing Jamie a royal pardon for the murder he didn’t commit — a pardon that would remove the bounty from his head and allow him to return home to his family estate at Lallybroch.

Knowing of Black Jack’s alliance with the Duke, Claire took the opportunity to blackmail the nobleman into helping Jamie — a dangerous gamble, but a risk that Balfe believed Claire had to take: “She knows that she has this information. She knows that it’s worth something. She’s not 100 percent sure what it is, but she knows, even from seeing Black Jack’s reaction in the room, she’s on to something. She just doesn’t quite understand the full scope of it. I think she feels like she has to do what she can to protect Jamie and help him, and she sees how important this is to him and how important it would be to their life to be able to [go home to Lallybroch]. She also feels guilty that now she’s further put Black Jack on the trail of Jamie. She’s added to the list, so she feels a responsibility to do something to help him.”

Episode 10 also built on the foundation laid down by the midseason return, which followed Jamie’s perspective for the first time. In this week’s installment, we saw Jamie’s storyline diverge from Claire’s more overtly, putting him in the middle of a political battle of wills between his uncles, Colum and Dougal, and their conflicting views on the Jacobite uprising.

“Because we had decided to shift the point of view to Jamie, it gave us an opportunity to go do that. The stuff about the Jacobites and the split in MacKenzie clan was in the book, but because it was told from [Claire’s] point of view you couldn’t spend a lot of time with it,” executive producer Ron Moore explained. “I thought that was fascinating territory and I liked the idea of seeing the conflict between the brothers and talking more about the political situation, because it will continue. The Jacobite rising plays a major part of the story as we go on and it felt good to get back to that to really give in to that aspect of it. The point of view shift just made that possible.”

Heughan relished the chance to see Jamie evolve further, especially as he starts taking a more active role in the political machinations of the show. “Before, he was just a pawn in the whole thing, and then he actually steps up and says, ‘You know, if you do this, here’s a way…’ and he’s not just sitting on the outskirts and not being involved.”

He added, “He’s going on a new journey now — suddenly with the arrival of the Duke of Sandringham in the area, it’s like, ‘Here’s an opportunity for Jamie to have some purpose in his life.’ Obviously until now, until Claire appeared, he had pretty much nothing going on. Now suddenly he’s got responsibility, and he’s also got a chance to build a life for himself and for his family, and that’s what he wants. Suddenly, it’s attainable. And I guess he’s like any guy growing up — eventually you start going, ‘I need to start making choices and decisions,’ and that just leads into the next episodes.”

“Outlander” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.

What did you think of “By the Pricking of My Thumbs”? How do you think Claire and Geillis will escape their latest predicament? Weigh in below.

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  1. Brenda Weible says:

    Does anyone know how dark the next episode is going to be? I don’t know if I can watch it if it is anything like the book. Please don’t make it too brutal on Jaime.

    • fraochjean says:

      Ron said they’re not holding back so my guess is it’s going to be pretty dark. Not to mention what they’ve already shown that pushed the envelope of television programming signals that they’re going to make it brutal and heart wrenching. If you live in Canada you may be spared some of it though because they were saying they cut out Tobias’ little guy from episode 12 so it’s makes sense that they’d cut out some of what’s coming.

  2. Pat Nagel says:

    Everyone connected with this series is doing a wonderful job. D.G. Must be thrill! While Jamie and Clair are a little different from what I pictured reading the books, they may be even better than my really great imagination! I love everything about the series. Scotland beautiful. Costuming fantastic. Acting terrific. Writing and directing excellent. I am a little frightened about the scene coming up with Jamie and Black Jack. I don’t want it to be to explicit. Especially if it is the season finally. Please let Clair help him and make him better before you sign off for the year.

  3. Ellen Overman says:

    I live in the Netherlands and saw the first 8 episodes in december 2014. After that I started to read the books and finished #8 two days before Outlander returned in April! Yes I did a lot of reading the last 4 months.
    In the books Jamie gets his own storyline more and more and I ‘m so thrilled to see that this already happens in the series. Perhaps Diana would have done that in the first book too if she had known what a great succes her books would become. It gives more insight to Jamies life. I also like the little details the actors put in the episodes. Readers of the books will recognize them when they see them. It gives you an “ooooh”-feeling when you see it and makes you want to see the episode again to see if you missed something else. I can’t wait to see the rest.
    Greetings from the Netherlands
    Ellen Overman

  4. jennine cimildora says:

    Jamie will find out about Claire’s predicament and will race back to rescue her once again.

  5. Vee Evans says:

    A point of reference …. Claire is NOT yet a doctor, she’s a nurse. She will not become a doctor until she returns through the stones. In DRAGONFLY Claire recites a few words from the Oath speaking with a fellow healer (and possible time traveler), but ultimately tells him (Master Raymond), she’s not a physician ‘yet.’

  6. Shari says:

    This episode differed a bit from the book, but the heart of the story, the important parts are still here. I don’t think we have seen the last of Geillis and I enjoyed hearing Jamie’s voice and perspective. Am not liking Laoghaire at all, guess you are not supposed to, but she poses a threat to both Claire and the relationship between Claire and Jamie. The relationship between Dougal and Colum is quite interesting, but it is the chemistry between Claire and Jamie and his natural humor and goodness that keeps me coming back. The fact that he looks so good in a kilt doesn’t hurt.

  7. AM says:

    Geillis is a witch that plays in a lot of black magic. She should be tried by herself. Clair was set up and i feel that should come out. That little brat who set clair up with the note to go to Gellis home should be expos and have to pay for her devious ways.Clair has to wise up its not as if she doesn’t know the History from the century. Realizing clair wants to get back to the future and her husband Frank, however Jamie is the man for her, He is Sexy! I think they should have a child. I have just became a big FAN. I read alot of Romance with Highlander.

  8. Terry Reynolds says:

    Yes Please! Good follow up! Thanks!!!

  9. shiskebob says:

    I guess yo mama jokes are timeless.

  10. Loved the opening scene as it was very close to the book and when Jamie got annoyed with the constant knocking on the door ,I loved the pull he gave to get Claire down the bed. So like Jamie to be determined to finish what he had started.

    Could not see the point of the duel but enjoyed seeing Jamie in action.

    Gellis in the woods was also well done but I wonder why they are making her and Dougal out to be in love. That’s not the impression from the original source and Gellis never cared for the baby but used it to bribe Dougal. Anyway it will be interesting to see how that goes.

    The scene with the baby was very well played and we saw the close way that Jamie and Claire’s relationship works for them both. Leaning on the other at various times and learning from each other and being stronger together as a result. Jamie was so sweet and patient.
    Totally loved that Claire was silently angry with Jamie whilst tending his wound. Jamie’s reaction to that and the look on his face when she hurt him was priceless. Well done Sam.

    The Mcenzie brothers confrontation was brilliant. The best so far. Felt so sorry for Jamie getting Colums
    tongue lashing and the look on his face when Colum stopped him on his last comment about Claire having to be left at the Castle was wonderful. You could feel the tension throughout that whole scene building up.
    The ending was just the right note to finish on but the waggon for the prisoners seemed over the top. The village is so small they could have easily walked to the hole where they are to be held.
    Not as enjoyable as last week for me but still one of the best series to hit our screens ever.
    The actors just get better and better.

  11. CheriO says:

    I’m enjoying the show and the actors, especially all the main characters. Jamie and Claire are so hot together (that opening – need I say more!), watching their relationship grow, is so wonderful. And I love watching how powerful Colum handles Dougal, Ned, and Jamie! He really rules as Laird! It’s so fun to watch how protective Murtaugh can be with Jamie, we’re getting to see more layers to him. The dance with Geillus was a terrific tie back to the first episode, loved that; and it was beautiful to watch!

  12. Cindy Reeves says:

    Episode 10 was thrilling. I’ve read the Outlander series, so I know what to expect with Gellis, Claire, and the other characters, but I love the TV adaption because it has become a great source of greater insight into the characters. if you know Outlander fans at all you know that for many of us Jamie and Claire are like real friends that we’ve celebrated and cried with them as their relationship unfolds. I loved many the new scenes in the series. For example, the confrontation with Claire and Laoghaire. My fingers were itching for that slap! Can you say “Cait” fight! The blackmail scene with Lord Sandy and Claire was also a nice cat and mouse chase of wills. Oh! and the duel. it was nice chance to see Jamie’s warrior skills in action. Plus, the Scot can tell a mean “Yo Mama” joke. Finally, I loved the sexy opening scene. For a recent virgin, it seems Jamie is a quick learner! Both Gellis and Claire will get close to the fire, so to speak, during the witches trail, but remember strong women like these (especially time travelers) don’t go down without a fight.

  13. Nola Rae Tadlock says:

    I have to agree. In less than a year, I have read the first book three times and I’m up to The Fiery Cross for the second time. I have seen each episode several times and look forward to each episode. I have tried numerous times to find out when Season 2 will start and am anxiously awaiting the 9th book. Bravo, Diana Gabaldon!!!

  14. Jan says:

    Very disappointed with the ways Jamie & Claire’s relationship has so quickly declined. More fighting than in the book. Claire’s defiance and impertinence towards Jamie. Jamie’s borderline adulteress actions with Laoghaire, (he never did anything so unfaithful in book). As much as I loved the first season, in this season my feelings are completely opposite. Bad writing Ron Moore.

  15. Susan Van Hoven says:

    I think the one line that touched my heart during the episode was when Claire and Jamie are sitting at the tree where the “changling” is and she listens to what Jamie is saying about why the people believe the way they do. Claire believes him and then says, “Take me home Jamie.” Her request embodies so many emotions; acceptance, defeat, sadness. And it is also a simple acknowledgement of the strength and comfort she gets from Jamie as well as her need for him.

    • Katie Douglas says:

      Yes I agree Jamie is such a rock for her, I think the whole changeling thing just reminded Claire yet again what an alien world she is in….just take me home away from this please

  16. Jhan says:

    Jamie will break Claire out of the little shed in which she’s been locked. Then, they escape by rowing away in a boat…or not. Truthfully, just want gratuitous sex. 😎

  17. lili says:

    Is anybody besides me finding this really boring and predictable?

  18. barbara campbell says:

    My family came from Scotland I never miss show.

  19. Lanie says:

    I’d never heard of the books until last May. I read all 8 before the series started (Book 3 in 4 days) & basically never expected the tv show to come close. Instead quite the opposite. Ron Moore et al have done a tremendous job with a very long, convoluted, complicated story & turned it into fantastic tv. As far as I’m concerned this is the best show we’ve had on TV for years.

    • Shari says:

      I watched the episode leading up to this one and this one, bought the book and read it in two long nights and now am starting on book two. I love both of the lead actors and truthfully everyone else is secondary anyway. The violence takes me by surprise sometimes and makes me uncomfortable, but i think that is what it is supposed to do. For me there is nothing boring about it. I love the way the characters have been drawn by both the author and the actors. This is a love story that rivals any in literature. I am in love with Jamie Fraser and his relationship with Claire. Makes me want to visit Scotland.

  20. Joan Bednarz says:

    I love the books AND the tv series. Ron has exposed more clearly the back story of all the characters and makes a very interesting and enjoyable viewing. Anxiously awaiting the next episodes!

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