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S01.E13: The Watch

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A Redcoat deserter from Jamie's past returns; Jenny goes into labor; Jamie and Ian join the Watch.

 

Reminder: This is for discussion of the TV show only, no book talk allowed - including saying "but it's different in the books". Any spoiler from outside the books (i.e. next week's preview) should be in spoiler tags. Book Talk folks, there is another episode topic for you.

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A slower paced episode than some of the other ones in the back half of the season, in a good way.  I felt like we explored the 4 key characters a little more thoroughly in this one. 

 

Claire and Jenny: 

  • I really enjoyed the growing relationship between the two women in Jamie’s life, bonding over the difficult delivery—and boy was that a long one.  I felt that the process was appropriately visual without being disgusting.  I love that Claire’s response to Jenny’s question about  her experience with birthing was “I’ve seen childbirth.”  Clearly, she has no experience, given that she was a combat nurse, not a hospital nurse.  She manages to convey confidence without really lying. 
  • Jenny telling Claire to give Jamie the Sawny snake felt like her officially handing her brother over to Claire. The fact that Jenny called her Claire Fraser at the end of the episode and gave her the bracelets left by her mother further accentuated the point.  (Though it took be a second to recognize that they were, in fact, bracelets!)  Also, I hope that Claire’s pearls were in the trunk send by Mrs. Fitz from Leoch.  I had forgotten about them until I saw the bracelets.

 

Claire and Jamie:

  • Had we heard before that Claire was struggling with pregnancy?  I didn’t remember that from previous episodes, but it was very sad, especially as we know she loved playing with the kids in Leoch, and she seems to be taken with wee Jamie and baby Margaret.  She looked so sad when Jenny described what childbirth is like.  :(
  • Their farewell was also very sweet.  LOL-Jamie looked like he’d really like for Claire to drag him back by his curls and have her way with him!  These two actors do a very convincing job of being in love, IMHO. 
  • It does appear that Jamie and Claire are starting to change roles.  Now he is the one who’s been reckless in words and actions and she’s going to have to rescue him.
  •  

The return of Jamie McTavish:  Man, it must be tough to always live on the edge and have to be quick on your feet when it comes to making up lies.  Jenny is especially good, and does a great job of playfully managing the men of the Watch.  You can tell that she’s had to run the household since the time she was a young girl and had many threats with which to contend.

 

Ian:  I really liked the development of Ian in this episode.  Previously, we just saw him as a chill guy.  But I was moved by his desire for the companionship of a fellow soldier, McQuarrie, given that his soldiering days are clearly over.  However, his reaction when he actually had to kill a man shows that he is no longer the soldier he once was.  Not a bad thing, but life has taken him in a different direction.
 
There has been good kid casting in the series—appropriately adorable!  Even baby Margaret Ellen was cute—and I am officially forgiving them for the really fake looking changeling baby 2 episodes ago!

 

Horrocks: 

  • Looks like Dougal was right on about the fact that a man who betrays his country cannot be trusted.  First he deserted the British Army.  Then he joined the Watch and stole/threatened farmers.  Then he blackmailed Jamie. Then he set up the Watch. So glad he’s not enjoying himself in Boston—he deserved a horrible end.  I realized the trap he’d set for the Watch only 30 seconds or so before Jamie did, and then I realized the true scale of his betrayal.  Good riddance.

 

McQuarrie: 

  • I was totally expecting him to be a complete jerk, especially since he started the episode holding a gun on Jamie.  I like that they made him more nuanced.  He is a thief who takes advantage of innocent people.  However, he was decent enough to repay Jamie for the burned hay.  He did force Jamie to join the Watch, but he didn’t turn him in for the sizable bounty on his head. 
  • I didn’t think about how he’s like Jamie until Ian mentioned it, but I do think it’s an interesting concept.  Is he what Jamie would have become if he hadn’t met and married Claire?  A soldier himself, but leading a band of dishonorable men? 
  • I hope he shows up again in future episodes.  As for the rest of the Watch, good riddance, especially the creepy one who started the fire.
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McQuarrie: 

  • I hope he shows up again in future episodes.  As for the rest of the Watch, good riddance, especially the creepy one who started the fire.

 

I don't think he'll be returning.  Didn't he die in the raid?  I got the impression everyone died except Ian, the Watch guy, and Jamie.

Edited by Hybiscus

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Had we heard before that Claire was struggling with pregnancy?  I didn’t remember that from previous episodes

I can't remember if it was explicitly stated, but during The Gathering when Claire is hording food to plan her escape, Gellis asks her if she's with child and Claire shuffles around the confession that she can't have them.

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I don't think he'll be returning.  Didn't he die in the raid?  I got the impression everyone died except Ian, the Watch guy, and Jamie.

I thought he was injured and Jamie wouldn't leave him, which is why he got captured. I could have heard that wrong--the accents are sometimes a challenge for me.

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Claire and Jenny: 

  • I really enjoyed the growing relationship between the two women in Jamie’s life, bonding over the difficult delivery—and boy was that a long one.  I felt that the process was appropriately visual without being disgusting.  I love that Claire’s response to Jenny’s question about  her experience with birthing was “I’ve seen childbirth.”  Clearly, she has no experience, given that she was a combat nurse, not a hospital nurse.  She manages to convey confidence without really lying. 
  • Jenny telling Claire to give Jamie the Sawny snake felt like her officially handing her brother over to Claire. The fact that Jenny called her Claire Fraser at the end of the episode and gave her the bracelets left by her mother further accentuated the point.  (Though it took be a second to recognize that they were, in fact, bracelets!)  Also, I hope that Claire’s pearls were in the trunk send by Mrs. Fitz from Leoch.  I had forgotten about them until I saw the bracelets.

 

 

The interaction between Claire and Jenny improved my opinion of Jenny.  Honestly, she pretty screechy and unpleasant around the men most of the time.  It's good to have a witty woman on the show, but Jenny falls over the line into shrill fairly often.   It was also good to finally see something at which Claire isn't instantly and magically fully adept at doing.   It made her a little less of a vacant yet perfect romance novel heroine.  That's a good thing.

 

 

 

Claire and Jamie:

Had we heard before that Claire was struggling with pregnancy?  I didn’t remember that from previous episodes, but it was very sad, especially as we know she loved playing with the kids in Leoch, and she seems to be taken with wee Jamie and baby Margaret.  She looked so sad when Jenny described what childbirth is like.  :(

Their farewell was also very sweet.  LOL-Jamie looked like he’d really like for Claire to drag him back by his curls and have her way with him!  These two actors do a very convincing job of being in love, IMHO.

It does appear that Jamie and Claire are starting to change roles.  Now he is the one who’s been reckless in words and actions and she’s going to have to rescue him.

The return of Jamie McTavish:  Man, it must be tough to always live on the edge and have to be quick on your feet when it comes to making up lies.  Jenny is especially good, and does a great job of playfully managing the men of the Watch.  You can tell that she’s had to run the household since the time she was a young girl and had many threats with which to contend.

Ian:  I really liked the development of Ian in this episode.  Previously, we just saw him as a chill guy.  But I was moved by his desire for the companionship of a fellow soldier, McQuarrie, given that his soldiering days are clearly over.  However, his reaction when he actually had to kill a man shows that he is no longer the soldier he once was.  Not a bad thing, but life has taken him in a different direction.

 

 

I was surprised by the idea that she was struggling with pregnancy, too.  Didn't she get married shortly before Frank (bless his poor taken for granted then abandoned heart) left for the war?   The show started shortly after they were reunited and were trying to become comfortable with each other?  When did this struggling to become pregnant occur?  The weeks after they were reunited?

 

I still have trouble with the Jamie-Claire "it was written in the stars" relationship, in part because she wiped poor old Frank out of her mind with barely a second thought and then also because neither Jamie nor Claire are as fully developed and multidimensional characters as are several of the secondary characters.   Yes, Jamie is a big old stud muffin who saves Claire from all the various perils she puts herself in.  I was hoping these episodes back at his home would flesh him out more, but we're finding out that he's not much of a thinker and his motivations could be written on the slip of paper inside a fortune cookie.  I feel like I know Ian and Dougal much better than Jamie.  I don't care about Jamie yet except that he's gorgeous and fills out a kilt nicely.  Claire is also fairly two dimensional, still in that romance novel heroine mold where the reader is supposed to fill the character with the reader's own self.   All men love her immediately and (up to this week) she seems to be strangely adept at many things, while at the same time stupidly putting herself and others at risk due to her bad decision making that is somehow supposed to seem like she's noble or something.  I watch Outlander and enjoy it for the other plots, not this romance.

 

By contrast, Ian has become a multi-dimensional character really quickly.  We know who he is, what and who he cherished, and some of what drives him.  He also reacts to situations in a range of ways and appears to think through situations.   He's a good addition to the show and a great contrast to beautiful but vacant Jamie.

 

 

 

Horrocks:

Looks like Dougal was right on about the fact that a man who betrays his country cannot be trusted.  First he deserted the British Army.  Then he joined the Watch and stole/threatened farmers.  Then he blackmailed Jamie. Then he set up the Watch. So glad he’s not enjoying himself in Boston—he deserved a horrible end.  I realized the trap he’d set for the Watch only 30 seconds or so before Jamie did, and then I realized the true scale of his betrayal.  Good riddance.

 

Exactly.  Dougal, a multi-dimensional character who has his positives and negatives for sure, does think strategically and figured out that Horrocks was rotten through and through.  I have no idea why the other characters would trust an English deserter so completely especially when it was made clear that none of them liked or valued him.   "Why yes, Horrocks is a traitor and scoundrel and we all hate his guts but he said we should ride through this dangerous slot canyon/dry canal (whatever that place was) without giving it a second thought until we're already too far in there to turn back!  Sounds like a great plan!"   It took the gerbil running in the wheel in Jamie's brain way too long to power up his suspicions about the situation.  The Watch men are supposed to be experienced guerrilla fighters.  One of them, especially McQuarrie, should have been suspicious earlier on.

 

 

 

McQuarrie:

I was totally expecting him to be a complete jerk, especially since he started the episode holding a gun on Jamie.  I like that they made him more nuanced.  He is a thief who takes advantage of innocent people.  However, he was decent enough to repay Jamie for the burned hay.  He did force Jamie to join the Watch, but he didn’t turn him in for the sizable bounty on his head.

I didn’t think about how he’s like Jamie until Ian mentioned it, but I do think it’s an interesting concept.  Is he what Jamie would have become if he hadn’t met and married Claire?  A soldier himself, but leading a band of dishonorable men?

I hope he shows up again in future episodes.  As for the rest of the Watch, good riddance, especially the creepy one who started the fire.

 

Yes, another secondary character that has layers to him which make him MUCH more interesting than the primaries.   I saw in the after-episode discussion that McQuarrie isn't a book character but came out of discussions among the screen writers.  Very well done.  I'd like to see more of him and see that sort of good character development (over an amazingly short period of time, too) done with some of the primaries.

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It was good to see Douglas Henshall again and I liked him as McQuarrie.  I've missed seeing him since he left PRIMEVAL at then end of S2.

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I thought he was injured and Jamie wouldn't leave him, which is why he got captured. I could have heard that wrong--the accents are sometimes a challenge for me.

Perhaps that's it.  I'm certainly no authority.  I just went on the basis of Watch guy saying there were no survivors.  My thought was that MacQuarrie was injured and Jamie stayed with him until he died.  But like I said, that was my interpretation.  Perhaps I should check IMDB to see if he's in any more episodes before spouting my mouth off.  :-)

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Perhaps that's it. I'm certainly no authority. I just went on the basis of Watch guy saying there were no survivors. My thought was that MacQuarrie was injured and Jamie stayed with him until he died. But like I said, that was my interpretation. Perhaps I should check IMDB to see if he's in any more episodes before spouting my mouth off. :-)

No, you're right-it was McQuarrie who was injured and Jamie didn't want to leave him behind. Everyone else of the Watch were killed.

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I still have trouble with the Jamie-Claire "it was written in the stars" relationship, in part because she wiped poor old Frank out of her mind with barely a second thought and then also because neither Jamie nor Claire are as fully developed and multidimensional characters as are several of the secondary characters.

 

Me too. I find it very selfish. I suppose that's good because I don't want Claire to be a Mary Sue. I'm still on the fence whether she chose to stay or the stones didn't actually work.

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This episode was much slower paced (I kept thinking the episode was almost over only to look at the clock and realize that it wasn't even closer to being done). We got some great character development though. Previously, Ian seemed like a very optimistic man who focused on all the good in his life rather than wallowing in self pity about his leg. He was friendly and welcoming to Claire (which was more than we could say about Jenny) and attentive and supportive of Jenny. But this week we got to see his wistfulness about the camaraderie of being a soldier, his fierce loyalty to Jamie and Jenny, and his realization that although he will do whatever it takes to protect his family, taking a life is a much more serious thing now than it was during the war.

 

Jenny, who initially came off as very cold and judgmental of Claire, showed exactly what the death of her father and the absence of Jamie did to her. She had to become a strong woman who could run Lallybroch, but she also had to learn how to play the role of the feisty but friendly lady of the castle to deal with the Watch. Seein her talk about her mother and her brother Willy was sad but also added another layer to her story. As a child, she lost her mother and brother within a few years, then later she lost her father and Jamie at almost the same time. All that loss really affected her.

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I'm not sure I understand how "the watch" works. From what I can gather (thanks, re-capper!) they're soldiers of fortune and offer "protection" from the Red Coats to locals. But . . . they established the Watch would hand Jamie over to the Red Coats for the price on his head so, how would that work? How could they collect the bounty if they themselves are outlaws? And how can they protect anyone from the Red Coats if the Red Coats are better armed and outnumber them?

 

I also agree with the recapper that all the capturings are getting repetitive. Jamie rescued Claire now Claire is going to rescue Jamie.  

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I'm not sure I understand how "the watch" works. From what I can gather (thanks, re-capper!) they're soldiers of fortune and offer "protection" from the Red Coats to locals. But . . . they established the Watch would hand Jamie over to the Red Coats for the price on his head so, how would that work? How could they collect the bounty if they themselves are outlaws? And how can they protect anyone from the Red Coats if the Red Coats are better armed and outnumber them?

 

I also agree with the recapper that all the capturings are getting repetitive. Jamie rescued Claire now Claire is going to rescue Jamie.  

 

No. What Horrocks was telling the Watch (which we learned at the end was a lie) was that the Watch was going to raid another clan of their rent money.  Horrocks didn't even know Jamie was there when he was showing them that map or whatever.  And it turned out Horrocks had made a deal with the dragoons to deliver the Watch to them.  Jamie being there was just icing for the dragoons.

 

ETA: It was the Chisolms, I think. And Jamie said he was only going to do it this once. It's not as if he hadn't done any raiding/stealing before.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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I'm not sure I understand how "the watch" works. From what I can gather (thanks, re-capper!) they're soldiers of fortune and offer "protection" from the Red Coats to locals. But . . . they established the Watch would hand Jamie over to the Red Coats for the price on his head so, how would that work? How could they collect the bounty if they themselves are outlaws? And how can they protect anyone from the Red Coats if the Red Coats are better armed and outnumber them?

 

And are they getting their money's worth if the red coats came last episode with no notice? ;) 

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No. What Horrocks was telling the Watch (which we learned at the end was a lie) was that the Watch was going to raid another clan of their rent money.  Horrocks didn't even know Jamie was there when he was showing them that map or whatever.  And it turned out Horrocks had made a deal with the dragoons to deliver the Watch to them.  Jamie being there was just icing for the dragoons.

 

Yeah, I get that, but in an earlier episode Jamie hid from the Watch because he had a price on his head and knew they'd turn him in for the money. Same reason he had to pretend to be Jamie Mackenzie again in this episode. So, if the Watch wanted to turn him over to the British, how would they expect to get the bounty if they're outlaws too?

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The red coats may not know who the individual watch members are. McQuaid could turn in Jamie as an individual and split the reward with his team behind the scenes.

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Great episode but the whole birthing thing was really annoying to me. I had natural childbirth twice and on my third we found out my son was breeched after I had already gone into labor and my water had broken. I was immediately wheeled into the operating room for an emergency c-section (I was progressing really quickly), but Claire somehow is able to deliver a breeched baby with absolutely no issues. Wow she must be one helluva nurse! I know it's a bit of petty nitpick and it's not like I wanted Jenny to die or anything, and they had no other options but the whole thing was just too easy-peasy.

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In defense of the show's depiction of a breech birth, I was a breech baby born naturally, no c-section.  Granted I was a small baby, but breech babies can be born without without any major issues and without a c-section.

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Midwives and doctors don't deliver babies; mothers do. The fact that Jenny was able to deliver her breech baby without surgery had less to do with Claire's minimal skill as an obstetrics nurse and more to do with Jenny's body doing what it was designed to do.

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I think one major reason modern women who have breech babies are sent to have c-sections is the liability issue. Breech babies can be delivered vaginally, but there's always the risk that the head will get stuck (which become a major problem since the rest of the baby is already out). Doctors don't like to take the risk when it comes to that nowadays, particularly when you can whisk a mother into the OR for a c/s.

 

Back then, there wasn't much choice.

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Sometime after this episode, I had a discussion with a physician who had delivered her own breeched baby via c-section. She mentioned that for a long time, medical community was adamantly pro-c-section for breeches no matter what kind due to the various risks associated with breeched babies. In the last decade, the community has allowed that delivering breeched babies naturally may not be that risky depending on certain factors including such as the type of breech, the mother's condition, the baby's condition, etc. Some doctors will only recommend c-sections for breech babies because they do not want the risk at all or aren't experienced with delivering breech babies naturally. For my acquaintance, she wanted a natural birth and she had an OBGYN similar to her own thinking about breeching babies naturally so they waited it out to the maximum amount of time to see if the baby would shift in a way that he would still be able to deliver naturally. This may have been similar to Jenny's case where the baby and the birth attendant can find a way to coax the baby out. In the end, they had the c-section, but the medical community now is a more open minded that breech babies can be naturally delivered under the right conditions.

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If you are interested in seeing what a breech delivery looks like watch the second episode of the first season of "Call the Midwife" (a BBC drama).  It shows how they coped with the situation in post-WWII Britain when nearly all births were home-births and C-sections were very rare.  They do a great job of depicting it -- I found it really interesting.

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Hello. Breech baby here. Footling in fact and born naturally in 1983. Suffered a broken collarbone in the process which healed. And is a good reason why now they recommend csections. My sister two years later was also breech. Incredibly she was born buttocks first with her legs pointing upwards towards her head. She was in a hospital for a month afterwards but was okay. My mother's first and fourth children were boys born head first. My aforementioned sister is now a doctor herself and can't believe my mom was allowed to deliver naturally lol. 

 

Incidentally I breed small dogs (pomeranians) and do have a lot of trouble with foot first puppies' heads getting stuck even though that is supposedly a normal presentation. 

 

But yes its quite possible for a human woman to deliver a footling without a csection as in this episode but there may be consequences. 

Edited by RadiantAerynSun

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Was that really an episode of Outlander? Because I don't recall ANYONE threatening to rape Claire! Although the deserter did imply he'd like to, just in case we were missing out.

On ‎03‎/‎05‎/‎2015 at 4:32 AM, nara said:

I really enjoyed the growing relationship between the two women in Jamie’s life, bonding over the difficult delivery—and boy was that a long one.

I loved Jenny going, "We've nearly forgiven her for being a Sassenach!" because you had to feel there was more than a grain of truth in that. I did like the chance to show Claire as a competent physician (despite her inexperience), because a battlefield nurse would be used to making do with limited resources (admittedly, she wouldn't deal with many women giving birth!). And I didn't think the labour was too long except for one aspect: IIRC, my sister was in labour for two days (they were about to induce) - except that was her first child, subsequent births were much easier. As this is Jenny's third child, you would expect it to be easier.

On ‎03‎/‎05‎/‎2015 at 4:32 AM, nara said:

I was totally expecting [McQuarrie] to be a complete jerk, especially since he started the episode holding a gun on Jamie.  I like that they made him more nuanced.  He is a thief who takes advantage of innocent people.  However, he was decent enough to repay Jamie for the burned hay.  He did force Jamie to join the Watch, but he didn’t turn him in for the sizable bounty on his head.

You can totally see how he commands the respect of his men. He does have a sense of honour, for all that he is a predator. He was also pretty realistic about probably meeting a violent end (though he probably wasn't expecting it so soon).

On ‎03‎/‎05‎/‎2015 at 1:30 PM, terrymct said:

The Watch men are supposed to be experienced guerrilla fighters.  One of them, especially McQuarrie, should have been suspicious earlier on.

Well the spot was chosen because it was a god spot for an ambush: they were just expecting to BE the ambushers not the ones GETTING ambushed.

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I was looking forward to seeing Claire and Jenny becoming closer, and that was well developed in this episode.  Though there was something about Jenny that made her seem too modern.  

I'm getting a little tired of Jaime and Claire taking turns being abducted.  

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On 3/1/2018 at 8:35 PM, Camera One said:

I'm getting a little tired of Jaime and Claire taking turns being abducted. 

You can say THAT again. And watching one new-to-me episode a day just highlights the lather, rinse, repeat-ness of it all. I don't know how long I can take it.  

This show seems—so far at least—to be one that benefits from time to reflect on what you've seen and that gives you more upon rewatch. I just don't have that luxury, so the plot line is beginning to get tedious.

Quote

@gingerella wrote in LallyBroch:

Does Jaime know that his dad died that way or does he only know he died, and not that it was a direct result of watching his beloved son be tortured?

Thought I'd bring this here because this episode answers your question. Jamie did know—from Dougal—that his father WAS at the 2nd flogging.  And at one point in that process he believed that Jamie was dead and just dropped. down. dead. Must have had a weak heart to begin with. Jamie wasn't even aware that his father was there because he had lost consciousness and appeared dead—to his father at least. Still, he believed that if he had done something different? if he had made better choices?...  His father would still be alive. It is a common stage of grief, and one that doesn't just disappear without some  self reflection.  Telling Claire about it was probably the first time he'd spoken about his father's death to anyone since that time. But that alone couldn't lead to forgiving himself. 

Quote

@GINGERELLA wrote in LallyBroch:

... he probably gets his honorable side from his dad, and his openness to love from his mother I would guess. It makes sense in this context, that he decides early on not be a serial fornicator like Angus, not even with wee beasties, but rather that he will save himself for marriage to his one true love. 

That question seems to have been answered this episode too. But we learn  of it—and the bond between Jamie and Ian—when they, together, deal with the problem that is Horrocks.  Seems that when those two boys went to war together they were idealistic romantics—debating profound questions such as which sin is worse in the eyes of God? Fornication? or Killing a man? 

Looks like they decided that fornication was the worst—probably because they'd most likely be killing people in a war or be killed themselves. 

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So. That first scene was a little scary. The Watch are a nasty lot, but they’re like Green Berets, sort of. Seeing Horrocks was anxiety inducing too. Jenny’s much shrewder than Jaime, I guess she’s had to be all these years but still, she and Ian know what’s what and know how to keep themselves safe to kudos to them. Jaime continues to be a hothead and I can see this is going to be a lifelong struggle for him. 

I loved Ian coming to Jamie’s defense with Horrock, you could feel their bond, which is more of brothers at this point. We learn Will died of smallpox, which is interesting since smallpox is how Claire describes her smallpox vaccine make after Jaime rescues her from the trial, so surely that must have been more impactful to Jamie since he lost his brother to smallpox. I love these subtle little nuances in the story.

I loved that we get to know Jenny more and that she and Claire get closer. And yet, we have Ian Cassidy and the Sundance Kid riding into an armed robbery. Great. 

“He always comes back” Uh, yeah, except for now? This is starting to get a wee bit repetitious...just sayin...

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On 3/21/2021 at 2:50 AM, gingerella said:

We learn Will died of smallpox, which is interesting since smallpox is how Claire describes her smallpox vaccine make after Jaime rescues her from the trial, so surely that must have been more impactful to Jamie since he lost his brother to smallpox. I love these subtle little nuances in the story.

Me too.  The care they take to make these connections adds a layer to the experience and enriches the whole story.

 

My favorite part of this episode was watching Jamie become THE man right before our eyes.  I'm paraphrasing - "Did you kill Horrocks?" Jamie, calmly buttering a bannock - "Yup, so?"

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