{TB Talks TV} Outlander Review: “The Watch”


Tweetable Takeaway: Jamie and Ian find themselves in trouble when The Watch arrives on #Outlander. 

Airtime: Saturdays at 9pm on Starz

By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

Lallybroch is supposed to be a place of peace and tranquility for Jamie and Claire, but this week’s  shows how dangerous it can be to return home.

When we last left Claire, she discovers Jamie with a gun to his head. Who are these men? Are they a rival clan, someone Jamie has offended, perhaps the MacDonalds? Nope, it’s something entirely different. The men are a part of a group that call themselves “The Watch”. They’re basically a band of outlaws who charge protection money from Lairds to keep the British and other raiding clans out of their hair.

Because they’ll seemingly do anything for money, Jamie and Jenny use a fake name for Jamie so The Watch won’t find out about the price on Jamie’s head. Everything will be fine if he can just keep up the ruse for a few days until The Watch moves on. Since it’s Jamie we’re talking about, you know that is not going to happen. These men take advantage of Jenny and Ian, and they rub Jamie the wrong way.

A man named Taran MacQuarrie leads The Watch. He fought in some of the same wars as both Ian and Jamie, and is suspicious of Jamie. Unlike some of the rabble he commands, he does have manners and a sense of respect for the Fraser’s. Jamie earns this respect after besting five of his men after they set a hay wagon on fire for a joke. Everything changes once a late member of The Watch arrives. Horrocks is the man Jamie paid for information about Blackjack earlier in the season. He’s an Irishman who’s deserted the English army, knows about the price on Jamie’s head, and stays in Lallybroch under Jamie’s roof.

All of this takes place while Jenny is about to give birth. The interesting thing we see in this episode, is the relationship between Claire and Jenny begin to blossom. At first Jenny wasn’t interested in Jamie’s new wife at all, but now there’s a mutual appreciation between them, and even affection. Jenny’s baby is coming, but it looks like it’ll be a breach birth. The village midwife is gone, so the responsibility to safely deliver the child and keep Jenny healthy falls squarely on Claire’s shoulders.

At first Horrocks pretends he doesn’t know Jamie, but he’s an opportunistic man, so it’s no surprise he blackmails Jamie for money to help him get to the colonies. Now the minute Jamie relents to Horrocks demands I knew it wouldn’t be enough. He wants more. Jamie knows this as well, which is why he puts a loaded pistol in his waistband. When things escalate to the point of action, Jamie is surprised Ian run Horrocks through, killing him.

You have to feel bad for Ian. He has a wife and a safe life, and has left the fighting and killing behind with his leg in France. He’s taking a lot of risk by killing Horrocks. He could lose everything. But it’s clear that his love for both Jenny and Jamie leads him to do anything to protect them both. The problem is MacQuarrie knows. He figures it out and confronts Jamie and Ian.

There’s a lot of tension in this moment. Jamie covers for Ian, takes the blame on himself, and tells the truth to MacQuarrie about the price on his head. The reaction is different than I expected. MacQuarrie is glad Horrocks is dead, but now insists Jamie go on the raid Horrocks had planned for The Watch in his place. Both Jamie and Ian go along on the raid with the blessings of Claire and Jenny.

The whole pregnancy with Jenny brings up a lot of feelings in Claire. She delivers Jenny’s daughter and everything goes well, but Claire wants to have children with Jamie, and he really wants kids as well, but she’s afraid she’s unable to have children. She tried with Frank, but it never happened. There’s a part of her that feels like she’s betrayed Jamie, and it’s clear once she tells him he’s disappointed, though he does a great of hiding it from her. I have a feeling there’ll be a pregnancy in Claire’s future though. I think Frank just wasn’t the right man for her to have kids with.

Horrocks is a real son of a bitch, and as Jamie and The Watch head off on the raid I had a sinking feeling there’d be British soldiers waiting for them. Horrocks is the kind of guy who would lead them right into a trap, and sure as shit, he does. Three days goes by before Ian makes it back injured without Jamie. The British have captured him with MacQuarrie.

More thoughts:

  • Jenny and Claire bond in a real sisterly way in this episode. The wall Jenny had built up at the beginning has crumbled, and there’s now a real connection between the two of them.
  • Ian and Jamie are comrades in arms again, but now that the British capture Jamie, will Ian rescue him? I have a feeling Claire may reach out to Dougal to help her rescue Jamie from the British.
  • I haven’t read the books, but I can see Claire and Dougal rescuing Jamie, Jamie and Claire fleeing to France, and possibly delivering the collected money for the Jacobite cause. Time will tell if I’m right.
  • Will Ian find his wooden leg? It’s a pretty strong calling card proving he was at the ambush if the British bother to follow the lead.
  • Is life over for Claire and Jamie at Lallybroch?


For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates. Twitter: @OfSoundnVision

Keep up with all of Jeff’s Outlander reviews here.
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