Outlander Recap: “First Wife”

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Last night’s new episode of Outlander followed the travails of Jamie and Claire as they returned home to Lallybroch after the ruin of his print shop in Edinburgh where they faced down a less-than-happy Jenny as well as Jamie’s “other wife”.

Here is the official description for the episode:

“Claire returns to Lallybroch with Jamie, where she does not receive quite the reception she was expecting; the choices Jamie made during their time apart comes back to haunt them.”

A Not-So-Welcome Welcome Home

Young Ian, Jamie and Claire made their way home to Lallybroch, but the reception they all received was less than in their favor. Jenny was obviously shocked by Claire’s unexpected return and proceeded to give her the cold shoulder throughout much of the episode. Not that I could really blame her. Also, Jenny and Ian were pretty upset with Jamie that he kept it secret that young Ian was with him in Edinburgh. And, young Ian was in deep trouble with his parents (and rightfully so).

Telling the Truth

Since Jamie and Claire could not tell Jenny the whole truth about where she had been for the past 20 years [although Claire had suggested that perhaps they should tell her the full truth], they both had to stretch the truth while holding true to as much of the facts as they could. Jamie explained that he had arranged for Claire to hide after Culloden, making her way to America should anything happen to him after the battle. The implication was that it was a horrible misunderstanding that they both thought the other was dead.

Later on Claire explained to Jenny that she had another husband to return to in the Colonies, which was a means of survival for her – without sharing the fact that she was pregnant with Brianna. She twisted the truth that after her other husband’s death, she came back to Scotland to visit Jamie’s grave, but instead learned that he was still alive.

Jenny believed what Claire shared with her, but was smart enough to know that there was still something that Claire was hiding from her. It will be interesting to find out if Jenny will ever learn the full truth or nearly all of it in the future.


There were two flashbacks within this episode – the first being Jamie telling Claire what happened during the three days of his escape from Ardsmuir Prison, swimming out to Selkie Island – because of what the dying man told him about the White Witch (and the Frenchman’s Gold) – and the second being what transpired after Jamie returned to Lallybroch after leaving Helwater (in England), meeting Laoghaire’s two daughters at the Hogmanay [aka New Year’s celebration] and how he ended up with his “other wife.”

Which brings us to the BIG reveal – Jamie married – of all people – Laoghaire, the very girl who nearly had Claire killed during the witch trials and conspired to ruin Jamie and Claire’s marriage! What was he thinking, right?! As he told Claire, he had hoped to be a good husband and father – the latter of which he didn’t get to be while Claire was in his life – but that was all for naught as Laoghaire had obviously suffered in her previous two marriages before Jamie. He left for Edinburgh shortly after that, providing nothing more than financial support to his “other wife” and her two girls: Marsali and Joan

NOTE: Viewers who aren’t familiar with the “Voyager” book, you will want to remember Marsali (Laoghaire’s older daughter), as she will play a bigger role in the later episodes. I won’t spoil her storyline any further, though.

SECOND NOTE: We finally got an explanation about Claire’s brief fascination with a bird in an earlier episode. When she heard birdsong, she would pretend that it was Jamie talking to her.

Fighting and Rutting

Rightfully so, Jamie and Claire argued loudly over the revelation that he married Laoghaire. We’ve seen them fight and argue before; both of them being able to stand up to the other. And those arguments usually led to passionate lovemaking immediately afterward. This episode was no different except they were in Lallybroch – with a houseful of family members within easy earshot of their argument – and Jenny drenched them in water to stop them from rutting like wild beasts and not caring if the whole house heard them.

Claire’s anger followed through the rest of the episode even after Laoghaire shot Jamie in the arm – you could clearly see the pleasure she took in jamming that needle filled with Penicillin into his ass, right?

Seeking Legal Advice and A New Adventure

We all got to see Ned Gowan – who is somehow still alive all these years later – again; and it was a joyful, albeit short-lived reunion, between Claire and Ned, leading into his explaining that with Claire actually alive, Jamie’s marriage to Laoghaire was now invalid. But there were complications – the “other wife” wanted money from Jamie; money that Jamie could get from the box of antique coins and gems he found on Selkie Island all those years earlier. It would have just been easier had they turned Laoghaire and that illegal pistol of hers over to the British and let her be tried since it was a criminal offense to even have that firearm.

But – since that didn’t happen – young Ian assisted Claire and Jamie in retrieving that valuable box only to watch him being captured by smugglers who – conveniently?! – arrived at Selkie Island just as Ian was making his way down the hillside to the shore. This latest adventure will led Jamie and Claire on the next phase of their lives together on the high seas, attempting to rescue young Ian I am very curious to see how their time aboard ships, et al, will play out over the remaining five episodes of the third season. The clip we got to see certainly looked exciting!

Memorable Quotes

“Nothing felt the same.” – Claire in voiceover upon seeing Lallybroch again

“Daddy, who is this woman?” – Marsali to Jamie about Claire

“You told me about your son, why couldn’t you tell me about this?” – Claire to Jamie about Laoghaire

“Well there are other red-headed men in Scotland, Claire.” – Jamie to Claire about Laoghaire’s red-headed daughter

“I love you and only you!” – Jamie to Claire as they fought on the floor of Lallybroch

“What in God’s name is that?” – Jamie to Claire, looking at the needle of Penicillin

“You were a sister to me.” – Jenny to Claire
“I loved you too, Jenny. Still do. I’m only asking for a second chance.” – Claire to Jenny

“You look exactly the same. What is your secret?” – Claire to Ned [upon seeing each other for the first time in 20 years]
“I never married.” – Ned to Claire

“You belong with me. We’re mated for life, Sassenach. Will you risk the man I am for the sake of the one you once knew?” – Jamie to Claire on the Cliffside

What are your thoughts about this episode? Please share them in our comments section below.

The next new episode of Outlander will air next week on Starz on Sunday, November 12 at 8/7c.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at