Outlander -- The Gathering

Claire and Jamie find there's no escape for either of them...

This is the episode where Claire acts smart given her circumstances and formulates a plan to escape Castle Leoch and return to the stones at Craigh Na Dun.

In the guise of playing with the castle children, Claire scopes out the castle grounds and finds a weakness in their guarding system. The guard on the watch tower appears to only watch in one direction, so she can sneak by him on the side he's not watching. She also leaves markers to show her the way in the dark when she plans to escape from The Gathering taking place at the castle. And she does this all under the watchful eye of Angus and Rupert, who don't have a clue. She also tries to divert them by making them think a woman is interested in them.

She also scopes out which horse would be best to steal away on that she can handle. While visiting the stables she seems a bit stung when she thinks Old Alec suggests she's bothering Jamie by always coming down to the stables to see him. What he's really doing is telling her she should leave Jamie remain out of sight while The Gathering is on knowing about the situation Jamie's stuck in between his two uncles and if he's seen it'll reach a boiling point that could cost Jamie his life.

When Claire goes back to her surgery, she finds Geillis there. Geillis notices the stock of food Claire has squireled away. Geillis asks if she's pregnant and that's why she wants to go to France. Geillis suggests that Claire is barren since she never got pregnant by her husband. She also notices Valerian root which can be used to put someone to sleep. Geillis says when she came to Cranesmuir she had to live by her wits alone and found herself a man with a good home. Geillis tells Claie the highlands are not a place to be alone, and she'd be best to remember that. Geillis also tells Claire when she makes a promise it's a serious thing in Scotland, especially if one breaks it.

Claire also manages to get herself a weapon to defend herself with. As she's getting it, Mrs. Fitz insists Claire must attend The Gathering, which might put a little wrinkle in her escape plan. It would be easier to slip away from her room than the party, but then sees it as a benefit as with her being with Mrs. Fitz, Angus and Rupert won't keep such a close eye on her and she'll be able to slip away much easier.

Colum takes his place on his “throne” as bagpipes play. Then all the Mackenzies gathered there proceed to pledge their oath of loyalty to him. Dougal is the first to pledge his oath to his brother. Then comes Angus...

Claire makes her excuses to leave, as all the oaths are the same. She gives Angus the drugged booze she's prepared. She tricks him into drinking by pretending to drink and then spitting it out. Yes, you heard that right. Claire actually manages to spit out booze instead of swallowing it for once. Which is also one of the more smarter things she's done since arriving at the castle.

She heads down to her surgery to get her stash of food but runs into Laoghaire wanting a spell she can use on Jamie to make him love her. Cue Bonnie Raitt's, "I can't make you love me if you don't, I can't make your heart feel something it wont'." Not that this ninny would listen, anyway. Claire thinks it's cute to humor her and further her delusions about bagging Jamie. In time, that will bite her on her backside and she won't find this twit quite so amusing. In fact, if she hadn't fed this dimwits delusions maybe things wouldn't have played out as they did.

After getting rid of Laoghaire she runs into two clansmen who start getting fresh with her. Dougal comes to her rescue, but then Dougal decides to sample her goods, himself. He grabs her and kisses her and she slaps him. Then she smashes a chair over Dougal's head, knocking him out, she then flees.

All goes as she hopes until she makes it to the stables and trips over a sleeping Jamie who pulls his dirk on her. He realizes she's planning to escape and make her see she'll never make it. He tells her if she tries they'll track her down and when she's brought back she really be treated as a prisoner. The freedom she now enjoys will be a thing of the past. Jamie offers to see her back to the castle and then it's Jamie who finds himself in the soup.

Some clansmen catch Jamie escorting Claire and grab him saying it's time for him to give his oath to Colum. Jamie says he needs to get dressed, first, but Rupert knocks him out to settle the matter. When he wakes up they watch him get dressed and don't plan to let him out of their sight until he goes before Colum. Jamie tells Claire he can't wear the Mackenzie broach because he's not a Mackenzie. He also says his clans motto is, “I am ready,” in french. She wonders for what?

Claire takes her place in the hall and tells Murtagh that Jamie is coming. Murtagh fills her in on the mess Jamie is now in. If Jamie swears his oath to Colum he could be in line to be next laird and there are those that would support that, however, Dougal has that position lined up for himself, and will kill Jamie if that happens. Dougal even puts his hand on his dirk as Jamie approaches Colum's throne. And if Jamie refuses to swear his oath to Colum, Colum will kill him where he stands, seeing it as a slight and a sign of disrespect. Claire wonders why Jamie just doesn't leave the castle, and Murtagh explains that the castle is the only safe place for Jamie because he's a wanted man and if he leaves Randall or The Watch would get their hands on him. Murtagh laments the fact that if Jamie had just stayed hidden neither Colum or Dougal would have forced him into this situation and let the situation just lay as it was. Claire realizes it's her fault Jamie could be killed and Murtagh agrees with that.

Jamie tells Colum he can't swear his oath and most of the loyal Colum supporters look like they're going to unsheath their dirks and make mince meat out of Jamie. However he manages to wiggle out of the mess by giving Colum his obedience and says he holds himself bound to Colums word as long as his feet are on the Clan Mackenzie. This is greeted by cheers from the people who were about to slaughter him only seconds before. Colum accepts that and lets it go. Then Jamie makes a hasty exit from the party with Murtagh.

The next day Claire goes on the hunt. During it a man is critically injured by the boar they're hunting and Claire and Dougal actually come together and help that man to die. When Dougal returns from the hunt he spots Jamie playing a game with the other lads and joins in and seems to take great pleasure in injuring Jamie as much as he can. When Angus is about to team up against Jamie, Murtagh takes him out, telling him to play fair. Jamie finally has enough and flips his uncle over his shoulder and Dougal says he taught him too well how to play the game. He may be referring to more than just the game they're playing with that comment.

Later, Dougal informs Claire she will be going with him as he goes to collect the rent. With them will be Jamie, Rupert, Angus, Young Willie and attorney Ned. Claire sees this as another opportunity to escape and to make it back to the stones. I don't know, but I'd be a bit anxious Dougal wanting to take me with him after he tried to molest me. Might he be planning to do more than that once he has me away from the castle?

This is probably the smartest we'll see Claire behave and it'll be back to her boozing and not thinking before she speaks.

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