Honestly, if Caitriona Balfe doesn’t win an Emmy for this show, something is deeply wrong in the universe.
Everyone on Outlander is great, of course, but “Je Suis Prest” was yet another stellar showcase for Claire as the preparations for the upcoming battle caused trauma-inducing flashbacks to the last time she found herself in a war, trying to save men who didn’t want to be saved by her. Those flashbacks left Claire crying on the ground, and left our hearts aching for her and for everything she’s already had to go through.
Even with those heartbreaking scenes, tonight’s episode was weirdly fun. War’s not fun, but now that Jamie and his fellow highlanders have accepted that the fight is happening, they seem to be having as much fun as they can in the process, and the show is more fun as a result of it.
As we said last week, after weeks of political intrigue and whispered gossip, it feels like we can breathe again, and we love it.
After reuniting with Rupert, Angus, and dear old Dougal, who have defied Colum to join the Jacobite cause, Jamie set about preparing his little army for battle with a few drills, while Claire did her best to keep them from suffering preventable setbacks, like having their feet amputated due to gangrene.
Jamie struggled with Dougal, who wasn’t thrilled about following his nephew’s commands, and had to sentence a few people to lashes (including himself) for failing to keep watch well enough (or at all), but in general he took to his leadership role incredibly well.
“Je Suis Prest” also introduced us to 16 year-old William Grey, the young English “spy” who tried to attack Jamie while he was just trying to pee. In the book, William (who will become an important character) attacks because he thinks he’s saving Claire, who he believes to be a prisoner. In the episode, William attacked Jamie alone, and then it was Claire who had the brilliant idea to pretend to be a prisoner in order to keep Jamie from using his fire-roasted knife on the kid.
Not only did William talk, but he also saw Jamie’s mercy as a debt that he now owed in return—a debt that you can bet will become important later on.
Jamie used the knowledge he got about the British camp to invade it late at night and steal all their wheels with the biggest smile on his face, and while it seemed, both to us and to Claire, like his return was going to lead to some fun, adult times for the Frasers, it was time to go. The next morning, they arrived at Charles Stuart’s camp, and Jamie sent Dougal ahead to let the prince know they were coming.
Next week, the war begins with the battle of Prestonpans, and things are about to get real bloody real fast, so for now we’re gonna let ourselves bask in the blood-free joy of pre-war for as long as we can.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Sound off in the comments!
Outlander airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.