Minute-by-Minute Recap: Outlander Season 3, Episode 8, “First Wife”
Want a minute-by-minute recap of Outlander Season 3 episode 8, “First Wife?” We give all the details…
Do you find yourself gabbing obsessively about Outlander to your friends and family? Wishing your Sunday nights included a living room full of people with whom to watch, discuss, comment, cheers, jeers and well, experience alllllll the feels? Dinna fash, Obsessenach—you are not alone.
Good news—we can
get new family and friends pour ourselves a dram and, through the magic of technology, enjoy it together! As we brought to you during Season 2, we’ll be LIVE blogging all the episodes in Season 3. Like the Outlander Cast podcast, it will be SPOILER FREE for non-book readers.
Not into distractions during your visit to the World of Outlander? That’s okay! Our LIVE blogs double as episodic recaps to serve as a trusty viewing companion on your second, third and umpteenth re-watches (hey, we get it).
So get all your post-18th Century gadgets ready and settle in, because the best things in life should be shared with a buddy. Hi, buddy.
Now let the show begin…[8:02 p.m.] This episode is called “First Wife,” or as my fellow Outlander Cast Writer Holly re-named it, “Finding Jamie Fraser.” I’m going with her suggestion. #TrustInHolly [8:03 p.m.] These three, for their own very respective reasons, are riding in with that “ah hell *sigh* let’s do this” look worn by anyone who has ever braved a lovable-but-dysfunctional family homecoming after time away. [8:04 p.m.] Jenny’s channeling her inner Clark Griswold all, “Claire, if I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now…” [8:05 p.m.] “Well, you look well” is about as subtle a conversation segue as asking about the weather. [8:06 p.m.] Tiny Fists of Fury – my new nickname for Jenny. And I just smiled ear-to-ear with the tap tap tap of Jamie’s nervous finger. I love how consistent and true-to-character Sam Heughan embodies Jamie’s mannerisms. [8:07 p.m.] Fergus said I was a natural at it, and I’m not just talking about my ability to sell booze. Also, bragging about your Auntie Claire’s aptitude for murder doesn’t seem the helpful way to go here, kid. [8:08 p.m.] Jamie’s insistence at how well he treated Ian brings up something that’s been rattling around in my brain. So, Jamie lived in a brothel, or at times, the print shop backroom… where did Ian and Fergus live – in bunk beds at the brothel? [8:09 p.m.] Apparently, billboard foreheads are a dominant gene in the Murray breeding game. Said with love. [8:10 p.m.] But I mean, doesn’t everyone follow Jamie around like a pup, hanging on his every word? [8:11 p.m.] Jenny introducing Claire as someone who “used to live in Lallybroch” ranks for me as the iciest barb Jenny’s tossed her way yet. And I also now have Gotype’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” playing on repeat in my head. [8:12 p.m.] If I had a dram for every time a woman in Jamie’s world took a low-blow shot at his knowledge on parenting, I’d be Sassenach wasted. [8:13 p.m.] Gather ‘round the fire, Jenny – your brother’s about to tell you a tall tale. I love that their lifelong close bond has Jenny all, go sell fiction somewhere else, James Fraser. Because I know your wife and her undying devotion to you. [8:14 p.m.] Murtagh! Please don’t cheat us out of a heart-tugging moment where Claire finally wonders about the fate of Murtagh (also, nice lead-in for a shameless plug: read Anne’s post about the fate of Murtagh). [8:15 p.m.] Mermaids, half-truths and a lifetime of Jenny’s resting bitch face – brothel’s not looking so bad after all, eh Claire? [8:16 p.m.] Prisoners at Alcatraz battled frigid currents to get off The Rock, and yet here’s Jamie’s freestyling toward it. The call of the white witch – and his longing his Sassenach – is mighty strong. [8:17 p.m.] And again I say, anyone else expecting Jamie to find a cloaked Luke Skywalker at the top or is it just me? [8:18 p.m.] This “aye, gimme me back me gold” plotline in the book always felt hokey to me, but while this convenient VO flashback feels a tad contrived, I love how much better this is playing out onscreen than it did for me in print. [8:19 p.m.] “I wasn’t on an island, but I was out there wishing for you to come and find me.” Hmm. A euphemism for Claire’s nights spent in the Randall home twin beds, “warmed” by thoughts of Jamie? [8:20 p.m.] Not to cut you off, Claire, but questioning Ned Gowan’s longevity is going to seem a silly place for incredulous thought when you hear what’s next… [8:21 p.m.] “Laoghaire, what the hell are you doing here?” – Jamie, AND ALSO EVERY HUMAN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF OUTLANDER TIME. [8:22 p.m.] Welp, the L word, and not the one I’d care to attach to these two. She might have asked for a Vince Vaughn “earmuffs” before belting out this rant laced with every degrading term targeted at a woman – in front of her two daughters. [8:23 p.m.] Dinna fash, there’s just the…err…three of us now? Holy shite hath hit the fan, Batman. Caitriona, shift’s off to you for your tremendous, and nearly wordless performance. [8:24 p.m.] Might we have tossed in a kid for this moment who didn’t completely resemble someone bred in a red-haired Fraser factory? I’m just sayin’. This girl looks more like Jamie than Willie. [8:25 p.m.] Ugh. According to my closed caption, Claire is softly sobbing. For the obvious, but also because it’s hard to make a swift exit with so_many_layers to throw on. #18thCenturyProblems [8:26 p.m.] See! Even Claire agrees, but Jamie skirts by on a well-placed technicality about the plausibility of additional red-haired men in Scotland. [8:27 p.m.] So many thoughts in one single minute….
Completely impressed that Claire found a filter in this moment, because “I told you to thank her, not marry her” was not the verb I’d have chosen.
“Because I am a coward, that’s why.” – Jamie, wisely going with honesty for a rare change in the past week.
LOW BLOW, KING OF MEN. Digesting Jamie’s conflicted stance in this emotional argument feels like trying to keep score in a Wimbledon match.
This scene officially rivals the creek-side knock-down in “The Reckoning” for their best duel.[8:28 p.m.] These two. Swoon. Forget the print shop, this is their reunion episode! [8:29 p.m.] JENNY, COME BACK LATER. There’s like 47 people living in that house, I’m sure they’ve heard a thing or two that pales in comparison to this. [8:30 p.m.] Now that was the Outlander I’ve come to love! I’ll drink to it too, Claire. [8:31 p.m.] Jenny either read my recap from last week tallying up all the Frasers’ honeymoon buzz-killers, or she’s playing her own home game. While we’re prancing out old conquests, anyone else curious what happened to Mary McNabb? Did she exit Lallybroch with a nice pension and shares of potatoes? [8:32 p.m.] Claire’s “I never had children with him” worked as well here as the last time she found a loophole to get around her time-traveling story, describing Frank as “no, he’s not alive” to Jamie at Castle Leoch. [8:33 p.m.] Making references to putting a lame horse out of its misery because it’ll never heal right seems ill-suited for use by a woman devoting her life to a man with one leg. [8:34 p.m.] Yes, in fact it did look like happiness, sis. Because happiness is not one-size-fits-all and this version of it is WHAT THEY DO BEST. Ian sees it. Get there quicker, Jenny. [8:35 p.m.] Each time Jamie stands iconic and stoic in that gate, I wonder if Claire can soak it in without thinking of how surreal it is to have sat on those ruined steps in the ‘60s mourning him. And yet, here they are. [8:36 p.m.] “Time for her to leave us be, to stay out of our lives.” – Our sentiments exactly, Leghair. [8:37 p.m.] Jenny offering the sign of the cross and a praise be to God is all of us when Jamie sheds his shirt. God’s tooth, SAVE THE PECS! [8:38 p.m.] Jamie injured and swigging straight from the bottle with his sense of humor intact and Claire the Healer operating on the dining room table – all set to the backdrop of Bear McCreary’s gorgeous arrangements. Damn, it’s so good to be home. [8:39 p.m.] Have I mentioned how much I love John Bell as Ian? It bears repeating. #DimplesForDays [8:40 p.m.] “Whisky’s a liquid, no?” – Jamie Fraser, employing my logic too. [8:41 p.m.] For those keeping score at home, what’s the fireside chat/revelation count for this episode thus far? [8:42 p.m.] I’m going to ignore the intent of this scene and just dream about spending a Hogmanay at Lallybroch with Bear McCreary’s music on repeat. [8:43 p.m.] Here’s a thought, if Jamie needs a smile here and there from a bright-eyed kid, I might suggest paling around with any of the baker’s dozen pattering around Lallybroch. Or how ‘bout a puppy? [8:44 p.m.] It’s the holidays, Jamie. Don’t get wrapped up in it. People always make half-baked choices when the vulnerability of the holidays sets in. DON’T BE THAT GUY. [8:45 p.m.] Sorry if I stuttered before, so let me be more direct – DO NOT ENGAGE WITH THAT C U NEXT TUESDAY. Hey, she said it… why can’t I? [8:46 p.m.] Please do not make Leghair out to be a victim here as a justification for how he could have ever gone through with this. We’ve already canonized Frank enough for two lifetimes, let’s take a knee on doing so for this conniving lass. [8:47 p.m.] Emergency surgery on the breakfast table – go for it. Flogging and battlefields – no problem. Prison – meh, what else you got? But needles in the ass? NOW YOU WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE WITH THAT BARBARISM, CLAIRE. #heatofshame [8:48 p.m.] No matter the tone, I adore seeing the powerhouse duo of Caitriona Balfe and Laura Donnelly in a scene together. This is one ya-ya sisterhood I can get behind. [8:50 p.m.] Quick poll: Who looks younger – Ned or Ian? Also, funny enough, Ned, we’re a trifle overcome to see your adorable unmarried self again. [8:51 p.m.] “I do hear Richmond is nice this time of year” – I’m going to start using that in everyday conversation, alternating with “I’m right on top of that, Rose.” [8:52 p.m.] Bill Patterson is a true gem, made even more so when he smiles through the delivery of “castration and bollocks.” [8:53 p.m.] There is no sum too outrageous here. I think we’d all be willing to pass the Sunday collection plate and donate to the cause, J. Fray. [8:54 p.m.] …That moment I realize how much I take for granted the wonderful ease of Venmo for quick payment transactions. You get to use emojis too, Jamie! [8:55 p.m.] I’ll take better care of him – rrrrrright after he battles hypothermia to help me shore up some alimony coin. [8:56 p.m.] The last time we saw them windswept with Jamie donning a sling and a periscope as they discussed their future, they were aboard a ship headed to France. Coming out of unbearable trauma, everything felt just as uncertain and yet, they looked less in despair and anxious by the unknown as they do here. (Side note: our own Andrée Poppleton witnessed the filming of this majestic scene at Dunure back in January. Read all about it here.) [8:57 p.m.] Not to helicopter-mom this scene, but shouldn’t we keep a constant eye on the 16-year old bobbing around in the icy, rocky current? [8:58 p.m.] BAM! One of the best lines of Voyager from the brothel that we all feared a product of the chopping block wasn’t lost after all. [8:59 p.m.] Um guys, I’m certain he can’t hear you. And in the off-chance he can, then so can the arrrgh pirates headed his way. Also, I know this is beside the point but I am a tad curious to know how Ian planned to freestyle his way back through that current carrying a heavy ass treasure chest. [9:00 p.m.] This whole situation is so Goonies that I keep waiting for Sloth to pop up with a Baby Ruth. [9:01 p.m.] Annnnnd, we’re setting sail… again. Je Suis Prest, Frasers!
To borrow a modified line from the Jamie Fraser playbook, “it’s very fine to see ye again,” Jamie. Because with this outstanding episode, we’re finally seeing the Jamie Fraser – and the Jamie-Claire union – we know and love. The one that makes keeps us grounded in our unfailing belief that, no matter what struggle awaits them – because you know it always does – together they bring out the best version of each other. And that was all here, and then some. And thank god we’ve made it, as we’ve only got five episodes left to see this story through. *panic breathing* Pass the paper bag.
I sopped up every morsel of delicious, meaningful dialogue that neither felt rushed nor forced us to feel like we were ping-ponging around just to race to the next point on the plotline. It was like everything you love – and fear – about coming home. Sometimes you’re welcomed with the warm nostalgia and fond memories you recall easily, and sometimes it’s like coming back to summer camp after the summer is over. But either way, it’s still home.
This ranked easily as one of my top episodes of this season. Bring on the high seas!
Thank you, friends, as always for joining us. If you’ve missed any of our episode recaps, you can catch up with them here:
Episode 3.01: “The Battle Joined“
Episode 3.02: “Surrender“
Episode 3.03: “All Debts Paid“
Episode 3.04: “Of Lost Things“
Episode 3.05: “Freedom & Whisky“
Episode 3.06: “A. Malcolm“
Episode 3.07: “Crème De Menthe”