We were jolted out of the romantic wedding night episode of last week into the midseason finale of Both Sides Now. In this episode Claire is nearly raped twice, kills a man, and is back in the clutches of Black Jack Randall. And, to top it all off, Outlander won’t be back until April 4, 2015. All I can say is Good God Man, that’s too blasted long.
Both Sides Now begins with Frank sitting in the police station waiting to speak with the detective handing the case of the missing Claire. I truly can’t imagine what it would be like to have a loved one vanish. As I’ve written before, when I read the books I never really felt that much for Frank. But now that I know a bit about him, I feel horrible for what he is going through. The police think that Claire ran off with the Highlander Frank saw staring up at Claire’s window. Frank doesn’t believe that and storms out of the police station. He’s staying with Reverend Wakefield and seeks out his advice for what he should do. The Reverend, kind soul that he is, believes Claire has been kidnapped, but Frank is beginning to doubt it. Or, he’s doubting that he can find Claire at this point. He stomps off to a bar to drown his sorrows when a woman approaches him. She’s seen the Highlander posters Frank’s placed about Inverness. She will take him to the man.
Now we know she’s up to something, but Frank is grasping at straws and meets her only to be jumped by two men. Frank is ready for them and chases off the one before pummeling the other into unconsciousness. It would seem Frank and Black Jack Randall aren’t so different. Well, Frank does have a conscious.
Meanwhile Jamie and Claire are still feeling the afterglow of their wedding night. They’re having a private picnic on a hill overlooking the unbelievably beautiful countryside of Scotland. Jamie is stunned by how wonderful being with Claire feels, and asks if it is normal. Claire responds that what they have is special. Before Jamie can get to loosening her corset, an arrow lands just a few feet from them.
Up the hill comes a scraggly looking man, Hugh Monro. By a combination of sign language and guttural noises, he communicates that there is a redcoat who knows that Jamie did not commit the murder he was charged with. Hugh isn’t deaf, but had his tongue cut out by the Turks, I think. He was a slave and wouldn’t change his religion, so he was tortured. Now Hugh is a professional beggar, as the many badges he sports around his neck attest.
Jamie is ebullient. If he could find this man, he might get the price off his head, and return to his home without fear of being captured. Before Hugh leaves he gives Claire a wedding gift, a dragonfly in amber, and disappears down the path. Alone, Jamie gets to that corset undoing and hikes Claire’s skirts up. Unfortunately, two deserter redcoats attack them. Jamie is held while one of the soldiers tries to rape Claire. Earlier she’d been taught how to use a small blade, and now while the man is on top of her she uses her newfound skills to stab the rapist multiple times.
The scene of Claire after killing the man is amazing. She’s cold from shock and can’t keep her mind from roaming. She’s a nurse and knows the symptoms, but it doesn’t help her from spiraling. While the men hide the deserters bodies, Claire paces and tries to rein in her myriad of emotions. She lashes out at Jamie for not keeping them safe. He castigates himself for going too far away from the group. The honeymoon is over.
Jamie is insistent that they find the man, Hardrocks, that Hugh told him about. Jamie makes Claire promise she will stay where she is until they get back. Does she? No, of course not, but she has a good reason to wander. She see the rocks of Craigh Na Dun, just over the rise. How can she not go? She’s been desperate to get back to her own time, to Frank, and there they are waiting for her.
In the future, Frank is leaving Inverness having decided that he must get back to his life. On the way out of town, he drives past the sign for Craigh Na Dun. Mrs. Graham, against Reverend Wakefield’s wishes, told Frank the story of the stones. She says Claire will be back, that he just has to wait for her to return. I can’t fault Frank for not believing her, or rather for not understanding the legend. Who would? He turns back and walks up to the stones. He’s overcome with emotion and calls out Claire’s name. She hears him through the stones and calls back to him. But just as she’s about to lay her hands on the stone two redcoat soldiers grab her. She was right there, and Frank was there, but fate would not let her go back to him.
Trussed up and plopped down in a wagon she’s taken back to Black Jack Randall. Claire plays the only card she has to possibly secure her freedom. In the 1940s she remembers Frank saying that Black Jack must have a powerful benefactor. the Duke of Sandringham. Claire tells Frank that she works for the Duke and he would be none too happy to find out Black Jack has interrupted her mission. The ploy almost works until Black Jack mentions his wife, and Claire falls into the trap of saying they’ve corresponded. The Duke of Sandringham is not married.
Black Jack has her hands tied behind her back and thrown over a table ready to ravish her or cut her with a blade when Jamie appears at the window and orders Jack to take his hands off his wife. The look of pure joy on Black Jack’s face at seeing Jamie is terrifying.
And that is where they leave us until April 4th. Cruel, right.
Everyone is trying in some way to get home. Jamie wants to return to his home and is willing to try and find a discredited soldier in order to do so. Claire knows what she feels for Jamie is love, but how can she have two husbands and two loves? Her one night of passion with Jamie is almost enough to make her forget Frank until she sees the stones. She runs to get back to her home, to her life, to her husband. And Frank without any hope of finding Claire, makes the difficult decision to leave Inverness to return to his home.
I can’t believe we have to wait seven long months…
Oh, I almost forget, we saw Roger has a young boy.