An Officer of the Black Watch, 1743
An Officer of the Black Watch, 1743

Claire tells us what’s happening in an internal monologue, like a spoken diary. But we also see the action and hear the speech outside her head. Is everything as she remembers it? Is the entirety through her eyes? Or, are we presented a more objective view?


The Gathering

Season 1, Episode 4  Airdate: 30 August, 2014

Lucius Non Ouros =  I Shine Not Burn.

We see two wooden towers with guards in them. At the same time we hear running. And Claire’s gasps as she runs, and stumbles The guards bring their guns up

The running turns into the laughter of playing children and Claire who is being chased by them.

Angus, one of Claire’s guards, stands over her face in a kilt and asks if she sees something that caught her eye. Grimacing she remarks it’s something she’s mot likely to forget in a hurry. One of the children comments that she has lost her fichu and her hair ribbon. Angus and Rupert (her guards) want her to go back in because the Gathering of the clan is starting and they don’t want to miss it. She is using this recess to reconnoiter the area as she plans her escape.

Her guards accompany her back to the castle. We see tents, cooking fires: an encampment.

Rupert remarks that she is unlikely to have seen anything as braw (fine) as this where she is from.
Claire’s internal dialogue, or diary remarks that it is not a large gathering of people as she saw on VE Day, but that it’s simple joy, the MacKenzies were glad to see each other. She finds the atmosphere uplifting even though she wants to get away.

She says she has her route mapped out and other preparations made, she just needs distractions for her guards.

As they see more and more people Claire points out to Angus and Rupert points out woman stirring something over a kettle is interested in one of them. They argue over her and Claire makes them draw straws. Angus wins and goes off. ing for one of them

She tells Rupert that she needs a horse for the hunt. The laird wants a healer to go along just in case. She drags Rupert with her to the stables. She had learned to ride from her uncle, but it was a long time ago and she needed a gentle, easy horse.

Music from the 1940s begins drifting through the

Alec tells her that most horses spoken for. She says perhaps Mr. McTavish can help. It’s best if the lad is left to himself while the gathering is on.

He points out Brimstone to her. The name is ominous, but Alec thinks she is okay – she’ll turn for home as soon as she can though.

Claire walks to her apothecary/stillroom/surgery. She is startled by Gellis telling her she brought the port Claire had asked for. Geillis asks Claire if she is pregnant – noticing the store of food she has laid by. She assures Geillis she is not and has not been unfaithful to her husband who she says is dead.

Geillis pointedly asks if she had conceived, she says they had not. Perhaps she is barren Geillis says, somewhat cattily. IT doesn’t matter now, Claire replies. Geillis notices the Valerian Claire is cooking up, how she must also have trouble sleeping. She grimaces as she says she doesn’t mash it up she boils it whole first. Claire asks after dosage. Geillis says she has enough o put out an army.
As last week, something about Geillis makes Claire uncomfortable.

She tells Claire how when she came to Crainesmuir she had nothing but her wits and knowledge of plants. So she found a man with position. She is free to do as she likes.

Claire makes the excuse that she has much to do in preparation for the hunt That must be what she is preparing for Geillis says, noting her stores.

Geillis tells her the Highlands is a no place for a woman to be alone, Claire would do well to remember that.
Claire lifts her chin and tells Geillis she’ll see her at the oath taking.
Are you sure, she asks Claire. Claire responds that she promises.

Careful, a promise is a serious thing in this country.
Mine, too. Claire replies.

Grabbing an apple, Geillis leaves.

Claire hurries to put her stuff together as she explains to us that lter, all the fighting men from the clan would make their oaths to Collum. Noone would be in the stables.

Anxiously she stands and looks around as she says, “I was almost ready.”

The scene moves to a great hall. It appears that light is still coming in the windows, although it is slanted. The chandeliers and sconces sticking out from the arches are all lit. People are greeting each other and making formally merry. Walking through the Halls, Claire says, Tonight   would be her only night to escape to Craig Nah Dunh. As she walks by a table with foodstuffs, near the kitchen she picks up a basket of eggs. In the kitchen we see Angus with his mug, and the door opens to show Rupert and the woman who was interested in Claire’s two guards earlier. Angus shrugs at Claire.

She carries the eggs to another table saying she knew how she might avoid her guards, she had her provisions and a horse. All she needs is a weapon. Here she puts the eggs down and picks p a kitchen knife and prepares to pocket it and leave. Mrs. Fitz appears and startles her when she asks if Claire is not wearing that to the ceremony.   SClaire says she didn’t think a Sassenach would be welcome. Mr. Fitz says not to be silling, as Collums personal guest, she must attend. Mrs Fitz insists on taking Claire to get clothes.

People are gathering, talking and playing shinty, a Scottish game resembling field hockey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinty) which figures in later in the episode).

We move into the hall as an excited Mrs. Fitz brings a beribboned Claire into the hall. Mrs. Fitz says they should hurry, the oath taking is the best part. She asks Claire how she looks, Claire replies lovely. Back to her private monologue, Claire tells us, at first she thinks Mrs Fitz’s intervention would make her escape harder but with her as an escort her shadows would be less vigilant.

They walk through the hall and upstairs to a gallery. Diana Gabaldon puts in an appearance as a beautifully dressed, but catty, Fiona. Fiona says Mrs. Fitz has the hall looking as bright as a new bairn. Mrs. Futz remarks that the dress looks as lovely o Fiona as it did at the last gathering. Moving on, Mrs. Fitz pulls Murtagh away from the wall to stand next to Claire against the balustrade.

Collum arrives, he is clean shaven and well groomed. He is obviously working to hide his physical pain. People look at his respectfully. Many are bewigged.

He takes his seat.

He caresses Hamish’s cheek, he and his wife exchange a greeting.wife says something and

He welcomes everyone to Leoch. And Murtagh translates his speech for Claire. Fiona shushes him. He looks annoyed and keeps on translating.

He hopes that never a day will come when the clan’s fighting men will have to draw iron. But if they do, he couldn’t hope for a better lot than stands before him It would be a right daft soul who would challenge the Mackensies, weapons or no and he is proud to be their laird.

All applaud the laird’s speech.

Dougal comes forward first and drawing his weapo swears on the cross and the holy iron he holds, to give fealty and loyalty and if raise hand against in rebellion asks holy iron will pierce his heart
He kisses Collums’s hand.

Collum offers him a large dish shaped cup from with they both drink. Dougal goes off and grabbing a bottle drinks deeply from it.
Angus and all the men repeat. Claire asks Murtagh if all the oaths are the same and hearing they are, she says, if you’ve seen one. Making that Scottish noise Gabaldon often writes into her stories, Murtagh gives his assent and starts down the stairs.
Angus finishes his oath and finds Claire on her way. She congratulates him and tells him she wishes to return to the surgery.

She congratulates Angus and says it is an interesting ceremony, but she is seen enough. She wants to go back to the surgery. He objects. Wanting to stay and see the gathering . He asks if she can see fit to stay at least until he finds a lassie for the night.

Fine, she says, if she must and pulling a glass flask from her skirts says she may as well join in.  She takes a swig ad hands it to him. As he drinks deeply, his head back, she spits hers out.

That’s not Rhenish he says, she tells him it’s expensive port. It’s strong he says, she agrees. She says it is a sedative, he asks if that’s Spanish? She gives him the bottle and tells him to share.

Claire grabs her stuff and starts down the hall when she runs into Laoghaire who asks for a love potion to win a lads heart not just to get him to kiss her but to move his heart forward. . Claire grabs a bottle of horse dung and tells Laoghaire to sprinkle it over the threshold, stand outside his door, and tap her heels and recite there’s no place like love, there’s no place like love.

Claire goes on, running through the castle when she comes upon a group of rough men who try to molest her. As they are about to, Dougal saves her, She tries to leave saying she shouldn’t be here. He pulls her back to him and says aye and there’s a penalty. After saving her a drunk Dougal tries the same thing. She slaps him and says she should not be there. They both eye her bundle and when he goes to grab it she knocks him out.

She has to focus, knows her route. Avoiding lovers and sentries she make sit to the stables and hurrying towards Brimstone’s stall she trips over Jamie, who leaps up with a dirk over her. Jesus H Roosevelt Christ! she cries, No Sassenach he tells her, Just me.

Helping her up, Jamie sees her things and asks how far did she think she would get on a dark niht with a strange horse with half of the clan after her. She says they are mostly drunk. He asks if she’s running away on a whim just because the men are drunk.

She says she knows her way and where the guards are. He tells her Collum put up extra guards.

She’s going anyway even when Jamie tells her the best trackers in the clan are there and if she is caught Collum will not be calling her guest, she says she doesn’t care.

She says she is an outlander, a Sassenach. He apologizes and she says she knows he did not mean it.
She says she knows , it’s just having all her plans shot.
He gently offers to take her back to the castle.
She says it isn’t a good idea – she had an encounter with some drunken clansmen in the corridor. He asks if they hurt her and she tells him about Dougal.

After asking if Dougal was drunk he laughs and says he doubts Dougal will remember and not brag about it

He hopes she left a good mark so he remembers his error in judgement.

They go back a different way, through a tunnel under the cellar he found as a child. As they get in she thanks him, but they are ambushed by a group of men asking Jamie about being late to the oath taking.

He says he wants to wash and change. They say they’ll outfit him proper. One asks if he can keep the lassie for himself. Outraged Jamie breaks free of the hopld and head butts the would be rapist. He starts towards Claire and someone knocks him out.
In the next scene he is washing and dressing. Someone throws him a brooch,

He tells them they didn’t have to hit him so hard. He was willing to go.

They bring him clothes. Rupert brings him a brooch.

Lucio non Ouro – I shine, not burn the MacKenzie’s motto. She apologizes and asks after his head. He says he cannot wear the brooch he is not a MacKenzie. He asks if she knows his clan’s motto.
She says she doesn’t even know his clan.

“Je Suis Pret ,” he says, “Find a place in the hall,” he instructs.

Asks after Jamie
In her internal Monologue, Claire says ready for what as she goes into the hall.

She finds Murtagh and tells him Jmie’s there. Jamie comes in and everyone becomes tense. She asks him why. . He explains that Jamie has MacKenzie blood and in line for being laird. Dougal’s been holding the honor for himself. If Jamie takes the oath he is in line and Dougal will kill him. If he doesn’t pledge, as a nephew and able bodied man, he’ll be killed. He cannot leave because there’s a price on his head. If Jamie had just stayed hidden until the gathering was over his uncles wouldn’t have pressed the matter any further. Claire says it is all her fault and Murtagh agrees.

Jamie approaches the dais, and looks up at Collum steeling himself he approaches Dougal and kneels. Then he stands abruptly, as if he changed his mind,which creates a stir.

I come to you as Kinsman, and as ally but I give you no vow. Collum swallows. For my oath is pledged to the name that I bear. (Swords leave scabbards and a shocked murmur rolls through the hall. Jamie nods and leans forward.) I give you my obedience, as kinsman and as laird and I myself bound to your word so long as his feet rest on the land of the clans MacKenzie.

Staring contest ensues, people are tense waiting to see what happens. Dougal looks on. Collum, his mouth is set in a line – determined, but neither smiling or frowning. reaches for his cup, smiles and hands it to Jamie, and Jamie drains it. . The hall erupts in cheers and the music commences.

Dougal looks on unreadable. I thought at times he was stoic, other times ready to kill Jamie, and others in awe of him.

Jamie walks through the crowd as if he is looking for a partner. Laoghaire looks hopeful, but it seems to be Claire he is heading towards. But it is Murtagh who tells Jamie he’s getting too old for this. They depart.

The next day, on the hunt, Rupert is with Claire. They seek a wild boar. Often the tusk is toxic.

They go out shooting and with bows and spears, beating their shields, on foot and on horse.

A mist blows in and a wild board snuffles

Boars, plural, with piglets run through the woods.

A young man gets a bad slash, Claire tells Rupert to take the boy back to the castle.

They hear a terrible scream. Rupert tells her to wait but she runs towards it. She cannot find them.

A boar heads to attack Claire but Dougal kills it just before it hurts her.

She is panicked, but is taken to another injured man, Geordie, who appears to have been close to Dougal. He has a bad sklash on his leg and Claire ties a tourniquet. But she sees that he as a fatal gut wound.  Anything that she did to stop the bleeding would just prolong his agony.

Dougal unties the tourniquet so he can bleed out. A better death, a clean death. Claire and Dougal talk to him. As he slips away, Claire asks him about his home, he becomes peaceful, as he describes it, with heather so thick you cabn walk across the top without touching the ground. He wishes he could be there now. Dougal tells him he will be there soon. Dougal promises to stay with him, as does Claire. They share a moment, and Geordie dies in Dougal’s arms and attended by Claire.

The hunting party returns to the camp and castle downcast. Dougal sees a group, including Jamie playing the field hockey like game, Shinty. Dougal grabs one of the clubs and violently enters the game. He confronts Jamie and fights him nastily. Whether to punish Jamie or work out his anger and rage at losing is friend — or both, I don’t know but it is a brutal attack. Jamie beats his uncle and offers him a hand up.

Claire’s monologue continues, with her saying that with her escape thwarted she was faced with the terrifying possibility that she was destined to stay in this dungeon forever. As she is saying this and pounding herbs, Dougal comes in. She wasn’t ready to give up but needs time to come up with another plan.

She notices Dougal.
Calmly, and not with challenge he says, “You’ve seen men die before and by violence.”

She replies, Yes, many of them.”

Dougal walks around the room stopping in front of the cupboard but away from her. She continues with her task. He tells her she has done a fine job there as healer. Mrs. Fitz would have her sit for a portrait if it was up to her.

And he wants to thank her for what she did for poor Geordie in the hunt.

She replies that in truth she did nothing, and she wished she could have helped him.

“You did,” he tells her, “You took him to a peaceful place and that is all any of us can ask when we pass so, thank you.”

She stops her task, “You’re welcome. If there’s nothing else, I ‘ve a lot to do here in my dungeon.”

Dougal tells her he is there to set her free. He has to go out on the road and he is taking her with him as he travels through the MacKenzie lands collecting rent

He’s leaving tomorrow and taking her with him. Collum doesn’t travel so collecting rents and such falls to him.

He thinks it would be wise to have a healer along, especially one that does well under strain, and there’s a lot of that on the road.

He tells her Mrs. Fitz will have supper ready and that Claire doesn’t want to incur her wrath by coming late. He leaves saying, “We leave at first light.”

At first light the caravan heads out: a farmer with his cart precedes them, then Dougal leads, there are several horses and carts,, Claire, Murtaghand Jamie.

As Claire rides out, we hear her internal monologue or diary:
As the confines of the castle walls faded behind me like a bad dream, I took my first full breath in weeks, I had no idea where this journey would lead me, what opportunity might present itself. I could only hope it would it would bring me closer to the standing stones of Craig Nah Dunh, If so I was determined to reach them, knowing, this time, I must not fail.