It seems this will be a smuggling-heavy episode, which, whatever, we got ours last week, you know? I’m prepared to tolerate anything.
We open on someone yet again trying to rape Claire, but she stabs him, he falls backwards, and knocks himself out cold by falling on the stone fireplace. Head wounds are very dangerous! When Jamie rolls in a few minutes later, Claire decides to skip mentioning the attempted-rape part. The gentleman was apparently there to find out where Jamie hides his casks of liquor, likely on the orders of Sir Percival, who’s turning a blind eye in exchange for a VERY generous cut. He sets about selling the casks as quickly as possible, even though he has to unload them under their ideal price.
Since she’s now a Real Doctor, Claire feels obliged to save this turd and we are treated to more of her battlefield-medicine style. Let’s drill a hole in a skull today, teammates! People are always trepanning in stories set in the past. Jamie warns that she’ll be arrested if he lives, but, well, when has Claire ever listened to anyone ever? Broseph doesn’t make it, thank God. She’s pissy as heck about it, which is so Claire.
Sir Percival swings by the brothel claiming that Jamie has been holding back on him. They’re SMUGGLERS, what do you expect? Happily, he doesn’t find anything, Jamie having sold off the casks already.
Fergus and Jamie’s nephew, Ian, who made the booze deal, want to celebrate by picking up ladies for the night. Fergus seems to have a better handle on seduction. As the nephew chats up a bar wench, we see one of Sir Percival’s henchmen watching them.
Claire goes off to treat a fortune-telling woman whose brother she met while buying medical supplies at a local apothecary. She’s clearly suffering from some form of mental illness, which her brother interprets as having visions. The two of them are about to depart for the West Indies, which Claire does NOT think will be good for the woman, especially as her brother likes to keep her subdued with laudanum.
Meanwhile, Jamie mentions offhandedly that he dumped that guy’s body in a cask of creme de menthe, which we know is a frigging disaster, as the boys tossed those casks in to make the alcohol deal more appealing.
Ian Senior, Jenny’s husband, is shocked and delighted to see Claire alive, but still wondering where his son is. (We last saw the lad drunk as a skunk and making serious headway with his lady friend over at the print shop.) Jamie does NOT tell Ian that his son has been helping with the smuggling, which strikes me as a poor way to treat your family. Claire certainly thinks so, and proceeds to tell Jamie he doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a FATHER. Low blow, Claire!
Ian, on his way out, asks Jamie how Claire took the news, which adds to our suspicion that Jamie has been up to more than we know. At the very least, it CERTAINLY suggests that Claire doesn’t know the whole story.
Ian Junior finds the henchman tossing the print shop looking for alcohol. He doesn’t find any, but he does find the seditious pamphlets and proceeds to set the print shop on fire. Jamie dashes in to try to save Ian, as the place is going up, like, well, a building full of paper, and finds the boy shaken but alive. He manages to drag them both out a window, just before the whole bloody thing collapses.
Jamie now faces arrest for sedition, so I imagine it’s time to skip town. He decides to take young Ian back to Lallybroch and his family. Fergus finally explicitly asks Jamie, “Does Claire know about your OTHER wife?” confirming all our suspicions. Probably should have opened with that, Jamie, while you were both divulging things!