Recap: Outlander episode 15: Wentworth Prison proves worse than imagined

Outlander episode 15 Jamie in prison Barb Oates

Outlander episode 15 “Wentworth Prison” (original airdate May 16, 2015) As the noose gets raised, one prisoner after another gets a swift shove off of a platform to meet their final fate at Wentworth Prison. It’s eerily silent, where the cracking of necks is echoed throughout the courtyard where Jamie (Sam Heughan) and MacQuarrie (Douglas Henshall) await, their turns nearing.

Outlander episode 15 Jamie in prisonThe two muse about the aftermath of the noose, as MacQuarrie tries to find the bright side. But Jamie wants to make one final run at freedom and tells MacQuarrie that when they come to get him he’ll wrap his chains around the guard and encourages him to do the same.

“Is it the rope you are afraid of?” MacQuarrie asks.

“What grieves me is that my wife will never forgive me for getting myself hung,” Jamie quips.

“Nothing like a wife to make a man feel disquieted at his very death,” MacQuarrie states. But MacQuarrie always knew he would be dangled at the end of a rope someday and claims that is why he made sure he left no one behind to mourn. Their friendship comes to an end as he’s next to being called.

This Scot, however, isn’t about to go quietly. The idea that his last view of the world will be the ill faced, pasty Englishmen staring at him repulses him and he lets the Brits know. “My only regret is that I wasted my life as a common thief rather than a patriot serving my country against you all,” he shares. As he starts to site the English as the devil, he’s given a harsh shove and off the ledge he goes. Snap.

“James Fraser,” the soldier calls. He’s next, and there’s no sign of Claire or the clan.

Outlander episode 15 Jamie in prisonJamie makes a last-ditch attempt at trying to escape the guards but to no avail. He’s led up to the platform, his hair long and tussled, his face handsomely full of stubble, his clothes are soiled but somehow he looks stronger than ever. The noose is tightened around his neck.

In a distance a galloping horse approaches and a man starts to yell. “Stop! Stop the executions.” Ugh. It’s Randall, and he looks almost pained to see Jamie so close to dying. He whispers to a soldier that he is on king’s business and that they should take Jamie down immediately. “Remove the rope. Escort the prisoner to one of the dungeon cells,” a guardsman calls. As Jamie is led past Randall no words are exchanged only looks of puzzled contempt from Jamie, and a lustful glare from Randall.

Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) meets with Sir Fletcher Gordon (Frazer Hines), the prison warden, where she plays the English classy lady act inquiring about a Scot whom she is friends with his family. Claire learns Jamie’s been given a temporary stay of execution. Relieved she asks to visit the prison. “I hardly know the man really,” she tells. “Old as the connection may be I found it a kind gesture to come visit. It’s my Christian duty [she observes the warden’s biblical readings], which I’m sure you can understand.”

“I could tell you where a Christian woman the moment you entered,” he says. “I’d like nothing more than to help you Mrs. Beachem, unfortunately I can’t allow it. If something were to happen I would never forgive myself.”

Claire understands his concerns but explains how Jamie comes from good people, and how sad it would be for his family if they were not to speak to him before his scheduled death. She suggests that perhaps she could get a letter of reconciliation from him. “I would be pleased to deliver it to his mother.”

Sir Fletcher considers her request and excuses himself, only to come back with a wooden box of Jamie’s personal belongings — suggesting she take that to his family. Claire’s devastation and desperation leaves her shattered.  She exits the prison sobbing, collapsing outside the gates where Murtagh awaits. He scoops her into his arms and takes her back to the clan.

Outlander episode 15But the clan is anything but concerned of Jamie’s nightmare and is enjoying spirits, laughs and a wicked game of dice. Murtagh, Willie and Claire sulk watching their fellow clansmen. When Angus (Stephen Walters) and Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) plop down aside them they tease about how much money they won from the strangers.

Angus tells them that while they were looking glum, they were losing to two of the jailers where they learned that the warden insists on having his evening meal in private after which he reads his bible for 25 minutes of reflection. So the man’s away from his office for one full hour they discern. It’s enough information to give Claire some renewed hope.

Back at the prison Randall (Tobias Menzies) pays Jamie a visit.

“I wondered when you would show yourself,” Jamie says. “I expected you to come alone.”

Randall has brought one of his goons. His goon is known is Marley and we learn that he’s much of an intellect but impressively brutal when given the opportunity. Randall pulls out the petition of complaint Jamie filed.

“I’m afraid the Duke of Sandringham likes to talk especially when he drinks,” Randall tells. Certain mutual acquaintances passed his words along to Randall, and then Randall spoke to the duke. Randall considered the document to be quite blackening of his character and thought if presented to the courts that they might even wager in Jamie’s favor.

“I hate to think what would have happened to me,” Randall says. “It might be me [waiting to die] instead of you.” He puts the petition of complaint into the fire and takes it out – leaving us unnerved at what exactly will become of Jamie.

Claire returns to the prison with Murtagh during that one-hour open window, pretending she had an engagement scheduled with Sir Fletcher. The prison officer is unsure of her intentions but leaves Claire and Murtagh alone in the warden’s office to rummage for maps and keys for the prison. When the jailor returns early Murtagh knocks him out, leaving the two of them to separate. Murtagh takes care of the body. Claire goes in search of Jamie, keys in hands.

Randall is making himself comfortable in Jamie’s cell. “May I call you Jamie,” he asks. Jamie tells him if he expects him to beg for his life he’s going to be sorely disappointed. But Randall tells Jamie that he can’t even save him at this point. “Our time here is but a momentary retrieve.”

Jamie prefers the noose to his company. But Randall’s obsessed with Jamie; he knows he haunts his dreams. “It is it my face you see looming in the darkness? Tell me, when you lie upon your wife and her hands trace the scars on your back, do you ever think of me?” the sadist asks, reaching his hand out and acting as if he’s stroking Jamie’s back.

While Jamie may have escaped Fort William, Randall believes he has yet to escape him and he needs him to admit it. Randall tells Jamie that if he can surrender his pride that he hides behind and admit that even now he is terrified he could offer him a gift.  If he admits that “one simple thing” Randall would be willing to offer him the death of his choosing.

Jamie sits stoic as if contemplating Randall’s offer. He stands and then moves closer to Randall to tell him: “I won’t surrender … to you or any man.”

“I have to admit there was a part of me that would be crestfallen if you did,” Randall says.

Outlander_Episode15_Randall“You know that every man can be broken, it’s truly nothing to be ashamed of,” Randall says.

He then asks to see Jamie’s back. Jamie agrees if it means it will stop Randall from talking. As Randall readies to lift Jamie’s shirt, Jamie makes a quick turn and clocks him with his cuffs telling him that it is he who haunts Randall. He then turns to Marley and tries to take him out but fails. Marley gets the upper hand and wraps his hands around his neck nearly choking him to death.  But Randall stops him, “Idiot. You could have killed him.”

What follows is agonizing. Randall takes Jamie’s hand and brutally crushes it repeatedly with a sledgehammer. His cries ring out throughout the prison walls, which leads Claire closer to him. Jamie is left nearly unconscious, the pain simply unbearable. Randall grabs the back of his hair pulling up his head and bringing his face close to him – forcing Jamie to focus on his face to blaze it into his mind. Randall drops his head and leaves with Marley.

Claire finds Jamie face down on the prison floor and rushes to his side, weeping at the sight of him. Is that you my Sassenach, Jamie’s says, his eyes barely open. She lies over his body hugging and embracing what she can, but Claire knows she has little time to get him out of the prison. Jamie tells her that Randall is near and she most leave.

As she tries to break the shackles off of his legs, from behind a familiar voice states: “You truly have a gift for showing up at the most unexpected times.”

“You beast,” Claire yells at Randall.

“You can do better than that,” Randall says.

“You fucking sadistic piece of shit,” Claire tries again and lunges at him. “I should have slit your throat when you were laying unconscious at Fort Williams.”

Damn right she should have. “Yes, you will come to regret that,” Randall tells her, as Marley holds her back. “You’re no coward. I will grant you that. You’re a fitting match for your husband and I cannot give you a better compliment than that.”

Two British soldiers come running in believing that Claire was involved in an escape attempt. Claire begs to be taken to Sir Fletcher so she can make him aware of what’s going on. But Randall would not allow it, telling the men that Claire’s involved in a rebel cause against the king and the soldiers flee.

As Marley searches Claire for weapons, Randall tells that he’s not in the mood for (rhymes with hunt) today, but perhaps Marley would like to be entertained privately in his quarters.

“I may have what are called unnatural tastes but I do have some aesthetic principals. You are a very lovely woman,” Randall says. “Do I want to see you with Marley? No, I don’t think I do want to watch that.” As Randall turns, Claire makes her move for Marley and Randall but cannot handle them both – Randall grabs her by her throat and looks to end her.

“Stop,” Jamie screams.

“Make me a better offer,” Randall says.

.

But Jamie’s ready to give the only thing that he has left to give to save Claire. He tells Randall to stop. If he lets her go, he will make the ultimate sacrifice and give himself completely, without fight, to Randall to do with him what he wishes.

“Let her go safely and you can have me,” Jamie says. “I won’t struggle, you can do as you wish.”

“Jamie, no,” Claire sobs.

Randall’s giddy at the thought, but needs proof that he will keep his word. Jamie agrees to show him a brief test of his sincerity. He tells Jamie to lay his “ruined” hand on the table. Jamie slumps his decimated, bloody hand down and outstretches his good hand to bring Claire to his side. Randall picks up a long nail. Claire is holding him, sobbing. Randall grabs the hammer and brutally rams the nail into the center of Jamie’s palm, repeatedly. It’s so agonizing to watch. Nailed to the table, Randall grabs the back of Jamie’s head and turns his face to him and says, “now kiss me.” I could vomit.

He pushes his lips against Jamie, and Claire sits on his other side weeping. “Take her away,” Jamie asks.

“We will remember this moment for the rest of our lives,” Randall says.

“Take her away,” Jamie says.

Randall agrees, and grabs Claire’s arm but Claire runs back and tells Jamie she’s not going to leave him. He tells her she must and that he loves her. It’s a heartbreaking goodbye, as Jamie remains nailed to the table.

As Randall escorts Claire out of the prison, he tells of a rumor he had heard about Claire being a witch. Claire tells him that she is. “I curse you with the knowledge Jack Randall. I give you the hour of your death, Jonathan Wolverton Randall. Born September 3, 1705 dies …” and she leans in and whispers the date. For the first time Randall actually looks scared. He grabs her and pushes her down a trap door of sorts, where she falls on a pile of dead bodies (MacQuarrie being one of them). Claire’s in shock and almost blindly finds her way back to the clan where she begs for their help.

Randall returns to Jamie, almost endearingly cupping his hand to tell him that Claire is away safe. He cuts open the back of Jamie’s shirt and gets off on caressing his horrific wounds. This guy is 50 Shades of masochist. “It’s a masterpiece,” Randall says, rubbing his face against the scars. “Shall we begin.” Jamie sits silently shaking, knowing the worst is yet to come.

“We have to go back for him,” Claire tells the clan. They introduce him to the clan’s lawyer Sir Marcus MacRannoch (Brian McCardie), a loyal friend to the clan. Marcus can only offer temporary shelter as he won’t put his family in jeopardy. Claire offers to pay him and pulls out her pearl necklace. Sir Marcus recognizes the strand and asks if Claire’s husband is Ellen MacKenzie’s son? He is. Turns out Sir Marcus is the one who gave her the pearls as a wedding gift. But Sir Marcus still can’t help. They turn their attention to a townsman who has failed to bring in the required number of cattle. He tells the man that there are 21 missing cattle. Not getting why Murtagh seems so amused by that, but he smiles and tells the group that he knows how to save young Jamie.

 

 

 

 

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