“Outlander” Season 1 Episode 5 put Claire on the road with Dougal and his men to collect rent. Although Claire desperately wanted a way out, she was still trapped. However, she did begin embracing her new life.
Claire met the MacKenzies’ ill lawyer Ned Gowan. She realized he had asthma, so she put some herbs in a pipe to create a sort of inhaler. The two got along well, but Claire had to remind herself not to get too attached to anyone. However, that didn’t mean she didn’t want any friends. The men started talking in Gaelic more and more just to exclude Claire, which frustrated her.
Jamie told her not to worry about the men -- they just didn’t trust her. Jamie said he didn’t believe she was a spy, but he knew she had secrets. He could tell Claire wanted to make another escape attempt.
Claire finally came across some female companionship when she went to explore a village they were stopped in. She followed singing voices and found a group of women working. They put her to work helping them. They were using a bucket of urine to help set the dye in a piece of cloth. Afterward, they all shared a drink and went to pee in a bucket to help set more dye. One of the women explained to Claire her baby was crying because the MacKenzies took her goat as payment for her rent.
Angus found Claire while she was urinating into the bucket to help the local women and pulled her back to their camp. She immediately went to take a goat back to the mother and baby, but Dougal didn’t care about the family. An Englishman overheard this conversation and questioned the way the MacKenzie men were talking to Claire, but the MacKenzies sent him home. As the MacKenzie party left, the man was seen putting on a uniform -- he was a redcoat.
At a nightly feast in the village, Dougal gave a speech in Gaelic, and while no one was translating for Claire, it was clear Dougal was convincing them they needed protection from the English, which the MacKenzies could provide. He ripped Jamie’s shirt off to reveal his scars from flogging. Jamie was clearly uncomfortable, but it worked: Plenty of men opened up their wallets for Dougal.
Claire realized Gowan was not being entirely honest with the money he was keeping track of. There were two sets of books, but she didn’t seem too mad at Gowan. Claire didn’t truly understand what the money was for yet, but she didn’t really care. Claire began to feel trapped, but she also became hopeless. She realized it was unlikely she would ever get home.
While they were on the road, the men ravaged a house, took their food and even burned the house down. Gowan explained to Claire that the man of the house was rumored to be a redcoat sympathizer. Claire refused to eat the chicken that came from the house, telling the men she would not eat stolen food.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from. You’re here. ... You’re not to judge things you don’t understand,” Jamie said.
At their next stop, Dougal offered the village a feast. However, Claire called out his dishonest motives. He didn’t care that the redcoats had robbed people in town recently. He would use that anger and cause even more outrage toward the English. He would give them food and convince them to give what little money they had to the MacKenzies for protection. She thought the money was just for the MacKenzies until she recognized a Gaelic phrase that meant, “Long Live the Stuart.”
In a flashback (or flash-forward, depending on how you look at it), Claire realized she knew what was about to happen to the Scottish highlanders. They were raising money for the Jacobite cause. Jacobites wanted a Catholic king. Claire realized the rent wasn’t all money for the MacKenzies or even just to keep the British away. They wanted to fund a Jacobite army. The Stuarts never dethroned King George II, but Claire couldn’t tell them that. She felt badly that these men were so passionate about their rebellion -- and that they were fated to lose.
While traveling, the men found two bodies tied to posts. They gave them burials, and that’s what drove Dougal’s speech that night. Jamie could keep his scars to himself. However, everyone got very drunk, and Jamie worried for Claire’s safety as an Englishwoman. He slept outside Claire’s room to protect her. When Claire found him, she invited him inside.
“Sleep in your room?” he asked. “With you? I can’t do that. Your reputation would be ruined.” Claire gave him the blanket from her bed after she realized he would never damage her reputation.
Claire eventually couldn’t help herself. She tried to tell Gowan that this war won’t end well for the Jacobites. Gowan told her that she was entitled to her opinion, but they would fight, anyway.
Their conversation was interrupted by a huge brawl in the tavern where they were eating. The MacKenzie men fought the locals after some nasty Gaelic insults were exchanged. Claire admonished them for getting into a fight, but they told her it was all for her honor.
“You’re a guest of the MacKenzies,” one man said. “We can insult you, but God help any other man that does.”
The bonding continued as Claire even told a dirty joke to Rupert. The men have a nice chuckle, and all seemed to finally be going well until they told her that they were heading for Culloden next. Claire had another memory from her honeymoon. She visited Culloden, and her husband told her about a battle. The Battle of Culloden would be in 1746, just three years from when she was. She remembered seeing a headstone for the MacKenzie clan. More than 2,000 Scottish highlanders will be killed in the battle.
Claire had to try not to think about the fact that all of the men currently with her could be near the end of their lives. She went to wash up by the river where Dougal confronted her. He wasn’t sure she was a spy, but he didn’t appreciate her planting seeds of doubt in his men.
The redcoats interrupted their conversation. The redcoat seen earlier caught up with them and brought plenty of friends. They were apparently suspicious of the fact that an Englishwoman was traveling with a Scottish clan.
“Tell me, Madame, are you here by your own choice?” the redcoat asked. Viewers won’t hear Claire’s answer until Episode 6.
“Outlander” is shown on Starz Saturdays at 9 p.m. EDT. Do you think Claire will leave with the redcoats or will she stay with Jamie and the MacKenzies? Sound off in the comments section below!