Outlander: Are You Kidding Me Right Now With This Witchcraft Shit?


I found this week’s episode of Outlander draining and emotionally exhausting and personally I am ready to time-surf the centuries and turn the tables on some witch-hunting creeps. Queue to my left to join the misandrist time-traveling witch-hunter-busting vigilante squad. But at least we got a firelight fingering scene, right?

Much of “The Devil’s Mark” was taken up with the witchcraft trial of Geillis and Claire. It’s blatantly obvious that they’ve been accused in no small part because they aren’t great at shutting up and sitting down—like most women accused of witchcraft through the ages, probably, and the whole thing just got me really wound up about women and power and powerlessness. The compensation for my feminist-rage-related blood pressure spike: Geillis and Claire’s facial expressions, particularly Geillis’s. They seriously cannot even fucking believe this shit, are you kidding me right now?

But the townspeople demand a witch’s blood, so somebody’s got to be condemned. There’s no way Geillis is walking away, as Ned points out—Claire doesn’t have to go down, too, though. But she refuses to buy her own freedom by denouncing Geillis. It might be the smart move, but it’s just not forthright enough for honest-to-a-fault Claire, who apparently can’t lie to literally save her own life. (Seems like the trial would’ve gone a lot better if she’d just shrugged at every accusation and said, “I don’t know shit about that.” But I guess she’s from long before the era of televised government hearings.) Even Jamie’s heroic last-minute arrival (in pants!) and his threats to kick some damn ass aren’t enough to stop what’s been set into motion.

And so Geillis pulls out all the stops. I’ve been back-and-forth about ol’ Geillis—she might be a lovely lunch companion, but she did pretty blatantly murder her husband. It was a character highlight, though, when she started ripping off her clothes and screaming that she was carrying the devil’s child and she’d manipulated Claire all along, SATAN SATAN SATAN SAAAATAAAAAAAAN. Her antics buy Jamie an opportunity to hustle out his very stunned wife, who between the smallpox scar and “1968” has realized that Geillis ain’t from the eighteenth century Highlands, either. Suddenly, “Looks like I’m going to a fucking barbecue” makes a lot more sense. (Did she seriously time travel just to fund the Jacobite cause? That’s taking your historical enthusiasms rather far for my tastes.)

Anyway we didn’t see Geillis die, so I doubt we’ve see the last of her. Let’s hope we get a break from that fucking pill Laoghaire, too, or I am seriously going to have a rage-stroke.

All this gives Jamie and Claire an excuse to finally have that chat about where Mrs. Fraser is actually from. Wonder of wonders, he believes her (though, he is quick to note, it would’ve been simpler were she merely a witch). This is the universal “oh, Jesus” facial expression of a man whose wife has just given him serious-business news, although here in 2015 it’s usually reserved for “my period is late” or “I forgot to pay my credit-card bill… for five years.”

At which point they took a break from the drama for Jamie to, ahem, push Claire’s buttons. The future—who needs it?

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