Outlander Season 1 Episode 10 Review: By the Pricking of My Thumbs

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How much longer until Claire truly understands where she lives now is much, much different than from whence she came?

In Outlander Season 1 Episode 10 while Jamie goes about trying to free himself from the price on his head so that he can take his lovely wife back to his home of Lallybroch, Claire meddles and does things of which would likely be frowned upon by her new peers and the results are not always in her favor.

"By the Pricking of My Thumbs" was an hour setting up the remainder of Outlander Season 1. Let's dig in!

After all the events in Outlander Season 1 Episode 9, you'd think Claire would consider laying low a bit, perhaps not sticking her nose into things that aren't her business. After all, she discovered there are consequences for her actions. 

Even though Jamie made a pledge never to raise a hand to her again, that doesn't necessarily mean that no harm will come to her for getting involved with things she just doesn't understand.

That's our Claire, though. She's absolutely frustrating beyond belief and we canna help but cheer her on despite the fact we know she's going to end up in a heap of trouble. It took her about sixty seconds after another satisfying round of sex with her hunky husband to start stirring the pot.

Part of Claire's problem is that she continues to underestimate the people she's "visiting" in the past. She believes that because she has knowledge of the future, it is they who can learn from her and not the other way around. Instead, she finds herself being schooled pretty much daily.

Underestimating Laoghaire proves to be a terrible mistake. When she first makes it during "By the Pricking of My Thumbs," it seems merely to shatter her confidence a little bit. Sure, she knows Jamie is completely satisfied with her as his wife, but it never feels all that great to have a much younger girl suggesting you're old and prudish and your husband might have to get drunk to "plow your fields."

Ironically, that's similar to the sentiment Geillis made, far more elegantly, about British women after Claire watched her dance the dance she had seen so many years into the future at Craigh na Dun. 

Geillis: You can come out now, Claire. I thought I heard a rustling in the bushes. But then again, I always like to imagine someone's watching me. You could have joined me, you know, but you English are a prudish people. It's really quite nice in spite of the chill.
Yes, it looked like you were enjoying yourself just fine.
Claire: It was the icy wind, whispering over my nipples. It makes them harden like acorns.
Geillis: So I can see. And you're pregnant. Congratulations.

Claire learned Geillis is not only is trouble, but most likely will be in it herself, having an affair with Dougal MacKenzie and summoning mother nature to free them from their current restraints so they can be together. It's surprising Claire doesn't want to believe in the power behind the summoning dance, considering from whence she came. 

There is still a part of Claire who seems reluctant to believe any of what she's going through is true. Perhaps that moment will come when someone else is in on her secret. 

It's such a small moment when Claire finds what the natives believe to be a changeling baby left for the fairies to take away, but also very powerful because it continues to show how much Claire needs to learn about the new world she's in and how she cannot minimize the beliefs of the people she's now living with.

When Jamie finds her cradling the dead baby, he is kind, but also wary. He knows what could happen if someone found them with the infant. They'd be marked in some way and it wouldn't be good. His explanation is something she should take to heart, but it doesn't quite sink in.

Claire: Don't tell me you believe in fairies and changelings and all that.
Jamie: It's not about what I believe. These people, they've have never been more than a day's walk from place where they were born. They know no more of the world than what Father Bain tells them to cook on a Sunday. The parents of that child, they might come for him in a bit and think it's the changeling that died and think of their own child, healthy and well living forever with the fairies.
Claire: Take me home.

It's a beautiful belief, really, and a way for a family to grieve quickly, knowing their lost little life is happy, although not with them. Not all old ways are barbaric.

Jamie's determination to have the price lifted from his head by using the Duke of Sandringham is cause for a little more meddling by Claire. Using the briefest tidbit of conversation she heard from Frank, she plunges forward and essentially threatens the Duke with exposure of his Jacobite leanings. Had she been wrong, it could have gone very badly and Jamie wouldn't have been able to save her as he had no knowledge of what she was doing.

Luckily for Claire, her first husband was a great historian and a good detective. He was right. The Duke had no desire to be outed as associated with Black Jack Randall. He did, however pull in Jamie in a quid pro quo situation and a duel which was more funny than perilous. 

The clan infighting after the duel scared the Duke into running off with Jamie's petition and from a legal perspective, Jamie should be free to return to Lallybroch. Not necessarily from a family perspective.

I have to admit shock that Dougal was married. I never even considered it. Granted, I never considered he was seeing Geillis, either. By the time Claire learned Dougal's wife had died, she was so overcome with what she saw of Geillis and the changeling baby that she didn't put it all together. 

But suddenly Geillis had killed her husband, Colum was punishing Dougal for his affair and sending Jamie away as a sort of corrective action for daring to think he would be leaving his Laird to return home to Lallybroch. So much for their happy ending.

Claire learned so much about the behavior of the locals during the course of a couple days and it still didn't stop her from going into protection mode with her erstwhile friend, Geillis, when she discovered Colum would likely be gunning for her, as well. 

Rounding back all the way to the beginning of the story, when I pointed out that Claire needed to stop underestimating those around her, Laoghaire managed to have Colum's men come for Geillis at just the time Claire was there to shoo Geillis away for her own protection from her murderous ways, and the two were arrested for witchcraft.

This should put the final nail in the coffin of Claire's friendship with Geillis, as well as bring Jamie home. It should also raise enough questions that Claire will be forced to come clean with Jamie about her past (future). Will that finally put an end to her meddling? Probably not. But at least she'll be free to be honest with Jamie and he'll not be blindsided when she gets in trouble.

I'm ready for the next chapter in the story. This was a very fast paced hour, but the thrust of it was that Claire needs to start giving credit to those around her. They are as much a force to be reckoned with as she is and to doubt that will only cause her more trouble in the long run.

Are you ready for Claire's secret to come out? The next emotional arc will likely come as a result of Claire sharing with that with Jamie and that promises to be amazing. 

If you've missed any of the extraordinary series so far, you can watch Outlander online to get caught up!

By the Pricking of My Thumbs Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Outlander Season 1 Episode 10 Quotes

Geillis: That baby is no human child, it's a changeling.
Claire: What the hell are you talking about?

Geillis: You can come out now, Claire. I thought I heard a rustling in the bushes. But then again, I always like to imagine someone's watching me. You could have joined me, you know, but you English are a prudish people. It's really quite nice in spite of the chill.
Yes, it looked like you were enjoying yourself just fine.
Claire: It was the icy wind, whispering over my nipples. It makes them harden like acorns.
Geillis: So I can see. And you're pregnant. Congratulations.