Episode 109, “The Reckoning,” is aptly named. Throughout the episode we see many characters having to answer for and deal with the consequences of their behavior. It is one of my favorite episodes and is the beginning of the second half of Season 1. These are a few of our favorite scenes.
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan said this is one of their favorite scenes. In fact, it was one of Caitriona’s audition scenes.
The episode begins with Jamie’s rescue of Claire where the mid-season finale left us. Once Claire and the rescue party are safely away, Jamie confronts Claire. They engage in a fierce argument where each says things that will soon be regretted. The root of their anger is fear. Jamie is afraid of losing Claire and Claire is afraid for her own safety. When she was captured by the Red Coats, she was still shaken by the attack in the glade. No only had she been nearly raped, but she was within seconds of a second attempted rape and mutilation by Black Jack Randall.
It is difficult to argue against Jamie’s point that her capture wouldn’t have happened if she had stayed “put,” but neither of them sees the situation with a clear head. Harsh words are exchanged, but when Jamie explains his feelings of helplessness when he heard her screams and reminds her that he was practically unarmed when he rescued her, the situation begins to calm. He finally drives home his point when he tells her that she is “tearing his guts out.” Despite the fact that she attempts to return through the stones, she loves Jamie, and seeing his grief brings them back to a good place… for about five minutes.
This was a highly anticipated scene when the episode premiered, and fans wondered if Ron Moore would really take it there. He did. Although parts of the so-called “spanking” were funny to fans, Claire failed to see one bit of humor. A husband spanking a wife for disobedience is taboo in Claire’s time and ours.
However, I disagree that Jamie performed his “duty” because it was the societal norm of his time. When Jamie, Claire, and the Highlanders first arrived at the inn, Jamie doesn’t seem to have any intentions of exercising his duty. It isn’t until he notices, to his surprise, the highlanders ignoring Claire that he begins to consider it. He even tells her upstairs that if what she had done had hurt only him, he would never say more about it.
When Duncan points out that Claire doesn’t “understand” what she has caused, that is the game changer. Jamie knows he must take action. In my opinion, he doesn’t punish Claire because it is customary, but rather because the Highlanders expect it. That in itself I don’t believe would even be enough to persuade him to take action, but he knew if he didn’t do something he could never depend on their help again. Claire would be ostracized from the group.
Hail to the Chief
First, Colum summons the “three weasels” and holds them accountable for collecting funds for a Jacobite rising. We can’t fault Colum for being agry that Dougal and Ned did this without his prior knowledge or approval. He may have physical limitations, but Colum commands the room.
After dismissing Dougal and Ned, Colum shares his displeasure with Jamie on his marrying a sassenach. I especially like this scene for the show-only fans who haven’t read the books. This is the first time we realize that Dougal does in fact want Jamie to be his successor instead of Dougal, but he fears that having a sassenach wife will prevent the clan from supporting Jamie over Dougal. Subsequently, we learn that Colum’s judgment is sound when Jamie advises him on resolving the issues that threaten to induce a civil war within the clan. Jamie, our King of Men, is showing us great leadership potential.
Beauty and the Beast
This is one of my favorite scenes simply because of Jamie and Sam Heughan. He’s so unbelievably handsome. It is understandable that Laoghaire (aka Leghair) wants Jamie to be the one to take her virginity (assuming she still has it), but… NO. Back off sister. He’s off the market.
Jamie, being the King of Men, rejects her in as kindly a manner as can be done. However, in a Podcast, Ron Moore claimed he really wanted Jamie to actually be tempted enough by Laoghaire to kiss her. He said Maril argued with him about it and he finally acquiesced. We owe Maril a debt of gratitude.
You are my home now.
Let’s just be honest here. Who doesn’t love good make up sex? Jamie and Claire certainly do, but she made Jamie earn it. She withheld affection, but after seeing that Colum was capable of bending for the greater good, Jamie followed suit. And thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus, that he did. Jamie swears an oath to never lay a hand on her again, and Claire forgives and “has” him. (Who wouldn’t?) But when she has him where she truly wants him, she makes him a deal he can’t refuse. With a knife to his throat, Claire makes her own vow:
“Jamie, if you ever raise a hand to me again, James Fraser, I will cut your heart out and have it for breakfast. Do you understand me? Do you?”
“You have my word.”
Girl power in action.