While the Outlander mid-season finale was all about Frank Randall (played by the incomparable Tobias Menzies) – deservedly so for both male leads – the Part 2 season premiere, Episode #109: THE RECKONING, is all about James Fraser (Sam Heughan).
This episode sets the tone perfectly for the remainder of the season. A level of complexity is added to the storyline, overshadowing Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) personal predicament. As we discover following Jamie throughout the halls of Castle Leoch and listening to his inner monologues, he leads a very complicated life – a conclusion Claire came to after knowing Jamie only a few days.
With the exception of the comical spanking scene, this episode is rather serious. It also feels dense in that several story elements are introduced or expanded upon – from Jamie’s rivalry with Randall, his relationship with Laoghaire, his role within the clan, and especially his marriage to Claire. It’s the first episode in the series I had to watch more than once to absorb it all.
It’s good to be back with a powerful new episode and a new Jamie’s Top 30 Looks, so let’s jump right in with . . .
#30: Jamie’s Taking One For The Team Face – It’s not like Jamie had any hope of using that part of his body tonight anyway . . .
#29: Jamie’s I Don’t Know What You Just Called Me But It Sounds Bad Face – So many times we’ve said, “Stop talking, Claire.” Not here. You go, girl!
#28: Jamie’s Marriage Sucks So Far Face – From sucky honeymoon straight into a miserable marriage . . .
#27: Jamie’s I’m Waiting For An Apology Face – Hmm. Looks like Jamie’s chin is giving Claire’s a little competition. Well, if there’s an online Best Chin Award somewhere, I’m sure the fans will start a campaign for it.
#26: Jamie’s I Haven’t Had A Bath In A Month Face – Umm . . . yeah. Who cares? No one’s kicking that face out of bed.
#25: Jamie’s Well, This Is Awkward Face – The only thing more awkward than hearing your uncle admit to doing his sister-in-law is running into your ex-girlfriend in a dark corridor.
#24: Jamie’s Well, This Is Even More Awkward Face – See.
#23: Jamie’s I Got As Good As I Gave Face – How did it feel sleeping on the floor, Jamie?
#22: Jamie’s F#@* You Dougal Face – You know I had to slip one in here.
#21: Jamie’s Laoghaire Is So Innocent Face – Give it a second . . .
#20: Jamie’s I’m Touching Laoghaire’s Breast Face – I said a second, not a whole damn minute . . .
#19: Jamie’s I Made A Vow And I’ll Not Break It Face – Yeah, that would sound more convincing, Jamie, if your hand wasn’t still on Laoghaire’s breast.
#18: Murtagh’s A Skelped Ass Never Did Anyone Any Permanent Damage Face – Hey, how’d this one get in here?
#17: Jamie’s It’ll Be The Last Thing You Ever See Face – Randall wants Jamie to take his shirt off. Come on! We all want Jamie to take his shirt off.
#16: Jamie’s I Can’t Believe I Have To Spank My Wife Face – We waited six months to find out what Jamie’s justification would be for spanking Claire. Turns out . . . he didn’t need any – other than several generations of wife-disciplining husbands.
#15: Jamie’s Why Did I Listen To Ned About The Firearms? Face – Why did you listen to Ned about your wedding night?
#14: Jamie’s Gotcha Face – This scene between Jamie and Randall is so deliciously wicked, I’m counting the seconds to their Wentworth showdown.
#13: Jamie’s What The F#@* Did I Do? Face – Jamie’s been home for ten lousy minutes and he’s already being blamed for the MacKenzie disunity and the Jacobite rebellion – not to mention that thing at Fort William and marrying a sassenach.
#12: Jamie’s She’s Not Going To Enjoy This But I Am Face – It occurs to me, Jamie is more of a virgin here than before his wedding night.
#11: Jamie’s Do I Want To Join You? Face – I have no idea what’s really being said here, but does it matter? Look at those cheekbones.
And here’s our first Top 10 of 2015:
#10: Jamie’s What’s Ghàidhlig for Consigliere? Face – A little pinch of Michael Corleone never hurts. After all, it’s not personal. It’s business. Don’t forget to take the cannoli.
#9: Jamie’s She’s Still Mad About My Spanking Her? Face – What’s it been? Six hours?
#8: Jamie’s If Ever My Hand Is Raised In Rebellion Face – Could the hilt of that dagger look any more like a penis? I don’t think so . . .
#7: Jamie’s Forgiven Face – This is my favorite moment in the entire episode. No joke.
#6: Jamie’s I Am A Man Face – No argument here.
#5: Jamie’s I Want You Face – Can you turn this way when you say that, Jamie? And feel free to tack my name on the end.
#4: Jamie’s Will You Have Me? Face – She’s half-naked, lad. What do you think?
#3: Jamie’s What’s F#@*ing? Face – Personally, I think it’s better to show you, Jamie, rather than tell you. Enforces proper usage of the word.
#2: Jamie’s I Am A Sadist Face – Sadist or not . . . how can anyone stay mad at a man with a face like this . . . and a body . . . and a voice?
#1: Claire’s Jamie Is Booping Me On The Nose Face – Aww. Jamie can boop me on the nose any day. Let’s face it . . . he can boop me anywhere he wants.
Outlander Episode #110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY FINGER premieres on Starz on Saturday, 11 April 2015 in the U.S.
If you missed the mid-season finale Jamie’s Top 30 Looks, you’ll find them here: Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW
My in-depth recap of this episode is also available: A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #109: THE RECKONING