Outlander S03 E08: ‘First Wife’


Because I was on vacation last week, I wasn’t able to recap Outlander episode seven, “Crème de Menthe.” So, this is what you missed in a nutshell. (Note: There are spoilers for both episode seven “Crème de Menthe” and episode eight “First Wife”). Remember the guy who attacked Claire in her room? She killed him, despite her best efforts to save his life. He was sent by Sir Percival, who shows up at Madame Jeanne’s brothel in a fruitless search for Jamie’s illegal liquor. Ian Murray is looking for his son young Ian, and Jamie denies having seen him, even though his nephew has been working for him in his smuggling operation. There’s a fire at the print shop, after another of Sir Percival’s men searches it and finds pamphlets that could get Jamie into big trouble. We were introduced to brother and sister Archie and Margaret Campbell. Claire believes that Margaret suffers from a mental disorder. Will they pop up in a future episode? And what was the biggest revelation in “Crème de Menthe”? Jamie is married to another woman, and that’s sure to upset Claire. Caught up now? Okay, now on to episode eight, “First Wife,” after the jump.

Claire and Jamie return to Lallybroch with young Ian in tow. Jamie’s sister Jenny doesn’t welcome Claire with open arms, and no matter how she tries to explain her twenty year absence, Jenny is wary and standoffish toward her long lost sister-in-law. Although they are relieved to see their boy, neither Jenny nor her husband Ian are happy that their son was with his Uncle Jamie and they didn’t know about it. It’s even worse that he was involved in Jamie’s liquor operation. Jamie apologizes to Ian, admitting that he should have told him that he knew where his son was.

Jenny tells Jamie it was wrong to take another wife, but Jamie tells her he thought Claire was dead, or he wouldn’t have done it otherwise. He spins a tale to Jenny detailing Claire’s whereabouts for twenty years, but she doesn’t believe his story, either. Jenny has a feeling that there is something they are not telling her about Claire, but Jamie did not want Claire to tell her about the time travel.

Jamie suggests making a home where they are, but Claire isn’t sure since Jenny doesn’t seem happy to have Claire back in the family. Jamie recounts the story of Duncan Kerr and looking for treasure. He thought he would find Claire with the treasure, as the white witch was supposed to be guarding it, but he only found a chest filled with coins and gems. He took a sapphire, but left the treasure chest on the island.

Just as Jamie is about to break the news of his other wife to Claire, his daughter Joan enters the room followed by her sister and mother, Laoghaire. Laoghaire makes it crystal clear that Claire’s presence is not welcome. As it turns out, Jenny told her daughter to tell Laoghaire that Claire returned, which is why she was there.


Claire is in shock, and Jamie runs after Joan to tell her about Claire, explaining that she is his first wife that has returned. He has a bond with her that he never shared with Laoghaire.

Jamie returns to Claire, who is hastily packing her things. He tells her that he doesn’t live with Laoghaire and the children. Jamie is also not the father of the two girls. The truth is that Laoghaire was a widow with two daughters when he married her.

Later, Jenny and Claire again have words over Claire’s absence, and Claire tells her that she had another husband and that Jamie knows about it. When her other husband died, she planned to go to Jamie’s grave, but instead found that he was still alive. Jenny still distrusts Claire, who only wants a second chance.

Later, as Jamie tells Claire that she was his only love, Laoghaire appears and shoots Jamie, injuring him. Claire tends to his wounds although she is still angry with him. He’s just recovering when Claire asks for the story of him and Laoghaire.

Jamie tells her that he was lonely at Lallybroch. He wanted to be a husband and father, and Laoghaire and her two daughters could fulfill that wish. It was Jenny who encouraged their union, but the marriage fell apart and Jamie moved out.

Fortunately, Attorney Ned Gowan has good news for Jamie and Claire. Now that Jamie’s first wife has resurfaced, Jamie’s marriage to Laoghaire is invalid. However, Laoghaire wants substantial monetary support from Jamie. In order to pay her, Jamie plans to take the treasure he left on the island to France to exchange it for coin that Laoghaire can use for expenses. Jenny and Ian agree to allow young Ian to go to France with Jamie, and it is the young man who must swim to recover the treasure from the island, as his uncle is still incapacitated by his injury. While the couple are alone on the cliff watching Ian’s journey, Claire tells Jamie that she isn’t sure they belong together. What? To make the tense situation even worse, young Ian gets into more trouble.


This was another great episode. I’m pulling for Jamie and Claire to be the happy, loving couple we all know they can be. I felt so sorry for Laoghaire’s girls. Also, will Jenny and Ian ever trust Jamie and Claire again with their kids? As always, I’m looking forward to the next installment of the series.


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