LIVE Blog: Episode 2.03 - "Useful Occupations and Deceptions"

Written by: Ashley Crawley

Do you find yourself obsessively gabbing on about Outlander to your friends and family? Wishing your Saturday nights included a living room full of people with whom to watch, discuss, comment, cheers, jeers and well, experience alllllll the feels? Dinna fash, Obsessenach - you are not alone.

Good news - we can get new family and friends pour ourselves a dram and, through the magic of technology, enjoy it together!  Each Saturday at 9:00 p.m., we'll be LIVE blogging the episodes to bring you a two-screen experience into the world of Outlander.  Like the Outlander Cast podcast, it will be SPOILER FREE for non-book readers.

So get all your post-18th Century gadgets ready and settle in, because the best things in life should be shared with a buddy.  Hi, buddy.

Now let the show begin . . .

[9:00 pm] It's Saturday at 9:00 pm, do you know where your friends are? Heck yes, it's Outlander night, friends! Welcome back. Please be sure to comment below during the episode.

[9:03 pm] I applaud – again and again – the honestly paced manner in which they’ve decided to show Jamie coping in the aftermath of his trauma.  Even still, man do I miss Jamie and Claire’s infectious affection (say that five times fast).  Even just entering a room, you can feel how absent it is.

[9:04 pm] One better hope the staff Jared lined up is legitimately trustworthy, since Jamie is so loudly laying out his master plan in front of his valet. Is that what you’d call this guy? Let’s do, because I miss Downton Abbey and Bates. 

[9:05 pm] Claire’s pregnant!  Did you guys know she’s pregnant?!  I had forgotten.  Sarcasm, but can you blame me? They’re finally acknowledging it and it’s about damn time. Morning sickness mentions, his gently touching her belly and talking of the bairn. Please, don’t let this be an isolated moment since she’s HALFWAY THROUGH CARRYING THIS CHILD.   

[9:06 pm] Claire’s discontentment with her current station in life is palpable. For someone so ambitious and intelligent who has tackled two worlds worth of problems, she’s been reduced to an 18th Century version of Garden Club tea time and “honey do” lists at home. 

[9:07 pm] You guys, it finally hit me! Is it just me or does Louise bear a striking resemblance to Celine Dion? Of course the voice, but the porcelain face and sleek bone structure too.  Side note: I just was forced into seeing saw her at the Colosseum in Vegas last month the week after she returned to the stage after losing her beloved husband. I’d like to go ahead and extend a public apology to my friend for all the Murtagh grunting I did about having to go because it was the most incredible show. 

[9:08 pm] The pure innocence of this conversation is putting a smile on my face. And ordinarily, someone laughing at someone in Mary’s position for this naïve moment would be a total mean girls’ bitch move, but when it’s Louise – please, by all means.  It’s highly enjoyable.

[9:09 pm] This entire sequence revealing Mary Hawkins’ significance to the past and future worked for me.  The flashes definitely made it better than if they’d done a voice over exposition only.  Also, talk about a moral conflict! Knowing you have to essentially support this wicked union of a sadistic man with a meek virgin just so your first husband can have a chance to be born in the future.  Days of our Lives, anyone? 

[9:10 pm] Have you ever been more excited to finally see someone “get them some” than you are Murtagh right now?!  Okay good, because I was going to feel suuuuper awkward if it was just me.  I’m guessing this might cut the sting off his grouchy edge . . . but don’t lose too much of it, old pal. It's endearing.

[9:12 pm] Claire can claim it’s due to Black Jack Randall being alive, but her distaste for Murtagh’s sky rocket’s in flight afternoon delight is definitely due in part to her jealousy and sadness over the lack of intimacy in her own world right now – in the bedroom or otherwise. That prolonged stare and snapping moment said as much.  And while I'm glad she's let Murtagh in on the BJR news, I secretly wish she'd also confide in Murtagh about all the reasons she's not herself.

[9:14 pm] For those keeping score at home, Claire’s sex ed lesson count in this episode – 2.

[9:15 pm] “What is politics, but chess on a grand scale.” – so true, Jamie. Except chess is a gentlemen’s game and politics, well, um . . . (insert your own personal opinion here.)

[9:17 pm] Mid-episode PSA: Modern men take note – “I was out playing chess with my buds” will NOT get you off the hook for going to a strip club or brothel.  You’re welcome.

[9:18 pm] I love this mustard color cloak she’s rocking! She stands out amidst the sea of drab, which I know is the intent.  Job well done! Can we go ahead and give Terry Dresbach an Emmy already? Also, did the hair on anyone else’s neck stand up at Raymond and Hottie McHotterson the Comte cavorting in a dark alley?

[9:20 pm] Raymond’s suggestion of how Claire could find purpose again had such a 180-degree, effervescent effect on Claire's demeanor and I loved it. Her smile lit her up as brightly as that mustard yellow and oh how I’ve missed her smile. Bring on Healer Claire!

[9:22 pm] I guess this is as much as Claire can “dress down” to blend in.  Also, she’s apparently either the Manute Bol of the 18th Century, or this is the shortest nun in history.  Either way, holy height discrepancy.

[9:24 pm] Bouton!!! Mother Hildegard!!! I know this is a spoiler-free blog, but I am a book reader so sometimes it just bursts out and I can't control it. Squeeeeeeeeeeeee! Harry Potter's Frances de la Tour is so perfectly cast here.

[9:25 pm] Our guy friend, Zach, had a field day when "The Rent" found Claire tossing the fabric in urine and giddily singing along with a bunch of new pals.  This finger dip taste test will definitely do him in. Yep.

[9:27 pm] Wee Fergus!!! Previous squealing disclaimer about Bouton and Mother Hildegard applies here.

[9:28 pm] Oh friends, this is bad. Real baaaaad. How do I know? Well the scheming dialogue, sure, but it's Bear McCreary's ominous score for the obvious tip.

[9:31 pm] “The carriage ride home was full of delightful tales of blood and pus and gangrenous toenails,” - LOL, Murtagh … and yet he’s headed to find himself something to eat, proving once again why Murtagh is my spirit animal.

[9:32 pm] Fellow writer Anne has just called out something important we point out each week and it's time to get to it - Jamie Hair Watch.  This episode, we've got two options: a) either he's had a haircut and it's bearable. Or, b) there's a length consistency issue with them shooting these out of order because it's shorter than it was last week. Either way, I like it. Kilt rating for Jamie's hair - a solid 4.

[9:35 pm] I want Jamie and Claire to get along, I do . . . you know, happily ever after and all that jazz. But dammit Sam and Cait can rock a fight scene so realistically! I started this scene so peeved at Jamie’s selfishness until he kindly reminded us that her insistence on changing the course of history is why he’s up all night, hanging in brothels, meticulously plotting one lie after the next.  And now, I’m like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. 

[9:36 pm] Way to go, Suzette.  I feel a good godfather chat coming between Murtagh and Jamie and it's going to be gooooood.

[9:38 pm] Last week's nipple dress, meet this week's live ass painting. That is all.

[9:40 pm] I have a steadfast rule that the addition of an adorable, precocious child into the main cast spells "jump the shark" (ahem, I'm looking at you, nearly every late '80s family sitcom).  But, there's not been a new character I've been more excited to see on screen than wee Fergus, and his relationship with Jamie. And Romann Berrux is just precious.

[9:42 pm] Marital side note: is there anything better than your spouse giving something you say the 'ol "hey, not bad. That's a good idea"?  Jamie needed that validation in this moment and really, just overall.

[9:44 pm] New goal: I'd like to see Murtagh oddly flopped on a regal piece of furniture in every episode. He's definitely spent his fair share sleeping on hard ground and in stables, so I love that he's settling into some of the finer comforts of his new life.

[9:46 pm] Last week I decided that I needed a Pocket Murtagh for all my adventures. I'd like to add a Bouton to the wish list.

[9:48 pm] The hubs just blurted a super eloquent "f*&k you" at the screen for the pus spurting (he's got a weak stomach for medical stuff), followed by "is that Hellman's mayonnaise coming out of his leg?" And now I'M gagging.

[9:50 pm] I love that Jamie has resorted to coming by the hospital to ask for help because, well, he's asking for help. But, more so that he's now validating Claire's choice by seeing where and how and why she spends her time where she does.

[9:51 pm] Jamie in a kilt.  It just upped the kilt rating of this episode (which is already high) just to see vintage Jamie again.

[9:53 pm] Shout out to Mary and Blake for prefacing this episode by saying it'd bring sexy Bach. I'm still laughing at that one.  They're my choice for line of the night.

[9:55 pm] I love when these three put their heads together. It's so much fun to watch!  And now we've got this completely awkward toast to follow it up.  Side note: Pregnancy be damned, Claire's gonna get her drink on. 

[9:56 pm] Well, the lie of omission continues. It's gonna get our girl in trouble.  Murtagh's disapproving scowl said as much.

[10:00 pm] I'm sorry if I ever doubted your ability to get us there in 13 episodes, powers that be. Please love me still because sweet sexed Murtagh, I love you still.  My favorites - Claire finding her new confidante (hello 18th Century Mrs. Graham!), wee Fergus and his feet-up, chicken-leg eating entrance into the family, Bouton and his helpful lack of personal space, the debut of Murzette (brilliant, Anne) and the return of our favorite duo - while not syncing together - finding their "ness" as individuals. Dinna fash, they're going to get there as a couple!

Thanks again for joining this week's two-screen experience!
What'd you like best about this episode? 

Thanks for reading! Please be sure to catch up on all live blogs from Season 2:

Episode 2.01: "Through a Glass Darkly"
Episode 2.02: "Not in Scotland Anymore
Episode 2.04: "La Dame Blanche"
Episode 2.05: "Untimely Resurrection
Episode 2.06: "Best Laid Schemes..."
Episode 2.07: "Faith"
Episode 2.08: "The Fox's Lair"
Episode 2.09: "Je Suis Prest"
Episode 2.10: "Prestonpans
Episode 2.11: "Vengeance is Mine"
Episode 2.12 "The Hail Mary"
Episode 2.13 "Dragonfly in Amber"


  1. I am guessing Blake just jumped off the couch at the appearance of Fraaaaank!!!!!

    1. YESSSSS! I did chuckle thinking about that.

  2. I think Murtagh might be a "Boob Man"! #Murzette

  3. That CGI of the Notre Dame Cathedral in the distance is stunning. Have seen it a few times so far this season. LOVE!

  4. I love how Claire just ran home for a "quick change" to go to L'Hopital. Just another stunning outfit!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Bouton definitely steals that scene. Like FOR REALZ!

  7. No comments on Jamie's Hair this episode, Ashley? What is your Kilt Rating for the do?

    1. Good call. It was time to acknowledge Jamie Hair Watch for this episode.

  8. Seriously... that robe, Claire. Wish I could sew....

  9. Can I just say, the expansion of Murtagh's character is BRILLIANT. C'est BON! Dare I say even book purists would agree? There. I said it!

  10. OOOOH. Must acknowledge JAMMF back in a KILT! How I missed ye Kilted, Jamie!

    1. Ha! our wires crossed. I had the same thought!

  11. I love Happy Jamie -- no matter if it's short-lived. I don't blame Claire for not bursting his adorable little bubble.

    1. I totally agree! All I wanted Jamie to do all episode was kiss Claire! I don't blame her for wanting to wait for a better opportunity.

    2. Oh I totally agree. But you can just feel the backlash coming. And because these two can sell a fight, it's going to make for some fantastic television!

  12. Ah so well written Ashley,ep.3. was great,all scenes,loved Jamie's return being stronger & the kilt,just love,love Fergus!

    1. I adore Fergus! It's going to be so fun to watch his relationship with our core crew grow. Thanks for reading!

  13. Loved this episode - from the first minute when Jamie strides into the house and up the stairs - I just felt that his energy was back! Loved the way they introduced Fergus - missed the "sausage" scene from the book but this was great too. And Murtagh - Murzette lol! Fantastic enhancement of his character altogether - liked his conversation with Claire. Mother Hildegarde & Bouton - perfect- I was amazed at how the scene with Bouton sniffing out the infection was exactly like the book - that doggie is an amazing actor!! Loved the music decoding scene - having played Bach inventions myself it was extra fascinating for me. Bach not likely to endure ?? That was pure Diana G which I love so much! And the end when Jamie finally seems himself, toasts Claire for being there for him - how could she tell him about BJR?? I hope they finally get intimate in the next episode before their explosive fight inevitably happens! And last but not least - Jamie in a kilt!!! Perfection! Thanks Anne Kenney - love her writing.

    1. GREAT insight and feedback on this episode, Judy! I agree with you - if I were Claire, I would have held off on telling him too. It's still going to provide some delayed drama in a future episode, but it'll be a great scene to watch. Anne Kenney really outdid herself on this episode. I am SO excited for next week! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. About Claire drinking while pregnant she would done that even in the 1940s and wouldn't have thought it was bad. The warnings for pregnant women drinking don't start until the late 70's/early 80's.

    1. Oh I know! It's well documented. I toasted her while I said it. I love Claire and her 'isms.

    2. Awesome!!! I Love Claire and her 'isms too

  15. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

  16. Great blog post Ashley!

    Sorry I'm a little late to the party, but I just discovered the blog recently and couldn't resist!

    I am doing a rewatch yet again. (Oh God, a sign of addiction.. Shudders.)

    Quick question: There is a WTH moment, and maybe somebody can help me.

    Claire is constantly telling Jamie Black Jack Randall is dead.

    In Wentworth Prison she whispered the date of his death in Black Jack's ear.

    She knew it as fact because of Frank and his knowledge of when Black Jack died.

    How come she was so shocked to learn then that Black Jack was actually alive?

    It looks like a flaw in the writing or worse, a flaw in Claire's character that she didn't recall any of the facts that she so desperately needs to change the future.

    I have no idea why they even had that in there.

    It seemed like it was just thrown in.

    Maybe somebody could clarify that for me.

    I loved, loved, loved, the scene with Mary, Louise and Claire.

    Poor Mary, she's such a little flower at this point.

    I agree, Louise is delightful, but she is a bit of a "mean girl" to Mary.

    As I know that Mary is a more important character to Outlander--and the show said as much-- I really wish that the show would give her more screen time and characterization.

    Would it have killed them to do at least a Claire voice over to say how much she likes Mary and that there is something about her that she gravitates to?

    Mary seems overshadowed by the hilarious Louise (but still a minor character compared to Mary)

    With only 13 episodes, the show really has to focus on the characters more, I think.

    Just my two cents.

    Loved the way Claire snapped at Murtaugh for getting some with Suzette!

    It reminded me so much of her sexual frustration with Frank in the first episode.

    Poor Claire is definitely off her game without sex.

    Fun stuff!


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