There are some fantastic visuals in this episode, with Tim McInnerny’s entrance as the scheming priest one of my favourites – the way the light reflects off his cross before we can pick out details of his face, and the shots of him with the two women behind are very well composed. Sam Heughan’s arrival in the episode is similarly well done.
The focus of attention though is Caitriona Balfe and Lotte Verbeek as Claire and Geillis, both of whom give impassioned performances. The latter’s appeal at the end and her devil-may-care attitude as she reveals something that means two completely different things to elements of the audience are gripping. We all know that Claire is going to survive, and I can’t believe there’s anyone watching who thought for a second that she would take up Ned’s offer, and claim that she was bewitched – but I did seriously wonder what decision she would make when she went to the Stones once more, particularly in light of the information she gained from Geillis, and her previous interaction with Jamie.
Claire unburdening herself to Jamie also felt right at this point of the narrative: quite how he turned up in the nick of time no doubt will be explained later (was Dougal with him to rescue Geillis, I wonder?). Are they off to a happy ever after? In this series, that seems highly unlikely – as Jamie warns Claire!
Verdict: Some shocks and surprising decisions in another great hour. 9/10