Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) is officially our favorite female character of the year. The new shows haven't even started to debut, but our girl has clinched the No. 1 spot in our hearts. Last week, she schooled Colum (Gary Lewis) on the subject of rape, and this week, she refused to be cowed by the woman-hating priest Father Bain. When Mrs. Fitz's nephew became ill after visiting a local spot rumored to be haunted by the devil, Claire insisted on treating the boy for poisoning even after Bain's exorcism nearly killed him. When she was proved right, he was all the more furious, and it was a big win for Claire in terms of getting in good with Colum.
Her whole goal is to return to the stones of Craigh na Dun and back to her husband's side, and to that end, she's willing to play the game and play it well, taking over as the healer for Clan MacKenzie. She's determined, resourceful, cool-headed, and though life has dealt Claire the craziest of all possible hands, she continues to do her best to hold on and thrive until she can make her escape.
While her love for Frank is still at the forefront of her mind, however, her feelings for Jamie (Sam Heughan) are growing by leaps and bounds.
This week, it's made perfectly clear that Jamie has his sights set on Claire. It's not just that he trusted her with the truth about his scars and his flogging. It's the way he actively seeks out her company, making excuses for her to check on his bandages. It's the way he ignores Laoghaire's adorable teenage crush on him to whisper a translation of the bard's songs into Claire's ear, how he'll help a boy that's been nailed to the pillory for the crime of stealing for no other reason than it pleases Claire to see the barbaric act brought to an end.
His feelings for Claire are so clear that he may as well have straight-up spoken them out loud, and even when he pulls Laoghaire into a corner for a kiss born of frustration and temptation, as soon as he catches sight of Claire, the moment is ruined.
"He doesn't need a lassie," one of Jamie's clansmen informs Claire. "He needs to marry a woman," and in spite of herself, as much as she'd like to pretend she only misses Frank, there's a part of her that understands exactly what's being implied to her.
The last bright spot of the episode was that we spent a little more time with Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), a fellow healer and wife of the town procurator with a wicked sense of mischief about her. She seems to understand that Claire's not exactly who she says she is, dropping little hints about magic, other times, and how strange it is that Claire would find it odd for a boy to be nailed to a pillory in punishment for stealing.
Geillis definitely knows more than she's saying — she's manipulative to boot and she's one of the most fun characters we've seen on the show yet. We're looking forward to seeing more of her almost as much as we're looking forward to the slow burn that is Jamie and Claire's relationship. (Stop with the slow burn and start with the igniting! Three episodes in and we're already impatient for more!)
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