Synopsis of 1×12: Old wounds are reopened between Jamie and his sister, Jenny, when he returns to his family home with Claire.
It’s hard for me to give a show that I enjoy so much a low rating, but in comparison to the explosive episodes preceding it, “Lallybroch” dials down the twists and turns and instead turns inwardly at the Fraser family.
After Claire decides to return with Jamie to Lallybroch, we are brought to the quaint estate that Jamie is the laird of, currently run by his sister Jenny and her husband Ian Murray. The episode was very much a Fraser family episode, with glimpses into their past that was darkened by the presence of Black Jack Randall.
Jamie starts off on the wrong foot when he’s reunited with his sister, who has presumed him dead since he went on the run, by accusing her son of being Randall’s bastard and her unborn child of being the product of some other dalliance. It’s interesting to see Jamie take a turn for the irrational in the episode seeing as we have only every witnessed him as the ally or the voice of reason.
Things go from bad to worse (as worse as it can get in a relatively light episode) when Jamie collects rent and instead of collecting all of the rent allows some people to slide on rent despite the dire conditions of the estate. He remains caustic with Jenny in a classic case of misunderstanding. Jenny assumes that he ran off, shirking responsibility after their father died (of a heart attack literally during Jamie’s legendary flogging) and blames him. Jamie avoids visiting his father’s grave due to guilt and regret.
Through the flashbacks, we find out vital parts of the Fraser’s history as well as secrets about Randall. Jenny tells Jamie about what happened after his first flogging, when Jamie was beaten senseless, and Jenny was taken upstairs to be raped by Randall. Unfortunately Randall couldn’t exactly perform, and after being mocked by Jenny, Randall left her and she managed to keep her virginity intact.
Meanwhile, Jamie tells Claire that before his flogging in front of the people, Randall offered him a reprieve if he gave his body over to him. Jamie said that he didn’t want his father to know that he had backed down and instead took the flogging, which the very sight of caused his father’s heartattack. Jamie blames himself for not taking Randall’s offer and by proxy killing his father.
And Jenny, seeing Jamie’s scars for herself, blames herself for mocking Randall and inciting his fury against Jamie. Despite the cold welcome between the siblings, they reconcile at their father’s grave, agreeing that Randall is to blame.
Despite the initial abrasive welcome Jenny gives Claire, the two eventually warm to one another and Claire bonds with her husband Ian, who keenly understands the experience of being married to a stubborn Fraser. It’s an enjoyable episode, seeing the domestic side of Jamie and what life could be like when everything has settled down for the two of them, and indeed it feels like things have settled until Claire awakens to a commotion and men holding Jamie at gunpoint.