‘Outlander’ Recap: Claire Fraser’s Paris Attacker Is Revealed and a Villainous Fan Favorite Is Decapitated

Outlander recap
Caitriona Balfe in 'Outlander' Sony Pictures Television

This week's Outlander, though! Highlander hijinks reached an all-time WTF during the Saturday, June 18, episode of Starz's hit series, with Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) finding out who attacked her in Paris, and a villainous fan favorite getting beheaded in the show's most gruesome scene to date. Meanwhile, Claire was "rescued" by the redcoats, which means Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) had to do what he does best: Save his damsel in distress!

Claire Rolls With Some Enemy Homies

Despite Jamie trying his best to change history and attack London with the Jacobite Army, he's given orders to head back to Inverness with his comrades in kilts. Bummer, but the real problem? Said comrades get attacked by a bunch of English haters, and after a lengthy chase that involves poor Rupert (Grant O'Rourke) getting his eye shot out, they end up taking refuge in an empty church. Of course, it only takes about five minutes for the English to roll in, leaving Jamie with two choices: Stay and fight, or give himself up in exchange for the freedom of his friends. Ugh, worst options ever, so thank goodness Claire chimes in with an alternative plan: getting her hostage on.

Without asking Jamie, Claire yells for help and the English agree to let our highlander homies go in exchange for their British "hostage." So yeah, Claire and Jamie are separated, and no, we're not OK with it.

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Claire Comes Face-to-Face with Her (Almost) Rapist

Wondering how Jamie's going to find Claire? Enter a helpful homeless Jacobite, who Claire bumps into in a British-held town (love it when that happens!) and asks to inform Jamie that she's being taken to Belmont. You know, the giant estate that belongs to the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow)? Good, awkward times. Fortunately, the duke doesn't give up Claire's identity upon greeting her, and instead reveals that he's being kept prisoner because the English think he's loyal to the Jacobites. Claire and the duke get to work plotting their freedom and manage to have a note dispatched to Claire's homeless buddy, who gives it to Jamie and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix). 

Everything is going super until the duke's valet shows up and Claire recognizes the giant mark on his hand. The same mark that her almost rapist had on the night she and Mary Hawkins were attacked in Paris. Oh, no, he did not! After a supertense confrontation, Sandringham admits he worked with Claire's sworn nemesis, the Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber), to orchestrate an attack on Claire. And get this: The comte wanted Claire murdered, but (to quote the duke), "I managed to persuade Monsieur le Comte that simply having you raped was sufficient revenge for the loss of his goods." Um, not cool.

To make matters even worse, Sandringham tells Claire that — surprise! — he totally told the British troops about Jamie rescuing them, which means he and Claire will probably be hung. So yeah, the duke is the actual worst.

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Murtagh Casually Gets His Decapitation On

At this point, we should probably mention that Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) is living with Sandringham (a.k.a. her godfather), and Claire is thrilled to see her. Mary actually makes herself pretty useful by letting Claire out of her locked room and sneaking outside to inform Jamie's crew that they're entering a trap.

The bad news is that Claire isn't able to make an escape and ends up having an awkward nightcap with the duke on her way outside. These two have a supertense conversation with Mary and Sandringham's rapist valet until Jamie bursts in with Murtagh and it gets real. Claire tells Jamie that the duke orchestrated the Paris attack, and not only does Mary knife the valet (RIP, hater), Murtagh grabs an ax and straight up chops the duke's head off. Not to be dramatic, but it was Red Wedding levels of shocking. Like, dude is all kinds of dead.

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The episode ends with Murtagh laying Sandringham s severed head on the floor next to Claire and fulfilling his promise to lay vengeance at her feet, and let's just say our eyeballs are still traumatized.

Tell Us: Are you shocked that the duke tried to have Claire raped?

Outlander airs on Starz Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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