‘Outlander’ episode 14 review: Who wants to marry Claire now?

“Outlander” is always a show stuffed full of surprises, isn’t it? We are not a book reader and have little knowledge of the events there, so if you were to tell us that at some point this season we would be seeing Claire Fraser sing a Scottish version of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” in an effort to find Jamie, we probably would have laughed directly in your face.

That is part of what made “The Search” a very entertaining episode, and perhaps the most fun one that we’ve seen on Starz to date. Sure, there were serious moments, but to us the most engaging part of it was watching Claire and Murtagh, who became her #2 after Jenny traveled back home to care for the children, traveled about in minstrel form to gather information. Eventually their efforts did bring about reward, though it was a long and difficult process that taught them much about life on the road.

Also, it brought Claire a very surprising new suitor in the form of Dougal, who really isn’t waiting long following Geillis Duncan’s supposed death to start getting into the dating game … or the marriage game, that is. He wants to marry Claire, knowing that he will do what he can in order to secure Lallybroch for himself. As it turns out, this is why he kept Jamie away from his home for so long, and also why he spread such talk about Jenny’s child belonging to Jack Randall. Dougal is hardly the fun uncle, right?

Claire did agree to marry him, proving that she is once again a shrewd diplomat and years ahead of her time in many ways. Her stipulations here were rather clear, at least in that she would do it after a rescue attempt for her husband was staged. She got his men on board, and the episode concluded with their departure.

There was no Jamie at all this episode, but we did not mind. While we do enjoy Sam Heughan very much, we also were thrilled to watch Claire strike out and show more of her moxie and independence. The romantic undercurrent was still there, but there was also some light and shade that we had not before discovered. Ultimately, “The Search” made for one of the series’ most enjoyable hours, even if Jamie’s still in the same place as when it started. Grade: B+.

What do you think about this episode, and are you surprised by Dougal’s intentions? Share with a comment.

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