“The Way Out” is episode three of season one of Outlander.
In the previous episode, “Castle Leoch”, Claire thought she was going to be able to finally return to Inverness, the standing stones and her own time, but the MacKenzie wouldn’t let her leave. He says that they need a healer, as their previous one died, and Claire has shown she is capable., The MacKenzie, Colum, also suspects she may be an English spy, so won’t be permitted to leave (wouldn’t it be better to get rid of a spy rather than keep her around where she can learn more?). Claire is apparently not a prisoner, but a guest; she just can’t leave. Which is kind of the definition of a prisoner.
This episode opens in the 20th century, with Claire and Frank at a train station. Frank had tried to get her out of danger, but Claire was having none of it, and is heading off on the train to depart for the front lines.
Back in the eighteenth century and Claire is being given a very cold pouring bath by Mrs. Fitzgibbons. The latter insists on helping Claire wash and dress, despite what the latter might wish, and she is also amazed by how unmarked Claire’s skin is. Claire decides to tell Mrs. Fitz the truth about what happened to her, and mentions the stone circle, saying she is from the future. This might not have been the best idea; Mrs. Fitz calls her a witch. However, Claire was just thinking about what would happen if she told the truth, rather than telling her it.
There’s a gathering of the MacKenzie men from across Scotland, and Mrs. Fitz is pleased that Claire is around to do the healing. Which Claire can do, but she needs to figure out how to translate 20th century methods into 18th century equipment and materials – and probably without being considered a witch. Some of the ‘medicinal’ ingredients that her predecessor had are a little… odd by 20th century standards. Claire believes that this will be a way of winning the trust of the MacKenzie clan.
The chambermaid of Colum has apparently lost one of her sons after he went up to the black kirk, and he was taken by a demon. Claire hears from the local ‘witch’ Geillis (more of a herbalist) that another boy, Tammas, Mrs. Fitz’s nephew, went up to the kirk with the dead boy and has apparently been taken by the same evil. So the priest plans to perform an exorcism on him, because Tammas is possessed. Claire thinks that he may be sick, not possessed, and that she may be able to help him. Despite being warned off by Geillis that getting involved will land her in trouble, Claire goes to see Tammas anyway.
Claire is sure that the boy is not possessed and, after being shocked by the rather brutal local justice, something she is not familiar with, takes matters into her own hands. As a result, she clashes with the local priest. Who is not a terribly nice man and really doesn’t like women. Fortunately, she has an ally in Mrs. Fitz. Unfortunately, she makes a fairly powerful enemy.
The relationship between Jamie and Claire is a bit odd currently; both seem to like each other. Geillis looks like she suspects that Claire is more than she seems, but not in the same way that the MacKenzie or his brother does.
More narrating by Claire and rather less Scots Gaelic. Claire gets a hint of what happened to her from an old folk tale – and how she may be able to get home.