Sometimes, even when you know what's coming, there is absolutely nothing that can spoil the beauty of the moment that lies before you.
That's exactly how Outlander Season 1 Episode 11 played out before our eyes. Anyone familiar with the books had an inkling (or knew exactly) what to expect, but with this cast, the scenery and the direction it was perfectly flawless in its delivery making for a stunning hour of television.
Claire and Geillis grew closer during their confinement and trial, and it no longer seemed that Geillis was interested only in herself. She was genuinely concerned with Claire's well-being and her offer to share their food and bodies for survival wasn't selfish.
Claire knew Dougal wasn't going to come for Geillis and Geillis knew they were marked for death. Neither of them exactly had good tidings but their common desire to stay alive and similar views on life kept their spirits up despite their tragic circumstances.
Claire: If you really are a witch, now would be the perfect time to use your powers.
Geillis: Aye, same to you my friend.
Despite both of them coming from the future, only Geillis truly grasped the reality of their situation. They were set up to fail. Even after Ned came in to defend them, bless him, as witnesses came forth they merely created stories to suit their position. That position was guilty and the town wanted to see two women burn, whether they were witches or not.
It was surprising to see the priest defile himself in such a way and we can only hope Laoghaire finds herself with a husband that's suitable to her disposition. Ned's best option was for one of the women to give themselves up.
I thought for sure Claire would offer herself since Geillis was with child. Then again, after Geillis said she was shocked Claire wasn't there for a reason and said she was going to a f*cking barbecue, I thought Claire would have to get the reference – Jamie had no idea what that word meant – how did Geillis? But the stress was obviously too much to put the pieces together.
Geillis: I think it is possible.
When everything changed, and Claire refused to cave and the two women stood together but fell apart, it was really beautiful, if horribly tragic to witness. These two women from another time, fully aware of what could become of them, but not willing to give in to the barbarism of the time to which they came by throwing each other to the wolves, so to speak. It may not last forever, but for then, they were truly friends and only they understood the magnitude of the secrets they carried.
And then it was time for Jamie to care for Claire once again. She had wounds that he was so very familiar and he treated her with such respect. I loved how he almost jokingly asked her whether she was a witch. He couldn't keep himself from asking, having seen the mark.
Claire: I know all of this because...because I am from the future. I was born on October the 20th in the year 1918, that's 200 years from now. Do you hear me? Do you hear me?!
Jamie: I hear ye.
Claire: You think I'm raving mad, don't you?
Jamie: No. No, I believe ye, Sassenach. So. I don't understand it. Not yet. But I trust you. I trust your word. Your heart. I trust there is a truth between us. So. Whatever you tell me. I will believe ye. Can you tell me more?
It wasn't time for her to kid around anymore and her entire story came tumbling out. When Jamie understands that Claire was trying to get back to her life and that's why she ran from him and ultimately was beaten by him as well, it was such a powerful moment. He almost didn't know how to process all of the information and it solidified his character (moral qualities, not television) as a truly great man.
It seemed impossible for Jamie to love Claire more than he already did, but suddenly it was so. When next they made love, it was different, and it was all about Claire. He wanted to pleasure her and watch her, truly soak her in.
When he said it was time to go home, it wasn't to Castle Leoch or Lallybroch that he had been speaking about so intensely. He had taken her to the stones so Claire could finally make her way back to her other life.
Did your heart swell inside your chest he pushed her away, only to grab her and pull her back to him because he wasn't ready and then tried to convince her there was nothing here for her and to go, but still ensured her he'd wait at camp so she got away safely?
As she sat there in front of the stone, fondling both of her rings, she was deciding who she loved and choosing a life. She walked toward the stone and ultimately back toward Jamie. Whatever she had with Frank was lost during the war and they hadn't found it by the time she fell through time. Her life is with Jamie now.
If and when she does fall through time again, the way she felt when she lost Frank will pale in comparison to losing Jamie. Now that she's made a decision not to go, you know she's going to go anyway. How do you brace yourself for it happening twice and losing an even greater love a second time? How many times will she stand before that rock, making that same fateful trip?
"The Devil's Mark" was incredible and I cannot wait to see Jamie's home in Outlander Season 1 Episode 12, "Lallybroch" next week. What did you think of this installment? Did the truth live up to your expectations?
If you've missed any of the excitement, you can watch Outlander online via TV Fanatic.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.