Outlander recap: Claire learns more about slavery

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

We knew Aunt Jocasta and Claire would butt heads over slavery. Just how did that play out in Outlander Season 4, Episode 2.

Outlander Season 4, Episode 2 saw Jamie and Claire arrive at River Run. After initially getting over the size of the plantation, Claire found herself in the middle of a moral dilemma. Just what will force the Frasers to move on from the plantation and forge their own life together in the Colonies?

Here’s a breakdown of everything that happened throughout the episode. Just as a word of caution: there are spoilers from this point.

Claire and Jamie arrive at River Run

More from Recaps

It all starts with the arrival. Jocasta gets to meet her niece-in-law, Claire, and her great-nephew, Ian, and that starts the conversation of her eyesight. While she can see shapes and shadows, her sight is certainly not what it once was and Ulysses is there to help guide her around.

Claire very quickly realizes that slaves work in the plantation grounds. Of course, this brings up her views on slavery but the treatment of the people. Jocasta buys in bulk to ensure families can stay together as much as possible. She also tries to treat them as well as possible.

That doesn’t stop Claire from sharing her views, leading to the clip from the sneak peek. And when Jocasta makes it clear that Jamie is the heir to her plantation, Jamie looks at a way to free the slaves. It’s not going to be easy.

Outlander Season 4, Episode 2 sneak peek
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

This isn’t as simple as signing a piece of paper and offering freedom. A slave has to prove his or her worth, meaning they had to have done some great deed like save a life. Then it costs £100 per slave. With more than 150 slaves, that means more than £1,500.

Jamie and Claire don’t want to take over a plantation run by slaves. At least if they buy their own land, taking Governor Tryon’s deal, they could recruit settlers and find workers. They don’t need to buy slaves.

And this is where I just have to say that surely having masters who treat their slaves fairly would be better than just leaving them to whoever else could take over Jocasta’s plantation. I feel like their current actions are extremely short-sighted.

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Claire and Jamie make enemies

Once again, it doesn’t long for the Frasers to make some enemies in the area. The other plantation owners don’t like the Frasers’ views on slavery or their lack of knowledge of the laws of the land. However, it’s an incident in the plantation fields that tips everyone over the edge.

When a slave attacks a white worker and blood is shed, the law of the land says the slave has to die. By the time Claire and Jamie get there, the plantation worker has strung up the slave by a hook to his gut, taking the law into his own hands. While the worker will be punished, it doesn’t absolve the slave of his own actions.

Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels!
Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels! /

Claire attempts to save the slave’s life, but there’s nothing that can be done. The worker has told everyone what happened and an angry mob shows up wanting justice. Claire and Jamie can’t just ignore the law. Even Ulysses says that it would be wise to follow the law. Claire’s actions can’t save the slave and may make it worse for all the others.

Rather than allowing the mob to tear the slave apart, Claire gives him a tea to kill him — the same concoction she gave Colum to end his life. It’s a merciful killing, allowing the boy’s soul to be saved and giving the mob what they want — to hang the slave.

In a far more action-packed, interesting episode to the last, it’s clear that America definitely isn’t as beautiful or free as Claire dreamed. River Run is not a place for them.

Next. Outlander Season 4 premiere recap: America the Beautiful. dark

What did you think of Jocasta’s view on owning slaves? What did you think of Claire’s actions in the end? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander airs Sundays at 8/7c on STARZ.