Jamie is playing chess with Duverney, with Claire standing by his side. This distance however between the two to them is evident.Duverney asks if they have settled on a name, and it’s something they haven’t even begun to discuss yet, or something they agree on yet. Whilst Claire and Jamie are disagreeing, they stop short when faced with the steely glance of Comte St Germain. He ends their chess game and glares at Claire and Jamie throughout, looking even more suspicious when Claire has a glass of wine and falls horribly ill straightaway. Thankfully Claire and the baby are are alright, with Claire resting in bed back at home. Instead of poison however, Claire realises from the after taste that it was bitter cascara, which Claire knows is sold by Master Raymond, mentioned last week that he sells it when someone ask for poison, giving the effects of a poisoning but not the same damage. They suspect the Comte, but they have no proof to back up their accusation.
Needing a distraction, Jamie tells Claire about his meeting with Duverny. He proposes to Claire that they throw a dinner for the Duke, so he can meet Charles and also undercut him at the same time, preventing the Duke of Sandringham from donating funds to the rebellion. Claire’s lack of enthusiasm is noticed by Jamie though, and she finally admits to him that Jack Randall is still alive. Jamie doesn’t have the reaction she was expecting though. “This is wonderful news!” Jamie exclaims, now driven with the desire to get to kill Randall himself, “something to look forward to”. Thankfully he doesn’t plan to go back to Scotland but still ecstatic at the hope he has now.
Jamie’s desire to kill Jack doesn’t bode well for the future of Frank, and Claire goes and confronts Master Raymond who admits to selling bitter cascara to a servant, but he doesn’t know who. He takes Claire into a back room filled with artifacts and as Claire looks around in wonder, he comments that she’s “fascinated by things not of this time”. Noticing her troubled mood, Claire she’s worried about the future of her ‘friend’ Frank . Master Raymond promises answer through his bones, which reveal that Claire will see Frank again. We already know this information, but Claire is shocked. Before she leaves though, Master Raymond gives her a necklace that apparently changes color in the presence of poison. Useful after the incident at the beginning of the episode.
Also shoutout to Claire’s beautiful outfit. The costume department deserves all the awards.
Over at Louise’s, Claire receives news from Louise. She’s pregnant. Her and her husband haven’t slept together in months, and the child is her lover’s. She wants an abortion with help from Claire, though Claire warns the dangers of it, and how it could kill her. Claire suggests that she sleeps with her husband and convince him that the child is his. “Sleep with my husband? But my lover will be furious!” Louise exclaims, but her options are limited.
Later that evening, Jamie returns home into bed with Claire. Before anything happens though, Claire notices bite marks on his thighs. Jamie admits that a prostitute got ‘carried away’. Claire’s understandably furious, but Jamie claims nothing happens though he was badly tempted. For Jamie wanting to have sex again is a good thing, as Randall has haunted him for months and prevented him being intimate with Claire. He’s finally feeling like a man again. Claire’s still upset, feeling unwanted and completely alone in her pregnancy these months. They’ve barely discussed the baby, she tells Jamie. Jamie tries to explain to her what we went through at Wentworth, “naked, alone” “trying to hide under a blade of grass”. It’s a wonderfully acted scene the pain and the struggle Claire and Jamie have been dealing with coming to surface. Jamie sleeps elsewhere that night. But later on Claire enters his room, unrobes, telling him to “find me Jamie, find us”. Finally these two are together again and reconnected.
Whilst lying together afterwards, Jamie hears a noise from above, realising there’s someone on the roof. It only turns out to be Prince Charlie though, having escaped from his lover’s house when her husband arrived early, Jamie’s and Claire’s home being around the corner. Claire treats him for a bite, and after admitting it’s a monkey bite it’s obvious that Louise is his lover, and is pregnant with his child.
Claire and Jamie realise they can use this to their advantage, by having both Louie and Charles at the dinner for the Duke they can reveal the pregnancy and Charles will be broken and therefore not be someone the Duke will bet his money on. “Does this make us bad people?” Claire wonders, “We’re doing a bad thing for a good reason” Jamie reassures her. “Isn’t that what all bad people say?” Claire responds.
On the day of the dinner Claire along with Mary Hawkings, Murtaugh and Fergus go the hospital Claire volunteers at. Claire has promised to be back in time to greet guests, but work at the hospital and then a broken carriage means they are significantly delayed, so Claire and Mary start to walk home. Also happy to see the cute dog is still there.
Jamie greets guests and in unpleasant news it turns out the Duke has invited the Comte St Germain along. The night however is going to get much worse. While walking back, Claire and Mary are attacked, and Murtaugh is beaten down. In a violent scene, poor Mary is raped but before they can get to Claire they realise who she is and believing her to be a witch from rumours they flee the scene. The damage has been done though. Poor Mary has passed out from the shock. I’m unsure how to feel about this scene, Outlander has included rape before but unlike shows such as Game of Thrones it’s never been gratuitous, or a lazy plot device. The aftermath and the effects are included, shown through the trauma Jamie has been going through this season. The show has always dealt with it well. I know it’s in the books and yes historically accurate for violence of the time, and I assume a way to get Mary to marry Jack rather than her other older fiancee. I can only hope the aftermath is dealt with as well as Jamie’s so I will wait to see, and hope this isn’t just a lazy plot device that has been done too many times on television.
Returning to the party traumatised, Jamie and Claire don’t want to ruin their plans so they place Mary on a bed upstairs with Alex Randall watching her. Jamie assures Claire they can send everyone home, but Claire is determined to pull of their plan. “Breathe” she tells herself before heading down to join her guests for dinner. Louise informs her that she convinced her husband the child was his, telling him about a drunken night they supposedly slept together. Jamie brings the pregnancy up at dinner, and Charlie is obviously upset.
Upstairs Mary begins to wake,bt waking up in a dark room with Alex looming over her is enough for her to freak out, obviously traumatised. Alex’s attempts to calm her only worsen her, and she flees from the room. Alex has to chase after her and hold her down, and her screams attract the attention of the guests who enter the room to see Alex on top of her holding her down, Mary in her nightgown. Alex is mistaken to be attacking Mary. Among the guests are her uncle and fiancee who are furious and don’t listen to explanations from Jamie or Claire, and a fight breaks out. The episode ends with the Comte going to get the police involved.
This was an incredibly dramatic episode, and was crucial for Jamie and Claire’s relationship. It was great to see their reconciliation and developments in their plans, despite the events that occurred in the episodes. It was good to see them questioning the methods of their plan, such as using Louise’s affair to their advantage. Jamie and Claire aren’t bad people but it’s interesting the show is looking at how their determination to save Scotland is changing and shaping their actions for the worse. I’m intrigued to see if it’s really the Comte behind Claire’s poisoning and the attackers, as whilst he’s definitely capable, it almost seems too obvious, and too extreme.
Until next week,