After last week’s incredible episode, it would have taken a lot to beat it this week but Outlander still gave a heart wrenching and emotional episode.
The episode begins with Murtagh informing Jamie that Randall has been released from prison, and he eagerly starts planning the duel with Jamie. When Jamie tells him the duel is off , he’s clearly annoyed but doesn’t press the reason why.
Claire meanwhile is volunteering at the hospital, and hears an overly detailed explanation from the royal executioner about his methods to kill one of the patients who has committed a crime. However he soon makes it clear that the King is hunting down all those who practice dark magic, and hints to Claire to warn their friend Master Raymond.
Claire soon rushes off and warns Master Raymond that he is in serious danger, who tells Claire she’s put herself at risk, but agrees to flee the city. I doubt we’ve seen the last of him yet though.
We see Claire and Jamie in a happier place, Jamie massaging Claire’s feet and the two seeming a lot more content with each other. Jamie tells Claire that he didn’t agree to spare Jack Randall’s life because of Frank, but in case their plans to prevent the rebellion fail. Jamie wants Claire and the baby to be able to go back to someone who loves her, in case the worst happens at Culloden. Claire promises to go back to Frank in case this happens. I admit I was quite surprised to see they were already seeming happy around each other after last week’s dramatic ending. It seemed a little odd to have their relationship mended so quickly, after all the betrayal and hurt that was between them last week. I understand why Jamie’s reasons for keeping Randall alive for Claire’s back up plan with Frank may have lessened the anger, but I still feel it was too rushed. It would have been interesting to see how they managed to recover and repair their relationship after last week, but I guess the writers thought the ending would be even more dramatic having Claire and Jamie just back on good terms again.
Claire tests out whether she can mimic the symptoms of smallpox to destroy the Comte’s shipment on Jamie, which proves to work.Murtagh thinks that killing Charlie would be easier, but Claire wisely notes that it would only cause Charlie to become a martyr in Scotland.”You’re in for a pleasant evening” Murtagh mutters, who again has the best lines and expressions in this episode. Murtagh isn’t impressed, and Claire and Jamie both agree that they have to tell him the truth about their plans.
Jamie heads out to the courtyard with Claire anxiously watching at the window. Jamie explains to Murtagh about everything, and Murtagh instantly accepts it, saying “If you believe your wife to be a witch, then who am I to contradict you?”. I love how he trusts Jamie so much he doesn’t even question the fact that Claire travelled through time. However Jamie doesn’t get away that easily though, landing a punch and claiming “You shoulda trusted me with that knowledge in the beginning!
Jamie and a loyal Fergus go off to plant the fake smallpox potion at the shipment, Fergus sneaking in and painting the men’s coats with the concoction and making sure to leave bottles with the stuff in that they will drink. leaving Claire and Murtagh. Murtagh and Claire discuss the future, but Claire assures Murtagh that she knows nothing regarding the future of him or Jamie, or anyone they know. Jamie and Fergus rush back home, not staying to see the results of their plan.
Jamie is then summoned to see Prince Charlie and a bitter Comte St Germain, who informs Jamie that a mysterious illness has befallen the crew. Jamie is forced to agree to move the wine shipment into his warehouse, the Comte determined to go along and make sure everything goes according to plan, meaning Jamie and Claire need another plan. (Also there should be a drinking game for the amount of times Charles has said “mark me” this season).
Claire and Jamie have to decide on another plan, Murtagh dressing in disguise with hired bandits to capture the shipment. Murtagh’s expressions during this scene are everything. “It feels needlessly risky. Like we haven’t thought it through enough” Claire ponders, but there isn’t time for an alternative plan.
Before we see this plan set in motion, we see an adorable scene between Claire and Jamie, Jamie feeling the baby kick, talking to it and expressing how he can’t wait to meet it. After the end of the episode this scene was heart breaking to watch the second time around.
The plan is set in motion, with Murtagh and the rest of the bandits attacking Jamie and the Comte and their shipment. The Comte refuses to stand down though, leading to a tense moment with Murtagh and the Comte pointing their guns at each other. Jamie manages to salvage their plan though, pushing the Comte to the ground to appear to save his life, whilst leaping to ‘attack’ Murtagh to save both their lives. Murtagh has to knock Jamie out for the effect though.
We then switch to a nice juxtaposition from the dramatic scene with Claire, Louise and other ladies sitting down giggling about people’s affairs and other gossip. Claire isn’t amused however and instead questions the ladies on whether the poverty in Paris distresses them “Surely we must do something to change the situation”. The women agree, but only as far as to get their husbands to petition, or remove people to other parts of the city. Not being able to stand it, Claire apologizes and leaves to go to the hospital, a place where she knows she can be of use. However after a long night of volunteering, Mother Hildegarde thankfully insists Claire spend the night at the hospital as she’s clearly exhausted. When getting Claire into bed though Mother Hildegarde notices blood on Claire’s legs, but quickly assures her it’s normal at this stage of her pregnancy. Also I’m glad we got a few seconds of seeing Fergus play with that cute dog.
Meanwhile Jamie returns home and misses seeing Claire but before he can relax he is urgently called to the brothel to help out Prince Charlie, and Fergus tags along as well. When they get there, Fergus is instructed to stay where he is, but he can’t help wandering off and looking for stuff to pickpocket in someone’s room. The camera slowly pans to a red military jacket hung up in the room, and it doesn’t take long for complete dread and horror to hit you. A shadow enters the room, and the door closes. It’s a well shot scene that doesn’t have to show a lot to make the audience understand, and the looming presence of Randall cleverly hangs over the scene. I’m glad no more was shown, and while it’s not made explicitly clear what Randall did to Fergus, we didn’t need to see it, just ending the scene there was enough to be incredibly terrifying and dramatic, without overdoing it.
Claire returns home in the morning and it’s obvious from the faces of the servants that shit has gone down. Claire finds out that Jamie is duelling Randall, and is devastated to hear of this betrayal. She instantly races off to try and stop it, clutching her stomach in pain on the way. She arrives too late though, as Jamie and Randall are already duelling. Stopping them now would only endanger Jamie, so Claire can only watch from a distance.However the pain in her stomach soon overwhelms her, and more blood begins to pour out. As Claire screams in agony and falls to the floor, the authorities arrive to arrest Jamie and Randall, just as Jamie stabs Randall in the groin. Jamie soon sees Claire and screams out her name, but all Claire can do is lie in pain and watch the authorities take him away. It’s a heartbreaking end to the episode, Outlander seems determined on crushing my heart and letting me endure all of this pain.
Next week can’t come soon enough, as how are Claire and Jamie going to get out of this? Poor Claire has to recover from her miscarriage alone, and deal with Jamie being imprisoned. I hope we see Murtagh again soon after he’s finished selling the wine shipment in Portugal.
Until next week,