Outlander Season 2 Episode 8 Review: The Fox’s Lair

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“After she’s done with you, I’ll send in the maid to sweep up your remains”

Welcome back home to Scotland, Outlander. Straight away those breathtaking  shots of the Scottish countryside made me realise how glad I was that Jamie and Claire were back home. Scotland is the true heart of the show, and this episode made it clear what lengths Jamie and Claire will go to to protect it. For Jamie and Claire, being back in Scotland is a blessing, the daily life of Lallybroch “worked like a tonic on our battered souls”. It’s great to see characters from last season, mainly Jenny and her husband Ian. Jenny  is a character that really grew on me last season and had great moments with Jamie and Claire, and it’s so good to see her character again.outlander07801

However all this peace cannot last, and after the time jump, the plot soon begins after the Frasers open their letters one morning. (I liked that Claire got a letter from Louise, she’s a character that I will miss now we’ve moved from France, and it’s nice to know they keep in touch). Jamie ‘s letter instantly diminishes the work Jamie and Claire put in place in France though, in a document from Prince Charles who not only has landed in Scotland, but has forged Jamie’s signature on a list of Jacobite supporters. This has left them traitors to the crown and open supporters of the rebellion, with no means to prevent it.

“It’s all coming to pass isn’t it? The Jacobite Rising, Culloden, the destruction of all of this” Claire says looking out at the fields of Scotland with Jamie. Jamie is still convinced they can change history however,as the only option they have left to save Scotland is by winning the rebellion. After the emotional turmoil both endured in France though,  Claire isn’t convinced they can. After a reminder of all the good she’s done in saving lives and helping others, they both decide to try and change the future by winning the rebellion.

Jamie receives instructions from Prince Charles to gain the support and men from his grandfather, Lord Lovat. Jamie and Jenny have only met him once from a distance and he holds a pretty bad reputation. Jamie needs his support to help fight the rebellion though, so they head off to meet him and make their case. We also find out that Jamie’s father was a bastard who slept with a kitchen maid, a fact that Jamie is worried to tell Claire, but she quickly assures him it doesn’t change her opinion of him one bit.outlander28401

In arguably the best scene of the episode, Claire wakes up in the middle of the night to find Jamie sitting downstairs with Jenny’s baby, and watches from the balcony above as Jamie lovingly whispers to the baby in Gaelic. It’s a heartbreaking reminded of what could have been, and Claire’s expression of love and sadness sums it all up. This would have been Jamie and Claire with their child, and it’s a sad yet beautifully well acted moment.

Jamie and Claire leave Lallybroch, and it’s sweet to see Fergus is there with them, who insists on going with Jamie and Claire, which Jamie allows and gets Murtagh to bring him with him.

Lovat plays both sides, has numerous affairs as well as three wives. Before we meet Lord Lovat, we are greeted with a surprise appearance from Colum, who is there to secure an alliance with Lovat and who also doesn’t support the rebellion. But the surprises aren’t over yet, as Laoghaire makes her return. She begs for forgiveness, and promises that she is changed to Claire down on her knees. Claire isn’t having any of it though, and rightfully rips into her for her role in the witch trail last season. I’m not fan of Laoghaire or the way she is written, and I can understand why fans were annoyed at her appearance, but it was great to see Claire get the anger of her chest. I haven’t read the books yet, but I am aware of her character’s role later, so i can understand why the writers would want to establish her as a character again, as well as at least attempt to humanise her, considering her future.

At dinner, Jamie tries to stir up anger against the British in an attempt to win over support from Lord Lovat and Colum, but doesn’t convince them considering France hasn’t backed them officially yet. Lovat’s son Simon supports Jamie though, though has a timid character and is quickly shot down by Lovat.

Jamie realizes Lovat wants something in return for Jacobite support, and after meeting with him finds out he wants Lallybroch in return for sending men. If not, he will rape Claire instead. Jamie keeps his cool though, telling him of Claire being La Dame Blanche and claiming “After she’s done with you, I’ll send in the maid to sweep up your remains.”. Lovat’s belief in the supernatural means he believes him.

They decide to try and get Simon to defy his father and support the rebellion, meaning Lovat would hopefully send troops in order to protect his heir. He needs his confidence built up though, and after noticing the way he looked at Laoghaire during dinner, Claire decides to use her in order to boost Simon’s confidence. Laoghaire agrees, with the promise of Claire’s forgiveness and the attempt of Jamie’s.

Laoghaire flirts with Simon, while Claire goes to the chapel nearby. An earlier encounter with Lovat’s seer, saw her being thrown out of his room in anger, and when Claire sees her again in the chapel she asks what spurned Lovat’s roughness. Turns out that the seer had a vision of an axe over Lovat’s head in his study, though was unclear as to what side was killing them. Meanwhile Laoghaire’s intense flirting eventually scares Simon off, and Claire and Jamie’s plan appears to be in ruins.

However Lovat has the contracts drawn up ready to be signed that give Lallybroch to Lovat in return for men, but just as Jamie is about to sign, Claire startles everyone by pretending to have a vision. She claims to see what the seer told Lovat, only this time the room was covered in white roses, the sign of the Jacobites. Furious, Lovat charges towards Claire but is stopped by Simon. Finally having gained confidence, Simon stands up to his father and voices his support for the rebellion, but Lovat still signs a neutrality agreement with Colum, not having any part in the rebellion. Jamie and Claire pack up to leave, but Claire gets Jamie to thank Laoghaire in person who is clearly still besotted with him.

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As they are on their way, they are approached by Lovat and his men who will join Simon. Lovat explains that he wins both ways, if the Jacobites succeed he can claim a great victory for his son, but if they fail he will disown his son and claim he had no part in it. So they ride on, hopeful in steering the rebellion the other way.

This episode in terms of plot wasn’t the greatest, and had a lot stuffed in but being back in Scotland and seeing old characters again meant it was still a great episode. The small character moments between Jamie and Claire and the others were the best part, and I’m intrigued to see what they do moving forward with the rebellion.

Until next week,

Sarah

 

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