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Outlander Season Two Episode 12 Review: The Hail Mary

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Despite knowing already that Jamie and Claire fail in their plan to prevent the Battle of Culloden, it was still incredibly frustrating to watch them not succeed in their attempts to change history.  I still throughout that maybe, Jamie could convince Charles not to battle at Culloden and their last ditch attempts to stop it would work. Watching it you knew that the attack on the birthday party wasn’t going to go as planned, but I still convinced myself that they could change history somehow.

Jamie’s frustration echoes that, and how this season he and Claire have been rebuked every turn almost in their attempts to shape the future. Now there’s certainly no chance of stopping it, and Jamie and Claire are heading to what they’ve always feared, helpless to stop it.

I was glad we got to see Alex again, even if it was in poorer circumstances. It’s sad to know that Alex’s illness is now causing his immediate death, but there’s some comfort in knowing that he and Mary got to share some happiness together, even though it was short-lived. Especially considering last time we saw him Claire had dashed his hopes of a future with Mary.

Mary appeared to have matured significantly since the last episode, I’m not sure how much time has supposed to have passed since then. Her relationship with Alex as well as her pregnancy have caused her to grow up, and her frostiness when she meets Claire again is expected.  The devotion she has to Alex was incredibly sad to see, but thank god her marriage to Jack Randall will be short-lived. Not to mention it’s a huge relief knowing that the child recovered from her marriage with Jack is actually Alex’s.

It was a shock seeing Randall again this episode. Tobias Menzies is beyond amazing in this role though. He’s the most horrible character to watch on-screen, and yet you can’t keep your eyes off him when he appears. It was interesting to see a Randall at the mercy of Claire this week, rather than the other way round. Randall’s vulnerability this week was odd, I wasn’t convinced at first that his affection for his brother was genuine. It’s hard to wonder how Jack treated Alex so kindly compared to everyone else in his life. It adds some further layers to this twisted character, and it’s something to know he can feel love and affection towards someone else. It felt odd watching him be nice, especially in his pledge to look after Mary and her child. But the Randall we know and hate was still there, his scene with Claire serving as a strong reminded of how sick this character is.  Even when he needs help he’s still manages to unnerve everyone. His small, small good side is till tainted by his terror, and his beating of Alex after his death was awful.

Murtagh again continues to be the most lovable character on the show, and his offer to marry Mary was so sweet. Never change Murtagh.

The scene with Dougal and Column was incredibly sad, and Dougal’s face when he realises Column has passed away while he was speaking was heartbreaking.

Until next week,

Sarah

Outlander Season Two Episode 11 Review: Vengeance is Mine

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This week didn’t hit the same highs as the past few episodes, but had important character moments and developments which I greatly appreciated. Plot wise it didn’t move the story forward in any significant way regarding the Battle of Culloden, but overall still managed to be interesting and important with the characters.

  • An episode where Prince Charles didn’t say ‘Mark me’ has to be noted. I’m glad there was less of him this week, though I do like how the writers showed his fierce determination in continuing moving forward in the rebellion, and not wanting to follow his generals advice in going back to Culloden. I’m not a massive fan of his character, but appreciate the dedication he has in his cause and in pursuing it.

 

  • I admit I had forgotten about the Duke of Sandringham, but it didn’t take long to remember how much I hated him. I wondered if we were ever going to find out about the attack on Claire and Mary, and it was a good and shocking reveal that the Duke was behind it. The fact that he expected Claire to be grateful for only having his men order to rape rather than kill her really only reinforced what a detestable character he was. I like how the reveal was done with Claire noticing the mark on the servant’s hand, as they focused on that in earlier episodes this season.

 

  • You may hate the Duke but he had the best comedic moments in this episode. The opening episode title with the wig falling over was brilliant. I loved how the first thing he did when Jamie entered to save Claire was to put his wig back on, he couldn’t bear to face Jamie without looking presentable. It was even better because he didn’t put it on properly. 193.jpg

 

  • Munro was a character I had completely forgotten about, especially since it’s been so long since we’ve seen him. Still, it was nice to be reminded of his character again, especially in his loyalty to Jamie and in helping Claire by receiving her messages and giving them to Jamie.

 

  • Angus’s death last week hasn’t been forgotten, poor Rupert consistently bringing him up. It’s nice to know he’s still being remembered so often, even after time had passed after the battle.  Rupert can’t get a break though, thankfully Claire managed to save him after he was shot in the eye by a British soldier.

 

  • Murtagh finally being able to avenge Claire and Mary was great, as you could tell his failure to prevent the attack had haunted Murtagh, and for him to be able to honour them by killing the Duke and bringing his head to Mary and Claire was a powerful moment. Murtagh never disappoints. Case in point, his best lines from the episode ““Tell me, does it ever occur to you that taking Claire to wife might not have been the wisest thing you ever did?” and “I kept my word, I lay your vengeance at your feet.”

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  • I was so happy to see Mary again, when Jamie and Claire left Paris I was sad that we didn’t see her before they left, that one scene after Claire visits her after her rape didn’t seem like a fitting farewell to the character. After another surprise was revealed that she was the Duke’s god-daughter, it made the Duke working together with the Comte for the attack on them so so much worse, especially his lack of remorse. Mary’s inner strength was on display this episode, and though her initial hesitance at going to the front to warn Munro was frustrating, her gaining the courage and eventually stabbing her rapist was an important moment. Mary deserved to exact her revenge more than anyone, and having her kill her attacker was the best part of the episode for me. I hope we see her next week too.

 

  • I was loving Claire in this episode, especially considering she wasn’t prominently featured in last week’s episode. Her feistiness and showing  she had just as much dedication as Jamie to protecting their men was a fantastic scene. ” Am I not Lady Broch Tuarach? Are these not my men too?” is probably my favorite line of the episode.

 

Until next week,

Sarah

 

 

Outlander Season Two Episode 10 Review: Prestonpans

 

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If I was a mess this week watching Outlander, god knows how I’m going to survive the finale. Knowing the rebellion is going to fail is going to make watching everyone head off for war incredibly painful.

  • Philip John directed this week’s and last week’s episode, and he’s done a brilliant job. I hope he directs more episodes in the future. The battle sequence wasn’t like other battle sequences I had seen before, and the battle being clouded with fog heightened the uncertainty the characters and the audience were feeling in the moment. The opening shot of the single soldier was fantastic. The slow motion and the sound effects were used brilliantly, and created the perfect tense moments.

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  •  Fergus had some of the most heartbreaking scenes this episode, having to watch the men go off to battle while he was left to tend the fires with Claire wasn’t what he thought he should be doing in war, and he sneaks off to join the battle. Along with the shots of Battle , the moments of Fergus clutching his knife in terror as what chaos surround him was a powerful scene, and horrible to see the shock and pain Fergus gets from seeing the reality of war.

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  • I like how the audience felt sympathy for both sides, the sights of the massacred British soldiers demonstrated the horrors of war that both sides had to endure. Dougal’s murder of the British soldier we met last season trying to help Claire was unexpected and sad to watch. Of course the Scottish and the characters have every reason to hate the British army, but outside of the brutality  we’ve seen committed from characters like Randall, this episode showed that many were just men serving their country as they were taught. Jamie’s pissing contest with the British soldier showed not only a much-needed comedic moment, but also a nice human moment between two men outside of their obligations to war just having a laugh together.

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  • Noticeably a lack of Claire this episode, but her scenes were still important and affecting. It showed the pains the women endured, simply having to wait for the men to return, hoping their loved ones would be alright, never knowing how badly wounded the soldiers they treated would be. Claire’s speech to try to keep them busy and focused was a nice moment, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that later this season.Sam Heughan was incredible this week, Jamie’s role as a leader in war fits the character perfectly and it’s great to see Jamie in a better place in a role he suits so well.
  • “You’ve won a battle but you will never win this war”- couldn’t help but be reminded of a similar  line Robb Stark gives in Season 3 of Game of Thrones, “I’ve won every battle but I’m losing this war”.

 

  • Prince Charles’s weaknesses are truly on display this week, not that we didn’t know already that he wasn’t a strong leader to command such a rebellion, but his inability to make choices and understand the Scottish men around him highlight how doomed this rebellion was. I’ve said it before, but there should be a drinking game for whenever he says ‘Mark me’.
  • The second Claire said goodbye to Angus and Rupert you knew one of the them was going to die, but having Rupert appear to be mortally wounded but then having Angus suddenly die was so unexpected and heartbreaking to watch. Angus was a loved character on the show, and his return last week was so joyful. I’m disappointed we didn’t get to spend more time with the character this season, but it’s not surprising in a big battle episode that the writers wanted to kill a character off. Even with only 50 losses for the Scottish in the battle, it demonstrates how every life lost has devastating emotional consequences. As Claire holds Angus as he dies, it brings the story back to the first line of the episode. with Claire thinking

“How many men had I seen killed in war?”

“Far, far too many”.

Until next week,

Sarah

 

Outlander Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Je Suis Prest

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“I don’t know if I’m ready to go to war again”

Despite not being as plot heavy as last week, this episode surpasses last week with the strong character moments and dealing with the practical and emotional impacts of war.

The episode opens with Claire and Jamie taking their men forward to join the rebellion, only to discover men deserting on the way. Simon has left to urge the deserters to return, by promising them land after the rebellion. Claire and Jamie stop with other members of the rebellion, meeting up with Murtagh and Fergus, who joyfully hugs Claire when he sees they’ve returned. Angus and Rupert have returned, and in a needed bit of comic relief reveal the fate of Willie, and just as Claire and Jamie get worried about what’s happened to him we only discover that “The lad.. He went and got himself married” Angus and Rupert somberly note. It’s great to see these two again, and all that characters from last season reuniting and being together again.

 

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That’s not the last reunion though, as Dougal makes his return, to a happy Jamie and a pensive Claire. “It wouldn’t be Scotland without you Dougal”, Claire tells him. Dougal, a proud Jacobite supporter, is thrilled to have Jamie supporting the cause, but Clan Mackenzie has only brought in three members for the rebellion.

Dougal seems more naive in his faith of the men they’ve brought, but Jamie knows what the Scottish are up against, so he chooses to stay and train the men before they join Prince Charlie’s army. Murtagh begins with teaching the men drills and how to march properly, his yelling providing some great lines, such as “What are you laughing at bastard!”.

As Claire observes all the training around her though she is caught off guard by flashbacks of her time in WWII, watching men train and die. Before we can look deeper into these flashbacks we get a training montage of the day, the men improving and practicing with weapons, and physical training, everyone there playing a part in preparations for war. It’s nice that they showed how everyone was affected by war, and everyone had their own roles and duties even outside of the actual fighting. After a successful day, Dougal is eager to join Prince Charlie but is rebuked  by Jamie and Murtagh who know that the men still have a long way to go.

Another flashback from Claire after seeing Angus look in disgust at his food, shows her meeting two American soldiers, and commenting on the poor state of the food. Later on with her head in her hands, Jamie sees she’s not herself but Claire insists that she’s fine.

The next of training shows the men half heartedly doing the drills, lacking motivation. Jamie quickly steps in, acknowledging how silly something such as marching may seem to them in regards to the battle itself. “Then I went to France, became a soldier. Then I saw what a modern well trained army can do.” Jamie proceeds to highlight the harsh realities of battle against the British, finishing with “It takes more than courage to beat an army like that. It takes a soldier.” The men are finally motivated and cheer, but Jamie’s victory is soon cut short when Douglas, Angus and Rupert suddenly charge towards them, sword in hand, screaming and wild.

“That’s how you bring down redcoats” Dougal proudly exclaims, but Jamie isn’t happy and this contradiction of what he’s just tried to teach the men causes him to pull Dougal aside. Jamie reasserts his authority as a leader, but Dougal laughs, asking if Jamie seriously thinks he knows more about fighting than him, to which Jamie bluntly replies that he does. Dougal is taken aback, but accepts Jamie as his superior. This lasts for about 5 seconds, and Dougal goes into to see Claire and manipulate her into thinking Jamie needs help but is too proud to accept it. Dougal reminds her of her promise to marry him if Jamie died, but Claire sees right through this bullshit though. “You suffer from narcissism” Claire harshly declares, before delivering the best line of the episode “Fuck yourself”. Claire Fraser is my hero.

Another training montage follows, this time with more physical fighting training, Dougal and everyone teaching the men the skills they need for war. Jamie and Murtagh then lead them men in loading and shooting guns, both commenting on Claire’s lack of spirit. Later on at dinner, Claire gets furious at Angus for treating his feet badly, putting him at high risk of trench foot. We then see another flashback of Claire’s time in WWII, Claire giving a speech to soldiers, dealing with the same lack of interest and care in her warnings. Furious, Claire storms out. It’s something I hadn’t thought about a lot, the fact that Claire had lived through another war and had seen and endured horrible things, watching men die. It’s understandable that in the preparation for another one these memories would come back to haunt her, and I like that the writers chose to explore this part of Claire’s life, making t well directing and paralleled with her current situation.

Later that night, then are alarmed to see men entering the camp, but it’s only Dougal with some new recruits. Jamie however, isn’t impressed. Then men on watch shouldn’t have let all the men through so easily, and Jamie orders them brought to him. Jamie’s angry at Dougal for not obeying orders, but Dougal persists “when did you order me not to recruit new men?” he asks. Jamie then sets Dougal and his men to guarding the camp for the rest of their time there. Jamie arrests the men who were originally guarding the camp, and gets them whipped. 

Later, Claire walks by the men firing their guns and it soon overwhelms her as she falls to the ground, falling into another flashback. In this one Claire and the two American soldiers we’ve seen her chat to get fired at while driving, and Claire and one of the men are thrown over and hidden in a ditch. The other soldier however was still by the car, and is crying in pain. However much Claire wants to help, she knows it would only cause her death. The other soldier attempts to sneak across but promises to come back for Claire. Just as he runs over, he is sadly shot down. Claire now alone and having to her the other boy’s screams of pain curls into a ball and puts her hand over her ears. The next morning she’s still there, shocked and rigid in fear when a soldier discovers her.

 

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Back in Scotland this is how we see Claire, with her hands on her ears on the ground as Jamie rushes over. After she explains, Jamie reassures her that’s there’s nothing she could have done, and Claire knows this and told herself this, but “Then I just closed the door on that night”. Now that another war is here “I’m not sure I’m ready to go war again”, she confesses. Jamie recommends sending her back, but Claire refuses, knowing that would be even worse. In the most honest and heartbreaking moment of the episode, Claire gives this speech

“If I go back, it will just be like lying in that ditch again helpless, and powerless to move like a dragon fly in amber. Except this time it will be worse. Because I’ll know that the people out there dying alone are people I know. People I love. I can’t do that Jamie. I won’t lie in that ditch again.I can’t be helpless and alone ever again.”

Later Jamie is suddenly attacked by an intruder in the camp, who is with the British. Jamie doesn’t want to kill him, but just as they are about to torture him to find out who he marches with, Claire steps in. “Scottish bastard!” she yells, and predents to a be a captive who resisted Jamie’s advances earlier, and says he can sleep with her if they let the intruder go. As they start to make a scene, the intruder yells at them to stop, and promises to tell them information if Jamie lets Claire go. It’s an incredibly fun scene to watch, the two acting their parts to perfection and the glances they give eachother and how they react to eachother reinforce how well they know eachother. (Murtagh’s reactions during this are everything)  He introduces himself as William Grey and is travelling with a large group of men who are heavily armed. If the information he gives proves true, Jamie orders him to be tied to a tree where his men will find it. “I owe you my life” William admits before being taken away, “I must regard it as a debt of honour” “Once it is discharged, I will kill you” he says. I have a feeling we will see him again.

 

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Dougal’s men were guarding the camp, but the unguarded fires by Jamie caused them to be noticed, so Jamie submits himself to being whipped. It’s horrible to watch him suffer this again, and the men are clearly horrified seeing Jamie’s already wounded back be whipped again. Jamie and his men then go and sneak into the British camp, sabotaging and taking the wheels of their supplies, preventing them from coming after them that quickly. Jamie returns and thanks Claire for saving lives with the information she got out of William.

The last scene with a beautiful score behind it, and well directed shows the men marching towards Prince Charlie’s camp and reaching the outskirts. Jamie lets Dougal ride ahead and announce their presence.

“No turning back now, Sassenach” Jamie notes

“I should say not”, Claire retorts.

And then with the last line, after all the suffering she’s relieved and gone through with Jamie, Claire utters the Fraser motto. “Je Suis Prest”.

Until next week,

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Outlander Season Two Episode 7 Review: Faith

 

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“My sins are all I have left”

This was arguably up there with the most devastating and powerful episodes of Outlander, being dark and utterly heartbreaking.

The episode opens with a flash forward to 1954, with Claire and her young daughter in a library. Her daughter points out a heron, and asks Claire if she’s ever seen one.Claire responds that she has, a long time go in Scotland. We flash back again to 1745, with Claire lying on a bed, looking broken. In a mixture of blurred scenes we see the birth of Clare’s baby with Mother Hildegarde and the Royal executioner there to deliver it. Claire wakes up after this, only uttering “where’s my baby?” before Mother Hildegarde informs her that her baby was born stillborn, and it was a girl.

Later on, Mother Hildegard tells Claire she baptised her, and gave the baby the name Faith.Claire is turning very ill, Mother Hildegarde bringing in a priest for Claire to give her last confession. The priest asks if Claire would like to unburden her sins, with Claire responding with the best line of the episode “My sins are all I have left”.

That night, Claire is struggling with her high fever, until Mayster Raymond sneaks in and visits her. Raymond massages her and manages to save Claire’s life before having to quickly leave before being seen.Her fever has broken, and Claire desperately asks Mother Hildegarde about Jamie. Mother Hildegarde tells her that Jamie is locked in the Bastille for duelling with Randall, although the fact that Randall is alive means his sentence won’t be as severe. Claire’s still furious at Jamie’s betrayal, telling Mother Hildegarde that  “Revenge mattered more to him than me, or his child”.

After weeks of healing, Fergus comes to ask Claire to return home, as she does Claire notes that “my body had healed but my soul had not”. Once arriving at their house in Paris, Claire is greeted emotionally by the house staff, sharing an especially heartbreaking moment with Magnus. Claire’s face is devastating as we see the suffering she’s enduring, as she thanks Magnus and bows to him. In the next scene Fergus brushes Claire’s hair, pausing and running off while looking at a perfume bottle, like the last time we saw him at the brothel before his encounter with Jack Randall. Before Claire gets any answers though, she finds the christening gift Jamie bought for the baby, the set of spoons and angrily pushes them away before bursting into tears. She’s then distracted however, by Fergus having a bad dream, and asks him to tell her about it to make it go away. Sadly in this case it won’t as a tearful Fergus tells Claire what we didn’t see with his encounter with Jack Randall, flashbacks showing us that Randall raped Fergus before his cries altered Jamie, who in such a fury and in pain at seeing this, then demanded the duel with Randall.

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It’s  a horrible scene to watch, especially considering the shot of Randall’s red jacket last week was enough to tell us what had happened without needing to show it. Reading interviews about the scene, the showrunners wanted the audience to feel the same anger that Jamie felt, and to show how he could betray his promise to Claire. I understand that and you did definitely feel the rage and hatred Jamie had in that moment, but it was still painful to know whether you saw it take place or not. Outlander has handled rape as more than just a  plot device to shock the audience, and I hope they continue to do so. Claire’s shocked to hear this, and it’s terrible to think of Fergus suffering alone all these weeks. Claire reassures him it wasn’t his fault, and after realising the pain Fergus endured and understanding Jamie’s reasons for betraying her, Claire acts to set him free.

Claire first goes to Mother Hildegarde, who as the daughter of Louis XIV, she knows must have connections in court in order to grant Claire an audience with the King who she can petition to release Jamie. Mother Hildegarde tells her that she can grant her an audience, but the King will expect payment. This payment will most likely be Claire having to sleep with him. Claire’s only response is “If it comes to sacrificing my virtue mother, I’ll add it to the list of things I’ve already lost in Paris”

 

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Claire meets with the King, in a tense conversation, Claire desperately trying to act relaxed throughout their small talk. Before Claire can get to her payment though, the King requires a favour. He takes Claire to the star chamber, where Mayster Raymond and the Comte are brought out. They’ve been accused of dark magic and sorcery.  The royal executioner Claire’s reputation as ‘La Dame Blanche’ means the King wants her skills to look into their souls and see the darkness in their souls. Claire doesn’t want both of them to die, but she plays along. Claire tries to get the Comte to admit to sending the gang that attacked her and Mary, but he denies it. He does however admit to poisoning her, and calls her a witch since the poison he gave her didn’t kill her. Her name as the ‘White Lady’ however Claire claims, means she uses white magic and not dark magic.

The King then brings out a deadly snake, a myth claiming the snake wouldn’t harm true servants of God. Claire however manages to stop it, getting the King to agree for the men to drink her poison, which she makes with bitter cascara so the men will live and hopefully be set free. Mayster Raymond drinks it, and though in pain, he survives as Claire knew he would. However when Claire goes to pass the cup to the Comte, in a stunning shot Claire’s necklace that detects poison turns black, and then it’s clear to everyone the Comte has to die. Claire realises that Mayster Raymond slipped actual poison into the cup just after drinking it himself. The Comte knowing his time is up, bitterly exclaims “I’ll see you in hell” before drinking the poison and dying on the floor.

 

 

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The King tells Mayster Raymond to leave France and never return, and as he walks out the door, Claire’s only thought is of a line from The Wizard of Oz, “I’m going to miss you most of all”. I get the feeling we will see him again at some point. Claire thinks she’s done, but her payment is not done. Back in the King’s chambers Claire lies back on the bed as the King rapes her. Afterwards, the King informs her he will get a pardon for Jamie, and will write to the English Crown to try and get them return to Scotland if they wish.

Jamie returns home with a full beard, and what follows is a broken and pained conversation between the two. Claire’s still furious at him, but ultimately blames herself for everything, for putting Frank before her family. She tells Jamie they had a daughter. “Mother Hildegarde let me see her. So I wouldn’t have to imagine.” We then see flashbacks to earlier on in the episode, with Claire in hospital still and holding her daughter for the first time. As she rocks her, Claire begins to sing ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ and the fact that she’s singing such a happy song in such a sorrowful moment makes it all the more crushing. We see that Louise visited her later on, Claire refusing to let go of her child. It’s nice to see Louise visiting her and supporting her friend. Claire lets Louise takes the baby, and it’s taken away by Mother Hildegarde. Claire back in the present, tells Jamie that she slept with the King to gain his freedom.

“How can we ever be the same? She asks. “We can’t be” Jamie replies. He explains that to move forward and “The only way we can live with is to carry it, together.”

“Then bring me home. To Scotland” Claire says. After an emotional season, it’s time to say goodbye to France and go back to where the true heart of the show is. Jamie and Claire’s time in Paris has been a great change for the show, but after all the suffering the characters have endured, it will be nice to see them back where the truly belong together.

Before they leave, however they visit the grave of their daughter, Faith. Jamie leaves her one of the spoons on the grave, of St Andrew to “Leave a bit of Scotland with you”. As they sit at their daughters grave, Claire takes Jamie’s hand.

After this episode I had to lie down, it was so incredibly emotional and heart wrenching. If this doesn’t get Caitriona Balfe all the awards, then there’s no justice in the world. She was extraordinary in this episode, and carried the episode completely. Everything Claire felt, we felt too.

Until next week,

Sarah

 

Outlander Season Two Episode 6 Review: Best Laid Schemes

 

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“Bad things tend to happen when we’re apart”

 
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.

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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. outlander-2x06-best-laid-schemes-1080p-mp4_002156323

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.

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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,

Sarah