I think we can agree that nothing ever goes to plan when Claire and Jamie visit Versailles. Sigh! Just when The Plan starts to work, a curve ball comes along! Why is stopping a rebellion so hard?
Recap – Episode #205 “Untimely Resurrection”
After the upheaval of the big dinner party, Jamie is released, but Alex Randall still stands accused of raping Mary Hawkins. Given the Duke of Sandringham’s track record of saving his own skin, it’s no surprise that he’s abandoned and fired Alex who sits in the Bastille (ie…jail). Alex is clearly nothing like his evil brother so Claire is determined to help the innocent boy.
Their first big party nearly got Jamie arrested and Alex is in jail, but their main goal was a success! Sandringham sees that Bonnie Prince Charlie is not fit to be King of England so he’s withdrawing his support. Score one for Claire and Jamie!
On the other hand, the Bonnie Prince left in the company of the vengeful Comte Ste. Germain so who knows what evil thoughts he’s putting in Charlie’s head? The Frasers feel certain that the Comte was behind the attack on Claire and Mary, but they still don’t have proof. Claire recalls the ruffians were rather well-dressed and spoken so they aren’t normal street thugs. She also tells Jamie they backed off when they thought she was “La Dame Blanche” – a witch.
Suddenly Jamie looks guilty. To protect his virtue at the brothel, Jamie told Prince Charlie that Claire is a witch so he doesn’t want to piss her off. Smooth story, Jamie! Being declared a witch went over real well for Claire last time! But this is a clue since only people who were at the brothel could know about this claim so that narrows down the list of suspects.
Meanwhile, Murtagh has been snooping around and he thinks the attack came from “Les Disciples du Mal” who are bored, privileged men getting their yayas by raping women. Charming.
Murtagh is feeling guilty that he’s failed Jamie since Claire was attacked and Mary assaulted. Jamie encourages Murtagh to find the connection between Ste. Germaine and the snooty gang. Murtagh vows to lay just vengeance at Jamie’s feet.
While the men are plotting revenge, Claire sneaks off to see Mary and ensure she’s alright. Mary is writing out her side of the story to clear Alex’s name and spring him from jail. Claire reassures Mary she can’t be pregnant since her assailant didn’t, er, finish. Regardless, her warty old fiancée dumped her and she’s free to run off with Alex once he’s out of jail.
Alex marry Mary? History says she’s supposed to marry Black Jack so Frank will be born. Ugh! What should Claire do now? Condemn that sweet girl to marriage with Black Jack? Time travel sucks sometimes…
After his release, Claire visits with Alex and basically says he’s got nothing to offer Mary (ouch!) and, if he loves her, he’ll give her up. After a coughing fit, he agrees that she deserves better and thanks Claire for being such a great friend to Mary. Um, yeah. Claire broke up the two lovebirds which clears the way for Mary to get-together with the sadistic Black Jack. Yep, Claire is the bestest kind of friend.
Jamie visits with Prince Charlie who already has a plan B now that Sandringham has dumped him. The Comte wants to go halfsies on a new business venture – a large load of wine. Charlie gets a loan to pay for half the merchandise, Jamie sells it for a big profit and the Prince takes home 10,000 pounds. That’s enough moolah to buy some equipment which should impress Duverney (the French Minister of Finance) to get the French King Louis to back his claim to the throne. Gulp. It’s not a bad plan.
Jamie points out the Comte is shady. Charlie thinks the Comte is all about a good business deal so he will definitely come through. Charlie is aware of rumors about the Comte and the occult, but he doesn’t listen to them just like he ignores the rumors about Jamie’s wife, La Dame Blanche. (We never get to choose our own nicknames, right?)
There’s a rather tense meeting at Madame Elise’s when Jamie and the Comte discuss business details. They basically spar back and forth with “I know what you did to my wife/cargo” and “I will have my revenge!”
Right. So the new mission is to stop the money which means stopping the wine from arriving or something like that. Claire wonders if she can fake a smallpox outbreak to burn the cargo again.
Jamie surprises Claire with Apostle Spoons, a family heirloom (sent from Scotland by Jamie’s sister Jenny) and a Christening gift for the bairn. (Oh dear. Are we one step closer to naming the poor thing Lambert or Dalhousie?) Claire has a moment of doubting her mothering abilities, but Jamie promises they’ll get through it together. It’s so nice to see them canoodling again!
They’re off to Versailles since Sandringham want’s Jamie’s expert opinion on a new horse. They don’t particularly love hanging with the Duke, but they don’t want to make him an enemy so they head off in their gorgeous frocks for a day in the fabulous gardens.
Jamie checks out the lines on the horses while Sandringham checks out Jamie’s lines. (Some things don’t change.) Sandringham declares Prince Charlie is an ass and is suspicious about why Jamie is supporting him. Jamie quickly agrees that Charlie is unworthy, but, um, Charlie’s father is the true king. Yeah, that’s it! Quick thinking, Jamie! Sandringham continues on with the “need to see more options…” That crafty brain is still turning things over…
Claire runs into Annalise who wants to catch up. Oh good. Conversation with the girl who jumped into Jamie’s arms and led him to King Louis on a toilet. This should be a fun walk. Annalise starts off with calling the Scots simple and starts to show her claws. Annalise basically accuses Claire of corrupting the fun boy she once knew into a man. (Meow!)
Before Annalise can continue with further insults, Black Jack Randall joins them. Yeah, this walk is tons of fun.
Wait…Black Jack Randall joins them?!?!?!
Claire tries to exit, but Annalise runs off to fetch Jamie. Curses. Before Claire can get away, King Louis and his entourage show up. King Louis remembers Claire (and her red dress) so he’s happy to see her again.
Claire is forced to introduce Black Jack to the King. Black Jack’s French isn’t so great and he’s in a British army uniform so he isn’t making a great impression Louis. Jamie arrives and the tension goes through the roof. Both Jamie’s and Randall’s hands move to their swords.
Claire politely asks (through a clenched smile) why Black Jack is in town. He’s here to ask Sandringham to re-hire Alex. King Louis decides to humiliate Black Jack and forces him to his knees and laughs at him. Is it wrong that this is one of the best feel-good moments of the season? Lol!
Claire excuses herself and she almost gets Jamie away. Almost. Instead, he dashes back and challenges Black Jack to a duel. Yes, dueling is illegal, but he did it anyway. Arg!!!
Jamie is elated and starts to strategize with Murtagh. Claire interrupts and announces that Black Jack is locked up in the Bastille so there will be no duel. She’s accused Black Jack of attacking herself and Mary so he’s safe in jail. Jamie is NOT happy. He’s just claiming the “gift” she gave him when she said Randall was alive. She doesn’t want Jamie to kill Black Jack until after Mary has conceived the child that’s Frank’s next ancestor.
This is NOT what Jamie wants to hear. Jamie wants to get his honor back by killing Black Jack. Claire wants Jamie to spare Black Jack’s life to save another man. Cue lots of swearing in Gaelic.
Jamie forces Claire to choose between him or Frank. Jamie can’t stand to live if Randall lives unpunished. If Claire won’t allow Jamie to kill Black Jack now, he’d rather Claire stab him in the heart right now.
Claire calls in her marker since she’s saved Jamie’s life several times. He owes her so she asks for Jamie to wait a year before killing Black Jack. In a year’s time, Mary should be pregnant and then Claire promises to help Jamie bleed Randall.
Claire really wants to save Black Jack’s life?!?!? Jamie is a man of honor so he snarls and agrees to honor that debt.
Oh the honeymoon is SO over!
Reflection – what did we think?
Erica: Like a cockroach, you just can’t keep Black Jack down! Neither can you stop him from monologuing. It’s such a scary place inside that head.
Alicia: I mean just when Jamie and Claire are starting to be a super couple again and Jamie’s starting to relax and smile….BAM…Black Jack. He’s not a cockroach…he’s an incurable rash.
Erica: Can you imagine Mary and Black Jack as a couple? Is destiny just laughing at them? The cruel things Claire must do to preserve Frank’s timeline.
Alicia: I have to say I’m impressed with Mary’s show of strength. You’d expect her to be a sniveling mess, but she’s being quite calm and rational and still admires and loves Alex. Girl has more backbone than we thought.
Erica: Life gets better when you’re marrying an old, warty Frenchman.
Alicia: Oooo…polite catfights! I mean I don’t know which was more delish? Claire and Annalise or King Louis and Black Jack…meow! But you kind of love Louis in that moment…right?
Erica: Louis may be in desperate need of some good fiber, but I was definitely cheering for him in the gardens!
Alicia: OMG…that scene with Jamie and Claire…Bravo! Well done! Uncomfortable, but so well done!
—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Erica: And here begins the big heartache for the season! Claire and Jamie have been happy for just a few fleeting moments, the next couple of episodes are going to be really rough. Oh yeah, and THEN they go back to Scotland! Ugh!! Maybe I should get that oxygen tank now…
Alicia: So they change the Alex Randall meeting at Versailles to Black Jack. Interesting change. Also…no Dougal. He’s the one who suddenly shows and tells Claire about “Les Disciples du Mal” and takes Claire to the police to falsely accused Jack Randall. Hmm…wonder if he’s not showing up in Paris.
Erica: This season has such a different vibe that seeing Dougal may be a little too much foreshadowing for the return to Scotland. I would have loved to have seen Graham McTavish in his dress kilt in the gardens of Versailles!
Alicia: It’ll be interesting to see how long they keep the strain between Jamie and Claire…I feel it dissipated rather quickly in the book, but need to look that over again…
Erica: It’s two more episodes before the one titled “Faith” so the tension may last a bit longer (and slowly kill us all!)
—–END OF BOOK READER DISCUSSION ——————————————————
Want a sneak peak at next week’s episode? Here’s Starz’s official description for the next episode!
Episode 206: “Best Laid Schemes”
Jamie and Claire use Claire’s medical knowledge to devise a scheme to stop a wine deal which could fill the Prince’s war chest. When Claire learns Jamie has gone back on his word, the couple are met with dire consequences that will forever change their lives
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