Book readers have known this would be a tough episode of Outlander and, well, it didn’t disappoint! Strap in and break out the tissues!
Recap – Episode #207 “Faith”
It’s Boston in 1954 and a little red-headed girl flips through a bird book and calls for her mom. It’s Claire. (Claire!?!?!) Claire says she’s seen a heron in person in Scotland, a long time ago…
Was that a dream? A flash forward? An alternate universe?
We’re back in 1748 Paris and Claire is at the hospital with an executioner as her doctor. THIS is the nightmare, right? Unfortunately, this is reality. Claire wakes up and calls for her baby, but Mother Hildegarde breaks the news that Claire’s baby was still-born. Mother Hildegarde broke rules and baptized the girl as Faith, so she may be buried on hallowed ground.
Understandably, Claire doesn’t take the news well. It’s been days and she’s still sick with a fever and Jamie is not around. Mother Hildegarde brings in a priest to hear Claire’s confession and puts Bouton on watch. Yikes! This can’t be good.
In the middle of the night, Master Raymond sneaks in. He was supposed to leave France since King Louis hates the occult and has Raymond’s name on his list. But Master Raymond knows that Claire is ill and he’s come back to perform some sort of mystical exorcism that breaks her fever. Weird, but yay for Claire!
Before Master Raymond scurries back into hiding. he tells Claire that he didn’t nickname her Madonna, because she was pregnant. She and Master Raymond share a blue aura, just like the Virgin Mary’s cloak. Duh. Of course! He promises that they will see each other again.
The nuns don’t know that Raymond was there and they believe Claire’s recovery is some sort of miracle (of course). Claire is more coherent and asks after Jamie. Mother Hildegarde explains that Jamie is in jail and wasn’t executed since Black Jack didn’t die. Black Jack was badly injured so the English ambassador got permission to remove him from jail and back to England for medical treatment. It’s disappointing Randall survived all this drama (again), but at least Frank is safe.
Claire is feeling hurt and angry that Jamie broke his promise. Revenge mattered more than herself and their child. Mother Hildegarde urges mercy, but Claire is not having it. Weeks pass as she slowly regains her strength and then finally heads back to the apartment. But without Jamie or the baby, she rattles about, listless and depressed. The Apostle spoons in her room only serve to remind her of everything she’s lost.
Murtagh is still off selling wine in Portugal and has no idea what’s happened. That leaves only wee Fergus with Claire. At night, she hears Fergus crying out in his sleep. She heads over to wake him from his nightmare and urges him to talk about his dream. He refuses, but Claire insists.
Fergus reveals what happened on the day that he and Jamie went to the brothel to try to pay off Bonnie Prince Charlie’s debts, the day before the duel. Fergus was nosing around Madame Elise’s and was going to steal a bottle of lavender-scented perfume when he realized he was trapped in a room…with Black Jack Randall. Now Fergus had no idea who BJR was, but he soon got the idea that he should leave pronto when BJR proclaimed that Fergus wasn’t quite what he ordered, but he’ll do.
Poor Fergus is now kicking himself because he cried out in pain and Jamie heard him. Jamie burst into the room and challenged Black Jack to a duel. Fergus feels guilty for milord’s arrest. He’s been swimming in the guilt since they day of the duel. Poor wee laddie!
Well, that explains why Jamie broke his promise and left the note: “I am sorry! I must!”
(Side note: So Black Jack has raped or tried to rape everyone in the Fraser household except Murtagh. Watch your back, Murtagh!)
Now that Claire better understands why Jamie broke his word, she gathers enough spirit to try to get him back. She hopes Mother Hildegarde can pull strings since she was close to the royal family. Claire wants to ask King Louis to free Jamie. Mother Hildegarde warns that such a favor will come at a price since King Louis likes the ladies. Claire points out that sacrificing her virtue is just another thing she’s lost in Paris. Zing!
Claire gets her meeting with Louis in one of his private chambers. He offers her two delicacies: exotic hot chocolate from Spain and an orange from one of his acres of tree. (A really odd pairing of snacks. Is she supposed to dip the orange in the hot chocolate?) She makes the request for Jamie’s freedom and the King starts smooching her hands and notice the duel wedding rings. She explains that she was married before and he admires her loyalty.
He says he’s “inclined” to free Jamie, but he wants a small favor. (There’s a big bed in this room.) He admires her pale, fine skin and understands why she’s called La Dame Blanche. Claire gets ready and Louise leads her to the next room. What?
She’s in a well-lit chamber with guards wearing masks. Very Eyes Wide Shut here. Then M. Forey (the executioner/doctor) appears and, well, there’s no way Claire’s having a menage with him!
Having an executioner on hand means that Louis doesn’t seem to want a tumble in the hay, he’s looking for death. The guards bring in Master Raymond and the oh-so-cheery Comte Ste. Germaine whom they charge with sorcery for their own gain. The king points out various possessions from their respective houses as evidence. Since Claire is La Dame Blanche, a pure heart that knows no lies (ha!) and can see into men’s souls, Louis wants her to judge these men.
Judge the Comte? Claire tries to hide her smile.
She looks over a very worried Master Raymond and then looks at a nervous, but sneery Comte. She pronounces a shadow behind his eyes and sees him with Les Desciple (the bored aristocrats who like to rape virgins like Mary Hawkins).
Suddenly speaking English, the Comte proclaims his innocence and pleads to King Louis that Claire is a liar and a witch. Why, she can drink poison and survive! The King asks how he knows that and the Comte proudly declares he gave her the poison himself. (Well, a servant did.) Nice confession there.
Claire doesn’t deny being a witch, but she’s a good witch with white magic. King Louis states Claire isn’t on trial, so she’s golden. As tempting as it may be to put the big hurt on the Comte, she is a healer and can’t condemn the Comte to death. She says that basically all men are a little dark so the Comte isn’t any worse.
But the King wants to make an example out of someone. They bring out a big snake for some test, but Claire declares that she can make a potion that will tell the truth. She grabs the bottle of bitter cascara from the evidence pile. That herb will make them sick, but won’t kill them. Ironic that it was the same herb that Raymond sold to the Comte as a “poison” for Claire.
Raymond drinks Claire’s goblet of cascara and gets some awful cramps, but lives. He passes back the goblet with a little extra covertly sprinkled in. Claire’s poison-detecting necklace suddenly turns black. The Comte and Claire realize that Raymond put real poison in the goblet. Claire reluctantly hands the goblet to the Comte who has no choice but to drink it. He flops to the floor and drools a little.
La Dame Blanche has spoken!
Master Raymond will be banished.
The Comte is dead.
Time to free Jamie, right?
Nope, the King wants his payment. Rats. We were hoping that Claire’s part in the trial was the small favor.
He brings Claire back to the really big bed and it just takes a minute to finish the deed. (Part of his plumbing may be stopped up, but the other part runs fast.)
King Louis will issue a pardon for Jamie and also clear their name with the English crown if they want to head back to Scotland. (Hint.) Then he waves Claire off. She leaves, but not before she grabs the orange on the way out. With the Comte dead, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s fundraising scheme is also dead. Jamie will be free in France, England and Scotland AND she got an orange! Productive day!
Jamie returns home with a hipster beard (he’s been in the Bastille all these weeks). He knows the baby is gone, but has no other information like if it was a boy or a girl. Claire fills in the details.
Jamie says he tried to keep his promise. He asks if she hates him. She admits that she did. She flashes back to when Mother Hildegarde let her see Faith so she wouldn’t have to imagine what she looked like. Claire stayed with Faith so long, they brought Louise in to reach Claire.
(If your heart doesn’t break in this scene, you need to see the wizard about getting a real heart…)
Claire realizes that she’s also at fault for asking Jamie to save Frank and for following him to the woods. She blames herself for Faith’s death. Jamie says: “I already forgive you, long before today, for this and anything else you could ever do.”
(Does this guy have a way with words, or what? Melting here…)
Claire also confesses that she’s been with Louis to buy his freedom. Jamie shrugs and basically says ditto. (Wentworth Prison, ye ken?)
Lots of crappy things have happened, but Jamie says they can get through it together and may have another kid some day. Claire wants to go home to Scotland to start again. Jamie’s in full agreement, but they have to do something first. They visit Faith where Jamie lays St. Andrew’s Apostle spoon on her grave for a bit of Scotland.
(Why can’t we stop crying?!?!?)
Reflection – what did we think?
Erica: I’m an emotional pancake right now. That one really put my heart through a wringer.
Alicia: Ugh. So tough. Geez Catriona…just rip my heart out.
Erica: We sort of take it for granted that Caitriona will be terrific day after day, but she was truly amazing in this episode. Gut-wrenching and fearless. This is the episode to submit for the Emmy voters (so far)!
Erica: We’re headed back to Scotland! Not that I don’t love France, but the heart of this show is Scotland. I’m going to miss all those fabulous Parisian costumes and sets.
Alicia :Right? Oh, the costumes! But it’s true, the heart of the show is Scotland. And…ok, he’s an attempted-murdering cluster of douchebaggery, but I’m going to kind of miss Le Comte. He really has some fantastic stares. And eyebrows.
Erica: Yes, the Comte could speak volumes with his brows! But you know who else has great eyebrows? Rupert! I’ve missed Rupert and Angus! I can’t wait to see those guys bromancing the screen again.
—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Erica: This episode marks the mid-point of the season. How do you think they’ve done so far?
Alicia: So far pretty well done. I’m still missing Jamie’s humor. I know it’s been intense for them, but even in the books I felt it came out a lot more. Maybe back in Scotland?
Erica: I think the writers did an terrific job of keeping the French politicking clear and to create the right rhythm needed for episodic TV. Our heroes are still recovering from dark events so perhaps the humor was harder to inject. Overall, there’s less time for Jamie and Claire to be just Jamie and Claire since its TV. But that’s why we need books too!
Alicia: They did a great job. Yes, some changes/omissions here and there -I mean we all wanted to see Dougal in France right? – but they hit all the important bits and didn’t change the story completely.
Erica: Nope. I love how well they understand the source material and what makes good TV. Also, that was a nice little tease with young Brianna. Since they changed the season premiere to Claire’s return through the stones, this was our first glimpse of Bree. She was the little red-headed girl of Charlie Brown’s dreams. So cute!
Alicia: Lol…perfect! Yeah. I’m intrigued to see them aged up in future seasons (because, of course, there will be more!) But mostly I’m just biting my nails. If people thought the first half was a trip…they better hold tight for the second!
Erica: We may need to start group therapy sessions now. Don’t forget that Diana wrote an episode as well! I think we’re all dying to see what happens there.
—–END OF BOOK READER DISCUSSION ——————————————————
Want a sneak peek at next week’s episode? Here’s Starz’ official description (Jamie’s paternal grandfather, Lord Lovat, is nicknamed “The Old Fox”):
Episode #208 – “The Fox’s Lair”
Claire and Jamie call upon Jamie’s grandsire, Lord Lovat, in an attempt to elicit support for the Jacobite cause. However, a visiting Colum MacKenzie has other plans, and Lord Lovat’s manipulative machinations ensure that no matter what, his own interests will be served.
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