Outlander Recap and Reflection! We’ve got a revolution to stop in high style!

After crying our eyes out for the season 2 premiere, it’s time for Jamie, Claire and Murtagh to get serious about stopping The Second Jacobite Uprising!

Recap – Episode #202 “Not In Scotland Anymore”

Claire and Jamie are breaking in a new bed in their swanky Parisian digs. After all the trauma from Black Jack Randall, it’s nice to see Jamie back in the saddle again. Suddenly, Claire morphs into Black Jack and Jamie starts to stab him into a bloody pulp. Yeah, this nightmare is a real mood killer. Who are we fooling? Jamie’s Wentworth Prison scars run deep. Claire tries to comfort him with the knowledge that Black Jack is dead. Jamie knows that, but his heart and soul seem to be another matter.

But they have a rebellion to stop! Claire is adjusting to life as the mistress of a great house with servants ridiculously grateful for the opportunity to make her bed. Otherwise, she’s adjusted splendidly to Parisian fashion with a stunning black and white gown that any Hollywood A-lister would die to wear at the Met Gala.

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser)

Claire heads out in her carriage and muses about how quaint 1748 Paris seems. It’s hard to believe that in just 40 years, the French Revolution will have these streets running with blood. That’s Claire…always thinking on the bright side!

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser)

She stops at an apothecary (no one is shocked) to pick up some herbs to help Jamie sleep and immediately charms the proprietor, Master Raymond, with her knowledge as a healer. Although he calls her “Madonna” (due to her radiance and not because she’s a Material Girl), he deduces she must be Mrs. Fraser who has a new enemy in the Comte de St Germaine. Since Master Raymond isn’t fond of the Comte, Claire has a new ally. The last time Claire made friends with a local with herbal knowledge, she almost got burned at the stake. Master Raymond won’t be burned as a witch (a la Geillis), but let’s see how this plays out…

Dominique Pinon (as Master Raymond)

Dominique Pinon (as Master Raymond)

Jamie and Murtagh spend their day elsewhere — in gorgeously manicured gardens where they are beating the crap out of each other with swords. These trained fighters aren’t used to the complacent life in Paris and sparring helps Jamie to strengthen his damaged hand. They attract a very posh crowd which Murtagh is not happy about and he proceeds to scare them off. You can take Murtagh out of Scotland, but you can’t take Scotland out of Murtagh!

Duncan Lacroix (as Murtagh Fitzgibbons)

Duncan Lacroix (as Murtagh Fitzgibbons)

Jamie points out that dueling is illegal so everyone is fascinated. Murtagh misses the smells of the Highlands and wants to get back. He is all gung-ho to kill Bonnie Prince Charlie because rebellion problem done! Jamie points out they’d still have to deal with the Prince’s father, you know, the King. Assassination won’t work so they’d have to stop the Prince from heading to Scotland. In true male fashion, they decide to beat their frustration out by getting into a wrestling match. In kilts…just saying…

Upon their return, they find Cousin Jared has done them a solid with an introduction to a senior Jacobite leader…the Bonnie Prince, himself! The catch? It’s at a brothel. Clare insists that Murtagh accompany Jamie for, er, his own protection.

Jamie (his killer cheekbones) and Murtagh show up to the brothel wearing nicer attire than they have so far…LOL…these guys.

Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) and Andrew Gower (Prince Charles Stuart)

Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) and Andrew Gower (Prince Charles Stuart)

They meet with Prince Charles, who is downing his wine like Alicia with water after a half marathon (i.e…like Claire on a normal day). While they are there for business, they are clearly in a brothel as the platter full of stylish dildos demonstrates.

The Prince wants to ensure that Jamie and Murtagh are true supporters and not just sycophants slobbering to hang onto his coattails. Jamie and Murtagh tell him that the Scots are NOT ready to unite and the clans are too busy fighting each other. They definitely don’t sound like ass-kissers and, well, this should discourage the prince from storming Scotland. An unusually articulate Murtagh points out the Scots are too busy struggling to live than to take up arms against a well-trained army for a man who has never even been to Scotland. Touché!

Andrew Gower (as Prince Charles Stuart)

Andrew Gower (as Prince Charles Stuart)

Prince Charles is not happy with this news which sounds reasonable and logical. He’s on old-school monarch who believes in the Divine Right of Kings and concludes he needs rule the Scots because God says so. Soon he’ll pick his prostitute for the night…

Charlie realizes that he is a bit short on coin to raise an army. Prince Charles is unofficially in France and therefore cannot be presented at Court to ask for help from the French. However, Jamie is a Lord so he commands Jamie, his loyal subject, to get France’s Minister of Finance to fund his rebellion. Well things are going swimmingly for their game of espionage, non?

Our heroic trio go over their plan since it’s clear they can’t change the prince’s mind and it’s clear the prince should not be a king. Well, the next step in the plan is to stop the money. Claire points out that if a rebellion can be plotted in a brothel, they can end it at Court. Time to speak to the Minister of Finance! Next step: get to the French court at Versailles.

Claire has a very well-connected and, er, very French friend named Louise de Rohan. Claire visits Louise to secure the Versailles invitation and finds Louise in an awkward situation. Louise is in the middle of a very personal and shocking beauty ritual featuring wax. In the midst of this torture for fashion (beauty is pain, right?), Louise introduces Claire to her ward, Mary Hawkins. Mary is English, extremely shy, stutters and is scandalize by her uninhibited host. Claire is pretty sure she’s heard Mary’s name before. Louise continues to get waxed (and slaps her beautician after every strip) and the two English Roses looked a little horrified by Louise’s big waxing finale. But the invitation to Versailles is secured!

Claire Sermonne (as Louise De Rohan), Rosie Day (as Mary Hawkins)

Claire Sermonne (as Louise De Rohan), Rosie Day (as Mary Hawkins)

That night, Claire introduces Jamie to Louise’s Parisian custom. Guess she wasn’t as horrified as we thought. Jamie is at first shocked to find a hairless Claire, then intrigued, and then a bit more than intrigued. Things are going well…and then Jamie flashes to Black Jack again. The moment is gone again. Curses…

When it’s finally time to visit Versailles, Claire wears the most sumptuous and shocking red dress. (See Jamie and Murtagh’s expression!) Jamie is rather chagrined his wife’s charms are on display and predicts the dress will cause some issues.

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser)

Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser), Duncan Lacroix (as Murtagh Fitzgibbons)

Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser), Duncan Lacroix (as Murtagh Fitzgibbons)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser)

VERSAILLES!

Louise is in her element and promises introductions, including the only one Claire requested: the Minister of Finance. Out of the blue, a pretty young thing throws herself into Jamie’s arms (can we blame her?).

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Margaux Chatelier (as Annalise de Marillac), Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser) Episode 202.jpg

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Margaux Chatelier (as Annalise de Marillac), Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser) Episode 202.jpg

Jamie is pleased to see this old friend(?), Annalise de Marillac, until he sees Claire’s unamused look. Cat fight!?! Not really, but you can see it brewing.

Margaux Chatelier (as Annalise de Marillac)

Margaux Chatelier (as Annalise de Marillac)

There is history between them, but Annalise married another guy. She explains that he’s dead and she’s a free agent again. Claire is still not amused. However, Annalise offers Jamie an introduction to King Louis XV while he dresses for tonight’s event. Only men can go so Claire cannot join as Annalise merrily leads Jamie away. Claire not-so-subtly sends Murtagh after them.

Jamie and Murtagh join a crowd of men in observing the King of France on the “throne”…trying to have a bowel movement. You read that correctly. Outlander is NOT holding anything back this season! Too much rich food so poor King Louis is unable to “perform.” Jamie suggests a breakfast of parritch (aka porridge) as the best remedy. The King sneers at the idea of peasant food. Pride in French cuisine goes waaaaay back!

Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser), Lionel Lingelser (as King Louis XV), Duncan Lacroix (as Murtagh Fitzgibbons)

Sam Heughan (as Jamie Fraser), Lionel Lingelser (as King Louis XV), Duncan Lacroix (as Murtagh Fitzgibbons)

Meanwhile, Claire is getting a taste of courtly cattiness and gossip while shy Mary Hawkins has a quiet conversation with an earnest young gentleman who is not her warty, old fiancé. Claire heads outside for some air, when Louise spies the Minister of Finance who is delighted to learn the beauty in the red dress wants to meet him. He gleefully sprints off after Claire.

Claire’s walk takes her through the palace grounds to make-out central. Of course, the Minister of Finance finds her there and he assumes she’s waiting for him.

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Marc Duret (as Monsieur Joseph Duverney)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Marc Duret (as Monsieur Joseph Duverney)

He has a real enthusiastic fetish for her shoes and she just barely manages to push him off when Jamie shoves this strange man into a pond. Um Jamie, that’s the man you very dearly need to manipulate! Whoops!

Fortunately, the Minister realizes he was out of bounds and apologizes to the Frasers. They agree to keep it hush, hush so the Minster’s wife with the terrible temper won’t find out. He wants to do them a favor and they accept his friendship (for now). So civilized!

King Louis has given up on his bowels and is now making his grand appearance. He cleverly admonishes the Minister for his state of dress, thanks Jamie for his advice on porridge, and stares a little overlong at Claire and her red dress. Ruh roh.

The King’s mistress has clearly dressed for her part. She enjoys the attention her outfit (or lack thereof) generates and makes eyes at Murtagh who is ready to run after her.

Lionel Lingelser (as King Louis XV), Kimberley Smart (as the King's Mistress)

Lionel Lingelser (as King Louis XV), Kimberley Smart (as the King’s Mistress)

Then something else catches Murtagh’s eye — the Duke of Sandringham. Jamie stops Murtagh from his drawing sword in the presence of the King which is punishable by death. The Duke acknowledges, but doesn’t really apologize for breaking his promise to help Jamie clear his name in Scotland. He’s a powerful Jacobite so they need to get back on the Duke’s good side. They swallow their anger and even sell him some of Jared’s best wine.

Claire knows Murtagh is about to explode so she has Jamie take him away. She and Sandringham continue to politely jab at each other when the Duke’s new secretary interrupts. He’s the young man who was flirting with Mary earlier. The Duke introduces the young man as Alexander Randall. Yes, THAT Randall. Black Jack’s younger brother.

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Simon Callow (as The Duke of Sandringham)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Simon Callow (as The Duke of Sandringham)

When Alex learns that Claire knows his brother, he offers to pass along the news to Black Jack.
What?!?
Yes, he is STILL ALIVE!!!!
(cue doom sounding music)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Simon Callow (as The Duke of Sandringham), Laurence Dobiesz (as Alex Randall)

Caitriona Balfe (as Claire Randall Fraser), Simon Callow (as The Duke of Sandringham), Laurence Dobiesz (as Alex Randall)

Round 1 goes to the Duke, but you kind of figure there will be more rounds to come.

Of course this knocks Claire for a loop. Should she tell Jamie? He’s still having PTSD.
But what will be Jamie’s reaction when he learns that she knew and didn’t tell him? With Sandringham and Alex around, it’s only a matter of time before Jamie finds out.

Curse you, Black Jack Randall!

Reflection – what did we think:

Erica: And now for something completely different! After the mad emotional rush of last week’s episode, we have the frustrations of how to stop a war. So much intrigue at court.

Erica: I have to say that I was annoyed by so many articles which called this season of Outlander a “re-boot.” Grrrr! Re-boots are when a series is creatively dry or when they need to re-cast for a new generation. That is NOT the case with Outlander season 2!! The story shifts focus, that is all.

Alicia: Well, they’re being true to the books so obviously those reviewers didn’t do their homework. You can’t have the same feel in this season as last season, they’re in a completely different place physically, mentally and emotionally.

Erica: After seeing the wild strength of the Scots, the “refinement” of the English (and their love of good claret), the decadence of the French seems quite shocking.

Alicia: The clothes are amazing! Really spectacular. I admit there’s something a bit 1950’s vs. 1740’s about some of Claire’s outfits in regards to their shape, but they are still AMAZING! I want them all.

Erica: I think we see every penny of the costume department on the screen. Just breathtaking.

Erica: Oh, for any non-book readers who asked “what’s the deal with Roger?” since the Internet explodes with glee anytime we see the adorable wee laddie, he has a major part to play….at some point. That’s all we’re saying since Diana Gabaldon, Ron Moore and the Outlander writing team will tell it better than we can.

—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————

Alicia: LOL…love that they worked in the waxing scene. It’s one of my favorites in the book. Although I think Jamie’s reaction in the book is hysterical.

Erica: I do wish they kept his reaction, but I’m glad some of these “slice of life” scenes are still being included. I worried that the smaller episode number would mean we wouldn’t see these at all. They also went all out with King Louis’ girl and her girls!

Alicia: I admit, I’m kind of disappointed in the way they intro Alex Randall. I loved how much he shook Jamie and Claire up in the book.

Erica: While Laurence Dobiesz does resemble Tobias Menzies, they aren’t dopplegangers so we don’t have the same reaction as in the books. They did such a great job of making Black Jack so despicable, Laurence will have a tough time making Alex equally as good.

—–END OF BOOK READER DISCUSSION ——————————————————

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