How did we get here so quickly? It’s the last episode before the big 90 minute Outlander season finale on July 9th! As hard as they try, can anything be done to change history?
Recap – Episode #212 “The Hail Mary”
The Lallybroch troop (and Rupert’s eyepatch and new beard) make their way to the Jacobite camp outside of Inverness. It’s been 5 months of retreating back to Scotland and the troops are tired, hungry and demoralized. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s big glorious Rising isn’t quite working out. Claire is graciously refraining from saying “I told you so!”
They are now 3 days and a few miles away from Culloden so time is running out to stop the upcoming massacre. Jamie sends Dougal off to find the British Army so they can make battle plans and maybe, just maybe, find some last minute way to change the future.
Claire heads off to Inverness to stock up on medicine and runs into Mary Hawkins who’s buying lots of laudanum (a painkiller). Mary does not seem so happy to see Claire this time. She’s living with Alex Randall who is in town for work. Since Mary’s back with Alex, he’s revealed that Claire persuaded him to dump Mary back in Paris. Yeah, Mary’s not so happy with Claire.
Claire apologizes and explains that sickly Alex wasn’t a good prospect for marriage. (Claire does not mention that she needs Mary to marry Alex’s brother so Claire can eventually marry their great, great, great, great, great, great grandson, Frank Randall. We don’t know why this never comes up in conversation). Claire asks to see Alex to make her apologies in-person and Mary says fine.
Jamie is in Prince Charlie’s war council where he tries to persuade them not to fight on Culloden Moor where the flat land makes them easy pickings for the British. Jamie reminds the group that there is a large shipment of gold on its way from France so they should split up and hide until the money can replenish the troops.
Charlie grabs Jamie’s cheeks (he likes to do that to people) and proclaims himself a man and a soldier. (Both are questionable claims). Charlie’s tired of retreating so they should fight and God will provide. Ah, good battle plan, “soldier!”
Claire visits Mary and Alex who’s barely breathing through all his coughing. She’s about to prep some medicine for him when Black Jack Randall walks into the room. ARG!!! When last we left Black Jack in France, he was raping Fergus, dueling Jamie and then getting stabbed in the balls. He seems to be walking fine as he rushes past Claire to comfort his dying brother.
Claire packs up her stuff to leave. Mary explains that BJR has been sending money since Alex can’t work yet. Claire tells Mary that Alex will never be well enough to work again and Mary can’t deal with that since there’s a bun in the oven. (Cue dramatic music!) Claire leaves the room full of miserable people.
Black Jack chases after Claire and orders her to cure Alex. (Ordering Claire always works out well…) She explains that there is no cure. He asks her to ease Alex’s pain. She agrees if Black Jack gives her information on the British troops. Ha! He admires her moxie and agrees.
Jamie is pissed that BJR is around, but the news is useful. BJR gave up the location of the British army and the news that there’s a birthday celebration for their general. A bunch of drunk Englishmen? That’s the perfect time for a sneak attack. Yay!
Claire wants to continue to care for Alex to make amends for manipulating the couple and, well, she doesn’t like people to suffer. Jamie refuses to let her since Alex could die at any time and BJR could go berserk in grief. Claire offers to take Murtagh as protection. (Remember how good he is with an axe?)
In case Inverness didn’t have enough familiar faces, Colum MacKenzie shows up! Visibly older and frail, he wants to see his brother and his nephew. Dougal is out scouting so, Colum postpones his chat with Jamie and asks for a moment alone with Claire.
Claire examines Colum, but he knows there’s nothing to be done. He asks Claire for a quick poison, just like Geillis used on her husband Arthur. Claire points out the poison she used was rather painful and tells Colum not to talk smack about her friend. (Geillis did save Claire from burning at the stake and was the only other time traveler she knew.) Colum reassures her that Geillis’ child survived (they burned Geillis after childbirth because that was generous?) and is fostering with a William and Sarah MacKenzie. Claire gives Colum a poison that will put him to sleep.
The next day, she works on easing Alex’s cough with a protective BJR and a watchful Murtagh in the corner. BJR is angry that Claire isn’t helping enough and Murtagh steps in to happily volunteer to work out any of BJR’s frustration.
Alex calls BJR over to make one last request. BJR waves him off saying of course he’ll watch over Mary and the kid. Alex clarifies that he wants Black Jack to marry Mary. BJR says Alex and Mary can wed to legitimize the kid. But Alex wants more than that for Mary and his kid. Jack can’t deal with the idea and the pressure so he takes off. Chicken!!!
Murtagh tracks him down and takes Claire to the tavern where Black Jack is drowning his sorrows. On the way, Murtagh protests that Claire shouldn’t encourage Mary to wed the sadist just to save Frank. She points out that regardless, Mary needs a protector. Murtagh offers to marry the little lassie. What?!?!?!?
Murtagh knows he’s the opposite of Alex, but they could learn to get along. He’s never been a dad, but Jamie turned out alright, right? (Heart melting here…)
Claire points out that they are at war so Murtagh isn’t a great prospect. Murtagh argues that BJR, God willing, could also be dead. But Claire knows BJR’s name, pedigree and pension could still support Mary after his death, not so much with Murtagh. Right. So no wedding bells for Murtagh.
Claire talks to the haunted BJR who does not want to get hitched. He knows he has a dark side and really shouldn’t wed. Claire points out he’s going to die soon. Ah yes, the curse! (Back at Wentworth Prison, she “cursed” him with the date he will die – handily written down in Frank Randall’s family history. Black Jack is fated to die at Culloden.) He taunts Claire with references to Jamie at Wentworth. Claire fires back that he’s going to let his beloved brother die with a broken heart.
Dougal returns from scouting and Jamie gives him the surprise news that Colum wants a meeting. Dougal is happy to meet since he assumes Colum’s arrival signals the that the MacKenzie clan will now fight for the Jacobites. Colum snorts and says he’s dying and wants to resolve clan matters, not join a hopeless cause.
Colum announces that young Hamish will be his heir (no surprise) and Jamie will be his guardian (surprise!). Dougal is livid that Colum would choose a Frasier over a MacKenzie, someone over his own brother and, well someone who isn’t Hamish’s biological father. Colum points out Dougal isn’t as popular with the clan as he thinks he is since there really aren’t many MacKenzies in the Jacobite camp. Colum is doing what he thinks is best for the clan and it’s not Dougal.
Dougal argues that Jamie would order the MacKenzies to war anyway. Jamie agrees. Colum points out that Jamie wouldn’t needlessly sacrifice his men if it’s a lost cause, but asks Dougal if he would do the same. Dougal knows that they all know the answer so he leaves. Colum sighs that he may be crippled in body, but Dougal is crippled in mind. Ouch!
And speaking of ouch, Mary is the world’s most unhappy bride. Can you blame her? She and BJR tying the knot in front of Alex, Claire and Murtagh. Awkward and uncomfortable are two words that spring to mind.
Jamie is at the war council and pitches the sneak attack during the general’s birthday celebration. Prince Charlie thinks it’s not very gentlemanly, but he comes around on the idea. He looks to John, one of his (not so bright) advisors, for agreement. John agrees with the proviso that he and Charlie lead one half of the troops. Prince Charlie in battle is sooooooo not a good idea! The reflection off the gold trim on his jacket makes it hard for a sneak attack.
A drunk Dougal visits a sleepy Colum. Column wants him to go away, but Dougal blames Colum for a lot of his woes. Dougal reminisces about the day 10 year-old Colum fell off his horse which was the start of the issues with his legs. Colum disappointed Dougal by not getting better and wants an answer from Colum. When Colum doesn’t respond, Dougal calls out only to discover that Colum has taken the drug Claire gave him and has died in his sleep. Dougal is left alone with his disappointment and need for closure. He’s not going to do too well with all of this rage bottled up…
Also that night (it’s not a good night for brothers), Mary and Jack watch as Alex takes his last breath. It’s done. Frank’s lineage is secure and he’s not the fruit of the evil loins of BJR. BJR can’t stand Alex’s death and jumps on top of Alex’s body and pummels him a while. Time to find him some anger management classes…
Claire updates Jamie on Alex’s death and Jamie is astonished that Claire encouraged Mary to become Black Jack’s wife. Claire corrects him and says she encouraged Mary to become his widow. BJR is destined to die tomorrow at Culloden. Jamie protests that their upcoming sneak attack could negate Culloden. If that happens, Claire offers to make good on her Paris vow to help Jamie bleed BJR (in exchange for not dueling with BJR until Frank’s lineage was secured). Jamie has a “that’s my girl!” smile and they share a tender smooch before he leaves on the commando raid. Ah, the warm and fuzzy Frasers!
Jamie and his men troop through the darkness and get ready to rendezvous with the Prince’s half of the Jacobite army. They wait and wait some more when Murtagh pulls up and reports that Charlie got lost in the dark and the troops turned back. Jamie’s half of the army isn’t enough to successfully attack the English.
That’s it. Tomorrow is Culloden. There’s no turning back.
Reflection – what did we think?
Erica: Since the army was set up at Inverness already, I guess they didn’t go on ahead to scout for provisions in Inverness (?!?!) Eh, a minor technical point, but I wonder if Young Simon is still chasing after the Lovat deserters with promises of land…
Alicia:Yeah…just a minor blip. Also, and maybe I missed it, but I kind of feel it’s odd that BJR or Claire or both didn’t bring up the dual in Paris and where Jamie stabbed him. I mean it seems very un-BJR like to let that lay, dying brother or no.
Erica: Poor Mary! I doubt she saw much of Black Jack’s temper until he jumped on her husband’s dead body. Claire should give her some arsenic to sneak into Black Jack’s food as a backup plan.
Alicia:Poor Mary my arse! Did you see her stab a man in cold blood? Regardless of what he did to her, she gutted him while he was just standing there and not attacking. I don’t think we’re giving her enough credit. I mean I feel BJR tries anything and she’d finish what Jamie started in his attack on BJR’s baby making department. Right?
Erica: That would be a lovely image! There’s such a strong contrast between these brothers. Black Jack is a miserable excuse for a human, but he loves his brother and will do anything to help him. Dougal is mostly honorable (if narrow-minded), but he resents (and loves) his brother and has a lot bottled up. Dougal is not going to take demotion from his king and clan very well.
Alicia: So in Paris I didn’t really see the John/Alex resemblance but now that the two of them are in the same shots…way to go casting team! That is spooky! And sort of weird to see BJR being so nice and genuinely loving toward someone. Kind of scares me more in a weird sense.
Erica: Tobias and Laurence have very similar voices as well. Both have breathy baritones which is also very eerie!
Alicia: So…Colum choosing Jamie over Dougal. I feel there are going to be some unpleasant repercussions there.
Erica: Dougal hold a grudge? Nah! Lol! Yeah, and Dougal is really at rock bottom so the man is likely to explode. I really don’t know if I’m prepared for how epic the finale is going to be!
Alicia: I’m going to bury myself in a cave and surround myself with articles of well being, then I might be able to handle it.
—–BOOK READERS DISCUSSION – (Spoiler Alert!!)———————————
Erica: A proposal from Murtagh! Why are we getting all these character scenes with Murtagh at the end?!?!?! Something tells me we’re going to have a major farewell scene in the finale. Ah! I think I might start crying now!
Alicia: Seriously! I mean I wept for Angus…if Murtagh…nope, not thinking of it.
Erica: Ugly crying ahead. Did you miss seeing Jamie at Alex and Mary’s wedding? I think pushing that meeting will provide greater impact at Culloden.
Alicia: Right? While Jamie not being there wasn’t too big, the fact that Alex didn’t marry them himself was a bit of a let down. It’s such a heartbreaking scene in the book, to watch him marry the two people he loves most as he is literally dying. So sad.
Erica: I’m glad that we finally see Colum again! In this version, Colum never had a doubt that the MacKenzies were not going to fight. I liked the book version where Jamie admits to Colum that they should stay away. Much more fatalistic that way.
Alicia: I’m intrigued if they’ll use this as the catalyst for the “big scene” with Jamie and Dougal or if they’re going to stick to the book version and Claire being the catalyst.
Erica: They are going to have to recast Fergus for next season, aren’t they? We may see a quick flashback with Roman Berrux, but the Fergus we see going forward is going to be 20 years older. It’ll be sad to see the last of those bright blue eyes and thick mop of curls!
Alicia: Well aging Caitriona and Sam won’t be too hard, aging Roman may be a bit more challenging 😛 Hopefully we’ll get flashbacks right? Since at some point they’ll need to tell us about Culloden, the aftermath, etc. But how excited are we for…BREE AND ROGER?!?!?!?!?!
Erica: I’m so excited and anxious! It’s a huge moment for the show and this sets up a lot for next season. We’ll all be pouring over this episode again and again. I think we’ll be breaking the Internet on July 9th!
—–END OF BOOK READER DISCUSSION ——————————————————
Remember that there is no new episode next week with the Fourth of July holiday. Instead, Starz will marathon every episode of both seasons of Outlander over the long weekend.
That means it’ll be two weeks before we get the extended season finale!
What will happen in the finale? Remember the first scene of the season premiere? Remember the flash of Claire and the red-headed little girl? See it all come together in the finale! Also, we’re going to meet two major new characters! Here’s the official description from Starz:
Episode 213: “Dragonfly in Amber”
Flashing forward to 1968, Claire revisits the past and reveals to her daughter, Brianna, the truth about her parentage. Back in the 18th century, the day of the Battle of Culloden has arrived, and Jamie must do everything he can to save the ones he loves.
Sooooooo much to get through in the finale!!!
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