Can you believe Claire died in this episode? I’m kidding. Nobody died in this episode. That was your spoiler alert. Watch episode 205 before reading this, please.
So this episode is called Untimely Resurrection, of course, because somebody is going to be resurrected, and it ain’t Jesus. Guess who it is? Well, okay, you know who it is, we just saw the episode.
But before we get to that, let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Our opening image, always a harbinger of things to come, is a horse being groomed and prepared with a royal crest on its blanket. So we’re going to do something with horses and, most likely, the king. Good to know.
We then pick up where we left off last time, namely with the ruined dining room and salon at chez Jamie and Claire, utterly in shambles from the all-out brawl that the dinner party turned into. Remember?
The gen d’armes took all the guys away, including Jamie and Alex Randall, who has been accused of raping Mary—which, of course, he did not do. Everyone up to speed? Awesome.
Jamie comes home and we get a tender moment where he carries wee Fergus off to bed, Claire giving Jamie that, “Aw, you’re going to be the best dad” look that makes all of our ovaries pulsate just a little bit.
Claire gives a bit more info about the rape of Mary—the men spoke aristocratic French and had nice clothes and shoes. And we’re going to find out why in just a moment. But first, why did the rapists refer to Claire as “La Dame Blanche” (The White Lady, AKA The White Witch)? Turns out, Jamie started that rumor.
No biggie, though. Last time Claire got accused of witchcraft, it ended really well. Oh, wait, no it didn’t.
Before we leave this scene, we get a nice moment of connection between Jamie and Claire, where we pretty much figure she’s not going to be too mad about the “Dame Blanche” stuff for too long.
Anyhoo, off we go to the wine business. You do remember, of course, that Jamie is running his cousin Jared’s wine business while they’re in France, and it’s Jared’s house they’re staying in. (In case you were thinking that in the 1700s, they just handed you a chateau full of servants as soon as you landed in France. Um, they didn’t.)
The rapists, we now learn, are aspirants to a street gang called Les Disciples, and they prowl the streets at night looking for virgins to rape as their entry fee to the gang. Lovely.
Okay, and here we get another scene I refer to in Outlander 2: Written in Diana’s Own Heart’s Blood, AKA “Top Five Dragonfly in Amber Moments,” and it’s a scene that may not seem like much at first, but it will end up being quite important.
Murtagh, overcome with grief over letting Mary be raped and placing Claire and the baby in danger, says:
“You gave me your trust, your wife and your child unborn to guard, and that wee English lassie… I cannot forgive myself for what happened in that alley.”
Jamie, rather than condemning Murtagh, gives him a new mission—find out who was behind the rape. And if it was St. Germaine, as they suspect, well, Murtagh knows what he’s supposed to do with that information. And so – THEME ALERT- the seed of hope that redemption is attainable will carry him through his grief.
“I will lay just vengeance at your feet, or be damned,” says Murtagh.
Speaking of theme alerts, let’s cut to Mary, being cradled by Claire in the 18th century version of what you wear when applying a rape kit.
Okay, not really.
“How are you feeling?” Claire asks Mary. And Mary responds, “Ashamed, like I’m a different person now, and I’ll never be the same.” I warned you we were going to touch upon a recurring theme here. Poor Claire, around every corner these days, someone seems to be healing from a rape. Oh, Diana Gabaldon, why do you keep doing this to us?
If there’s a silver lining for Mary, it is that she now knows she will not have to marry that corpulent old man, the vicomte, and will instead be able to marry her true love, Alexander Randall. Or will she?
Because all of this makes a light bulb go off over Claire’s head: “What becomes of Frank,” Claire wonders, if Mary marries Alex? And that, my friends, is the rub. Because this problem applies to more than just the future happiness of the would-be Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Randall. It could derail everything Claire has been trying to do.
And so, walking into the living room, holding the letter that would exculpate Alex and free him from the Bastille in her trembling hand, Claire does what any future bride who’s abandoned her husband in order to marry Jamie Fraser instead would do—she drops the letter into the flames, condemning Alex to death while betraying sweet little Mary.
Nah, I’m just kidding. This is Claire we’re talking about, not Lady Macbeth. We all know she’s not going to burn the letter.
Now, real quick, before we get to what Claire does do to Alex, Prince Charles comes to visit Jamie at work. And while he’s upset that the backers from the dinner party are not going to finance his little war game, he is excited about a new partner: The Comte St. Germaine.
The Prince sums up the plan: “Once we sell the wine, we’ll earn ourselves a rich profit.” And that, in theory, will be enough to start getting ships, weapons—you know, war stuff.
Meanwhile, back in Claire’s ever-more-complicated plan to keep Frank alive in the 20th century, let’s go break up a happy couple, shall we?
Poor Alex seems to have a nasty cough, giving Claire a great reason to tell him not to marry Mary. (I just like saying “marry Mary” as many times as I can in this article.) After all, a dead guy with no job would make a lousy husband.
I hate to say it, but it’s a wee bit creepy that Claire is literally trying to separate poor trembling little Mary from the one guy who loves her and would protect her… so she can set her up with Black Jack Randall.
Sorry. Where was I? Ooh, two hot guys in a brothel. I wonder how they’ll get along.
Just as I figured.
They talk a little business—pretty much all the stuff the prince mentioned previously. But, of course, that’s not really the point of this scene. The point of this scene is to finally see who has the higher cheekbones:
Mmm, I think Sam has this one.
Oh, wait, there’s another reason for this scene: Jamie threatens the comte with the information that when he finds out who poisoned his wife and raped her friend, that man “will die a very slow and very painful death.”
The comte claims complete disinterest in the affairs of Jamie’s wife. But is he telling the truth? I have a feeling we’ll find out in an episode or two. But first…
A new plan is hatched: Claire will dispose of the wine shipment that is meant to help finance the war by creating a new “false” case of small pox on the comte’s ship. After all, it worked the first time. Maybe Master Raymond can help make it look like the same thing has happened again. As they used to say in the serials: “Tune in next time to find out!”
But first, a gift:
Apostles’ Spoons, “one for each of the 12 apostles.” And why do we get this gift here? So Claire can have a little moment that all of us who’ve had children will recognize—the “holy crap I can’t be a mom I know absolutely nothing about children, what was I thinking?” moment. Or in her words:
“I can’t help but wondering if I’ll be any good at it—being a mother. I only have a vague memory of my own mother, nothing really to guide me.” (Not to mention no Xbox to stick them in front of when you want to take a shower. Sorry, I was projecting a bit there.)
“We’ll learn together,” says Jamie. Aww!
Okay, enough of this. Let’s cut to the money shot, shall we?
Wow. I don’t know how much of this is CGI, but I’m going to just tell myself that none of it is, and the production crew actually went back to 18th century Versailles to shoot this. Shh, don’t tell me different.
And before we get to the plot of this scene, it’s time for COSTUME WATCH—Claire in brown with yellow flowers. I don’t even have a funny meme for this one. I just wanted to ogle the needlework for a second.
The back is the best part. Okay, we’re moving on. Why are we at the stables, other than to give Jamie a reason to display his expertise on horses again—a nice nod to his old life in Scotland?
Why, to see the Duke of Sandringham again, of course. And to learn what he thinks of Charles: “He’s an utter ass.” Got it. So the duke is not a fan of the Bonnie Prince. But will that be enough to thwart the prince’s plan for rebellion? Time will tell.
In the meantime, cat fight!
“When I knew him, he was a boy. You’ve turned him into a man.”
Thanks, Annalise. There’s nothing a woman enjoys more than when her husband’s ex-girlfriend wants to compare love notes. I’m waiting for Claire to take that blue scarf and choke this chick out with it. But that will have to wait. Because look who showed up to ruin this nice party.
And now we get an absolutely dynamite scene between Claire and Jack, courtesy of this episode’s writer Richard Kahan. All the claws come out in this taut little exchange, Claire all but lasering the man down with her stare. She rightfully warns that if Jamie sees him, he’ll slit his throat. But I’m watching it and wondering if she’s not going to finish the job first.
It’s funny. Ronald Moore mentioned in an interview that he filled the writers’ room for this show with half people who had read the book and half people who didn’t, just to keep it fresh. My Magic 8 Ball tells me that Richard is probably a member of the latter group. None of this is really unraveling the way it did in the book, but the gist of it is the same. Claire’s desire to destroy the man who tortured her husband wrestling with her own knowledge of his role in the lineage of Frank—that’s drama, people.
And Black Jack, of course, does not disappoint. As deliciously played as ever by Tobias Menzies, he gleefully chews the scenery, relishing the fact that his fateful reacquaintance with Claire must be fated by the gods. Damn, this guy is sick.
Even the pleasure of watching the king, played beautifully here in a style that’s almost Kabuki-like (the research team went full boogie on this one), forcing him to his knees in supplication only to laugh at him for his naiveté, doesn’t do much to relief that part of me that wants to smash his face in.
So the king gets in some killer lines about the English, including some insults about his accent, followed by this little gem: “Pity that your countrymen are usually too busy slaughtering each other to exchange such pleasantries.” Nice.
Oh, hey, speaking of smashing Randall’s face in, Jamie’s here!
And now we realize what Claire does—Jamie is happy. And why is he happy? Why does he have this smile on his face after talking to Randall privately for a moment:
Claire devises a last-ditch plan to get Black Jack temporarily jailed so she can talk some sense into Jamie. (You know it’s serious when she kicks Murtagh out!) But Jamie is already on fire.
He says, “You gave me a gift, Claire, when you told me Randall was alive. A gift, knowing I’d be the one to end that bastard’s life.”
“You can’t kill Randall,” Claire explains, “because of Frank!”
And then we get a bunch of time-travel woes that are a bit more of a headache than Claire had originally intended. But the basic idea boils down to this: Wait a year. Wait until the ancestor of Frank is sired, and then “I’ll help you bleed him myself,” Claire promises.
And now we get a line that sent a chill down my spine, because some of us remember this quite well from the book:
“You owe me that much, James Fraser. I saved your life, not once, but twice. You owe me a life!”
Only in the book, this line doesn’t come in this scene. It comes later, regarding someone else. And that, my friends, is where I will leave you for this week. With the cold premonition that this line is rearing its ugly head for a reason now. And next week, we’re all going to know why.
Jamie agrees to wait a year, “not one day more.” But it’s a cold victory.
I just got a little sad. Sam, can you help me out here?
Ouch. Gonna be a rough week.
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