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Outlander – S2E3 – Useful Occupations and Deceptions

Previously on Outlander, “Not in Scotland Anymore”

Images: Starz

Images: Starz

Well that’s a mouthful of a title, isn’t it? Jamie is working day and night (though mostly nights…drinking…in a brothel…) to dissuade Chuck not to move forward with the rebellion, leaving Claire to go to bed and wake up alone in her giant french bed. She kills a little bit of every day having tea with her squad, giving the occasional sex ed lesson to sweet Mary Hawkins, and hanging out at Raymond’s apothecary, but it’s not surprising that Claire is left wholly unsatisfied. It’s not until she starts volunteering at L’Hopital des Anges that she finally feels like herself again, even if herself is someone who doesn’t mind cleaning up bed pans and gets overly excited at lancing boils. Her newly found purpose doesn’t only come with benefits, and Jamie loses his shit when he comes home to an empty house.

This might be the very first time Jamie and Claire have felt like a real life couple: he comes home too tired to talk and has to leave again immediately, she resents having to waste her time being frivolous when she just needs to feel useful. But I’m not here for it. I don’t watch this show to see the tedium of real life or the complexities of making a marriage work–I can turn off the TV and hang out in my own house for that business. I certainly don’t watch it to see Jamie throw a hissy fit because Claire didn’t spend all day hovering in the doorway just in case he needed her. Get it together, sir. It’s clear you’re tired, and probably dehydrated (does anyone ever drink water? He literally complained about how much Chuck was making him drink while a servant poured him another drink), but let’s not forget just how much Claire has had your back so far. She just might be on your side.

jamie and fergus

Jamie does bring home a new addition to the family in Fergus, brothel bastard and skilled pickpocket. With steady wages and new clothes, Fergus helps “intercept” letters before they reach Chuck–since Chuck has been keeping secrets from Jamie, it’s the only way he can level the field and actually find out what’s going on.

When he comes across a piece of sheet music that is written in code, he has to bring on Claire and Mother Hildegard, the head nun at the hospital, to help decode it. Loathe as he is to ask for help, and hopefully embarrassed by how he’s been treating his wife, a little bit of a spark comes back as the three discover the meaning behind the stolen music.

spies like us

Chuck wasn’t kidding when he said he had English backers; he doesn’t have enough to finance a war, but he might have just enough to entice King Louis to come on board. But it’s the Duke of Sandringham’s coded song that they have in their hand, which means not only is the Duke playing both sides of the fence, but if Jamie meets up with him he’ll probably discover that Black Jack Randall is still alive. Perhaps Claire should have taken a minute to fill Jamie in on that one.

Even more new characters! Paris is starting to seem bigger than all of Scotland. Both Fergus, an adorable little felon, and Mother Hildegard, who is surprisingly smaller than when she played Madam Maxine, play major roles in the stories of their very new friends. Funny how Fergus has no problem committing the crimes while Mother Hildegard tries to at least not commit any crimes outright. What a vast array of people the Frasers surround themselves with: criminals and royalty and clergy and heretics and really loyal servants that they can talk about time-travel and mail theft in front of without worrying that they’re going to take their work home.

Claire has as many costume changes as speaking lines in this episode–did people really change clothes that often? And we haven’t seen a repeat of an outfit yet, which seems a little frivolous for someone who wore the same dress for all of last season. The mustard yellow dress with the grey trim and matching cape made me instantly need a cape with a hood (and also a place to wear said cape). I could probably also use a plum wool coat like she had, too. You know, just in case. Everyone else in Paris is dressed so differently than Claire; it’s like she has a secret dressmaker who has access to really vibrantly colored solid fabric instead of all of the florals that the rest of the court uses.

dress collage e3

Outlander S2E2 = 8/10
  • 7.5/10
    Plot - 7.5/10
  • 9/10
    Dialogue - 9/10
  • 5/10
    Action - 5/10
  • 9/10
    Performances - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Costumes - 9/10
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About Robyn Horton (94 Articles)
Robyn grew up a military brat whose parents let her indulge in her love of literature, mythology, movies, musicals, and Kings Quest (without telling her how nerdy they were). She is now a reformed graphic designer with a husband, two dogs, a Sweeney Todd themed bathroom, and a burning need to know how many books really can fit in one house.

9 Comments on Outlander – S2E3 – Useful Occupations and Deceptions

  1. This episode bored me….I’m not getting into this Paris adventure-I’ve not read the books-can any1 in nutshell explain what the Jacobite rebellion was about???

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