Previously on Outlander, “Untimely Resurrections”
Remember that enormous, relationship-altering fight Jamie and Claire had last week? The one with the tears and extortion and huge, furious feelings? Over it. And now on to the best laid scheme to… poison Jamie. Claire and Jamie, with much side-eye from Murtaugh, hatch a scheme to mimic smallpox on the ship that’s bringing in Prince Charlie’s money-load of wine. If they can make it look like the ship is diseased, they can get another one of St Germain’s boats set on fire–and the wine will be seized before it can be black-marketed for Charlie’s war fund. Smallpox and burning ships already feel like a bit of a retread from episode one, but Claire’s gotta play to her strengths.
Her concoction takes good effect on Jamie, but in order to get Murtaugh on board they have to tell him the truth… the whole truth. The stones, the time traveling, the impending Scottish slaughter–everything. Murtaugh, to his credit, accepts it with no question, which makes him both incredibly loyal and incredibly gullible.
Jamie and sneaky young Fergus pull the plan off without a hitch, and when St. Germain and Chuck find the “ill” sailors, they hide them from the harbormaster and call Jamie in for reinforcements. Okay, I guess that’s a slight hitch. Now Jamie has to escort the wine to the storehouse, and since St. Germain doesn’t trust him (‘cause this isn’t his first rodéo), he wants to go, too. On to Plan B: hire some mercenaries, dress Murtaugh up as a Frenchie, and highjack the wine train as Jamie and St. Germain move it in the middle of the night. For the most part it works, although Murtaugh and St. Germain almost blow each other to bits and Jamie gets a giant conk on the head. But Charle’s wine is gone, and so is his chance to fill his war chest; as expected, he turns into a giant sniveling baby.
In an effort to keep busy while Jamie is out hoodwinking Prince Charlie, Claire (who got enormously pregnant in the last week) goes about her normal daily routine: tea with the vapid of French society, overworking at the hospital until she’s bleeding on her feet, warning her weird friend that there’s a witch hunt in Paris and he needs to get out of Dodge. Nobody wants to see Master Raymond hanged, of course, but if she’d put the smallest amount of thought into that course of action she would have realized that the hugely waddling pregnant woman saying hi to everyone on the way to that weirdo sorcerer guy’s shop might attract some attention. I’ve got five bucks on this coming back to bite her in the ass in a burning-at-the-stake kind of way.
Fergus is also about to learn some serious consequences when he picks a pocket or two at the brothel and ends up locked in a room with a certain sadistic redcoat that loves him some young boyflesh.
Nothing is shown–the show has to draw a line somewhere–but next thing we know Claire can’t find Jamie because he and Randall are out in the Dueling Woods. What I’m hoping is that Jamie saved Fergus in the nick of time and then challenged Randall to a second duel because he’s a rapey bastard. Not that Claire knows any of that; all she gets is a highly decorative, but short on explanation note from Jamie. Perhaps all that time he spent making lovely swirls and loops he could have increased his word count: something like “Saved Fergus. Killing Randall”. Or “Avenging Fergus. Back by dinner.” But she gets zero explanation, and instead has to imagine all of the worst possible outcomes as she races for the Dueling Woods.
And then it’s like all of her fears come true in the span of 15 seconds: Jamie wounds Black Jack in a way that ensures that Future Frank will never happen, then gets arrested and carted off to the Bastille, and then she collapses in a bloody heap, because all of this stress is causing her to miscarry.
Since most of this episode (until the last two minutes) felt like it was set up and exposition for future events, the highlights were Claire’s pregnancy wardrobe. I’m hoping she gets a break from all of the stays and corsets of regular French life, but it’s really hard to tell with what she’s wearing. But what a way to ride through your pregnancy in style–if I’m ever going to be the size of a house, I want to do it in a peplum and cloak and mustard-yellow riding gloves. Even Murtaugh got in on the costume action, although he really just looked like Murtaugh in a fancier vest.
But what a last two minutes, right? If nothing else, this show knows how to close on a high note–the conversations and the schemes and the sex are always good, well acted and beautifully shot, but Jamie and Claire screaming for each other was some next-level shit.
Outlander S2E6 = 7.8/10