‘Outlander' season 2, episode 6: Broken promises
All this scheming and meddling is exhausting, for the Frasers, and for us. I find myself drifting off as our Outlander team plans charades, but we're always given a good balance of heart-wrenching and heartwarming moments. "Best Laid Schemes" is a great example of that.
Let's begin with Jamie and Murtagh. They haven't been seeing eye-to-eye lately. Murtagh has resting-skeptical-face always, because he has no idea what's really going on. Jamie won't duel Jonathan Randall (because he promised Claire he wouldn't), but Murtagh doesn't understand. Murtagh is on board to thwart Charles Stuart's rebellion, but again, he has no idea what the motivations are, especially when it seems like a noble cause.
So finally, the Frasers let Murtagh in on the secret. And he takes it surprisingly well.
But the next scene could have easily been glossed over. We see Claire at the hospital with a man we haven't seen before: Monsieur Forez, a hangman. They have rather disturbing discussion where he describes his job hanging traitors in delicate details. This is part of the dialogue from Dragonfly In Amber:
"As death approaches, then, you must reach up into the cavity of the body to grasp the heart. Here skill is called upon. The heart retracts, you see, without the downward anchorage of the viscera, and often it is surprisingly far up. In addition, it is most slippery. But the major difficulty lies in severing the large vessels above very quickly, so that the organ may be pulled forth while still beating. You wish to please the crowd," he explained. "It makes a great difference to the remuneration. As to the rest -- mere butchery. Once life is extinct, there is no further need for skill."
Further in the book, Jamie and Claire discuss Monsieur Forez's thoughts and talk about the difference between being hanged as an outlaw and being executed as a traitor. Outwardly in France, Jamie is a Jacobite supporter, but he's actually trying to undercut the Stuart rising. If he was to set foot in England under that pretense, he'd be a traitor. Jamie might as well be a dead man walking, but he's not going to let that stop him from his current plan of action.
Unfortunately, most of this episode is devoted to screwing up the wine sales between Comte St. Germain and Charles Stuart. Ugh. They're still planning on fake poisoning the wine so no one buys the wine. It's scenes like this, though, where I'm reminded that Outlander is basically Claire with her hand on her hip telling the men what to do. #Feminism.
With help from little Fergus, the fun begins. The wine is tainted with Claire's concoction, and word soon gets around to Charles and St. Germain. Quickly the two enlist Jamie to secretly transport the wine.
This furthers their plan, but Claire is super worried. A disguised Murtagh will steal the wine en route. Things go down actually surprisingly smoothly for the Frasers. St. Germain allllllmost shoots Murtagh, but Jamie gets their in time. Phew.
St. Germain is wisely suspicious of the thieves. Again, he's basically a Disney villain and half the time I'm expecting him to break out into a Gaston-like song.
Charles is devastated about the wine snafu. He no longer has secured funds for his army. His father will not be king. He's going to have to live in Poland. Like Jamie, we're trying not to chuckle in his face.
So for some reason, Claire is still working at the hospital. This woman is about to pop. Mother Hildegarde keeps Claire overnight after she starts bleeding, although it's nothing to worry about, she says.
But as soon as she makes it home, Jamie isn't there. Suzette chokes out a story about a duel with an Englishman. He's left a note. Claire knows exactly what is happening. And even in her state, she flees to Jamie.
And in one heartbreaking scene, Jamie and Claire's lives change forever. But of course we know exactly how until next episode. What we do know: Jamie has stabbed Black Jack Randall in the groin and he's bleeding profusely. Claire starts hemorrhaging as she cries out for Jamie. Jamie is about to be arrested for dueling.
Tonight's best moment: Jamie and Claire in bed with the baby. I think I felt an ovary.
Second best: Claire trying to change the minds of The Real Housewives of Paris.
Book readers: I'm still disappointed a certain character from the past hasn't come to France, yet. We've definitely had some rearranging in plot development, but it seems like a lost opportunity to not include this one.