Outlander: Best Laid Schemes...

They're going awry. Yes, yes, we know.

Let's start with Jamie making his peace with the Frank situation. That was a big one but not a complete surprise since Jamie is genuinely noble and always puts Claire first.

While rubbing her feet (yes, he is indeed the perfect man), Jamie told Claire that he decided not to kill Jack Randall because if something happens to him, Claire will need Frank. Much like his totally unselfish romantic gesture when he took her to the stones in "The Devil's Mark," Jamie made Claire promise that if something happened to him, she would go through the stones and back to Frank.

And Claire promised. In "Through a Glass, Darkly" on the other side of the stones, she said exactly this, that Jamie had made her promise.

Jamie couldn't adequately explain to Murtagh why he called off the first duel, so he decided to finally tell him the truth. Of course, Murtagh believed him, but also punched him out for keeping that secret for so long. One of the best scenes in the episode was at the desk where Murtagh wrote down all of the years that Claire had lived through, and asked her if she knew when he would die. After all Murtagh and Claire have been through together, it was lovely that he immediately believed the unbelievable and that his initial reaction was sympathy, an acknowledgement that knowing the future is a terrible burden on Claire.

Indeed, it is – and for us, as well. We know that Jamie and Claire won't be able to change the future, that Culloden is coming, anyway. That all of this carrying on, Jamie and Fergus inflicting fake smallpox on St. Germain's men, Murtagh dressing up like a "Disciple" and robbing the wine shipment, it's enjoyable to watch, but somewhat infuriating.



That frustration continued for me during the sweet scene where Jamie was talking to the baby inside Claire, saying that he couldn't wait to meet his child. It's impossible to watch without remembering that Claire arrived in 1948 pregnant but not showing, and that she never mentioned this baby.

And why is she insisting on working at l'Hôpital des Anges, obviously a hotbed of germs, when she is so far along?

The scene with Monsieur Forez completely freaked me out. He is preparing to execute several practitioners of the dark arts for the King and decided it was a good time to explain to Claire, a woman in an advanced state of pregnancy, the perfect technique for drawing and quartering. While the two of them were cleaning a corpse for burial, no less.

Of course, Claire is no cupcake. She was a World War II combat nurse, accustomed to battlefield hospitals and horrible forms of death. And it's possible that Forez is just a super creepy guy who loves his disturbing job and enjoys talking about it. But it was clear to me that he was trying to warn Claire that she was in danger; he even mentioned that he executed women as well as men.

Or perhaps he told her all this, hoping she would pass the word to Maître Raymond? Claire did indeed run directly to Maître Raymond to warn him to leave Paris. Fortunately, he listened to her.

But unfortunately, as Jamie went back to Madame Elise's to address Prince Charles' lack of funds, Fergus wandered into a room to steal something and was discovered. The red coat hanging on the coat tree suggested the worst. What did Randall do to Fergus? Whatever it was, it was terrible enough that Jamie broke his word to Claire.

After all of Claire's attempts to keep it from happening, she arrived at the Bois de Boulogne to find Jamie and Randall already at each other's throats. That duel was particularly vicious, so fast and furious that Claire knew it was unstoppable. And confusing, in a time travel sense. Jamie didn't kill Randall, but he stabbed him between the legs. Pretty much the perfect revenge to take on the man that raped him, but that again left us with the same question about Frank Randall's fate.

As Claire collapsed, blood streaming down her legs, Jamie was arrested. Again. You know, it's a miracle he stays out of prison at all.

Bits:

— Claire reached the end of her patience with Louise and her frivolous friends, whose heartless disdain for the poor was a textbook answer to "What caused the French Revolution"?

— For some reason, I found Jamie acting as a medical guinea pig for Claire's attempt to fake smallpox amusing. Or maybe at this point I just enjoy watching Sam Heughan do anything.

— Again, much like Claire and Frank in the season opener, I really wish we'd heard Jamie explain time travel to Murtagh. In English, not Gaelic.

— Bad things happen when we're apart. No kidding.

Quotes:

Maître Raymond: "We will meet again, Madonna. In this life or another."
Which reminded me of Lost. And possibly suggested that Maître Raymond is a time traveler, too. He's definitely this season's Geillis Duncan. Could we check him for a vaccination scar?



Jamie: "I owe Frank nothing. You had a free choice between us, and you chose me. The fact you did shouldn't entitle him to any particular consideration."

And yet...

Jamie: "If anything should happen to me, I want there to be a place for you. Someone to care for you. For our bairn. I want it to be a man that loves you. So… now it's my turn to ask you for a promise. Promise me that if the time should come, you will go back through the stones. Back to Frank."

Claire: "It must work. Charles can't get his hands on that money."
Jamie: "Dinna fash, mo nighean donn. If anyone can deliver pestilence and disease, it's us."

Murtagh: "If I do happen to get caught, would you be so kind as to kill me? I refuse to be hanged in this rig out."
Suzette: "Then let me get you undressed, right away."
Then they both smirked, and left the room. So cute.

Prince Charles: "Mark me, I will take my own life if I am forced to live in godforsaken Poland."
Andrew Gower is doing a beautiful job with the irritating idiot Prince Charles. Every time he says "Mark me," I cringe.

Jamie: (re: Murtagh) "He's gone to Portugal to sell the wine. Could be a month or two before he returns."
Fergus: "I will miss his happy face."

Claire: "All I could do was wait to see which of my men would die – Jamie or Frank."

How to rate this one? Three out of four broken corks?

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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