Outlander Season 2, Episode 2
“Not in Scotland Anymore”
Posted by Kim
A LOT of harrowing shit went down in the first season of Outlander. Claire being attacked by Blackjack and the Red Coats immediately after time traveling. Jamie’s horrific flogging. Blackjack beating Claire (I feel like I actually felt it when he punched her in the stomach). Claire’s almost rape at the hands of Blackjack (“Take your hands off my wife.”). But by far the most harrowing and gut wrenching was Jamie’s rape and psychological torture at the hands of Blackjack Randall. Seriously…Jamie’s single tear as you literally see his mind leave his body is the definition of HAUNTING. What made Jamie’s trauma so awful was that despite everything he had been through, he was GOOD and he was pure-hearted. Blackjack took something that was BEAUTIFUL between him and Claire and he made it ugly. He took sex, something Jamie associated with love and Claire, and made it something dirty and painful. It was horrible and SHAME on awards bodies for not recognizing the sensitivity of Sam Heughan’s performance. It’s beautiful acting and it’s devastating and it’s IMPORTANT. I love Outlander for many reasons. The fact that they so boldly explored male sexual trauma is one of them because it’s something that we as a culture don’t really talk about. Jamie is (as Sage just said to me) a man who is the very picture of masculinity. You would never look at him and think that he’s a man who could be overpowered and violated in the way that he was. And that’s what it was…a violation. Trauma is trauma and it happens to both men and women and we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about the repercussions. As horrible as it was, one of my greatest hopes for season two was that they wouldn’t just let this story go and have Jamie back to being how he was before his rape. For victims of any violation of this sort, there is always the “before” and “after” aspects of their psyche. You can heal and you can move on and find that piece of yourself again, but you can never go back to before.
When “Not in Scotland Anymore” opened with Jamie and Claire in the throes of passion, I immediately knew something had to be not quite right in this whole scenario. It was too disconnected (despite their cries of pleasure) and hazily filmed to be anything but a dream. Sure enough, mid-thrust, Claire turns into Blackjack Randall beneath him. Jamie panics, even though his body keeps going (harkening back to the shame he felt that his own BODY betrayed him with Randall). Somehow Dream!Jamie gets a dagger and proceeds to slash into Blackjack with the skill of all the best horror movies, leaving them both covered in blood. (For a fleeting moment, I feared that Jamie ACTUALLY murdered Claire mid-sex but then I remembered Claire makes it back to the present very much alive. And then I got sad again.) Jamie wakes with a start and Claire immediately starts to soothe him, proving this has become their normal. (Ugh, fuck you Blackjack.) “He’s alive…in my head. I canna get him out,” Jamie despairs. Claire gently presses that he WILL get it out of his head in time but that’s little comfort to Jamie in this moment. He knows there will be no more sleep for him tonight and he leaves Claire alone in their bed. “See you in the morning, Sassenach.” Do they have shrinks in Pre-Revolutionary Paris?
Ah, Paris. Jamie and Claire have settled in the City of Light, so the episode is chock-full of character introductions as we meet the characters that will populate the season. There’s Master Raymond, an apothecary who Claire befriends when she stops in to try to find a 1745 version of Ambien for Jamie. Using her keen sense of smell, Claire calls bullshit on Raymond’s elixr with “crocodile blood”. (It’s pig’s blood, given that they are in France and crocodiles don’t live there.) Rather than being pissed off, Raymond is immediately endeared to Claire. They also have a mutual enemy in Comte St. Germain, the guy who had the small pox infested boat in the premiere. Raymond is cagey about the nature of his relationship with St. Germain, merely calling them rivals. “Since he’s your enemy as well, you must, in point of fact, be my friend,” Raymond says. I don’t know you guys. I’ve read enough Shakespeare to know that apothecaries should never be trusted.
Then we have Louise de Rohan, French socialite and all-around good time, and her shy young ward Mary Hawkins. I’m OBSESSED with Louise. Louise is bawdy and loud and frivolous. She has a pet monkey. She has no sense of shame as she flounces around her lounge half-naked as she gets her legs waxed. (Did they DO that back then? How long have we been enduring our battle with body hair, ladies? Also I live for the heaps of abuse Louise heaped upon her waxer.) Mary is everything Louise is not. She’s timid and is utterly shocked by Louise’s shamelessness (I mean…it IS shocking). Mary is pledged to marry a wealthy (and old and wart covered) Vicomte and is not at all happy about it. Claire feels an instant kinship and need to take care of her. There is also something that twinges in a corner of her memory regarding this girl, but Claire can’t put her finger on it. “I’m sure I’ve heard that name before somewhere,” Claire muses. “I don’t believe we met,” Mary replies. “Hmmm…well. It will come to me somehow.” FORESHADOWING. Before Claire can figure out just how she knows Mary, Louise sprawls on her chaise and spreads her legs. Time to introduce Claire to the latest craze sweeping Paris: Le Full Brazilian. Claire is definitely intrigued. More on that later.
At long last we also meet the very reason that Claire and Jamie traveled to France in the first place: Bonny Prince Charlie aka Charles Edward Stuart aka the man who is going to lead the doomed Jacobite rebellion. Over some dueling practice/physical therapy for his hand, Murtagh suggests that they just kill the Prince instead of trying to reason with him because he is SO over France already. Jamie shoots that idea down because a) he’s not an assassin and b) killing the Prince could possibly makes James Stuart even more desperate for the English Throne. Sadly, the only way to try to stop this rebellion is to try to talk the Prince out of it. That opportunity comes when Jared is able to arrange a face to face meeting. In a brothel. Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir, amirite?
After the madam makes a sales pitch for the ginormous dildos the brothel is offering (SERIOUSLY OUCH), Jamie, Murtagh, and the Prince get down to business. The Prince asks Jamie to be honest with him (“I have no desire to add another sycophant to my acquaintances.”) and tell him of the affairs in Scotland and whether or not the clans are ready to join his cause. BLESS Jamie for his pure and honest soul, because he actually tells it to him straight. “Well, sire, the truth of it is, the clans canna agree on the color of the sky, let alone put aside their old grievances and band together to fight the British. No, sire… they’re not ready to hear the call of the pipes nor likely to be so for many years to come.” This is news to the Prince and it causes him to question Jamie’s loyalties. “I assure you, sire…I hate the English as much as any man. I carry the scars of 200 lashes on my back that remind me of the fact every day. You asked for the truth, and the truth is what I gave you.” Jamie is not one to tell someone the things they WANT to hear after all. The Prince didn’t want another sycophant…and he’s not going to get one in Jamie Fraser. Charles is not so easily dissuaded, however. He is driven by the divine power of God after all, and God wants a Catholic King. It is God’s WILL that Charles be the one to unite the clans. Okay, sure, whatever you say, dude.
A King can’t take over by God’s Will alone though. What he really needs is money. They need to win the support of the French Minister of Finance, Joseph Duverney. Since the Prince is in France unofficially, he can’t be received at court. But you know who CAN? Jamie Fraser. “I see you have the heart of a true patriot willing to risk my divine wrath in order to safeguard your countrymen. I can think of no better man to help me in this time of need.” Score one for Jamie. It’s clear he is going to have to play the game for a bit if he wants to stop the rebellion. At home, Claire is thrilled that Jamie has managed to win a place in the Prince’s circle. She urges that they still have plenty of time to change his mind, but Jamie is not so sure. Charles only listens to God after all and apparently God is telling him to take over. Claire agrees that they can change tactics. Wars need money. Now their mission must be to convince Duverney that Charles is a bad investment.
After an afternoon with Louise (and her waxer), Claire is in the mood for some Scottish lovin’. She comes to bed with a smirk on her face because she has a surprise for Jamie. His reaction is PRICELESS. “Your honeypot…is bare!” HONEYPOT. HONEY. POT. I think I fell off my couch. Jamie is confused but intrigued and Claire’s smirk is everything. “I’m aware of that. I was there when it happened.” Her seduction game is SO STRONG, I need her to teach me everything she knows. Jamie mourns the loss of the full bush (I can’t believe I just typed that) but finds himself aroused by this new landscape. (Also Sam deserves an Emmy for delivering the line “But to rid yourself of such a forest” with a straight face.) “You’re a very daring woman, Sassenach. I suppose that makes me a very lucky man.” They fool around for a bit and I think it’s so important that while Claire was DEFINITELY looking to get laid, she also allows Jamie to take things at his own pace. I also think it’s important that it’s clear that Jamie WANTS Claire and that he doesn’t shy away from her touch. But as much as his body and his HEART longs to be intimate with his wife, his MIND is not ready. Jamie freezes, seeing Blackjack again. He can’t do this. I love that Claire doesn’t shame him nor does she throw a fit because he needed to stop. She just tells him that it’s okay and they can just go to sleep. I mean…they both know it’s NOT okay, but what else can they do in that moment? Again, I gotta send a big fuck you out to Blackjack for taking this away from them.
When the Frasers get an invitation to Versailles, it’s time to bust out their finest of fineries and BOY does Claire go all out. That. Red. Dress. THAT RED DRESS. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. One of my favorite things about the dress reveal is the moment that Jamie SEES her. It’s such a split second of awe and wonder and “look at how hot my wife is” before his brain clicks into caveman “EVERYONE IS GOING TO SEE MY WIFE’S BOOBS” mode. Jamie and Claire’s back and forth about the dress and it’s decency was basically the “What’s this?” “A dress!” “Says who?” “Calvin Klein!” “It looks like underwear.” exchange from Clueless. “Christ, Sassenach,” Jamie growls. “First your honeypot, now this.” I love how Claire’s face was like “deal with it, boo”. Claire does what she wants and if she wants to embrace the sexual revolution, no one is going to stop her. Not even her hot husband.
At Versailles, Claire and Jamie meet Annalise de Marillac, a former flame of Jamie’s. She runs up to him and tackles him with a hug and a kiss and calls him her “little savage”. Claire’s “WHO DIS” face is GLORIOUS. Jamie’s “OH SHIT” face is glorious. Everything is glorious. The women instantly begin a lady equivalent of a pissing match over him.
Annalise: Let me congratulate you on having won such a strong, passionate man for a husband.
Claire: Yes. I’m quite fortunate, aren’t I?
Annalise: Tell me, did he fight many duels to win your affection?
Claire: Actually, he won my heart without having to draw his sword.
Annalise: Oh, more’s the pity. When I knew him, he had quite the appetite for the blades.
In other words, back off my husband or I will cut you. I love that the possessiveness goes both ways between them. Annalise is all “Let me escort you to the dressing of the king!” and Claire is all “Yeah you do that but he’s coming home with me and my honeypot tonight, savvy?” and Jamie is all “I don’t know what’s happening” and Murtagh is all “LET’S GO BACK TO SCOTLAND” and I’m clapping on my couch in delight. This show is the best.
Of course, the “dressing of the King” principally involves everyone gathering around to support the King as he tries to take a dump. Luckily, Jamie knows the benefit of a diet high in fiber.
While stepping out for a bit of fresh air, Claire encounters Duverney. Duverney mistakes Claire’s delight in meeting him at last as an invitation to grope her. Claire tells him he is GROSSLY mistaken but he thinks she is just playing hard to get, so he just pushes harder. Luckily, Jamie clearly has some sort of radar for when any other man tries to touch his wife, so he shows up and tosses Duverney in the lake (having no idea who he is, he just saw someone putting the moves on Claire). “I told you this dress would bring us grief.” NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO SLUT SHAME JAMIE. Women do not ASK for it by wearing revealing clothing, okay? I know we’re in the 1700’s but I desperately need him to be educates in the #YesAllWomen movement.
Luckily, Duverney doesn’t hold any ill will against the Frasers for his impromptu dip in the lake. In fact, he thanks Jamie and blames his behavior on too much champagne (that’s what they all say). Jamie and Duverney make a bro-date to play some chess and I feel this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The evening takes an unexpected turn when Murtagh and the Frasers happen upon the Duke of Sandringham, which is NOT good news. Jamie basically has to hold Murtagh back from killing the Duke on the spot. If you recall from season one, Sandringham was supposed to help Jamie get his pardon but ended up backing out on him. Basically, he’s a dick and the lowest of low. Sandringham is all “I was TOTALLY going to get that petition to the courts but it was TOTALLY Blackjack Randall’s fault.” It’s obvious that Claire and Jamie don’t buy his simpering for a second but there is nothing to be done about that now. They exchange pleasantries about the wine business through clenched teeth before Claire pointedly name-drops that Jamie and Murtagh should join Duvernay for a drink.
Once Jamie is out of earshot, Sandringham gleefully drops one HELL of a bombshell. He introduces Claire to his young secretary, Alexander Randall. YEP. The BROTHER of Blackjack. (Excellent casting btw, this guy could totally be Tobias’ brother.) “Mrs. Fraser and your brother are VERY well acquainted,” Sandringham sneers. (FUCK OFF) Alexander CLEARLY has no idea what’s going on because he simply says “Well, I will have to tell Jonathan that I met you.” WHAT. So it turns out the rumors of Blackjack’s demise were highly exaggerated. He’s very much alive and well. He could come back into their lives at any minute. Claire physically recoils as if she is re-living the moment Blackjack punched her in the stomach. Oh shit.
Swoon Worthy Jamie Fraser Moment of the Week
Everyone enjoy a little post-dueling practice Jamie…
Side note, I know this is the Jamie we’re supposed to love, but damn if I don’t love when he ties his hair back. It shows off those cheekbones PERFECTLY.
- Claire spotted Mary Hawkins canoodling with Alex Randall, so maybe she’s not as sweet and innocent as she first appeared.
- Have I mentioned how obsessed I am with Louise? Her reaction to Annalise saying her husband died of smallpox is PRICELESS. (Also I need all sorts of text added to this so I can use it for gif-caps.)
- Claire is an independent woman and she can clean up after herself, thanks. She has no patience for servants.
- Good news, guys. I found my Birthday Dress for this year. Murtagh approves.
How and WHEN is Claire going to tell Jamie that his tormenter is VERY MUCH ALIVE? Discuss in the comments. See you next week.