Outlander Season 2, Episode 6
“Best Laid Schemes”
Posted by Kim
Well that happened.
I mean a LOT of stuff happened on this week’s episode of Outlander. Jamie finally told Murtagh the truth about Claire. The Frasers did a LOT of sexy spy stuff, sabotaging St. Germain and The Prince’s wine shipment. Claire went into premature labor. BUT OH YES…JAMIE DUELED BLACKJACK RANDALL AND STABBED HIM IN THE DICK. (It was a bad week for dicks on television between this and Adam shooting Doug in the dick on The Family. But both characters were sexual predators and very much deserved it. I am HERE for victims taking their own brand of justice against their attackers.) What does this mean for the continued existence of Frank Randall in the future? Also I am SUPER confused because Claire is pregnant in the future and not even showing…so is she pregnant with a second baby? This is probably where having read the books would come in handy. ANYWAY. I’ve gotten way ahead of myself, so let us go back to the beginning shall we?
Murtagh is still gung-ho for Jamie to duel Randall. He tells Jamie that Randall has been released from the Bastille and moves forward with the plans, saying he’ll talk to Randall’s second and set up the terms. Jamie reluctantly puts the brakes on everything, telling Murtagh that he’s already sent word that he’s withdrawing his challenge. “I ken I’m a simple man,” Murtagh says. “But strive for an explanation.” Jamie merely says he has a good reason for canceling because “My wife ordered me not to duel my arch-nemesis because I’d be killing her husband in the future” is a bit heavy for breakfast conversation.
Meanwhile at the hospital, Claire has a very pointed conversation with the King’s executioner, a fellow volunteer. He is off to do his day job, i.e. execute some people. Who are these criminals? Practitioners of the dark arts. He takes great pleasure in describing how the King wants them to be drawn and quartered (GULP) and then looks at her and says that perhaps she would find better company in Master Raymond (DOUBLE GULP). Look, I’m not saying that all of these rumors about Claire being a witch could be coming to a head but that’s exactly what I’m saying. This can’t be a coincidence. Later that day, Claire goes to Raymond and tells him to get the heck out of dodge. She doesn’t think Louis is joking around this time. “If it is as you say,” Raymond says. “Then you shouldn’t have come here. You’ve put yourself at grave risk. But I’m touched by your concern for my welfare.” Claire brushes off his gratitude because this is what friends are for. Raymond promises to flee but not before saying they will meet again, “in this life or another,” which just adds fuel to my “Raymond is not of this time” feeling.
In my recap last week, I expressed my concern that Claire’s request for Jamie to spare Randall’s life for the time being had irrevocably broken something between them. For now, it seems my concerns were for naught as we see Jamie giving Claire a foot massage that night as they sit by the fire. (GOD HOW IS HE SO PERFECT? IT’S JUST RUDE.) Not that Jamie has forgotten about their confrontation, mind you, it just seems that some of his initial anger has abated. “I’ve been thinking that…remember you said I owed you a life, because you saved mine? Well, I’ve saved yours as well, at least as often. Seems to me we’re even. I dinna give you Randall’s life in payment of a debt. I owe Frank nothin’. You had a free choice between us and you chose me. The fact you did shouldna entitle him to any particular consideration.” Jamie’s reasoning is correct. Claire chose HIM the moment she turned down the chance to go back through the stones. Claire made her choice and now she’s wanting to have her cake and eat it too. Jamie and Randall, to quote Streetcar Named Desire, have had this date from the beginning. Be it from the rape or be it from the flogging that marred his back, they’ve always been destined to meet on the dueling grounds. “What Randall did to me was worse than death. What lies between him and me can only be settled when one of us is dead.”
So why did he agree to Claire’s request? The Prince. Jamie is a smart man. He knows that despite all of their efforts to thwart him, Charles has managed to come up with a new way to fund his rebellion every time. They are fighting a losing battle and Jamie knows it. He agreed to Claire’s request because he knows, that if it comes down to it, he would rather Claire go back through the stones and have a man who loves her and will take care of her waiting on the other side. “Now it’s my turn to ask you for a promise. Promise be that if the time should come that you will go back through the stones. Back to Frank.” Welp. That’s how we get to the first scene of the season. I KNEW he had Jack Dawson-ed her.
Claire is not willing to give up the fight just yet. The next day she gathers Jamie, Murtagh, and Fergus for a little lesson in “How to Fake a Smallpox Outbreak 101”. Murtagh, bless him, is still just like “WHY CAN’T WE JUST KILL HIM AND BE DONE WITH IT?” but Claire is still going for the subtle approach. St. Germain has already had one smallpox outbreak on his cargo, so if they can get his men to appear to be ill again, it wouldn’t be a far-fetched situation. Claire uses Jamie as her test subject (wife privileges) as they concoct their plan. Jamie will spike a few bottles of wine with Claire’s potion and leave them out for St. Germain’s men. (What are they trying to do? Get in the Slytherin common room?) Fergus will make sure that nettle juice (which will cause their skin to break out) will be painted on the linings of the men’s coats. BOOM. Smallpox. Wine shipment ruined. Everyone wins. Well…except for St. Germain.
Murtagh scoffs at this plan and storms off angrily. Jamie and Claire realize that time has finally come to tell him everything. Jamie finds Murtagh in the courtyard and spills his guts. What I love about this scene is how it is shot from Claire’s perspective as she watches from inside. We don’t know WHAT Jamie says to him exactly and that’s fitting. Murtagh does what any good bro-pal would do. He accepts what Jamie tells him and then punches him in the face for not trusting him sooner. FRIENDSHIP.
Jamie and Fergus succeed in planting all the smallpox potions, so the only thing left for them to do is wait and see if it works. It does, but once again, Charles is able to avoid disaster. He and St. Germain summon Jamie to them in a panic, saying that a mystery illness has struck the warehouse. Jamie plays dumb as they scramble for a new plan. The Prince says that if they transport the wine at once, before the harbor master is made aware of the illness, they can still make the trade. Jamie hesitates, saying that he is worried about putting Jared’s business at risk, but the Prince insists this is no time for games. There is no way that Jamie can deny his request without outing himself at the saboteur, so he agrees to transport the wine immediately. Time to come up with another plan.
The alternate plan involves Murtagh and some hired thugs “robbing” Jamie and St. Germain of the shipment as they transport it away from the warehouse. It’s a dangerous plan where so many elements could go wrong. Claire expresses her worry about the whole situation and Jamie agrees. (“Every now and then it IS okay for you to lie to me, you know? Just to put my mind at ease.” “I’ll remember that next time.”) What else can they do though? Murtagh is the one truly putting himself at risk here because who KNOWS what St. Germain will do when he encounters robbers?
In bed that night, Claire begins to worry. “Bad things tend to happen when we’re apart,” she muses. Jamie’s reply of “We find a way back to each other, no?” encapsulates everything that is special about their relationship. Be it physical distance or emotional trauma, Claire and Jamie have ALWAYS managed to come out stronger in the end. Their love endures all things. It’s such a tender moment made all the more so when Jamie feels the manifestation of their love kick for the first time. The look of wonder that crosses his face makes me want to set myself on fire. They banter about whether it’s a boy or girl and Jamie TALKS TO HER BELLY (“Hey hey I’m your daddy! I’m the one without any breasts!” Wait. Wrong show.) because this show really just wants to end me. Then they engage in some sexytimes once Claire assure Jamie that there is no way that he can hurt the baby. Good to know that the whole “Can my penis dent the baby’s head?” thing is a fear that men have carried throughout all time. I’m sure you’re big, Jamie, but you aren’t THAT big.
While Jamie and Murtagh carry out their scheme, Claire spends the evening with Louise and other society ladies. Claire is very tense throughout the whole evening, having no patience for their shallow gossip. It’s very reminiscent of the scene in Gone With the Wind where Scarlett and Melanie are forced to stay home and sew while Ashley and Rhett lead the charge to destroy the Shantytown where Scarlett was attacked. After awkwardly dropping some truth bombs about the less fortunate citizens of Paris, Claire retreats to the comfort of the hospital. She throws herself into her work, desperate for the distraction, until Mother Hildegard forces her to rest. They realize that Claire is spotting, which Hildegard assures her is normal at this stage. Nonetheless, Hildegard insists that Claire stay in the hospital overnight so she can observe her condition. Claire agrees, only after sending Fergus to get word to Jamie.
Charles, St. Germain, and Jamie bemoan the robbery of their wine shipment. St. Germain tosses some (accurate) accusations at Jamie, from taking the most common road to not doing enough to protect the wine when they were attacked. The Prince (bless him) refuses to hear a bad word against Jamie, so he’s safe for now. But how much longer can he get away with this. The next morning, Jamie and Fergus share breakfast as they fill each other in on the events they missed. Fergus looks up to Jamie so much and he takes his position so seriously I want to vomit rainbows everywhere. Their breakfast is interrupted when Suzette tells Jamie that the Prince is causing a racket over at Maison Elise, thanks to some unpaid debts. Fergus insists on accompanying Jamie to the salon “to guard his right”. Stop it. At the salon, as Jamie settles things with the Madame, Fergus slips into his old pickpocket ways. He sneaks into a seemingly abandoned room and begins rifling through drawers. We see a tell-tale red jacket and then hear a door slam. OH FUCK.
Claire arrives home from the hospital to find the servants in a tizzy and Jamie nowhere to be seen. Suzette informs Claire that Jamie got into an argument with a British Officer at the salon and all the color drains from her face. There is only one officer that could send Jamie into a fit of rage after all. Clutching her belly, Claire panics and demands that Magnus bring the carriage around. Suzette insists that Jamie would not want her there, but Claire is having none of it. She races to the woods, chanting “You promised me” as if that would stop what she KNOWS to be happening from happening. She comes upon Jamie and Randall dueling in the woods and has a terrible realization. She can’t do anything now that they are dueling, for fear of distracting Jamie from the matter at hand. “All I could do was wait to see which of my men would die: Jamie or Frank.”
The two men duel as Claire watches in horror, grunting in agony as she is having contractions. Surprising no one, Randall fights dirty, both with his actions (he pulls a Mike Tyson and actually bites Jamie) and his words, taunting Jamie with “How did she forgive you?” Claire desperately tries to keep silent as her contractions increase, blood pooling at her feet. (I AM NEVER GIVING BIRTH EVER.) Finally, Jamie lands the aforementioned blow to the dick. (HOW FITTING, I LOVE IT.) Randall crumples to the ground, clutching his precious junk. Claire finally screams for Jamie and they make eye contact across the field. He screams for her as the police arrive to break-up the illegal duel. (WHO SNITCHED?) The Frasers continue to scream for each other as Claire slumps to the ground, losing the battle with her body. Her last words before losing consciousness are for Magnus to get her to Mother Hildegard. It’s all very Shakespearean, Jamie may as well be shouting “I AM FORTUNE’S FOOL.”
Swoon Worthy Jamie Fraser Moment of the Week
Boom, I’m pregnant.
Did Ye Ken That?
- Murtagh and Claire have a lovely scene where he asks her about the future. She tells him specific dates that have relevance to her and she tells him that she knows that the Jacobite Rebellion fails but she can’t offer him any insight as to his future. “Even knowing what Jamie says ye do,” he says kindly. “I wouldn’t want to bear that burden.” Murtagh GETS it you guys.
- “Mark me, I will take my own life if I am forced to live in God-forsaken POLAND.” Prince Charles is such a drama queen, I love it.
- Um…there’s a whole lot of sexual tension here, just saying.
- This was an all around stellar episode for Murtagh
- IS FERGUS OKAY?
What’s going to happen to Jamie? Will Claire’s baby be okay? We’ll know soon. In the meantime, leave your thoughts on “Best Laid Schemes” in the comments!