This week’s Outlander was a real roller coaster, with Jamie and Claire making some emotional progress only for Mary Hawkins’ fate to take a terrible turn. The question throughout: How much of this is the Comte St. Germain’s direct doing?
This episode opens with another chess game and a slightly heated discussion between Jamie and Claire about what they’re going to name their child. That is until the Comte St. Germain rudely wanders by, disrupts the game, and Claire starts choking after helping herself to a glass of wine. The Comte’s work? Or literally any of these other snakes? Good question! Judge for yourself whether this is murder-wear.
The good news is, Claire finally tells Jamie that Black Jack Randall is alive and he’s delighted, because this means he’s maybe still got a shot at killing the man himself. He’s not planning to drop everything and go schedule a duel, but now he’s got something to look forward to amid all the politicking. No two people have ever belonged in 18th century France less than the Frasers.
Relatedly: Has Claire perhaps trusted this apothecary a little too easily? Getting some very ominous vibes off this embroidered vest.
Jamie’s new lease on life, combined with an enthusiastic pass from one of the ladies at the brothel Prince Charles uses as a coworking space, inspires him to come home and cozy up to Claire. She understandably flips about the bite marks from another woman, and they have a huge, cathartic fight where he’s finally able to get across to Claire what he’s been feeling, and it sinks in for her. (This show does married fights very well.)
They screw each other’s brains out, and Prince Charles shows up for the afterglow, looking like he’s been dragged backwards through the gutter and sporting a monkey bite. What an unmitigated dork. He’s never going to be the king of anything but bad timing.
Turns out he’s been carrying on with Louise Rohan and she’s in fact pregnant with his child, but he doesn’t know. Jamie and Claire decide they’ll ensure he finds out while at dinner at their house with the Duke of Sandringham, precipitating a complete meltdown in front of a man whose money he needs to get the Jacobite Rising going. It’s probably not Jamie and Claire’s worst scheme—we’ve got to grade on a curve, here, because you can’t expect the two most straightforward people on Earth to be good at deception.
Not sure how I didn’t see Louise and Charles were made for each other. Her ruffles and rosettes; his array of not-quite-right coats. It’s a match made in unpaid dressmaker bill hell.
No sooner do Jamie and Claire make a breakthrough and celebrate their renewed intimacy by laying their trap for Prince Charles than we get another scene of sexual violence—this one seemingly out of the blue. Wasn’t the prospect of shy little teenager Mary Hawkins, who didn’t want to marry a Frenchman because somebody made her think the sexual act was a rude French custom, eventually marrying Black Jack Randall so as to become Frank’s direct ancestor, grim enough? Frankly, just the idea of this kid being bundled off to some no-crueler-than-usual middle-aged man seemed plenty depressing. Apparently not! Because she and Claire as set upon by brigands, one of whom rapes Mary.
The trouble is only compounded when poor Mary has a sedative-fueled freakout after waking up to find a man hovering over her, even if that man is Alex Randall, whom she adores. Because Jamie is right—they can’t keep it a secret anymore and she now faces not only the trauma of her experience, but a jeopardized future.
So Prince Charles leaves without completely losing it at the table, and the Comte St. Germain—whose appearance at this dinner party is very convenient, right after the attack on Claire and Mary—sends for the cops. The Battle of Culloden continues along the tracks of history unimpeded. At this point returning to Scotland and dying in a proper blaze of glory is starting to look appealing.