[This is not a spoiler-free review/recap of the episode. If you have not seen the episode yet, read it at your own spoiler risk.]
Episode 205: “Untimely Resurrection”
Written by Richard Kahan, Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
WOW! I feel like the team is back. I will admit that the first few episodes of season two had really left me missing something, I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly what it was. I knew that the episodes were good, the costumes and sets were amazing, and we needed to SEE the effects that Wentworth had had on Jamie and Claire’s relationship, but I still had a small Outlander void. The void started to disappear last week when I realized how much I had missed team Jamie and Claire, and saw them communicating again. It completely disappeared this week, within the first few moments when Jamie (Sam Heughan) walks in from being locked up in the Bastille all night from the dinner party shenanigans, and acknowledges Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Fergus (Romann Berrux) waiting up all night for him. Jamie is different, he seems to have swished away that little black (jack) rain cloud that has been hanging over him. Bravo to Sam Heughan for being able to convey this lift in spirits with a simple walk into a room and change of facial tension and body stance, this makes it so we can literally SEE the change and relief in Jamie. And the communication, how I have missed Jamie and Claire actually TALKING and not just snarking at each other.
The talk in the bedroom of Jamie’s oops ‘La Dame Blanche’ moment followed by the hug and Jamie just wanting to lay with Claire in his arms *swoon* apparently I like to watch people talk, who knew? Oh, and during that opening scene I was thinking, bet Suzette wishes she didn’t request such a mess now.
Moving on to Jamie and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) talking in the warehouse. I have always loved a show scene with Murtagh in it, Duncan has brought this essence to Murtagh that delights. I don’t think I have ever seen someone perform the emotional range he can do with a set of eyebrows and a beard. Murtagh seriously looks like a puppy sitting staring at a mess he made, and when he say’s “I’ve failed you” and goes on to discuss his feelings of the alley moment you just want to go in the screen and hug the man (and pet his head and say “oh no, you’re a good boy”). Jamie does a much better job by giving him a manly pep talk about proving St. Germain is behind the attacks and it stirs the loyal Murtagh back into action.
When Claire goes to visit Mary she looks amazing, she looks so stately and elegant in the structured purple dress. Rosie Day has brought a vulnerability to Mary Hawkins that is sweet, and the contrast of the vulnerability is really shown in this scene with strong structured Claire. When Claire had that letter by the fire I was really thinking this could be one of those moments where the show writers stray from the book series, but alas, Richard Kahan just had us going. ( I really did have a throwback to Titanic moment, I could just see Claire saying “oops” and letting that letter fall slowly into the fire).
Oh Prince Charlie, he has gone to visit Jamie at the warehouse and you just know Jamie was thinking “great, mark me, there goes my good wine and patience for the day”, can you see it as he is standing there waiting? Then poor Jamie it is one thing for all the women in his life to want to grab his face but all the men do too, if it isn’t Sandringham, it is Prince Charles.
Yep, there goes the finest burgundy, and yep “mark me” the Prince is always throwing some new hurdle at Jamie. You could feel Jamie’s patience go, when he pulled the cork from that bottle of wine, (don’t worry Jamie that is a catharsis many of us feel when the cork comes from the wine bottle). Not only does the Prince give him the extra work of having to partner with St. Germain now, he does one of those lovely insults about the logistics that make you want Jamie to give him a reason to say “see, he marked me”.
Awe, Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz), he is somehow such a stark contrast to Black Jack while yet seeming so similar. I would love to know how Laurence and Tobias are not related yet somehow favor and sound so like each other, and more, how did casting find them both? Well done Suzanne Smith and team, well done. I really feel for Alex when he is talking with Claire in the garden. He has been nice to everyone and all it has gotten him is working with Sandringham, thrown in the Bastille, Claire to tell him he isn’t good enough for Mary, and all while he has Black Jack as a brother. Oh, and his illness, I mean come on…poor guy needs a break.
That evening Madame Elise really had a treat, she had Jamie and St. Germain (Stanley Weber) at one small table together, good for her, I would take the opportunity to be the wine deliverer to that table as well. Jamie thinks he is going to be the one to get the upper hand (with tappy fingers) by starting the conversation off with “I’m just not that into you, so let us say what we need to say and go”. But St. Germain can not just be brushed off that easily, he comes back in French (I think this is to up the ante of his “it” factor) to say that “he just isn’t into Jamie either or Claire for that matter”. Jamie uses this opportunity to show off the Highlander in him under that pretty French jacket, that once he finds out St. Germain was behind all the attacks on Claire he will make him pay. *Tiny smirk off* The Comte is good, he is quick to come back with he doesn’t care, he’s controlling the wine shipment, and then does the 1700 equivalent of a mic drop with coins.
Back at the house Jamie and Claire are talking again (yay!), and discussing the options of what they can do to make it seem like smallpox have come in on the shipment so it can be destroyed before the Prince gets the funds. Jamie gives Claire a gift of silver Apostle spoons that has been passed down in his family for many years, and that he had Jenny send to him. I will admit this gift made me go look up what Apostle spoons are, and it is where the phrase “To be born with a silver spoon in your mouth” stems from. There is also great history behind how a family would incur the spoons, and the ritual of passing them down. I also remember seeing one of these spoons in a preview of Season 2 a long time ago and so I think when we see one again it will be with tissues in hand. Claire has concerns like I think most moms to be have, will they be any good at being a mother, and Jamie (being back to his old Jamie self) gives her the we will learn together comfort. Are these the first official “I love you’s”? Ah, Jamie and the endearing Gaelic, see, so much better now that they are talking again.
Royal Gardens and horses, what could go wrong here? Well mix Claire’s morning sickness, with stable smells and add one Duke of Sandringham and we can fully understand why she would want to remove herself from the scene. The Duke and Jamie continue on to look at the horses and Claire finds some grapes, and Annalise (Margaux Chatelier) Jamie’s old lover. Right away there is shade, tension, whatever you want to call it, it is thick. When they are walking in the garden and Annalise says “but when I knew him..” I was kind of hoping Claire would pull a back in Leoch kitchen moment and smack her.
Sandringham and Jamie look at the horses and discuss the prince, I think Sandringham is on to Jamie as much as Jamie is on to him. Then it happens, as a book reader you know it is coming, but when Annalise says there is a dashing man looking at Claire you feel it…my heart sped up, and then the camera comes into focus and there he is Black Jack is BACK!
But he is oh so Frank in how he delivers “Claire”. The next few minutes are simply a roller-coaster, when he says “Jamie” you can almost see Claire growing claws and going for his eyeballs. When he stepped in front of Claire I literally felt my heart jumping wondering where this scene was going to go. When she said F#$& the King, I knew he was going to be standing there, but I did NOT see the King’s interaction with Black Jack coming! Again well done to Richard Kahan, for giving this little bit to Black Jack by the only person in the garden that could give it to him. When he said “On your knees” I literally laughed out loud. This whole interaction with Black Jack, Claire and Jamie had me on the edge of my seat.
There is something about Tobias Menzies when he comes on screen as Black Jack that raises the ante. Caitriona and Sam both get a bit stronger in their acting. I don’t know if it is because the scenes are more emotional or what it is, but this whole garden scene with all three of them together had me going YES!!!! We see each character so clearly, there are no questions on the emotions being portrayed.
I loved how Murtagh and Jamie are so comfy in discussing the duel and the reasoning for why Jamie says Black Jack will choose the blade over pistol. His confidence is so glaring it is shining out of his knees, even Murtagh sees it and has to bring him down a bit. Then Claire brings the match, the match that ignites the fire that is Jamie Fraser, we haven’t seen him this emotionally charged in a very long time, this ranks up there with the riverside fight from Season 1 for me. I really felt for Jamie in this one, and Sam Heughan was like a barely contained lightning bolt. You could see the power and light just under the surface. I felt Sam really hit his acting stride in this episode. I know he had the Wentworth Prison scenes from Season 1 but this one it really was the entire episode. It started with that walk in from the morning after the Bastille, and carried all the way to the final “Don’t Touch Me”. Bravo Sam, Bravo.
As I said I felt this episode made it feel like the Outlander team was back! I loved the Richard Kahan/ Douglas Mackinnon combination and this episode makes me really hope if there is a Season 3 they give Richard more episodes to write, it was fluid, kept moving, and conveyed what it needed to in appropriate fashion. Great job Richard.
On a final note I thought the kilt in all the scenes of this episode pointed to a sense of “home, or comfort”, be it when Jamie was covering Claire on the sofa in the house, or when it was swinging from Jamie’s hips, so glad he was in the kilt for this entire episode, especially during the garden scene.
Hands down, Ashley’s favorite episode from Season 2!!!
Episode 205 starts with the clean up of the final scenes from 204. We see the house staff extinguishing candles, picking up dinner plates, flowers, and righting overturned furniture before Claire’s voice comes in letting us know that everyone had been arrested and taken to the Bastille from the dinner party brawl, Jamie included, even though it was a misunderstanding. She is up and waiting for him by the window before the light changes to morning and Jamie wearily walks in to see her awake on the sofa with a just fallen asleep Fergus. Jamie acknowledges Claire staying awake all night waiting and lovingly scoops up Fergus with a “you did well, guarding your mistress”. Claire and Jamie lovely kiss as he walks out of the room to go put Fergus to bed.
Jamie and Claire are in their bedroom, Jamie is telling her of how he was released once Duverney showed up, Murtagh is home with him, but poor Alex Randell didn’t fair so well since Silas Hawkins is claiming he saw Alex attack Mary. Claire says that they have to help Alex because he is “not his brother” and asks if the Duke [Sandringham] can help him. Of course Sandringham is no help now because his secretary has been publicly disgraced. They go on to discuss the hope that Sandringham will see Prince Charlie as a bad investment, and Claire lets Jamie know that the Prince left the party with Comte St. Germain. Jamie intends to have Murtagh keep an eye on St Germain in hopes of determining if the Comte had anything to do with the attacks on Claire, Mary, and Murtagh. Jamie asked Claire if she can remember anything more about the attacks and she describes the attackers having speech and clothing more aristocratic. He asks her how they escaped the attackers and she says they mistook her as a mythical creature ‘La Dame Blanche’. Seeing that Jamie knows the term Claire asks if he has heard of it, and Jamie lets known that he used Claire saying he was “married to La Dame Blanche” to get out of a situation that Prince Charles was putting him in at Maison de Madame Elise, so he could stay true to Claire but not appear “unmanly”. After the happenings at Crainesmuir Claire is surprised that this is the story Jamie would go to, but says that the assailants must be customers at Maison Elise, and this means maybe they can find them and have them lead the idea of the attack back to St. Germain.
Jamie and Murtagh are in Jamie’s office, (of Jared’s wine warehouse) Murtagh tells Jamie how St. Germain was easy to track but that he could not find anything suspicious. However, at Maison Elise he was able to gain information on several members of a gang of masked men called ‘Les Disciples’ that “prowl the streets in search of prey”. They are aristocrats and cause Jamie to stop in his tracks of evaluating the wine he is holding. Murtagh continues to say the way into the gang is a maidenhead, and confirms with Jamie if Mary was a virgin. They are interrupted with the arrival of a new shipment but Jamie stays to continue talking with Murtagh, and tells him to go get some sleep. Murtagh sits like a puppy with it’s tail between it’s legs, and tells Jamie “I’ve failed you” that Jamie gave him the trust of Claire, his unborn child, and Mary and that they could have been killed. Jamie consoles him by saying he was out-manned and that he didn’t believe Murtagh failed him, but the best way to continue is for Murtagh to stay on St. Germain and connect him to the gang. Murtagh takes this on and says “he will lay just vengeance at Jamie’s feet or be damned” then they both do manly nods to each other.
Claire arrives at the Hawkins home and convinces Mary’s aunt that she needs to give Mary a medical evaluation. Mary is busy writing a letter when Claire enters and quickly hops up to hug her. Mary tells Claire that her uncle has refused to let her out of the house and wants her to leave Paris as soon as she has recovered. Mary asks Claire if she will deliver a letter that she has written explaining the attack and innocence of Alex to the authorities at the Bastille. Claire says she will deliver it and Mary continues to speak of her fondness for Alex. Claire asks Mary how she is feeling and Mary sadly says “ashamed” and that she didn’t think she would be the same person now, Claire consoles Mary the best she can and tells her she shouldn’t feel ashamed and that it wasn’t Mary’s fault. Claire pulls out some herbs she has brought, and after she instructs Mary how they are to be used has to give a tiny birds and the bees conversation on why Mary will most likely not be pregnant from the man’s assault on her. Mary says she is grateful for Claire and finds the positive in the situation by saying at least now she won’t have to marry the dreadful Vicomte Marigny. She knows that once Alex is free he will come for her and she professes her love for Alex to Claire and their desire to marry. Claire with the knowledge that Mary is supposed to have a child with Jack Randall (which leads to Frank) now questions the role that Alex has in Mary’s life, and if faced with the decision to put Mary’s letter explaining Alex’s innocence into the fire at home or the hands of the authorities like she told Mary she would ensure. She stands and contemplates letting fate take it’s course.
Prince Charles has come to the warehouse, and say’s the female haze has been lifted from his mind, and Jamie ask if it about the investors. Charles says it is that they are about to come into ten thousand pounds sterling, and “mark him” he stands poised to lay the throne of Britain at the kings feet. Jamie asks who is offering the generous amount and is surprised to hear the Comte St. Germain. Not only is this information new but the Comte needs a business partner, and the Prince has offered up his good friend James, with this deal the Prince hopes to gain enough to start purchasing ships and arms as well as show Duverney that the venture is strong and gain French funding. Jamie speaks of his worry working with St. Germain and the rumors, the Prince says they are rumors and he doesn’t give stock in them anymore than the rumors of ‘La Dame Blanche’. He knows St. Germain is not a supporter of the cause and that is why he has offered Jamie to sell the shipment of Madeira, so Jamie can “keep an eye” on St. Germain. The Prince set up a meeting for Jamie and St. Germain at Maison Elise to go over the logistics that he can not bring himself to be plagued with.
Claire and the newly released Alex Randall are walking in the garden and he thanks her for her assistance in is release from the frightening Bastille. Claire brings up Mary and Alex’s plan to wed, she informs Alex that she is concerned because she doesn’t know that he will be able to find employment now that Sandringham has released him from his service. After a coughing fit, she adds his health onto the list of why she thinks Mary ‘her friend’ may not be the best fit for life with Alex. She says he should set aside his feelings, that he needs to think what is best for Mary. He says he loves her enough to want her to have the future she deserves, he thanks Claire for her candor and says Mary is lucky to have a friend as caring as she is.
Jamie and St. Germain are now in Maison Elise sitting to go over the logistics of the partnership they have been somewhat forced into. After Madame Elise gives them both wine Jamie starts the conversation off with directly stating that he knew neither of them really wanted to be there so they needed to “get on with it”. St. Germain agreed with Jamie and stated he didn’t want to be in the partnership either, and that he has a great memory and remembers Claire’s attempt to ruin him. Jamie retorts with since the Comte brought up Claire he is going to clarify he knows someone poisoned her, attacked her, and raped her friend. If he finds the man responsible he will meet with a very slow and painful death. The Comte brushes this off saying he has no interest in Jamie’s personal life, and that he will control the entire shipment until Jamie has buyers in place and for Jamie not to contact him before. He then gets up walks towards Jamie and drops money on the table in front of Jamie.
We are back at the house and Jamie is explaining the wine venture to Claire and what will happen if Prince Charles gets the money he is expecting. Jamie jokes that he doesn’t guess a man will bring in smallpox on this shipment as well and he sees Claire get an idea. When he says he is joking about the smallpox she replies that she isn’t. She has herbs that can convince everyone that the shipment is tainted and have it destroyed and that she will look into it tomorrow. Jamie reminds her to not forget that they are to go to the royal stables the following day because he has agreed to assist the Duke of Sandringham in getting a new team of horses. After a quiet moment Jamie gets up to get a gift that he has had and been waiting to present to Claire. A box of Apostle spoons, he tells her that he had Jenny send them over and that they have been passed down in his family for years. Claire shares her concern over being a good mother, and Jamie consoles her saying what she doesn’t know they will learn together. They both say they love each other and seal it with a kiss.
On to the gardens of Versailles, Jamie is loving the smell of the stables, Claire with her pregnancy and morning sickness not so much. Sandringham joins the couple with his exuberant remarks and Claire makes her leave with the thought that she may be sick. Jamie and the Duke continue on to look over the horses, and Sandringham brings up the dinner party and Jamie ending up in the Bastille. Jamie lets him know that he was only there for a short period but there were many there that have been there for decades, ending the conversation quickly.
“I find war preferable to politics. At least in war, you know your enemies”
Claire is admiring and sampling some of the fruit when Jamie’s old love Annalise finds her, and asks Claire if she will join her on a walk through the garden. Back to Sandringham and Jamie and the topic of Prince Charlie comes up, Sandringham does indeed consider the Prince to be an ass, and doesn’t know why Jamie is pledged to him. Jamie does a great job of ignoring the comment with talking about the age of the horse in front of him. Sandringham brings up the fact that Jamie has incredible knowledge, but how could he judge horses so well but not be able to judge men? Jamie wades the waters with the Prince’s father “is the true King” and appeases Sandringham with that answer or so it seems, before Sandringham’s retort of “cherishing options”. We are back to Annalise and Claire walking in the garden and discussing life in Scotland, Annalise remembers the young Jamie impulsive and headstrong. She says Claire has turned him into a man, and speaking of men, there is a dashing man watching Claire. The camera fades into focus on Black Jack Randall walking up through the garden toward Claire. He gets to the ladies and simply says… “Claire”. Annalise asks if they are acquainted and Black Jack says they are. He introduces himself to Annalise, and we see that Black Jack is uncomfortable, she asks if he is ok, and he says he met with an accident. Claire says she not feeling well and Annalise asks if she should go for her husband, this set a whole set of emotions into play. Black Jack says “Jamie” and asks where he is. Claire says he should go, that if Jamie sees him that he will cut Black Jack’s throat. He comes back with “that would be a lethal mistake”. She goes to leave and he comes around her and steps in front of her. He starts talking about fate and how it is so interesting that fate has brought them to French Court, he then says “The King” to which Claire utters the statement “F^$& the King”, and Black Jack bows.
She turns and wobbles a bit in front of the French King, before greeting him and introducing Jack Randall. Louis welcomes Randall to Versailles and Randall responds that it is an honor to be there. Louis’ court laughs at Randall, and he gives an apology saying the French language is not easily mastered by the English (making note that he does not mean this towards Claire in any way). Louis then goes on to “admire” Randalls uniform and insult the soldiers. Randall says that he sometimes prefers war because then you “know your enemies”, Louis agrees and says he hopes that Randall’s preference of carnage doesn’t prove untimely for him. As the King is asking if Claire and Black Jack are friends we can see the blurry shape of Jamie walking up behind them. He comes up and greats the King who introduces him to Randall. Jamie does not look at Black Jack for some time, both men have a hand on their sword hilts, and when Jamie inquires over Black Jacks health he finally looks at him. Claire takes Jamie’s arm and he turns to face Black Jack face on.
“Perhaps you should beg. On your knees”
The King asks Black Jack what he is doing in France and he explains he is there to aid his brother who Sandringham has let go. The King informs him “perhaps you should beg”, Black Jack acts like this is an impossible idea, and we see Jamie who is fighting with all he has not to smile. Black Jack again repeats “beg”? To which the King says “Yes, on your knees”, and then has Black Jack get on his knees. The King, court, and Jamie laugh at seeing Black Jack get on his knees in front of them all. The King continues to make fun of him saying “not now, you English are all so literal”, and Black Jack is seething. Claire tells the King she is feeling unwell and requests leave, which he grants for her and Jamie. Louis then tells Black Jack he can get up as it would be a shame to ruin his pretty breeches. Making himself and the court laugh as they walk away from Black Jack. Claire and Jamie are walking quickly away from where they have just left Black Jack kneeling, when Jamie asks Claire if she is really feeling unwell, is it the baby? She replies that she is actually fine, she wanted them away. He says “wait here”, and he quickly returns to Black Jack where we see them talk and Black Jack put his hand on Jamie’s chest. They bow to each other and Jamie returns to Claire with a pep in his step and kilt swinging. Claire asks what happened, and Jamie tells her that he challenged Black Jack to a duel, and that he accepted because he owed him a death.
Uncomfortable carriage ride home with Jamie grinning and Claire visible upset. They pull up to the house and Fergus steps up to assist them out, Jamie looks at him and says it’s a great day, and to fetch Murtagh at once. Claire stays in the carriage and asks the driver to take her to the Bastille.
Murtagh and Jamie are discussing the particulars of the duel and how it is going to go when Claire walks in and says there will not be a duel as she has had Randall thrown into the Bastille saying it was him who attacked her, Mary on the street. Murtagh and Jamie are both taken aback and not happy, she continues with dueling is outlawed in France and he will spend the rest of his life in jail if not killed, and she won’t risk it. She says Jamie needs to think of her and the child. Murtagh chimes in that he won’t get caught, he will see to it, and Claire asks Murtagh to please leave that it is between her and Jamie. Jamie says that Claire gave him a gift telling him that Randall was alive and now he is claiming that gift, she says he can’t kill him now because then Frank won’t be born. She explains the family tree and Mary Hawkins with Jack Randall creating the ancestor that will “create” Frank and if Jamie kills Jack then Frank won’t exist. Jamie say’s “I thought we were here to change the future”, and the argument continues over if Jamie will or will not go to kill Jack, he gives Claire an ultimatum of “him [Frank] or me”, and she requests a delay of a year so the baby can be born to Mary ensuring Frank and then Jamie can kill Jack, that she will even help Jamie kill him. She says he owes her, that she has saved him more than once and he “owes her a life”, and he asks if she is really calling in that debt now? He is disgusted when she says she can’t make him see reason any other way. He can’t believe she would allow him to let the man that lived in his nightmares for so long to live. He says he is a man of honor and he pays his debts, so asks again if she is calling in her debt with the life of Black Jack? She says “Yes”. Disgusted he walks towards her, picks up his sword, kisses it and walks over and sets it blade down against the bed. He says “A year…not one day more”. When she reached out to him, he sternly says “DO NOT touch me”, looks her up and down, and turns to go stand by the chair.
Next week’s episode, titled “Best Laid Schemes,” airs May 14th on Starz.
Jamie and Claire use Claire’s medical knowledge to devise a scheme to stop a wine deal which could fill the Prince’s war chest. When Claire learns Jamie has gone back on his word, the couple are met with dire consequences that will forever change their lives.
Source (Photos and Clips): Starz