Outlander S2 Epi6 – Best Laid Schemes . . .
Directed by Metin Hüseyin Written by Matthew B. Roberts
This conversation is between Blacklanderz Vida and Iris. Iris has not read the book. Edited by Vida. Just as we did last week, we wanted to add some of The Hollywood Reporter’s interview with Matthew B. Roberts to add insight into his mindset while writing this episode.
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ MenGang aft agley,An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,For promis’d joy!
EMOTIONAL | BROKEN PROMISES | BETRAYAL | TRAGIC
Vida: Well, they certainly upped the antes with this episode. I think I am still dizzy and have not found my footing, and I knew what was coming. This episode was truly emotionally charged from Murtagh and Jamie’s confrontation; Murtagh finally learning the truth about Claire; Murtagh and Suzette getting frisky to the raid on the wine shipment; Fergus picking the wrong room to steal from, Jamie and Black Jack’s duel and Claire possibly losing their child. It was heartbreaking, to say the least, to watch Claire and the baby in distress at the end and her feeling the ultimate betrayal from Jamie. However, this is the episode that everyone, including me, was waiting for – Black Jack and Jamie squaring off and the scene did not disappoint, nor did the episode. I didn’t think about it initially; but when I looked at the title card again and saw ellipses after the title, I then realized this episode’s theme was just that, schemes on multiple fronts, plans of action; some dishonest and some not.
TRUTH-TELLING | COMPASSIONATE |SUSPENSEFUL | REVENGE
Iris: This episode was a breathtakingly beautiful roller coaster! What I love most about it is that Jamie finally came clean with Murtagh, Claire’s conversation with Monsieur Forez though it was grotesque, and Jamie finally getting revenge on BJR! Although I really liked Louise in past episodes, I was disappointed by her and her ‘mean girls’. It’s incredulous, while at Louise’s apartment, Claire has to interrupt their gossip with righteous indignation about the poor and how she and these women should be doing more to help them. All Louise and the other ladies can suggest is that the poor should be removed to the less desirable parts of the city. Guess that spoke volumes about class/social stratification of that era.
JAMIE & MURTAGH
V: Let me just start by saying this opening was a surprise to me. The fact that Jamie was so angry at Claire at the end of the last episode to open here with her not being there and it switches to Jamie and Murtagh seemed a little off. With that said, the episode begins where the last one ended, so Murtagh thought. But, the plan has changed and Murtagh is in the dark about it.
V: Murtagh was doing what any godfather would, looking out for his boy and wanting him to practice before the duel. When he snapped at Jamie for forfeiting, I was taken aback because we’d not seen them at odds like this before. I was screaming at the television that they needed to tell him the truth – the whole truth.
I: Well for me, this opening with Murtagh happily organizing the duel made me feel the same way I did when we were waiting for Claire to tell Jamie that BJR was alive. My heart was breaking knowing Murtagh was going to be hurt and angry at Jamie when he hears the duel is off. He rightfully demands answers and gets nothing in return. When Murtagh says, “your mind changes like a woman in flux”, I know his time with Fergus have paid off. Of course we know that Claire is the “woman in flux” demanding that they try and change the future, but not too much!
Enter Mangus to serve breakfast to Jamie at Claire instructions. Mangus is rather chipper, but I don’t remember hearing him chew the fat this much before.
V: No, we haven’t. I think all the servants are rather relaxed, too relaxed, with Claire and Jamie.
NATURE OF EXECUTIONS
I: Claire wobbling through the halls of L’Hôpital des Anges. Wow, her baby bump is big, much bigger than in the previous episode. The executioner, Monsieur Forez, creeped Claire and me out with a vivid description of ‘draw and quarter’. Outlander always manages to provide a history lesson, and I’m grateful for it. Here I was thinking ‘draw and quarter’ meant to drag a prisoner by horse or put them over a rack, but no . . . it means to hang them without breaking their necks, so you can then cut open their chest and grab the heart out of prisoner’s chest while they’re still alive! Sheesh! Shivers ran down my spine.
It did not escape me that Forez mention a man or woman prisoner! Tread lightly Claire, he is not the type of man to trifle with. Forez apologizes and tells Claire maybe she should visit Master Raymond. Now, did he want Claire to warn Master Raymond and was he warning Claire that perceived practitioners of the dark arts are in danger? La Dame Blanche might come back to bite Claire and Jamie in the butt! I know I’d be making my way back to Scotland post haste.
V: I remember reading an interview with Cait and she talked about her numerous baby bumps, but I had no idea the size would progress so quickly. She even had the waddling down to a tee. I could have done without Monsieur Forez’s graphic description of how he will execute traitors – a drawn and quartered execution. That in and of itself is enough to stress Claire and the a baby out listening to all of that. I was also thinking of Jamie in Wentworth Prison when he was about to hang. Wonder if Claire was thinking about it too.
As gruesome of a description as it was, yes it was a warning shot to Claire, especially bringing up Master Raymond’s name up. It didn’t happen this way in the book and I liked it much better.
Note: We didn’t get a dress this episode, but we did get another beautiful hooded cape.
V: Now I understand Claire looking out for her friends, but she surely does take too many risks and doesn’t look out for herself.
We will meet again, Madonna, in this life or another.
V: Ahhh, was Master Raymond dropping more Easter eggs?
V: Okay, with this scene, I couldn’t help but think of Chaka Khan’s Through the Fire – it so represents Jamie and Claire and their love for each! I’ll have to keep this in mind at the end of the season. I know I’ll be balling my eyes OUT!
I look in your eyes and I can see
We’ve loved so dangerously
You’re not trusting your heart to anyone
You tell me you’re gonna play it smart
We’re through before we start
But I believe that we’ve only just begun
When it’s this good, there’s no saying no
I need you so, I’m ready to go
Through the fire, to the limit, to the wall
Boy just to be with you
I’d gladly risk it all
Through the fire, through whatever, come what may
For a chance at loving you
I’d take it all the way
Right down to the wire, even through the fire
V: Sorry, I digressed.
I: No, that is perfect. I hadn’t thought of that. But, I did love when Jamie rubs Claire’s feet, as he tells her he saved her life just as often as Claire saved his, so they are even and Frank is not his concern!
V: These tender moments are just too short-lived for me. Yes, I was glad Jamie said what I was hoping he would have said the last episode. hey most certainly are even! I really think Claire has honestly forgotten the number of times he’s rescued her.
Remember you said I owe 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 nothing.
V: I am so tired of Claire saying Frank is innocent in all of this. Does she not fully comprehend what Jamie is saying or how he feels.
Why did you promise me you’d let Randall live?
Because . . . of Charles Stuart. The Prince is a canny, slippery man; yet, there’s a light in his eye that can fool good men to believe he’s God’s chosen one destined to make the dream of a Stuart restoration reality.
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.
I: Once again, women all over the world swoon at the feet of James Fraser. Just imagine a man who loves you so much that he will ask you to return to another man if something goes wrong! What a man, even if he is born out of fiction!
V: Isn’t that the truth. Hell, after that scene, I wanted to put my head in somebody’s lap!
V: Loved seeing Fergus being a typical teenager, bored out of his mind and wanting to play. Hats off to Suzanne Smith, casting director. All the cast selected are spot on; Romann Berrux is the perfect Fergus.
I: And Murtagh muttering -masquerade and games, what’s next charades?
V: Murtagh was besides himself, and rightly so. He has no clue what the truth really is. He is not a man to play charades and just wants to slit Prince Charles’s throat, be done with it and get the hell out of there. But, I wonder how poor Suzette will feel when they leave.
V: FINALLY!! They decide to tell Murtagh the truth – everything – and it’s about time. Why leave him in the dark after all he has done for them.
I: Yes, Jamie and Claire finally realize they must tell Murtagh the truth. ‘Bout time!
We kind of strayed away from the books in the Murtagh of it all. He’s a bigger character in France, in their lives, and just more integral to the TV series than he is in the books. We went round and round in the writer’s room and finally decided that Jamie and Claire had to tell him the truth, because lying to this guy just felt wrong. And I always found the elements of Murtagh and Claire’s relationship so interesting, ever since they bonded on the road while searching for Jamie. He has, over the course of his relationship with both Jamie and Claire, he’s come to love her just as much as he loves Jamie. He knew that he could finally open himself up to this woman after he saw just how much she loved Jamie and how much she was willing to do to get him back. He’s let his guard down with her. So he’ll punch Jamie for not telling him the truth, but he’ll understand how Claire has this burden. He doesn’t explicitly say, “I believe you,” but for all intents and purposes, it explains a lot to him about what’s been going on these past two years.
~ Matthew B. Roberts, The Hollywood Reporter
V: It was genius not to allow us to know what Jamie was saying to Murtagh in Gaelic, and no subtitles. It wasn’t necessary. We were watching from Claire’s POV and she couldn’t hear them either. We had to watch their body movements and facial expressions to know.
I: It was interesting that they circled each other and then we hear the last of the discussion…Murtagh tells Jamie if he believe Claire’s a witch, he is not going to argue with him about it; then, he punches Jamie square in the jaw and says “you should have trusted me from the beginning”. They hug it out and all is right with the world!
V: But, I surely didn’t expect Murtagh to punch Jamie in the face, though he had it coming for not trusting him. And, I am glad they deviated from the book here. It just wouldn’t make sense for him not to know on the show.
V: Murtagh surely does have beautiful penmanship. Can’t imagine what was going on in his head; the idea that Claire lived 200 hundred years in the future.
You’ve lived all these years?
I: Why Murtagh then writes out the years that Claire has lived through, is beyond me! Maybe this is the only way he can comprehend Claire and come to realize that the Jacobite rebellion won’t end well. Murtagh is right though, most people wouldn’t or couldn’t bear the burden of knowing the future!
V: That was a touching moment between them. I think seeing all those years registered it in his brain. I know it would for me. And I agree, I wouldn’t want to carry such a burden of knowing what will happen in the future, especially when I can’t do anything to change it.
V: His compassion for Claire is heartwarming; I absolutely love his character in the adaptation.
I: Me too. His character development and the depth at which he is masterfully portrayed by Duncan Lacroix are some of the most surprising aspects of the story. Duncan/Murtagh had some of the best lines of the night and he has become a fan favorite with #Murtagh trending in the Twittersphere.
I: Jamie and Fergus are off to contaminate the Comte’s men with the fake pox concoction. Can’t imagine what he would do, if he found out Jamie was behind it all.
V: Yes, they were. I truly loved how Claire sends them off.
They are quite the little family.
V: Funny thing, I didn’t realize how claustrophobic I have been feeling with them in Paris – confined, in and out of apartments and carriages – until Jamie and Fergus were on horseback riding out to the dock. I felt myself take in a deep breath, as if I were outside. And once again, I loved the aerial shots.
And just like that, the deed was done. They were off again, heading home.
V: I was amazed at how Fergus was able to keep up with Jamie on his horse.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
I: I hated as soon as Jamie got back, he had to rush and meet the Prince and Comte. The Prince was all up in Jamie’s grill and requires that Jamie to transport the wine and to find a seller at once. Jamie seemed awfully worried that this could jeopardize Cousin Jared’s business; frankly, so was I.
V: The Prince is nothing more than a petulant child with obvious Daddy issues; while the Comte has some anger management issues. He is angry all the damn time. And, Jamie was right. The Prince will stop at nothing to get what he feels his family justly deserves. When things go awry, he comes up with something else they have to do; all the while never putting himself in danger. Oh no, he just sits in the brothel pouting and drinking.
SWEET & TENDER MOMENTS
Murtagh & The Maiden
I: Loved Suzette fitting Murtagh for proper French clothing; while, he is not happy about this and claims the clothing restricts his movements. Murtagh cleans up rather nicely; Suzette offers to get him out of the fine clothing right away.
V: That was a much-needed and light scene with Suzette dressing Murtagh in silk. She was as giddy as a school girl. But, I was surprised how casual she was in front of Jamie and Claire when she told Murtagh she was ready to undress him. Just shook my head.
. . . the scene I really wanted to get right was the scene where Jamie is in bed with Claire and the baby kicks and he gets to talk to the baby for the first time. I’m not a parent, so I could only imagine what that is really like. I talked to a bunch of parents and different people in my life to get a consensus to write that scene. I wanted to show the playfulness between Jamie and Claire that flows into a passion, because I knew what was coming so soon after. I knew they were going to be torn apart by this betrayal just a few scenes later. I wanted them to be as close as possible just before that, and so I wanted to show them as a family. It was challenging in the sense that I just really wanted to get that right. Jamie and Claire are bonded so tightly together that it takes a massive thing to pull them apart even a little.
~ Matthew B. Roberts, The Hollywood Reporter
Jamie & The Bairn
I: That was a very touching scene between Jamie, Claire and the baby; then , we got a little steamy love making between the Frasers.
I canna wait to meet ye!
We always find a way back to each other.
V: It was sweet. Though I enjoyed it, it was once again the calm before the storm, or should I say thunderous storms.
V: Loved seeing Murtagh and his highwaymen at the raid. I will surely miss him these next few episodes. And, I am sure Suzette will too!
V: I really wished Murtagh would have just shot Le Comte and put him out of his misery!
I: The Comte does not surrender, his sexiness pulls a pistol; but Murtagh and Jamie fake Jamie rescue of the Comte. Now, that was funny!
V: Since Claire obviously will not take care of herself, I am so glad Mother Hildegarde is in her life to watch out for her. So endearing. But, I hated to see the foreshadowing of her bleeding. My heart just dropped.
I: Yes, Thank God, Mother Hildegarde is there to talk some sense into Claire and make her rest. This can’t be good.
RED COAT & WRONG ROOM
V: Lord knows, by this point in the episode, I was exhausted for Jamie. The poor man can’t eat, get any sleep or rest because of The Prince. I was with Murtagh and ready to slit his throat myself!
It was so sweet that Fergus was going with his Lord to watch his right. But, who was going to watch Fergus’s?
I: Yes, and the Madame is threatening to call Les Gendarme, if someone doesn’t come and pay the Prince’s debt. We can’t have that now can’t we?
V: No, we can’t. I just have no more words for The Prince. He is just too much to deal with and I am about ready for them to get back to Scotland and away from H-I-M! He is worse than a child; eventually, children go to damn sleep, not him. He is making all these high-handed demands and is doing absolutely nothing, but having a pity party and running up a drinking tab that he refuses to pay. Seriously.
I: Yes, the Pity Party Prince. Poor me I will be ruined! The Comte and Jamie face off again, but the Prince intervenes with more lamenting on his failing cause and possibly having to move to Poland. Mark him, he will take his own life, if he forced to live in godforsaken Poland. Jamie and Claire could only hope to be that lucky.
I: Before Jamie pays the Madame off, he tells Fergus ‘to stay put’, but Fergus couldn’t resist a little shoplifting.
V: Yeah, reminds me of his adopted mother, Claire from S1. Whenever Jamie told her to stay put, she did just the opposite and danger was not too far behind the decision.
I: How did such a smart boy chose the wrong room? Was that lavender Fergus lifted?
V: The door was open. He just stayed in there too long. Knowing BJR, it probably was. You have to admit, that was a brilliant decision to just show that red coat, as Bear McCreary’s music swelled in the background. And then, the door closed.
I honestly felt like I was going to throw up! Heart-wrenching. I know they will show what happened in flashback next week. Lord know, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to take it.
V: Poor Suzette having to be the one to deliver the bad news to everybody. I felt so sorry for her.
I am sorry.
I must. ~ J
V: Lord, all Claire needed to hear was that Jamie got into a fight with an English Officer.
I: Yes and as soon as she finds out, she and Mangus command the carriage and make a mad dash to the Woods of Boulogne.
V: I’m just glad he agreed to go with her. The way the carriage wheels were skidding through the street, all I could think of was Claire from S1 Epi1 saying – Help, it’s going o-v-e-r!
I: Once they get there, Claire is huffing and puffing all the way! We know this will not end well for Claire, the baby, Jamie or BJR.
V: No, it will not! I thought the symmetry of Metin Hüseyin’s directing and the way they shot this scene was masterful. Here you have the triangle of Jamie, Black Jack and Claire. The fight scene was great, but what happened to both Black Jack and Claire happened simultaneously and was totally unimaginable.
I: I loved hearing the sound of swords clashing as Claire approaches the location. I just kept thinking: Which one of her husbands will die Jamie or Frank? I couldn’t believe BJR has no honor; he bites my Jamie. Really?
V: None at all. And all he could focus on was . . . how could she forgive you. He is so devoid of any humanity, he still has no clue about soulmates or the love and bond that Jamie and Claire have for each other.
But, I am glad he said it because it charges Jamie up even more so and totally enrages him.
With all his ferocity, Jamie goes in for the kill where it matters most; this will haunt Back Jack for the rest of his demonic, sadistic life!
I: I know a gasp was heard around the world when Jamie’s sword pierces BJR family jewels! What implications does this have for Frank’s future?
V: I’m not telling. But, I was cringing at the thought that while Jamie deprives Jack of a future lineage, his own was also bleeding out on the sidelines with Claire.
I: I couldn’t help but think if Murtagh wasn’t in Portugal trying to sell the Prince’s Madeira, this would never have happened.
V: I couldn’t agree with you more. And, how an earth did these two prepare for this scene. Totally raw, vulnerable and believable. I can’t imagine what was in their head space to perform with such vigor.
I actually felt the mental and physical anguish of it all from Jamie’s guttural screams of Claire’s name, once he sees her . . .
. . . to the excruciating pain she is in and the delicate whisper of her calling out his name before she collapses.
What a devastating cliffhanger! Of all the episodes thus far, this was one of the best endings. I was speechless, with my heart in my throat, and was emotionally spent!
I: When will Claire and Jamie learn that every action they take to change future, may be only successful in the short run? Must they always suffer horrible consequences for their actions? I know this is a rhetorical; if not for their actions and consequences, there probably would not be any books. Yes, I know.
V: No, I understand what you are saying. I just think things that are destined to be, will be, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Now, getting them to realize that is a different issue.
What we are looking forward to in the upcoming episode.
Vida: I can’t wait to see what Matthew Roberts was talking about, “There’s a lot that will take things to a new place for the fans, even the ones who have read the books;” this should be interesting – see below. I just want to see it all. How Claire reconciles with what happened to her and the baby. How Fergus will become even closer to Claire and Jamie. How Claire rescues Jamie again. We’ve been here before. You know she is NOT letting him stay in jail and hang. And, last but not least, the set design should be off the charts next week with the King accusing people of using the dark arts. With Toni Graphia writing this episode, I know it will be another emotionally-charged one. And, that’s all I’m going to say.
Iris: There are so many questions after this episode that I am looking forward to getting answered. I want to know more about Mother Hildegarde and if BJR dies! Will we find out what transpired between BJR and Fergus or BJR and Jamie leading up to the duel? Jamie would not break his word to Claire unless he was backed into a corner. Was this the date of BJR’s death that Claire whispered into BJR’s ear at Wentworth, or does BJR live on maimed to fight another day? Will baby Fraser survive? How long will Jamie linger in Le Bastille? Can Claire forgive him? We know from “Through a Glass, Darkly” that Frank is very much alive and kicking in 1948, but how is that possible after what happened to BJR? How will the Prince get the money to fund the Jacobites? These are the questions that we want the answers to, especially we, non-book reading, Outlander fans!
Episode Rating (1-5): 5 – Shots
We also give this episode five (5) shots. This episode was another emotional roller coaster with lots of tension that has been boiling like a pressure cooker the entire season ready to explode and we were glad that it happened at the half-way mark of the season – finally, Jamie and BJR dueling. Hell, this episode really deserves the whole damn bottle and then some just for BJR finally getting his comeuppance. He has terrorized too many people for too long!
They had a lot of ground to cover and we think they did it superbly. Still can’t figure out how they plan and write weekly scripts for Diana’s massive tome. Hats off to all who work on Outlander! This episode was well-paced, well-written by Matthew Roberts and beautifully shot/directed by Metin Hüseyin. It was character-driven, but also plot-driven and packed with just the right amount of action. The emotions were in overdrive. At one point, we thought Sam and Cait were going to burst a blood vessel; their performances at the end were gut-wrenching and powerful. Bear McCreary, again, has outdone himself this season and we are glad, at times, the music speaks for the characters and moves the plot. Sometimes, you can get a lot more from a scene from what’s not said, allowing the music to build to the climax. And it certainly did this episode. Can’t wait til next week. Well, perhaps we can wait just a little bit since Matthew, in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, tells fans that we are in for another emotional ride.
The next episode starts with Claire in a fog, in a dream state. She’ll go to the hospital and we’ll discover what happened with her baby. It’s such an emotional journey for both Claire and the fans as well. There’s a lot that will take things to a new place for the fans, even the ones who have read the books. We’ve been trying to do things just a little bit differently from the books in each episode even though the main, expected events still happen so there’s an element of surprise for everyone.
~ Matthew B. Roberts, The Hollywood Reporter
How did you rate the episode and why?
What was your favorite scene?
Let us know in the comments section.
Outlander S2 Epi7 Preview – ‘Faith‘ ~ via Television Promos
Directed by Metin Hüseyin Written by Toni Graphia
Doctors at L’Hopital Des Anges try to save Claire’s life and that of her unborn child; and King Louis accuses two men of practicing the dark arts.
Disclaimer: We hold no rights to any of the pictures; all are from Starz. No copyright infringement intended.