Outlander S2 Epi7 – Faith
Directed by Metin Hüseyin Written by Toni Graphia
I knew where the story was headed, and I knew that Toni was writing it, and Toni has such a beautiful, poetic way with her writing. I knew that it was going to be in very safe hands. So when I first got the script, I mean, I cried. I emailed Toni straight away, and I was just like, “This is so beautiful. You’ve made me cry like a baby.” I loved how Toni handled it. It was in such a respectful way, and such a beautiful way, and I think it’s such a defining moment in Claire’s life and for her character, that in a way, you just relish these moments as an actor to be able to go through this journey with the character.
~ Caitriona Balfe, Variety
This conversation is between Blacklanderz Amanda-Rae and Erica. Both have read the book. Edited by Vida.
What is faith?
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing; or the observance of an obligation from loyalty; or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement; or a belief not based on proof; or it may refer to a particular system of religious belief, such as in which faith is confidence based on some degree of warrant.
FLASH FORWARD | EMOTIONAL | INTENSE | VISCERAL
Amanda-Rae: The scene right after credits is definitely a flash forward to Boston. The books are way too modern to be from France. I also noticed in the bird pictures some represented life; while others represented death. The episode carefully balanced changes made earlier this season with hitting the most important points for book readers.
LOSS | WITCH TRIALS | REVELATIONS | APOLOGIES | FAITH
Erica: The loss of a child is the most traumatic thing that could happen in a parent’s life. The age of the child is of no consequence. The loss of a child at birth is most traumatic. This is what happened to Claire and Jamie in the emotion-filled episode this week; so, we deal with Faith in every sense of the word.
That chapter of the book opens five days after Claire has lost the baby and she’s in the hospital, and already knows the baby is gone. I thought that we couldn’t skip over that. I wanted to see that. I wanted to see an 18th century version of ER and show Claire in the hospital with the King’s executioner as her doctor. I wanted to see the moment Mother Hildegarde told her she lost the baby. How could we not play that? My first draft opened with Claire on the table, and Ron always wanted to touch base back with Claire in her own time in a couple more places this season in addition to the premiere. He came up with the idea that this would be the perfect place to do it, to show her with her kid. When you see her with her red-haired kid, your heart breaks because you realize what she’s losing in the past in this episode. It makes it all the more poignant. And I chose the heron as a motif for the episode, for Claire to focus on something other than her own loss and grief because she just can’t even process it.
~ Toni Graphia, The Hollywood Reporter
FAITH & THE FUTURE
E: Future 1954 – No Words. I was not expecting to see this.
AR: I wasn’t either. At first, I questioned why there was yet another borrowing from Voyager, but by the end of the episode, I saw why this flash forward worked. People who haven’t read the book need to see that Paris hasn’t completely broken Claire’s devotion to Jamie. Brianna is a constant reminder of the life she left behind. I believe this scene worked much better than the very heavy-handed approach that S2 Epi1 used. Although Claire in Paris lost all confidence in her ability to be a successful mother, we see that she finds it again in Boston.
I loved Claire’s blue dress, it gave me a lot of flashbacks to Bel Rowley from The Hour. The suit conveys she’s back in a position of control of her life and career in a way she could never have living with Jamie. Young Brianna reminds me of Merida from Brave, but she is clearly a mix of Jamie and Claire. As a book reader, I like that their conversation has just enough of a hint that Brianna may be curious about Claire’s pre-Boston life, but not enough for non-book readers to see where later plots will end up.
You couldn’t bounce back from all of those things if you didn’t have an enormous well of hope, if you didn’t have an understanding of the goodness in humanity. That’s a very strong characteristic of her. It will never be completely extinguished in her but it definitely takes a knocking . . . .
~ Caitriona Balfe, Zip2it
FAITH, LOSS & HOPE
AR: The blue heron is often drawn as a “stork bearer” carrying infants. I usually don’t cry during episodes. But, I cried while watching Claire realize that she lost the baby. Cait did an incredible job convincing us throughout the episode that she couldn’t bear that she birthed a stillborn daughter.
E: Yes, it was simply heartbreaking. Look at the pain and suffering on her face. I cried for her too. This pain is a most unbearable pain. All she wants is her baby. She is delirious not knowing what is going on, asking for her baby.
Was there no one else that cold do this procedure? Seeing Forez in such an intimate space with Claire was unnerving. Legs spread wide and Forez simply doing his job. I don’t think he has one compassionate bone in his body.
And, the discovery of Jamie’s fate and that of BJR brought little comfort to Claire. She is so angry at Jamie that I can see the hate on her face. Then her proclamation that there is not a sea deep enough for her to forgive him was earth shattering.
God says we must revel in mercy. Tread sins underfoot and hurl iniquities in to sea. ~ Mother Hildegarde
I’m not sure there is a sea deep enough.
AR: I adored how Master Raymond came to Claire’s rescue to get the remaining infection out of her. The scene showed he truly valued their friendship. Although he couldn’t help her with her mental anguish, he helped her rejoin the land of the living.
E: I do too. Master Raymond heals Claire. Loved this scene. Straight from the book. Well done. Notice the blue hue that colors this scene – the color of healing.
Now . . . call to him. Call him.
FAITH & COMPASSION
AR: The music in this scene amplifies the mournful homecoming. Suzette and the rest of the servants are no longer faceless workers. Through keeping Claire company in the hospital, Fergus is also transformed from a goofball thief to a young man who knows all about loss.
E: Yes, the music did. Homecoming. Receiving line was so somber. Suzette is so sad for her Lady as well as Magnus. The music and costumes are right on point. Bear and Terry are spot on; the coloring and the mood are set by both.
Such a Claire move to bow to Magnus. Reaction? Sadness abound.
And, Fergus is still taking care of his lady. Lighting is spot on.
We always planned to show [the rape]. We did have many discussions, though. We wanted to be sensitive about it. We didn’t want it to be gratuitous, we didn’t film it in any kind of titillating way, we wanted it to just be the terror of it. We wanted to convey the emotion and the fear of it. We had a lot of talks with the actor and his mother to make sure they knew we were going to be respectful. But we thought, this [Randall] is a despicable man and he knows no boundaries, whether it’s men or women or kids. He’s a sadist and he’s going to take his pleasure where he wants.
~ Toni Graphia, REFINERY29
It’s a huge moment. He can’t help it. He sees Randall doing something to someone he loves … and it’s uncontrollable fury that Jamie has. He sees the same thing happening to Fergus that has happened to him, so it’s totally understandable in my mind that he does this.
~ Sam Heughan, IGN
FAITH, LOYALTY & LOVE
AR: I was very afraid that Outlander was going to cross the line and show Fergus getting attacked by Black Jack Randall. My initial thoughts on the “shark jumping” Diana mentioned was that it was this scene, but it definitely is not this. It may be a potential turn-off to non-readers who are triggered by child abuse.
Romann did an incredible job of showing how Fergus believes everything is his fault. I couldn’t help but think about and compare Fergus’ account of the ordeal to Precious. The movie portrayed the repeated sexual abuse of a child in an extremely graphic way. Here, the scene was edited in an extremely skillful way to avoid seeing either Fergus or Black Jack Randall naked. I had to pause and look away a few times, but I didn’t feel as much terror as I did when I saw Precious. There was just enough sadism shown to get the depths of evil across but not so much that it became like torture porn.
You’re not what I ordered, but you will certainly do.
AR: Yes, and they wisely made the decision to edit Fergus’ backstory, and the emotional payoff here is so much greater. In the book, Fergus reveals that he occasionally slept with clients who desired a young man. Fergus in the show has only seen or heard sex while stealing pocket change. Fergus’ lost innocence mirrors Mary’s story in a very powerful way. His reveal here of what happened hurt my stomach. I wanted to reach into the screen and kill BJR myself. I have read the books but seeing it on screen was something else. You’re not what I ordered . . . No scruples at all. Pedophile. He should have died. Thought that when I read the book and still think so. So disgusting. Heartbreaking.
AR: Even though Jamie is not in the scene you can already predict that at the end of the ordeal, Jamie and Fergus will have an even more powerful bond. Claire’s facial expressions communicate her growing realization that Jamie broke the oath to save someone they both care about.
Claire feels she’s equal to anyone. She doesn’t accept the fact that there is [a] hierarchy. I love that about her. Even with the king; yes, she’s aware that she has to maneuver within certain parameters, but at the same point, she feels very justified. It’s an amazing scene when she goes and asks for Jamie’s freedom. She realizes there’s a price to pay. But she’s willing to do it. Just for her to get Jamie back, that’s worth anything.
~ Caitriona Balfe, Vulture
FAITH, MOTHER & THE KING
E: Loss of virtue. Claire looks good. Almost healed even. She is on a mission to save her husband and in speaking to Mother Hildergarde gets a private audience with King Louis XV.
His Majesty is a mercurial man. There is a price to such requests.
The King may expect to lie with you.
If it comes to sacrificing my virtue, Mother, I’ll add it to the list of things I’ve already lost in Paris.
AR: Yes, she is on a mission. Her teal and green mixed saque back gown symbolize a woman who wants to project the illusion of control. However, she knows that the King can force her to do anything he wants. She may have a bit of hope that there could be a negotiation, but she has resigned herself to the fate of using her body to save Jamie’s life.
E: Yes, that dress! She means to have him free today. So many passageways almost like it’s giving her an opportunity to change her mind on the walk to the King. Since every move has a meaning, what is the meaning behind the hot chocolate and the orange? Can’t figure that one out.
AR: I’m not sure. But, I did find it ironic that the chamber where Master Raymond’s indictment is read looks exactly like the kind of place where witchcraft was practiced in the 18th century. If Outlander was a more fantastical show, Claire could totally cast a spell that knocked the Comte out. Claire accepts the superstition because there is no logic in politically motivated witch trials.
E: Lighting – check. Intensity – double check. Comte speaks English for the first time to Claire. WOW! See how she gets the color back in her face? Loved it! She is in command of this room. You can see she is having a good time.
No, I don’t deny it! But La Dame Blanche is a white witch and I practice white magic, Sire.
Bitter Cascara for Master Raymond and something else entirely for Comte courtesy of Master Raymond. Loved how the stone changed color.
It’s true. I drank The Comte’s poison and it did not kill me. Let him drink mine and see what happens. Let them both drink it.
E: Goodbye Comte! Straight from the book . . . a well-executed scene.
AR: My reaction to the Comte dying?
DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD!!!
E: So not impressed with the King’s anything. Very businesslike. Almost like having sex with Frank. No emotion at all.
AR: Well for me, I saw this scene as a second assault on Claire. Her voice-over referencing lying back and thinking of England was a powerful contrast to her scenes with Jamie or even Frank. Every reaction was purely physical and no hint of any sort of desire. I loved how this scene showed the link between psychological compulsion and nonconsensual sex. Mental violence is just as traumatic as physical violence.
E: Yeah, that’s true. I also noticed how the room got a bit brighter on her exit? Even the library looks brighter on exit than on entry.
It’s this terrible repercussion . . . , and it’s a very strong episode for Caitriona. She’s amazing in it. It’s so upsetting and so sad. There’s a real brittleness to her when they come back together. It’s so tough, and beautifully played by Caitriona.
~ Sam Heughan, IGN
FAITH & FORGIVENESS
AR: Claire wearing the dark blue and white Vandyke dress from Epi4 symbolizes coming full circle on the initial argument with Jamie on sparing Black Jack Randall to save Frank’s ancestry. I interpreted Jamie’s wild beard as a symbol of his own grief and anger.
E: So true. This scene was moving beyond words. The ticking clock took me back to Epi5. She and Fergus wait on Jamie to return home and all you hear in the silence of this large house was the ticking of the clock. That same ticking was happening in this scene.
AR: Seeing Louise comforting Claire at the hospital was a real shock to me. She completely transformed from a frivolous woman to a fellow mother-to-be sharing in the emotional pains of pregnancy. Since the show condensed most of Claire’s friendship with Louise, this scene was the first time we can see that Louise has any sort of empathy.
E: Yes, she did. And, ultimately Claire takes responsibility for their loss.
What Jamie says to Claire that he forgave her long before now is the same thing he says in a voice-over from S1 Epi9 after they rescue her from Black Jack. Great tie in.
And I feel very much that Claire, after what happened, she built a brick wall around her heart, and that’s not easy to break down, but when Jamie says to her that the loss of what they’ve experienced is too much for each of them to bear alone, that they will only be able to carry it together, I think that that’s the moment that you see the crack in her, and you see that she begins to let go, and when he forgives her then, it’s the beginning of her being able to perhaps forgive herself. Because really, that’s the crux of it: she blames herself, and that’s the hardest thing to forgive, I think.
~ Caitriona Balfe, Variety
AR: I love the symbolism of using St. Andrew spoon left at Faith’s grave – The Saltire (St. Andrew’s Cross) is the national flag of Scotland. It foreshadows the fate of the rebelling hanging in the balance.
If our daughter must be buried in France, let’s leave a bit of Scotland with her.
E: I did too. And yes, now they are going home…Scotland bound.
What we are looking forward to in the upcoming episode.
Amanda-Rae: I am looking forward to seeing more interaction at Lallybroch between Jamie, Claire, Ian, and Jenny. We didn’t see enough of Jamie fulfilling his duties as laird in S1. I loved Jenny and Ian in the books and seeing how they held Lallybroch together while Jamie was away.
Erica: Welcome Home! Jamie and Claire return to Scotland and from what I can see of the previews, there is no rest for our most beloved couple. I look forward to seeing how the conversions from the book transfers to the screen. Looks like a lot happens going forward. Only six more episodes to go.
Episode Rating (1-5): 5 – Shots
We have to give this episode five (5) shots. It was intensely emotional and didn’t hold back on eliciting a visceral reaction. The episode carefully balanced changes made earlier this season; while hitting the most important points for book readers. Everything was on point – acting, directing, writing, set design and costumes. Not one scene was out of place. We could tell that the writer, Toni Graphia, is a fan of the books. If we did not have the good sense that the Lord gave us, we would have believed this story was real and not actors on the screen.
Caitriona gave such an amazingly, powerful tour de force performance that it would be a crime if she were overlooked for an award. We’ve watched this episode several times; and every time, we are in awe at the work done in this episode. Well done by all. Though we thoroughly enjoyed this episode, we will truly miss seeing Stanley Weber (Comte St. Germain), Dominique Pinon (Master Raymond), Lionel Lingelser (Louis XV), Frances de la Tour (Mother Hildegarde), Claire Sermonne (Louise) and Bouton.
How did you rate the episode and why?
Let us know in the comments section.
Outlander S2 Epi8 Preview – ‘The Fox’s Lair‘ ~ via The Outlander Br
Directed by Mike Barker Written by Anne Kenney
Claire and Jamie seek to elicit support from his manipulative grandfather, who may have his own interests at heart, while a visiting Colum MacKenzie has other plans.
Disclaimer: We hold no rights to any of the pictures; all are from Starz. No copyright infringement intended.