Outlander: La Dame Blanche

outlander-204-spoilersPreviously on Outlander: Claire and Jamie set out to sink the Jacobite rebellion, which you’d think would be easy, considering what an unstable idiot Prince Charles is. Unfortunately, it seems he has some powerful backers under the charge of the Duke of Sandringham, which is enough to get the interest of the French court. Jamie continued to have serious issues with his trauma (understandably), Claire’s deep boredom lead her to start volunteering at a charity hospital, and the Comte St Germain slithered back onto the scene.

In the titlecard scene, we see someone messing about with a carriage wheel.

Claire has accompanied Jamie to Versailles for his chess game with Duverney. Duverney conversationally asks if she and Jamie have considered names for the incoming kid and Claire proposes Lambert, after her uncle. Jamie hates that name as much as, well, anyone with halfway decent taste in names, but since his counter-suggestion is Dalhousie (after the Scottish castle, for God’s sake), it’s not like he can really judge.

Duvarney’s face: Wow, you guys are lucky this kid will be good looking, because it doesn’t seem like his name will do him any favours. You suck at this.

In comes St Germain to sneer over the board and tell Jamie he’s going to lose in two moves. He sighs that the outcome is so obvious he’s bored to tears. Poor baby. Off he goes, and Jamie realises he’s right and concedes the game. Duverney sportingly offers to call it a draw, since Claire was distracting Jamie, and suggests they make this the best of five. Claire takes off, accepts a glass of wine an obliging servant materialises with, and looks bored. She downs the wine and almost immediately begins groaning, bending double, obviously in pain. Jamie leaps to his feet and hurries over to her while Duverney calls for a doctor.

St Germain’s face: It was me! MEMEMEMEMEMEEEEE! See the disdainful glee I wear so elegantly!

Claire is taken home and put to bed. She’ll be ok, thankfully. She suspects she was dosed with bitter cascara and has Jamie make her some marshmallow tea to counteract the effects. He asks if this was St Germain’s work and says that, if it was, he’ll make the man suffer. Claire reminds him they have no proof, and going after a high-ranking aristocrat could cause Charles to back away from Jamie. She asks what Duverney said and Jamie reports that he’s spoken to the king and Louis is tempted by the idea of a Franco-British alliance. Jamie wonders if they should hold a fancy dinner and invite Charles and Sandringham so Sandringham can see this cause in the flesh. He hopes they can somehow provoke Charles to expose himself for the ‘delusional pompinjay he is.’ Claire immediately gets nervous and tense and Jamie notices, because he’s not completely out of it. Claire finally comes clean with him about Randall being alive.

Jamie: Seriously? This is the BEST NEWS EVER! Now I can extract my revenge! Someday!

Claire reminds him that he can’t go running back to Scotland. He knows, and besides, they have work to do in France, but at least he has something to look forward to now! You know, something besides the impending birth of his first child, I guess. Claire’s so relieved her husband isn’t about to do something stupid that she fails to notice that little oversight.

The next day, with a fair bit of attitude, she tells Murtagh she came clean with Jamie and it was fine, so, all good. He looks a bit befuddled.

She climbs into her carriage and goes to Raymond’s to angrily announce that she was poisoned the day before, and by the way, did he happen to sell some bitter cascara to St Germain? Good lord, Claire, why do you still trust this man? You know that he has dealings with St Germain, despite claiming the two are rivals, and yet here you are, expecting him to tell you the whole truth? And you’re just going to accept what he says without question? Why are you not more wary and suspicious? Why do you just accept that this man is on your side and everything he says is true? Why do you keep confiding in him and telling him things? He knows a fair bit about what’s going on in your household, including: your maid is having an affair with someone and you’re willing to procure birth control for her, Jamie’s not sleeping well, you’re bored, you have a very good knowledge of herbalism, and you volunteer at the charity hospital (remember that for later). But at no point did it occur to you that this man may be pretending to be friendly towards you so he can funnel information to St Germain? Or to someone else who wants it? Lord, this woman just doesn’t think sometimes!

He tells her that he sold cascara to a servant recently, but has no idea who the person is. He promises he had no notion of whom it was going to be used on.

His assistant reminds him he’s being watched by the gendarmes, so he hustles Claire into a back room where they can talk safely (or so he says). Claire pokes around the oddities back there, which include some dinosaur bones. Raymond says he’s fascinated by things not of this time and asks what’s on her mind. Because she’s an idiot now, she tells him right away that someone’s been on her mind lately. Raymond asks (a little too eagerly, if you ask me) what this person’s name is and she readily tells him it’s Frank. She thinks his future is in doubt. Raymond offers to cast the man’s future in bones, African soothsayer-style. He has Claire cast some sheep’s knuckles on a zebra hide, looks at them, and determines that Claire will see Frank again, someday. She’s shocked to hear that. We’re not, because we’ve all seen the first episode.

Raymond bustles about and produces a necklace with a large, white stone which he claims will change colour in the presence of poison. He’s giving it to her free of charge, because of course he is.

Claire goes to visit Louise, who shows off a cuckoo clock, her ‘new toy.’ Mary, who has a stammer, apparently, wonders at it, proclaiming it magic, even though cuckoo clocks had been around for a bit more than a century at this point. Louise sends her away to fetch some food for the monkey, reminding us that the monkey bites everyone, except Louise.

Once Mary’s gone, Louise sits Claire down and tells her she’s in a very delicate situation. And a delicate condition, too: she’s pregnant.

Claire: Really! Fantastic! Congratulations!

Louise: Uh, I didn’t send my virginal ward away to discuss this with you because it’s good news, Claire. Geez, read the situation, won’t you? This is not good, the kid is not my husband’s. Something needs to be done. I know you’re all witchy herbal-y, so can you help a sister out?

Claire: Ohhh, yeaaah, I can, but it’s not really the safest route. I’d basically have to feed you poison, which could induce a miscarriage but could also kill you.

Louise: So can childbirth–welcome to the 18th century! I’ve thought about this, and really this is the only option.

Claire: Do you want the baby?

Louise: Well, yes, actually, I do, because it’s my lover’s and mine and that’s just lovely! And although my lover wants to marry me, I don’t see how that’s possible. If my husband hears about the baby, he’ll have our marriage annulled [which, I might point out, would leave her free to marry her lover so…where’s the problem there?] and then could have me either thrown in prison for adultery or, worse, tossed in a convent! I can’t be in a convent, those habits do nothing for the figure!

Claire: Uh, maybe you could convince your husband the baby’s his?

Louise: You mean I’d have to sleep with my husband? But my lover would be furious!

Claire: Oh, for heaven’s sake! Why do I put up with you?

Louise: But how can I possibly raise a child with a man who isn’t the father?

Yes, that’s her actual line. Watch out for falling anvils!

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That night, Jamie wakes Claire with a kiss and starts stripping madly before jumping into bed with her and getting ready for naughty time. As he goes to remove his shirt, however, Claire finds suspicious bite marks on his chest and thighs and Jamie stupidly admits that he had a little run-in with a prostitute who was really keen on some 69 action. Though he was tempted to take her up on the offer, he declined. Presumably after she took a few nibbles.

Claire angrily tells him that, after months of him avoiding touching her in any way, it really sucks to hear about how he was driven mad with passion for some whore. Jamie retorts that he’s spent months trying not to see Randall’s face every time he took her in his arms, and that finally, tonight, he began to feel like a man again, thanks to Claire’s news about Randall being alive. Claire’s not cool with any of this and tells him she’s been trying for ages to be patient with him, while also dealing with being pregnant, and she feels like she’s been doing all of this on her own. Jamie responds that she doesn’t really understand what it’s been like for him, and she begs him to talk to her and make her understand.

There’s a long silence, then he says that after Wentworth the most private and intimate part of his very being was exposed and he’s felt terribly vulnerable and alone, trying to hide. He grabs his clothes and goes to sleep in one of the guest rooms. Claire watches him go and cradles her baby bump.

Later, she makes her way to the bedroom he’s gone to stay in. He wakes as she drops her robe, revealing her nakedness. She climbs on top of him and takes his hand, urging him to come find her. He kisses her, and the baby bump, and they make love. Apparently the two actors really had to fight for this scene to be included, because the sight of a pregnant lady having sex really freaks people out. Or so the powers that be seem to think. Good on Balfe and Heughan for putting up a fight.

Later, they snuggle and pillow talk and Jamie admits he’s finally just starting to feel a little safe. And then he hears someone up on the roof, so so much for that. He goes to investigate, grabs a knife, sees someone outside the window of Claire’s bedroom, opens the window and ends up with an armful of Prince Charles, who apologises for the unsociable hour and undignified entrance. Jamie presents Claire, who greets Charlie politely and notes that his hand is wrapped in a bandage. Charles says he’s been hurt and orders Claire to take a look at it. While she does, he explains that he was at the home of a ‘friend’ whose husband unexpectedly arrived home early, so he had to escape the via the roof. What, there was no servants’ entrance or anything? I find that doubtful. Anyway, he climbed onto the roof and made his way to Claire’s and Jamie’s by skipping over the rooves of houses in the way, which I find really unlikely. He’s a prince, not a parkour expert!

Poor Charlie’s had his heart broken. His ‘friend’ dumped him unceremoniously. Claire, examining the wound, puts a few things together and asks if this particular wound is a monkey bite. Charles is the father of Louise’s baby? Convenient! Also, Louise didn’t see a future in being the wife of a royal prince who might someday be King of England? I find that a little doubtful, but maybe she’s under few illusions about her lover.

Later, when they’re alone, Claire and Jamie talk about this relationship and how they might be able to use it to their advantage. They both plot to invite Louise and her husband to their big fancy dinner and drop the baby bombshell. If Charles doesn’t know about the kid before that, they excitedly figure he’ll come unhinged and expose himself as an overly emotional sort in front of Sandringham, and heaven knows nobody will back a revolution led by someone who expresses emotion!

Holy. Shit. You two.

They actually chuckle about this for a moment, and then Claire pauses and wonders if this makes them bad people. Oooh, ooh, I’ll take that one!

YES IT DOES, CLAIRE. Right now, you two are HORRIBLE people. Think about it: your friends came to you in a moment of enormous vulnerability and distress, looking for help and advice, and almost your first reaction was: I can use this against them to forward my own agenda! To hell with the fact that you’re going to be actively ruining lives! Has it crossed Claire’s mind, really, what throwing Louise under the bus will mean? Louise told her that, at best, she would be disgraced forever, probably left penniless, and at worst forced into a harsh religious life (trust me, disgraced wives weren’t sent to the country club convents) or thrown in prison.

[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”33%”]Your friends came to you in a moment of enormous vulnerability and distress, and almost your first reaction was: I can use this against them to forward my own agenda![/cryout-pullquote]

And this is a stupid plan anyway: Charles might not overreact. He might get a bit upset but hold himself in check, but meanwhile Louise’s cover would be blown. Or Charles might get upset and make a bit of a scene but maybe Sandringham won’t care. Maybe what Sandringham really wants is a weakling on the throne whom he can control puppet-style, has that thought crossed your mind? No? What a surprise!

So yes, Claire, this terrible, cruel plan does make you two bad people.

Jamie justifies it by saying they’re doing a bad thing,but for a good reason. Claire points that that all bad people say that (yeah, up to and including Hitler, I’m guessing), but Jamie distracts her with kissing.

Preparations get underway for the big fancy dinner, but the day of, Claire takes off to go to the hospital and help out following an explosion at the armoury. Seriously? She promises to be back well in time to get ready, though. Jamie tells her to take Murtagh with her, and Fergus, for some reason.

At the hospital, Mary comes out and reports to Fergus and Murtagh that they’re running a bit behind and it’ll be at least another hour. Why is Mary there? Unless I missed something, she’s never expressed any desire to do this sort of work and it seems bizarre to me that, in an emergency situation, Claire would grab the most innocent, inexperienced, easily rattled person she knows to help deal with what are likely to be some absolutely horrific injuries. This feels super contrived, but then, contrivance is pretty much a running theme this season, it seems.

Fergus complains that he’ll get in trouble with Jamie and Mary promises they’ll try to hurry. She goes back inside and Fergus gossips to Murtagh that it’s a shame she’s such a sad young woman. But there’s hope yet, because Mary’s clearly in love with someone, as is evidenced by the disappearance of her on-again off-again stutter.

Inside, Claire, Mary, and one of the male non-physicians tend to a man who’s screaming in pain and has a terrible leg wound. The male attendant gently hammers a pin into a spot on the man’s leg and the man stops screaming. Claire asks how he managed that and the attendant explains that there’s a nerve there, and if you manage to pierce it, it numbs the lower leg. The two of them get to work setting the leg. Mary kind of looks like she wants to vomit. The attendant hands Claire and Mary some ointment for the man’s burns, explaining, when asked, that it’s rendered fat from hanged criminals. Oh…kaaaay. Mary blinks at the human juice now moisturising her cuticles and goes to wash her hands before helping out with someone else. Hildegarde stops by to compliment Claire on her work, because apparently we needed a reminder that Claire Is Awesome. Despite all recent evidence to the contrary.

Claire and Mary head out, only to find the carriage has mysteriously broken down while parked. The wheel’s come off. Murtagh says he sent Fergus ahead to tell Jamie they’d be late. Claire decides they’d better walk home, despite the fact that the carriage was presumably hitched up to horses at some point, and I doubt they’ve broken down. Nope, they’re standing right there, looking just fine! And yes, carriage and riding horses were usually kept separate, but in a pinch, you could ride a carriage horse, they were broken in and everything. You’d have to remove their harness and go bareback, and knot up the reins quite a bit, but you could get it to work if you had any sense. Or you could hire a carriage or a sedan chair to get you home—those things existed in major cities at the time! My point is, again, this feels contrived. They don’t need to walk. At least, they don’t need to walk the whole way.

But whatever, Claire sets off with Mary and Murtagh in tow.

Meanwhile, guests start arriving at the house. Sandringham first, with Alex Randall. Jamie manages to greet them with a smile. Later, Mary’s uncle arrives, accompanied by his niece’s fiance, whom I thought was supposed to be covered in boils or something, but clearly isn’t.

Hours tick by, guests flow in. How long is this cocktail hour? Fergus finally shows up and tells Jamie that Claire will be late. I know that Paris is a sizable city and the hospital is obviously in a different neighbourhood from the one Claire and Jamie live in, but all the same, how far apart are these two places? How long did it take Fergus to get back? Because it seems like it’s been a really long time.

Charles arrives and whispers to Jamie that he has high hopes for that evening. Jamie presents him to Sandringham, who smarms that it’s a delight to finally meet the prince. The two go to have a chat.

Claire has apparently not heard of power walking, because she and Mary are strolling along like they totally don’t have a very important event to get to ASAP. Ok, fine, I know, Claire’s pregnant and has been on her feet all day and is probably a bit tired. Mary confides that she’s fallen for someone and they’ve been exchanging secret love letters. Claire asks for a name and Mary admits it’s Alex Randall.

Before Claire can comment further on that, men come out of nowhere and attack Murtagh, beating him unconscious before turning on the women. One of them—he has a birthmark on his hand the camera is really sure to linger on for a while—starts raping Mary and another tears back Claire’s hood and recognises her as La Dame Blanche (the white lady). He and one of the others flee in terror, giving Claire the chance to tear Mary’s attacker away from her. He, too, runs and Claire embraces Mary while Murtagh stumbles to his feet.

Louise arrives for the dinner, accompanied by her husband. Jamie immediately introduces them to Charles, who kisses Louise’s hand for just a little longer than is appropriate. Sandringham clearly takes note. Louise takes her hand back and cosies up to her husband.

One of the footmen steps in to have a word with Jamie, who slips out and rushes into the courtyard, where Claire is, accompanied by Murtagh, who’s carrying an unconscious Mary. Claire quickly explains to Jamie what happened, reassuring him that she’s fine, because even though she’s threatened with sexual assault of some kind roughly every other week, somehow she always seems to escape it. Mary, not so much. And come to think of it, it’s always the people close to Claire who end up being raped, never Claire herself. I have nothing to say to that, just something I realised just now.

Alex comes rushing out and races to Mary’s side, pale and horrified. Jamie’s all ready to go and basically kill the entire male population of Paris, just to be safe, but Claire reminds him that they kind of have a thing happening here and they need to tend to this poor girl and their dinner guests, who must all be getting a bit peckish by now.

Jamie gathers up Mary and takes her up to a bedroom, where Alex sweetly (but probably stupidly) parks himself at her bedside. Claire, equally stupidly, tells him to stay there and give the girl some tea if she wakes up. Claire, I know your mind’s in a few different places right now, but do you really think that having a man be the first thing a young woman who’s just been sexually assaulted sees when she wakes up is the best idea? I mean, have him nearby, by all means, if he wants to be sure she’s safe, but put Suzette in the chair next to her, offering tea. Suzette was down in the courtyard, so she knows what’s going on, and surely you can enlist another maid in this house to help you get dressed for dinner? Having him alone in a room with Mary would have been incredibly inappropriate anyway, for the time, and even if Claire didn’t know or didn’t care about that, everyone else sure as hell would have.

Oh, also, Claire tells him to go ahead and dose Mary with some poppy syrup if she needs it, adding that he shouldn’t give the girl too much, because it can cause visions. Unfortunately, she doesn’t specify what ‘too much’ is, which would be useful knowledge.

She hurriedly gets ready, even though Jamie thinks they should cancel. She says there’s too much at stake, but they should probably tell the police about Mary’s assault. Jamie firmly informs her that’s a terrible idea, because if word about this gets out her reputation will be ruined forever and she’ll die a spinster, a fate surely worse than death. Claire thinks it’s terrible and unbelievable that victims can’t get justice and are, in fact, found to be at fault for their own assaults, and while I wholeheartedly agree, I find myself once again wondering why Claire can’t at all wrap her head around what century she’s currently living in. Hell, things weren’t much better for rape victims in the 1940s. They aren’t that much better for rape victims now. I appreciate the timely commentary, but it’s terribly anachronistic, even for a time traveller.

Jamie thinks St Germain was behind this. Well, if he was, then he must have had someone at the hospital watching Claire. How else would they have been able to time the wheel breaking and then known that Claire and her party were walking home, and by which route? Maybe it was him, I don’t know–I’m just saying, in order for this whole thing to have been plausible as a planned attack, someone must have been watching her.

Claire’s not happy to hear that St Germain has managed to crash her dinner party (and even if she didn’t hate the guy, that’s terribly rude and simply wasn’t done—they had the placecards set and everything!) but since Sandringham invited the guy, there’s not much they can do about it. Claire sends Jamie back to their guests so she can collect herself. She’s wearing the necklace Raymond gave her. I’ll bet that thing is actually some sort of strange slow-acting poison absorbed through the skin. I just really think that there’s something about Raymond that means he shouldn’t be trusted.

She arrives downstairs and apologises for her lateness, then invites the guests into the dining room. On the way in, she grabs Louise’s arm and asks her if things are ok at home. Louise happily reports that she managed to convince her husband that he had sex with her while seriously drunk one night and that the baby is his. He’s ecstatic! Louise is happy and relieved! She has no idea that her two-faced friend is smiling at her now even as she plans to ruin her life!

Alex sweetly whispers to Mary that she’s safe and he loves her and will take good care of her. Aww.

Food is served, guests chat politely, everyone seems happy. Sandringham talks about how lovely Italy is but how disappointed he was not to have been able to meet the pope on his last visit. Charles points out that being the head of the Catholic church does keep one somewhat busy, though the past four popes have made time to meet the Stuarts, and gift them with an allowance and a huge palace in Rome. Charles does not seem terribly enamoured of Sandringham.

At her end of the table, Claire eyes St Germain, who’s seated to her right (though that should be Charles’s seat, since he’s the highest-ranking male guest), wondering if he could have orchestrated such a violent attack, and then sit calmly beside her. Well, Claire, considering he may have almost gleefully watched you, a pregnant woman, ingest poison, I’d say yes, he probably could.

Jamie invites Charles to tell Sandringham about some of his plans and Charles immediately launches into his spiel about how God wants a Catholic to sit on the English throne. Louise interrupts to divert the conversation away from politics and onto the more entertaining subject of the opera.

Charles complains about what fickle creatures women are and Claire nods to Jamie. Go ahead, honey! And he does, offering his congratulations to Louise and her husband. Louise blanches and awkwardly blusters that they’re really looking forward to the arrival of the little one. Charles’s face goes through a whole lot of things, very quickly, from Whaaaa? to: Oh, I see to: you stone-cold bitch to: I’m going to have to do some more drinking to come to terms with this. A lot more. Let’s start with a toast! He lifts his glass and wishes Louise and her husband all the happiness in the world. Everyone joins in. He gulps down his wine, slams down the glass and starts talking about how unpredictable life is—one moment you’re happy, the next you’re not. Louise starts to look super tense. ‘Porca miseria!’ Charles declares. Depending on whom you ask, that apparently means something along the lines of: for God’s sake, or bloody hell. Louise’s husband admits he’s kind of in the dark on his meaning. ‘Yes, I believe you are a man in the dark indeed,’ Charles tells him provocatively. Jamie nods and smirks in satisfaction. Claire gulps some more wine.

Upstairs, Mary wakes up, and as I predicted, she freaks right the hell out when she sees Alex next to her. She fights him off, then flees in absolute terror.

One of the female guests comments on Claire’s necklace. She dismisses it as a bauble, but St Germain reveals he knows exactly what it is. He sneers that, if Claire’s so concerned about the food she’s served, maybe all her guests should have a poison-detecting stone as well. ‘Maybe you should,’ she tells him.

Alex catches up with Mary in the drawing room, and as she fights him, he responds by pinning her to the ground. Ohhh dear. Of course she starts screaming her head off, alerting the guests in the adjoining dining room, who all come streaming in and see Alex straddling this poor half-dressed girl who’s wailing in terror.

All the male guests: WTF are we even seeing? Is that guy actually raping this girl on the drawing room carpet?

Jamie pulls Alex to his feet while Mary’s uncle and fiance flip out and launch themselves at…Jamie? For, I guess, arranging for Mary to be at the house to be assaulted? Or something? Yeah, nobody’s thinking clearly here. Claire tries to hustle Mary away while the men just descend into a Keystone Kops-esque brawl that seems wildly out of step with just about everything that’s happened in the second half of this episode. Sandringham whines that he was really looking forward to dessert, but it’s getting a little late, and this looks like it’s going to get messy. Claire shouts for the men to control themselves, but then Murtagh comes in, armed with a knife, and very nearly stabs a Frenchman to death before Jamie manages to stop him, which is good, because they’re going to start running low on countries they can flee to soon. Jamie and Murtagh start breaking furniture over other men’s heads, and that’s St Germain’s cue to collect Charles and steer him out of there, telling someone to fetch the gendarmes as he leaves. Claire, meanwhile, is getting into the spirit of things by tossing Jamie a curtain tieback that must have been reinforced with lead or something, because he’s able to use it to take out two guys, who react like they’ve been hit with a small cannonball. He and Murtagh also use to to clothesline someone.

Fergus takes advantage of the situation by plunking himself down at the table to finish the guests’ wine and food.

Dinner at the Frasers’, everyone! Brawling and betrayal!

I know I’m setting myself up for some hate mail here, but this was a terrible episode. Not only was it tonally all over the place, it was basically just endless narrative wheel-spinning. We learned nothing new, really, and it didn’t feel like anything was advanced. Someone’s gunning for Claire, which we already knew. St Germain is sinister, which we already knew. The plan to discredit Charles failed, leaving everyone right where they started. The only event of any potential substance that happened was Mary’s rape, so let’s talk about that.

I mentioned earlier that Claire’s kind of Teflon: she never seems to suffer any lasting effects of her many, many bad decisions. If anyone does, it’s someone connected to her: Jamie, Geillis, and now Mary. (In the cases of both Geillis and Jamie you could, of course, make the argument that they were not wholly victims of Claire’s poor plotting or foolish behaviour, and that’s totally fair and true, but that’s definitely not true of Mary). I think because of this, Claire has never had a real wake-up call that might clue her into the fact that she needs to start acting with at least a little more sense. Now, don’t mistake me, I AM DEFINITELY NOT saying that Claire needs to get raped to learn her lesson, or lose her baby, or anything like that. Dear God, I’m not saying that. But she seriously needs a ‘wake up’ moment. She needs to have something happen that makes a lasting impact so she actually begins to stop and think for a second before she acts and does idiotic things like wandering the streets of Paris at night draped in silk or implicitly trusting a guy who’s working with someone she perceives as an enemy just because that first guy gives her stuff for free. I thought that Jamie’s continuing trauma, and the effects that had on their relationship, or even Claire’s near-rape at the hands of that British soldier last season might prod her into some caution, but nope, she’s just going along, same as ever! And that’s starting to feel boring. When a character shows zero development, that character gets old fast. They don’t feel realistic, because real people absorb the things that have happened to them, react, and often adjust their future actions accordingly. Claire acts like she just walked through the stones yesterday, day after day after day. She continues to eschew conventions of the day, despite having nearly been burned at the stake for just that. She continues to put herself and others in dangerous situations. She plots and plans, despite being terrible at it. It’s frustrating as hell, as a viewer, to see this happening.

So, something has to give. Maybe Louise realises Claire and Jamie were setting her up, and that turns her against them. Or maybe (and this could be an interesting development), Mary blames Claire for what happened to her, and she starts working with Claire’s enemies. I’d like to see the horror of Mary’s assault actually serve her character, not just give Claire something to be a bit rattled over during the course of a single dinner party. Using a young girl’s rape as a device merely to escalate the rivalry between Claire and St Germain is fairly disgusting (and unnecessary: surely Claire’s poisoning took care of that?) but if it, in some way, helps Mary’s character to develop and gives her a meatier role in the plot going forward, I can live with it. We’ll just have to see.



2 thoughts on “Outlander: La Dame Blanche

  1. No hate mail here – your commentary is spot on. I confess to never having read the books, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how this woman who survived WWII and married a history professor (and is supposed to be brilliant) can act so ignorant and idiotic each week. And people love her for it!

    From the first episode of the second series, I also feel like I’m the only one who seems to realize that Claire doesn’t seem worried about what happens to the historic timeline if she succeeds with this horribly planned scheme – as in, if you change history, Claire, there’s a good chance you don’t get to go back in time after the war and marry the hot Scottish guy. Food for thought.

    1. I totally worried about the ripple effect on the historic timeline too! I mean, if her actions result in, for instance, the marriage between Mary Hawkins and Jack Randall never taking place, then that means Frank would never exist, which would mean she’d have no reason to be at the standing stones in the first place…

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