La Dame Blanche

Are you ready for Saturday?  Read on for the recap, comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a little Outlander postcard:

Here is a recap of the Frasers’ previous antics:

Episode 3 left off with a lot of tension between Jamie and Claire. Claire found a useful occupation helping the estimable Mother Hildegard, where we also met the beloved Bouton.  Claire makes the mental “Mary Hawkins” connection by recalling seeing the family tree with Frank.  Fergus becomes part of the deception and steals mail…leading to the discovery of Sandringham’s musical “key” and it’s implications to stopping the Rising. Jamie and Claire decide to plan a dinner to bring the interested parties together.  Despite Murtagh’s urging Claire to tell Jamie that Black Jack lives, she continues the deception.

Enter Episode 4: La Dame Blanche
What is that you see? Is someone messing with the carriage pin? Hmmm, what is up with THAT?

e4cog Fast forward to Jamie playing yet another game of chess with the Master of Finance, who had practically begged Jamie to lose a game to plead his case, and this time Jamie is completely distracted by Claire’s presence and talking baby names.  Baby Lambert? Baby Dalhousie?  Jamie finds Lambert “too English” and Claire wants to “sneeze” over Jamie’s suggestions.  Le Comte St. Germain to the rescue!  Le Comte totally gives away the game and Jamie gives up. Claire realizes she is a distraction, so off she goes.  Monsieur Duvernay tells Jamie the King is intrigued by the Scottish “King’s” patrons who want to pledge boat loads of money to the cause.

ep4drinkmemeWhy yes, I’ll have a drink! Claire’s glass face is a dead giveaway to the bad taste of the drink and immediately falls victim to…to what?

Le Comte is lurking and watching, what has he done?

ep4comteClaire starts choking and moaning, she is whisked away by Jamie and they make a dramatic exit after drawing attention to themselves.

Did Claire drink bitter cascara in the drink?  Well, Claire, does not know, but now they are on alert.  What problem will this create? Well, no spoilers here, but book readers know of the events to come.
Jamie comes up with a scheme to host a dinner party to bring the parties together, everyone Jamie has been rubbing shoulders with at court can meet Bonnie Prince Charlie at their Paris apartment, since said Bonnie Prince cannot be accepted at court.  Claire makes her recovery bed her place of fessing up to Jamie that Black Jack Randall is alive.

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Say what?  Jamie is nearly jumping out of his skin at this “wonderful news” that Black Jack is still alive!  He professes that Claire has given him a gift, that he wasn’t robbed of spilling Black Jack’s blood himself and that now he can be the one do to it.  Thank you, truly, for more excitement to come.  Of course he isn’t going back to Scotland to run Black Jack through.

Claire encounters Murtagh and flippantly tells him Jamie knows that the Captain lives, and disses him by telling him she didn’t know why he was so worried.

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Claire confronts Master Raymond, who professes his innocence at selling any poison directly to le Comte, but of course!  Any servant could have purchased it.  Master Raymond invites Claire into his hidden lair, one of the scenes we have been waiting for.  While the details of this scene are not from Dragonfly in Amber, the vision of Master Raymonds hidden room, filled with skulls, certainly is. Kudos.

e4skullsMaster Raymond is a fortune teller, or is he? He plays fortune Yahtzee and tells Claire she will see Frank again but that he doesn’t know his fate.  Master Raymond is not as he appears.  She departs with a gift, the poison-induced-color-changing bauble we’ve ready about in the books.

cuckooCuckoo, cuckoo! Louise summons Claire to discuss her enceinte situation and she wants Claire to help her.  Isn’t Claire in the business of saving people?  She is now suggesting how Louise can abort the child?  Claire has no idea who Louise’s lover is, but Louise cannot leave her husband but she needs to convince her husband the baby is his, no small feat when they haven’t had whoopee together in months.  Louise is so child like, not taking into consideration her actions, only of the pleasure of the flesh in the here and now. She muses on how she can can raise a baby with a father who isn’t the father of the baby…sound familiar?  If it doesn’t, go watch Episode 1 again.  All the child needs is love.  Truer words have never been spoken.

Sneaky Jamie, he thinks he’s going to crawl into bed and give Claire a bit of himself, finally. Woah!

bite memWhat the hell are those BITE MARKS on his legs? Naive Jamie goes from stepping into a pot hole to jumping into his own grave. He has spent the evening with whores, one of whom bit him on both thighs when attempting to engage in soisant-neuf. This scene is hilarious in that Sam has played Jamie’s innocence so well, trying to make her believe that he is again alive with passion after being aroused by whores. Well, Claire is having nothing of it. This leads us to one of the biggest and most missed lines that did not happen in Season 1 – the destruction of Jamie’s fortress.

 “Now it’s like….like my own fortress has been blown up with gunpowder—there’s nothing left of it but ashes and a smoking rooftree, and the little naked thing that lived there once is out in the open, squeaking and whimpering in fear, tryin’ to hide itself under a blade of grass or a bit o’ leaf, but….but not….not makin’ m-much of a job of it.” Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon”

This is one of the most emotionally stimulating scenes from Outlander and we find it here.  Sam should definitely be nominated for an Emmy for this emotional and insightful portrayal of Jamie’s fragility from Wentworth and how he has finally found himself able to be alive. The speech is given over two scenes, but this is one of the most emotional moments so far in Season 2.  He goes to sleep elsewhere and Claire follows.  Make up sex, is there anything better? While Jamie’s fortress was blown apart by Black Jack Randall, Claire has helped him build a little lean-to, with a roof, no more hiding under a blade of grass, naked and afraid.

Speaking of the roof, Bonnie Prince Charlie makes a grand entrance, into their window after walking on the roof.  Alas, this is not the way he is supposed to meet Claire, but this is what happens in the book. After a little bit of conversation and an examination of his injured hand, Jamie and Claire deduce that the Prince is romantically involved with Louise and is the biological father of the unborn child. Prince Charlie was roof-hopping because Louise’s husband came home early and he had to make a hasty exit after they quarreled. #Markme. The Prince will win her back.

Prince Charlie and Louise are a pair who both live in a fantasy world, both dreamers, who have lofty ideals without real means to obtain their dreams. A man without a country and a woman without love, together they make a baby. Such is the life of dreams, where can I sign up?

You can almost see the wheels spinning in Jamie and Claire’s heads as they come up with the idea to use Louise and her husband – by exposing her pregnancy – in front of Prince Charles and allowing him to make a fool of himself.  A fool and his money are soon parted, at least that is what the Fraser,s are hoping for, that the Prince loses financial backing from the Duke of Sandringham.

Claire beats a quick exit to help Mother Hildegarde because the house staff won’t let her near any of the chores to get the house ready for the soiree.  And because she likes to be at L’Hopital helping ailing Parisians.  While waiting for Claire, Murtagh and Fergus have a little heart-to-heart on the behavior of women.Murtagh does not want to take advice from a child but Fergus has been around the “ladies” for too many years not to notice how fickle they are.  Fergus makes a point to tell Murtagh that Suzette is in love with any man who goes by her door.  Ouch.

A compound fracture is what that looks like, nasty business and a difficult injury treat, even in our time.  Claire learns how to perform a nerve block and is treated to the luxurious feel of the hangman’s grease…given to Mother Hildegarde by Monsieur Forez.  Ewww. Mary, Claire’s surgical helper, is clearly disgusted, but Claire is prompted to find out where Mother Hildegarde would get such grease.  The good doctor is, in his regular job, the executioner and I guess the bodies aren’t immediately buried – some of the dead make a detour for Monsieur Forez to take a bit of the blobby fat to make salve.  More ewww.  Mother Hildegarde confesses that while the bulk of physicians (who help her) are better than nothing, Claire is a great deal better than nothing.  Claire has finally won over Mother Hildegarde.  Time to go.

Murtagh tells Claire the wheel to the carriage was broken – remember the opening scene? That one where someone took out the cotter pin to the wheel? Yeah, sabotage. They beat feet back to the house, with Fergus ahead of them to let Jamie know they’ll be late.  Where is MacGyver when you need him?

Tick tock. No Claire…

ep4 clockMeanwhile, back at the house, Jamie is receiving guests sans Claire, and looking none to pleased about it, or about kissing the Duke’s ring, either.  Mary’s Uncle Silas and her betrothed arrive, as does the Prince, Louise and her husband arrive, whereby the Prince commences to inappropriately kiss Louise’s hand for way too long, but she lets him up to a point.  Fergus tells M’lord (Jamie) that Murtagh, Claire and Mary will be late.  Dun du dun….in walks le Comte St. Germain with his wife.  Jamie is clearly stunned, the Duke invited them.

While Jamie is greeting guests, Claire, Murtagh and Mary are attacked and Mary suffers the ultimate degradation for a virgin.  The only reason the attackers left as they did is because one of them recognized “La Dame Blanche” and high tailed it away.  Keep in mind that hand shot of the birthmark…

They get back to the house, Jamie is notified and they rush outside along with Alex Randall. Jamie and Murtagh are ready to draw blood, but they have a dinner party to attend. Too much at stake.

After getting Mary settled and giving Alex instructions on how to care for her (a man alone with a woman in a bedroom in the 18th century? Tsk, tsk). If her attack isn’t enough to taint her, this certainly is. Claire readies herself and Jamie lets her know the Comte is downstairs. Say what?

Claire enters and the party begins! Making conversation around the table, the Duke, who is sitting across from Prince Charlie, starts dissing the Pope and his lack of availability when he was in Rome. Prince Charlie, who always takes himself waaaaay too seriously, dishes right back to the Duke about how a Catholic king must be restored to the throne. Who would have thought Claire would ask the Duke to tell a joke? His facial expressions were far better than the politically incorrect joke he told – way to go Simon!

ep4 duke
What else do you talk about at a dinner party in Paris? Jamie suggests the Prince discuss God’s plans for Scotland, but oh no! That line of conversation was waylaid by flitty Louise who wants to talk about the opera. How about marriage and women? What the hell is “pulchritude?”  Maybe babies are a better topic?  Oh yes, Jamie and Claire out Louise in front of the Prince, who as planned, makes a complete ass of himself at the dinner table.

Meanwhile upstairs Mary awakens and mayhem will ensue when she mistakes Alex as her attacker…wait for it.

baubLe Comtesse admires Claire’s bauble and her wiley husband tells her of it’s magical powers. Did the female viewers wish they were that morsel on the Comte’s fork as he fed himself?  Crash, bang, what the hell?

fightJamie and everyone else rise to find Mary under Alex on the floor in the sitting room. The mother of all fights, so far, ensues. What about dessert? The Duke must go elsewhere to sate his appetite. And who knew a curtain tie back could be such an effective weapon? Dinner is ruined, much like Mary’s reputation. Exit Prince Charlie with le Comte and the others, but not after le Comte sends for the Parisian police.  Rut roh.

curtain tieThis episode was completely action packed, setting the stage for many scenes that happen, at least in the book.  We have yet to find out how it will play out on screen, but for now, ENCORE!

Comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win this very difficult to find Outlander souvenir:

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All images except for the one just above are courtesy of STARZ, opinions are my own.

 

9 thoughts on “La Dame Blanche”

  1. I loved this episode! The partial re-emergence of Jamie and Claire knowing just what he needs is beautiful! Sam’s portrayal is spot on and brilliantly done.

  2. Love the books for years! I know they can’t put all the details of the book into the show, but really miss some of the details, the giant sausage!

  3. So happy to see Claire and Jamie back to really talking to one another and hearing Jamie quote from the first book about his ‘…fortress being blown up with gunpowder…’ . This seemed to finally broke the walls between them and allowed them to speak honestly and from the heart. I hope it continues but fear it will be broken in this next episode with how quickly the story of their time in Paris is passing.

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