Last week we left off with the destruction le Comte St. Germain’s cargo ship, who vowed to make Jamie and Claire pay for their meddling. This week’s Season Two Episode Two opens with visions of a woman in a beautiful costume (previously on display at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City), but who is that woman? CUT! Jamie is making passionate love to his bride, and both appear to be enjoying it. All of a sudden Claire becomes Jack Randall who encourages Jamie by saying “don’t stop” and what happens next is a scene from American Psycho. It’s a nightmare, a cauchmar, but Jamie feels Black Jack is alive…in his head.
Running out of the house gowned in 18th century Dior, Claire is splendidly magnificent in a very simplistic way, ready for an outing, after insulting the maid and the footman.
As we travel through the streets of “Paris” (which is actually Prague), we are delighted by the scenes of regular life as viewed from the street. Ballast paved streets. Those streets never cease to amaze me in thier simplistic sturdiness. Ballast laid in patterns and filmed in such a way as to appear to be a fan to engage the flames of the political intrigue. I’m sure none of that was meant to be; it’s how I see it in my mind’s eye.
We listen to Claire’s tale about the Eiffel Tower, WWII, the coming revolution, but we don’t know where she is headed. She is obviously looking for something, and then she arrives at her destination. La Apothicaire de Maitre Raymond. She enters the mystical world of Master Raymond, through a blue facade, wearing blue, and he calls her Madonna (sounds Spanish, though) and they launch into a repartee of herbal-speak.
But the Maitre has already heard of Claire, from le Comte St. Germain, no less! Maitre Raymond is well cast and just as froggy as I expected him, despite his wig. Claire finds a friend in Maitre Raymond through their mutual frenemy, le Comte.
What is Outlander without a good sword fight? Murtagh takes Jamie through the ranks of getting back to his old physical self. We see him struggle with the blade, his hand tremble, and he finally finds the verve and fends off Murtagh’s blade. Old Jamie is coming alive! By the way, sword fighting is just too cool for words.
The French look on as though Murtagh and Jamie are savages…oh wait, they are Scottish Highlanders and a bit like aliens to the locals, certainly savages to the British. Murtagh, full of insults, to the people, the country, and the aroma.
Yet, we would think he is a stout Jacobite and he suggests that to kill the rebellion, the head of the snake (Prince Charlie) must be cut off. Such words! Me thinks he just wants to hasten his return to Scotland and stop wasting wine by selling it instead of drinking it. After returning to Jared’s Paris apartment, the real action starts.
Without prolonging the details, the rest of the episode exposes different parts of decadent French culture, complete with a penile scene at Madame Elise’s with Jamie and Murtagh in the company of Bonnie Prince Charlie. While le Prince is attempting to convince Jamie to act on his behalf in seeking an audience with Le Roi Louis Quinze de France. Why? Because the Prince is not accepted at court, so Jamie has to do his dirty work.
So what was the deal with the dildos? While Jamie and Murtagh clearly look uncomfortable during the “wifely” display at the brothel, the Prince was all for it, exclaiming he would buy all the dildos on parade! Murtagh stands up to the Prince after Jamie does, but Charles wants only to hear God the Almighty whispering in his ear “Be King, be King, you are the King of Scotland.” So to show his divine nature to his newfound friends, he goes to dip his sword into the nearest honeypot. The Prince is well played.
Were there really male appendage toys in France at the time? Yes, there were and here is an example of one that is believed to be from 18th century France.
Continuing on with the body part theme, Claire goes to visit her friend, Louise de la Tour de Rohan, a social butterfly of the French court and while in need of Claire’s friendship, well suited to the Fraser cause. Waxing? And by a Turk? Yes, it is a big thing there and while Louise is undergoing 18th century depilatory, we meet Mary Hawkins. The shy stutterer, who is aghast at Louise’s lack of shame while she spreads ’em on the chaise lounge ready to have her Brazilian bikini wax.
OUCH. Never having done anything like THAT down THERE, the ripping of linen off flesh had me cringing
Mary, where has Claire heard that name before? She can’t place it, but will. Louise extends the much anticipated invitation to court, ready for the next phase of stopping the rebellion.
Never meek, Claire goes for la cirer de sexe and shocks Jamie with her hairless honeypot. As he enjoys bringing her pleasure, he again has the Claire-turns-into-Randall image, which is the quickest way for Jamie to experience coitus interruptus. Again we see a frail man, still in the construction phase of his lean-to from that fortress he had prior to his torture at the hands of Captain Randall.
Red, I’m seeing red.
So is Jamie. And Murtagh. Not enough red in the socially right places, though. THAT infamous red dress appears down Jon Gary Steele’s magnificent staircase, exposing at least down to Claire’s second rib. Having seen the dress in person, it is a sight to behold, even holding Murtagh’s gaze longer than is proper. There is no other way to gain the King’s attraction than by distraction, from others. Terry pulled off the corset-less masterpiece and Claire is held into the dress by pure sempstress genius, no tape, no nuthin’ but red holding in her girls. Jamie can’t see down to her navel, and the “third rib” is purely colloquial, since you could see her third rib because the dress was that low.
No escape for Murtagh, but clearly his sensibilities are in shock as are Jamie’s. Jamie, being a Renaissance man, accepts Claire’s fan as good enough, albeit with a suggestion to have a larger one (which she procures).
I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed the rather short nature of Claire’s dress, well above her ankles.
This apparently was a trend in the 18th century and is when shoes became a fashion accessory, just like those to-die-for gladiators Claire wore with the red dress.
To read more about dress fashions, click here.
The last episode was also all about Terry’s stunning costumes. Louise prances about in the bow-tie dress (was the neckline lower than her aereolae and the bow covered them?), Claire in her red dress, Mary looked magnificent in lavender satin.
In runs Annelise de Merriac, who throws herself into Jamie’s arms while Claire, Louise, and Mary look on, puzzled. I guess Jamie forgot to tell Claire of his monk-inducing and failed pursuit of the lovely Annelise (you can read a bit more about Jamie’s desire to be a monk in The Exile). BUT, Annelise to the rescue, she takes Jamie to meet King Louis on his, er, throne.
Up to now, this has to be the funniest part of the episode, watching the King try to pinch one off. The poor man has stage fright! Parritch! Bring some parritch! Jamie’s grand introduction to the King and all he can do is suggest he eat a bowl of oats, mid valsalva maneuver.
Stuck in yet another awkward situation, Claire makes a quick exit to get some air, with a much larger fan, after discussing peters and pricks with the French noblewomen, and spying Miss Mary talking to a very young man. Who is the young man? Definitely not her intended, as he was described as old. She still can’t place where she knows Mary from, either.
Enter Monsieur Duverney, there is no other man more hilarious than he. Louise baits him into thinking Claire wants an assignation, which leads to the man making a complete and utter fool of himself by fondling Claire’s red-clad feet. Jamie tosses him off the balcony, and a soggy Minister of Finance emerges from the pond, wig in hand. After le Monsieur promises his friendship to the Frasers, in walks the King, with his most recent paramour…and her breasts.
In another stunning declaration of her talent, Terry gives Outlander fans another infamous dress, the Nipple/Swan Dress. This was so well done and even Murtagh appreciated the costuming, much to Jamie’s chagrin.
The final scenes encompass the disastrous previous meeting with the Duke of Sandringham and his duplicitous nature. Murtagh swears to be his undoing, Jamie succeeds in garnering a sale of port, and Claire…Claire orders Jamie and Murtagh awa’ to deal with the Duke? Very un-Jamie like, to let Claire give him the fluff in public. Ah well, Claire decides to dish on the Duke that she is aware of his two-faced actions and in the process meets Alex Randall, the younger brother of the very much alive, Jonathan Randall. To say that Claire was visibly shaken at the news of Black Jack’s survival is an understatement. In addition, Alexander Randall was the very man with whom Mary Hawkins was conversing.
Fireworks. Thundering explosions. The chaos outside mirrored Claire’s own internal chaos of Jamie’s reaction – if she tells him – that Black Jack Randall was alive. Well put: what then?
There was a lot of material covered in this episode, and mixing of different areas of the book, Dragonfly in Amber. Some additions, but all in all, Ron Moore et al did a fantastic job on the episode. Terry Dresbach hit a grand slam on costumes.
Most photos from Starz. All opinions are my own.