On last week’s episode of “Outlander,” Claire returns to Frank, only to end up back with Jamie. They decide to change the course of history, but there will be inevitable roadblocks on their quest. So what happened this week?
Jamie is plagued by nightmares involving the dreaded Black Jack Randall. Although he knows Randall is dead, he is alive and well in Jamie’s mind, keeping him awake at night.
Troubled by her husband’s bad dreams, Claire visits an apothecary to find something to help Jamie sleep. There she meets Master Raymond, who is happy to assist her. The kind man heard of Claire Fraser in regards to the unfortunate incident involving Le Comte St. Germain and his ill-fated ship. The pair strike up a friendship over their mutual dislike of St. Germain.
Jamie and Murtagh have a friendly duel, and Murtagh again expresses his dislike of France. According to the gruff Scot, France smells like “asses and armpits,” which made me laugh out loud. He is not satisfied with the speed of which things are going, and he suggests to Jamie killing Prince Charles Stuart. If there is no prince, there is no rebellion. Jamie doesn’t agree with Murtagh’s idea, because even if the prince is out of the picture, they will still have to contend with King James.
Jamie receives a letter from his cousin Jared. He arranged a meeting between Jamie and Prince Charles, to take place at a house of ill repute.
Murtagh accompanies his friend to his meeting with the prince. When asked if the clans are ready to fight to get Charles’s father on the throne, Jamie tells him that it is impossible to get them to agree on anything, and they are not likely to be ready in the near future. The prince is adamant that God wants a Catholic king, his father, to sit on the throne. He also believes that he should be the man to unite the clans. Charles wants Jamie to go to court to appeal to the French finance minister, Monsieur Duverney, for money to fund their mission. Jamie reluctantly agrees, while the French-hating Murtagh suggests in Scottish that it’s still not too late to assassinate the prince.
Jamie and Murtagh return to the house in Paris, to fill Claire in on the details of their meeting with Prince Charles. The men believe that Charles will listen to no one, and Claire agrees that the rebellion cannot move forward without proper funding. If Charles has no money, he has no rebellion.
Claire pays a visit to her friend, Louise De Rohan, hoping for an invitation to the court at Versailles. While chatting with her Parisian friend, Claire is introduced to Mary Hawkins, a young English girl in Paris to marry an old, wealthy widower. Mary is anything but pleased with this arrangement planned by her uncle. Louise invites Claire to accompany her and Mary to Versailles, and Claire convinces Louise to allow Jamie to come along.
Two weeks elapse and the trio are in their finery prepared to go to court. Perhaps it was the fashion of the time, but Claire’s dress is awful, it looks like a red bell from Hell.
Louise is showing her guests around the French court when Claire asks to meet Monsieur Duverney. Her friend tells her she will introduce them if he can be located. They continue winding their way through the crowd when Jamie is accosted by a former love interest, Annalise. A few awkward glances are exchanged between the parties, and Annalise takes Jamie to meet the king. Wary of the brazen young woman, Claire sends Murtagh after them.
In what can only be described as bizarre, Murtagh and Jamie enter the room of the king, who is having issues on the royal throne. I can’t figure out why the king needs an audience for this, but he is surrounded by people witnessing his distress. Jamie is introduced to His Majesty by a loyal subject, and offers a solution to the King’s bowel trouble, which is eating porridge at every breakfast.
Meanwhile, Claire excuses herself from a group of gossiping ladies. From across the room, Louise spots the finance minister, and tells him that her friend in the red dress wants to meet him. Unfortunately, he misinterprets Louise’s meaning.
Duverney finds Claire outside and in a clumsy, creepy way tries to seduce her, which is not why Claire had an interest in meeting him. Jamie intervenes to stop the finance minister’s advances, but not knowing who he is, tosses the rogue into nearby water.
The finance minister is before the fireplace, drying his wig, when he apologizes to Claire and Jamie for his rude behavior. The men agree to become friends and plan one day to have a chess game. As they are talking, the king enters. He scolds Duverney for his impromptu bath, and confirms with Jamie it is porridge that will help his constitution.
Murtagh spots the Duke of Sandringham, Clarence Marylebone, across the room and moves hurriedly toward him. He is about to draw his sword and run him though in front of everyone, but Jamie warns him that doing so in front of the king is instant death. The duke tries to explain that he meant to deliver the petition to the court, but he claims he had no choice but to surrender it to Randall. Claire is left alone with the duke, who tells him that they are all supporters of the Jacobite cause. She wastes no time telling Sandringham that that makes him a traitor.
The two are approached by the duke’s new secretary, Alexander Randall, who was seen speaking with Mary Hawkins. It turns out he is the younger brother of Jonathan Randall. Claire saves herself from fainting at the news that Black Jack Randall is still alive. Sandringham is enjoying Claire’s obvious distress at this revelation. She contemplates whether she should share news that Randall is still alive with Jamie, concerned with what his reaction might be now that Black Jack is more than just the subject of nightmares.
Will Claire tell Jamie the truth? Will the king take Jamie’s dietary advice and move his bowels? I’m already looking forward to the third episode.