So, did Jack Randall die as a result of last week’s skirmish with Jamie? His boy bits were injured, so even if he lives anyway, he may be unable to father a child, still screwing up Frank’s future. The preview for this episode heard Mother Hildegarde tell Claire that something was between her and God. Could this be alluding to possible divorce and/or abortion, both topics frowned on by the church? Jamie broke his promise to his wife, and it looks like Claire is on the verge of losing the child. Maybe she wants to rid herself of Jamie and any tie to him. He did have her promise to go back to Frank should anything happen to him. This season started with a pregnant Claire reunited with Frank. Was this foreshadowing? Was anything resolved this week on “Outlander“?
This week’s episode began with Claire in 1954. She has a daughter with red hair. While looking through a book, Claire mentions to the child that she had seen some of the birds on the pages in Scotland, when she was there a long time ago.
Immediately following this peek into Claire’s other life, she is seen in and out of consciousness at the charity hospital. When she awakens, she is devastated to learn that her female child was stillborn. Mother Hildegarde explains that in order for the baby to be buried in hallowed ground, the child needed to be baptized. Hildegarde took care of the ritual and named the baby Faith. This was the reference to the deal with God.
Claire suffered for days with a high fever. Mother Hildegarde called in a priest for last rites, as she wanted to be sure Claire’s soul was prepared in the event she was unable to recover from her illness.
Claire knows that part of the placenta remains, causing a dangerous complication. Master Raymond secretly visits her, putting himself in danger if he is seen. He tells Claire that he now realizes King Louis is serious about prosecuting those involved in the dark arts. He places healing hands on her, breaking her fever. He leaves, but not before telling her that he will see her again. Unfortunately, their next meeting is far from pleasant.
The next day finds Claire in better health, nothing short of a miracle. Mother Hildegarde tells Claire that Jamie is in the Bastille for dueling Jack Randall, his punishment left to the discretion of the king. Claire is relieved to learn that Jack Randall survived, released to recover in England.
Weeks elapse before Claire returns to Jared’s, accompanied by Fergus. The boy is struggling with an awful memory of his last time at the brothel when he went with Jamie to straighten out Charles’s debt. A thief and pickpocket, Fergus checked the doors while Jamie tended to business. When he found one that was open, he stepped inside. He saw a bottle of lavender perfume he wanted to gift to his mistress, but he was accosted by Jack Randall. The Englishman raped the young boy, his tortured cries heard by his master. Jamie bursts into the room, throwing Randall off Fergus. The men are pulled apart, all the while Jamie demanding a duel.
Claire comforts the terrified child, her hatred for Jamie’s betrayal waning. Now that she understands Jamie’s reason behind dueling Randall, she appeals to Mother Hildegarde to use her connections to secure a private meeting between her and King Louis. Claire plans to beg the king for Jamie’s release from the Bastille, but Hildegarde cautions her that he may require her to warm his bed before releasing her husband.
Claire meets with Louis, who sees that she wears a wedding ring from both Frank and Jamie. His majesty is impressed with her loyalty to both men. He calls her La Dame Blanche. He leads her not to the royal bedchamber, but to another room.
The king wishes her to utilize her skill as a supposed witch. Master Raymond and Le Comte St. Germain are brought into the room, both accused of dabbling in the dark arts, and evidence against both men is presented. He wants Claire to determine their guilt or innocence.
During the confrontation, Claire tells the king she sees darkness in St. Germain and tries to get him to concede involvement with her attackers. He refused, but does admit to poisoning Claire, telling the king that she must be a witch as she survived the ordeal. He also told him about her trying to ruin his livelihood. Claire states that she is The White Lady, practicing white magic. The king isn’t swayed by St. Germain’s accusations, and tells his prisoner that she isn’t the person on trial.
To aid Claire in determining who practices sorcery, the king presents a serpent. It’s believed that it won’t hurt anyone who is on the side of God. Claire suggests a potion instead, requesting that if they drink it and survive, indicating their innocence, they be released. King Louis isn’t sure he will grant her request.
Claire quickly examines the bottles taken from Raymond’s shop, and pours bitter cascara into a chalice. She knows this will make them sick, but won’t kill them, possibly ensuring their release from captivity.
Raymond drinks first, becoming dramatically ill. When he hands the cup back to Claire, her pendant, an indicator of the presence of poison, turns black. She knows that her friend is skilled at slight of hand, and whatever he discreetly added made the potion lethal, and offers it to St. Germain. He, too, sees Claire’s pendant change color and realizes there is no escaping his predicament alive. He drinks the concoction, collapses to the floor, and dies. King Louis orders Raymond to leave France at once. Claire’s adversary is dead, and her friend escapes with his life. Unfortunately for Claire, the king requires a carnal encounter before releasing Jamie. It’s consensual, as Claire knows this sacrifice on her part will secure her husband’s freedom.
The king is a man of his word. Jamie makes his way back to Jared’s. Claire describes in detail their daughter Faith. They agree that they will stay together, and Claire admits that she slept with the king. Jamie forgives her indiscretion, knowing that is what freed him from prison. Claire tells Jamie she wants to go back to Scotland, and they leave one of the silver spoons intended for the baby on her grave.
A lot happened this week. Who is the child seen with Claire in the beginning? Maybe she and Jamie have another child. It’s not likely, but could Claire be pregnant by King Louis? Jack Randall lives, but he received a sword in the boy bits. Will he be able to have a child if he marries Mary Hawkins, assuring Frank’s existence?
For someone so against the dark arts and black magic, King Louis seemed to have a room for just that purpose. The room where he brought St. Germain and Raymond seemed magical, almost otherworldly, and who has a serpent at the ready to determine if others are practitioners of sorcery?
Speaking of the king, how did he know to call Claire La Dame Blanche? Did he just overhear Jamie’s banter at the brothel, or did he possibly have a connection to her alley attackers?
Claire wants to return to Scotland. What about the Jacobite rebellion, their purpose for being in France? There are more questions than answers, and I’m sure we’ll find out more next week.