Loretta Sisco Reviews Outlander S02 E08: The Fox’s Lair
On the last episode of “Outlander,” viewers witnessed two deaths. While it was satisfying to see the villainous Le Comte St. Germain succumb to poison, it was heartbreaking to see the Frasers lose their daughter Faith. Shattered by this event in their lives, Claire expresses a desire to leave Paris for Scotland. So what happened this week?
Jamie and Claire return to Scotland and are reunited with Jamie’s sister Jenny, and her husband Ian. The couple has had another baby since the Frasers were away in France. They hope they have done enough to stop the war, and plan to focus on their lives now that they have come home.
Jamie receives a document from Prince Charles Stuart, listing the names of those pledging to help him with his cause. Jamie’s name was forged, making him a British traitor. Now he has no choice but to re-immerse himself in the political drama.
Claire suggests escaping to Ireland, because Jamie’s forged signature could result in a walk to the gallows. Jamie refuses, as it’s impossible bring all of the family with them, and he cannot leave them behind to be slaughtered. The couple know the outcome of the war, but Jamie still wants to change the course of history for his beloved Scotland.
Jamie plans to appeal to his grandfather, Lord Simon Fraser Lovat for help. Jenny cautions that asking the old man for help is not a good idea, and that there is always a high price for his assistance. Her concerns fall on deaf ears, as Jamie decides to leave for their grandfather’s Castle Beaufort in the morning.
Jamie confesses to Claire that his father was illegitimate, the product of Lord Lovat and one of his maids. Claire tells her husband that this fact doesn’t matter to her, but it bothers Jamie that he hadn’t told her sooner.
I’m happy to see that the Frasers’ adopted son of sorts Fergus, made the trip to Scotland. He wants to go with Claire and Jamie to Beaufort Castle, but Murtagh takes him instead to be with the men. They say their goodbyes, and Jenny reminds her sister-in-law to be wary of Lovat.
On the way to his castle, Jamie tells Claire all about Lord Simon Fraser of Lovat. His allegiance alternates between two kings, James and the king on the British throne. He was married three times, being faithful to none of his wives.
While waiting to meet with Lovat, Colum greets Jamie and Claire. Claire believes he was involved with the witch trial, and isn’t at all pleased to see him. He is also there to discuss the rebellion with the old man, but he is urging neutrality.
Lovat tried to kidnap Jamie’s mother to keep his father from marrying her. He believes his grandson has made the same mistake by getting caught up with a woman. Jamie points out that unlike his grandfather, he didn’t have to rape or trick Claire into marrying him. Lovat clearly has disdain for women, dismissing Claire so that the men can discuss politics.
Claire explores Lovat’s castle when she is approached by one of his maids, Laoghaire. She apologizes to Claire for the witch trial and her wickedness, but she is not willing to accept the apology and has no interest in helping the girl clear her conscience. Who could blame her?
Politics are again discussed at Castle Beaufort, this time over dinner with Claire in attendance, who is advised by Jamie to be silent if she doesn’t want to again be dismissed by Lovat. Jamie insists that the clans come together to fight for King James. Colum doesn’t want the rebellion, and is trying to persuade Lovat against supporting it, preferring instead to remain neutral.
Jamie meets with his grandfather, who tells him he wants ownership of Lallybroch in exchange for sending men to help Prince Charles Stuart. Jamie refuses, and Lovat tells his grandson he wants Lallybroch for Claire’s honor. If Jamie won’t sign over his father’s estate, he threatens Jamie that he will have the men of his castle rape his wife. If Jamie’s father was a bastard, then his grandfather is a real SOB. Jamie can only laugh as he tells Lovat that Claire is La Dame Blanche, and messing with her would ruin the men involved.
It’s Claire’s idea to get Lovat’s son Simon to stand up to his father and support the rebellion. She enlists the help of Laoghaire, the maid who holds his interest. Perhaps she can persuade Simon to show more courage when it comes to the elder Lovat. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned between the two, as the wayward wench scares off the young man with her forwardness.
Claire has a chance encounter in a chapel with the woman she had seen roughly treated by Jamie’s grandfather. She is Maisri, Lovat’s seer. She explains that Lovat beats her when she tells him a vision he does not like. Maisri speaks of seeing Lovat killed by an executioner.
Just as Jamie is about to sign over Lallybroch to his grandfather to secure his help, Claire interrupts by spouting a vision she suddenly sees. Ironically, it’s the same vision Maisri had, Lovat’s death by an executioner, only she adds that white roses covered the ground, symbolic of the Jacobites. This translates to Lovat as help us or be executed as a traitor.
Lovat is freaked out that two women have the same vision, and he lunges toward Claire with a knife in hand. He is stopped by his son Simon who tells him that he agrees with Jamie, it is time to fight for King James, for their country and families. With that, being the jerk that he is, Lovat announces that he will remain neutral in the war, Claire’s performance all for naught.
Defeated, Claire, Jamie, and Simon ride out to meet with Prince Charles. They are confused to be met by Lovat’s men. Since Lovat sent his son to fight, the prince will think Lovat supports the cause should they win, and he won’t be executed. The neutrality agreement will protect him if the British win. It looks like Jenny was right, the old man is always out for himself, sly as a fox.
This episode was a huge shift from Paris. I still wonder about characters left behind. Did Alex Randall break up with Mary Hawkins, as he told Claire he would? I would think Claire would want confirmation on that, since Frank’s fate is dependent on Mary hooking up with the scoundrel Jack Randall. We know St. Germain is behind Claire’s poisoning, but will we ever know for sure who carried out the attack in the alley?
Back in Scotland, Jamie’s grandfather is a real piece of work. He said he doesn’t yet own Lallybroch, so it sounds like more scheming is in the works. The writers are getting a lot of mileage out of the La Dame Blanche storyline, and it comes in handy for Claire to get her out of sticky situations. Despite her sudden piousness, Laoghaire is still plotting, as she wants nothing more than to earn Jamie’s forgiveness and love. Being a homewrecker won’t help her get right with God. So much intrigue, who’s looking forward to next week?