At the conclusion of last week’s episode we saw Angus meet his demise. Was more blood shed this week, as the Battle of Culloden draws near?
Jamie and company find themselves in Northern England, and the promise of help from the lowlanders has yet to materialize. Prince Charles Stuart wants to continue on to take London, but his advisers are against his plan. It will take five days to reach London, and there are three British armies they may encounter along the way. The Scots lack the numbers to succeed, so the leaders attempt to persuade the prince to turn back to Scotland. Ever pious, the prince believes God is with them, and they shouldn’t miss the opportunity to further their cause with the help of divine intervention. The prince is adamant about taking London, but only Jamie sides with him. The others in the room refuse to be swayed, royalty be damned. The prince storms off with his men trailing behind, unable to stop him.
Jamie tells Claire they will not take London and will return to Scotland. He feels that was their chance to change history, but he couldn’t convince the other men to agree with Prince Charles Stuart despite his efforts.
Meanwhile, Dougal receives a letter that he and Jamie are to be exiled to Inverness. The prince left on Jamie’s horse, so they are unable to speak with him. On their journey, the Brits fire on the Scots, and they flee on horseback. Rupert gets shot, and is in danger of falling from his steed, when Dougal leaps from his horse onto Rupert’s, catching the wounded man before he tumbles to the ground.
Claire tells Jamie that unless Rupert gets medical attention soon, he will join his friend Angus in the afterlife. Rupert and the gang are brought into a church for safety while Claire works to remove the musket ball from his eye. She patches him up, and they are still holed up in church when Red Coats arrive. They have surrounded the church, preventing any escape. Jamie volunteers to surrender in exchange for the others’ freedom. Claire is used instead, as she is an Englishwoman. She calls out to the British that she is being held hostage by the Scots. Since they know an Englishwoman is inside, they will not set fire to the roof or do anything to endanger her. They are certain they know where the British will take her, and the plan is to retrieve Claire as fast as they can.
Dougal tells the Red Coat that he can have Mrs. Beauchamp (Claire), the widow they stumbled upon if the rest are granted safe passage from the church. Dougal carries her to the waiting soldiers, telling them she’s fainted, giving her a chance to consider what she will say to them. When she “recovers” from her spell, Claire tells the Red Coat she is unharmed.
Jamie immediately leaves to find Claire. Claire was confused as to her whereabouts as they traveled. They stop for the night, but in the morning she realizes they plan to take her to a different place than the Scots anticipated. Instead of Hazelmere, she is to go to Belmont to the home of a wealthy individual. It is a shock when the wealthy homeowner is the Duke of Sandringham. Claire is presented as Mrs. Beauchamp, and the duke pretends not to know her, and offers her refuge.
The duke spared Claire from going to the Tower of London by not letting on that she is Jamie’s wife. He said he didn’t want to send her there, after having spent time there himself. He explains that he is suspected of being a Jacobite, so Red Coats are watching his house. He wants Jamie to rescue him when he comes for Claire, the real reason for giving her sanctuary. Claire promises his rescue in exchange for sending notes to the others through his messenger. Mary Hawkins makes a surprise appearance, this time at the home of her godfather, the Duke of Sandringham. Mary tells Claire that she doesn’t want to marry Mr. Granger, a loyalist, so it looks like Alexander Randall is out of the picture.
Claire scribbles a crude note in Gaelic and sends it off with the messenger. She instructs him to look for a beggar named Hugh Munro, and to give him Claire’s note.
While at Sandringham’s, Claire recognizes the man with the distinguishable mark on his hand as the beast that attacked her and Mary in the Paris alley. This monster is in the employ of the duke. It turns out that Sandringham had his servant rape his goddaughter Mary. Le Comte St. Germain wanted Claire dead, but Sandringham got him to agree to having her raped instead. He somehow thinks Claire should be grateful for the change in plans.
The duke wants to lure Jamie to his house so he can capture both of the Frasers and turn them in to gain the prince’s favor. He would love to see the couple executed.
Jamie and Murtagh receive Claire’s poorly-written note, and head off to Sandringham’s house. Claire is locked in a room until Mary visits her. Claire intends to sneak out to tell Munro, who she sees out her window, not to have Jamie come and fall into Sandringham’s trap. Unfortunately, the duke catches her and has her sit with him. He is most interested in how St. Germain met his death. Brave Mary instead runs out the door, giving Munro the message before she is dragged back into the house.
Jamie and Murtagh break through the soldiers and into Sandringham’s house. Claire tells them that the duke was behind the incident in Paris, and that he ordered Mary raped by his servant. It was a shock to everyone to see meek Mary stab and kill her rapist. Having felt he was responsible for allowing the attack on the ladies to happen (he was knocked unconscious), Murtagh takes great delight in relieving the Duke of Sandringham of his head, presenting the bloody trophy to Mary.
What a great episode! There was a lot going on this time. I was happy to see Mary get revenge against her attacker; it was a long time coming. If Murtagh wasn’t my favorite character before, he is now. Not only does he have unexpected wit at times, but he ruthlessly murders those that deserve it. What’s not to like? Next week the battle rages on, and I can’t wait.