Outlander Recap Season 2 Episode 2

Outlander Recap: French Court Press

Och. M. G.

That’s really the only acceptable response to this week’s Outlander, unless your vocabulary and/or heritage means you’ve got a long stream of Gaelic curses handy for the yelling. Because good God, guys: Black Jack Randall is alive.

I don’t say that with surprise; like many of you, I’m familiar with the books and knew this moment was coming even before the first time Randall leered at Claire in the woods. Still, though, the mere idea that Randall lives — and that Jamie may eventually learn of his existence, too — is a juicy choice steak of a dramatic set-up, and I’m interested in watching Ron Moore & Co. slice into it with zeal.

Read on for the major events of “Not in Scotland Anymore.”

INTIMATE INTERLOPER | Lest you think you’d accidentally switched the channel to Food Network or something, this episode starts with Jamie and Claire making love in an energetic way that makes me happy my mom doesn’t watch the show. But as things are getting to their natural conclusion, Jamie imagines that Randall — not Claire — is underneath him, urging him “Don’t stop.” He grabs a knife and starts stabbing, and pretty soon it’s Psycho-shower-scene bloody up in this piece. And Randall won’t die!

Of course, he’s having a nightmare. And when he wakes up, sweaty and shaking, Claire’s reaction tells us that this is a semi-regular occurrence. She assures him that the captain is dead. “He’s alive in my head,” Jamie says, haunted. “I canna get him out.”

MEET MASTER RAYMOND | The Frasers have settled in Jared’s home in Paris; the next day, we see Claire head out to do some shopping in town. She winds up at the apothecary shop of a short, genial, slightly odd-looking man named Master Raymond. He calls her “Madonna” and refers to Le Comte St. Germain as his enemy; from the look on her face, you can tell Claire is charmed by him even though she doesn’t want to be. He gives her an infusion to help Jamie sleep, and a friendship is born. (Side note: Kudos to the set decorator, because Raymond’s shop looks exactly like I always pictured it, right down to the stuffed crocodile suspended over the counter.)

WHAT A PRINCE | Thanks to Jared, Jamie is invited to meet with Prince Charles at a local brothel. When James and Murtagh arrive, it becomes clear that Bonnie Prince Charlie is a weak-chinned, wine-swilling high talker whose proclivity to say “Mark me” when he really wants people to pay attention is rather annoying. He claims he needs straight-talking advisors, but when Jamie and Murtagh both tell him that the clans aren’t inclined to rally behind a man who’s never even set foot in Scotland, Charlie don’t play dat. “God demands that a Catholic king sits on the British throne,” he says prissily. “My father is that king.”

If there’s one thing you should take away from this scene, thanks to the phallic objects the prostitutes wave around like they’re party balloons, it’s that sex toys have existed for a long time. If you take away two things, also remember that Charlie needs Jamie to help him woo the French finance minister to help fill the Jacobite cause’s empty war coffers.

A HAIRY SITUATION | To make that introduction happen/thwart Charles’ prospects with France’s money man, the Frasers need an invitation to French Court. Enter Claire’s new lady friend, Louise, who flits about the Paris social scene like a naughty little butterfly. During a visit to Louise’s one day, Claire is lucky enough to score the necessary entrée to Versailles and witness the work of Louise’s personal waxer. Mrs. Fraser looks slightly scandalized as Louise opens her gates and allows the man to whack her weeds, but I’m guessing the shock wears off, because later that night Claire is eager to show Jamie her own sleek… self.

Sam Heughan’s face as Jamie’s fingers do the walking is hilarious; his use of the term “honeypot” to refer to Claire’s nether region, as well as his observation that said area is “more complicated than it looks, thatched over” is laugh-out-loud funny. Alas, not even the novelty of personal grooming can overcome the pallor Randall casts on the Frasers’ love life: When Jamie recalls flashes of his rape, the sexy funtimes are over for the evening, and he and Claire awkwardly decide just to go to sleep.

SAY OUI TO THE DRESS | Two weeks later, Claire and Jamie arrive at court with Louise and Mary Hawkins, the timid British girl she’s chaperoning until Mary’s arranged marriage in the near future. Claire is resplendent in a red gown that is as skimpy through the bodice as it is wide through the skirt; at one point Claire literally has to sidle into a room because her gown won’t fit through the door any other way. She is STUNNING. Even Murtagh is taken with her, an honor he only bestows on one other woman at the party, and she’s literally not wearing anything except swan-shaped nipple rings on her chest.

Outlander Recap Season 2 Episode 2A pretty blonde woman runs up to Jamie, calling him “My petite savage!” as she enthusiastically embraces him. Her name is Annalise, and he fought a duel on her behalf — because he liked her — back when he was in France as a teen. The moment quickly turns awkward as Jamie introduces Annalise to his wife, and Big Red’s consternation at the situation is highly amusing. When you can, rewind the episode just so you can watch the looks Balfe and Heughan throw at each other throughout the scene. That, friends, is two people who know how to communicate the deep, wordless understanding great couples develop over time.

THE ROYAL THRONE | Annalise does prove useful, though, when she helps Jamie get an audience with the king. Unfortunately, it’s while the young monarch is actively suffering a bout of constipation… with a crowd watching him sweat and strain. Ew. “Only in France does a king need an audience to shite,” Murtagh wisely remarks.

After a misunderstanding in which the lecherous finance minister makes a drunken pass at Claire and gets dunked in a lake by Jamie for his efforts, everyone makes nice; it appears Jamie got the connection he desired with the man. The Frasers are happy… until they see the Duke of Sandringham across the room.

GUESS WHO’S BACK? | You’ll recall that the duke promised to help clear Jamie’s name last season, but then proved to be an ally of Black Jack’s after all. Jamie doesn’t want to make a thing of it, but Claire and Murtagh glare daggers at the man, with Claire later subtly threatening to out him as a Jacobite supporter — which the British crown would surely see as treason. But she should’ve know that the wily aristocrat would have the upper hand in the end: When he introduces her to his assistant, a young man she noticed earlier chatting with Mary, she soon realizes that 1) the assistant is Alex Randall, Black Jack’s brother; and 2) from what Alex says, his brother is still alive.

The news literally almost knocks Claire onto her bustled backside. Should she tell Jamie? Should she keep it a secret? As the fireworks burst over the gardens outside, she’s torn and upset… and I’m wondering how the heck that man survived a damn cattle stampede. I demand a re-cow!

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Diana says:

    Why was Claire surprised Cpt. Black Jack Randall was alive? Did she not know the date of his death as she revealed it to him right before he kicked her out of the hole in the prison…after he asked if she were a witch? Or that is what her commentary said she whispered in his ear.

    • Alichat says:

      I believe she thought they’d changed that. The death date she gave him was based upon what she knew before coming through the stones.

    • Shaun says:

      She thought she changed history

      • Hellas13 says:

        A show where major time travel doesn’t actually change history. Glad I don’t watch it anymore and spend 3-5 mins reading this. 55 mins of my life to do something better, which in this case it’s not that hard, staring at paint dry would accomplish that.

  2. Alichat says:

    Am I mistaken or was tonight’s episode the first in which we were given Gaelic subtitles?

  3. ninergrl6 says:

    Great recap! The Versailles scenes were STUNNING and made want to go back there so badly. I’m impressed with how this episode covered so much plot and introduced so many new characters without feeling rushed and still taking time for the memorable amusing moments (I remember laughing SO HARD at the waxing scene in the book). My one nit-picky gripe is the Alex Randall reveal. The way it happened on screen was appropriate and made total sense, but the way it played out in the book was MUCH more dramatic and shocking. Obviously I’ve read the book so I wasn’t going to be surprised by the reveal itself, but I think the way it happened in the book had more of an emotional impact and would’ve blended perfectly with Jamie’s Black Jack hallucinations from the episode. But again, I’m nit-picking and I truly loved the episode.

    • Alichat says:

      I was a little bothered by Alex’s reveal as well. I think it could have tied in well with Jamie’s nightmares to have it play out as in the book. But I am ok with the change, just would have preferred the book reveal. A few other things that are bothering me……while I am glad they are addressing Jamie’s PTSD, I hope this all comes to a head soon. One of the things I have always loved about book Jamie is that he was never afraid to tell Claire how he felt. Even after Randall’s assault, he told her how he felt and only pushed her away because he couldn’t rid his mind of Randall and how he anchored himself to Claire. So for him to be guarded and not really open up to her about what he’s feeling is odd to see and just seems out of character. I miss the small fortress story. Second, I’m hoping we see Jamie making more of the political moves and decisions. Jamie has the better political mind…..it’s why Colum wanted him to take over as Laird and not Dougal. They seem to be having Claire make all the political moves. But it was Jamie’s idea to contact Jared, his idea to use Jared’s contacts to get in with the Bonnie Prince, and his idea to have Claire wear a revealing dress at Versailles to gain attention (although he didn’t expect her to design such a revealing one). So I hope they start pushing Jamie towards making some of the political decisions in their quest.

      • Collette says:

        ^^^ THIS. Agree completely. Jamie is far more intelligent than they are making him seem.

      • Liz says:

        You’re right.
        And I thought the honeypot scene was fun, but in the books, Jamie was SO scandalized and shocked! Here, he was more intrigued… But anyway, I hope that this PTSD thing comes to a head as well soon, because it’s so hard to see our couple not connecting on every level anymore… :(
        But they still have a connection of course. That scene with Annalise, the way Jamie & Claire look at each other was so well done (kudos to Sam & Cait!). You could see they only need a look to understand each other.

        • Alichat says:

          Yeah….I liked the honeypot scene in the book because Jamie’s incredulity was so funny. It didn’t bother me that they changed it because Sam’s reaction when Jamie discovers she is bare was so fantastic, and hearing him say ‘yer honeypot’ was adorable. And I agree that the Annalise scene was well done. The looks exchanged were a great way to show that they are still close, and it added humor to the episode. I especially loved Murtagh’s little grin and folded arms as it all played out. LOL

  4. Jason says:

    There was no way that a guy as bad as Randall was going to be finished off by cows. I mean, would that really be satisfying.

  5. Terri says:

    Love Murtagh! His devotion to Clare and Jamie is so endearing. And his reaction to seeing Clare in that red dress and to the King’s mistress….LOL! Great episode…deforested honeypots and all!

  6. Collette says:

    I love the show and will continue watching…. but I feel like the changes in this episode made Jamie seem really weak, both physically and in terms of his relationship with Claire. The books always demonstrated the strength of their partnership and Claire ability to blend into the era in which she found herself…. I feel like the changes to the show have lost a lot of that, but I’m hoping once we get further I will feel differently.

    • Terri says:

      Unfortunately, the rift in their marriage may continue a bit longer. Diana in an interview said she wanted Ron to include Jamie’s PTSD this season because the way S1 ended (that was different from the book) so Jamie did not have time to heal at the abbey. Sam and Cait both said the Fraser’s marriage would be tested this season, but it will come to a head…I think the book readers know when that will happen.

      • batulip says:

        I think it will happen before episode 7 but that episode should be the catalyst that changes their relationship for the good. I really hope it’s soon though, because I am getting rather sick of seing Captain Jack Randall flash across my screen. ;) There was so much in this episode it was sometimes hard to take – had to watch it a couple times just to get it all. Master Raymond is already a favorite – Murtagh’s lines will make great memes – all, all it was a pretty superb feast for the eyes. Oh and I was completely charmed by Louise :D

      • Alichat says:

        I appreciate that they are showing the PTSD. I agree with Diana…..I thought it was missed at the end of season 1 and it needs to be shown. (Another reason why the book reveal of Alex Randall would have worked well, highlighting Jamie ‘seeing’ Black Jack not just in his nightmares) But I’d just like the character poaching to stop. Jamie is the strategist….he has the political mind. I’d like them to show that and stop giving those moments to Claire. Even the staging of the scene after they return from the brothel gave the appearance of Claire leading and planning. If anything, I’d like it to be more balanced. Perhaps it will be with next week’s ep….with Jamie and the Minister playing chess.

    • Wonder Romane says:

      It didn’t bother me they show Jamie as “weak. On the contrary, I like that we see him less through Claire’s eyes and more of his struggle with PTSD. Some changes from the book bothers me, but that brought more to the show. I love Jamie in the book but he’s described a thuosand times as a strong man and here we have the occasion to see other sides of him.

      • Zoe says:

        I think the book series showed us Jamie’s vulnerable side as well – just remember what was going on with him in the abbey. But he was also presented as a complex man, very well educated and progressive in some regards, in others very much man of his era. In books much is being made of his deep faith, it’s completly absent from tv show. I feel in tv series he often comes across as a pretty thing attached to the arm of his brainy, charismatic wife, not at all how their relationship is portrayed in the books.

  7. Phil says:

    Did anyone notice how Jamie lost two inches of hair when he answered Claire’s question? His hair was hanging to his collar, cut to Claire asking “What is it?” and when it cuts back to Jamie he looks green-screened in to the scene and his hair is literally two inches shorter.
    Obviously, they didn’t think they needed to answer her question on-camera and then thought better of it, but wow – that was a huge continuity blunder.
    Other people who are far more knowledgeable than me can hopefully speak to this part: Claire’s silver blazer – was that at all part of Parisian style at this time? Both that and the fabric of the red dress looked super modern. My favorite look of hers, though, was the puffy sleeves and black vest she had on as she read the invitation to the brothel.
    Needless to say, pretty sure Outlander just secured their Costuming Emmy nomination, if not the win. :)

  8. Gio says:

    This episode was so lush, filled with so many little details, colors, etc. The people behind this show really must love the story because they put their heart and soul in adapting it. I felt as if I had been transformed into that era in France.

  9. Miss O'Ginny says:

    So this season we get to see an overlong constipated king scene; an overlong brothel scene and they couldn’t find the time to show Claire’s “J” mark in episode 201?!?. I think that’s more integral to the relationship of J+C and choosing to leaving it out was such a disservice to fans.

    • Michelle says:

      I suspect they deliberately didn’t show us her hand so they can show that moment when it happens.

      • KT says:

        I’m hoping they still keep that, too. I was a little disappointed they didn’t show that, as well as Claire attempting to take Jamie’s ring off. I totally get them changing things from the books, or just dropping them altogether (where is Claire’s morning sickness?), but the “J” needs to be there!

  10. Sharon Grant says:

    I loved episode 2 from the opening bloody dream to the consternation on Claire’s face that Black Jack Randall is still alive. I also love your recap. It hits most of my favorite moments. For me it was Jamie and Murtagh’s night. Murtagh was responsible for several laugh out loud moments including the ones you mention. I also love when Jamie uses his sword to lift Murtagh’s kilt and tells him to wash his knees before going to court. The red dress was awesome, but it was Sam’s reaction and delivery of the lines that made me laugh. The gorgeous dress did not overpower the acting. I loved the honeypot scene knowing full well that it would not be as funny or drawn out as the book. But the scene did what it was supposed to do, I think. It showed Claire trying to seduce her husband, sex being a key ingredient of their relationship. Loved Jamie’s shock when first encountering her deforested lady parts. Loved the dialogue. He was interested. More than interested. But it also showed that he had not yet gotten past the trauma of Wentworth prison.The way the episode in general took various scenes from the wonderfully long and complicated book and wove them into an hour of television was remarkable. Kudos to the writers. So many wonderful scenes scenes in episode 2. There were too many favorite scenes to mention but for me all of them involved Jamie and/or Murtagh.

  11. Victoria says:

    Loved it! They’re following the books very closely!