Outlander Season 2 Episode 5 Recap

Outlander Recap: All Jacked Up

Need to catch up? Check out last week’s Outlander recap here.

In the arcade-claw game that is Jamie Fraser’s life, another coveted — and, in this case, annoyingly smug and deserving of death — toy just slipped out of grasp.

This week’s Outlander has Lord Broch Tuarach run into his longtime enemy/recent rapist Black Jack Randall, and it’s not long before the two men make plans to duel. But Claire decides that the threat to her future husband (as in, husband from the future) is too great, and for reasons we’ll get to in a minute, she asks Jamie to stay his hand just a little while longer.

Does he agree to her request? Read on for the highlights of “Untimely Resurrection.”

THE MORNING AFTER | As the household staff works to clear away the detritus from the party/brawl, Claire’s voiceover tells us that the gendarmes arrested everyone — including her husband — and they’re all cooling their heels in the Bastille. When Jamie eventually returns, he carries a sleeping Fergus to bed (aww) and then has an early morning debrief with Claire: Duvernay got him released, but Alex has been fired by the Duke of Sandringham and is still a prisoner, thanks to Mary’s uncle saying he saw the young man attack her. Claire looks pained, then informs Jamie that St. Germain and Prince Charles left together, which makes him look pained. “No good can come from that pairing,” he muses.

This is really the first time the Frasers have been able to decompress since Claire’s attack; Jamie wonders how she got away. When she mentions that the men were spooked by “La Dame Blanche,” Jamie looks guilty: One night at the brothel, he told Prince Charles that he was married to La Dame Blanche — or “the white witch,” who would surely shoot a curse up under his kilt if he ever got a room with one of the house’s ladies.

The episode takes its first big diversion from Diana Gabaldon’s novel by having Claire react with mild alarm, rather than mild amusement, to this news. She wonders how he can joke about her being a witch “after everything that happened at Cranesmiur?” (A valid point.) “There may have been a fair amount of drinking involved,” Jamie mumbles, chagrined. (Ha.) Later, Murtagh’s recon unearths that the attackers likely were members of a gang that roams the streets, causing mayhem, and requires its newest members to violate a virgin as initiation.

BUTT OUT, BEAUCHAMP | When Claire visits Mary the next day, she’s uneasy around the young woman. I’m going to chalk that up to guilt. Mary is holding up surprisingly well, given what’s happened, though she fears that she’s pregnant. Claire gently explains that’s probably unlikely, given that her rapist “didn’t finish,” and vehemently states that Mary has nothing to be ashamed of.

Mary then tells Claire that she and Alex plan to marry when he gets out of jail, and asks Claire to deliver a letter exonerating Alex to the police. Because Claire has gotten really obsessed with the idea that Frank may not ever be born thanks to recent events, she considers burning the letter (she ultimately doesn’t) and — once Alex is released — takes it upon herself to meddle in the young couple’s relationship, convincing Alex that he will never be able to provide for Mary in the manner to which she is accustomed.

You guys know me: I am ride-or-die for Claire. Claire forever. Claire suis prest. But good god, she’s kind of unlikable in this episode, right?

WINE FOR WAR | As it turns out, Jamie was right: St. Germain’s cozying up to Prince Charles has created a terrible situation. Charles helped the French aristocrat secure a loan to buy a lot of Portuguese madeira. In exchange, St. Germain will sell the wine and share the profits with the Jacobite cause, which will give Charlie enough cash to prove to Duvernay and King Louis that he’s a) serious about a war and b) a worthy ally. What Jamie says: “Good news, indeed.” What the vein bulging out of Jamie’s forehead says: “[Gaelic curse] you, you [Gaelic curse] of a [Gaelic curse] whose mother [Gaelic curses] several [Gaelic curses] nightly.”

When the two businessmen meet privately to discuss logistics, it turns into a volley of threats. St. Germain says he hasn’t forgotten that Claire cost him a lot of money with the whole smallpox-on-board thing. “My memory is as long as yourrrrrrrrrs,” Jamie purrs, and all of those R’s trip off his tongue, spill out onto the table, fall into formation, brandish swords and stare at St. Germain with real malice as Jamie promises death if Claire’s life is threatened again.

outlander-season-2-photos-4BACK AND BLACK | The next day at Versailles, ClairdszdfhsDOIFSHD;OLFKHNlkanxlknl’kn… oh, I’m sorry. I just drooled so hard on my keyboard upon seeing that slap-your-mama-beautiful dress Claire is wearing, my computer short-circuited for a sec. The intricate design! The brown-and-mustard combination! The elegant gloves! It is absolutely perfect.

Anyway, Jamie is there to help the Duke of Sandringham pick out some new horses. While the men are occupied, Claire strolls with Annalise… then literally crosses paths with Captain Jonathan Woolverton Go to Hell Randall, of His Majesty’s Eighth Why Aren’t You Dead Dragoons.

MIDDAY IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL | When Claire looks like she’s going to pass out, Annalise says she’ll run to get her husband. “Jamie?” Randall asks with a sick little smile. “He’s here? Where?” KEEP HIS NAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, SIR. THIS IS YOUR FIRST WARNING. Randall moves awkwardly — those cows knew what they were doing — but he is, as Alex said, most decidedly alive.

The conversation is surreal and terrible; when Randall mentions, the king, Claire responds, “F–k the king.” Perhaps it is because of the tension in the scene, but I giggle like a Tickle Me Elmo when Randall does this funny hand flourish and drops into deep bow: King Louis has arrived.

And when Jamie arrives to see the pair awkwardly talking with King Louis — who mocks Randall the moment he meets him (I knew there was something awesome about that funny, fey monarch) — it’s not long before the two men are making secret plans for an illegal duel. Claire seems unable to speak, so I’ll say it for her: Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!

A DEBT PAID | Jamie is practically singing, he’s so happy to finally get to kill the sadist. So Claire does the only thing she can to stay his hand: She goes to the police and lies, saying that Randall was her attempted rapist. While the redcoat is detained, she tearfully begs Jamie to delay killing Randall for a year, when Black Jack’s kid/Frank’s next ancestor will have been conceived.

“Must I bear everyone’s weakness? May I not have my own?” Jamie asks incredulously, and though he fully gives in to his dramatic Scot side in this scene, I see where he’s coming from. In a voice so thick you could malt a milkshake with it, he says, “You’d stop me taking vengeance on the man that made me play his whore?”

Claire gets it, too, but she doesn’t back down. She cries. Jamie agrees to her terms. “A year,” he says. “Not one day more.” And when she gratefully reaches for him, he steps away quickly. “Do not touch me,” he growls.

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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54 Comments
  1. Ricky23 says:

    Black Jack is back…..being waiting all season for it and (don’t spoil it for me those who have read the books) I hope he sticks around for a long time to come. The scene at the start of the season with Frank and Claire and how he’s broken up that he’s not her baby daddy and the way Tobias can play such a depraved human being like Black Jack is just a delight to watch. He is definitely a huge highlight for me in watching the show.

    • There have been plenty of diversions from the books, not to mention several in this one episode. This is not the first. In this same setting this is what happened. Jamie meets Alex Randall and thinking he is Black Jack, is on the virge of drawing his sword to kill him and Clare faints, thus saving Jamie because it is death to draw a sword in the King’s presence. I have read these books numerous times and do not like how they are changing everything. I spot the smallest things and it is ruining the series for me. Don’t know how long I will keep watching.

      • Kestrel says:

        Wanda – the changes are pretty much by necessity. What works for readers who use their imagination, who revel in minute details and love the richness you can get from 1000 pgs or more, just doesn’t work in a visual medium when you only have a limited amount of time. When a book or series has been adapted for television or movies, you just have to let go of “purity” and keep the spirit of the thing alive. The series is keeping to the spirit of the show beautifully. If some details are changed – even a great many details – that’s ok as long as things ultimately wind up where they should. Gabaldon herself has been fine with these changes. I expect even more will need to be changed as the series progresses – there simply isn’t enough money in the world to put every single detail of the books into a show, nor would any of us live long enough to see it! Relax :)

      • Nolamama says:

        If they kept every detail of the books we’d be sitting through hundreds of hours each season. It’s impossible because each book is SO long. Also, each episode has to have its own arc so things have to get condensed, shuffled around, left out, changed…i read the books and loved them but the series is bringing them to life beautifully.

        • sixela872 says:

          Agree with this. Also, let’s be real, some things should be eliminated from the books.

          • OMG YES! Honestly, the story makes for a much better visual adaptation than most things I’ve watched before because the books were so visually written. Some might even say that the books are a little “wordy”.

    • Sara says:

      You find him a huge delight? Uh…okay.

  2. Gino says:

    Brilliant episode. Best of the season.

  3. Alichat says:

    I absolutely LOVED King Louis in this episode. Not only because he was very observant of the body language between Claire, Jamie, and Randall, but also because he got Randall to kneel. That moment had me cheering! And I was not a fan of Claire when she was convincing Alex to walk away from Mary. I understand what she was thinking and her motives, but it just seemed wrong.

    • wooster182 says:

      I wish she would have at least mentioned that she felt like a horrible person for saddling an innocent young girl with a rapist and sociopath.

      • Alichat says:

        Me too. I thought Alex would arrive at the decision she pushed him to make, and then she’d say afterward that she felt disgusted that pairing innocent Mary with a sadist was required to insure Frank’s existence.

  4. Terri says:

    Wow! This was an awesome but intense episode. Did anyone notice that it was also a shorter episode? Only 50 minutes long? Some things in this episode were very true to the book, and some scenes were new. The scene with the King was new…and absolutely priceless! Yes. I loved watching the King humiliate BJR in front of Jamie and Claire.

    The Apostle spoon scene was also new but so very welcome and tender. It was a direct contrast to the heart wrenching last scene (which is very true to the book). But what was also new (and puzzling to me) is why Claire interfered in Alex’s and Mary’s relationship? I reasoned it out to be one of those timey whimey things that time travelers have to deal with…if Claire doesn’t interfere, will the future unfold exactly as she knows? Or, does the future happen as she knows because she did interfere?

    • Alichat says:

      What I thought was weird about that scene was that Alex didn’t arrive at that decision himself. I really thought that the conversation would go that Claire was trying to subtly point out to Alex that he can’t support Mary being that he’s no longer employed by the Duke, and based upon Mary’s Uncle Hawkins running his mouth, so he may not be able to get another secretary position. But then Alex would surprise her by stating all that before her, and he would ask her to help Mary understand because he’d be breaking her heart. I really thought that was how the scene would play out.

      Something I don’t understand……and I think I need to rewatch the scene……but why was Black Jack at Versailles? If he and Sandringham have such a good relationship…..why would he need to hop on a ship and book it to Paris to speak up for his brother? (Which also begs the question of how did he get there so quickly??) Why couldn’t he write to Sandringham and ask him to take Alex back? Why did he need to tell the King he was there to plead with Sandringham? Why not just say he’s there to see him? (except to give us the fabulous kneeling scene….LOL) I found that whole excuse a little off.

  5. ninergrl6 says:

    While I thoroughly enjoyed the king humiliating BJR, I was disappointed in Jamie & Jack’s initial meeting. I wanted Jamie to react more. I get that there’s a certain expectation of decorum in the king’s presence and that Jamie’s actually glad to have the opportunity to kill Jack himself, but I needed more steely glares and clenched jaws and if-you-even-look-in-my-direction-you’ll-meet-the-pointy-end-of-my-blade posturing. That moment wasn’t at all as satisfying as I wanted it to be. The rest of the episode was spectacular though, and THAT. DRESS. *swoon*

    • Daye says:

      Sam said in an interview that the Jamie meets BJR scene was longer but had to be shortened for time. Why in the world they would shorten it is a mystery !!

    • Alichat says:

      Did you see Jamie clenching his right fist through that whole scene? I was looking for those small non-verbal reactions as well since they wouldn’t have Jamie completely freak out in front of the King. And I like that they had King Louis notice he was clenching his fist as well. I am curious to see the longer scene. I hope it makes it to the Blu-ray.

  6. Diane says:

    Loved it!! Jack appearing when he did was goose-bumpy! Tobias scares the begeezes out of me. Beautifully done. Absolutely loving this whole series. Having read these books 5 times I find the adaptations wonderful. Way to go Ron and cast. Thank you for bringing my book family to life!!

  7. Liz says:

    That last scene between the two of them… Oh my…

  8. K says:

    This show doesn’t explain the time travel element very well. For example, if Frank is never born, then Claire couldn’t be married to him in the future and she wouldn’t be in Scotland on the date that she traveled in time. Therefore, isn’t it truly essential that Frank exists, or am I overthinking it? Claire’s existence in both the future and the past seems like a connected chain or circle of events.

    • Guest says:

      Don’t worry K, it’ll all make sense eventually :)

      • Dune Master says:

        it will only make sense if Claire Beauchamp marries Frank Randall.
        i.e. no Frank no Claire no second honeymoon to Scotland no jump to the eighteenth century….The blood line to Frank must be preserved.

        • Gunnar says:

          I haven’t read the book – have only seen the series – but I have a bet going with my wife, who hasn’t read the book either. In the latest episode, Jamie and Black Jack duel, and Jamie stabs him with his sword in his genital area, probably indicating that Black jack won’t be able to father children. This makes me think Frank has his family history wrong, that he’s a descendant, not of Jonathan Black jack Randall, but of his brother, Alex.

    • At this point Claire has no idea how the time travel works but she’s not willing to take a chance with Frank’s life.

    • Haven’t read the books, but I would think the drama revolves around the choices that Claire is making and how her best intentions may seem to backfire and maybe send her into more angst. IDK, but that conflict seems to be what might be building to some form of crux.

    • Jayne says:

      I wondered why Claire didn’t bring this up when persuading Jamie to postpone killing BJR. If Frank is never born, Claire would never have found her way to the standing stones and into Jamie’s life. I’d expect that realization to give him some pause.

  9. Hate the character, love the actor–Tobias Menzies is an incredible actor, competently playing sensible Frank and evil Black Jack in equal measure…Sam is the most “women want him, men want to be him” actor to hit the scene in quite a while. And Claire is amazingly sexy. That dress was only rivaled by Louis XV’s garb. I think he was looking for a reciprocal response from Black Jack when he back handedly complimented the latter on his uniform. Murtaugh is my favorite secondary character, right up there with McDougal. I hope both survive the length of the series. And YES, Mary (or any woman can become pregnant even if a man doesn’t “finish”–just as Seinfeld taught us about “shrinkage,” there is also “leakage.”

  10. Nolamama says:

    That last scene was such a gut punch (and I even knew it was coming after reading the book). Such stellar acting, especially from Sam Heughan. After an entire episode of him keeping his cool with The Duke, St. Germaine, and even Black Jack himself…when he finally lost it with Claire his fury was that much more effective. This whole season I’ve been thinking that Sam H. wasn’t acting up to his abilities (except for a few brief moments) but now I see that it was leading to that scene, to make that scene all the more effective. Well done.

  11. Hellas13 says:

    People still watch this garbage?

  12. Annie says:

    Kimberly, this may well be my favorite recap of all time (and I’m including some specifically memorable recaps of Alias from Television Without Pity written by the equally fabulous Erin in that mix). As to the show itself, I’m deeply pleased to see it’s retaining its high quality in production values and in performances, Tobias Menzies in particular.

  13. WOW – quite different from the book but I liked it! Think Ron Moore has done a really good job of combining disparate details from the book into visually appealing and/or wrenching scenes. Can’t believe I watched this episode 3 times – once for dialogue, once for studying the characters and lastly to look at the amazing details of sets and costumes!

  14. wooster182 says:

    I don’t understand why the hell they were fighting in the first place. All Claire had to tell Jaime was this: “If you kill Randall, Frank is never born, I never marry him, and then I never meet you.” Bam. That’s it. He would sacrifice a year in order to meet and marry her and have their child.

  15. Jeanne Moore says:

    I’m not fond of Claire’s actions in this episode. I thought she was cruel to Alex and a horrible friend to poor Mary on many levels. I was also surprised at her coldness regarding Alex’s health. Where was her usual healer’s concern? I understand her fears about Frank but Claire seemed cold and heartless to Jaime. She’s always strong but sometimes sure of herself at any cost. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  16. Bonnie W says:

    In an earlier episode, didn’t Claire say that she knows the date of Randall’s death? Wouldn’t she be reassured by that?

    • lizzie says:

      She still thinks it’s possible to change the future. That’s their whole purpose in Paris. She only knows the date of his death because he will die –SPOILER ALERT– at Culloden. The Battle of Culloden is what they’re desperately trying to stop. If they are successful, Black Jack will not die on that day.

  17. shunda1177 says:

    Absolutely LOVED the scene with the King and Black Jack on his knees! LMFAO!!!!!

    Had a crazy theory. I haven’t read the books so I don’t know how the story line progresses BUT…what if Frank isn’t Jack’s descendant but actually a descendant of Alex’s?! Jack is going to marry Mary, we know that. We also know that Jack has trouble “performing” with a woman, as evidenced by what happened with Jamie’s sister. OR, Jack’s run in with the stampede renders him sterile. Either way, Mary ends up having an affair with Alex, since he’s the one she really loves. But since she’s married to Jack, the baby goes down on the family tree as his. Plausible, right? Anyway…

  18. Mc says:

    In the book, Jamie takes Claire to bed later that same evening after their fight bc he loves her. I hope their distance doesn’t start up again in the tv version. I think Ron Moore thinks book Jamie acts like a door mat with Claire sometimes so he changes things around to “toughen” him. RM’s typical male version of Jamie is annoying. I think it has added to all of the ruckus online pertaining to basic changes of character. RM…..your tv Jamie is not even likable in the same way as book Jamie or last season’s Jamie. I am hoping for season 3 bc I love Voyager, but if RM omits or lessons that scene where Jamie falls into Claire’s arms like a tall tree sobbing I will be done.

    • Pat says:

      Mc, I agree! We know that TV constraints and demands are very different from those of a novel and I am still hopeful that episode 6 will include, in some way, how the scene ended in the book. However, early on I felt such a difference between book Jamie/Claire and TV Jamie/Claire that I rushed to re-read that fabulous scene in Voyager – just to remind me of who they really are! Can’t imagine leaving it out – it has too much dramatic value, and, besides, there would be riots in the streets!

      • Mc says:

        nice to know I’m not the only one. I too re-read the scenes on tv so that I can breath again. I have decided to view this tv season as an addition to the original books. Not the same. Sort of like the Outlander Graphic Novel I ran out to buy bc it was supposed to be the story from Jamie’s POV. I laughed so when I open it to see it was a comic book. 😏

        • Mc says:

          By the way, Sam is more than capable of acting out the emotion that Jamie has for Claire. Sam/Jamie is “The King of Men” There are no other words to describe Sam Heughan. I just cannot understand how RM’s wife allowed him to get away with this. She being such a fan. Although, it does look like they pull through from new clips of 206. At least Jamie’s not hiding behind walls when their talking. A metaphor we could have done without. My affair with Jamie, who does not exist, is getting out of hand. Time to let this go, do some laundry, and weigh myself. 😫

    • Zoe says:

      That’s very interesting what you say, usually people complain that RM emasculates Jamie on the show, not toughens him. My friend, who has not read the books, recently said that when she sees Claire with Jamie on the show, she gets an impression that Claire is 20 years older than him. Not visually, but the way she patronizes him and the way he just nods to everything she says. Or when he doesn’t nod, he throws s hissy fit like 15 years old boy, they way it happened in episode 2.03, when he came back home and Claire was not there waiting for him.

      Book!Claire&Jamie have a great relationship built on mutual respect and communication. I have a hard time looking for the same relationship on the show, there are glimpses of this, yes, but overall something crucial seems to be missing. Not to mention that book! Jamie&Claire are simply more fun and laid back people. Show! Claire could really use some of book!Claire’s dry sense of humor instead of that slighty condescending attitude. Caitriona Balfe does great acting job with what she’s given, but I’m a bit tired of show!Claire’s constantly doeful facial expression.

      • Mc says:

        Well, in terms of his interactions with Claire. The tenderness of their relationship is missing. His humor. The conversations they have. His kindness toward her. Not there like in the book. It doesn’t justify what will come. I know the medium is different and the time element. Impossible to include it all but what is included is not coming across true to their special relationship. Don’t mean to be so down. Hoping for season 3, and for it to translate to the screen better.

  19. Alessandra says:

    I’m sorry, what I don’t understand perhaps because I only read the original novel. Why wasn’t Claire concerned about Frank’s existence in the beginning of the season, when we all thought that Black Jack Randall was killed during the stampede. She seemed really shaken when she found out that he was still alive. If anyone can clarify this for me I’d really appreciate it. Otherwise I am truly enjoying the whole series. Love the acting, costume and the overall cinematography of the show. Well done!!

    • Shellie says:

      I totally agree with you, you are right. There didn’t seem to be the slightest concern, like, “OMG, BJR is dead, how will Frank ever be born, how will I ever meet Jamie?” To be fair though, this is before she thought of trying to change the future, that happens on the boat on their way to France, and also, the only thing she could think about at that time, was Jamie and if he would survive at all and if his soul could be saved, so I could understand if she wasn’t thinking in that vein at the time, but the situation would still have the same effect as if Jamie killed him in France.

  20. Shellie says:

    I am still astonished that Claire has the audacity and temerity to throw up to Jamie that she saved his life twice, (how many times did he save HER life, at least that many times, and did he ever throw that up to her? Never!) in order to get him to agree not to kill BJR. I am really sad the character is starting to behave like a manipulative know-it-all, as if she had all the answers, and is willing to hurt anyone who gets in the way of her agenda, ( ie., (Alex and Mary) in order to save a man from nonexistance (not murder) that she essentially abandoned back in 1945. I think herein lies the problem, I think it’s her guilt over her abandonment of Frank that has her being so unreasonable and playing the seer as if she has an intimate knowledge of how the past future thing works. The thing is, there might actually be a reason for Claire to ask Jamie to spare BFR until a child is conceived, (Kudos to K,, Jayne Wooster182 and Shunda1177) because if Frank doesn’t exist, what would bring her to Scotland to go through the stones and meet Jamie? They might never meet and their love might never be. I think this a much better argument, that Jamie might even pay attention to, than throwing up how many times she’s saved his life and begging for Frank’s existence just because- well he was her husband. BTW, I am astonished at the performances of Sam Heughan, he just seems to get better and better, especially in last episode when he is trying to explain how he is hiding under a blade of grass, and this one in the final scene. Just Astonishing, I mean I keep rewatching these scenes for the verbal and non verbal content and I am always blown away, I really do feel like he is CHANNELING Jamie. His facial expressions, body posturing, accent and acting are just mesmerizing-I just can’t believe it! Does anyone else feel like this or is it just me?

    • Mc says:

      Did you watch episode 1 on starz? He is excellent but just wasn’t himself in the first episodes of season 2 bc of the abuse he suffered and the writers not handling his response to that abuse the same as the book. They seem to be excluding Jamie’s words for a visual interpretation instead. It doesn’t work. Book readers miss the things he says to Claire. He was much more caring and loving with her. I think this is one of the reasons fans kept saying he was not in character. Where is Jamie??

      • Shellie says:

        Yes, I saw episode 1 season 2, and I am in the middle of reading the books, so far i am in the first quarter of The Fiery Cross. Quite frankly, I really don’t remember that well exactly how he was with Claire back at that part of Outlander or Dragonfly in Amber. It’s kind of confusing reading the books, watching the series in a completely different place than the books, and then remembering 5 books ago in almost thousand page books how he treated Claire at a particular point in the story. My mind is not what it used to be (LOL). Maybe after reading the series several times I will be able to remember better the characters behavior at particular points in the story. I was not as thrilled about the first few episodes of season 2, but I chalked his distance from Claire up to his continuing to get over his PTSD, not as being cold. I used to work with veterans suffering from PTSD and this is how they acted, especially with the flashbacks and the distance from their wives and family. However, thought his acting in episodes 4 and 5 was amazing, albeit his protestations that “nothing happened” in episode four were a bit disingenuous for me, as something clearly DID happen, even if it weren’t a completion of 69 or intercourse. Why ever would he need to “stir himself up like that”, as he says, in a brothel, when he could go “stir himself up” with his wife, who was waiting for him to get back to himself? I mean, he could continue to push them away as he had done in the past, then go home to his wife and stir himself up to his hearts delight! Just my thouughts :-)