Heartbreaking. There is no other way to describe much of Saturday’s new episode of “Outlander,” a story that seemed to put an end to many of the narratives that have encompassed the second season to date.
For one, this was the episode that ended the pregnancy story for Claire Fraser, albeit in the most devastating way possible. This story was in many ways the psychological journey behind how she coped with losing a child, and precisely how difficult that was for her to bear. We saw her struggle with that, but at the same time we had her face some preoccupation due to the circumstances that faced one Jamie Fraser. Specifically, we’re talking here about his inability to truly help, largely due to the fact that he was arrested over his role dueling Black Jack Randall at the end of this past episode.
Why did he break his vow to Claire, something that he had been so intent on keeping for so much time before now? It really traces back to something that she did not know about: A disturbing assault on Fergus by Randall, which led to the challenge and the attack. It makes Jamie a more sympathetic figure for his actions, at least in terms of his thirst for vengeance superseding in that moment a desire to fulfill Claire’s request. It’s at least slightly more understandable than it was otherwise.
Amidst another wonderful performance from Caitriona Balfe, Claire went to great lengths to free Jamie, sleeping with King Louis after using her La Dame Blanche powers to settle an issue of arcane arts. Using a trick perfected in some ways by Master Raymond himself, she was able to spare his life after being suspected of sorcery. At the same time, she took the life of the Comte St. Germain. It was the ultimate act of revenge on the man, though we admit we were somewhat surprised to see this man, set up as such a prominent villain, gone so early this season.
Through everything the Frasers have been through, it appears that their time in France may be done, and they are considering a move back to Scotland. This explains how Claire could eventually find her way back through the stones, but before leaving, she and Jamie buried their child Faith in France, with him leaving behind a signature spoon so a part of Scotland would always remain with her.
It may sound odd, but “Faith” is an appropriate title for this hour given that in so many ways, this is a story all about the idea of having faith that life will work out, faith in forgiveness, and faith in the best of others. Sometimes, these same others may disappoint, but faith in many ways can be better than the alternative. Grade: A-.
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