In the latest episode of Outlander, the Frasers go to Court.
The Frasers have settled in pretty nicely in Paris, running Jared’s wine business and his vast home. But Claire can’t deal with all of the servants, who are at her beck and call and driving her mad. Jamie, on the other hand, is still dealing with the emotional aftermath of his sexual assault by Black Jack Randall. When the show begins, Jamie and Claire are making love, something we haven’t seen in a while, understandably. Jamie is enjoying himself and gives in to the feeling, until he sees Captain Randall’s face instead of his wife’s. Jamie pulls his dagger and stabs repeatedly until his face is covered in blood. Thankfully, it was all a nightmare, and he jolts awake, covered in sweat. Claire tries to comfort him, but rape victims will agree: the last thing they want is someone touching them or saying everything will be fine. All they want is to be alone and to find a way to get the images out of their head. Jamie is no different and goes into another room to be alone.
The next morning, Claire is up and ready for the day looking FABULOUS. What a difference a country makes (although Scotland is beautiful). Mrs. Fraser’s wardrobe has improved dramatically and she looks like the stylish aristocrat everyone thinks she is. Her maid is chastising her as she prepares to leave as to why Madame insists on making her own bed and folding her own clothes. It just is not done! Claire agrees to allow the maid to redo everything while she’s out of the house and the young lady is ecstatic. Madame is then informed that her carriage awaits. As Claire is driven to the market, she reflects on how different Paris is now compared to the last time she was there 200 years in the future. There is no Eiffel Tower and it is 40 years before the French Revolution will fill the city with blood.
Claire exits her carriage and walks around, eventually finding an apothecary. She enters and the first person of color on this show appears. Her name is Delphine (played by Marieme Diouf) and seems to be Master Raymond’s apprentice. The Master (not Monsieur) comes out and makes his acquaintance with Claire, calling her “Madonna” in the process. They spar over some of his rather “exotic” supplies, with one merely being infused with pig’s blood instead of crocodile (which still sounds disgusting). She asks the apothecary if he carries something that would help Jamie sleep at night. He offers her something and then surprises her when he knows who she is. Unfortunately, the Comte St. Germain was talking about the burning of his ships to anyone who would listen and Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon) decided Claire was someone he wanted to meet.
Elsewhere, Jamie and Murtagh are outside practicing, drawing a crowd of fancy onlookers. Dueling in France at the time was outlawed and they are in shock at what they’re seeing. But Murtagh wants Jamie to work his damaged hand if he’s going to be the fighter he was. At first, Jamie is having a hard time, as his hand is very stiff. But he keeps at it until he bests Murtagh. The men take a break, but not before Murtagh tells the onlookers to get lost. He detests France and thinks Paris smells like a “chamber pot.” He hates the laziness of it all and misses the “fresh mud” of Scotland. Murtagh also thinks they should kill Bonnie Prince Charlie and end the threat of the rebellion. But Jamie wisely talks against it, as it may harden King James’ resolve to fight should he lose his son. Later that night, Jamie receives a letter from his cousin and learns the Bonnie Prince wants to meet at a brothel. Umm, ok.
Murtagh and Jamie meet Charles at the brothel run by Madame Elise (Michèle Belgrand-Hodgson), a place of extraordinary delights. At one point, Madame Elise scares the patrons when she introduces their wives to the party. The men start to panic until the “wives” turn out to be some of the working girls. Madame Elise talks of how lonely the wives are while the men are visiting the brothel and recommends they bring home . . . dildos. Yes, you read that right. Dildos. Giant ones of different shapes and colors. They’ve been around that long?
Anywho, Jamie and Prince Charles (Edward Gower) speak frankly about whether the clans would be willing to fight for him. Jamie tells him that would be a negative and Charlie becomes a whiny baby. Murtagh jumps in and asks the Bonnie Prince if he’s ever been to Scotland and he answer in the negative. Murtagh wisely asks why Scotland should fight for him then (good question). At first he has no answer, but then Prince Charles starts going on about how being on the throne is his God-given right, he’s God’s extended hand, blah blah blah. Men like him have been saying crap like that to go to war for centuries and Charles is no different.
The Prince surprises Jamie and asks him if he can go to King Louis’ Court to meet with the Minister of Finance, a Monsieur Duverney, to secure much-needed funds for the uprising. Jamie agrees, since this is the kind of chance he and Claire need to try and stop the rebellion. At home, Claire, Jamie and Murtagh talk of the meeting with the Prince. Murtagh eloquently calls Charles a “blockhead,” and they all agree he will go to war no matter the cost. But how to get into King Louis’ Court? Leave it to Louise de Rohan (deliciously played by Claire Sermonne), a carefree woman of substance who believes in all things French. While entertaining Claire, Louise is getting her legs waxed (something many women have a love/hate relationship with) and while she does, young Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) comes in, frightened and embarrassed. Young Ms. Hawkins will have a huge part to play in this story, so keep your eyes on her as the season progresses.
Claire mentions to her friend that she needs to speak with Minister Duverney, who Louise knows very well. She invites her to Versailles (which I’ll be seeing later this year) for a fête being thrown by the King. Louise offers her seamstress to Claire so she can have a dress made fit for a royal party. Later that night, Claire gets into bed feeling a little naughty. She takes Jamie’s good hand and puts it under her nightgown. He obliges and then realizes that Claire’s “honeypot” is bare! It’s been waxed along with her legs. Jamie does some serious investigating and, although he prefers her honeypot fully covered, he could get used to this new development. Things get heated between the couple until Jamie begins having flashbacks again. They stop and Claire suggests they just go to sleep.
Two weeks later and the Frasers are off to Versailles. Jamie and Murtagh have cleaned up very nicely (although Murtagh’s knees could use a good scrubbing). But forget about the men. We need to talk about Claire’s dress! First of all, it’s a beautiful shade of red, cinches her already small waist and shows her boobs to perfection. Jamie was stunned, but only because her boobs were out so much. But Claire’s gonna do what she wants and she and her dress head out to see the King.
When the Frasers arrive, the party is in full swing. Louise and Mary are there as well and couldn’t look more different. Louise is smiling and ready to play, while Mary looks utterly miserable. As the group surveys the room, a young woman greets Jamie, hugging and kissing him. Turns out she’s an old girlfriend of his named Annalise de Marillac (Margeaux Châtelier) who, once upon a time, Jamie liked enough to fight another man in a duel to win her hand. Claire playfully prodded Annalise for information while Jamie sputtered along, giving lame answers. It was nice to see since he’s always fussing about his wife’s antics. Eventually, Annalise asks to steal Jamie for a bit to visit with King Louis. While he’s dressing. Claire happily obliges, but asks Murtagh to go with him.
Turns out the men-only affair is worse than Jamie imagined. The men were all standing around as the King (Lionel Lingelser) suffered from a bout of constipation. He strained and strained and nothing seemed to be moving. Jamie made a suggestion to one of the King’s attendants that His Majesty should try parritch. The King said he never eats peasant food but Jamie said maybe he should start. While Jamie was watching the King suffer, Claire had Louise talk to Minister Duverney (Marc Duret) so they could meet. Unfortunately, Duverney thought it was for a rendezvous and was over excited about the prospect. He followed Claire outside, where she went to get some air, and proceeded to molest the poor woman, even kissing her feet! Too bad for him, Jamie came out and promptly threw the lech into a pond, soaking him entirely. But Duverney was a good sport and apologized for his behavior. He offered to play a game of chess with Jamie if he would keep his bad behavior to himself. Just then, the King came out in all his splendor, along with his attendants. One particular woman came out with her chest out except for a couple of well-placed pasties. Murtagh was in love and couldn’t stop staring at her boobs. The King asked Jamie again if parritch was the answer to his problems and he said yes. The King then gave Claire a serious up and down before walking away. Oh boy.
Things seemed to be going pretty well until Murtagh noticed the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) in another room. He went straight for his sword, but Jamie stayed his hand. The Duke made to be cordial but neither man wanted to hear it and walk away, but not before Jamie negotiates a wine sale (gotta make that money). Claire stayed, but showed no love for the conniving Duke. It was because of his treachery that Jamie’s pardon was burned by Black Jack last season, among other things. At the mention of Randall, the Duke introduces Claire to Alexander Randall (Laurence Dobiesz), the Captain’s brother, who revealed that his brother is very much alive! Claire almost faints on the spot, but holds it together. Just then, the fireworks begin and the Duke and his sickly secretary head outside. But the Duke turns to Claire before he makes it outside and smiles. What a bastard!
How will Jamie take the news that his tormentor is still alive? Will he seek immediate vengeance or stick to the plan to stop the Jacobite rebellion? What else does the Duke of Sandringham have up his sleeve? Stay tuned.
Outlander airs on Saturdays at 9pm on Starz.
Photos courtesy of Starz