[SPOILER WARNING: Episode 'The Hail Mary' of Outlander is discussed here. Turn back if you don't want it to be spoiled for you]
This was a great build-up episode of Outlander for the Culloden drama to come in the next week's finale. Despite Inverness replacing Edinburgh - where the Jacobite forces actually assemble pre-Culloden in the books - the story is all there. Jamie Fraser trying his best to prevent the battle from happening (and failing miserably) brought Sam Heughan a chance to deliver some awesome lines, which he did perfectly.
Two deaths, some more Prince Charles' nuisance and a whole darker side of Jack Randall feature in the following Top 3 Moments from #OutlanderSeason2 'The Hail Mary'. Let's begin!
Cumberland's Party Crashers
Prince Charles Stuart continues to disappoint - and it's hard not to imagine him just as idiotic in real life - by following the advice of the Quartermaster John O'Sullivan, who actually seems intent on getting everyone killed. After choosing Culloden Moor as the perfect battle ground to face the British Army, John agrees to a surprise attack on the British camp.
The Jacobites are supposed to take advantage of the British General Cumberland's birthday celebration, but Quartermaster John and the Bonnie Prince get lost in the woods - along with all their men - and retreat to Inverness. This kills any possibility that Jamie Fraser might have to change the future of his men, since the battle of Culloden is to take place the very next day.
Frank Will Finally Get The Randall Name
Earlier in this season of Outlander, Claire was absolutely convinced - based on her memory of Frank's family tree - that Mary Hawkins and Jonathan Randall were meant to be. Little did she know she was absolutely right, though fate took care of making it so in treacherous ways.
Claire runs into Mary in the apothecary in Inverness, only to discover that Mary has been taking care of Alex - who is terminally ill. Upon visiting Alex to assess his condition, Claire encounters Jack Randall - Alex' brother - and he extracts from her her promise to ease his brother's pain. Claire, on her end, gathers from him some information about the British Army whereabouts, leading to the aforementioned failed surprise raid.
But the one thing of note in this whole sequence, is Alex asking his brother Jonathan to marry his beloved Mary, who is with child. Claire - miraculously - persuades Jack Randall into accepting his brother's dying wishes and, voilà, Claire's second husband, Frank Randall, has his future guaranteed.
Twa Fond Kisses
Colum Mackenzie makes an appearance, basically to settle some clan matters and to bite the dust. Although fans might not consider Colum's death such a big deal, it means Jamie will now raise the Mackenzie banner - since Colum named him clan chief before drinking some Yellow Jasmine and taking his own life.
Hats-off to Graham McTavish's stunning monologue by his brother's death bed. It was quite Shakespearean and truly beautifully delivered. All the resentment and hate Dougal felt over a lifetime were clearly present, along with a deep brotherly love that neither Colum nor Dougal ever knew how to express. Well done, Mr. McTavish - and R.I.P. Colum.
The second one to go was Alexander Randall, Jack Randall's brother. He wasn't going to last much anyway, but he absolutely served his purpose to the story. Tobias Menzies was exceptional as Jack Randall once more, even surprising us by punching the hell out of his dead brother's face. R.I.P. Alexander and we're sorry that your Mary is now in the hands of such a mad man as your brother (though not for long!).
Next week is the Season 2 finale of Outlander and we're about to have our hearts broken once more. We'll get our first glimpse of adult Brianna and Roger, when the show takes us back to the 1900's. Since Jamie Fraser was unable to prevent it, Culloden will happen and we'll send many fond kisses to some dear characters. Here's the promo:
Outlander's 90-minute Season Finale airs next Saturday, on Starz.