[SPOILER WARNING: Episode 'Not In Scotland Anymore' of Outlander is discussed here. Turn back if you don't want it to be spoiled for you]
Big reveal night for Claire Fraser in Outlander.
In a single episode we got to see that the time skip since they've been in Paris is now three months, which allows for many a story to develop. There was also quite the amount of 'Frenchness', the 18th century kind, that didn't really bring the lightness I was expecting it to.
This second episode of #OutlanderSeason2 offered some insight into Claire's and Jamie's way of life in the capital and their plans to put a stop to the Jacobite rebellion. Here are some of these mustn't miss moments.
The Bonnie Prince
Charles Stuart has been represented through a myriad of personas throughout history, but one characteristic that seems to be ever present in his depictions is his, let's say, soft demeanor.
The Prince, on Jared's request, agreed to meet with Lord Broch Tuarach, and so Jamie and Murtagh eagerly joined him in a Parisian brothel. Earlier in the episode, Murtagh had offered James quite a realistic solution for the whole rebellion, when he suggested killing Charles would put an end to it. Upon finally seeing the Prince speak of his intentions for Scotland and its people, I have to admit Murtagh's idea isn't so bad after all.
Charles is inexperienced, weak and has God's will as his sole reason to consider the throne rightfully his. I suppose back then, it would be more than enough, but I'm glad we've evolved a bit from that reasoning. James tries and tries to input some wisdom onto the Jacobite cause, but to no avail. In the end, the Prince asks a favor of Jamie that leads him and Claire into Louis' court.
The Enemy Of My Enemy
Master Raymond is introduced in a sequence that, by far, is the closest to the book story line on this whole episode. Claire goes to his shop in search for something to ease James' nightmares - which we get to see in the opening sequence - and ends up making an ally in Master Raymond.
Turns out, both he and Claire share their dislike for one of this season's villains, Comte San Germain. And as the Master so beautifully puts it, sharing a common rival most certainly should make them friends. If you've read the book - Dragonfly in Amber - you'll get goosebumps at seeing how perfectly Master Raymond's shop is actually depicted. Nicely done.
The Parisian Way Of Life
It may be summarized in two words, really. Luxurious and vain. Claire figures this out pretty early on and is quick to make new influencial friends, the ones she'll use to get to the people she actually needs to meet. It is through one of these friends, Louise, that she gets invited to Versailles and introduced - very uncomfortably - to the Minister of Finance, who is seemingly the man of the hour.
We get a monkey in a cage, a Brazilian wax, fireworks, a king on a different kind of throne and fancy dresses, as Claire and Jamie peruse through this new lifestyle. Sometimes, throughout the episode, I got the feeling it was a show about Paris in the 1700s, instead of being about the Frasers. It all just seems too extravagant and, quite honestly, unnecessary to the plot. Yes, it makes for a more 'colorful' show, and nothing else.
Yet Another Mr. Randall
When Claire and James run into the Duke of Sandringham in Versailles, I was, once again, on Murtagh's side as he attempted to kill the Duke. As Jamie dissuades him, the vile manipulation of Sandringham springs to life once more, as does his relation to the Randalls. That's how we meet Alexander Randall, Black Jack's younger brother, who is now Sandringham's new secretary.
Though Alexander is extremely different from Jack, his introduction isn't at all pleasant for Claire. Through him, she finally discovers that Black Jack is in fact still alive and well back in Scotland. This news takes its toll on Lady Broch Tuarach, and the episode ends with her debating whether or not to tell Jamie that his nemesis still lives.
'Not in Scotland Anymore' did a great job of developing the story and explaining who is who in this new Paris season. Most of the characters we'll see in season 2 were roughly introduced and the central story has been laid out. Now, we're about to go on some emotional moments and some heavy psychological drama, as Jamie deals with Jack Randall once more, while trying to save Scotland and the clans.
Here's a look at next week's episode, 'Useful Occupations And Deceptions':
Apparently, we'll get to see a bit more of Claire's return to 1948 in this next episode and, oh yeah, Fergus!
Outlander's episode 'Useful Occupations And Deceptions' airs Saturday, April 23, on Starz.