[SPOILER WARNING: Episode 'Useful Occupations And Deceptions' of Outlander is discussed here. Turn back if you don't want it to be spoiled for you]
The more we move towards the middle of this #OutlanderSeason2, the more the plot thickens for Jamie and Claire Fraser. 'Useful Occupations and Deceptions' does a really great job of knitting the central elements together, while also showing us how tricky chess...I mean, politics can be.
So, without ados, here are my top picks for memorable moments in this episode.
Personally, every since Outlander was picked up for a second season, I've been waiting for Fergus to come along. Without a doubt, he's one of the best characters in the book that Outlander season 2 draws from, 'Dragonfly in Amber', and might I say, in the overall book series.
He's witty, clever, loyal and absolutely endearing, not to mention an excellent pick-pocket. Which is why Jamie employs him for, after seeing Fergus clean the tables at Mdme. Louise's brothel in all possible senses. It's Fergus's job to intercept the Jacobite correspondence before it gets to the Bonnie Prince Charlie, so that Jamie and Murtagh may copy and study them.
One of such letters happens to hold the answer they'd been searching for, as to who might be financing Prince Charlie in England. Of course - surprise, surprise - it turns out to be the Duke of Sandringham. Because the Frasers have dealt with him in the past, Jamie is sure he'll be able to dissuade the Duke from helping Charlie.
Claire's secret is shared...but not revealed
Burdened by the knowledge that Black Jack Randall still lives, Claire confides in Murtagh, who tells her she must keep it from James. I guess, at this point, we could all agree that no good would come from Jamie finding out his worst nightmare is flesh and blood.
However, as the episode develops and the Duke of Sandringham becomes, once more, a key element for their plot of trying to change the future, Claire is yet again torn between sharing the truth about Sandringham and the Randall with Jamie or not.
In the end, she opts not to, which I'm guessing will backfire soon enough. Fact is, before the season ends, Jamie will have his chance of revenge against Jack Randall and everything he stands for.
Again, another character - well, I consider him a character! - I'd really wanted to see how the producers would go about. With Claire volunteering at L'Hôpital del Anges as a nurse of sorts, we meet Mother Hildegard and her not so friendly pup, Bouton. Now, don't you dare question the presence of a dog in a hospital, for Bouton is an superb diagnostician as it happens.
Something I did miss though, was the initial friction between Claire and Mother Hildegard, which is ever so present in some chapters of the book. It's a TV show nonetheless, and time is of the essence, so I'm willing to give it a pass if they actually build their relationship a bit further. The nun will be pivotal as a friend for Claire ahead in the story, and I really hope they don't rush into it.
Mother Hildegard does help the Frasers by assisting Jamie in decoding one of the letters sent to Prince Charlie - the one from the Duke of Sandringham. So, as far as I'm concerned, having both Mother HIldegard and Bouton as allies is an ace move.
Next week we'll see the Frasers entertaining some very important guests, among whom are the Duke of Sandringham and Prince Charlie himself. I'm willing to bet Claire's and Murtagh's secret won't survive another episode. Plus, this next one will be titled 'La Dame Blanche', which for book readers, is enough to stir excitement - since it'll be Claire's new nickname. Here's the promo.
Outlander's 'La Dame Blanche' airs this Saturday, April 30, on Starz.