[SPOILER WARNING: Episode 'Faith' of Outlander is discussed here. Turn back if you don't want it to be spoiled for you]
'Faith' was a deep episode. A profoundly sad one as well, as far as Outlander episodes go. It picks up right where we left off last week, in the aftermath of Jamie's and Randall's duel - and what an aftermath this was! It wasn't your customary weekly fix of Scottish action and neither did it have much of the usual French plotting. It was a character driven episode, with almost no room for plot development. Almost. It provided us with an over the top amount of great moments - making this an easy article to write *wink*.
Claire Loses Her Faith
Claire and her baby are under Mother Hildeguarde's care at L'Hôpital des Anges, but you realize there isn't much to hope for when you see the one attending Claire is the Royal executioner. She passes out and by the time she wakes up, she learns that her baby girl was stillborn. It's worth mentioning that Caitriona Balfe delivers an utmost emotional performance, making it impossible for us not to share her pain.
She is all alone at the hospital, since Jamie is imprisoned at the Bastille, and she's not getting any better. She does ask for her husband a couple times, but it's clear she hasn't forgiven him for breaking his promise not to duel with Randall. Also, due to labor complications, her health is deteriorating at a fast pace and Mother HIldeguarde even calls a priest to minister Claire her Last Rites. At the eleventh hour, Master Raymond pays a visit to his friend and manages to save her life by ridding her body of an infection. Though he heals her body, he isn't able to mend her broken heart, which is something Claire needs to work on by herself.
Later on the episode, we discover that Claire actually had a couple moments - a whole day - with her dead child. Mother Hildeguarde baptizes the girl and names her Faith, so that she may to be buried in the convent's graveyard. In the book, this is better explained though, while the series makes us believe Claire holds the baby for a day because she is simply losing her mind.
Fergus Saves The Day
The wee lad, as Jamie calls him, plays an enormous part in helping Claire get her feet under her once more. He is the one who convinces her to go back home, in a heart-wrenching scene where the servants - much like the viewers - feel Claire's pain and sadness as they welcome her home. Fergus acts differently this episode, being silent around Claire while combing her hair, as if giving her time to adjust.
Though it's only later we find out the real reason behind it.
After Claire wakes him up from what she thinks is a nightmare, Fergus tells her everything that happened behind closed doors at Maison Elise. Without many details - thank Goodness for that - Fergus relays the events that led to Jamie's contending with Black Jack Randall and *gasp* we discover yet another reason to hate the man. It just so happens that Jamie walked in on Jack trying to rape Fergus - I'm going with "trying" even after the show gave us some clues that it might have actually happened - and Claire understands at last why Jamie broke his promise.
An Audience With The King Of France
Finding out the truth behind the dueling, Claire makes it her business to set her husband free. Problem is, the only way to do so is through an audience with the King - which she manages to obtain with the help of Mother Hildeguarde - and she must be willing to pay whatever price the King demands.
As the meeting begins, the King asks Claire for a favor. He asks that 'Le Dame Blanche' bears witness to Master Raymond's and Comte San Germain's accusations of sorcery. Both men are standing accused in a room which looks quite masonry-like - blue starred sky and all - and it's up to Claire to decide which one is guilty or not. To her defense, she does try to save both men by putting them to the test with an herbal drink, which should hurt them but not kill. Master Raymond has other plans, though, and poisons the drink right before San Germain tastes it.
Claire, thinking that this is the price she'll have to pay for Jamie's life, hands him the poison and, just like that, we're a villain short. While Master Raymond is banished from France and the Comte San Germain is dead on the floor, Claire requests that the King keep his vow and let her husband out of jail. The King, however, demands payment and has sex with her - if that can even be called sex - rendering Jamie not only a French pardon, but also an English one. Virtue be damned.
Who's That Girl?
It's been a while since we've seen Claire back in her future life - since the second episode of this #OutlanderSeason2 to be exact - so it was a bit of a surprise to get another glimpse of the future in this episode. Not only that, but a first look at Claire's other child, Brianna.
They did it in such a way that led viewers to believe Claire's baby would survive in the hospital in France - and yeah, somehow be transported through the stones back to the future. Upon Faith's death, it's clear that Jamie and Claire will eventually try again and conceive another child. We'd known since episode 201 that Frank would raise Jamie's baby, but so far TV fans thought it would be Faith. That Brianna scene serves a great omen for present day Jamie and Claire, letting us know they will, once more, find their way back to each other.
A New Beginning For The Frasers
As if the Brianna scene wasn't enough to assure the shippers it'll all be alright in the Frasers's love life, the episode closes with a heavy and much needed conversation from the couple. Every since they met, their love has seen many ups and downs, but losing a child - and growing a fierce beard - seem to take things to a new level.
They've grown through suffering and loss and now they appear ready to move forward, in a more patient and less impulsive way. Claire says her piece, letting Jamie know she hated him for all the pain she endured, but she also comes clean about who's to blame. She finally acknowledges that it was her choosing Frank over Jamie that led to her losing their daughter. She also tells him of her private encounter with the King and to what lengths she had to go to get Jamie released. Before she has a chance to ask, Jamie forgives her for it, saying that she gave herself to the King to save his life, the same way he gave himself to Jack Randall to save hers. Talk about heavy dialogue...
As emotional as that whole conversation was, it feels like there's but one way to put the past behind them and start fresh. That only way is going back home, to Scotland and Lallybroch, which is exactly what the Laird and Lady Broch Tuarach intend to do.
Next week episode, 'The Fox's Lair', brings a 'certain' Lord Lovat and more of the Jacobite development. Jenny and co are also back, along with bonnie Scotland and Prince Charlie.
Outlander airs every Saturday, on Starz.