Show/Episode: Outlander Season 2, Episode 4, “Le Dame Blanche” (SPOILERS for the episode ahead, of course)
Last week’s episode was kind of a bummer all around. Jamie and Claire spent far too much time apart, and within those spaces secrets found their way between them. Claire now knows that Black Jack Randall is alive, but she hasn’t yet had the heart to tell Jamie. He’s still battling nightmares, after all, and she really wants her husband back. Jamie’s PTSD isn’t going to go away the way everyone would like, but her 1940s medical experience probably doesn’t tell her that.
However, we ended the last episode on a bright note. And in this week’s episode will be hosting a dinner party for Jacobite leaders. Will this be their chance to change history? At the very least it’s our chance to see Claire in more great clothes.
With that said, let’s dive into Season 2, Episode 4, “La Dame Blanche.”
We haven’t had playful Jamie and Claire banter for some time—trauma, imprisonment, stopping a rebellion will do that to a relationship. So how lovely was it to see the two in the same room in the opening scene? And talking about baby names, no less. While neither offered particularly great names, it was nice to see them talking about their future instead of the future of Bonny Prince Charlie.
It can’t be that simple or steady, though. Someone poisoned Claire. Jamie rushes her home. Both he and Claire worried she’d lose the baby. Thankfully, she’ll be fine, but in their bedroom discussion of the current situation, Jamie proposed hosting a dinner for the duke and the prince, and all Claire can think about is what the Duke of Sandringham knows. She returns to being the Claire we’ve always known, the one who does not keep secrets from her husband (or really anyone, Claire’s not one to really confide in, when we think about it). She tells Jamie the truth about Black Jack Randall, and her meeting his brother Alex in Versailles.
Unlike Claire’s expectation (and pretty much everyone else’s), Jamie is thrilled to hear that Jack’s alive. Mostly so he can kill him. He says Claire has given him “something to look forward to” with this information. Let’s give it up for Claire for just being happy for him and not wondering how the birth of their child isn’t enough, as many a romance heroine would at this point. That’s perhaps one of the best things about Jamie and Claire, and why so many of us ‘ship them, they take joy in the moment, they recognize the truth from one another, and have no interest in playing emotional games with one another.
The next time Jamie and Claire are together, though, it is time for a whole lot more truth. He climbs into bed ready to be with his wife—and giving viewers a stellar view of his butt—and she discovers bite marks on his inner thighs. He admits to being at the brothel and the bite marks are from one of the women there, but insists nothing happened. In typical Jamie fashion, he also sticks his foot in his mouth so many times he will be tasting leather for weeks. He says he’s feeling like a man again, and came home to be with her. Claire lets loose about being on her own and having to be supportive about it all these months, about how he hasn’t been engaged about the baby at all… all of it.
He finally opens up about what he’s been feeling—naked and alone—but then agrees he should sleep elsewhere for the night. Claire lets him leave, but she still goes to him in the middle of the night. She encourages him to “find us,” and then we get super sexy pregnancy sex. One more time this show understood the female gaze and reminded everyone the pregnant lady can be hot.
Full disclosure: When I got to the bite-marks part in the book, I DNF’d. I was more livid than book-Claire was about the bite marks and Jamie’s sad sack response. This was better, and meaningful, and I can continue being on board with Jamie and Claire. (And, yes, I’ll go back and finish the book now, because maybe this just happens later?)
They move forward with the party plans, but when the time comes Claire isn’t there. She stayed long as the hospital, and their carriage was broken (they don’t really make it clear why the wheel was broken at the last minute). She, Mary, and Murtagh decide to walk and get attacked. The men flee when they see it’s Claire, whom they call La Dame Blanche, but not before assaulting and raping Mary. Once home, Jamie wants to go find the attackers and make them pay, but Claire has her eyes on the prize at the dinner party. Jamie acquiesces to her plan.
While the party definitely happens, it ends in a brawl and the appearance that Alex is raping Mary (he’s not).
On the upside: Jamie and Claire are still solid. That might change next week, but for now let’s revel in our ‘ship.
Jamie, upon learning Black Jack Randall was still alive: This is wonderful news. Why did you wait so long to tell me?
Murtagh: Jamie’s in a cheery mood.
Claire: Yes, I told him Black Jack Randall was still alive. I don’t know what you were so worried about.
Louise: You mean sleep with my husband? But my lover would be furious.
Claire: Oh, God, does this make us bad people?
Jamie: The way I see it, we’re doing a bad thing, but for a good reason.
Claire: Isn’t that what all bad people say?
Next Stop: Next week we’ll see Season 2, Episode 5, “Untimely Resurrections.”
Charting the Course: Claire’s thinking quite a bit about Frank. She’s been told she’ll “see him” again, Mary’s path to Randall has been mired, and now she has to wonder if her “other” husband will ever be born. If he isn’t born, would she ever end up in Scotland or meet Jamie? Time travel is weird.