Show/Episode: Outlander Season 2, Episode 8, “The Fox's Lair”
For some time this season I have lamented the big-picture storytelling in lieu of the tight character-focused plot of season one. Well, last week I got what I asked for, and I’m sorry. So, so sorry. After the agony that was last week—everyone ugly cried at that episode, right?—Jamie and Claire are on the same page again. They are different, as something so tragic changes one, but they are together and are no longer holding grudges against one another.
Even better? We’re home in Scotland!
Being at Lallybroch helps heal these two. The potatoes are coming in and Jamie and Claire are back to behaving like those in love. … and if we know one thing about Outlander, that sweetness never lasts. The Clans have posted their support for Prince Charles. Jamie’s name was forged on the document. He’s now a traitor to the British crown. Once again Jamie’s life is on the line. Seems like that happens every time they come back to Lallybroch.
Claire wishes to flee again, to Ireland or the Colonies, but Jamie reminds her of all the people who rely on them. They can’t just leave them to fend for themselves against the British, to die. He said they know what happens if the Jacobite rebellion fails, but wonders what happens if it is successful.
A delightfully shirtless Jamie reveals to Claire that his father was a bastard. He divulges his shame about her not knowing his lineage before marrying him. As expected, Claire just smiles and tells him none of that changes anything for her. He holds her to him as they kiss and he carries her to bed. Aye, this is our Scotman.
Claire wakes early in the morning to find Jamie missing from the bed. He’s downstairs holding his nephew. He’s confiding in the baby and holding him close. Jenny and Claire watch from above, and while I expect Claire’s first thought is of their daughter, Jenny provides some help here in talking about how confiding in a baby can be therapeutic. It’s good for both Jamie and the wee one.
At Lord Lovat’s not only do they run into Colum MacKenzie, but Laoghaire is there. She finds Claire alone and says she’s trying to get right with God and wants Claire’s forgiveness. Claire is having none of it. When someone tries to have you murdered because you married someone they lust after, it’s probably hard to be like “oh, yeah, we’re totally cool.”
We do see how much Jamie has grown in this episode. Aside from political talks with the Clans, we see him alone with Lord Lovat. When his grandsire says Jamie can either give him Lallybroch or let the men at his estate rape Claire, Jamie doesn’t show his anger. He doesn’t throw punches. No, he’s learned how to leverage fear. He tells his grandfather that Claire is La Dame Blanche and anyone who tries to be with her—other than him, obviously—will have their privates destroyed basically. Saying she’s a witch will probably blow up in his face later, but in this moment it’s kind of nice to see him trying new tactics.
In the meantime, Claire uses Laoghaire’s desire to be with Jamie and for repentance to get her to make eyes at Lord Lovat’s son. It worked in that he joined the rebellion, even if his father did not. However, this means Claire has to ask Jamie to say thank you to the woman who tried to have his wife killed. It proves how solid he and Claire are that he agrees to it without knowing the circumstances simply because Claire asked him to trust her.
While we leave Laoghaire still pining, Jamie and Claire are united and solid at the end of this episode. They even end up getting Lord Lovat’s men to fight for them.
Jamie: Have you given up on trying to change the future, Sassenach?
Jenny: You can pour out your heart to them without choosing your words or holding anything back at all.
Claire: So, will I be allowed to join you at dinner tonight?
Jamie, with much chagrin: Oh, aye, my grandsire is not opposed to a bit of decoration at the dinner table. As long as that decoration doesn’t speak.
Charting the Course:
Next week Jamie and Murtagh will be training an army. Let’s hope Claire and Jamie will still get some alone time.
Next Stop: Next week we’ll see Season 2, Episode 9, “Je Suis Prest”