Show/Episode: Outlander, Season 2, Episode 12, “The Hail Mary”
Jamie and Claire were separated and reunited in the span of last week’s episode. The reunion was more of a rescue, and they saved Lady Mary, too, as they finally discovered who raped her and who organized the attack and both were put down. The rapist by Mary and the orchestrator, the Duke of Sandringham, by Murtagh.
Now that they are edging closer to the fateful battle Claire and Jamie have been trying to avoid, what will they do? Claire saved Frank’s ancestor, but what does that mean in terms of Jack Randall? Let’s dive into Season 2, Episode 12, “The Hail Mary” to see if Jamie and Claire can stay solid without another battle pulling them apart.
As they arrive to the camp outside Inverness it’s clear everyone is defeated. The army is sullen having retreated from successful battles and stuck camping through winter with little food. They are no longer the vibrant army that crushed the British. This is just what Claire and Jamie wanted to avoid. Now they’re three days out from the battle at Culloden Moor, and Claire is despondent. She and Jamie are both beat down by the state of things, too. She wonders what all their plotting was for, and you can see in her eyes she’s remembering how terrible everything was in Paris and realizing it might not have been worth any of it. Jamie still has hope, though. He’s not giving up. He is going to try to make Charles see reason.
Unfortunately for ‘shippers, this means Jamie going to do military things and Claire going into Inverness for medical supplies. Things rarely go as planned when they are apart.
Jamie offers the voice of dissent in the war room. The one person to say Culloden is the wrong place to fight a battle, and that their army simply isn’t in the condition to fight at all. This mostly makes him look scared in the other men’s eyes. Charles goes with the other men, and declares they will rest a few days and then march to Culloden to fight the British. Jamie manages not to swear, which is more than I would have been able to do. That said I don’t spend much time around volatile monarchs.
In the meantime Claire is meeting up with old acquaintances in Inverness. She runs into Mary who is now with Alex Randall and intending to marry him. She knows Claire told Alex to leave Mary. He’s very sick and she’s trying to care for him. Claire apologizes and offers to come help tend to Alex. Once she’s there, though, it’s clear he isn’t going to recover. As Claire begins work on a poultice to ease Alex’s discomfort, Jack Randall shows up. Mary is clearly a fan. Jack has been paying she and Alex’s bills and been so kind to them. Mary is already pregnant. I’ve speculated for a long time that Mary would originally marry Alex and then when he passed his brother would marry her. It wasn’t a particularly uncommon practice. However, it looks like maybe she never marries Alex, but she’s already with his child. Either way, this makes a lot more sense as to how a sweet girl like Mary ends up married to a man like Black Jack Randall.
Claire and Randall barter for her to ease Alex’s pain. She wants to know the location of the British army. Then she’ll help his brother. As Claire tells him, she’s no longer the same woman he originally met. However, when she gets back to camp and tells Jamie, he’s not thrilled. It’s as though their histories are intertwined and they will never be able to outrun or escape Black Jack. On the upside, the information is interesting. Cumberland’s army should only be twelve miles away, and they plan to throw a party the night before the fated battle.
Colum MacKenzie shows up at their door, and once again in this episode Claire is seated on the bed of a dying man. He commends her on her marriage to Jamie, admitting he was wrong that they weren’t meant for one another. He isn’t there to make amends, though. He’s there to ask her to help him die. He’s done with slow and painful, and seeks suicide. Claire questions why he would really want this, and reminds him it’s a sin. Colum is all about confiding secrets in this scene. He also lets us know Geillis’s child is alive, and that he’s being cared for by William MacKenzie. Dougal does not know. After Colum shares this, Claire hands him a bottle that he can take when he’s ready.
Back at the other dying man’s bedside, Claire does her best to ease him. Alex begs his brother to marry Mary, to give his child the Randall name, and keep her safe. Jack definitely is not into this. Alex says he knows the generous and kind part of Black Jack, and wants to entrust his love and his child to that part of Black Jack. The elder Randall doesn’t really care and storms out. When Claire finds him later, he reminds her about what he did to Jamie and how much he loved it and underscored his complete lack of regret. He wants her to convince Alex that he’s not the right man. In the end, Jack weds Mary.
In the meantime, Colum is making contingencies of his own. He wants Jamie to guide his heir Haymitch instead of Dougal (despite Dougal actually being the boy’s biological father).
Jamie is able to convince everyone to the sneak attack on Cumberland’s army the night before the battle at Culloden is to take place. Charles is going to ride out with one group, which clearly makes Jamie nervous, but at least they’re agreeing to the plan.
Jamie and Claire get a brief moment together before he leaves to surprise the British. He’s upset she let poor Mary wed Black Jack. Claire insists she’s just helping Mary become a widow, but Jamie’s of the mind that if they change history that means Jack won’t die the next day. She has a plan for that, too, though. If Black Jack doesn’t die on the battlefield, she’ll help Jamie bleed him dry. The pleasure and appreciation on Jamie’s face in that moment is lovely. Claire begs him to be careful and we get yet another goodbye kiss that isn’t long enough.
The sneak attack doesn’t happen, though, because the prince got lost and turned back. Everyone else had to turn back then. They’re destined for Culloden, and we’ll see what comes of it next week.
Jamie: Don’t wave the white flag yet. There’s still time to avoid the fight we cannot win.
Prince Charles: I am a man, and I am a soldier. I will comport myself as one.
Claire: If I am to attend your brother, then I want something in exchange. You will tell me where Cumberland’s army is.
Black Jack: My. You would barter over an innocent man’s suffering. Madam Fraser, you impress me.
Claire: The woman I am now is not the woman I once was, Captain Randall.
Colum: I always said you were a smart lad. Give my brother enough authority to keep him content, but not enough to allow him to grab for more.
Alex to Black Jack: Do you think I’m unaware of the density of the dark wall you’ve build to protect your better self from the world?
Claire: Frank is neither a myth nor a prick.
Jamie: Remind me not to get on your bad side, Sassenach.
Next week we’ll see the last episode of Season 2: Episode 13, “Dragonfly in Amber”
Charting the Course:
This season started with Claire returning to Frank. Next week’s episode is sure to be heartbreaking. Battle of Culloden is on the horizon.