May 1 2016 2:30pm

“We Could Name Him Lambert”: Outlander 2x04 Jamie/Claire Heart-to-Heart

Show/Episode: Outlander Season 2, Episode 4, “Le Dame Blanche” (SPOILERS for the episode ahead, of course)
Ship: Jamie/Claire

Outlander 2x04 Captains Log

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.

Claire in Outlander 2x04

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.

Jamie and Claire Kiss in Outlander 2x04

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?)

Mary in Outlander 2x04

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.

Memorable Lines:

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.


Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club and writes SF/F novels. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.

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Kaye Dacus
1. kndacus
In the little scene right after the opening credits, they showed someone removing some kind of pin/bolt from the carriage wheel. I figured it meant there would be an accident later when the carriage was moving and the wheel came flying off. They didn't explain who or why or show how it got "broken" after they arrived at the hospital and were ready to go home. But they did foreshadow it.
Darlene Marshall
2. DarleneMarshall
What @kndacus said. It showed at the beginning someone removing the pin from the wheel and axle to cause the accident. Clearly, this was all planned well in advance.
3. ChelseaMueller
Oh, yes, I understand someone removed the pin, but it seems odd that it wouldn't cause an issue until so much later in the day. That said, I don't know much about carriages. :)
4. AmyM
They've been incorporating the opening title scene into the story more (I don't remeber it being done in season 1). There was one (I think the second episode) where it shows a woman getting ready for a dinner in an elaborate dress with a bow in the front and later we learn that was Louise as she's seen wearing the dress. I think the title scene is kind of used as a means to conveye something that's happening outside of Jamie or Claire's purview that's either important in the story or just adds a little something extra to it. Like a little Easter Egg within the episode.

I remember watching the part in this ep with the carriage and wondering what was going on, then remembering it from the opening scene.
Susan White
5. whiskeywhite
Speaking of sexy pregnancy sex -- I often think about what it's like for Sam and Caitriona to shoot these sex scenes. None (or little) of the hazy impressionistic shots of hands on thighs, etc. which are so common. In "Wedding Night" Caitriona's breasts are firmly in Sam's grasp and in this episode in his mouth. There must have to be a lot of trust between the two. In this case, is Caitriona wearing some sort of a body suit to simulate a pregnant body (since I assume the actress is not pregnant)? In that case, does Sam have an artificial breast in his mouth?

Whatever the case, it was lovely to see them return to their sexual relationship after so much pain. Jamie's description of himself "naked, hiding under a blade of grass" was strikingly poetic and touching.

I did think, however, that he seemed to be "cured" rather quickly by the news that Randall was alive and thus he might have an opportunity to kill him. The sudden "all better now" seemed a bit facile.

I liked that, as she did early on, Claire was the one to initiate the sex in the end. I have always admired that she's not sitting around waiting for the man to make a move.

When I saw the wheel being interfered with at the beginning I was expecting some big crash later on, with Claire hurt or something. But just a quiet breakdown. Of course, it has huge consequences. I'm dying to learn what comes of the misinterpreted rape scene. This must somehow get Mary into the hands of Black Jack rather than his brother, her true love. Right?
Ruth Goldstein
6. ruthgold18
Having written my post, and THEN read the others, I realize that someone already explained about that opening scene and the missing pin. So let me explain about carriages - the metal casing covering the hub seemed quite snug, so it took a while (over those jarring paving stones of Paris) for the wheel to work loose, I imagine, and then, when the wheel came off, the axle hit the stones, and voila, the axle broke! Anyway, nice review.
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