Claire and Dougall are the guests of the Redcoats at a Scottish estate. What struck me the most when they entered the residence was that this was someone’s home. What happened to them? No wonder the Scottish were so hostile to the English. When the soldier comments that they shouldn’t trust the hosts to their Scottish hosts. The English soldiers eating are so rude to Dougall. I felt embarrassed for the English and their behaviour.
Dougall must have been freaking out when he leaves Claire in the room with her fellow Englishmen. The set design is just so impressive! The room that Claire is dining with her countrymen is stunning! The attention to details is truly remarkable.
Claire thinks her ‘adventure’ is over. She is so relieved that her time in Scotland in the past is over. However it is not to be. Claire should realize that more wine is not a good thing. Last time she drank too much, Colum got the better of her.
Black Jack Randall shows up and barges in like the rude man he is. It is easy to see that Randall is not the most respected officer. He goes out of his way to be difficult. It reminds the viewer of what Frank and Father said about Randall being protected by a powerful man. We see the dark nature of Randall. The whole party is uncomfortable from his presence and his recount of a man murdered. Claire tries to reason with the group, but her words are wasted. In fact, she takes things too far and overplays her hand and falls into the trap that Jack lays. While the General is there, Claire has the upper hand, but this changes when she is alone with Black Jack.
God, Claire is just amazing! When she orders the men to stand aside as she works on amputating the limb, I had to totally admire her courage and brass. This scene is just another reminder of how precarious life is during this time.
Alone with Black Jack sends shivers. Tobias Menzies is truly a remarkable actor. His restrained violence is beyond scary. He is a menace and is about launch it upon Claire. Every word and action with him is like an intricate cat and mouse game. For those that have read the books, you are aware of how sick and evil Black Jack truly is. His apology for his attempted rape is nothing more than guile to draw Claire letting down her guard. Speaking with him is like playing an intricate chess game.
The glimpse into how he feels about Jamie, through his words and flashbacks, are very telling. Black Jack has a sick obsession with Jamie. His admiration for flogging and pain is one of the things that makes him such a sick man. The visuals provides by the producers are so maddening. No wonder the English are so unsuccessful in their attempt to gain Scotland. While the flashbacks are very hard to watch, Jack has much worse things to come and this is just a reminder of how demented his mind has become. When he speaks of connecting and a masterpiece, it turns my stomach. Tobias Menzies truly deserves the nomination for the Golden Globe as there are not many actors that could take this role and provide such a convincing performance.
Thank the LORD for Dougall. I didn’t think I would start the episode thinking that, but he saves Claire from Randall after he starts to beat her. It’s hard to tell if it is tweaking the English that Dougall likes or if he truly can’t abide by the treatment Claire receives, but as the viewer I was so grateful for his intervention. Superstitious as always, Dougall brings Claire to one of the most beautiful locations I have ever seen in Scotland. He believes that she can’t lie after drinking the water. He finally believes her after she passes his test. Claire may never truly understand the Scottish ways, but for her sake she passed.
Dougall’s plan to save Claire is to turn her into a Scot. He wants her to marry Jamie in order to save her from Randall. Jamie and Claire speak about the proposition. Jamie explains that he is not an attractive candidate for marriage for most Scotwomen, with the price on his head and the lack of land. We get the shock when Jamie tells her that he is a virgin! Gads!
After an episode full of tension and bloody imagery, we get a light hearted episode next! It’s the wedding! And the wedding night!
Best line of the episode:
‘The idea of grinding your corn, does tickle me’, Dougall