Written by: Anne Gavin
The Devil’s Spawn was bound to show up some time. We all knew it. No less a surprise whether a Book Reader or Show Watcher. But, how, when and under what circumstances we wondered? And, how would Jamie react? Say what you will about the Starz adaptation, but it is genius to me that even Book Readers found themselves on the edge of their seats pondering how Jack Randall would orchestrate his “Untimely Resurrection.” Indeed, he landed with a thud on the manicured lawns of Versailles but what happened before and after that momentous occasion has kept us wanting more and continuing to wring our collective hands. Click past the jump for a full re-cap of Episode 2.05…
The episode opens with what looks like the aftermath of an Ivy League fraternity party. Not quite. Just the remnants of Jamie and Claire’s disastrous dinner party which, as we know concluded at the end of last week’s episode with some awkward brawling and, apparently, some arrests. Claire’s voiceover tells us that Jamie, Murtagh and Alex Randall all got hauled off to the Bastille after Le Comte St. Germain dispatched the local police to bust up the party. Jamie returns to Chez Fraser and we see that Claire has been up all night waiting for her man on the chaise while wee Fergus snoozes next to her. Did anyone else’s heart practically burst watching Jamie carry Fergus off to bed? We soon learn that Monsieur Duverney, Jamie’s chess buddy and French Finance Minister, bailed him out. As Claire said, nice to have friends in high places! We learn that Alex Randall is still imprisoned at the Bastille waiting for Mary Hawkins to set the record straight about his lack of involvement with her attack. Claire tells Jamie that Alex is innocent and is “not his brother.” Jamie seems unimpressed. But, Alex’s prospects – nice brother or not – seem to be falling fast as we hear from Jamie that the Duke canned him as his secretary.
Claire checks in on Mary Hawkins and offers up another version of 18th century sex-ed when she responds to Mary’s questions about the potential consequences of her rape. Claire considers burning the letter Mary gave her that would clear Alex and spring him from the Bastille. Frank showing Claire his family tree has really done a number on her as she begins to think about the consequences of Mary going rogue and not marrying Frank’s direct ancestor. And, what would a Paris episode be without the latest ravings from Bonnie Prince Charlie (BPC). BPC arrives at the Wine Warehouse demanding a glass of Burgundy and excitedly tells Jamie he’s secured “10,000 pounds (pause for reaction)…sterling” for the Jacobite cause. The bad news – the money is predicated on a deal he struck with Shifty St. Germain. Mark me. The plot thickens as Charles drags Jamie into the scheme by telling him he must be the middle man in the transaction.
Back to Claire’s mission to break up Mary and Alex. Claire meets up with Alex and begins to quiz him about his reduced station in life. I get where she’s going with this but did you ever stop to think, Claire, that you are working awfully hard to make sure that your friend, Mary, winds up with the devil incarnate and not the better brother? Poor Alex falls right into Claire’s trap as she convinces him that his ill health and lack of gainful employment would not good marriage material make. Alex slinks away like a wounded puppy…
Meanwhile, back at the brothel, some s*it goes down between the alpha dogs when Jamie meets up with St. Germain. Talk about spontaneous combustion. More scenes between these two, please! Nice move with the wine glass, Germain. Must try that next time I am trying to intimidate my frenemy at the bar.
What happens next is horror mixed with pure giddiness as Louis toys with Black Jack much like Black Jack has enjoyed toying with others. But, before that, another cardiac moment when Jamie arrives on the scene and without much eye contact proceeds to exchange niceties with Jack. I have new found respect for Louis as he clearly sees something is amiss during this awkward exchange. Louis literally puts Black Jack on his knees as the Outlander fandom roars with approval. And, while we are at it, how about a shout-out to Lionel Lingelser for his portrayal of Louis the XV. A fascinating character study. Once he is off – ahem – his throne, the King is proving to be a real scene stealer.
And, if there was any doubt that the old Jamie was back, we saw it in this scene. Back and better than ever. He could practically taste the prospect of revenge and it showed in Sam Heughan’s ever expressive face.