Prepare for copious weeping, because the Saturday, May 21, episode of Outlander is best described as an emotional roller coaster. Not only did Claire (Caitriona Balfe) lose her baby daughter, she ended up having sex with the king of France (Lionel Lingelser), and we flashed forward in time to 1954. Basically, we have a lot to discuss.
Sigh, remember back in the good ol' days when Claire and Jamie (Sam Heughan) were just frolicking around, getting jiggy with it on random moors? Simpler times.
Flash to the Future
Welcome to Boston 1954, where Claire and her daughter — a bonnie lass who looks exactly like Jamie — are looking at bird books. "But wait," you say, "didn't Claire lose her pregnancy?" Why, yes. Yes, she did, so it looks like Claire and Jamie will get pregnant for round 2 sometime later this season. That's the good news. The bad news is that we flash back to the loss of Claire's first pregnancy, and it's superdistressing.
Poor Claire is completely traumatized to find out that her baby, who Mother Hildegarde (Frances de la Tour) baptizes and names Faith, didn't survive, and (thanks to festering placenta) immediately breaks into a fever that puts her on death's door. But hark! Maître Raymond (Dominique Pinon) breaks into the hospital and cures his BFF with some casual magic, meaning that she's able to return home to Jamie. Oh, wait; never mind, Jamie's in a jail cell because he felt the need to duel with Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) — who's still alive and recovering in England, by the way — while Claire was nine months pregnant. #HusbandOfTheYear
Hold Up, Jamie Actually Has a Very Good Reason for Dueling
Claire is understandably furious with Jamie for betraying her trust, but she has a slight change of heart when she discovers what prompted his duel. Turns out Fergus' (Romann Berrux) encounter with Randall was worse than last week's episode implied, and through a series of flashbacks both the viewer and Claire learn that Randall sexually assaulted him before Jamie walked in and intervened. Guess that duel makes a little more sense now.
Claire Gets Her Witchy Woman On
Time to break Jamie out of prison (again)! Claire requests a private audience with the king in a desperate attempt to free her husband, and while willing to help, HRH has one superstrange request. In case you forgot, Claire's known around Paris as "La Dame Blanche," and the king puts her witchy-woman skills to the test by dragging her to a private chamber where Raymond and the Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber) are chilling with the local executioner. Fun times.
Turns out the king wants Claire's help deciding which of these unlucky gents is a sorcerer, and Claire wastes no time accusing the Comte of being evil (plus, he admits to poisoning her — we knew it!). You'd think this would be enough to satiate the king's thirst for sorcery shade, but he's like, "Wait, let me bring out my pet snake and we'll see who it kills!" forcing Claire to come up with option No. 2: bitter cascara (a.k.a. her favorite herb).
Claire creates a "poison" using cascara from Raymond's confiscated potion collection and has both men drink it — telling the king that they aren't evil if they survive. The thing is, Raymond slips some actual poison into the drink after taking his share, which leads the Comte to straight-up drop dead. But not before the Comte calls Claire a "witch who sucks the cock of the devil." What a guy!
Fortunately, the king lets Raymond go (with the caveat that he never sets foot in France again), but won't let Jamie out of jail until Claire has awkward three-second-long sex with him, so yeah. That happened. But, hey, at least Claire and Jamie can move back to Scotland because the king agrees to extend Jamie's pardon to the English crown!
Reunited and It Feels So … Not Good
First of all, post-jail Jamie has a massive beard (taking LOLs wherever we can get them at this point). But more importantly, Jamie's convinced that Claire hates him. The verdict? No, Claire doesn't hate her husband (not anymore, at least) because she's too busy hating herself for their child's death. After all, if she hadn't followed Jamie to the woods, their baby might still be alive. Fortunately, Jamie tells Claire that he's already forgiven her for this and anything else she might do in the future (what a guy), and we're treated to yet another devastating flashback to Claire's stillbirth — this time featuring her holding Faith.
Claire and Jamie end up visiting their daughter's grave before deciding to book it back to Scotland (thank goodness, because this city has not done good things for their relationship), and Jamie even leaves one of his family's heirloom spoons so Faith has a little piece of the homeland with her.
All in all, a pretty rough episode — and by the way, if you're wondering how Scotland's hunkiest hero feels about his wife sleeping with the king, he gallantly brushed it off. We say it again: What a guy.
Tell Us: Do you think Claire and Jamie's relationship will get back on track now that they're heading back to Scotland?
Outlander airs on Starz Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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