07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Monday, May 16, 2016

Michelle Monkou's Recap of Outlander, Season 2, Episode 6

Outlander Season Two, Episode Six - Best Laid Schemes
(See below for links to all recaps)
(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)

Claire: "It's just ... bad things tend to happen when we're apart."
Jamie: "We always find a way back to each other."

And those lines of dialogue are the running theme of this story and specifically this episode. Regardless of the elaborate planning, Jamie and Claire don't seem to plan for every scenario. The tiniest of possibilities produces itself to sabotage regardless of how hard they've tried to manipulate an outcome.

This major historical event -- the Jacobite Rebellion -- is going up against Claire's brain and will power where we're waiting to see if history/future can be undone. There is a naivete maybe bred from desperation that makes Claire certain that she can force one outcome with no impact on anything or anyone. This promise that she has extracted from Jamie to save Frank is a byproduct of that stubborn idealism. If you haven't noticed, Claire has moved through her world demanding things her way or changing the status quo by her very presence and piece of mind. Except, when it comes to Black Jack. He's been quite the speed bump in her momentum and Jamie's ability to feel whole.

We knew that Jamie would have to deal with Black Jack at some point. Didn't know how and when it would happen, but young Fergus ignited the dynamite with his habit for stealing (in this case, Black Jack's belongings). We don't know what pressed Jamie to forget his promise to Claire or to disobey the king's order. But the clanging of swords and ferocious grunts and snarls between Black Jack and Jamie should be no surprise. Jamie has a score to settle. The forbidden duel was bound to happen.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)
With the battle of strength going in and out of the foreground, we have Claire, already weak and bleeding from the night before, doubled over in pain as she watches in horror. The winner of this deadly game would change her future or her present circumstances. With risk to her unborn child, she dares to get closer to the fight with her poor worried manservant aiding her. And then Jamie strikes and does damage. The extent of which we don't know, but blood is pouring out of the bastard.

The sudden arrival of the gendarme while Black Jack lays bleeding on the ground leaves the answer about Claire's circumstances up in the air until next week. Jamie is surely going to be arrested. And Claire may be on the verge losing the baby.

Share with me what you thought of Season two, episode six. While you’re compiling your thoughts, I asked the talented and award-winning Xio Axelrod, writer, song writer, singer to weigh in with her thoughts of this week's episode.

Murtagh...what's his role in this? Because IMO, he seems to be this "tennis ball" that is batted away when inconvenient and then drawn in when a companion is needed?

Xio: I’m torn about Murtagh’s inclusion in season two. On one hand, I love Duncan Lacroix’s performance and any chance to see his curmudgeonly expressions on my screen is cause for delight. One the other hand, like you, I’m waiting to find out why he’s actually there. It’s an interesting choice, keeping him around. He could provide the reactions that we, the audience, might have, playing spectator to the political intrigue as well as the personal struggles Jamie and Claire face. All well and good, but what has he actually done, other than play bodyguard to Claire (and Mary) and errand boy for Jamie himself? Then again, hasn’t that always been his role? Does he have a life outside of Jamie? I’d argue no, he doesn’t. Still, what is his role in Paris? I hope we find out soon, especially now that he knows the truth about Claire. (Loved his reaction, by the way. So Murtagh!)

What scene had you holding your breath?

Xio: I knew it was coming but, when Claire went down screaming Jamie’s name, my stomach dropped to my knees. I remember reading this part of the book, years ago, and shedding real, ugly tears. Ugh! Brutal. I’m not ready for what comes next.

What made you fall in love with Outlander?

Xio: I don’t remember how I stumbled upon the first book. It was back in 2008 and I think I even got it for free! I devoured book one and binged my way through whatever was available. I’d never met a character like Claire before, and certainly never one like Jamie. The way Diana moves them from strangers to friends to lovers to soulmates is absolutely gorgeous. Almost unparalleled. Every interaction just reads so true, and the show has done a magnificent job of bringing that to the screen, along with all of the action, drama, and humour I remember from the page. And the love scenes. Whew! I honestly can’t picture Jamie and Claire as anyone other than Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe. Perfect casting is perfect. :-)

Tell me about your upcoming release? What was the inspiration?

Xio: Calum Me Maybe is book two in my Calum series, a series that – ironically – was inspired by my love of Outlander. In book one,The Calum, Lovie met Duff when her roommate dragged her to Scotland to find a Jamie-esque hunk-a-burnin’ love. In book two, Lovie and Duff try to manage the ups and downs of a long distance relationship until a near-tragedy puts things in perspective.

To stay updated on Xio's goings-on, visit her website.

My Weekly Recaps
Episode 4
Episode 5

Michelle Monkou writes for Harlequin Kimani, Evernight Publishing, and her indie pursuits with Stella Maris Publishing. Michelle’s website is michellemonkou.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook.


Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for a great recap! And for introducing Xio to me. Checked out her website, her books sound wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Good day I am so glad I found your web site, I really
found you by accident, while I was researching on Aol for something else,
Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all
round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have time
to browse it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a
great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent job.