07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Michelle Monkou's Recap of Outlander, Season 2, Episode 9

Outlander Season Two, Episode Nine - Je Suis Prest
(See below for links to all recaps)

War! That's where we're at with this week's Outlander's "Je suit prest/I am ready" declaration. The small ragtag team of men--can't really call them volunteers--have been handed over to Jamie to use for his army.  They will be part of the Fraser's clan marching and fighting in the Jacobite rebellion.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)

Jamie transitions into his commanding role with strength and conviction. He digs deep to connect wth his men and allows for a bare back whipping to show that he holds himself as accountable as he holds his men's loyalty and willingness.

And good ole Uncle Dougal arrives on the scene ready to step in and take over.  Of course, Dougal is a bit behind on the times since being banished to his home by Colum (back in Season 1). But the Jamie that he left in Season 1 isn't the same man in this season. There's obvious physical maturity in Jamie, but there is also an inner strength that was always there, but has surfaced to put an end to his tolerance of Dougal's manipulative behavior.

The face off between the two men is intense and worthy of a few cheers for Jamie's tenacity. He will not compromise his authority or allow Dougal to undermine him wth his men. If there was any doubt that Jamie could be alpha, well, he just proved that he can be 100% leader of the pack.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)
As Dougal licks his wounds, he thinks that he can outmaneuver Jamie by playing into Claire's emotions and reminding her what she promised should Jamie die - to be his bride. He really does want that woman. But Claire is also done with Dougal's manipulation and gave him a tongue-lashing that has him flinching from the anger and contempt that she pours liberally over him. But she does touch a sore point when she calls into his question his patriotism. That wounded him more than anything else she's said.

While Jamie conditions his men to become warriors, we see a different side to Claire who suffered from PTSD. Given her duties as a nurse on the front lines, she saw the horrors of war first hand. And as we see from her flashbacks, she made friends (as any tenuous relationship may be called) with the soldiers she tended before sending them back to fight. After a particular harrowing near-death experience after being attacked by the Germans, she shoved her guilt and fear deep into her mind.

The constant sounds of the practice, however, get to her, as it unlocks the memories of what she'd suffered. Her coping with the trauma is a very solitary endeavor since no one, but Jamie and Murtagh, know about her past. Her behavior is erratic, her mood spiking from one extreme to the other, and she is over-protective, yet angry with the zeal of the men and little Fergus.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)

Claire's sensibilities adds the touch of reality to the fervor for the war. Paraphrasing Claire's concerns, there will be people that she knows and loves who will be fighting in this war. She is again at the front line and with a lot more to lose personally.

But, by the end of the episode, "Je suis press/I am ready" is the mantra that holds true with the formerly ragtag team of men to fine soldiers that have earned Jamie's and Murtagh's pride.

My Weekly Recaps
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
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.

1 comment:

Sarah Raplee said...

As always, a fine recap and deep insights into this episode.