Outlander S2 Ep4 "La Dame Blanche" aka Dinner Parties Gone Wrong
It is evidently hard to write a review on a TV show which is an adaptation from a book that I have read a half dozen times at least. The poor show runners were only allowed 13 episodes from a very thick book which in audio form is at least 39 hours! See, it is hard to NOT say anything, oh, like that I already knew BJR was alive and he shows up in Paris. I already know ALL about the La Dame Blanche thing. It saves her life more than once and I know who to thank for it. I know that things are only going to get worse before they get any better. I do enjoy very much, and in a way envy, those of you who have NOT read the books and are only watching the show because it is all very new and exciting not knowing. I try my best to take myself away from the books and look at this wonderful show!
Lets start with baby names. Lambert? Dalhousie? I can understand Claire's name, though it may work better as a middle name. She was close with her uncle Lambert. Jamie's idea comes from a Scottish castle. Ummmmm.....no. However, the point here is that neither one of them has even discussed names for their unborn child yet (Yes....I do know, but won't say). It takes Duvernay to ask while playing chess with Jamie with Claire watching. Both names are appalling guys, maybe girls names will be better.
Claire walks away when the conversation seems to get political. She ventures across the room and a servant comes to her and presents her with a drink. Maybe if everyone new back then what we know now, that alcohol while pregnant is not a good thing, the next bit may have been avoided. She takes a sip or two of the drink and starts to double over in pain and cough. Guess who is watching with a small smirk on his face. The Comte of course. The man has no moral bones in his body. This is a pregnant woman he is attempting to poison. Jamie sees her and rushes to her side, picks her up and rushes her home. This is where the scene with Master Raymond and the bitter cascara come in from last week. It seems it was just that and there is no ill effects on the baby or Claire. The Comte probably thought he was poisoning her when in fact bitter cascara only makes someone very sick with some pain.
The Comte needs to get off his high horse. Yes, it was a ship of a very valuable drink and he lost quite a bit of money. However, the entire city could be in a plague of smallpox, so he should thank Claire. Of course, that will never happen. Not his style.
This down time allowed Jamie to be overly concerned for Claire and some good quality time together. She felt comfortable enough to tell him that she discovered Black Jack Randall was still alive. She had met his brother Alex who works for Sandringham and said that he had been injured in the line of duty and has recovered. I know everyone, even Claire, probably thought, "Okay, here we go." and steady themselves for a fight. However, Jamie does the opposite and laughs and says that was great! Him being told Randall is dead and not seeing a body, is not as satisfying as actually killing the man and seeing the body. It gave him hope and something to look forward to. He will get another chance to kill the man. In a way, makes sense to me. Maybe it is because I suffer from PTSD and can see Jamie's perspectives a little more.
Murtagh is even surprised that Jamie is in a chipper mood the next morning and Claire tells him she told him about BJR being alive. Murtagh says to her that he is amazed he took it so well. Claire looks at him and says "I don't know what you were so worried about." LOL
Well, Jamie's overly chipper mood puts him in a scenario that causes an argument with Claire later that night. She is woken by Jamie coming in and kissing her. He is getting undressed and she sees bite marks on his thighs. She demands to know how he got those bite marks there and he says a very persistent whore who like the "69". Well, Claire knew damn well what that was, even the French term, and blows up at Jamie. He does a terrible job explaining that there was a 9 but the 6 was left hanging, meaning he did not engage. However he was filled with lust. This is the problem I had with this scene. It made Jamie seem like he DID have sex of some sort with the whore. He had PANTS on when in the book he wore his kilt which would give the woman easier access, especially if she was persistent. He was also much clearer in the book that it was his thoughts of CLAIRE that stopped him from doing anything and came home. I am beginning to think maybe more women should be writing certain episodes because the ones I have a problem with when it comes to Jamie are written by men and it almost seems they can't get the book Jamie right.
So the argument gets Jamie to talk to Claire who says she has been extremely patient with him but alone and frustrated. She says they have never talked about what happened to him. Jamie's analogy is great. He says that everyone has something inside them to protect themselves.....a fortress. He has one. He has also been naked and alone trying to hide under a blade of grass. He's been trying to find a way back to himself, to her and every time he has tried to touch her, to make love to her he sees that bastard Randall's face. Tonight a whore awoke something in him that he hasn't felt in awhile. A woman could arouse him and that excited him. He decided he will sleep elsewhere tonight. BUT not more long! *grin*
Something must have touched Claire and she finds where Jamie is sleeping. She opens the doors and he wakes up and looks at her and says her name as she drops her robe. She comes to him and kisses him and tells him to find her. A beautifully done sex scene here. Touching and more than just sex. It was a part of healing for them both. Afterwards he is lying next to her, stroking her breast and
"Remember I told you I was lost?
"You were trying to hide under a blade of grass"
"Well, I think you built me a lean-to at least."
He pulls back the covers and exposes her belly and strokes it and says "And a good roof to keep out the rain."
Earlier in the day Claire goes to confront Master Raymond about the bitter cascara. He assures her that he has only sold that in the last two months to one person. Obviously a servant, but he was not sure whose servant. He apologized and then tells her they should not talk out there and takes her into his secret back room. I must say it is much roomier than I imagined in the books. I remember Claire having to bend over a lot and sit down. He does a little slight of hand with a cup and tells her he does that for the patrons, it amuses them. He has Claire throw some bones on a zebra pelt to read the answer to her question. He assures Claire to not worry, she will see him again. She is surprised and shocked by this since her question was about Frank! If she sees him again, that means she will go back. Master Raymond feels sorry for the bitter cascara episode and gives her a stone that changes color when exposed to a poison. This may prove helpful in the future!
Louise also plays a part this episode. That same day, she summons Claire to her side and confides in her that she is with child, but it is her lover's not her husbands. Her first thought is to abort the baby and Claire recommends Hellbore which she explains "Bloody nasty stuff." It is basically a poison that will make her body expel the baby, but might poison and kill her too. Claire asks Louise if she wants the baby. Louise tells her very much so because of it being her lover's. Louise is appalled at the fact that Claire would tell her to sleep with her husband so that it would convince him that it was his child. Okay, then. The TV version of her husband turns out to not be so bad looking, so what's the problem girl?
We find out that night after Jamie and Claire's night of passion is rudely interrupted by a noise on the roof. Jamie goes to the window and it is a very drunk and slightly injured Charlie. He sits down and is introduced to Claire who is all but impressed by the man. Charlie, in his usual cocky pushy way, demands a drink and that Claire look at this hand. He received a bite from his love's pet. They were arguing when her husband came home early and he had to go across rooftops and that is how he got there. A few more questions and they find out that his lover is Louise! It was her monkey that bit him. Good monkey!
Time for a dinner party! The servants are readying the place. Claire is escaping because she absolutely hates being idle and uselss and the help won't let her in the kitchen to help. She tells Jamie she is headed to the hospital to help out with the men hurt in an explosion at the armory. Jamie says okay, but that Murtagh and Fergus must go with her and be back in time to dress for the party.
Murtagh and Fergus have an interesting conversation while waiting on Claire and Mary tells them it will be another hour. Fergus seems to know a lot about women and can tell Mary is set to wed someone, but she is in love with someone else. Could he not see she had been crying?
The carriage wheel is broken, so Claire decides they should walk instead of waiting for repairs. Fergus is sent ahead to tell Himself that they will be a little late and why. My heart sank, because I know what is about to happen. It gets dark and they walk and are jumped by a few men with masks. They render Murtagh unconscious and the other two go after Claire. The one succeeds in raping Mary and the other starts to undo his pants and we see that birthmark from the hand that sabotaged the carriage wheel in the title card in the beginning. He removes Claire's hood and gasps and cries "La Dame Blanche!", makes a symbol to ward off evil and runs away. Claire looks stunned since the man was clearly afraid of her, but not sure what he meant by calling her La Dame Blanche. It will become clear of where this name attached to her actually started and it will prove to come in handy a few times.
Now, I have to address something here. I watched the episode and went to bed. I woke up the next day and looked at my feed on Twitter and Facebook. It seems there are people out there that have written that there is too much graphic rape in Outlander and it needs to stop and someone even said that the show should just up and stop. I have a real big problem with that. It is integral part of the story. Do I like it? No. But I will say that it was a common use of threat and control in that time period. I don't suggest toning it down. That is a big problem with today's society. Erase bad things in history so we don't have to remember or see them. Do that and history WILL REPEAT itself because future generations won't remember what happened. I give Outlander credit. They boldly go and hold up history right to our faces. The series is a very good account of a period of not only Scottish history, but will be American as well. I don't like seeing rape and I don't condone it, but in Mary's case, if this didn't happen, she may well have not been part of Frank's family tree. This paves the way for her relationship with Alex and BJR.
Meanwhile, back at the manor house, the guest are arriving in full force. Yes, there is Sandringham who introduces his secretary Alex Randall and makes sure to mention that Jamie was acquainted with BJR. Oh, how I savor the future of Sandringham (insert evil laugh here)!! He also says he took the liberty of inviting his good friend the Comte St. Germaine. Awesome! Then there is His Royal Highness, Bonnie Prince Charlie (or as I like to call him, #BonniePrinceMoron) who sees Louise and her husband come in and is introduced by Jamie. The man really is a certifiable weirdo. He kisses Louise's hand but for an extended period of time and it becomes awkward. Mary's uncle shows up with her fiance which isn't nice for Alex Randall. So, basically it is a dinner of enemies. This should go well.
By this time, Fergus had already returned and told Jamie about the carriage. Not long after, he is summoned by the maid to come outside. There he finds Claire, Murtagh and Mary. Mary is unconscious from shock and Murtagh has looked better. Claire assures him she and the baby are okay. They were untouched. Jamie wants to go find the men, but Claire says the dinner party is too important and they need to get Mary upstairs and sedated. This is where there was a mistake made. They should not have left Alex alone with Mary, because as a rape victim, the last thing she wants touching her is a man, no matter who he is. The poppy seed oil, if given in too high a dose, can cause hallucinations. Awesome.
Claire wanted to call the authorities, Jamie wanted to call off the dinner. However, Claire thought it best to keep on with the dinner. Jamie informs Claire that Mary's uncle and Fiance are in attendance and if they found out what had happened, she would be alone and a spinster for the rest of her life. Claire can't quite wrap her head around that one. It wasn't Mary's fault she was raped. Yeah, I know. I have a hard time with that too.
So, Mary is upstairs being watched by the devoted Alex. Claire gets dressed in record time and goes downstairs and they begin dinner. Of course, they hope to get Louise's news out so that Charlie hears it and loses it. This could diminish his chances with Sandringham and the money if he is seen as looney. Well, I saw some, but not enough when Louise's husband says they are in fact expecting and it is great news. The Comte sees the stone and says something to Claire about it and he knew what it was. That can't be good.
Jamie and Claire's plan to use Louise's baby to make Charlie come unhinged would have worked I think. Sandringham brings up that any baby of Jamie and Claire's would be beautiful and Charlie fell for that. He started fumble and mumble on about something but that would not matter. Mary woke up, saw Alex and freaked out. She probably started having hallucinations about her attackers and poor Alex is trying to control her. She runs downstairs and screaming all the way. Everyone gets up at the dinner party and comes to find Alex on top of Mary. Now we know he was just trying to get her to calm down. No, not in the best possible way, but he would never hurt her. That doesn't matter. Jamie has to fight her uncle and fiance who accuse Alex of raping Mary and of course Jamie supporting this. The fight that ensues is comical in a way with Murtagh stepping in and Claire trying to yell while comforting Mary. Sandringham says he was so looking forward to dessert, but he will now take his leave. The Comte has the police summoned and tells Charlie that he should not be in such poor company and they leave. Meanwhile, we have Fergus taking advantage of wine and food aplenty in the dining room while this ruckus is going on. That made me laugh. Boy of opportunity and will always be.
Jamie and Claire are beginning to see that they might not be able to change the future and is it worth it. Maybe they should try, they think, to just save those they love and stop them from going and fighting and ending up at Culloden. Even if that happened, they would have to have everyone they love MOVE out of Scotland because what the English did after Culloden was horrendous and they most likey would die anyway. Obviously, this is not going to go in the direction they had hoped.
Claire had some amazing dresses this episode again. That one she visited Master Raymond in was stunning. The episode itself was well done, but like I said, I had an issue with how Jamie was portrayed a little and a couple of key things were left out. However, I am still pleased with how this show is going.
What did you think of this episode? Would you have added or kept anything that was in the book? What direction do you think Jamie and Claire's marriage and their plans to stop a revolt are going?