Outlander S2 Ep3 "Useful Occupations and Deceptions"
Hello and welcome! I am not new to the Outlander fandom, but I am new to the reviewing and blogging of everything Outlander. Let me clarify that first and foremost I am a book person when it comes to Outlander but have somehow acquired this ability to stand back and take the show for what it is….an ADAPTATION. It took me an entire season to do this and I purposely did NOT re-read Dragonfly in Amber over, so that I could not scrutinize the show. I enjoy the show for what it is and like Diana Gabaldon, can see that some of the changes are better than in the book and unlike last season, I have liked every episode so far this season
However, I digress………
First let me say, that for an episode that did not have a whole lot of action going on, the hour FLEW by! That should say something about the writers, directors and everyone on the show!
So, here we are, 3 episodes in and Paris is supposed to be the city of love, but it isn’t fairing that way for our favorite couple. They are short with each other, seem to sleep in different rooms, haven’t been intimate (especially according to the maid!) and one is so busy with his work and stuff outside the home, that it is making them drift apart. It seems like a slow burning bomb waiting to go off, which I am sure we will see in a future episode. Yes…I do know what is going to happen, but you will have to watch and see. *grin*
The episode opens with Claire sleeping alone and being woken up by the carriage and horses to find her beloved husband just coming home. He isn’t there to stay, as he is only freshening up, changing some clothes and going back out to meet an inspector at the wine warehouse, then off to chess with Duverney and then back to the brothel to meet with Prince Charlie again. Full day? Hell, it is a full day and night for the guy! No wonder he is getting cranky!
Poor Claire gets to run a household, hang out and have tea and play cards with some other women. Not much purpose other than that. She is getting bored. This is not her speed what-so-ever.
She does find out where she has heard (or seen) the name Mary Hawkins. Mary marries Jonathan Randall…aka Black Jack Randall and is an ancestor of Franks! This puts a small paradox in Claire’s brain. It would mean that that man would have to live for another year so that he could marry and sire a child with Mary. Then Frank would exist in the future.
In order to get to that information, poor Claire has to endure mousy, meek Mary refusing to marry any Frenchman due to what they do with their penises to poor unsuspecting women in bed. Louise has a good laugh at that one, and Claire just looks at Mary and say “I think we need to have a talk.” That is putting it mildly! Especially if that poor girl is supposed to marry that demon of a man, Black Jack!
Claire returns back to the house after tea and finds an article of clothing she had asked the maid Suzette to mend for her while she was out. It was not done and the butler knows nothing, so Claire goes in search of her. Oh, she finds her…..naked on top of Murtagh. So, we have to ask this. What happened to Murtagh saying “Where He goes, I go.” ? Jamie is out all over the place and Murtagh is stuck at the house with Claire. I suspect a couple of things. First, Jamie wants Murtagh to watch over Claire, to protect her and the bairn. Secondly, the Bonnie Prince was not too keen to have Murtagh in his presence, so he may have said something. So poor Murtagh is left in the house. Yeah, he got bored and saw an opportunity and took it. Needless to say, Claire is quite nasty to Murtagh at first, but quickly apologizes and with a secret. Jonathan Randall is still alive. Murtagh can’t believe it at first but then agrees to keep the secret if it keeps Jamie from running off in a red rage after the man. By the way, do you use birth control Murtagh? "Control?“ he questions……LOL
Claire visits her favorite apothecary, Master Raymond, but not before bumping into the Comte St. Germain first. Oh joy. The man holds a grudge and then some! Inside, Claire asks for something for birth control for Suzette, and finds herself confiding in her new friend as to how she is becoming an ordinary woman and that is not what she is. We all know that….especially those who are or have read the books. Claire is a woman of action. She likes to be in the thick of it. These parties and teas and dinners are not the most exciting thing for a woman like her.
On Master Raymond’s advice, that her medical skills should be put to use, Claire arrives at L'Hopital de Anges and is accepted but must prove herself to Mother Hildegarde who runs the show. She does this quickly when she sees a woman suffering and goes to investigate. She picks up a bottle of urine and smells it a couple of times and then tastes a little on her finger. Yes, seems gross, but actually, without the diagnostic tools we have in the modern era, this is actually a viable way to tell if someone has diabetes. Urine in diabetics tends to have a very sweet taste to it. Don’t judge me….something I read. I will take their word for it.
This is where we see a cranky Jamie. He comes home to not find his wife there. She has been gone all day. When she comes home, with a smile on her face too, I might add, Jamie questions where she has been and when she tells him, he goes off. He is concerned for her health and the the baby’s. She says she is only attending to those who are injured or have a sickness she knows she cannot get. He expects his wife to be home when he comes home with a problem. She tells him she is not meant for running a household and working at the hospital gives her day meaning. This doesn’t go over well with him either. She should be helping the cause. He is doing all the work. He wants to know, with all he does day and night, when does his day get purpose and meaning? He storms out. Back to the brothel.
Jamie is at the brothel, drinking, but studying people. One little one catches his eye. A pickpocket and a good one at that. He chases after the boy. This is the most action of the episode! Jamie running down streets and alleyways to catch this boy. Jamie catches the boy and finds that he has stolen stuff that includes his small wooden snake made by his older brother. Except for the snake, the boy gets to keep everything and Jamie offers the boy a job. It is part of his plan.
Claire hears a noise and discovers the young boy sitting at the table. No one is telling her WHO this boy is and why he is in her house. Jamie finally does after the boy, whose name was Claudelle, but Jamie renamed him Fergus as he and the boy agreed Claudelle was not a manly name. Jamie hired him….because as Claire points out….every good household needs a pickpocket….to steal letters coming and going from the Prince to gather intelligence that he can’t get by talking to the incompetent fool. Claire actually tells Jamie that it is a very good plan. There. We have a smile.
Fergus manages to get some good letters which are read over and copied if needed. One in particular is of interest in the form of a German composer / friend of the prince, but in the form of sheet music and not sent from Germany, but England. Therefore, it must be a cipher. As Jamie contemplates who could decipher such a thing, Murtagh says he knows of someone, but Jamie isn’t going to like it.
Claire, helping Mother Hildegarde with a patient, finds out she doesn’t have the nose for infections. Bouton, Mother Hildegarde’s dog, is quite capable of sniffing such a thing out and maybe a few other illnesses. Jamie appears after Claire does a small incision in the patient’s leg and pulls out a nail. The four (yes, I am including the dog) go to Mother Hildegarde’s office to find out that it is indeed an unusual piece and almost a copy of one from a friend of hers, Bach. She points out that the key is changed one too many times for such a small piece. Therefore, Jamie and Claire conclude that the key for the music is the key to the cipher.
This is where we see a glimmer of hope for our couple. They decipher the music "letter” and find out the Bonnie Prince does indeed have money promised from a few in England, but not as much as he was leading those to believe. Jamie is happy for once that they accomplished this and goes off to get whiskey to celebrate. He wants to meet with the Duke of Sandringham since this letter is signed with a “S”. Why we have to wonder. That man is sneaky and conniving and has never really helped Jamie in the past so why start now? However, Murtagh tells Claire that if Jamie meets with the Duke and his secretary, one Alex Randall, what do you think would happen? She needs to tell him that Black Jack is still alive and now. However, Jamie is so happy and she chooses not to tell him and ruin his happiness.
So, a few questions: (rules….no future spoilers for those who have not read the books and BE NICE. Yeah, I know some things are changed as opposed to the books, but you don’t have to get nasty with your opinions)
What do you think of how this whole Black Jack is alive thing is being portrayed as opposed to the books?
Do you think Claire is in the right for holding this information back from Jamie?
Are you afraid that Jamie and Claire are going to ruin their marriage as a result of trying to stop Culloden from ever happening?
Whose side do you think the Duke is on really?
I look forward to your answers and feedback! See you next week!