Jamie and Claire can’t seem to shake off their enemies. In “Outlander” Season 2, episode 2, Jamie continued to deal with the trauma of Black Jack’s torture. Claire seems to feel helpless. She doesn’t know what else she can do for her husband, and when she meets Black Jack’s brother, she learns that Jamie might not get better any time soon.
When episode 2 begins, Jamie (Sam Heughan) is having sex with Claire (Caitriona Balfe), but she suddenly turns into Black Jack (Tobias Menzies). Jamie stabs him, but even then it still seems like Black Jack won’t die. Jamie wakes up from his nightmare, and Claire assures him that his rapist is dead.
Claire tries to find a solution for Jamie’s nightmares by going to an apothecary, Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon). Though they haven’t met before, the man has heard of her. He says that any enemy of Le Comte St. Germain (Stanley Webber) is a friend of his. Claire is happy to have an ally, and Raymond gives her a mix of herbs for Jamie free of charge.
Meanwhile, Jamie and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) spar in a courtyard to see if Jamie’s hand is strong enough yet. They attract quite a crowd. The French apparently don’t see much sword fighting in France, where dueling is illegal. Murtagh scares them away and says he misses home. Jamie says they’ll go back eventually, and Murtagh wants to speed up the process. He suggests killing Prince Charles (Andrew Gower) to stop the rebellion. Jamie isn’t sure that’ll do much. Logic indicates that they’ll still have to take care of Prince Charles’ father. They need to be more strategic about this.
It’s a good thing Jamie talks Murtagh out of the idea because they get a chance to meet with Prince Charles. Jamie’s cousin Jared (Robert Cavanagh) set up a meeting with Charles and Jamie at a brothel. While other men are thrilled with the sight of prostitutes and sex toys, Jamie just wants to talk business.
Jamie says that the Scottish clans can’t put aside their differences and get together to fight the British. They just aren’t ready for that, and it angers Charles. That’s different from what everyone else has said to him. Jamie assures him that he hates the English, but he simply knows that Scotland won’t survive a war.
“What about God’s truth? For his is the only truth that matters, is it not?” Charles asks. He believes that divine right makes him the one who knows God’s will. He is determined to go to war, and he’ll need the budget to do so. That leads him to explain why Jamie got this meeting in the first place. Charles isn’t officially in France, so he needs someone else to win over the French minister of finance, Joseph Duvernay (Marc Duret), at French court.
Claire thinks that Charles can be stopped if they cut off his finances. Claire goes to her new friend Louise de la Tour (Claire Sermonne) to get an invite to Versailles. Louise is getting waxed when Claire asks her friend to bring her to French court. Louise is happy to oblige. While Claire is there, Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) is introduced. She is a young English girl Louise is chaperoning. Claire recognizes Mary’s name, but she can’t figure out why.
Mary and Claire watch Louise get waxed all over her body, and it’s clear the English women are shocked by how comfortable French women are with their bodies. However, that doesn’t stop Claire from following Louise’s lead.
She shows Jamie her newly-hairless figure that night. “Claire, what have you done to yourself?” Jamie asks. He is shocked but intrigued. The two start to have sex, but Jamie freezes when he has flashbacks to his rape. Claire assures him that it’s fine, and they should just go to sleep instead. Jamie clearly isn’t fine, though.
A couple weeks later, Jamie, Claire and Murtagh are ready to go to French court. Jamie is stunned to see Claire in a sexy red dress. “Are you mad, woman? You can see every inch of you, right down to your third rib!” Jamie says. Claire is determined and Jamie knows he can’t change her mind.
They get to Versailles and ask Louise to introduce them to Duvernay, who Louise calls “a man of rather gross sensibilities.” They’re interrupted when Jamie is immediately greeted by a woman who jumps into his arms.
Jamie introduces Annalise de Marillac (Margaux Chatelier), a woman from his past. Annalise gets Jamie into the dressing of the king ritual. Jamie and Murtagh watch, along with about a dozen other men, as King Louis XV (Lionel Lingelser) sits on the toilet. The King is constipated and can’t get dressed until he finds a solution.
While the King is grunting in agony, Jamie gets introduced. He tells the King to eat porridge to help his digestive system. The King calls it “peasant food.”
As Jamie watches the King, Louise sends Duvernay to talk to Claire, who just stepped outside by herself. Duvernay gets the wrong impression from Louise and thinks Claire wants to have an affair. Before Claire can explain what she really needs, Jamie sees Duvernay kissing Claire’s feet and throws the financial manager into the river. “I told you that dress would bring us grief,” Jamie says.
Once they’re inside, Duvernay apologizes and blames his actions on alcohol. Jamie and Claire promise not to tell his wife about the incident, and the financial manager asks if they can be of service. Jamie says he simply wants his friendship.
The King makes his grand entrances with a female companion who has her breasts out, and Murtagh can’t stop staring until he sees someone he recognizes: the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow). Murtagh nearly draws his sword until Jamie stops him. It’s illegal to draw his weapon in the presence of the king.
The Duke says Black Jack intercepted the paperwork for Jamie’s pardon, so it isn’t his fault that Jamie is still a wanted man in Scotland. He doesn’t seem all that sorry, even though he does say he’ll buy wine from Jamie’s shop in the future.
Claire and the Duke have a tense moment alone before his secretary comes along. The Duke introduces him as Alexander Randall (Laurence Dobiesz), the brother of Black Jack. The Duke says Claire and Jack are “very well acquainted,” and Alexander says he’ll tell his brother that they met. Claire is stunned. She asks if Black Jack is still alive, and he assures her that while he was recently injured, he is still breathing.
Claire has to decide if she should tell her husband that his torturer is still at large. Will it make his posttraumatic stress disorder even worse? Will he abandon their plan to change the future to seek revenge? Claire knows he’ll find out Black Jack is alive and well, but she wonders if telling him right now is the best option.
Elsewhere in “Outlander” Season 2, episode 2:
- Claire’s maid wants her to stop folding clothing and making the bed. Claire promises to be sloppier.
- Claire is bored as she has to talk to women about English slang terms for penises.
- Mary was seen talking to Alexander Randall, and Louise thought the two would soon have an affair.
“Outlander” Season 2 airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. EDT on Starz.