Time to play catch-up before the Outlander finale tonight! I’m tackling Vengeance is Mine and Hail Mary today to get ready for tonight’s finale.
In the months since the Battle of Prestonpans, things have not been going the Jacobite way, but they have been going exactly as Claire has said they would. The Lowlanders and Englanders have not risen up to the call of their “rightful king,” and though the Jacobite army is a mere five days away from London, Charles’s advisors (minus Jamie) agree for once, and tell the Bonnie Prince to go home for the winter. Jamie and Charles lose this battle and the army heads north. Jamie, the only outlier in the group of officers, is basically exiled to Inverness for a supply run, to keep him from influencing Charles (who “acquired” Jamie’s horse, by the way). Before leaving, Jamie prays over a sleeping Claire for God to protect his family no matter what may come.
The Lallybroch and MacKenzie men head out for Inverness, and while en route their encampment is attacked by some English soldiers. They make a run for it and hide in a church, but not before Rupert gets shot in the eye. Poor Rupert has had a rough fucking go of it. He so clearly misses his bestie, and it’s hard and strange to see Ernie without Bert right there. While hiding in the church, the English trap them and threaten to burn them out if they don’t surrender. Jamie, being the pig-headed Scot he is, decides to give himself up to save the others. Surely Red Jamie is worth enough to let the rest of them go? Claire says “Fuck that, I didn’t go through all this to lose you to your own self-sacrificing idiocy!” I may be paraphrasing. She says she’ll play the hostage since it worked once, so why not try again? Dougal agrees, and Jamie puts up a good fight, until Claire screams at the top of her lungs, ending the discussion. They plan to rescue Claire when they get away. The Brits take her and everyone scurries, but the army isn’t taking her to where Jamie thought they would: they’re taking her to Belmont, instead. Luckily, a beggar with no tongue is there to get the message to Jamie. I love Munro and was so happy to see him again. Claire slips him the intel and heads off to Belmont.
Belmont is, quite inconveniently, the home of the motherfucking Duke of Sandringham. For his own reasons he chooses not to correct the British officer when he calls Claire “Beauchamp” instead of “Fraser” and is, unsurprisingly, a huge dick. He plans to trap Claire and Jamie for the Red Coats and to protect his own traitorous arse. There is one bright spot and potential collateral damage there for Claire, though: Mary Hawkins is staying with her godfather! Claire sends Jamie a Coded Message in Gaelic (well, something that sorta resembles Gaelic, anyway) and waits for him to come get her. While waiting, The Duke reveals his dastardly plan to Claire, in Villain Misstep #1: He tells her about trapping them, and it also comes to light that the Duke arranged for the rape of Claire and Mary as payment to the Comte St Germaine. He locks Claire in her room, which is less than effective when Mary opens Claire’s door so they can have a chat, anyway. Claire tries to escape through the kitchen, but is caught by Sandringham, who commits Villain Misstep #2 by monologuing until Jamie and Murtagh (and Mary, who won’t just go to bed) burst in. Mary and everyone learn about the rape, and that Mary’s rapist is the Duke’s smarmy French sidekick. A fight breaks out, Mary kills her rapist, and Murtagh hacks off the Duke’s head and presents it to Mary, restoring her honor and getting the vengeance he swore.
Stitch in Time: Murtagh and Jamie trying to decipher Claire’s note.
ALRIGHT Next up: Hail Mary!
So, it’s now been five months since the victory at Prestonpans, and the men are starving and demoralized. They’ve done nothing but retreat, and the Battle of Culloden is a mere three days away. Claire runs into Mary, who is buying strong painkillers and is quite cool towards Claire. She informs Claire that despite Claire’s best efforts to keep them apart Mary and Alex are together, though Alex is very ill. Claire asks to see him. She goes to visit and learns that not only is Alex gravely ill, but also Mary is pregnant and Jack Randall is around, paying the bills. Suddenly the light dawns on Claire. THIS is how Frank came to be. Jack isn’t his direct ancestor at all. Claire’s sympathy for Alex doesn’t stop her from bartering his suffering for intelligence about the British movements from Jack, though. He gives her information and off she goes.
Meanwhile Jamie is arguing against fighting on Culloden Moor with everything he has, though it’s to no avail as he’s outvoted. Charles is weary of retreat, the men are to get rest and then march on to Culloden. In a surprise visit, Colum shows up, also extremely ill and ready to die. He has some business to attend to first, however. He tells Claire that he’s glad Jamie has her, and also that Geillis Duncan’s son lives. He asks for Claire to help him die when he so chooses and she gives him the means for a quick death. Before he takes it, he calls Dougal and Jamie to his bedside to let them know that Hamish will be the next Chieftain, with the help of Ned Gowan to teach him Clan Law and with Jamie as his guardian. This pisses Dougal off, and while they are alone, Dougal confesses to Colum that he felt betrayed by Colum’s illness. It’s a heartbreaking look into the more tender side of Dougal which is made even more so when we see that Colum passed away while Dougal was talking.
In another sickbed, Alex makes a final request of his brother: Marry Mary. Alex would marry her himself, but if he did she would still be without protection after he dies. Murtagh is horrified that Claire would be okay with that, since ya know… BJR is a sadistic monster and they’re trying to stop the thing that will make a widow out of her. BJR’s cursed date is April 16th, 1743, the same as the battle of Culloden. Murtagh offers to marry her himself, but as BJR’s widow, Claire reasons, she’ll have lands and title and a level of protection neither Alex nor Murtagh can offer her. BJR after some booze and cruel remarks to Claire, marries Mary at his little brother’s deathbed, and their wedding night is spent listening to the man they both love die.
Culloden is tomorrow, and there is nothing more to be done to stop it.
Stitch in time: Dougal’s confession to his big brother while Colum dies.
Bannocks: 5/5 the second half of this season has been really strong.