Readership of these postings remains high, so I will continue to offer my ironically invaluable input on Outlander, Season 2. Now let me begin by clarifying, war is not my thing. Some people can sit and watch the History Channel about WWII every night. Frankly, if they had less clothes on, I might watch, but usually that is not the case, they just have less arms and legs. Nevertheless, war, like all very sad things, tickles my funny bone (Humerus).
Jamie leads the men from the Lovat Clan to a meeting place with Murtaugh and the men from Lallybroch. Several of Lovat’s men have already gone AWOL because they were threatened by Lord Lovat to go, and they really are not committed to the fight. Simon has headed back to see if he can gather some of them up and bring them back. Claire rides beside Jamie and begins to see him as a skilled warrior, a leader, and a sex object.
They arrive at the Lallybroch camp and it is like a family reunion. Murtaugh greets them by telling them they’re late. Then Fergus runs out to greet them, and tells them how bad Murtaugh is treating him. Next, Dougal, Rupert and Angus show up. Jamie greets them with mixed emotions, but hopes they’ve brought a bunch of MacKenzies with them. It seems, however, they are the only ones who like each other in the MacKenzie Clan and no one followed them. (Surprise…Surprise.) Immediately, a pissing contest breaks out between Jamie and Dougal. Dougal wants to charge into the fight, while Jamie recognizes the men are not trained soldiers, which requires planning. He needs time to hone their skills. He tells Dougal how they pranced into camp instead of marching! Jamie says they will stay here for a while so the men can be trained to work as one. He reminds Dougal that these are his men and he will lead them. Dougal backs off for now.
Murtaugh takes over the training of the new men. Claire walks past him and it brings back memories of WWII, and the drill instructors she saw there! I guess they don’t change much. If you saw an “Officer and a Gentleman”, Murtaugh could have played the drill Sergeant!
Murtaugh works on getting the men to stop prancing and march! Jamie sees that the men aren’t taking Murtaugh seriously. They are farmers, blacksmiths and itinerant prancers who have never been in a war, especially against a well-trained army. He talks to them about the need to be disciplined and serious about their training. Jamie describes war to them, and inspires them to improve.
But boys will be boys and the MacKenzie Clan demonstrates the way they want the war to be fought in the middle of Jamie’s inspirational message (Trust me on this, it was Franklin D. Roosevelt worthy). The difference in Jamie and Dougal’s leadership skills becomes apparent. We begin to understand why Colum did not want Dougal to be Laird.
The British would have to blind, deaf, and unable to smell, to let these guys past them.
Claire is behaving more and more erratically. She is often angry, but goes off by herself and doesn’t talk to anyone. Jamie tries to talk to her, but she tells him she’s fine. She keeps seeing images from her WWII experience. Everywhere she looks, triggers memories she thought she put away. It is a case of classic PTSD. As her memories unfold, she faces heavy guilt feelings about an American soldier, she befriended, who was killed. Eventually, Jamie finds her lying on the ground, in shock. She tells him the story and seems to feel better after having talked with him. Sometimes, we just need someone to hear us.
Jamie continues to get the troops disciplined. However, Dougal and his Minions come into camp with about 10 recruits for the new army. Jamie questions their recruitment practices, and ends up sending the new men home. Jamie asks,”What good are men who don’t want to be here and don’t believe in our mission?” Then he requests the guards on duty to report to him. He tells them they were lax in their duties for letting strangers walk into the camp with Dougal without any questions. Jamie holds them under guard for the night awaiting their punishment. To keep Dougal out of trouble, Jamie places him in charge of camp security. The minions are sent to watch on the first shift.
The next day, the guards receive 6 lashes each for not doing their duty. A few days later, Jamie is taking a leak, when someone attacks him with a knife. Jamie is easily able to disarm the culprit by breaking his arm and throwing him on the ground in the pee puddle. After things settle down, Jamie finds it is a 16-year-old British boy. He wandered into camp after he saw their campfires. When he saw “Red Jamie”, he attacked. Jamie says he needs information since the boy must be attached to the Redcoat army. The boy refuses to tell him anything, “even if tortured”. As Jamie wields a red-hot knife blade at the boy, Claire comes upon them. She pretends she is a British woman being held captive by the Highlanders. She calls Jamie a pig and a barbarian. Jamie pretends he is going to rape her, and the boy says he’ll tell all to save her honor. He says he is William Grey, attached to a large force of British soldiers about three miles away. He tells them how many and the type of weapons they have. Jamie gives him his life and the boy promises he will honor this debt, if they ever run into each other again.
Jamie wants to maintain discipline and takes the blame for not ordering everone to bank the campfires. He orders Murtaugh to give him 16 lashes. Because that is a drop in the bucket for Jamie and Murtaugh is not hitting him very hard as Black Jack did, he decides to take a small group of men to raid the British camp right after the whipping. They accomplish the raid, remove the linch pins from the cannon wheels and burn the wheels. The British won’t be able to use their cannons. When he returns, he is in commando make-up and looks sexy as hell!
Claire wants him to get in bed with her to play “The Scottish Barbarian Pig and the Innocent Sexy Sassenach Prisoner” but he declines. They have to move the camp quickly before the British find them. No sex again. Claire and I were disappointed.
They travel until they see Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Camp. Knowing that Dougal wants to play politics with BPC, Jamie asks him to ride ahead and announce their arrival. The Fraser army has arrived sans prancing.
This episode starts out with Jamie and the other Clan leaders meeting for tactical planning. If you recall when BPC asked Jamie how ready the clans were to join forces against the enemy, Jamie responded that the clans couldn’t agree on the color of the sky. Not much has changed. The British are across a bog within eyesight of the Scottish army. Quartermaster John O’Sullivan is from Ireland. I’m not sure how he got involved. He and several clansmen are all for charging across the bog to the British army and attacking. Jamie says the bog is dangerous for his men to walk through, without getting stuck in place, which would make them great targets for the British muskets. Lord General George Murray, agrees with Jamie. They all storm out of the meeting arguing about what to do.
Dougal and Jamie discuss a plan to test the bog. Dougal says it would not be looked upon well, if Jamie (BPC’s Favorite Boy) were to put himself in jeopardy. Dougal agrees to do it (to make himself look good). In his own inimitable way, Dougal leads his horse to within 105′ of the enemy muskets. His horse gets stuck in the bog and his cap is shot off. Dougal, his horse and his holey cap return to the Scottish lines to resounding cheers and a hug from BPC!
Nevertheless, the point is made. Charging willy-nilly into the bog will not earn them a victory. They’ll just be sitting ducks for the British.
Meanwhile, Claire is setting up a field hospital with the other women who have traveled with the army. Fergus is assigned to her, but spends his time playing around, because he thinks this is women’s work. She educates the women and Fergus on preparation steps and why they are needed. She reassures them that they will do well for the men.
Later in the day, Fergus brings Mr. Anderson to Claire. He is asking to speak to the leader of the army. Claire gets Jamie and Mr. Anderson tells him there is a secret path through the bog that could be used for a surprise attack! Jamie takes him to headquarters and they plot their next moves. The king wants to lead the charge, but Jamie talks him out of it.
The men prepare for a night march across the bog. Murtaugh, Fergus and Rupert say good-bye to Claire. Jamie gives her a big smooch! Claire (and I) did not get a goodbye roll in the hay, however. We were disappointed.
The attack is a huge surprise to the British. The battle lasts 15 minutes, the British retreat and leave their wounded behind, and the Jacobites lost less that 50 men. By the way, Simon Lovat and his AWOL soldiers are nowhere in sight. Mr. Anderson has directed them on the path to victory and he’s pretty cute to boot! He kind of reminds me of that guy on Battlestar Galactica.
Meanwhile, back at Claire Fraser’s Field Hospital of Dreams, they have begun to receive some of the injured Scottish and British soldiers. Claire notices the Fergus is not around and realizes he has snuck off to war with the men. Rupert and Angus arrive at the door, and Rupert has been stabbed by a sword. Angus has also suffered the after effects of an explosion, but appears to be stable. Claire stitches up Rupert and tells Angus to stay awake because he may have a mild concussion. Angus wants to watch his friend, anyway, so he sits with him and has a few nips of whiskey (what’s new?)
Jamie rushes into the field hospital looking for Claire. When he hugs and kisses her, it’s almost as if he is in a daze. He is so happy that they won. He believes they can change history now, because he believes they can win. She asks if he knows where Fergus is, and Jamie says he’s safe and sitting outside. Claire heads outside to find Fergus. He is sitting next to a cannon, looking rather dazed. Claire starts to yell at him for sneaking off, but notices his face. Fergus admits that he killed an English soldier and is devastated. Claire comforts him and takes him to find food and a bed.
Meanwhile, Dougal is out killing any British soldier still breathing on the battle field. He looks like a Viking Berserker! He comes upon Lt. Jeremy Foster, whom he calls “the only honorable British soldier in the lot.” Lt. Foster asks Dougal to help him to the field hospital and Dougal stabs him until he’s dead. Now, I have no problem with him killing the nameless, faceless, silent soldiers laying in the dirt. But Jeremy Foster was the fandom’s adopted son! Everyone is really pissed at Dougal, now.
Claire goes back inside and notices that Jamie has a hoof print on his shirt right over his kidney. She picks up a jar and tells him to pee in it, so she can see if there is blood in his urine. (Probably should have done the same with Angus who’s still watching Rupert but becoming increasingly lethargic.) Jamie decides to make a pissing contest out of it and an English soldier bets him 6 pence, that he can’t hit the jar from where he’s standing. As he is taking aim, the Bonnie Prince enters. He says, “What’s everyone doing here dicking around?” (Not really, but I thought it would have been so perfect for that scene).
What BPC actually does is thank everyone for their efforts, and talk about the victory being bittersweet. He says (paraphrased), “Mark me! If we had defeated people from another country, I might rejoice, but we defeated our own people, the British.” Just as he starts singing “Kumbaya”, crazy Dougal runs in and tries to attack the wounded British soldiers being cared for at the hospital. The Prince and Jamie stop Dougal but BPC says he wants Dougal out of his army. Jamie comes up with an idea to put Dougal in charge of the new Scottish Dragoons (emphasis on Goons), so his guerilla skills can be used. In addition, the prince will never have to look upon him again! Dougal looks at Jamie and says, “That idea is worthy of my brother, Colum.”
After this, Angus is sitting with his head in his hands, and Dougal gets mad when he won’t talk to him. Angus keels over and Claire realizes he has been bleeding internally since he was knocked over by the explosion several hours earlier. He dies calling for Claire to help him. Rupert gets up, comes over to Angus and takes his sword. Earlier in the day, Angus heard Ross and Kincaid talking about taking care of each others’ family, if anything happened to either one of them. Angus thought he should tell Rupert what he can have if he dies (his sword, dirk, and the part-time hoor at the inn). Rupert told him not to talk that way, because it was bad luck.
Later in the day, there is a subdued celebration of the win. Claire and Jamie thought the victory would be sweeter.
It turns out that Kincaid died, too. Rupert and Ross bonded for a song and some drink.
Once again, we find the Clan Heads (are they related to the Cone Heads?) arguing over the next steps in Jacobite campaign. They are outside of London, and the Prince wants everyone to continue forward since they are so close. Sullivan and Murray, in a rare moment of conciliation, want to return to Scotland until they can gather more troops. The hoped for uprising of more supporters based on their success, has not happened. BPC realizes that Jamie is his only supporter and stalks off furiously, followed by his entourage.
Jamie finds Claire doing her dental work, and lets her know they will be retreating. Neither are happy, only because Jamie believed that if they went to London, history would be changed, and a new outcome might be created. They decide to retreat to their room for some rest. While there, Jamie talks to Claire in Gaelic while she sleeps.
The next morning Dougal arrives with bad news (what’s new?) Apparently Sullivan spirited the Prince away and sent a note to Jamie to move his men back to Inverness to re-supply the troops (with no money). Dougal tells him the Prince took Jamie’s horse, too.
The Fraser men head out to Inverness. Jamie promises he will get them back to Lallybroch safely. On the way, they are ambushed by some British soldiers and get split up. During the escape, Rupert gets shot and Dougal does his best impression of the Lone Ranger saving the Damsel in Distress. He pulls Rupert onto his horse with him. (Credulity is stretched here…Lard Butt is not that easy to pick up and how did the poor horse run with two heavy men on it?) Nevertheless, they find a church to hide in. Ross and some other Fraser troops are hiding there, too. Claire sees that Rupert has been shot in his eye, so she pulls the musket ball out. Then she tells Rupert about pirates, and he imagines his charming self.
Later on, the British find them at the church. Of course, Jamie is the only wanted man, so he volunteers to save them all. He will give himself up as Red Jamie, and the rest of them can escape.
But, of course, our Claire comes up with a better idea. She pulls her Innocent Sassenach Prisoner card and yells to the British troops for help, so they won’t set the church on fire and trap them, all. It worked for William Grey, so why not? Jamie is furious because he does not want to put her in jeopardy. She convinces him that he can rescue her later. Dougal figures the British will drop her off at the nearest fort so they don’t have to tote a woman around with them! Fergus suggests she “faint”, since she is such a poor liar and actress. This will buy some time before she has to talk to them.
her some time to be silent. Dougal turns her over to the British and they ride away. Murtaugh and Jamie head out to steal a couple of horses, since the Brits took his back-up horse.
Claire is brought to an inn and as she steps in, she sees a wanted poster for Jamie. But an old friend saw her, Hugh Munro! He was begging by the side of the building and she didn’t see him. He sees her with the British officers and decides to wait for her. After some food and drink, Claire falls asleep in a chair.
In the morning, Claire finds out they are not going to the nearest fort, but she is to be dropped off at the home of a wealthy British man. As she goes out the door, Hugh approaches her as if he is begging. She sees her chance to get a message to Jamie. She gets the soldier to repeat where they are going, and Hugh is off to let Jamie know where they are heading. It was good to see him again.
Claire is taken to a home surrounded by encamped British military. As she gets inside, she realizes she is a guest of the Duke of Sandringham. As usual, the Duke is playing both sides of the coin. Claire finds out that Mary Hawkins is staying with the Duke, and that she is his goddaughter. The Duke wants Jamie to get him out of his “imprisonment” because of his Jacobite tendencies, so he tells Claire he can get a message to Jamie. She writes the message in Gaelic and it is sent off to Jamie through Hugh Munro.
Claire gets Mary to help her and discovers that the Duke was really behind the rape in Paris. The man with the birth mark, who raped Mary, is acting as the Duke’s valet, now. Jamie and Murtaugh get into the house. While Claire is revealing who the Duke really is, Mary grabs a knife and kills Birthmark Man. When Murtaugh hears that it was all arranged by the Duke, he gets his revenge by killing him, beheading him, and presenting the head to Mary and Claire.
I can tell that the everything is going downhill from here. (I’ve read the books at least 5 times). I am finding it increasingly difficult to find humor in all of this. However, I know I can do it. JHRC, I laugh at funerals, Judge Judy, Cops, the Bachelor, Fox News and the NHL channel. I am only here to serve by pointing out the ludicrous for all CoH followers. It’s a crummy job, but someone has to do it.
The cast and crew continue to do an Emmy Award winning performance for everything (except the Leghair writing, lack of Fraser sex, and the tooth pulling scene) for the entire series.
Episode 212 and 213 are coming soon to a Church of Heughanology near you.