‘Outlander’ Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: La Dame Blanche

Outlander Caitriona Balfe and Rosie Day
Caitriona Balfe and Rosie Day in ‘Outlander’ season 2 (Photo © 2016 Sony Pictures Television Inc.)

Many in the book fandom know just what key events the title for episode four of Outlander season two means and it is NOT good. But let’s not get ahead of actual show events. We open at Versailles. Our dashing couple are there together this time, and Jamie (Sam Heughan) is in his usual location of playing chess with Monsieur Duverney (Marc Duret), the Minister of Finance to Louis XV. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is standing next to Jamie, watching the men play their match. The set details, the wardrobe details, everything is a feast for the eyes. {as she kisses her finger tips in the French style to express how magnificent everything is}

The Minister asks the couple if they have chosen a name for the bairn, as Jamie calls the wee baby. Of course they haven’t determined a name; they have hardly spoken at all. They throw a few names out and each dislikes the other’s suggestion. All the while the Minister maneuvers his chess pieces to put Jamie in check. AND just then who should walk up but our dashing French villain, Le Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber). The total buzz kill that he is, he reveals that the Minister will have Jamie in two moves. Lovely dagger-throwing glances ensue between the Frasers and St. Germain. As he walks by, Jamie agrees to the assessment of his position in the game and concedes the match to the Minister. The Minister would not hear of it and considers it a draw, as Jamie was obviously distracted by his beautiful wife’s presence. Our always perceptive Claire gets the hint and decides to take her leave of the gentlemen. As he strolls to the other side of the room, a servant gives her a glass of wine.

The Minister reveals to Jamie after Claire’s departure that the King of France, Louis XV (Lionel Lingelser), is intrigued by the involvement of the English backing of Prince Charles’ (Andrew Gower) intended expedition to Scotland. Jamie puts on a good face, but this is NOT welcome news. After Claire finishes the wine in the glass she starts coughing, clutching her stomach and the baby within, and doubles over in pain. Jamie runs across the room, filled with enormous concern, and scoops her up in his arms to whisk her out of the room. All the while the evil dashing shadow of St. Germain is behind her reveling in the scene before him. Okay, I just have to say it… what kind of devil has the brass cojones to attempt to poison a pregnant woman?

Back at the Fraser home they discuss the events. Claire thinks that the wine wasn’t poisoned exactly, but more likely an herb she and Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon) have discussed before that he sells to people looking for the real poison. Claire tells Jamie how scared she was that she was losing the baby, or at least that was her first thought. She noticed how St. Germain was staring at her as if to set her ablaze or something. Claire is still in pain so she asks for distraction, and wants to hear what the Minister might have told Jamie after she walked away. Jamie tells her of the setback: the King’s interest in Prince Charles’ plans. Jamie admits that he would like to host a dinner to bring the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) and Prince Charles together to see one another face to face for the first time. Jamie is sure that the Prince will show how foolish he is. Claire likes the idea but is not happy because this forces her to reveal to Jamie that Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) is still alive.

Claire decides that she has no choice but to tell Jamie now. She explains that she met Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz) when they first went to Versailles and she wore the famous red dress. What happens next is not what she expects. Jamie looks up to the Almighty in thanks and expresses how wonderful the news is. Claire just sits there with her mouth hanging open. He explains that he has been plagued by the terrible post-traumatic emotions because he knew he could not get to Randall and take his life himself. Now Claire has given him the knowledge that it is possible for him to see the man again and settle the score. The light at the end of the tunnel, as it were. The spark in his eyes shows us the old Jamie again for the first time since those terrible events of Wentworth Prison.

Claire gets up the next morning and heads out to see Master Raymond at this shop. I really do love that set. The intricate bottles and items about the room; just a feast for the eyes on every wall. And Claire is again wearing a gorgeous gown, embroidered in red on a shimmering deep blue fabric. I want her French wardrobe, even if that meant the corset came with it…hehe. I think I would get motion sick moving through the streets in that beautiful carriage though, but I digress.

Claire walks into the store and blasts Master Raymond for the poison attempt on her life and the baby’s life. He confesses he sold the replacement herb to only one person in a month’s time frame, but he didn’t recognize the servant who came to purchase it. He admitted it possibly could have been a scheme by St. Germain but he had no knowledge of it. Master Raymond’s shop helper says that she sees watchers again, so he asks Claire to follow him to a secret room in the back of the shop. So she goes under the stuffed crocodile hanging from the ceiling and into the secret room with him. Master Raymond explains that the King’s guard passes by at times so he tries not to provoke things in respect to his secret arts and magical practices.

Claire walks about the room and sees many wondrous things (totally love this room too, just incredible details all about the space). She picks up a dinosaur head that is on the shelf. He gives her a bit of a knowing glance and says he is fascinated by things not of his own time. Kind of a telling hint if you ask me, but no one did so I will move on. He knows something else is troubling her and asks her what it is. She mentions that she is wanting to know Frank’s future. He does a little sleight of hand to entertain her and has her casts some bones upon a Zebra hide. Master Raymond explains that he cannot see Frank’s fate but says that he knows she will see him again. This surprises her greatly. He bestows a gift on Claire after changing the subject. He gives her a necklace that will reveal poison. The stone in the necklace changes colors if poison is nearby.

Claire then goes to her friend Louise de Rohan’s home for a visit. Louise (Claire Sermonne) has asked Claire over to reveal to her that she is with child, and NOT by her husband. She is asking Claire to help her with an abortifacient. Not that abortions are healthy at any time, but in those days you literally took poison to cause miscarriage. It often took the life of the woman as well as the child. Claire and Louise discuss the situation a bit and Claire convinces her to get her husband to believe it is his child. In the book she is to sleep with her husband for the first time in months and then reveal she is with child. In the show she convinces her husband that they had an encounter while he was drunk one night.

Sam Heughan in Outlander season 2 episode 4
Sam Heughan in ‘Outlander’ season 2 (Photo © 2016 Sony Pictures Television Inc.)

Later that night Jamie comes bouncing on the bed to wake up Claire. Okay, what wife has not had this happen to her? The husband was out and comes in a little charged in the libido. As fans we are in the camp of “WOOHOO, Jamie and Claire love scene, here we come!” WWWWEEEELLLLLLL, not so fast. Claire notices a little something on his inner thighs, yes plural. And here comes the inevitable argument I believe that is of no shock to anyone after the bite marks are discovered. She is in a prime location to grab a particular something and TWIST, but she is not me…snort. Here comes the line of, “You have to believe me, nothing happened!” REALLY, she has to believe you HUH?

He certainly fumbles the start, but just like the Jamie of old, he does end up much more eloquent by the time they get around to some real connection in the argument. Jamie tries to explain that he finally had some stirrings inside again after she told him that Randall was still alive. Claire tells him of her loneliness at his distance and that she has been going through the issues around becoming a Mother completely alone all the while trying desperately to be understanding. Jamie bursts out that she has no idea what he has been going through. EDZACTLY you lunk head!! He hasn’t talked to her about any of it; he has done nothing but keep her at arm’s length for months. She begs him to explain, to help make her understand what has been going on inside. For the first time he finally opens up and provides some description to his turmoil and pain. Such a descriptive sentence, “Trying to hide under a blade of grass…” {that is the sound of my heart breaking}. Claire stands there in silence with tears in her eyes. Jamie heads to another place to sleep. I just love this little alcove in the apartment set. It was the same little place that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) hoped into when he and Jamie were discussing the music letter that Prince Charles received.

Claire comes down from their room to find Jamie in this hide-abed, not sleeping yet but laying there certainly. They finally make love again in this little space; the first link to the connection that has to be reforged. As they are laying there talking together Jamie hears a sound and springs from the bed to investigate. With what happened to Claire and the poisoning attempt, they are justifiably cautious about strange sounds. Someone starts tapping on the window. Jamie opens the window, grabs the intruder, and throws him to the ground, dirk in hand to kill this would be assassin. Then Jamie realizes it is none other than Prince Charles himself laying beneath his waiting blade. What a dramatic way to introduce your friend to your wife. This is Claire’s first introduction to the Prince.

Jamie tries to give as formal an introduction as is possible in this very odd situation. Claire notices that the Prince has an injury to his hand. The Prince recounts the events that brought him to this current awkward situation and the need for the Frasers’ rescue while Claire tends his hand. Just to let you in on a fandom secret, there is a drinking game for each time the Prince says “mark me”; Ready? GO!!

As Claire hears his account of events she pieces together that he is speaking of her friend Louise de Rohan and her biting monkey that injured him. This gives our dashing couple a possible way to offset the setback; by having some very interesting guests at this dinner party Jamie suggested. The necessity of intrigue makes them both feel that they are bad people. This is certainly outside of either of their normal personalities.

Next we see the servants setting the elegant table a week later, the day of the dinner with the Frasers. I won’t keep fangirling over the details about the room, you know where I’m coming from already. *snort* But of course we can’t just have a simple party can we? Of course not.

A disaster pulls Claire to L’ Hospital des Anges to help Mother Hildegarde (Frances De La Tour) tend the massive influx of patients. Jamie insists that she take Murtagh and our handsome little thief, Fergus (Romann Berrux). Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) is at the hospital helping Claire with the patients, and there is the cutest little exchange between Murtagh and Fergus about Mary and women. I guess growing up in a brothel does give you a bit of insight about females. We get to see the impressive Bouton (Scamp) again, following the Mother about the hospital. Claire is helping to set a man’s broken leg. The makeup department does an incredible job, too. You see this man’s bone sticking out of his leg; gross and OUCH.

Mary and Claire get ready to leave, and the carriage has a broken wheel. Naturally on a day when you least need a disaster to occur, there you go! Life sure likes to keep things interesting for us, doesn’t it?! Back at the Frasers’ apartment, the dinner guests begin to arrive so Jamie must receive them alone. The clothes for the men are just as exquisite as the women. The Duke of Sandringham is the first to be announced, with Alex Randall trailing behind. This is the first meeting of Alex and Jamie. Jamie handles his surprise VERY well. As all the other guests continue to arrive, Fergus gets back to the house to let Jamie know that Claire will be late. All of the sudden Le Comte St. Germain shows up, apparently invited by the Duke. The conniving Duke is ever one step ahead it would seem.

Claire, Mary, and Murtagh are walking back to the Fraser home when Mary surprises Claire with her affection for Alex Randall. All of the sudden they are all attacked. Murtagh is knocked unconscious and Mary is raped by one of the attackers. As they are about to attack Claire one of them sees her face clearly and screams out “La Dame Blanche” and they run away. Claire knocks the rapist off Mary, and Murtagh comes around just after all the activity. He carries her back to the home and Jamie comes out to see what all has occurred. Jamie and Murtagh want to set out right then for the devils that could do such a thing to a young maiden and a pregnant married woman, but Claire stops them. The dinner party is too important to what they are trying to accomplish. They carry the unconscious Mary inside and leave her to the care of Alex Randall while they have to continue with the dinner plans.

Jamie tells Claire that St. Germain is there, just to add more excitement to the night. SERIOUSLY!! That poor baby will be born as jumpy as a jack rabbit given all the stress Claire is under constantly. Claire is left alone for a few minutes so she uses the time to steady herself. She heads down to make her entrance. Alex continues to watch over Mary upstairs. He professes his love for the resting Mary, but she does not hear him at that moment.

Down in the dining room the party is settled in at their plates and interesting conversation ensues. And WHO had the bright idea to set Le Comte St. Germain right next to Claire? The Prince is very snarky about the situation with Louise sitting next to her husband. Jamie also puts fuel to that flame by revealing Louise’s pregnancy. It does the trick and unnerves the Prince. St. Germain has a few choice words about the stone around Claire’s neck. He tries to make others think she is silly and superstitious. He makes the off-handed remark that if she can’t trust her servants to cook for her without fear of poison, then maybe they should all have a similar stone for protection. Claire looks him directly in the face and without blinking says that yes maybe HE should. St. Germain is not the only one who can give an icy glare.

Mary wakes up upstairs, is frightened by Alex’s presence given what a man has just done to her, and she bolts from the room. She runs downstairs and as Alex catches her she lets out a bloodcurdling scream, and they fall to the floor. Everyone runs to the living room to see Alex on top of Mary, trying to calm her down, but he looks to the others to be assaulting her. Given she was actually raped that very day, it looks very bad for Alex. A fight ensues and Claire takes Mary to the other side of the room. Of course, the Duke and the Prince take their leave of the situation to not get involved in scandal. And Le Comte St. Germain is just loving these developments as he calls for the authorities. Every time Jamie and Claire take one step forward they are knocked four steps back it would seem.

Sorry, I’m not going to explain what La Dame Blanche means. I know given my knowledge of the book, but I will not give out spoilers so don’t ask. You will simply have to tune in next week to discover why that term made the band of devil-men run away. Same Sassenach time, Same Sassenach channel.

Outlander Season Two Recaps:

  • Episode One – Through a Glass, Darkly
  • Episode Two – Not in Scotland Anymore
  • Episode Three – Useful Occupations and Deceptions
  • Episode Five – Untimely Resurrections
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