All I can say to prepare you for ‘Faith’ is to beg you to have your Kleenex box handy; you will need it MULTIPLE times through the seventh episode of Outlander season two. The book and the show hit the major elements pretty consistently, just some variances of how some things get to the necessary result. I’m not going to opine too much on the book activities, this will be emotional enough.
The episode opens somewhere you might not expect, in the future with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and a copper-headed little girl, wee Brianna (Niamh Elwell). They are talking of birds in a book when Claire reveals that she has seen a Heron, the bird in the picture, when she was in Scotland. A twinge of pain begins right there. After the first episode we know what is going through Claire’s mind at that moment, but she doesn’t let her daughter see her pain. We then pivot to a point you might expect, Claire in L’ Hopital des Anges. The nuns are praying, Monsieur Forez (Niall Greig Fulton) is performing surgery on Claire, and Mother Hildegarde (Frances De La Tour) is trying to keep Claire calm. Claire wakes later to find her baby gone. She goes into hysterics wanting to see her baby. Mother Hildegarde has to tell her the baby was born dead. In the book she miscarries, but either way it is a terrible loss that no one should have to go through. There is the first tissue used…
Claire contracts a fever so Mother Hildegarde is tending to her and reveals that she did baptize the baby and named her Faith so she could be buried in the church cemetery. Claire is extremely sick with a terribly high fever. Claire asks for Jamie (Sam Heughan) but the Mother tells her that there has been no word from him. Mother Hildegarde commands Bouton (Scamp) to lay on the bed next to Claire for comfort. The faithful Bouton does as he is commanded. As the day wanes and turns into night we see a hooded figure come near to Claire’s bed. Bouton has remained with Claire the entire time, but the figure commands him to leave the bed and he does without complaint…amazingly enough. The figure reveals himself to Claire and it is none other than Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon).
Master Raymond performs a ritual to heal her. Part of the placenta had not come out of her womb so it was causing her an infection that would have killed her had he not come to perform the task to remove the infection and the fever. He tells Bouton to return to the bed and takes his leave just before the nuns come rushing in to say prayers of thanks for the miracle. Now that Claire is in her right mind without the fever, she asks Mother Hildegarde if there had been any word from Jamie. Poor Mother, she has to keep giving Claire bad news and more bad news. She has the unenviable task of informing her that Jamie is in the Bastille and will remain there at the will of King Louis XV (Lionel Lingelser). She did try to lighten the information by telling her it would have been much worse on Jamie had Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) died. The good Mother tries to help Claire deal with her anger and rage at the betrayal that Jamie handed her by breaking his promise.
After weeks of laying in the hospital, Fergus (Romann Berrux) goes to see Claire and asks her to come home. This scene just kills it, and down goes another tissue. As Claire gingerly and ever so carefully steps out of the carriage, the servants are all lined up to welcome her home. Not a single one without true despair on their faces. I thought poor Suzette (Adrienne-Marie Zitt) was going to fall at her feet and wail. And Magnus (Robbie McIntosh) was so sweet and supportive as Claire gave him an appreciative and sympathetic gesture that is not usually given to servants. She prevents him from bowing to her and grabs his hand to thank him. Wee Fergus is too cute and supportive. He takes her inside and brushes her hair to sooth her. In the book we find out he used to do this for the ladies at the brothel, but they don’t go into that in the show.
When Fergus is putting her brush on her table he notices the bottles on the dresser. Claire could tell something is wrong but Fergus says it is nothing and runs off. Later that night Claire is walking about the house, weeping and feeling completely destroyed by the loss of the baby. She hears Fergus crying out from a nightmare and goes into his room to check on him. She wakes him and asks him if he wants to tell her about the nightmare. He is VERY reluctant to say what it was that was bothering him but admits it is NO nightmare. He finally spills the reason why Jamie broke his promise. Black Jack caught Fergus in the room in the previous episode and BJR raped the poor child. Fergus cried out…naturally. Jamie heard Fergus and ran to investigate when he discovered BJR in the act. Well our Scottish warrior simply lost it right then. And who could blame him? Another three tissues went down because of this part of the show. Claire gathered Fergus up in her arms and tried to make him understand that the duel and Jamie’s imprisonment was not his fault.
Claire goes to Mother Hildegarde again, this time to ask for her to use her connections with the King to get her an audience. Claire is going to petition the King for Jamie’s release. Mother warns her that a price could be asked of such a request; sex with the King. Claire goes to Versailles to meet with the King. You can tell she is nervous. I know I would be at the point of tears, and was during the entire scene. (heart pounding and eyes brimming) The King is very kind and gentle when asking what he can do for her. All the time she keeps cutting her eyes across the room to HIS bed.
He has her sit down on a settee. He offers her a new delicacy from Spain, hot chocolate. He is very charming and reassuring. The entire set of his bedroom is just incredible, but my favorite set (apart from Master Raymond’s shop) is coming up. Okay, back to the people in that amazing room. The King asks Claire about her rings, one gold and one silver. He finds her loyalty to her past and present husbands impressive. He lingers over her fingers while kissing them. Claire continued to glance at his bed. He asks if she would grant him a favor in return for freeing her husband. You can tell she assumes he means the sex Mother warned her about, but he takes her hand and leads her away from his bed to another room.
This room is the Star Chamber, and this set is just perfect. Better than I imagined while reading the section in the book. He mentions that he can see by the delicateness of her skin that she is called La Dame Blanche for a reason. When Claire sees Monsieur Forez she knows that someone is going to die in this room tonight. The door opens and Master Raymond and Le Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber) are forced into the room by hooded guards. Claire stands there with her mouth open; I’m sure I would be at the point of passing out. She is so poised while under such pressure. Both men are charged with perverting knowledge for the purpose of power and sorcery. Naturally the King cannot have people trying to usurp his power like that.
The King points out that they have a White Lady to help him decide. She is set with the reputation for seeing into men’s souls and finding the truth, even if they do not wish it to be revealed. How little Jamie knew his lie to keep from looking unmanly would save Claire from harm several times. And, she plays the role exquisitely. How satisfying it must have been to stare down her enemy, St. Germain. While the King is expounding on her talent and virtue, Claire mutters under her breath the signature line, “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.” Such an emotional episode, I was grateful for the giggle it gave me. Claire has to walk up close to inspect both men, and she does a good show of it. She also plays a great game with the Comte. He ends up spilling that he did poison her before, but she also calls him out for the gang of men that attacked her and Mary in the street.
She owns the entire White Witch story and admits to practicing white magic. She plays the part so well she makes the King a little nervous. He decides to bring out a snake, but Claire has a better idea. Even though the Comte has attempted to kill her, she is not having an easy time condemning him to death. She proposes that she use the same poison (which was really bitter cascara) and asks that they both be freed if they both live. She was hoping the show of poisoning and survival would allow them to survive. She gives the cup to Master Raymond first, and he puts on a good show too. I’m sure it did make him feel terrible, but he stooped down and stood back up again to demonstrate he passed the test. When the cup was returned to Claire the stone she has had hanging about her neck turned dead black. The look on the Comte’s face is perfect. He knew what the stone was and even remarked about it at the Fraser Dinner Party. He knows if he drinks from the cup now it will certainly kill him. Master Raymond, sneaky little joker, put St. Germain in Check Mate right then. Le Comte, of course, is forced to drink it and dies right there in the room. His choice was between drinking the poison or being drawn and quartered by the executioner. What a choice…SHEESH.
Master Raymond is let go and exiled from France. The King agrees to Claire’s request after she provides payment. He places her on the bed, lifts her skirts, and has sex with her briefly. It is all business and Claire is a little surprised when it is over. She rights her gown and is told by the King that he will ensure a pardon in Scotland but they are to leave France.
We then see Jamie coming up the stairs of the Fraser home, rather sheepishly and in full beard, to see Claire standing at the top like a stone statue. This part took several more Kleenex. I think I’m half a box down by this point. Claire explains what happened while he was in the Bastille. He asks to know if it was a boy or girl. Claire explains about the moments she was allowed to hold their baby girl. She describes the baby to him, and says Mother named her Faith. She explains that her friend Louise de Rohan (Claire Sermonne) had to come to Claire in the hospital to help the nuns take Claire’s baby so they can lay her to rest in the cemetery. That part was not in the book, but Louise did go to Claire in the book too so it was a reasonable compromise. Louise whisked her away to a country home for recovery in the book.
Jamie feels it is all his fault and asks if she hates him after losing the baby and his breaking the promise he made her. She says that yes she did for a time, but she realized it was her fault. You think she is about to rip into him with all the rage inside her, but she owns the full weight of loss of the child. She then has to tell him about the King. I’m so glad Jamie can see that she sacrificed the very same way he sacrificed himself for her with BJR. They agree to move forward together, even after all of this. Claire begs to be taken home, to Scotland. Jamie says they must make one stop first. They visit Faith’s grave and he lays one of the Apostle Spoons on her gravestone. The spoon for St. Andrew will remain with their dear daughter who has to be left behind in France.
HOME…TO SCOTLAND!! I’m so emotionally drained, please excuse me – I have to get into the Rhenish after all that. See you next episode.
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