‘Outlander’ Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: The Fox’s Lair

Outlander Season 2 Episode 8
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in ‘Outlander’ (Photo © 2016 Sony Pictures Television Inc)

Je Suis Prete…HOME…TO SCOTLAND!! Thought we had left the French behind, huh? Well we did, but not the Fraser moto, Je Suis Prete {‘I am ready’}. And Outlander season two episode eight will help you to know more about the Frasers than ever before. We get the privilege {that is debatable} of meeting Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Jenny’s (Laura Donnelly) Grandsire {grandfather to the rest of us}, Lord Lovet (Clive Russell). Should be highly interesting. Tulach Ard!!!

We start the episode, first things first, with an updated opening song that’s sung now without the French section. I believe I saw an interesting title card too, a glimpse of Lallybroch from a CAR window??? Hmmm… But I digress; to the episode. We are gifted a landscape view of the Highlands. I have certainly missed this character in the show. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) begins by bringing us up to speed on a brief summary of activity between leaving France and settling into life at Lallybroch. The book takes a long time to get us to this point, and a bit of me misses the details and journey. BUT a show is different from the book, so it still brings the story along and works well to keep us in the plot at the proper timing. The entire house is marveling at the first crop of potatoes grown at Lallybroch. Part of the fields were devoted to this crop on Claire’s advice. She knows that a famine will hit the land in a few years. It is also incredible to see Jamie and Claire affectionate again. France was so very hard on them both.


Since this is the first potato crop, the humorous conversation about what to do with them ensues. It is our cutey French transplant, Fergus (Romann Berrux), who offers up the first suggestions by boiling them and eating with salt and butter. Did you hear that? My stomach growled…snort. Ian Murray (Steven Cree) and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) enter with the post. In this collection of exciting items and letters, which included books and other friendly items from France, was a letter by none other than Prince Charles (Andrew Gower). And wouldn’t you know it, the little schemer signed Jamie’s name to a letter of intent to invade that brands him as a traitor to the English crown again. SHEESH, he was only pardoned for a few months! Nothing like being volunteered for treason. That hooked him right and proper; Jamie has no way out of it now. It carried the official seal and was distributed before Jamie even knew it. He MUST support the uprising now.

Jamie goes out of the house to think, and Claire eventually follows. What to do, what to do? They discuss running from Scotland, but Jamie keeps his voice of reason as always. Claire is afraid for Jamie because he is branded a traitor again. Jamie wants to fight for his country. He still thinks they can change the future. He enumerates all that Claire did to change other’s futures thus far. He says something that I have heard my own husband say many times, given he is a former soldier: Jamie wants to fight for his family, his home, and his country.

So now the mission becomes winning against the British. Lallybroch starts preparing for the task of joining the Prince. Jamie has to go into the Fox’s Lair to get Lord Lovet’s men for the army as well. All the Frasers have to band together to strengthen the Jacobite army. Naturally, Jenny is not in favor of this idea. She and Jamie have a nice war of words over Jamie going and asking for support. Level-headed Jamie convinces her, like he did Claire, this MUST take place; there is nothing for it now. When Prince Charles signed James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser to that decree, it set Jamie’s course for him.

Jamie is too cute sometimes. That night he warns Claire that his father was a Bastard to Lord Lovet. He asks her forgiveness for not telling her about it before they got married. Claire just smirks and says it doesn’t matter to her. It is so great to see them affectionate and loving again, all poison from France now fully extracted from their relationship. Jamie picks her up and carries her to the bed. Okay, I know I don’t have to say it, but just love a shirtless Jamie too. Terrible to see all the scars he has acquired along the way though, painful memories all.

Claire wakes in the early morning to find Jamie missing from the bed. She goes out of the room to look over the balcony to see Jamie sitting with the newest member of the Murray family on his lap. Ian and Jenny had a third child while Claire and Jamie were in Paris. Jamie doesn’t know that Claire is watching him from above, he is just whispering to the bairn in Gaelic. Miss the subtitles we got with the French, I would love to know what he is whispering to the little angel. Jenny comes out to see Claire, tears brimming in her eyes, watching the newest bairn with Jamie. It is truly a bitter sweet moment given that they lost their daughter only months before in France. Such a wonderful scene in the book, I’m so glad they left it in the show, too.

The next morning there are more tears as they send off Jamie and Claire to see Lord Lovet. Jamie is leaving Lallybroch again. Man, he and Claire just can’t get a moments peace, can they?! Off they head to the castle of Lord Lovet. We get the gift of that amazing scenery again as they journey across the lands. While on the journey to Lord Lovet, Jamie lets Claire in on some family history…none of it good. Lord Lovet was a highly complicated man and tended to do things that would benefit him alone. He had stolen two of his three wives over his lifetime, he had tried to take Jamie’s mother before Jamie’s father could marry her, and the fact that he plays both sides against the middle on a continual basis. He supports the English when it suits him, and he supports Scotland when it suits him. Like I said, all about him in the end. Anyone else think he is a bit like the Duke of Sandringham, but with less charm? Might just be me…

Jamie and Claire, still with much of the road on them, are taken into the main castle hall to await Lord Lovet’s audience when all of the sudden Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) comes out into the light from the windows. This is a new event that was not in the book. MacKenzie doesn’t talk to Jamie about these events in the book until a later time, but much of the content is the same. And another reason to have this meeting occur now presents itself shortly. Claire takes the opportunity to chastise him for any possible part he might have had in Claire being subjected to the witch trial in the first season. It is known by all that Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) was the one who put Claire in the wrong place at the wrong time so she would have a clear path to Jamie. Just then a surprising entrance is made by Lord Lovet himself.

And in an effort to get off on the right foot {said in all sarcasm} he comes in spouting about Jamie having wed a Sassenach wench. Great first impression there, Granddad!!! Jamie spouts back that HE had no need to steal a woman or rape to get his wife. Claire is told to go while the men chat about politics. This doesn’t go down well, but Claire does leave. While she is out walking about the castle she encounters Laoghaire herself, another action that is not in the book. It does make sense though because later story elements that involve Laoghaire need a clear line of sight. She asks Claire’s forgiveness for the witch trial, but Claire rejects her. Claire tells Jamie about the encounter and he is not forgiving of Laoghaire’s actions either.

They go down to dinner and talk more politics around the table. Jamie warned Claire upstairs to keep her mouth shut. The look she gave him was classic Claire, but she does heed his warning in this instance. Jamie is quite the orator but of course Lord Lovet and Colum continue to reject his request for soldiers. Lord Lovet does nothing that is not in his own best interest, and this means he will want something in exchange for involving himself in the uprising. While the conversation is going on Claire notices that Lord Lovet’s son takes a fancy to Laoghaire.

Lovet and Colum are hesitant given that they do not have the French support secured for the cause. The previous two uprisings have failed because there was no outside support. Lord Lovet’s son, Simon (James Parris), tries to speak in support of Jamie and gets humiliated by his father in the process. After they are back upstairs in their room, Jamie points out that he will have to get Lovet alone to find out what he wants in exchange for helping with the uprising. Colum keeps manipulating the situation when they are all together. Colum might not be physically strong, but mentally he is a force to be reckoned with.

Later as Claire is walking past Lord Lovet’s room she hears Lovet throw a woman out of the door and onto the ground. It is his Seer, Maisri (Maureen Beattie). Claire helps her up off the ground and asks if she is okay. Of course the woman runs off scared, so Claire couldn’t get any information out of her.

Next we see Jamie and Lovet conversing in his study, I’m assuming the next day. In his charming way he starts insulting Jamie’s father for rejecting him. Brian Fraser wanted nothing to do with his own father. This is the only time we see the Old Fox show any semblance of injury. Lord Lovet wanted to make Brian Fraser his successor but was completely rejected by Brian. Jamie sees what Lord Lovet wants in return for support: the Lallybroch lands. The book explains this point ever so much deeper. Lallybroch is a particularly rich section of land that joins MacKenzie lands and Fraser lands. Both clans would love nothing more than to acquire that section of Scotland for themselves, hence part of the reason that Colum and Lovet are enemies and why Jamie’s parents’ marriage was so distasteful to both families.

Lovet then sinks to an even deeper sewer level by threatening Claire’s honor if Jamie does not sign over Lallybroch. Well you can imagine how well that went down. Rise La Dame Blanche!! As we know by all events in the first season, Scots are highly superstitious people. Jamie evoking the White Lady again to save his wife seems a reasonable course. Claire is not happy about it, but eventually sees it is a good thing. The way Jamie puts it to Lovet sure scared the devil out of him, and certainly deters him from attempting the proposed gang rape he said would happen to her if he did not get his hands on Lallybroch. Jamie can spin a very convincing yarn…lol. Of course, throwing the alcohol in the fire to emphasis the effect was pretty smart too.

Claire points out that maybe if they get Simon, Lovet’s son, to support Jamie then they can win Lovet over. Claire devises a plan to use Laoghaire to entice Simon to stand up to his father. This gives Laoghaire a chance to redeem herself to Claire, and possibly Jamie. They execute the plan to stoke the fire of the infatuation that Simon feels for Laoghaire.

Claire has Simon show her to the chapel on the Lovet estate. They encounter Laoghaire on the way to the chapel, and Claire leaves them alone to talk while she continues to the chapel alone. In the chapel she sees Maisri again and Maisri shares what she told Lovet when he threw her out of the room. She does tell Claire that some of the things she sees are possible to change. This gives Claire the hope that the loss of the Highland culture might still be stopped.

A gathering in the great hall is where Lovet puts it to Jamie straight out. Jamie is to either sign over Lallybroch or Lovet signs a separate degree to stay neutral in the Jacobite uprising. As Jamie considers the situation, and is just about to sign over his lands, Claire gets up and makes a very convincing spectacle. She portrays the White Lady, mid vision, and Jamie plays it up VERY well. You would have thought they planned it, but this show is our heroine thinking quick on her feet again. All eyes upon her, Claire says much the same thing as Maisri had said about the executioner taking Lovet’s head with an axe. Lovet pulls a dirk and goes to attack Claire, but his son stops him. You can almost see the lightbulb go off over Lovet’s head when Simon declared to all the room he was to join Jamie in the Jacobite cause. Simon gets ready to go with Jamie and Claire, and they all think they failed.

The next morning Colum tries one last time to get Jamie to give up the entire venture and go home. Of course Colum doesn’t know what Jamie and Claire do about the future. Claire then asks Jamie to say “thank you” to Laoghaire; he has no idea why. But because Claire asks, he does it. Claire doesn’t know that Laoghaire still has designs on Jamie.

As Claire, Jamie, and Simon leave, a band of Highland warriors crest the hill above them. This is Lord Lovet’s army, mounted and ready for the journey to fight in the cause. Lovet signed the pact of neutrality as an official renunciation of the war or support for the Jacobite’s, but then lends his men to the cause by way of his son. He plays both ends against the middle again. Lovet’s men go with his son, and Lovet heads home to say his son took the men of his own accord. Sly ‘ol Fox indeed.

Outlander Season Two Recaps:

  • Episode One – Through a Glass, Darkly
  • Episode Two – Not in Scotland Anymore
  • Episode Three – Useful Occupations and Deceptions
  • Episode Four – La Dame Blanche
  • Episode Five – Untimely Resurrections
  • Episode Six – Best Laid Schemes
  • Episode Seven – Faith
  • Episode Nine – Je Suis Prest
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