Season Two, Episode Twelve: “The Hail Mary”
Written by Ira Steven Behr and Anne Kenney
Directed by Philip John
Alright guys, we’re really coming down to the wire here. Only two episodes left (including this week’s) until Outlander becomes Droughtlander again.
So let’s make the most of this, shall we?
~ Prince Charles decided to send the Jacobites back to Scotland for the winter.
~ Claire was sort of/not really kidnapped by Redcoats and taken to the Duke of Sandringham.
~ The Duke of Sandringham faked his Jacobite sympathies. He was actually just a two-faced lintlicker the whole time. I was not surprised by this.
~ Sandringham orchestrated the attack on Claire and Mary Hawkins in Paris, in order to pay off the debts he owed to the Comte St. Germain. Will confess, I was rather surprised by this.
~ Jamie and Murtagh showed up to rescue Claire. Mary Hawkins stabbed the guy who raped her. Murtagh cut off Sandringham’s head and presented it to Claire like the world’s bloodiest Christmas present.
~ I repeat, MARY HAWKINS STABBED HER RAPIST IN THE KIDNEY. TO DEATH. IT WAS AMAZING.
Okay, that’s enough of that.
We open this week with the tired and bedraggled Frasers riding into the Jacobite camp, just outside of Inverness. We are now three days out from the Battle of Culloden Moor and the subsequent death of all our hopes and dreams.
The Frasers and Co set themselves up in the abandoned mansion next to the camp, where Fergus (Romann Berrux) immediately falls asleep at the table. I immediately ordered Jamie (Sam Heughan) to wrap Fergus in a fluffy blanket and give him a puppy.
But alas, I was ignored. I consider this proof positive that I should become Fergus’ guardian, because I am clearly the only one that understands how precious this child is.
Claire heads into Inverness to replenish her medical supplies and ends up running into Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day), Stabber of Kidneys. After her induction into the Hall of Badass, she apparently headed north to find her bae, Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz).
Claire: Omg, Mary! I’m so happy to see you!
Mary: Oh hey Claire, remember that one time that you told my boyfriend that he was sick and worthless and that he should abandon me in Paris for my own good?
Claire: Um. Yes. Yes, I seem to recall something similar.
Mary: Well, now we’re living together and you can go sit on a pinecone.
Jamie, meanwhile, is at the Jacobite War Council, trying to convince Prince Charles (Andrew Gower) and the other generals that they should split the army up to stay hidden from the Redcoats. The soldiers are weak and hungry, waiting for the shipment of gold from the french King Louis that will buy them their winter supplies. Considering that the last time we saw him, King Louis was a complete poophead, I’m pretty concerned that this money is not going to show up.
While Jamie is trying to do something actually productive, Prince Charles is staring at the fire like a sixteen year old whose mom just told him he can’t paint his room black to match his depressed soul. Turns out that the reality of waging war against the British isn’t quite living up to the hype.
Jamie: Yeah, so that’s the plan.
Charles: *strokes Jamie’s face* Oh Broberry, you’re so smart and amazing.
Jamie: Okay, so we’re going with my smart and amazing plan?
Charles: Nah. We’re gonna go do the exact opposite of that.
Yeah, instead of listening to Jamie, Prince Charles decides to attack the Redcoats on Culloden Moor. Because we all know that’s gonna turn out great. But it’s okay, says Charles, because “God will provide for us.” At this point, Jamie turned and stared at the camera like he was on The Office.
Across town, Claire has gone to visit Mary, who is trying her best to keep Alex not dead. She is failing. Claire gets down to her doctoring business when suddenly, in walks the Devil’s Butthole, Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies). Jack has been financially supporting the young lovers for a while and, to his credit, seems genuinely concerned for his little brother.
Claire tells Mary and Jack that Alex isn’t long for this world. Mary is understandably upset by this, particularly because she is pregnant with Alex’s child. Jack asks Claire to do what she can for him anyway. Being the beautiful genius angel that she is, Claire says she’ll help Alex only if Randall tells her where the Redcoat army is encamped. Randall reluctantly tells her that the army is near a place called Nairn and that they will soon be having a birthday party for British General Cumberland because that’s what happens when you’re a British general, I guess.
Back at camp, Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) shows up. He is also dying, because apparently dying is all the rage this week. Colum asks Claire for a poison so that he can die in peace when he wants to, rather than wasting away. Claire obliges. Colum gives her an interesting bit of news: Gheillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), time-traveller and accused witch, gave birth to a baby boy before being executed last season. The baby is being raised by a family in the Mackenzie village.
Claire returns to town to help Mary and Jack with an extremely ill Alex. Though he can barely speak, Alex asks Jack to marry Mary so that she and the unborn child will have a safe place in the world when he is gone. Jack is not into this. Neither am I. Alex appeals to the good “inner man” inside of Jack, which I am pretty sure doesn’t exist. In fact, I’m pretty sure I once saw Jack Randall steal candy from a baby and then punch that baby in the face. [Citation needed.] [But it’s true.]
Murtagh agrees with me (about the marriage thing, not about the baby thing, though he probably would agree with that if I asked him, but I can’t and now I’m rambling, sorry). He tells Claire that he’ll marry Mary, if it means keeping her out of the clutches of Jack Randall. I will take this opportunity to point out that Murtagh is an adorable teddy bear wrapped in a gruff but loveable exterior and HE IS AMAZING.
Claire appreciates the offer, but reminds Murtagh that he is A) kind of poor and B) a “wanted rebel” or whatever. Also Claire is still on this whole “Mary has to marry Jack for Frank to be born” business. So she goes to find Jack, who is being drunk and mopey in a tavern.
Claire: You should marry Mary for reasons that are totally good reasons.
Jack: Blah blah, I’m the worst, blah blah.
Me: No argument here.
Jack: But like, for real, you know all the terrible things I like to do. What if I do that to Mary?
Claire: Idk, bro, why don’t you just…not? Do terrible things? Because you like…have a choice not to?
Jack: Haha, good joke, Madame Fraser. Everyone knows that free will is an illusion and I can’t help being the Devil’s Butthole. *Proceeds to explain, in detail, how much he loves torturing Jamie last year.*
Me: You are literally the worst thing ever.
Despite this emo-tastical speech, Jack does show up to marry Mary. So that’s done, I guess. Yay.
Meanwhile, Colum is having a meeting with Dougal and Jamie. Once Colum dies, his young son Hamish (who is secretly Colum’s son) will be head of the Clan MacKenzie. Colum names Jamie his regent, to lead the clan until Hamish comes of age. Dougal is not thrilled with this fact.
Jamie calls together the Jacobite generals and suggests that they launch a surprise attack on the Redcoat army during General Cumberland’s birthday party. In a brief show of non-ineptitude, Charles agrees.
Colum has a heart-to-heart with Dougal. And by that, I mean Dougal finally expresses his real feelings while Colum drinks Claire’s poison and quietly dies. Not one to be upstaged, Alex also dies in front of Claire, Jack, and Mary. Jack looks extremely sad, punches the crap out of Alex’s body, and runs away. Because that seems like a rational way to handle the situation.
Claire fills Jamie in on the whole “Mary/Jack” situation. Like me, Murtagh, and every other sane person on the planet, Jamie is not into it. Claire points out that Jack is supposed to die at the Battle of Culloden. As his widow, Mary and her child will have a respectable name and an army pension. And if Jack is so rude as to survive the battle, Claire and Jamie can always just murder him. Which is a plan I can get behind.
Jamie heads off with one column of the army, while Prince Charles leads another. The plan is to crush the Redcoats between the two Jacobite forces. Except that Charles gets lost, wanders around for awhile, and then gives up and goes home. Yeah, you read that right. He just gave up and went to go mope in front of the fire some more.
Please let it be known that I am extremely disappointed in Charles Stuart.
Pros of this episode:
~ Adorable moment of Fergus being adorable.
~ Murtagh is also adorable and amazing. I mean, his speech about how he doesn’t know Mary very well and he knows he’s not the most suave guy ever, but he’ll be kind and good to her? It was the television equivalent of eating an entire bag of jumbo size marshmallows. I will cherish the memory forever.
~ Mary Hawkins casting hella shade on Claire. This was awesome for two reasons: 1) Mary being assertive and not hesitating to call Claire out. At the beginning of the season, Mary was a shy girl, scared of her own shadow. Now, she’s stabbing her enemies and casting shade like she owns the place. 2) Claire finally got called on her stupid crap with Alex, which is great, because for some reason NO ONE LISTENS TO ME WHEN I YELL AT THE TV.
~ Frank Randall isn’t actually a direct descendant of Black Jack! Which is probably why Frank is not a complete psychopath. It also means that Claire wasn’t entirely correct about the whole “I need to make sure Frank is born” business. Which means I get to say that I was entirely right about her being wrong about it.
~ That’s it. That’s all the good things.
Cons of this episode:
~ This episode is somewhat lacking in narrative and pacing, particularly where Mary Hawkins is concerned. Somehow, in the time it takes the Frasers to ride from Sandringham’s to Inverness, Mary traveled north, found Alex, and is far enough along in her pregnancy that she knows for certain she even is pregnant. And that takes at least a few weeks. So she must have been on her own for at least a month, if not more. Did it really take the Frasers a month to ride from Sandringham’s estate to Inverness?
~ Jamie’s plotline goes absolutely nowhere and seems like it exists purely to give Jamie something to do while Claire wraps up the Alex/Mary arc. He talks to Charles and Charles doesn’t listen. Then Charles listens, but gets lost, so nothing happens. It’s a bit frustrating, watching Jamie just go around in circles. Though I suppose the point of that is to show the audience how frustrated Jamie is and how powerless he and Claire are to stop the march of history. And I get that, really I do. But we’ve only got one episode left in the season, so I don’t get why we’re wasting half an episode on Jamie/Charles when we could be, like, watching Fergus play with a puppy. Or something important like that.
~ Prince Charles is being super stupid and I now blame him for everything bad that has ever happened in Season Two.
~ Everything is getting super depressing now that Culloden is bearing down on us.
~ R.I.P. Alex Randall. You were a sweet cutie-pie while you lasted.
~ R.I.P. Colum, too, I guess.
~ The amount of times this episode forced me to write “marry Mary.” Sorry about that, you guys. Couldn’t be helped.
~ At some point, Mary tells Alex, “You’re okay.” I have to point out that the term “okay” was invented sometime in the mid-19th century and therefore is entirely out of place in Mary’s 18th century mouth. I know, it doesn’t seem very important, but it’s the little things, people.
In conclusion, all I have to say is that Black Jack Randall better die at Culloden next week or I will personally crawl through the television and murder him myself.
Outlander airs every Saturday at 9/8c on Starz.
Not enough to tide you over till next week? Feel free to check out our other Outlander coverage! Or head over to the official Outlander website for clips, full episodes, and behind the scenes goodies.