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S02.E04: La Dame Blanche

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Claire and Jamie throw an elaborate dinner party intended to derail investors in Prince Charles’ war effort.

This is the No Book Talk episode thread. No book discussion of any kind including "It's different in the books." Book and spoiled posters, your thread is here.

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Just watched on Demand.  FIrst (rough) thoughts:

  • Who ever called Mary getting raped - spot on.  Wish you'd been wrong, but...it's this show, after all.  
  • Claire's lucky, I guess that the guy who was going to rape her took his sweet time getting his britches open.  Mary wasn't so lucky.  
  • I guess "La Dame Blanche" (the white lady) thing will be explained next week why they were so afraid they had to run away?  
  • And suddenly, Claire is so strong that she can push her would be attacker away and throw the rapist off Mary but was flailing pretty uselessly in the fight beforehand.  That's convenient. (for the plot, that is.)
  • After the distance between Claire and Jamie in the last couple episodes, I was a little underwhelmed by their reconciliation.  I wasn't really feeling it.  Claire, I guess, let it go, but she had a good point that Jamie had to get himself all stirred up by a whore in order to come home and want to make love to his wife.  Wow.  Just wow.   And ew, jerk.  
  • Glad she did finally tell him about BJR though.  Did not expect that reaction from him either.  And good for him for being level headed enough to not want to run back to Scotland and hunt him down for a variety of reasons (risking the hangman's noose among them.)
  • about Mary getting raped: maybe Frank isn't related DNA wise to BJR at all.  Could be the result of her rape.  
  • And I know it's the 18th century and all, but the treatment (or lack there of) of Mary in the aftermath left a really bad taste in my mouth.  Jamie seemed moderately more concerned -at least about Mary's future.  Claire, while righteously indignant about how Mary being "soiled" would prevent any man from wanting her still didn't really seem concerned enough to call off the dinner party and tend to a young girl who'd just been violently raped.  Really?  The dinner was too important to their cause?  Like it couldn't have been rescheduled for the week after next, cause -  oh yeah, information travels at the speed of the internet back then or something... give me a break.  Two weeks wouldn't have made any difference.  But it might have to Mary.  And Jamie more worried about her marriageability than maybe the fact that now Mary was naked and trying to hide under a blade of grass... cause he should know how that feels.     Massive Fail Claire and Jamie.
  • Me thinks Murtaugh's got a crush on the lady's maid (Suzette? can't remember her name)
  • I liked Claire's dress when she was watching the chess game and Louise's dress for the dinner party.  
  • Charlie continues to be a whiny, spoiled brat.  I say let Murtaugh take care of him.  
  • How does this magic stone work that changes color in the presence of poison?  All poisons?  Or just some poison?  I've never heard of such a thing (unless if was physically exposed to the poison, like litmus paper for example) but just in the mere vicinity?  Are we supposed to buy that this really is a magic rock?
  • Master Raymond isn't much of a business man to keep giving things away to Claire for free.   Didn't he also give her something no charge the first time she was there?  We didn't see her pay for the lady's contraceptives either.   Maybe he's making enough money off his other clients to make up for it.  Still doesn't seem like a sound business practice, unless she is also buying enough other herbs etc to offset the loss.  Seems like she's there all the time.
  • Anyone know what kind of skull that was Claire held up in his shop? 
  • The cinematography and costumes and sets are all beautiful but the story just really isn't holding my attention as much as the first season did.  
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Elegant dinner party turning into a Scottish brawl hootenanny?  Got lighten things up just a little after what happened.  Poor Mary, though.

And, yeah, he might be trying to kill Claire, but St. Germain is dreamy.

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I felt that in this episode the film picture was not as clear as the past two episodes. It was darker and more grainy..... almost as if a different technique was used which made the first two episodes appear to have been live on tape. 

The first two episodes were so visually and colorfully gorgeous that I actually said they looked like paintings. This episode was so dark I could hardly see the actors. 

Edited by DakotaLavender

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I didn't really get the tonal change at the end. The braw was oddly comic and considering Mary had just been raped that was a strange and bothersome choice.

I'm not really enjoying this season that much thus far.

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  • 12 hours ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:
    • JI guess "La Dame Blanche" (the white lady) thing will be explained next week why they were so afraid they had to run away?  
    • And suddenly, Claire is so strong that she can push her would be attacker away and throw the rapist off Mary but was flailing pretty uselessly in the fight beforehand.  That's convenient. (for the plot, that is.)
    • After the distance between Claire and Jamie in the last couple episodes, I was a little underwhelmed by their reconciliation.  I wasn't really feeling it.  Claire, I guess, let it go, but she had a good point that Jamie had to get himself all stirred up by a whore in order to come home and want to make love to his wife.  Wow.  Just wow.   And ew, jerk.  
    • about Mary getting raped: maybe Frank isn't related DNA wise to BJR at all.  Could be the result of her rape.  
    • And I know it's the 18th century and all, but the treatment (or lack there of) of Mary in the aftermath left a really bad taste in my mouth.  Jamie seemed moderately more concerned -at least about Mary's future.  Claire, while righteously indignant about how Mary being "soiled" would prevent any man from wanting her still didn't really seem concerned enough to call off the dinner party and tend to a young girl who'd just been violently raped.  Really?  The dinner was too important to their cause?  Like it couldn't have been rescheduled for the week after next, cause -  oh yeah, information travels at the speed of the internet back then or something... give me a break.  Two weeks wouldn't have made any difference.  But it might have to Mary.  And Jamie more worried about her marriageability than maybe the fact that now Mary was naked and trying to hide under a blade of grass... cause he should know how that feels.     Massive Fail Claire and Jamie.
    •  

     

In response to a few of your comments...

  • Considering the name of the episode, I would have expected a little more detail on La Dame Blanche.  Was she wearing that necklace when attacked?  Perhaps that's why they were afraid?
  • Claire has more experience fighting than Mary, who looks about 15 years old and very sheltered.  She has been in a war, has had to fight BJR on a couple of occasions, etc.  Plus, Mary is tiny.  Jamie carried both Claire and Mary in this episode and I noticed that Mary looked like a doll in his arms and super light to carry.  (Not suggesting that Claire is heavy!)
  • I think that the fact that he was aroused by the prostitute was just evidence that he was ready to get back to normal.  He and Claire had been distant (and she would not have been assertive with him about having sex) so he did not know that he had recovered.  However, I bet the prostitute was fairly aggressive with coming on to him (her livelihood depends on it, after all), so when he had a physical reaction, he knew he was back to his old self.  Claire's reaction is perfectly reasonable.
  • I don't think Frank could be a result of the rape because he looks like Blackjack.  He has to be a Randall.
  • Mary was asleep. so there was really nothing more (or so they thought) they could do for her at that moment.  Cancelling the dinner after everyone had arrive might raise suspicions and bring attention to Mary that she would not want.  And Claire thought they left her in the care of the man she loved and who loved her back.  It might have been more prudent to leave her in Suzette's care.  A woman who has just been raped might reasonably frightened by any man.  I did for a second wonder if she was raped by BJR and was frightened by his physical similarity to his brother, but that's far fetched.

My observations:

  • At the beginning of the episode, they had the violence, nudity, rape warning (at least in the US airing) and I immediately thought, Oh Dear God, Claire's recklessness is going to get someone raped.  Although I cannot blame Claire for the attack, I wonder if she could have borrowed a carriage from one of the doctors in the hospital, rather than immediately deciding to walk home.  They didn't even seem to be hurrying--rather, they were strolling home.  shouldn't they have been trying harder to get home quickly?
  • I don't see how Compte St. Germain could be involved in the attack.  Why would they rape Mary if he ordered it?  It would make more sense for them to focus on Claire.  The birthmark on that guy's hand is going to mean something, I assume. However, he did seem astonished to see Claire arrive home in one piece, so maybe he is involved.
  • Apparently her association with Louse has had some sort of impact on Mary for her to be writing letters to Alex Randall while engaged to the Viscount..  By the way, I am glad that her betrothed was fighting for her honor, rather than immediately rejecting her after thinking she was being raped by Alex.  I guess we now know a little more about how she becomes Mrs. BJR--at least, how she doesn't marry the VIscount.
  • So far, Alex seems significantly nicer than BJR, so that's a plus.
  • How is Prince Charles running around Paris without any bodyguards?  I thought the idea of him running around the roofs of Paris to be nuts!
  • I was astonished at the reveal that Louise's lover is Prince Charles.  LOL at the way he made out with her hand when they were introduced.  When she changed the subject from politics to opera, I did get the impression that she was trying to help him avoid embarrassing himself.  
  • Also laughed at Sandringham's comment on how beautiful Jamie and Claire's child will be.  He is so into Jamie, it's ridiculous.  
  • St. Germain leaving with the Prince makes me uneasy.
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I know Sandringham sucks, but his obvious crush on Jamie is still hilarious.

It's almost shocking that we managed to get to the fourth episode of the season before our first rape/attempted rape. Poor Mary. Rape is always terrible but for a girl who was horrified by the idea of sex, sheesh.

I was cracking up at Louise's reaction when Claire suggested that Louise convince her husband that the baby was his. "Sleep with my husband? But that will upset my lover!"

St. Germain may be a creepy creep, but if he was the one behind the attack, how were the four guys planning to carry out their plan if Claire had been in her carriage as planned? Or did they sabotage her carriage to force her to walk so they could follow her and then attack her?

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^^^^ EB, to your last question, I'm pretty sure that they showed the carriage being sabotaged during the little sequence* that comes right after the title card.  There is a tightly-held shot of a man's hands--one with a prominent birthmark--doing something to the wheel of a carriage.  At first, I thought he was repairing it, but after seeing the episode and thinking back, I'm pretty sure he was removing the pin that held the wheel to the axle.

 

*It's the downtime between the title card and the first scene of the episode when they show the remaining credits (like the writer and director for the episode), usually over a violin instrumental, I think.  I noticed that they tend to use this space as a little preview of something to come in the episode.

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As a non-book reader, I too was wondering what the title means. Was she wearing the necklace and it means something else? Like a "powerful magical" stone that would scare locals? It has to be something, because the attackers said it as they were running away. I hated the fight scene after Mary wakes up. It just seemed designed as a plot point to push forward specific situations. 

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They kind of lost my interest the whole series in this one episode. Jamie calling Claire "Sassenach". I had to google the word and found that it's a Gaelic term used to refer to English people, or outsiders. It is often used as a derogatory term, but Jamie calls Claire affectionately by it. Truthfully, I'm a little tired of hearing it, he says it to the point of annoyance. Whatever happened to the words 'dear', 'honey', 'sweetheart'?  I don't buy that whole gobble-de-gook story he fed Claire about why he went to 2nd base with a whore. I would have called bullshit on that one. When did Jamie suddenly go from a swarthy, masculine male to a complaining, bitching, mealy-mouthed, sensitive little bitch? I'm not liking the Jamie character at all this season so far. I feel that there's been way too much attention and focus on Claire's elaborate costumes and heaving breasts. Caitriona Balfe is a gorgeous woman and the Outlander writers are certain to take every opportunity to capitalize on that beauty and film more of her than anyone else. Even the lighting in a scene in which she appears with another woman. It's Claire that gets the best angle and lighting.

In last week's episode she put urine to her tongue to taste. Of course, being a nurse, I knew what it was she was trying to diagnose, diabetes. The symptoms were there clear as day what was wrong with this woman, 'always hungry, always thirsty' are clear signs. But to be pregnant and put someone's urine that's been sitting in a glass bottle (how would anyone pee in that little thing?) was just something that no pregnant woman in her right mind would do. It just wasn't necessary.

I'm assuming Claire is going to lose this baby since when she returns to 1948 England, she's pregnant and not showing her pregnancy yet.

Edited by HumblePi

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3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

"Sleep with my husband? But that will upset my lover!"

I'm enjoying the "change history" aspect of this season, but the humor is killing me. Between that and the whole 69 conversation I was dying. I didn't even know 69 was a thing in the 1940s!

They're also doing a great job of making Charlie a horrible person. I have no idea how the highlanders fight for him. Speaking of, please please tell me the idea of naming the baby "Lambert" is a Highlander shout out. 

I thought the dinner was a good idea, but I thought Claire's deciding to "walk home" was not a good idea. They couldn't hire another carriage instead?

I was surprised that Claire told Jamie about BJR, but I think it was the right call. Then "I don't know what you were worried about!" HA

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5 minutes ago, ganesh said:

I'm enjoying the "change history" aspect of this season, but the humor is killing me. Between that and the whole 69 conversation I was dying. I didn't even know 69 was a thing in the 1940s!

Honest to goodness, that's so cute! I think that people living in current times can't imagine their parents or 'old people' actually engaging in sexual acts like '69' and many others. It's kind of an 'ew' thought when it comes to imagining parents doing the big '69'.  But various and imaginative sexual positions were not magically created for our generations alone, they've been alive and well and flourishing since the first man and woman had sex. The Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian Hindu text that's widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature was written around 400 BC. Sex and sexuality throughout the generations has always been much more than 'missionary'.

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No, not the act. The naming of it as "69." I didn't know it was called that so far back. Not that they engaged in it. 

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12 hours ago, nara said:

In response to a few of your comments...

  • Considering the name of the episode, I would have expected a little more detail on La Dame Blanche.  Was she wearing that necklace when attacked?  Perhaps that's why they were afraid?

I don't remember seeing the necklace on her during the attack.  However, it could have been under her dress, which had a fairly high neckline.

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  • Claire has more experience fighting than Mary, who looks about 15 years old and very sheltered.  She has been in a war, has had to fight BJR on a couple of occasions, etc.  Plus, Mary is tiny.  Jamie carried both Claire and Mary in this episode and I noticed that Mary looked like a doll in his arms and super light to carry.  (Not suggesting that Claire is heavy!)

Not sure you understood my comment - I wasn't insulting Mary for not fighting at all.  But while Claire tried to fight a little bit before Mary actually got raped, she was completely ineffectual: the attackers pretty much threw her off and then were able to restrain her.  Until "La Dame Blance" thing, when suddenly she had the strength to throw off the man holding her and push away the man getting ready to rape her and also shove aside Mary's rapist.   Conveniently (not for Mary) after Mary had already been raped.  It seemed a little contrived to me.

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  • I think that the fact that he was aroused by the prostitute was just evidence that he was ready to get back to normal.  He and Claire had been distant (and she would not have been assertive with him about having sex) so he did not know that he had recovered.  However, I bet the prostitute was fairly aggressive with coming on to him (her livelihood depends on it, after all), so when he had a physical reaction, he knew he was back to his old self.  Claire's reaction is perfectly reasonable.

Wasn't it last episode or the one before when Claire had her honeypot waxed in an effort to arouse Jamie?  She seemed assertive enough climbing into bed and placing his hand between her legs.  But then again, I understand what you mean about the prostitute - she could possibly have been even more aggressive.  Then again, last week when a prostitute was hanging over his shoulder at the brothel, Jamie shrugged her off and she left easy enough, so I'm not going to buy that excuse for him either.

 I just think it's a double standard.  Imagine his reaction if Claire came home with bite marks on her upper inner thighs because Duverney (or someone similar) got a little too personal.  Think Jamie would have let it go (or been expected to as I felt the narrative expects the viewer to) as easily as Claire did?  She's easily 5-6 months pregnant.  I don't think they have had marital relations think entire time.  So, 5 or 6 months without her husband touching her.  Now add in the fact that she's got to be feeling some self consciousness over her changing body (maybe not feeling as attractive).  Then her husband comes home with bite marks on his thighs talking about 69 with a prostitute.  And who is the one who ended up having to apologize and go to whom?  Jamie storms off to sleep elsewhere and Claire had to go to him.  It reminds me of the fight by the roadside after Jamie rescued Claire from almost being raped by Randall, and she had to apologize to him because he was afraid for her.  Again, if the situation were reversed, I seriously doubt Jamie would apologize to Claire and go make it up to her.  No matter what Claire is going through/has gone through it seems that Jamie's pain is more important.  

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  • I don't think Frank could be a result of the rape because he looks like Blackjack.  He has to be a Randall.

Oops good catch.  I forgot about that.  

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  • Mary was asleep. so there was really nothing more (or so they thought) they could do for her at that moment.  Cancelling the dinner after everyone had arrive might raise suspicions and bring attention to Mary that she would not want.  And Claire thought they left her in the care of the man she loved and who loved her back.  It might have been more prudent to leave her in Suzette's care.  A woman who has just been raped might reasonably frightened by any man.  I did for a second wonder if she was raped by BJR and was frightened by his physical similarity to his brother, but that's far fetched.

They didn't even have to mention Mary as the reason for cancelling the dinner party.  No one even need know she was there.  They didn't know until she woke up and ran out of the room anyway.  But "My wife was just attacked" I think would be a valid excuse to which everyone (other than maybe the Comte and Duke) would be sympathetic.  She was asleep because Claire gave her poppy juice (opium, basically) and even Claire knew it wouldn't last because she gave Alex instructions to give her more if/when she woke up.  Can we talk for a minute of the wisdom of leaving a rape victim in the 18th century in the care of a man not related to her?  Even if he did love her and she loved him - it's just not something that ever should have been done.  Jamie should have known that.  Or the servants.  Hell, even Murtaugh should have nixed that idea.  But that was convenient so that it would look like Alex was raping her when trying to quiet her down.  A female servant wouldn't have served the same plot purpose.

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My observations:

  • At the beginning of the episode, they had the violence, nudity, rape warning (at least in the US airing) and I immediately thought, Oh Dear God, Claire's recklessness is going to get someone raped.  Although I cannot blame Claire for the attack, I wonder if she could have borrowed a carriage from one of the doctors in the hospital, rather than immediately deciding to walk home.  They didn't even seem to be hurrying--rather, they were strolling home.  shouldn't they have been trying harder to get home quickly?

I thought the same thing when they were shown strolling pretty leisurely right before the attack.  They were already an hour late leaving the hospital.  Claire had a dinner party to get home and host and still had to dress for the occasion (that's not something usually done in any haste in those days).  We know she can walk pretty fast last season when Rupert and Angus used to complain about having to follow her at Leoch.  Now all of a sudden she's not in a hurry?  

Seems they could have also hired a cab/carriage to get home.  Surely they had those back in those days?

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  • I don't see how Compte St. Germain could be involved in the attack.  Why would they rape Mary if he ordered it?  It would make more sense for them to focus on Claire.  The birthmark on that guy's hand is going to mean something, I assume. However, he did seem astonished to see Claire arrive home in one piece, so maybe he is involved.

He could have hired the thugs to do it.  Unfortunately for Mary, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the wrong company.

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  • Apparently her association with Louse has had some sort of impact on Mary for her to be writing letters to Alex Randall while engaged to the Viscount..  By the way, I am glad that her betrothed was fighting for her honor, rather than immediately rejecting her after thinking she was being raped by Alex.  I guess we now know a little more about how she becomes Mrs. BJR--at least, how she doesn't marry the VIscount.

Of course, I think his honor as a gentleman would have demanded he fight for his betrothed's honor at that moment.  He'll break the engagement later.

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  • St. Germain leaving with the Prince makes me uneasy.

That and his order to a servant? to call the gendarmes.  (Police)  That's not going to be good for Jamie and Claire.

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16 minutes ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Not sure you understood my comment - I wasn't insulting Mary for not fighting at all.  But while Claire tried to fight a little bit before Mary actually got raped, she was completely ineffectual: the attackers pretty much threw her off and then were able to restrain her.  Until "La Dame Blance" thing, when suddenly she had the strength to throw off the man holding her and push away the man getting ready to rape her and also shove aside Mary's rapist.   Conveniently (not for Mary) after Mary had already been raped.  It seemed a little contrived to me.

Wasn't it last episode or the one before when Claire had her honeypot waxed in an effort to arouse Jamie?  She seemed assertive enough climbing into bed and placing his hand between her legs.  But then again, I understand what you mean about the prostitute - she could possibly have been even more aggressive.  Then again, last week when a prostitute was hanging over his shoulder at the brothel, Jamie shrugged her off and she left easy enough, so I'm not going to buy that excuse for him either.

 I just think it's a double standard.  Imagine his reaction if Claire came home with bite marks on her upper inner thighs because Duverney (or someone similar) got a little too personal.  Think Jamie would have let it go (or been expected to as I felt the narrative expects the viewer to) as easily as Claire did?  She's easily 5-6 months pregnant.  I don't think they have had marital relations think entire time.  So, 5 or 6 months without her husband touching her.  Now add in the fact that she's got to be feeling some self consciousness over her changing body (maybe not feeling as attractive).  Then her husband comes home with bite marks on his thighs talking about 69 with a prostitute.  And who is the one who ended up having to apologize and go to whom?  Jamie storms off to sleep elsewhere and Claire had to go to him.  It reminds me of the fight by the roadside after Jamie rescued Claire from almost being raped by Randall, and she had to apologize to him because he was afraid for her.  Again, if the situation were reversed, I seriously doubt Jamie would apologize to Claire and go make it up to her.  No matter what Claire is going through/has gone through it seems that Jamie's pain is more important.  

They didn't even have to mention Mary as the reason for cancelling the dinner party.  No one even need know she was there.  They didn't know until she woke up and ran out of the room anyway.  But "My wife was just attacked" I think would be a valid excuse to which everyone (other than maybe the Comte and Duke) would be sympathetic.  She was asleep because Claire gave her poppy juice (opium, basically) and even Claire knew it wouldn't last because she gave Alex instructions to give her more if/when she woke up.  Can we talk for a minute of the wisdom of leaving a rape victim in the 18th century in the care of a man not related to her?  Even if he did love her and she loved him - it's just not something that ever should have been done.  Jamie should have known that.  Or the servants.  Hell, even Murtaugh should have nixed that idea.  But that was convenient so that it would look like Alex was raping her when trying to quiet her down.  A female servant wouldn't have served the same plot purpose.

 

I didn't understand your comment.  Thanks for your clarification.  You're right, it's a little convenient that Claire suddenly got stronger after it was too late for Mary.  Without a rewatch, I cannot be too sure of the exact timing of her increased power.  Maybe the attacker's grip on her loosened when he started to think she was La Dame Blanche?

Regarding the bites, perhaps Jamie felt he had to let it go a little farther this time so as to not to arouse suspicion about why he's not partaking in the pleasures of the brothel.  He's trying to be part of the Prince Charles crowd and it might be getting harder blend in without allowing the prostitutes to do some stuff to him.  Also, we've seen that Jamie is a bit of horn-dog who does let things go too far; most notably his fondling of Laoghaire's breast after they all return to Castle Leoch.  Even though Laoghaire put his hand on her breast, he did not take it off immediately, and there was some definite active groping on his part.

And it absolutely is a double standard--something I've come to expect in this show due to the era.  Jamie would be furious if she let things get that far with another man.  When Duverney was coming on to Claire, he blamed her dress.   But I didn't see Claire going to Jamie as an apology, but rather that she was forgiving him.  (a matter of perception, I guess.)  And IMO, Jamie is still a little immature in the way he handles relationships.  Claire has been married before and is several years older than him IIRC.  I know a lot of people, particularly book fans, think he is the perfect man.  I definitely don't think so, and that makes be able to accept his flaws.  In this case, he should have accepted responsibility for allowing the prostitute access to his thighs!

I didn't mean that they would mention Mary specifically, but that it would raise questions and gossip about why the party was canceled, which might lead back to Mary.  I may be wrong on this one, but I felt it was natural to try to maintain an outward appearance of normality, until they could think calmly about what to do.

On a different topic, heavy foreshadowing this episode for Claire on her return to Frank-- both in the reading the bones scene and in the discussion with Louise on a man raising another one's child.  That got me thinking--is it even called foreshadowing if we've already seen it happen, but the character has not?

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4 hours ago, nara said:

Maybe the attacker's grip on her loosened when he started to think she was La Dame Blanche?

Probably.  And they all scurried off once the La Dame Blanche got around, so I'm sure that was part of it.

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Regarding the bites, perhaps Jamie felt he had to let it go a little farther this time so as to not to arouse suspicion about why he's not partaking in the pleasures of the brothel.  He's trying to be part of the Prince Charles crowd and it might be getting harder blend in without allowing the prostitutes to do some stuff to him.  Also, we've seen that Jamie is a bit of horn-dog who does let things go too far; most notably his fondling of Laoghaire's breast after they all return to Castle Leoch.  Even though Laoghaire put his hand on her breast, he did not take it off immediately, and there was some definite active groping on his part.

You may be correct about the fitting in.  But if so, it wasn't explained adequately in the show, imo.  Jamie said nothing about that in his explanation to Claire did he?  And it just seems odd to me that after last week pushing away the prostitute, now he's letting one get familiar enough to leave bite marks on his thighs?  Geez, I'd forgotten about his fondling Laoghaire (or blocked it from my memory - not sure which...) !  Good point.  

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 But I didn't see Claire going to Jamie as an apology, but rather that she was forgiving him.  (a matter of perception, I guess.)  And IMO, Jamie is still a little immature in the way he handles relationships.  Claire has been married before and is several years older than him IIRC.  I know a lot of people, particularly book fans, think he is the perfect man.  I definitely don't think so, and that makes be able to accept his flaws.  In this case, he should have accepted responsibility for allowing the prostitute access to his thighs!

Hm...not sure looking at it as Claire forgiving Jamie makes it any better for me.  That's just me though, so pay no mind.  :)  

I've seen the Claire being married previously as an excuse or reason for the different ways they handle relationships, but I'm not sure I can really buy into that either.  Yes, Claire was married to Frank, but, if I remember correctly, most of their marriage was spent separated by the war.  The fact that she is several years older factors in more than her previous marriage experience,  I think.  

There are also some show fans (non book readers) who, imo, think Jamie is perfect and cannot even acknowledge that he has flaws, so it's nice when some one can.  Just because I point out flaws and complain about them doesn't mean that I don't like the characters.  I certainly wouldn't be watching the show if I didn't.  Thanks for acknowledging that he should have accepted responsibility for his part in obtaining the bites.    

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On a different topic, heavy foreshadowing this episode for Claire on her return to Frank-- both in the reading the bones scene and in the discussion with Louise on a man raising another one's child.  That got me thinking--is it even called foreshadowing if we've already seen it happen, but the character has not?

Yeah, I don't know if that's technically foreshadowing or not. And I was a little...well, not surprised exactly, but confused I guess.  What was the point of that scene since we already know that Claire goes back to Frank?  So that Claire would have it on her mind?  I don't see the point in Claire knowing, except just to create angst for the character, which doesn't work for me because she already has enough on her plate right now.

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Jaimie looked like a kid at Christmas when he realized he could one day get to kill his arch enemy. He practically did a jig. 

I wish this show would lay off the rape and sexual assault, but I cannot say its surprising to me anymore, as horrifying as it is to watch. Claire was almost raped basically the first second she time traveled. And its all been down hill from there. 

That being said, I am still enjoying this season, and I like being in a new setting, even though I miss Scotland and the gang there. 

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I've been trying to figure out what to say about this episode other than that the costumes are gorgeous and that the plot needs to return to Scotland asap.

Tom and Lorenzo's review said it better than I could. http://tomandlorenzo.com/2016/05/outlander-la-dame-blanche/

"This was a silly episode of television. Worse, it was a silly episode of television because it fell into a bunch of very Outlander-specific traps: the use of sex as a plot point, the use of rape as a plot point, weird tonal issues, and historical figures literally dropping out of the sky. Also: Claire does something ridiculous which results in someone else playing an extremely heavy price for it."

Yeah, that. Claire once again makes a bad decision...staying at the hospital...that puts at risk their whole reason for being in France and drops the people around her into danger. The whole hospital plot line could be cut in half. They're giving a overly rosy view of 18th century medicine that really does nothing to advance the overall story arc. Then there's the dinner party. How many kinds of stupid was that? Claire and Jaime think they can show that Prince Charlie is an arrogant dolt and people will decide not to give him money? History is full of idiot figureheads that people with money and power control. This never occurred to either of them? Then there's Randall the younger. The whole chase through the house was ridiculous and there was no reason for him to try to hold her down on the floor. It's just a silly plot device. The book and/or screen writers use rape way, way too much in this show.

Edited by terrymct · Reason: fixed wacky formatting
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On 5/1/2016 at 1:00 AM, catrox14 said:

The braw was oddly comic and considering Mary had just been raped that was a strange and bothersome choice.

This show does a weird mixture of comedy and tragedy that does not always work for me.  Poor innocent gets raped horribly...and then by the end of it it becomes a comedy of errors, where all the men are drawing their swords and adding to the buffoonery.
 

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I've been trying to figure out what to say about this episode other than that the costumes are gorgeous and that the plot needs to return to Scotland asap. Tom and Lorenzo's review said it better than I could. http://tomandlorenzo.com/2016/05/outlander-la-dame-blanche/ "This was a silly episode of television. Worse, it was a silly episode of television because it fell into a bunch of very Outlander-specific traps: the use of sex as a plot point, the use of rape as a plot point, weird tonal issues, and historical figures literally dropping out of the sky. Also: Claire does something ridiculous which results in someone else playing an extremely heavy price for it." Yeah, that. Claire once again makes a bad decision...staying at the hospital...that puts at risk their whole reason for being in France and drops the people around her into danger. The whole hospital plot line could be cut in half. They're giving a overly rosy view of 18th century medicine that really does nothing to advance the overall story arc. Then there's the dinner party. How many kinds of stupid was that? Claire and Jaime think they can show that Prince Charlie is an arrogant dolt and people will decide not to give him money? History is full of idiot figureheads that people with money and power control. This never occurred to either of them? Then there's Randall the younger. The whole chase through the house was ridiculous and there was no reason for him to try to hold her down on the floor. It's just a silly plot device. The book and/or screen writers use rape way, way too much in this show.


 

Yeah, another Tom and Lorenzo fan!  I will probably also agree with everything they say and love their style blogs.  It really is worth checking out if you are a fan of this show.

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This episode was a little confusing, so I had to watch it again to kind of make sense of it.  I'm really not sure what is going on with St. Germain, Master Raymond and Claire.  I know St. Germain was pissed when she announced his ship was carrying small pox, but would he go to such brutal lengths to get revenge?  Master Raymond's behavior around Claire is also baffling.  Does he know she's a time traveler?  Is he one?  Or is he just a curious and eccentric person of the era?  I'm still amazed that Claire has involved herself in political intrigue when she is not good at subterfuge at all.  Also, after all this time in the past, you would think that she'd make more effort to not stand out like a sore thumb when it comes to societal mores and attitudes of the time.  For example, 18th century.  Hello!?  There is no help for a rape victim except to tend her wounds and shut up about it, especially if she's unwed and wishes to have a life going forward.  And Claire is from 1940 something, right?  There wasn't a whole lot of sympathy and care for a rape victim then either.  Women were still encouraged to shut up about it, so this mindset that Claire has, that didn't become "a thing" until much, much later in the 20th century is HIGHLY annoying to me.  

Also on my list of annoyances--the fashion.  Women have been poured into ugly clothes that do nothing to flatter them or their bodies for seemingly ever. Those wide dresses with the tight, tight, tight corsets are hideous and Louise always looks like a human doily to me.  I guess there was a reason for the powdered wigs men wore back then, but it still looks ridiculous.  I am liking Jamie's shirts and waist coats, though, but lose the ponytail.  Please go back to Scotland, show.  I am finding France and all things French just too much in this series.  Don't even get me started on Master Raymond's helper; does she even have a name?  That just totally pisses me off for more reasons than I can go into now.  

Regarding Mary, there was no reason WHATSOEVER for them not to have Suzette (she's a lady's maid, right?) sit with her instead of Alex beyond plot device. The events following were unbelievable.  As was Prince Charles fawning over Louise's hand in the front of her husband, and his less than gallant remarks at dinner.  Does the man have no sense at all, or does he want to be challenged to a duel and killed before he can (attempt) to reclaim his throne?  I want Brouton, that's all I have to say about the hospital scene.  Magic stone necklace.  What?  And how does St. Germain know anything about it?  

Claire and Jamie's reconciliation.  Well, that was just so Jamie (being unable to express himself clearly in the face of Claire's anger).  I thought Claire's initial response was justified.  I would not have been happy about discovering bite marks on my husband's thighs or his clumsy attempts to explain himself either, but I thought she softened (read understood and empathized) immediately when Jamie explained the destruction of his fortress and how that had left him alone and lost.  I applaud Claire for being a selfless, loving wife who recognized her husband's trauma and pain and refused to let him stew in that all night.  So...that was a good scene until we got the idiot prince banging on their bedroom window.  I can't get into the Jamie was the bad guy/Jamie took off his pants to be bitten debate.  First, because we know why Jamie spends so much time at the whorehouse (to get intel).  Second, because a determined whore needs a baseball bat or a fist to drive her off.  Third, you can be bitten through clothing if enough force is applied. Fourth, the entire incident allowed me to see boyish, carefree Jamie for at least a minute before he disappeared into his personal hell again. One final Jamie comment.  Someone called him a "horn dog" and used the Laoghaire incident to illustrate the point along with the whore's bites.  I guess perception is everything, because IMO, "horn dog" implies that a man will sleep with anything that moves regardless of his relationship status.  That is not how I see Jamie.  He has a healthy sexual appetite that he reserves for his wife.  Laoghaire (thirsty skank) made a sexual advance toward him; she placed his hand on her boob, so all of that rests with her and reflects on her.  Jamie did not grope Laoghaire and he did not encourage her.  I guess he didn't snatch his hand away fast enough for some people, but that does not make him a male whore, IMO.  YMMV.

I think the dinner party was a complete waste of time, that is, whatever the Frasers hoped to accomplish appears to have been an epic fail.  The aftermath of Mary's rape was also an epic failure.  Now everyone thinks she was raped by Alex when they were trying to keep anyone from knowing she'd been raped at all. Unless Louise's husband is a total moron, he may now be suspicious about her pregnancy and if he's not, I'm sure any astute people present will be.  The attack on Claire and Mary was a set-up, but who else has a bone to pick with Claire besides St. Germain?  This was not one of the better Outlander episodes, so I'm hoping next week does a better job of answering questions and showcasing the relationship between our OTP.

Edited by taurusrose · Reason: Fix minor errors
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  • Quick Wikipedia search reveals that cascara is native to Pacific Northwest. Would it be available freely in early 18th century France and its effect known? Even if it was, Claire's knowledge of herbal medicine kept on surprising me. Did nursing education in WWII cover such subject?
  • On the other hand, was it not known in WWII era, particularly among medical professionals, that consuming alcohol by expecting mother jeopardized the health of the fetus?
  • Was it acceptable, in terms of etiquette and protocol at that time, for a guest in a party to invite another guest without telling the host? Even today I would not be happy if a friend invited someone to my party without telling me.
  • 18th century France and the dinner is done in service à la russe style? Should it not have been service à la française where all the food is served altogether on the table?
  • It is strange to for Claire to say that the evening is too important while she is the one wandering to the hospital and not keeping up with the time herself, attack or no attack.
  • And do Murtaugh and Jamie not understand their own plot? While their guests are understandably upset, they just exacerbate the situation by fighting their guests instead of trying to calm them down. 
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TV Anonymous--To answer your first point, I think it was pretty clearly states in S1E1 that Claire had an interest in botany that had nothing to do with her nurse training. I  believe she mentioned (in voice over) that Frank encouraged her interest. If you have knowledge of plants, part of that knowledge might include medicinal properties (and wouldn't be surprising for her to explore the medicinal properties of plants given her nurses training)

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Hm.  But if cascara is only native to the Pacific Northwest as TV Anonymous saidI find it hard to believe that it would be so readily available in France in 1745.  Was the Pacific Northwest even explored by Europeans back then to have any trade whatsoever?  This is before the American Revolution, and therefore before the Louisiana Purchase and before Louis and Clarke.  Even with an interest in botany, in 1945, before the internet, Claire would  have likely been more constricted to local herbs/plants.  Of which, this was not one.  

On the second point, I have read/heard conflicting opinions.  Some say yes, some say No.  I happen to know a woman who was a nurse in the late 1940's.  She says they knew.  But others say their mothers smoked/drank when they were pregnant.  It varies.

Third: I wouldn't think so.  But then, I'm not sure there's a definitive answer to that either.  

Fourth: I have no idea what either of those mean!  LOL!

Fifth: Right on.  It would have taken her at least an hour to dress, I think, back in those days.  If not longer.  She would have had to been home way before sunset in order to be ready to greet their guests for dinner.  That she wasn't there was a terrible breach of etiquette, I think.  

Sixth: Pfft.  Yeah.  That just seemed very out of character for the time/place.  Not for Jamie and Murtaugh so much.  But they both knew better than that.  Especially Jamie.  

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Regarding alcohol during pregnancy: I don't know if it widely accepted during the 40s that alcohol could jeopardize the fetus. I do know that during the 60s many women drank and smoked during pregnancy. At any rate, drinking wine was probably less dangerous than drinking the water in Paris.

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This seems to be a frequently asked question all around this forum so I figured I'd chime in here at least. 

The scientific link between alcohol and birth defects is fairly new.  There have been casual connections made throughout history, most of which were viewed as more moral or hereditary issues.  It wasn't until 1973 the the first scientific study linking alcohol with fetal defects was published and even then, it took more than a decade for it to really start trickling down to practicing doctors such that they would 'suggest' their patients merely lower their alcohol consumption rather than stop altogether.  ffs, during the 70's and 80's, doctors were actually using alcohol in IVs to help stop preterm labor.  Even when it became widely accepted that alcohol and fetuses don't mix, there was still a lot of disagreement about exactly how much alcohol a pregnant woman could drink before it became harmful. It wasn't until this year that the CDC and other groups came out with a very definitive 'no' on drinking even small amounts of alcohol when pregnant and even went so far as to recommend women not drink at all if they are sexually active and not on birth control.  

Long story short, a 1940's woman really would have had no reason to think she was actively harming the fetus while consuming alcohol.  And as has been mentioned, the sanitation and sewage concerns of mid 18th century Paris would present its own problems.  However, a WWII nurse, especially one who had lived all over the world as a child, should be quite knowledgeable about many different water purification techniques.  Though, considering iodine hadn't yet been discovered, bleach hadn't been invented, the methods are limited and more physically intensive.  Though, since Claire wouldn't have known what we know about alcohol and fetuses, she'd really have had no reason to concern herself with it.  Alcohol was probably in everything, including added to boiling water used to make tea, even if only to mask the nasty smell of the Parisian water.  

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2 hours ago, Lion said:

Alcohol was probably in everything, including added to boiling water used to make tea, even if only to mask the nasty smell of the Parisian water.  

Well, that certainly puts tea in a different light!  Lol. 

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Ugh, this episode was such a mess, and contained so much Stupid. The low point of a season which has not been up to the promise of the first season as things stand anyway. And this show goes to the 'Rape' well FAR too often.

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On 5/8/2016 at 6:06 PM, TV Anonymous said:
  • Quick Wikipedia search reveals that cascara is native to Pacific Northwest. Would it be available freely in early 18th century France and its effect known?

 

On 5/9/2016 at 6:59 PM, RulerofallIsurvey said:

Hm.  But if cascara is only native to the Pacific Northwest as TV Anonymous saidI find it hard to believe that it would be so readily available in France in 1745.  

From the wikipedia article:

"Spanish conquerors exploring the Pacific Northwest in the 1600s came across many Native peoples using the bark of R. purshiana as a laxative. They gave it the name "Sacred Bark" (cáscara sagrada) in honor of its effectiveness."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamnus_purshiana#Historical_background

So it seems as though it was known, and if it was known and so effective, Raymond would have some, because he's Paris' lead apothecary and mysterious weirdo. 

That said, I'm not sure how good a fake poison it would be, as it's extremely bitter and primarily acts as a laxative.

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Ooh!  Thanks for the info Latverian Diplomat!  I had no idea that Spanish conquerors had explored the Pacific Northwest as far back as the 1600's.  

As far as it being a fake poison - I guess it would depend on how harsh a laxative it was.  If it caused severe stomach/intestinal cramping as it worked (as depicted) then, I think it would be easy to mistake the effects as being poisoned.  

The bitter part would seem to be a problem though.  Maybe the wine was so bitter back then that no one noticed?

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Geez, how did Jamie even know what 69 was when he didn't even know you had sex face to face six months ago? (Okay, fine he's spent way too much time hanging out in that brothel) I am shocked the term existed in the 1940s, much less the 1740s. And in multiple languages!

Dammit, show, we had a good run! Three episodes without sexual assault, and you had to ruin it. And Alex! You seem like a decent guy, but could you maybe not tackle the traumatized woman?

I'm still liking the French setting. It's fun to see Murtagh out of his element and Jamie looks good cleaned up. Fergus, Louise, and Mary are quickly growing on me.  I liked the first season version of the theme song better than this year's though. 

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On ‎1‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 7:37 PM, bettername2come said:

Dammit, show, we had a good run! Three episodes without sexual assault, and you had to ruin it. And Alex! You seem like a decent guy, but could you maybe not tackle the traumatized woman?

Agree 100%. Also, I couldn't understand Jamie when he was talking to Claire about the Whore so I missed when he said 69 but heard Claire say she knew what it was. I hate using cc because I'm afraid I'll miss something on screen because I'm reading but sometimes I have a hard time understanding Jamie.

Why would you plan a big dinner party/scheme and not do everything you can to get back in time to meet your guest? You're not obligated to the hospital but you were obligated to the dinner party.

That poor girl afraid of sex being raped. It was so dark I couldn't see, when the men got scared and ran off was it because someone was coming down the street or did they call Claire "La Dame Blanche"?  And what does La Dame Blanche mean?

The guy from the smallpox ship is just weird. Is he really trying to kill Claire because his boat was infected and he had to burn it?

I had to laugh when Claire suggested to Louise that she sleep her husband to pass the baby off as his and her response was, sleep with my husband? My lover would be so upset.

One more thing. Speaking of pregnant Claire drinking, I was pregnant in 1980 with my first and I did both (not proud of it). My doctor knew and never asked me to quit he just told me I would have a small baby since I smoked. All of my 4 kids weighed in the 6lbs range even the 3 I didn't smoke or drink with. I quit smoking eons ago and no longer drink but It's horrifying to think about now knowing the effects of it. The same could be said for the years seatbelts and child seats weren't law, riding in a car without seatbelts and holding your child on your lap. Yep, did that too. Would never consider doing that now. Ever!

Not my favorite episode.

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15 minutes ago, foxfreakinmulder said:

Agree 100%. Also, I couldn't understand Jamie when he was talking to Claire about the Whore so I missed when he said 69 but heard Claire say she knew what it was. I hate using cc because I'm afraid I'll miss something on screen because I'm reading but sometimes I have a hard time understanding Jamie.

In fairness, Jamie said the number in French. 

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3 hours ago, foxfreakinmulder said:

It was so dark I couldn't see, when the men got scared and ran off was it because someone was coming down the street or did they call Claire "La Dame Blanche"?  And what does La Dame Blanche mean?

From the Outlander wiki:

"...what, or who, is La Dame Blanche? 

Well, its literal translation is ‘The White Lady’, but La Dame Blanche is a mythical figure who regularly pops up in European medieval folklore. 

They are, according to different mythology, witches, healers, sorceresses, spirits or ghosts. Then can be sacred figures who are said to help or hinder those who encounter them. Some stories say they are benevolent and wise, but others record them as being evil, and often a harbinger of death. 

They are said to be spotted near graves, sacred sites, caves and bridges, and are aided by cats, owls and other creatures. And they are, importantly in this case, said to punish people who treat them badly."

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45 minutes ago, AZChristian said:

"...what, or who, is La Dame Blanche? 

Well, its literal translation is ‘The White Lady’, but La Dame Blanche is a mythical figure who regularly pops up in European medieval folklore. 

They are, according to different mythology, witches, healers, sorceresses, spirits or ghosts. Then can be sacred figures who are said to help or hinder those who encounter them. Some stories say they are benevolent and wise, but others record them as being evil, and often a harbinger of death. 

They are said to be spotted near graves, sacred sites, caves and bridges, and are aided by cats, owls and other creatures. And they are, importantly in this case, said to punish people who treat them badly."

Thank you so much for the information. :-) That makes it really interesting.

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Re drinking alcohol while pregnant.  I get it’s preferable, but somehow our species survived with pregnant women drinking alcohol for millennia.  
 

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I saw the warning about the rape when I opened the episode, so I was dreading it.  Why does this show always have to go there.

I was pleasantly surprised that Claire revealed Jack was alive and Jaime didn't blow up.  Though the later argument they had seemed wasn't any more natural or emotionally affecting.

It looks like Jack Randall's brother is a good guy, though.  I hope he doesn't get falsely punished for raping Mary.  Why was she helping at the hospital, anyway?  It was nice she was working with Claire, but it came out of nowhere.

Why would Claire ask if the Prince was bitten by a monkey?  That would make it obvious that she knew who his lover was.  

Claire is now worried about the impacts of Frank disappearing in the future.  Wasn't she worried when she thought Jack Randall had died?  

I'm not sure why Claire is so trusting of that herbalist when he was also chummy with her enemy the count.  His knowledge of the necklace suggests the herbalist may be shady as well.

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7 hours ago, Camera One said:

 

Claire is now worried about the impacts of Frank disappearing in the future.  Wasn't she worried when she thought Jack Randall had died? 

I took it that she couldn’t do anything about it if Jack died when they saved Jamie, but now that she realized Mary Hawkins is his future wife, she thinks they can affect it! 

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On 3/4/2021 at 2:10 AM, Camera One said:

I saw the warning about the rape when I opened the episode, so I was dreading it.  Why does this show always have to go there.

I was pleasantly surprised that Claire revealed Jack was alive and Jaime didn't blow up.  Though the later argument they had seemed wasn't any more natural or emotionally affecting.

It looks like Jack Randall's brother is a good guy, though.  I hope he doesn't get falsely punished for raping Mary.  Why was she helping at the hospital, anyway?  It was nice she was working with Claire, but it came out of nowhere.

Why would Claire ask if the Prince was bitten by a monkey?  That would make it obvious that she knew who his lover was.  

Claire is now worried about the impacts of Frank disappearing in the future.  Wasn't she worried when she thought Jack Randall had died?  

I'm not sure why Claire is so trusting of that herbalist when he was also chummy with her enemy the count.  His knowledge of the necklace suggests the herbalist may be shady as well.

Bottom line (to all of it), Claire is just annoying in this phase of the series. Truth.  LOL

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Mon Dieu! So many things to discuss in this episode, which I sort of enjoyed except the rape/attack scene. So where to start?

In the opening visuals we see someone who appears to be sabotaging the carriage wheel, which I thought meant there would be an accident and Claire would lose the baby. Instead we get a suspected poisoning in public, which was set up with all the subtlety of a Road Runner/Wyle E. Coyote episode. Yes it seems Creepy Compte attempted to poison Claire, but did he know she was pregnant? I know they were speaking of it while Jaime and Duverney were playing chess, but it wasn't clear if Compte heard them, and if so, is he that vile that he would try to poison a pregnant lady in retribution for her doing what essentially was her civic duty in diagnosing the small pox and insisting it be reported to the health authorities? That seems a bit OOT to me as payback. And yet, he notices her 'poison' geiger counter necklace at dinner and makes mention of it, and she tells him he might need his own and he looks worried, so I guess we confirm the Compte is behind the poisoning. Yet I was surprised that Claire seems to be certain what she drank, and that drinking some other tea will solve the issues and that the bairn is A-OK, no problem at all. That seems weird to me. She couldn't know for certain that the baby is fine now, and any mother would be worried sick about her baby at that point. So the whole, let's get on with our plan anyway just rang very hollow for me.

So all this talk of poison brings us to Master Raymond, who always seems so eager to help Claire, and yet there is something off about him. I do like his assistant and wonder her back story and if she will play a more prominent role, I hope we get to know her more - I wonder if she is from the West Indies or from Africa, and if she has natural healing knowledge from wherever she is from and that is why she is working in his shop. Also, when he takes Claire into his secret back room he makes mention about time travel and looks directly at her, and in that moment I tell myself, "AHA! This is the new Geillis for Claire!" Could he BE Geillis in another life? I know it's a stretch, but that's where my mind went. There is something about how she speaks and carries herself that sends a signal to other time travels perhaps? Something she isn't aware of, but they are? Or perhaps Monsieur Raymond simply believes it is possible and has known another like Claire. Something is up with him, I just cannot figure it out yet. It was interesting and suspicious that he said he only sold that poison once recently and to a servant he did not know. Why would he sell it to someone he doesn't even know, when he seemed to indicate he was sort of responsible about to whom he would sell during his previous convo with Claire?

The whole story line between Louise and BPC is ridiculous and I find it strange that Louise would not reveal him to Claire since she is asking for such personal assistance to begin with. I was telling her myself, "Just seduce your husband or get him drunk and tell him you had sex" so I guess I could write for the show? Ha...In any case, it has not been explained WHY Mary is with Louise of all people, has it? She seems to be a rather poor choice to look after such an inexperienced young lady!

As for the attack and the "Mon dieu! It is le dame blanche, allez!!!" I mean, if you're going to call an episode Le Dame Blanche and have ruffians run off in horror when they see it's Claire, then by god tell the viewers what it's all about please! I don't know if it's the white poison necklace she was presumably wearing from Mr. Raymond, or perhaps she has a reputation from the docks small pox incident, or she is known, unbeknowst to her as a witchy healer OR Mr. Raymond isn't really her friend after all. I'm confused and hope that this is clarified soon. Again, don't name an episode about something we won't learn in said episode.

Now, the rape of Mary...I first wondered why they simply didn't procure another carriage tout suite since it they mention it's not safe, don't they? I mean isn't that the point of Murtagh being with them? Then the rape was awful, as always, but when Alex is left to look after Mary all I'm thinking is, she is traumatized and they're leaving a man to mind her? Where is the maid?!? Also, as soon as I see her running into the public area of the house and see Alex trying to hold her down my mind starts racing and all I can think of is this scenario - Mary becomes pregnant from the rape and:

1. Alex is blamed or takes the blame for her pregnancy to safe her from being a rape victim and he is either killed or imprisoned, sending word to his brother to step up and do the right thing by Mary, telling BJR that the baby is his (Alex's), and that is how they come to be married.

OR

2. Alex agrees to say the baby is his and they marry but he dies - he seemed to have a delicate constitution when Claire first met him at Versailles and he was sneezing, it was an odd exchange so perhaps it was setting up for this - and Alex asks his brother to marry Mary to save her reputation and that is how she ends up with scum bucket BJR.

I am thoroughly convinced one of the above is going to happen, let's see if I'm correct or not. Having said the above, I immediately thought that if this is so, then HALLELUJAH! if Frank is descended from a bastard child and NOT from BJR himself, and BJR does not actually have a legitimate child with Mary thus his spawn does not continue past his sorry ass. That would be sort of ironic given the importance that Frank seems to place on having a notable/infamous ancestor, but no sooner am I thinking that then I remember that Frank and BJR look identical so that's not likely to happen, no matter how much I'd like it to.

The entire plot to make BPC look the fool in front of the Duke was stupid because honestly, BPC does a good enough job of that without anyone else's help. And besides, the Duke oddly seemed rather disinterested in BPC and he made insulting comments about the Pope which BPC took personally, so the entire exchange was odd to me. IF the Duke has been corresponding with BPC and he is the one who sent the coded letter revealing the English supporters, then why act do disinterested because it seems unlikely the Duke has never met BPC if he's in this deep with a Stuart Rebellion. Makes no sense to me at all right now.

And last but not least, the one scene that got to me in any way close to S01 was Jamie and Claire's sexual reuniting. I totally get why Claire felt angry about the bite marks, but the guy has been having visions of his torture every time he attempts to make love to his wife, so trying things out to see how far he can go without having those visions, and doing so with a prostitute seemed to make sense to me - it has to be even more traumatic to think that every time you try to have sex with your wife you have to pull away in horror because you're having a flashback to this horrible torture you endured. I get it,  he wanted to see if he was ready to be with Claire and not have to put her through that again. The reconciliation just fell short for me though. I think it was that weird blue lighting that made that love scene come across as weird. It didn't have to OOMPH that their other love scenes have had in S01, and perhaps that is intentional because this is real life now, not a honeymoon, but yeah, not a fan of the blue lighting for some reason. I also felt that love scene was interesting showing a visibly pregnant woman having sex with her husband because I'd have thought during that time, and for perhaps well into the early 20th century, men stayed away, sexually, from their wives during pregnancy for fear of hurting the baby or some other wives tale. So I took that as  once again, our young Jamie shows that he is a man open to new ideas that may be outside the social norms of his native Scotland. Emotionally, when he is explaining how it felt to be raped and tortured, I felt gutted listening to that. The way he explains that he felt naked with nowhere to hide, like he was trying to hide behind a blade of grass, that was so poignant and so evocative. And then after they reunite and he tells her she's made him a lean-to to now, instead of a blade of grass... That is the sort of exchange that hooked me on this Show. I want more of that, and less of the slapstick Benny Hill fighting that went on after Mary and Alex were found downstairs.

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So, @gingerella, you brought up so many great points and questions with this episode, but I canna speak to them without being spoilery, for the most part.

And for the sake of full disclosure on my part, I'm not a big fan of intrigues, plots, conspiracies, political machinations etc. so J&C's whole scheme here really wears on me, and it seems to be the sole focus of the show at this point, and I just don't care for it.  Thus, if I seem a little grumpy in my responses here its because I don't like this plot.  But I do like Jamie and Claire and Murtaugh, and I will keep chugging long for their sake.  

2 hours ago, gingerella said:

I totally get why Claire felt angry about the bite marks, but the guy has been having visions of his torture every time he attempts to make love to his wife, so trying things out to see how far he can go without having those visions, and doing so with a prostitute seemed to make sense to me - it has to be even more traumatic to think that every time you try to have sex with your wife you have to pull away in horror because you're having a flashback to this horrible torture you endured. I get it,  he wanted to see if he was ready to be with Claire and not have to put her through that again.

I appreciate your comment here, and it made me think twice about my previously established feelings with this scene and Jamie's frequenting of Maison Elise.  Alas, I still f-ing HATE this entire scene and Jamie's behavior.  (However, you did make me feel a wee bit guilty over my feelings because Jamie is coping, and this is how he is fighting to get this piece of himself back.)

A positive on this scene, the dialogue within and the emotion behind their fights are so powerful and so well done.  

3 hours ago, gingerella said:

Emotionally, when he is explaining how it felt to be raped and tortured, I felt gutted listening to that. The way he explains that he felt naked with nowhere to hide, like he was trying to hide behind a blade of grass, that was so poignant and so evocative. And then after they reunite and he tells her she's made him a lean-to to now, instead of a blade of grass... That is the sort of exchange that hooked me on this Show. I want more of that, and less of the slapstick Benny Hill fighting that went on after Mary and Alex were found downstairs.

Yes to this.  This dialogue was taken directly from the source material and it is so perfectly delivered here. It keeps me hanging on through all of this far-fetched political bs. This show has these amazing moments of emotional brilliance.  

Finally, we should give props to Andrew Gower for being so absolutely loathsome, sniveling, and annoying as BPC.  

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17 hours ago, SassAndSnacks said:

 

21 hours ago, gingerella said:

I totally get why Claire felt angry about the bite marks, but the guy has been having visions of his torture every time he attempts to make love to his wife, so trying things out to see how far he can go without having those visions, and doing so with a prostitute seemed to make sense to me - it has to be even more traumatic to think that every time you try to have sex with your wife you have to pull away in horror because you're having a flashback to this horrible torture you endured. I get it,  he wanted to see if he was ready to be with Claire and not have to put her through that again.

I appreciate your comment here, and it made me think twice about my previously established feelings with this scene and Jamie's frequenting of Maison Elise.  Alas, I still f-ing HATE this entire scene and Jamie's behavior.  (However, you did make me feel a wee bit guilty over my feelings because Jamie is coping, and this is how he is fighting to get this piece of himself back.)

A positive on this scene, the dialogue within and the emotion behind their fights are so powerful and so well done.  

I'm glad you were able to at least for a moment, think about the bite marks situation differently! Jamie said he didn't 'do' anything with her, so I believe him, he's never lied that we know of to Claire and he seems to hold honesty between them as sacred, so I can forgive him this transgression because he was trying to get back to Claire, physically, without continually recoiling in horror from her mid-act. I think it reinforces for me just how far he will go to always make things right with Claire. I also have to keep reminding myself that we're in the mid 1700's not today's world. Claire is appalled and angry because she's reacting from a 1940's perspective, but this was probably not so unusual back then, and in the absence of sex therapists I see this as Jamie's attempt at self-therapy. And so I forgave him...the truth is, I already forgave him for this and anything else he could do in the future of A Show because this was no choice, this was falling in love with this character and his story...😜 Seriously though, I think we are supposed to think that Claire is the main character of this grande story, but I feel Jamie is equal to Claire as co-protagonists. Much like their connection to one another, they are the sum of their parts together, you cannot separate one and have a compelling story, IMO.

I also wanted to say that I noticed that Monsieur Raymond always calls Claire 'Madonna'. I was wondering why because I don't think that was explained yet. I'm not sure if it is important or not, but I noticed it any time he sees her (I think even the first time they meet, and I don't think he knows she's pregnant either but maybe I missed her telling him and that's why he calls her that). So that combined with his either suspicion or knowledge that she's a time traveler, maybe he thinks of her as somehow giving birth to new lives since she time travels? I don't know, I'm just blethering aloud here, ye ken?

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28 minutes ago, gingerella said:

I'm glad you were able to at least for a moment, think about the bite marks situation differently! Jamie said he didn't 'do' anything with her, so I believe him, he's never lied that we know of to Claire and he seems to hold honesty between them as sacred, so I can forgive him this transgression because he was trying to get back to Claire, physically, without continually recoiling in horror from her mid-act. I think it reinforces for me just how far he will go to always make things right with Claire. I also have to keep reminding myself that we're in the mid 1700's not today's world. Claire is appalled and angry because she's reacting from a 1940's perspective, but this was probably not so unusual back then, and in the absence of sex therapists I see this as Jamie's attempt at self-therapy. And so I forgave him...the truth is, I already forgave him for this and anything else he could do in the future of A Show because this was no choice, this was falling in love with this character and his story...😜 Seriously though, I think we are supposed to think that Claire is the main character of this grande story, but I feel Jamie is equal to Claire as co-protagonists. Much like their connection to one another, they are the sum of their parts together, you cannot separate one and have a compelling story, IMO.

 

I always think of it as Claire & Jamie’s story ! I know it sort of started out as Claire’s but as soon as she married him, I  hoped somehow it was for the long haul! Jamie’s happiness is always my main concern actually.
 

If you loved the dialogue from their fight & makeup scenes, you will continue to love most of their intimate interactions. Most of my favourite episodes & scenes contain these kinds of moments, for me they are the essence of the show, not silly plots! 

I am glad you also understood Jamie! I always took this as Jamie  got “excited” at the whorehouse, but came straight home to share “it “ with Claire, naive new husband that he is! I mean I understood Claire being mad too, but the fact that he was truthful about it   Is something? The bite marks would have made all the more sense had he been wearing his kilt !I love how they just hash things out & get it over with! 

Edited by Cdh20 · Reason: Adding a thought
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5 hours ago, gingerella said:

Jamie said he didn't 'do' anything with her, so I believe him, he's never lied that we know of to Claire and he seems to hold honesty between them as sacred, so I can forgive him this transgression because he was trying to get back to Claire, physically, without continually recoiling in horror from her mid-act. I think it reinforces for me just how far he will go to always make things right with Claire.

I believe him, too. I dinna like the thought of my literary boyfriend frequenting brothels, ye ken?

Also, how dare you have such a reasonable assessment that makes me reconsider my original feelings?!?!

5 hours ago, gingerella said:

And so I forgave him...the truth is, I already forgave him for this and anything else he could do in the future of A Show because this was no choice, this was falling in love with this character and his story...

And you went there, and now I'm a puddle.  

5 hours ago, Cdh20 said:

I always think of it as Claire & Jamie’s story

Yes, it's their story, and the show does a good job of showing it through their eyes jointly, as opposed to the books where it is mainly Claire's viewpoint.  

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On 3/31/2021 at 4:05 PM, gingerella said:

In the opening visuals we see someone who appears to be sabotaging the carriage wheel, which I thought meant there would be an accident and Claire would lose the baby. Instead we get a suspected poisoning in public, which was set up with all the subtlety of a Road Runner/Wyle E. Coyote episode.

Wyle E Coyote! Very apt comparison regarding that villain.  The carriage wheel sabotage effect seems to have happened off stage (as it were) because that's when the broken wheel happened that caused them to walk home. Not a precision plan, but somehow it worked. 🙄

On 3/31/2021 at 4:05 PM, gingerella said:

So all this talk of poison brings us to Master Raymond, who always seems so eager to help Claire <snip> ...when he takes Claire into his secret back room he makes mention about time travel and looks directly at her, and in that moment I tell myself, "AHA! This is the new Geillis for Claire!"  

Why would he sell it to someone he doesn't even know, when he seemed to indicate he was sort of responsible about to whom he would sell during his previous convo with Claire?

Yes, I was thinking similar thoughts.  He is a bit smarmy for me. Don't know what to make of him. But then Geillis was also hard to read. The main thing I like about the Apothecary is all the cool stuff he has!  This has got to be clarified before the end of this season! 🤞

Good catch on that last point. 

On 3/31/2021 at 4:05 PM, gingerella said:

The whole story line between Louise and BPC is ridiculous

And I could have lived without it.  But the show has been known to make lemonade out of these bits of lemon before, so I'll bide my time to see if anything comes from having had to put up with it in this episode. 

On 3/31/2021 at 4:05 PM, gingerella said:

I mean, if you're going to call an episode Le Dame Blanche and have ruffians run off in horror when they see it's Claire, then by god tell the viewers what it's all about please!

So much YES to this!!!  Another "To Be Revealed"...

There was one anvil-like shot—just before the Dame Blanche hullabaloo—that focused on a large wine-coloured mark on the right hand of the rapist. Keep your eyes peeled for HIM in upcoming episodes.  I'm wondering if that attack wasn't the work of the Compte as well? (see alternate theory below) He seemed very surprised to see Claire when she arrived at the dinner party.  He recognized Jamie, so why else would he be surprised to see his wife?  However, that could be a bit too straight forward a connection to make at this point.  I keep having thoughts that the Compte will somehow turn out to be an ally. But there have been no indications this could be likely.

On 3/31/2021 at 4:05 PM, gingerella said:

Also, as soon as I see her running into the public area of the house and see Alex trying to hold her down my mind starts racing and all I can think of is this scenario - Mary becomes pregnant from the rape and:

Well it seems certain that what we assumed from the 1st time we saw Mary and Alex together is that Mary is sweet on Alex, not "Jonathan" Randal.  And I had already wondered if Mary might have gotten pregnant by Alex but still ended up marrying BJR. This assault adds a whole other twist!

A third option regarding the assault on Mary is that BJR is behind it. He corresponds with his brother, who may have written to him about Mary. I mean, if it were just a random attack why wouldn't they try to assault Claire too?  Because BJR hates his brother and  he's evil like that? And he didn't know Claire would be with her? (which would explain why they didn't touch Claire in this scenario.)

On 3/31/2021 at 4:05 PM, gingerella said:

the Duke oddly seemed rather disinterested in BPC and he made insulting comments about the Pope which BPC took personally, so the entire exchange was odd to me. IF the Duke has been corresponding with BPC and he is the one who sent the coded letter revealing the English supporters, then why act do disinterested because it seems unlikely the Duke has never met BPC if he's in this deep with a Stuart Rebellion. Makes no sense to me at all right now.

That really was strange. Perhaps the Duke is playing double agent? More so for the English than for the Scots? 

Edited by Anothermi · Reason: spelling
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On 3/31/2021 at 7:05 PM, gingerella said:

As for the attack and the "Mon dieu! It is le dame blanche, allez!!!

and

On 3/31/2021 at 7:05 PM, gingerella said:

I want more of that, and less of the slapstick Benny Hill fighting that went on after Mary and Alex were found downstairs.

These comments are the two things I liked about this episode. 

Enough with the Scots brawls scored to merry bagpipes, from the first in season 1(to defend Claire's honor) to this in season 2 (to defend Mary's honor). And from all the hand-waving I was doing from my couch, I looked like I was joining in. 

Claire: "Let's host a dinner party to introduce the Young Pretender to the Old Fart. We'll invite the Prince's pregnant mistress and her husband. And I'm sure our guests will bring other guests along: they always do..."

Jamie: "Just be sure you don't stay too long covered in blood at the hospital across town on the day you're to be hosting a party for 16 or 18 or however many show up, that's the crux to our plan to stop the Rising of 1745 and by so doing, preserve the clans and the Highland way of life."

Claire: "Unless the wheel with the pin removed comes off my carriage not while it's moving but only while it's at rest, in front of the hospital, having carried us miles across town."

Jamie: "But if that happens, promise me you won't look around -- at the hospital, say -- for something that might make do for the missing pin."

Claire: "Or send the light-fingered lad to go find one. Promise."

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I'm not sure where to park this so I'm putting it here because while it ties into an earlier episode, it also ties into this episode so without adieu...

I was just out running an errand and had KPBS on in the car and Hidden Brain podcast was on with Shankar Vedantam, and they were talking about 'Honor Culture' and it explained SO MUCH about Jamie Fraser's actions, about Dougal, Colum, it was amazing and I highly recommend a listen for anyone who loves Outlander. I have to believe that the author did her homework because it cannot be coincidence that all the little subtleties that make this story great, are in some part due to the research that must have gone into writing a period epic story.

Anyway, in short, the interview explains how Honor Culture informs a person's gut responses and it's not really a thought process because it's ingrained into certain cultures. After a while Shankar asks his interviewee if he himself is from an Honor Culture and he sounds very American and Shankar is Indian and I'm expecting someone from an honor culture to be from India, the Middle East, etc. since we hear of honor killings and such from these two cultures most often, but this guy says his ancestors are Scottish and that Scottish culture has some of the most deeply held and deeply embedded honor culture of anywhere in the world, dating back to well before our Story begins. They talk about how honor culture thrives in situations where the rule of law is weak - and surely the rule of law was weak before our Story begins but it is also weak during our Story and we see the Redcoats trying to enforce a foreign rule of law in a land where honor culture is what rules the behaviors and reactions of it's inhabitants.

Looking back to S01, the episode where Jamie rescues Claire from BJR, who is about to rape her, and Jamie is incensed with Claire's lack of apology when they stop to water the horses. We see a side of him we've never seen before or since, a side that is so primal that it shocks the viewer. He is overwrought because Claire has disobeyed his wishes and in doing so has put herself, and his men and himself in grave danger, and he has to rescue her or he will look weak, not a real man, so he has to put his life on the line because his wife put herself in a dangerous situation and her honor/virtue, and by extension his, are now at stake, publicly. It also explains the slapstick Benny Hill fights defending Claire's honor in that tavern last season, and defending Mary in this episode, giving me a new take on things. It also explains Colum's reaction to Dougal going behind his back and the fact that Colum has, as a visibly deformed person, had to be strict in certain ways to maintain his manliness in the eyes of his clan's members and in particular it's menfolk.

I then think about this episode, and Jamie is very concerned about Mary's virtue and that her honor will be stained if people find out she was raped, so he is thinking of how to save her honor so she doesn't live a life of misery as a result of something that was not her fault. Claire is angry that that is where his head's at, but I totally get it in the context of honor culture. He is reacting to the present by forward thinking 'what will this girl's life be like if this gets out' and he immediately goes into honor protection mode.

Then, if I look again at Jamie's expressing to Claire about what it's been like for him since BJR tortured him, his words are laden with even more meaning than before - as if that's possible! - because if we look at him from the perspective of a male in honor culture Highland Clan Scotland, it must have been unfathomable to him as he lay recouping in that monastery, how he could ever regain that piece of him that made him a man - a man in an honor culture as deeply ingrained as it was in those days. He saw no way to fix this within himself - there was no concept of therapy, no self help books and so on - so he repeatedly asks Willie and Murtagh to kill him or let him kill himself because he doesn't see any other way to recoup that essence of self honor that would make him feel whole again. And so when he tells Claire he felt like he's been naked, trying to hide behind a blade of grass, it becomes all the more poignant because a man this deep into an honor culture also has managed to be rather a renaissance man in being able to open himself up to his wife and tell her his deepest and darkest fears. And it makes me all the more angry that Claire didn't stop him when he said he'd better sleep elsewhere that night. What he was doing, and continues to do in this story, is show us both this traditional male honor culture code he was raised in, but also that he's a modern man, open to new ways of thinking and let's face it, could you ever imagine Dougal revealing such deep, dark and personal emotions to any woman? I cannot.

There is so much more to say about this but I'll give a link and if you're interested in listening to it and commenting here, I'd love your guys take on this as I found the entire podcast an insight into Scottish Highland culture in the 1700s.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/7BUkAFxK8Tf69k88cxHkYp

Oh, and one more thing, I realized why the blue lighting finally! I think it's to make it less obvious that Cait/Claire isn't really pregnant and is wearing a prosthesis. That's my guess...I clearly have too much time on me hands!

 

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