Recaps

Two Takes: Outlander “The Hail Mary”

Photo Credit: Starz

Photo Credit: Starz

As April 17, 1746 approaches both Claire and Jamie start to despair. Has all their planning and plotting been for naught? Will the sacrifices they had to make in Paris yield no results?

Jamie sends Dougal out to find Cumberland’s men, but ends up getting their location from a very unlikely source — Black Jack Randall. He’s on leave from the army to visit Alex, who happens to be near the Jacobite encampment, and is dying. In exchange for Claire’s promise to help ease his brother’s pain, she makes Randall give up Cumberland’s location. Colum also makes an appearance at the camp, but it’s to talk Clan MacKenzie business with both Jamie and Dougal before he dies.

Kara: Tina, I really liked this episode because the rebellion took a bit of a backseat. I’m so tired of this fight and I’ve been nowhere near the battlefield. The men are exhausted and demoralized. Jamie and Claire seem to realize that if they have any more moves to try to prevent the inevitable, they need to make them now.

I can’t imagine being burdened with knowing the truth — as Claire, Jamie and Murtagh do. And they’ve done so much to try to change the future. But it looks like nothing will prevent the two armies from meeting on Culloden moor.

Photo Credit: Starz

Photo Credit: Starz

Tina: Yeah, nothing is going to prevent it. And now I’m afraid of what’s to come. As for what you said about the rebellion, I’m a little torn. Part of me totally agrees with you saying you’re tired of this fight. But another part of me also likes the action. It’s also given Sam Heughan some different scenes to play and I’ve liked seeing him be a leader.

As for “The Hail Mary,” there was a lot of talking and I usually like talkiness balanced with some action. But you know what? I’ll allow it because what we got was dialogue with a purpose and I’m totally on board with that.

Photo Credit: Starz

Photo Credit: Starz

Black Jack came back and I’m still processing his return. Kara, I know something I think you’ve conveyed this season is that he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, that he’s been a very two-dimensional villain. Do you still think this is true after what went down in this episode?

Kara: It was a very welcome surprise to see Black Jack Randall show a little humanity. And, quite frankly, I loved discovering that Alex, not Jack, is Frank Randall’s direct ancestor. Am I worried about Mary’s quickie marriage to Black Jack? Not necessarily. While we have no recorded proof that Jamie dies at Culloden, the history books give us that date as Black Jack’s death. Good riddance. So, to answer your question: He’s got a bit more depth, but he will never be able to do anything to redeem himself in my eyes. What do you think?

Tina: It was nice to see more from him than being pure evil, but I also liked that he still remained himself. You be you, Black Jack. He asked Claire whether Jamie ever told her what he had to done him that horrifying night in that room. She said, yes. Black Jack claimed he regretted none of it and I believe him. He will and always remain an unabashed bastard. I can’t believe there was a situation where Claire would actually kinda sorta encourage Mary to marry him. But that’s what we got.

Photo Credit: Starz

Photo Credit: Starz

Kara: Well, she’s looking out for Mary and for Frank, so Claire’s actions don’t surprise me in the least. If, for whatever reason, Randall doesn’t die when the history books say, Claire and Jamie seem to think they’ll get their revenge. But we know that Claire finds herself back in her present around the time of this doomed battle, so as of right now it looks like all is going to plan there.

Let’s talk about Colum. It was nice to see him again, even though he’s on his last legs (yep, I went there) when he arrives at the encampment. I love that he now trusts Claire enough to help him die. But there are things that must be discussed amongst the men before Colum feels he can leave this earth.

Tina: Yes, the Laird MacKenzie had business to take care of before he permanently eased his pain. He dropped some major tea to Claire, revealing that Geillis’ child (Dougal is the baby daddy) was born before she was executed. And he also named Jamie guardian to his son, Hamish, which seriously pissed off Dougal, because that means Jamie is Colum’s successor. I don’t know. I understand why he’s upset, but I also think Jamie would make a better leader. #TeamJamie

Kara: I feel like there are a million reasons why Jamie would be better for Clan MacKenzie. But I do have to admit that I kinda loved the way Dougal said goodbye to his brother. We got to hear how Dougal has always looked up to Colum and how he couldn’t quite forgive him for being sick. Dougal thought it was the fall from a horse that started his brother’s decline, but those of us who can Google (read: me), know that Colum suffered from Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome (and I think Claire also called it that?). It’s a genetic disorder, so there’s nothing Colum ever could have done to prevent his brother’s pain and suffering.

Photo Credit: Starz

Photo Credit: Starz

And when Colum dies before Dougal’s had the chance to say his piece? It got me. I was wondering why the camera was on the excellent Graham McTavish for that entire speech. I mean, I think it was incredibly well played and very affecting, but as that speech was coming to a close, I figured that Colum had departed this mortal coil.

Tina: That was a great scene. Very intimate. Very painful. Really well done. McTavish was wonderful. Shortly after Colum passed, it was Alex’s turn. Poor Mary. She’s had it really bad as of late. I know she did find love, but she lost it so quickly.

Photo Credit: Starz

Photo Credit: Starz

There’s been a lot of death in this latter part of the season, don’t you think? Alex Randall and Colum MacKenzie in this one alone. There’s also been Angus, the Duke of Sandringham, and of course, Rupert’s eye. RIP.

As you mentioned earlier, nothing’s going to prevent the battle at Culloden moor. Thanks to the inside information Black Jack gave Claire in exchange for her helping his brother, the Scots tried to mount a surprise attack on the British Army. It went nowhere because the Prince and his men got lost and had to return to Inverness. Despite Jamie wanting to go through with the attack, anyway, he was denied. And now there’s no choice but to let things play out on the day the history books deemed it so.

The Season 2 finale of Outlander airs Saturday, July 9th at 9/8c on Starz.

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