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Outlander Recap: Best Laid Schemes (S2.E6)

Previously on Outlander... 

Jamie and Claire plan Full Metal Smallpox Redux... Ole Black Jack is back but Jamie can't kill him because Frank. Fuck Frank.

As the episode begins Claire is nowhere to be found, and Jamie looks morose. Murtagh, however, hasn't gotten the cancellation notice for the duel and arrives to let Jamie know BJR is free for the big dance. When Jamie tells Big M there isn't going to be a fight Murtagh acts like Jamie just pissed in his Cheerios. He storms out disgusted. Jamie asks the butler where Claire is and is informed she's already at the hospital.

Claire, who suddenly looks like she's in her third trimester, is waddling through her rounds when the resident neighborhood doctor executioner invites her to help him clean a dead body. Doctor Death also describes in quasi graphic detail his new assignment: to hang, draw and quarter some new prisoners. The men have been sentenced to this grisly death for practicing the dark arts. Perhaps, hint hint, Claire should go see Master Raymond? (Interestingly, in the book, the executioner delivers this warning to Jamie and Claire to stop them meddling). Claire leap frogs it over to Master Raymond's to warn him. Ray says he'll heed her advice and skip town immediately.

At home, Jamie explains to Claire why he agreed to save Black Jack's life. As Jamie says, "I don't owe Frank nuthin." Jamie agreed to let Black Jack live so one day Frank can be there for Claire in case she has to return home. Jamie makes Claire promise him she will go back through the stones, to Frank, if anything should happen to him. He wants her to be safe, so he'll keep Frank alive to make sure of it. Seems a fate worse than death but whatever Jamie. Claire promises.

Claire repays Jamie this kindness by forcing him to be a guinea pig for her smallpox experiment. Murtagh likes this plan as much as he likes the duel with Black Jack being cancelled. Claire seems surrounded by children with Fergus screwing around with her supplies, Jamie and his are we there yet "I don't feel anything" complaints and Murtagh with his pouting. The herbs finally kick in and Jamie starts to show the symptoms of smallpox. It works! When Murtagh storms out, sick of the silliness, Jamie and Claire agree it's time to tell him what's really going on: Claire is a time traveler and knows what will happen at Culloden.

Despite a couple of raised eyebrows, Murtagh accepts what Jamie has to say telling him, "If you believe yer wife to be a witch... Then who am I to contradict ye?" Something seems to have gotten lost in translation, but meh, all seems to be well. We know this because Murtagh punches Jamie and tells him he should've told him sooner. Murtagh's been holding on to that punch all damn day.

Claire sends Jamie and Fergus off on their smallpox mission and returns to find Murtagh writing out all the years she's lived through: 1918 - 1945. Claire explains her knowledge of the future is limited and she tears up as she admits she doesn't know what will happen to her or Jamie or Murtagh. In a tender moment, Murtagh tells her he understands how hard it must be for her and what a heavy burden she carries.

Meanwhile Jamie and Fergus reach the port at La Havre, where the shipment Charles hopes to use is being kept. The two manage to drug the worker's wine and sprinkle poxie dust on the coats of the crew so they'll all be flying high with the pox come morning. Jamie arrives home and tells Claire the deed has been done, "If anyone can deliver pestilence and disease, it's us" he says to a worried Claire.

Later that same night, Jamie is summoned to Prince Charlie and the Comte who are all kinds of agitated. The small pox herbs were indeed effective as the whole crew looks to be sick. Jamie barely contains his glee at the Comte's obvious anger and frustration. Jamie promises he will help move the shipment to Paris so it will be safe (despite the fact that this is obviously the last thing he wants to do). Whatever Jamie may have been planning gets a Comte sized wrench thrown in it when St. Germain insists on accompanying Jamie to retrieve the cargo.

Never fear, Murtagh is here! Back at home, Claire, Jamie and Murtagh come up with another plan. (The A-Team would be proud of them!) Murtagh and a bunch of men will pose as highwaymen and "rob" Jamie and the Comte of their cargo. The term "fussy old goat" comes to mind as Murtagh voices a never ending list of complaints.

Having sent Murtagh off to bed the housemaid to relieve his stress, Jamie and Claire finally retire to sleep. (Is this the longest night ever or two separate nights?) They share a tender moment as Jamie feels the baby kick. They then prove that yes, pregnant women can have sex, and yes, men are willing to do it.

The next night Claire finds herself trapped with all the vapid women in Paris unable to believe they care so little about anything. Claire tries to cause them to care about the poor and dying in the streets. But all they can think to do is to remove the poor from their sight so they don't have to worry about it. Claire storms off in a huff.

Meanwhile, Murtagh and his men have attacked the cargo train. Jamie immediately surrenders because, duh, it's Murtagh. The Comte, though, he's going for standoff at the OK corral. He refuses to drop his weapon and surrender the cargo. Seeing things go sideways, Jamie knocks the Comte out of the way under the guise of saving his life. Murtagh then knocks out Jamie just so, you know, no one realizes he planned the whole thing.

Back in Paris Claire falls ill while working at the hospital. Mother Hildegard insists that Claire lie down and rest only to discover that Claire is bleeding. Mother Hildegard tells Claire it is normal for a pregnant woman to bleed. Nevertheless, she orders Claire to sleep at the hospital.

Jamie also feels ill, nursing a headache with Prince Charles and the Comte. Charlie is despondent that they lost the cargo and his chance to raise money for his cause. The Comte is very very very suspicious of "Hey you!" aka Jamie. Charlie steps in and reminds the Comte that Jamie saved his life so it doesn't make sense he was behind the robbery. Even though he totally was. Mark me, the Prince is totally going to cry, thinking all is lost and he is doomed to a life in Poland.

If only fate were to be so kind to Jamie. He returns home where Fergus tells Jamie Claire is resting at the hospital. Unfortunately, Fergus tells Jamie not to worry. Had Jamie gone to the hospital, he would've missed the message that he must immediately go to the whore house to pay Charles' prostitute bill. Fergus accompanies Jamie and decides to explore while Jamie takes care of the debt. Poor Fergus wanders into a room where a red coat is hanging on a chair. The music from Jaws might as well be playing at this point. Thank god we don't have to see what happens when the shark arrives...

Claire arrives home  to find some very nervous servants. When she demands to know where Jamie is the whole story comes out: Jamie got into a fight with an English officer at the whorehouse and now he's gone off into the woods. Where they have duels. Claire finds a note from Jamie: "I am sorry. I must" it says. He has gone back on his word and has left to duel Randall.

Claire rushes to the woods and arrives too late, the duel has already begun. She doesn't dare risk yelling out to Jamie as it could distract him and lead to his death. She watches in horror before doubling over in pain, before finally collapsing, blood pouring out of her as Jamie stabs Black Jack right in the little Randall. Claire finally manages to cry out to Jamie, but he is prevented from going to her as the gendarmes have arrived to arrest him for dueling. As Jamie screams for Claire, in one of the most gut wrenching voices ever heard, she passes out, and all goes to black.

What did you think of this episode? Let us know in the comments below!

Outlander Recap: Best Laid Schemes (S2.E6) Reviewed by Deborah Thompson on 1:28 AM Rating: 5

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