Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Outlander Season 2, Ep. 6- “Best Laid Schemes…”
About halfway through my viewing of this week’s episode I thought to myself, gee, there’s not much happening this week. So I was, of course, immediately humbled when, by the episode’s end, two of the season’s largest questions had been answered, Well, on the way to be answered, at the very least.
First, long before it occurred to our heroine, viewers have been puzzling over how Jamie could get revenge on Blackjack Randall, and never was there a man more deserving of revenge, without endangering Frank. The answer, it would seem is a debilitating, yet not fatal, wound. Granted, the wound Randall received during his dual with Jamie looks like it would make fathering a child rather difficult if not outright impossible, especially within the next year. And here is where I stop feeling guilty about underestimating Outlander‘s ability to pack an hour with content and begin gloating in my wise TV predictions.
Last week I pointed out that names written on a family tree can never tell the full story of those people. Yes, Jonathan Randall’s name may appear next to Mary Hawkins and above the name of their son, but that in no way means that he actually fathered that child. Given the fact that we know Frank Randall still exists even after Claire’s meddling, it seems fairly likely that the real father of Frank’s ancestor is Alex Randall… who Claire has shunned away from Mary because Claire is really terrible at effecting history in the way she intends.
The argument can be made that it isn’t that Claire is especially bad an effecting history, but that history cannot be effected because it has already happened. Thanks to the season opener’s flash forward we know that the battle of Culloden still happens and that the Scottish still lose. We know that Frank’s ancestors were born and bred until he himself was born. In short, we know that everything Claire tried to change and everything she thinks she changed didn’t in fact change. Time, it seems, is the most formidable foe.
The second answer we (mostly) got is in relation to Claire’s pregnancy. In the flash forward at the beginning of the season Claire told Frank she was pregnant, but she was decidedly less pregnant than she’s been her entire duration in France. This begged the question, how can this be the same pregnancy. In short, its not. The stress of seeing Jamie and Randall (thus Frank’s existence) dueling to the death was too much for Claire, who was already having some pregnancy complications. As Jamie was led off in handcuffs, Claire lay sobbing on the ground in a pool of blood, the implication being that she has lost the child.
For any romance story to last longer than a season, there has to be something that keeps the two people in love apart. For a while the trauma of Jamie’s rape was the wedge between them, but this wedge is much more substantial. In Claire’s mind, Jamie chose revenge over her wishes and even if or when she learns the Randall (likely) attacked Fergus, it won’t change, in her mind, the fact that Jaime’s impulsiveness caused her to lose the baby.
Granted, since she’s pregnant again by the time she heads back to 1945, they must make up eventually.
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