Outlander: Faith   Books Included 
May 22, 2016 2:21 AM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Doctors at L'Hopital des Anges attempt to save the lives of Claire and her unborn baby; King Louis asks Claire to judge two men accused of engaging in the dark arts.

This is a serious tearjerker of an episode and if you disagree then you have no soul.

We open with a little red-haired girl looking at pictures of birds. Claire, looking very stylish in a suit and makeup and coral nail polish, gives her a little hug and thinks about Scotland. Flash back!

Claire, in the Hopital des Anges, undergoes some fairly gruesome surgery to give birth to her baby. But the baby is stillborn and Claire has a terrible infection. A part of the placenta is still attached. Master Raymond sneaks in during the night and does some magic to remove the fever and extract the placenta, then vanishes. Claire recovers physically but is emotionally broken. She returns to the Paris townhouse a grieving, empty person.

Jamie has been in the Bastille since the duel, and at first Claire is too angry to consider getting him out. But then Fergus confesses what led to the duel and it's what you would expect: Randall found Fergus in his room, molested him, Fergus screamed and Jamie came running. So, yeah, duelling is too good for Randall at this point. And we know what comes next.

She comforts Fergus and arranges a meeting with the King to get Jamie released. Mother Hildegarde warns that the King will expect sex in return for a favour. She is all, whatever, and off she goes.

She poses with an orange and some hot chocolate (the king is showing off) and looks like an oil painting in a museum while she makes her request. The King is agreeable, but not 100% sure and asks her for a favour in return. She expects this to be the sex part, but he leads her into a room that is clearly used for some crazy black magic shenanigans. He is all about the pursuit of knowledge by following the ancient philosophers/alchemists (French vs English translation), but not if it gets dark. So he presents the Comte St Germain -- shock! -- and Master Raymond --- more shock! -- and tells La Dame Blanche to identify the one/s who dabble in the dark arts.

She does a pretty good improvisation of someone who can read people's souls. She tells the Comte, "I can see a shadow behind your eyes" and mentions Les Disciples. The Comte gets defensive and stammers a bit. Claire talks about the darkness in all men's souls, without which there couldn't be light, and that Raymond has no more darkness than any man, even the King. The King doesn't seem impressed to be lumped in with all men.

Since she doesn't really accuse one or the other, the King proposes they use snake handling to see who is good or bad. Claire interjects and suggests they both drink poison. The truly good will be immune. She mixes up some bitter cascara and holds it out to Master Raymond, who doubles over immediately in pain and then stands. She passes the cup to the Comte, but as she does her poison-alert pendant turns ominously black. Master Raymond has slipped something into the cup! Claire hesitates but the King commands St Germain to drink, and he does, cursing Claire as he dies.

The King is satisfied and takes Claire out for some transactional sex before dismissing her. She heads home and the next thing we see is a bearded grubby Jamie coming up the stairs and seeing Claire. Claire is distant and stiff as Jamie asks about the baby. She says she hated Jamie at first, and flashes back to holding her stillborn baby in the hospital singing for hours, Louise finally taking the baby from her, and Claire sobbing, heartbroken.

She tells Jamie about Faith (named by Mother Hildegarde, who has a strange sense of humour) and her copper hair, and they talk a bit about the sacrifices they have made for each other. Claire blames herself for being so insistent about Randall and not focusing on her family, and Jamie says he forgave her before she ever did anything, ever.

The episode closes with them standing together at Faith's grave. Jamie leaves one of the apostle spoons on her plaque. They are going back to Scotland.

IGN Review

A/V Club Review: B+ (whaaat?)
posted by tracicle (21 comments total)
Claire/Cait carried this episode single-handed, and it was incredible. Painful but truly outstanding acting from everyone. I sobbed my way through most of it.

Louise's visit to Claire was so touching. She has so much more depth than you would ever guess seeing how she is in society. The way she put her hands to her own stomach when she saw Claire and Faith.

The symbolic shattering of the Virgin statue seemed a bit...less than subtle. Especially since they showed it twice. And look, she's hollow inside, and she lost her child, and yes it's a Catholic hospital and Jamie is Catholic and she also genuflected over Faith's grave so I guess Claire has found her faith now, so to speak.

But on the plus side: Brianna! And going back to Scotland! And I didn't know if/how they would include the scene with Master Raymond healing Claire but I thought it was perfect, and since the scene with the King's judgement was in the same episode it showed/reminded us that Raymond is no ordinary healer. Of course, he's also perfectly willing to kill the Comte so he's not all happy rainbows and puppies.

I kind of want to watch this episode again, but I think it might be too hard to watch.
posted by tracicle at 2:28 AM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.

I watched this as soon as it went up online so I've been frantically refreshing Fanfare for 24 hours so I could commiserate with y'all. I knew I was dreading this episode, and it's really one of the ones where seeing it play out is so much more powerful than reading it. What an absolutely heartbreaking hour of my life.

There keep being episodes where I say "Oh, [so-and-so] is really the best actor in this thing." A few episodes ago it was Sam Heughan, dealing with his trauma over Black Jack. This one I just want all the awards to go to Caitriona Balfe. God.

But a close second goes to the guy playing the Comte, as he realized his cup had real poison in it. I almost wanted to give him a hug. I really liked how that scene was adapted.

I loved Lousie's role here, and how after all the flightiness from earlier episodes, it shows how important (and good) a friend she is to Claire. I liked all the blue - Claire's clothes, the flowers Fergus brings her, so much of the lighting - playing (I assume) off her blue aura that Master Raymond mentions and I can't wait to see what Tom and Lorenzo have to say about it. Yeah, the Virgin statue was pretty heavy handed, but whatcha gonna do.

BRIANNA! BRIANNA! What a lovely surprise in an otherwise devastating episode, which I assume was the point.

St. Andrew's spoon. Sniffle. Well played, Jamie.

tracicle, I watched a second time, and I was glad I did. The first time I watched with a friend (both of us trying not to let the other one know we were crying) and the second time was alone so I could have a good old sob. Worth it.

I've been worried that I'm heartless because I didn't have the "omg sob" reaction to the most recent Orphan Black that apparently everyone else did. I assume after my nice long cry during "Faith" it's just because my point of reference is Outlander and very few other series can measure up to the emotions of this show.
posted by olinerd at 3:09 AM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

By the way, here's a nice interview with Balfe and this episode's writer.
posted by olinerd at 3:20 AM on May 22, 2016

WAIT A SECOND T&L are doing recaps????
posted by tracicle at 3:52 AM on May 22, 2016

Recaps AND costuming analysis!
posted by olinerd at 3:54 AM on May 22, 2016

Squee! I adored their Mad Men recaps and style posts. I'll be back in a few hours. :)
posted by tracicle at 4:04 AM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I went into this episode thinking I knew what was up from reading the books, and didn't think it would have that much of an emotional impact... then I ended up crying through half the episode. That was really powerful. Balfe is a truly fantastic actress.

I'm so glad the show has given Louise more depth and humanity, that scene with her was amazing. One of my complaints about the books is that Gabaladon seems constitutionally incapable of imagining good woman friends for Claire, it's good to see her with an emotional connection to someone other than Jamie.

Fergus absolutely broke my heart.

Totally enjoyed wee Brianna. And verra glad that Jamie's beard was gone by the end of the episode. I'm ready for the show to get back to Scotland. Also, that Variety interview was great, and it confirmed for me that the hospital scenes were filmed in Glasgow Cathedral, I think we were visiting Glasgow (and staying a stone's throw from the Cathedral) just a couple of weeks before they filmed there.... worst timed vacation ever.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:45 AM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hey, can a mod add the 'books included' spoiler condition? (It's kind of a given with this season's Outlander threads, but still.)
posted by oh yeah! at 8:39 AM on May 22, 2016

Mod note: Done!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:40 AM on May 22, 2016

I was so excited to see Brianna at the beginning of the episode that I had to pause it for a few seconds and collect myself.
posted by something something at 11:36 AM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, Claire. My heart. When she called for her baby, oh, I broke. The single tear at the corner of her eye at the beginning of the scene. Oh, Claire.

I liked their interpretation of the fever-breaking scene with Master Raymond. It was trimmed down from the books but I felt the climax of it was less ambiguous. Interesting how they seemed to make it less outright magicky, and went for making it feel like some very involved Reiki. I get the sense that they're trying to make the time-travel aspect the most "magical" part of the series and downplaying aspects of the books that might tip the balance they've established?

The King offering her fruit from his garden did seem a little on the nose.

Sassy!Witch!Claire in the room of judgment, ahhhhh. Love. I guess after Crainesmuir she's pretty much, "Ah, fuck it," when it comes to witch accusations. And again an un-complicating of another book scene, nicely done.

Poor(??) Comte. You were a magnificent murderous bastard, but I shall miss your fine strong jaw.

Lie back and think of England indeed. Oh, Claire, Claire, Claire. That moment of little-girl spite, that minuscule regathering of some dignity when she took the orange after all, another kick to the heart.

I can't with that beard. No.

That poor unfinished baby, poor broken Claire. Oh, sweet Louise, cradling her own belly as she goes to help her friend. Jesus, how I cried and cried.

So much anger and pain. But oh, they love each other. Yes, go home, my darlings.

Right, so I thought this would lead into a mid-season break but I see we get another episode next week, if the air date is right? With Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully, no less.
posted by angeline at 8:48 PM on May 22, 2016

That beard was so distracting that it made me wonder if it was real (like the time on Farscape when Ben Browder grew a real beard for an episode because he'd had such a horrendously mocked fake beard in the 'Jeremiah Crichton' episode, but his real beard was so unattractive people thought it was fake too). I mean, the hair & makeup department is always so good on Outlander; I get that they were trying to show how many weeks he'd been in prison, but, couldn't they have done it less clownishly?

Great episode though. I'll miss all of Claire's fabulous French gowns, but I'm glad we're getting back to Scotland again.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:24 PM on May 22, 2016

Pop Wrapped recap.
posted by Coaticass at 9:46 PM on May 22, 2016

Brianna winds up with a graduate degree in engineering; I would have liked to have seen her budding interest in this.

Part of Fergus' bouquet is forget-me-nots; I'm not sure what the ruffly others are; they are too big to be cornflowers.

We are told in the books that he's been a rent boy in the brothel; what Jack Randall tries to do with him is far worse.


The Space Between makes it clear that the Comte didn't die; I suppose Raymond put something similar to what Friar Laurence gave Juliet into the cup.
posted by brujita at 10:17 AM on May 25, 2016

This episode!

Honestly it's improved from the book though in Jamie not being a fucking ass about her having sex with the king, and Louise being an actual heartbreakingly good friend.
posted by corb at 3:24 PM on May 25, 2016

St Germain's death scene was so well executed (aah, sorry...) that it made me feel a whole new appreciation for the actor. Until then, the Comte hadn't been exactly a juicy role, what with the maliciousness being so haughtily reserved and polished.

But that death tho. Stanley Weber really knocked it out of the park. His ordeal was excruciating to watch, even though I originally couldn't have cared less about the character.

Sometimes this show is so aesthetically pleasing that it almost distracts me from getting fully immersed in the story, though. I'm like "Oh boy, Claire is in a right pickle with that douchey king... But hey, look at how that orange perfectly complements the colour of her dress! Hold that orange, Claire!"

Aaand then something like the worst glued-on boy-beard comes along, and I take everything back. Seriously, what was that? It reminded me of a prank my sister and I pulled on our little brother once, convincing him that we could magically make his beard grow. He closed his eyes, and we pulled tufts of red lint from a shaggy blanket and glued it on his chin with a chapstick while chanting mysteriously. I'll never forget the wonder in his eyes those few moments when he really believed it was real... (Before we started cackling like the evil maniacs we were.) He was 4, though. The make-up department of this show really should've done a better job.

Finally, I don't have much to say about the heart-wrenching parts of this episode. They were really well done, and it took me a couple of days to shake the funk. Great acting. Things will get better now, right? Everyone will be alright, won't they? Small sigh.
posted by sively at 12:21 AM on May 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

I liked that the beard was realistically horrible! A good beard requires maintenance. He wouldn't have been able to properly take care of it in prison.
posted by something something at 7:22 AM on May 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

All true, but it's not that the beard was unkempt. In fact it wasn't; it seemed quite neatly trimmed. Nothing growing on the neck, nothing creeping up the cheeks, careful outlining around the mouth, everything clean and fluffy. It just looked fake, unfortunately.
posted by sively at 7:36 AM on May 26, 2016

Well for the beard's state of grooming I like to imagine that Jamie did a hasty clean-up before facing Claire for their talk, and immediately after he said they'd carry their burdens together, they hugged for a while and then Claire said, "That beard is a burden I refuse to carry one step further, go shave properly right now."
posted by angeline at 8:52 AM on May 26, 2016 [5 favorites]

GOD THAT BEARD it was like they got 100 gingery guys to use the same shower one after another and then all the scraggly pubes that were picked out of the hair trap were glued to his face
posted by poffin boffin at 10:42 PM on May 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

I liked the moment when Claire, having accepted the King's offer of chocolate with some enthusiasm ('Fuck yeah, I haven't had any chocolate since 19fucking45'), discovers that 18th century chocolate is very different to what she's used to, and then has to hide her disappointment from the King. At least I'm pretty sure that's what happened.

Also, her exit from the King's chamber: 'If you're going to force me to drink some weird bitter, grimy chocolate, pretend to be a witch, murder a man and submit to some highly inauspicious sex then goddamnit I'M TAKING THIS ORANGE WITH ME'.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:16 AM on October 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

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