Outlander: The Hail Mary   Books Included 
June 26, 2016 1:24 AM - Season 2, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Jamie works to divert the Jacobite army away from imminent slaughter; Claire tries to provide comfort to a sick Alex Randall; Alex shares an unusual plan to save the mother of his child.

SO MUCH HAPPENS:

* Jamie tries to talk the Prince into waiting for the French gold in order to supply and feed the starving Scots before going into battle, and into choosing a different battleground. The Prince agrees to neither;
* Colum MacKenzie arrives in Inverness, on his literal last legs, and asks Claire to grant him a peaceful and easy death;
* Claire encounters an angry Mary, who is reunited with Alex and knows that Claire told him to let Mary go. Alex is dying of consumption and BJR is there to see him. He demands Claire heal Alex, but she can't, so she agrees to ease his pain in return for British army secrets;
* Alex tells BJR to marry the pregnant Mary, so she bears his name and receives the benefits of an officer's wife;
* Dougal, Jamie and Colum have a last meeting where Colum says Hamish will be the new Laird and Jamie will serve as guardian. Dougal is furious;
* Jack and Mary marry with Alex, Claire and Murtagh as witnesses. Alex dies soon after and Jack goes berserk, punching Alex's corpse in front of Claire and Mary;
* The Prince and his advisors agree to attack the British in the night during Cumberland's birthday celebrations. Jamie thinks they will avoid the Battle of Culloden. However in the night the Prince loses his way with his column of soldiers and retreats. The battle will go ahead the next day after all.

A/V Club review: B+
Ultimately, this episode isn’t all that much about Claire and Jamie so much as it’s about two very different, very complicated families.
IGN review
Tobias Menzies continues to be one of the show's secret weapons, and giving him and Caitriona Balfe another chance to verbally spar as Black Jack and Claire was a highlight of the episode.
posted by tracicle (11 comments total)
 
Ooooh Dougal's speech to Colum and his reaction when he realised Colum had died. That was heartbreaking. I am going to miss Dougal so much. His impulsiveness and thirst for battle, his extreme swings of emotions, his second-child syndrome, his deep love-hate relationship with his brother. Sure, his son is going to be Laird, but no one can acknowledge it.

I was impatient for Alex to hurry up and die already; I enjoyed that story way more in the books. It felt dragged out somehow, when there were other, more important things to focus on. Also Mary told Alex it would be "OK" and that grated on me. It seems like a significant slip from the writers. I don't even like when Claire says it, and she says it a lot. In theory it's not anachronistic for Claire to say it, but it's just such a modern word. And if someone tries to tell me that Mary says it because Claire says it, I won't believe them. So there.

I'm hoping this show had bottle-episode elements (Alex's room, the meeting house) because the big budget is being saved for next week. It felt like the GoT episode from two weeks ago: moving the pieces into place for the momentous scenes of battle. Lots of talking, tying up loose ends, all a wee bit too obvious.

The Prince was a complete asshat in this episode. I wish I could kick him. Calling himself a soldier and holding a sword like that? Good grief.

The timing of next week's episode is impressive given the political situation right now. Just as Outlander was kicking off during the last Scottish referendum, the battle is screening when England and Scotland are so opposed politically.

OH, and do you think William MacKenzie, adoptive father to Geillis' son, is wee Willie from season one that went to America?? They weren't the same character in the books, but we already have some conflated characters.
posted by tracicle at 1:33 AM on June 26, 2016


Excellent Dougal/Colum interaction. I enjoyed every scene. I'm still just so ridiculously pleased at their casting and the adaptation of the characters.

The prince definitely deserved a punch in the face. How far he's come, from the uncertain guy cowering a bit while the grownups argue to sitting in front of the fire like he owns the room, imperiously commanding opinions out of his men.

Interesting that they had Murtagh instead of Jamie witnessing the Randall wedding. I wonder if that was to set up the more bloodthirsty "okay, vengeance time" conversation between Claire and Jamie - would have been harder to believe, I think, had Jamie and Randall been hanging out in the same room tolerating each other.

Also, the admissions of sadism from Randall. I really don't know what I'm supposed to take away from that. Pity that he can't control his compulsions even as he recognizes how wrong it is? Just general revulsion and hatred? In Conclusion, Jack Randall Is A Land of Contrasts?

The TV adaptation really threw into better relief for me the idea that Claire's presence in the past is directly responsible for Frank's existence. Had she not interfered in France and told Alex to stay away, he might have knocked Mary up earlier, married her, and the kid might not have survived a childhood of poverty once Alex actually died. By delaying it to when Alex could ask Jack to give Mary his name, she enabled the survival of that particular line. So interesting after all the handwringing over how her presence in the past would ruin the Randall line.

Next week, man. I'm already anxious/excited/worried/depressed.
posted by olinerd at 3:34 AM on June 26, 2016


Once again I'm surprised by the AV Club grade and how much their opinion differs from mine, I thought this episode was great.

I was really looking forward to seeing some Edinburgh, but I like how they condensed everything to have it take place near Inverness. I was wondering how they'd cram all that Edinburgh plot into the few episodes that were left.

Glad they took Jamie out of the Black Jack / Alex Randall / Mary Hawkins meetings and marriage. It would have been really unbelievable after all we've seen of them to have Jamie existing in a room with Black Jack without trying to tear him limb from limb. And Murtagh's little speech about marrying Mary Hawkins, so sweet!

Column's epic burn for Dougal was gold. I really liked the whole brothers interaction. And Claire's conversation with Colum was better than in the book.

Argh, they had me going up until the end, I didn't remember the planned sneak attack on Cumberland's army (did that happen in the book like in the show?), so I was genuinely surprised and disappointed when it turned out the prince turned back.

The TV adaptation really threw into better relief for me the idea that Claire's presence in the past is directly responsible for Frank's existence. Had she not interfered in France and told Alex to stay away, he might have knocked Mary up earlier, married her, and the kid might not have survived a childhood of poverty once Alex actually died. By delaying it to when Alex could ask Jack to give Mary his name, she enabled the survival of that particular line. So interesting after all the handwringing over how her presence in the past would ruin the Randall line.

That's so interesting, I never thought about it like that!

OH, and do you think William MacKenzie, adoptive father to Geillis' son, is wee Willie from season one that went to America?? They weren't the same character in the books, but we already have some conflated characters.

That would be really cool, if only because I loved Willie so much and I really hope to see him again. I think I heard on a Ron Moore podcast that they sent him to America because they didn't have the actor for this season, I'm not sure what that means to potentially seeing him in the future. I really hope we see him in season 3 or 4!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 1:37 PM on June 26, 2016


Hm, also on the Claire/Frank thing, if not for Claire, Sandringham never would have sent those dudes after her to rough her up/rape her, which means Mary would never have been raped, which means she might have married the old French dude. So yeah. I think Claire makes Frank possible simply by being there in the past for Mary to befriend.

I'm still contemplating whether Jamie and Claire are responsible for Culloden happening. Had they not put so much effort into crippling Charles's campaign in France, would he have had the resources and French support to pull off a more successful rebellion? Is what Claire knows to be a tragic failure from history actually a failure because she was part of history?

I think so far the show has done a better job of (implicitly) posing questions about time travel and what it means than the books did; not to mention the books just kind of drop it after DIA. So I hope the show keeps it going.
posted by olinerd at 9:18 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


One of the big problems I've always had with their supposed plan to stop Culloden is that it's so half-assed. If they were serious about changing the course of the history as Claire knows it, they should have killed Prince Charlie. At one point in the show Jamie dismisses the idea because it would turn him into a martyr and energize the rebellion - which, okay, maybe, but at least it would prove that history could be changed. Jamie also claims he doesn't want to kill an innocent man, but he kills quite a lot of people in general, and saving the entire Highland way of life is surely worth the death of one whiny little idiot? So anyway, I like this idea that Claire sets all these events into motion by being there. I don't think it's what Gabaldon intended, but it's more interesting than the alternative, which is that Jamie and Claire are too wimpy to do what it takes.

Something about watching the story (as opposed to reading it) makes it seem especially implausible that they keep running into the same three people in various locations all over England, Scotland, and France. Sandringham and Mary Hawkins and Jack Randall really get around.
posted by something something at 6:03 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel like (maybe I am alone in this! I tend to overthink things which I'm pretty sure I can lay at the feet of my fanfic writing) maybe Jamie has been harboring a faint hope that Scotland can still win the day at Culloden, so his full heart hasn't been in the plans to undermine the Prince.

But with the failure of the sneak attack, maybe he sees now that yeah, they should've been making with the stabbing or the poisoning already and is now open to that. I am of course just guessing. This season has been a little light in supplying a lot of Jamie's more important inner thoughts, I'm playing more at filling in the gaps than I did in season one.

Speaking of filling in the gaps, heck yes I'm so on board with the fun paradox theory of all this stuff happening BECAUSE Claire showed up, I'm always a huge fan of time travel paradoxes mucking things up.

Olinerd, I just finished reading all of the books - Echo in the Bone and Written in My Own Heart's Blood depict Roger and Bree really starting to dig into figuring out the time traveling so they can leave a detailed guide and warnings for their children. I have a feeling it got abandoned for a few books because Claire has no interest in returning to her own time, and they didn't think Roger and Bree would (or for a while there, could), so there was no need to study it.

Anyway soooooo...Jack beating the holy mother of god out of his brother's corpse, that's a hell of a book departure. It makes a rather nasty sort of sense for the character but what a shock to see!
posted by angeline at 10:09 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


So I wonder if this was a way to redefine Black Jack as a pure sadist, rather than rapey gay dude, in response to a lot of the criticism that's been made about his characterisation? Because I am pretty well convinced now that he is just one effed up mofo.
posted by olinerd at 7:44 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Off-topic, but, S1 question -- what episode was it that showed Jamie's last conversation with his father in the prison hallway, and then dying? Was it Lallybroch? My friend & her wife just got Starz channel recently and watched & liked the series premiere, but friend's wife's father died not too long ago, so I don't want her to get blindsided when they get to those scenes. (Friend is on board with this plan, as the wife has never been a stickler for continuity or needing to watch a series all the way through, so friend may watch the upsetting episodes on her own first to judge whether the wife would want to see or skip or fast-forward through parts. Friend has read book 1, so, she knows the overall plot.) I know the first time we really see the flogging is in episode 6 via Randall's POV, but I can't remember when Jamie talked to Claire about it and we see his POV, whether it was during Lallybroch or if we got some of it during 'The Wedding' or maybe earlier?
posted by oh yeah! at 7:28 AM on July 3, 2016


It'll be the episode called "Lallybroch," Jamie flashes back to it because it's the last time he saw his father and he has some guilt over it.
posted by angeline at 2:00 PM on July 3, 2016


Buck's foster father has to be able to support a wife and kid, so I think he's older than the onscreen Willie.
posted by brujita at 1:08 AM on July 5, 2016


where is the finale post give me the finale post
posted by poffin boffin at 10:38 AM on July 11, 2016


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