***Spoiler Warning: Discussion of Outlander events through Season 2, Episode 11, follows. Spoilers***
Well, my thoughts on who might show up during “Vengeance Is Mine” turned out to be a tad off base. As book readers must have known, the revenge reference was meant for Murtagh, who kept his promise to Claire and Mary Hawkins … but before we get to all that, let’s discuss a few other things.
Farewell to the Bonny Prince (for now, at least)! And, what a shame. More than a few of Outlander‘s temporary guests have been my favorites: Stanley Weber’s Le Comte St. Germain (so intense), Clive Russell’s Lord Lovat, Dominique Pinon’s Master Raymond (whom I hope we’ll see again), and Andrew Gower’s Prince Charles Edward Stewart — such an interesting and strange man.
I adore how he’d seem quiet and mild one minute, and then, out of nowhere, lose his mind. But, thanks to those jerks Lord General George Murray (Julian Wadham) and Quartermaster John O’Sullivan (Gerard Horan) wimping out, the petulant Prince is whisked away from our presence — and Jamie’s ear. Damn them, indeed. Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and on their way to Inverness (as commanded), Jamie, Claire, Dougal, Murtagh, Rupert, Fergus, and the clan are attacked by Redcoats, leaving Rupert a pirate and the group split apart. Finding temporary refuge in a church, Claire performs an emergency bullet removal (OUCH) …
… and, just as they’ve all calmed down a little, those pesky soldiers show up again. Claire plays the captured English lass game (once more) and, since the boys think they know where the Redcoats will take her, a quick rescue plan is made. As smart as Jamie can be, when it comes to Claire, he loses all perspective. Tit for tat, Dougal steps up and helps Jamie out again.
There’s another of those all-too-convenient devices we don’t mind terribly, but can’t help mentioning: when the soldiers’ plans differ from what’s expected, and Jamie’s old friend Hugh Munro just happens to be right there so he can pass the new location info Claire easily slips him to Jamie.
And here’s where we meet up with our old friend, The Duke of Sandringham, as gloriously played by the incomparable Simon Callow (Amadeus, Galavant, Doctor Who, Four Weddings and a Funeral).
The delightfully, devilish Duke is as crafty as he is charming, reminiscent of Seuss’ Grinch, both in manner and smile.
Callow infused the Duke’s every word with a suave finesse; any time his character was onscreen, we couldn’t help but be held rapt. With sly observations often dripping with sarcasm, his savoir-faire carried the Duke through …
… almost to his very end, delivered quite shockingly and brutally by the unflappable Murtagh’s axe after the Dukester foolishly copped to his crime (sending Danton to rape Mary as debt repayment to the Comte St. Germain).
Though I admire Murtagh’s loyalty and diligence, I do admit I’ll miss that silly Duke … so cheers, old frenemy!
Parting is such sweet … er, so gruesome.
The promo for next week’s penultimate “The Hail, Mary” featured this fleeting image:
It looks like my earlier prediction of Claire running into Tobias Menzies‘ Black Jack Randall will come true an episode later. Radio Times says: “Jamie and Claire revisit the vow they made in Paris to dispose of Black Jack when the time comes. It’s almost touching ….” And thank goodness: our Prince returns as well.
Outlander Season 2, Episode 12, airs on Starz this Saturday.