Outlander Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: Murtagh Was The Case That They Gave Me

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh and Caitriona Balfe as Claire.
With all the scheming going on, this episode serves as a nice reminder that Murtagh is as true blue a friend as they come. He's willing to put himself in harm's way. He'll dress up like the vampire Lestat and only moan about it for a few minutes. He'll buy Claire's whole time-traveling claim with very little resistance. He's got a Prince John face, a gruff exterior, and a heart of gold. And that's why we're willing to overlook his sexist mumblings about Jamie acting like a "woman in flux" when he discovers the duel's off. Murtagh, should you ever high five Craigh na Dun and land in 2016, we'll happily buy you a dram after your sensitivity training seminar. So, yeah, Murtagh is not happy that Jamie "canna" duel Randall. Claire, meanwhile, is not happy to learn from her gruesome executioner friend at l'hôpital that anyone associated with or caught practicing the dark arts is under threat of being drawn and quartered. That's bad news for "La Dame Blanche" and very, very bad news for Master Raymond. Claire hightails it to the apothecary and warns her friend to leave the city. Back at home, Jamie is not only abandoning his "no touchies" icing out of Claire, he's rubbing her freaking feet. Way to stay strong, Fraser. Mr. Magic Fingers explains that he's only keeping Randall alive so that his heir, Frank, is around to look after Claire should things go pear-shaped. He insists that, should the situation call for it, she return to Craigh na Dun to be with Frank. Claire agrees. The couple is taking great lengths to ensure that isn't necessary. Claire has concocted a potion that will mimic the symptoms of smallpox, using Jamie as a guinea pig. The plan is to make it look like St. Germain's crew once again has smallpox, forcing the harbormaster to destroy his shipment of wine, essentially flushing Prince Charles' battle funds down the toilet. Murtagh is still not a happy camper, so Jamie and Claire agree to let him in on the whole time-traveling thing. Unfortunately, we don't get to actually hear Jamie explain how his wife came to be transported from 1945. Did he break the tension with a joke? Open with, "You'll never guess whose family tree Claire married into?" We'll never know. But eventually, Murtagh, after slugging Jamie for not telling him sooner, walks away thinking that Claire is probably a witch. But he buys it. He's still incredulous when he meets with Claire, but seems to trust that she truly is from the future. The smallpox plan works. Fergus and Jamie ride to St. Germain's warehouse, swap the crew's wine for the potion, and rub mashed nettles over their clothes. Later, Jamie is summoned to Maison Elise, where Charles and St. Germain tell them about their latest misfortune. They plan to cover up the crew's "illness" while Jamie transports the wine to his warehouse. He agrees, but St. Germain belligerently insists on joining him for the journey. The plan's next step involves Murtagh putting on fancy French finery; they've also hired men to pose as highwaymen. Claire's stressed about Jamie leaving when the baby is so close to being due. The bond over the bairn kicking and then make love.
Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Claire gets some of that Fraser TLC.
The wine shipment sabotage more or less goes off without a hitch, assuming St. Germain's refusal to stand down when a masked Murtagh and his "highwaymen" rob the carriage isn't much of a hitch. Jamie is forced to stage an attack on his friend to get the armed St. Germain out of the way. Eventually, the highwaymen make off with the shipment and Murtagh is off to Portugal for a month or two to sell off the wine. Saint Claire has found herself having tea with the mean girls of French high society. Their gossiping prompts her to shame them for not doing anything to help the city's poor, and she storms off. Nobody says, "What's your damage, Claire?" but they're all thinking it. Her next stop is to the hospital. She's so visibly uncomfortable that Mother Hildegarde forces her to lie down. Claire is bleeding, but it's not really a cause for alarm. She'll stay overnight, sending Fergus to pass on the news. Jamie's got other things on his mind. Charles and a highly suspicious St. Germain are mourning the loss of their wine. Charles is distressed about losing his funding, so it's no big shock when Jamie learns that the royal is making a scene at Madame Elise. After a short stop at home, where Fergus casually mentions Claire's condition, he rushes back to the brothel to smooth over the Charles situation. Upon arrival, Fergus is told to stay put while Jamie finds Charles. The little scamp can't resist poking into an empty bedroom to steal a bottle of perfume. We see a red coat hanging up and the door slams. Nooooooooooooo. A weary Claire finally makes her way home, where the servants are acting strangely. Suzette explains that Jamie has gotten into a fight with an English officer at Madame Elise, and is in the woods fighting a duel. A fuming Claire, clearly in labor, rushes off in the carriage. She reaches the duel just in time to see Jamie stab Randall in the baby-maker (adios, Frank). But who can worry about the fate of a backup husband when Claire is bleeding and doubled over in pain? She passes out just as the police come to arrest everyone. Will Claire and Fergus be okay? Has Jamie ruined Randall's chances of fathering a child? Do we blame him if we did?

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