This last episode starts off with Jamie still brooding over not being able kill Black Jack. Murtagh, on the other hand, is still gung ho over the now cancelled duel. He’s settin’ up times for Jamie to practice his swordfighting and what have you, so y’all can imagine how disappointed he is when Jamie tells him that the duel’s been called off. Murtagh actually tells Jamie that he changes his mind like a woman with PMS. Ouch.
Claire is at the hospital, when the dude that’s a doctor by day and an executioner by night (or afternoon…whatever), goes into detail that we never asked for about hanging, drawing and quartering a poor soul later that day. Claire is obviously sick to her stomach, and the executioner/doctor tells her she should see Master Raymond (the apothecary! I finally found out his name!). Claire takes this as a threat and goes to Master Raymond, warning him to leave the city. At first, Raymond blows the threat off, saying that Louis’ great-grandfather went after various folks in France that were involved in the “dark arts,” but all the accused were later released. Claire lets Raymond know that unlike his great-grandad, Louis’ ain’t playin’. Raymond thanks Claire for being a good friend and resigns himself to leave town. I’m not convinced he’s really gonna leave, personally.
Later that night, Jamie is rubbing Claire’s feet, so it looks like they’ve made up…kind of. Jamie’s still a bit distant. He brings up what’s been bothering him: Claire says that he owes her a life for saving his, but he’s saved her life multiple times and they should be even. He also brings up that he doesn’t owe Frank anything; Claire had to choose between the two of them and she chose him, not Frank. Claire asks why Jamie promised to save Frank, and he lets her know that the Stuart Rebellion will probably go on no matter what they do, and he’ll probably be a casualty. Jamie makes Claire promise to go back through the stones and back to Frank if that happens. Claire is horrified at the thought of losing Jamie, but she promises. Well, now we know why she returned.
The next day, Claire uses Jamie as a guinea pig for her smallpox ruse (remember last week, she said she could make a concoction to make it appear like TFF’s men had smallpox so the wine they’re shipping off could be destroyed). All the stuff she makes Jamie drink, mixes up and puts on his skin works perfectly, but Murtagh could care less. He’s still pissed about the duel. Jamie lets Claire know that it’s time to tell Murtagh the truth, and he meets Murtagh outside to do just that. Once Murtagh finds out, he gives Jamie a swift punch in the face for not telling him sooner “[that Claire] was a witch” (Jamie, stop telling folks Claire is a witch!). Classic Murtagh. Jamie and Fergus ride off later to put the plan into action. Claire approaches Murtagh in the house, while he’s literally writing down all the years she’s been alive (all the years in the 20th century). He asks if she knows what happens in the Jacobite Rebllion, and she lets him know that she does, and that it doesn’t end well. Murtagh asks if she knows when people will die, and Claire lets him know that she doesn’t know when any of them will die, personally. Murtagh, in a rare show of sweetness and empathy, lets her know that he wouldn’t want to bear her burden of knowing the things she does know.
Meanwhile, Jamie and Fergus reach St. Germain’s warehouse, where they poison the wine and put that stuff all over the mens’ jackets to break their skin out. Later, Jamie meets the prince and TFF at that damn whorehouse. Crazy ass Charles lets Jamie know that a “mysterious illness” has broken out amongst TFF’s men. Jamie throws shade and asks if the disease was contagious. Charles tells him that they’re not sure, and lets him know that he wants Jamie to deliver that wine by foot. I tell you what…that damn Charles might be crazy, but he’s not as idiotic as we all thought. He’s thrown a monkey wrench in Jamie and Claire’s plans every week. They find a way for him to lose his financial backers, he finds another backer. They try to embarrass him publicly by allowing his lover to announce her pregnancy, he takes it in stride. They try to talk the Minister of Finance out of funding the rebellion, Charles promises him a French/British alliance. The man’s not exactly dumb. Jamie has no choice but to agree to deliver the wine, when TFF nastily tells him he’ll accompany him on the way.
Plan B: Jamie and Claire decide to stage an ambush en route to deliver the wine, only the “thieves” will be Murtagh and some other dudes dressed in fancy clothes to look like Les Disciples. Murtagh hates the outfit, by the way. Claire is nervous about the mission, saying that bad things happen whenever they’re apart (this is true!). Jamie tells her not to worry, and later that night, they make luuurrrrve (but they don’t show the sex scene. Sorry). That next night, Jamie goes with TFF to deliver the wine, while Claire sits through unbearable gossip with Louise and the other cackling hens of Paris. Jamie and TFF get ambushed as scheduled, and Murtagh even does one better by pretending to try to shoot St. Germain. Jamie pushes him out the way and Murtagh knocks him out. They ride off with all the wine, leaving Jamie on the ground and TFF pissed off.
Claire is still listening to the ladies gossip, looking as if she’s about to die when she asks them what could be done about the destitute people in the city. She mentions that she saw a mother and her baby dead in the city streets the other day. The ladies appear concerned, but their true colors are soon revealed when Louise says that she’ll speak to someone about moving the poor to a less desirable part of the city where they don’t have to be seen. Claire is disgusted and leaves them high and dry. She goes to the hospital to do some more volunteer work, but since she’s about eight months preggo, she starts to get a little worn down. Mother Hildegarde makes her lie down, and she notices some blood on Claire’s stocking. She tells Claire that it’s normal for women to bleed a little during pregnancy, and not to worry about it. However, Mother Hildegarde makes her stay there for the rest of the night, just to be on the safe side. Jamie and St. Germain meet with crazy ass Charles to tell him the bad news about the wine. For the first time, Charles doesn’t have a backup plan, and that bitch TFF still blames Jamie for what happened. I mean, Jamie is to blame, but…aw, hell. I just don’t like his ass.
Jamie comes back and notices Claire is gone. Fergus tells him she’s at the hospital resting and that she’ll be back soon. They sit down to have breakfast when one of the servants lets Jamie know that the prince lost his damn mind at the whorehouse and needs some assistance paying the bill he ran up. Jamie goes up there with Fergus. Once they get here, Jamie tells Fergus to stay put while he talks to the head pimp, or whoever, but being a typical hardheaded child, Fergus walks off. He goes into a room that has a British officer’s jacket hanging up near the bed…as he’s stealing some of the things off a table, the officer walks back into the room and shuts the door…
Claire returns and finds out that Jamie got into a fight with an English officer at the whorehouse. He’s now in the woods…fighting a duel. He left a note for Claire that reads, “I am sorry. I must.” Claire rushes out of the house and has the butler take her to the woods. She appears to be in distress the entire way there. When she gets to the woods, she sees Jamie and Black Jack fighting each other. Now she’s so weak and in pain, she can barely stand up. She watches in horror as Jamie and Black Jack fight, knowing that she’s going to lose either Jamie or Frank in the end. Eventually, Jamie gets the upper hand and stabs Black Jack in the junk! Yeeaaah, boyeeee! I just wish that Jamie had gone full Lorena Bobbitt on his ass! By this time, Claire is bleeding all over herself, and is hunched over in pain. The butler comes over to see about her, and she instructs him to take her to Mother Hildegarde. Then the cops come and arrest Jamie for dueling. Claire cries out for Jamie, who finally notices her in the woods. He cries out to her as the gen d’armes surround him, and Claire weakly calls out his name one more time before passing out. Black Jack passes out from his wound, too. Ass.
Like the week before, this episode was slightly dull until midway through. The excitement doesn’t really get started until Claire and Jamie really put their plan into action, and of course, the ending left me at the edge of my seat. I just wish the show could’ve started off as fantastic as it ended. So far this season, there’s only been one episode that was great from start to finish. I shouldn’t complain, though. At least it wasn’t completely dull like “Useful Occupations and Deceptions” (episode three). God, that was awful. Now that Black Jack has been castrated (sort of), I have a little theory about Frank’s fate. Considering that this is the 18th century, and that he was stabbed in the balls, Black Jack’s chances of having kids is pretty much nil. However, Claire didn’t immediately disappear from the 1700’s once he got stabbed (see my review about dull behind episode three for further nerdy explanation on the space time continuum), meaning that it’s possible that Frank may actually be a descendant of Alex Randall, not Black Jack Randall. Maybe something happens to Alex, and Mary, not wanting to raise a child alone, marries Black Jack (poor child). I’m thinking that’s what may have happened, considering that Frank is still alive and well in the 1940’s. I can’t wait for next week’s episode. It looks like the outcome with the baby isn’t good, and Claire’s pissed at Jamie for breaking his promise, but I’m really anxious to find out what that damn Black Jack did to Fergus in that room. For Jamie to get pissed off enough to break his word, it had to be horrendous. Be sure to tune in!
—Written by Nadiya
So what did y’all think about “Best Laid Schemes…”? Was it phenomenal from start to finish, exciting only after it got midway through, or just plain dull from the time it came on till the time it went off? What do you think happened to Fergus in the room? Do you think Black Jack is incapable of having children now? Also, do you think Prince Charles will have a comeback from this setback? Give me your thoughts!