Jamie breaks a promise to Claire, and Prince Charles’ rebellion takes a major hit. Full recap of “Best Laid Schemes…”, including new images/clips (first aired Saturday, May 14 at 9:00pm ET|PT on STARZ).
“Best Laid Schemes…” began the morning about the blow-up between Jamie and Claire regarding his duel with Black Jack Randall (at the end of “Untimely Resurrection”). Jamie sat at his desk reflecting on his promise to delay killing BJR by one year. Murtagh entered the room with news that Randall had been released from the Bastille. He meant to start coordinating the plans for the duel. In fact, Murtagh had already secured a time (two days from now, at dawn) and location where the police wouldn’t catch them. But Jamie stopped him—there wouldn’t be a duel. Jamie had already sent word to Black Jack to withdraw the challenge. Murtagh was visibly angry and couldn’t understand why Jamie would back down. Jamie tried to explain that things were “complicated”, but when he refused to give a more firm explanation, Murtagh likened Jamie to “a woman in flux” and stormed out of the room.
Meanwhile, Claire was working at L’hopital des Anges and had a very interesting conversation with Monsieur Forez (the physician who moonlighted as the King’s executioner) as they prepared a body for burial. According to Forez, he was off to another job—planning the execution of several practitioners of the dark arts and those who associate with them. King Louis was planning to round then up and have them drawn and quartered. (Forez was extremely excited as he described the skill involved in hanging a person and ripping their heart out while still beating… UGH.) Even more disturbing, Forez mentioned Master Raymond by name.
Claire was immediately concerned… was Master Raymond in danger? She left L’hopital and went to the apothecary to inform him of Louis’ crusade. Claire encouraged Master Raymond to leave Paris at once. At first, Master Raymond wasn’t too worried. These raids had happened before and those accused of dabbling in the black arts only had to renounce Satan and then were released. But Claire thought this time would be much worse since Forez had been explicit about the coming executions. Master Raymond was touched by Claire’s concern, but also acknowledged that she had put herself in danger by coming to the apothecary. They reaffirmed their friendship and Master Raymond promised to leave Paris.
Master Raymond: “We will meet again, Madonna, in this life or another.”
Claire: “I certainly hope so. Please be careful.”
That night Jamie and Claire sat together in their room and he rubbed her feet (something he learned pregnant women liked from Jenny). Jamie then brought up their conversation about BJR and Frank… how Claire argued that he owed her a life. But according to Jamie, he had saved Claire’s life just as many times as she’d saved him (Hello! Witch trial anyone?!). So they were even. Moreover, Jamie didn’t owe Frank anything. Claire had the free choice to go back to him at Craigh Na Dun and she chose to stay with Jamie. Jamie had no intention of letting Black Jack go unpunished for what happened at Wentworth…one of them had to die. So why did Jamie promise to let BJR live for another year? “Because of Charles Stuart.”
Jamie believed that, despite the best efforts of Operation Stop Culloden, the Jacobite rebellion could happen anyway. And if it did, and something happened to him, Jamie wanted Claire to have someone to turn to, a man who loved her and would take care of the baby.
Jamie: “Now it’s my turn to ask you for a promise. Promise me that, if the time should come, you will go back through the stones. Back to Frank.”
Claire: “I promise.”
The next day, Claire used Jamie as a guinea pig to see if she could use herbs to simulate the symptoms of smallpox. If this worked, they could fake an outbreak in Le Comte St Germain’s warehouse and get the wine inventory destroyed (including the wine for St. Germain’s joint venture with Prince Charles). Murtagh and Fergus watched the experiment, but Murtagh didn’t understand why they just couldn’t kill Charles and be done with it. Yet, Claire argued that if Charles died, he would be viewed as a martyr, which might still provoke Scotland into war with England. Jamie drank a concoction made of essence of rosemary, bitter cascara, and rose madder, while Claire rubbed a mash of nettles on Jamie’s chest. The combination did result in severe stomach pain, vomiting, and body rashes…like smallpox! Jamie and Fergus would ride off to Le Havre to “infect” the men at St. Germain’s warehouse. But before, Jamie and Claire believed it was time to tell Murtagh the whole truth.
Jamie met Murtagh in the courtyard and told him everything about Claire’s timetravel and knowledge of Culloden. Murtagh took the news in stride and didn’t question Jamie’s belief that Claire was a “witch.” But then Murtagh punched Jamie in the jaw: “But you should have trusted me with that knowledge from the beginning!”
Jamie agreed and the two walked back into the house.
Claire and Murtagh had a brief conversation about her time travel. He had written down the years Claire had lived through and seemed shocked by the possibility. Murtagh asked questions about what she knew about the Jacobite rebellion, and when he and Jamie might die. However, Claire didn’t have that information or many more specifics.
Murtagh: “Even knowing what Jamie says you do, I wouldn’t want to bear that burden.”
Later on, Claire gave Jamie a satchel filled with the ingredients to fake the smallpox outbreak and he and Fergus rode off to Le Havre. At St. Germain’s warehouse, Fergus was able to steal the men’s wine and spike it with the mixture from Claire. He also took the mash of nettles and rubbed it on the men’s jackets. When Jamie returned to Paris, he reported that things had gone as planned and now they only had to wait.
Jamie: “Don’t fash mo nighean donn. If anyone can deliver pestilence and disease, it’s us.”
The next evening, Jamie was summoned to Maison Elise by Prince Charles, and he had bad news. There was a mysterious outbreak at St. Germain’s warehouse and, even though the Comte was able to keep the men hidden from the harbor authorities, they needed to transport the wine from Le Havre to be held in Paris (at Jared’s warehouse), until buyers could be found. The entire time, St. Germain was abrasive. He didn’t trust Jamie with this task. However, Prince Charles remarked that he trusted Jamie with his life. Jamie agreed to this task and St. Germain would join him to ensure the investment.
At the same time, Jamie and Murtagh plotted to sabotage the transport. They hired a bunch of highwaymen who would dress as courtiers (posing as Les Disciples, the gang of aristocrats) and steal the wine.
That night Jamie and Claire shared another intimate moment… Jamie felt their baby kick for the first time and spoke his first words to their child: “Wee un, it’s your father. Cannae wait to meet you.” *SOBS*SWOONS*
The next evening, while Jamie and St. Germain traveled the road between La Havre and Paris with the wine shipment, Murtagh and the hired men ambushed them. Le Comte was incensed that this was happening and threatened revenge on these men. He and Murtagh (who wore a mask) faced off when St. Germain refused to get down from the cart. Eventually, Jamie (under the pretense of saving Le Comte), knocked St. Germain to the ground and “wrestled” with Murtagh. Murtagh then knocked Jamie out with the butt of his gun (all part of the plan) and rode off with the wine (off to Portugal to sell the wine).
Meanwhile, in Paris, Claire had dinner with Louise and her friends. Claire was clearly fed up with all the pointless gossip. She suggested that there were more important things than affairs to talk about, like all the poverty in the city. Just the other day, Claire had seen a woman and her child dead in the middle of the road. The ladies seemed concerned and planned to talk to their husbands about petitioning the king.
Louise: “The gendarmes should remove them to the less desirable parts of the city.”
(They TOTALLY misunderstood Claire’s point!) In frustration, Claire left the dinner party.
Instead, Claire went to L’hopital to care for the patients. After some time, Mother Hildegarde encouraged Claire to lie down and rest. In the process, Mother Hildegard noticed that Claire had blood on her legs, but neither person was worried. A little bleeding was typical at this stage of the pregnancy.
When Jamie and St. Germain returned to the city and told Charles the news. Le Comte was so angry, and explicitly blamed Jamie for the sabotage. Charles still believed in Jamie and defended him. But the Prince was completely distraught. He would be a laughingstock in France; bankers wouldn’t lend to him and he would have to leave Paris.
“Our king and God have been let down. All the sacrifices I made these last months in France, lowering myself to a commoner, begging for money, have amounted to naught. So where will the House of Stuart stand if our cause fails? I will be forced to return home to Rome where even the Pope’s goodwill for my father begins to run dry. Or worse… Mark me, I will take my own life if I am forced to live in godforsaken Poland.”
And then Prince Charles wept like a child. (BWAHAHAHAH!)
Jamie left Charles and St. Germain at Maison Elise and went home to have some breakfast and rest. However, his respite ended with Suzette brought news that Prince Charles was about to be arrested at the salon/brothel for refusing to pay his bill. Jamie left immediately, with Fergus in toe. When they arrived at Maison Elise, Jamie went to settle Charles bill and told Fergus to stay at the door. However, Fergus decided to do a little snooping and ended up trapped in a room with a British redcoat officer…
…when Claire arrived home, she noticed that Magnus (the majordomo) and Suzette were acting skittish. She asked after Jamie, but realized something was wrong when no one gave her a straight answer. After more prodding, Suzette finally revealed that Jamie got into a fight with a British officer (Black Jack Randall!) at Maison Elise and was now at the Bois de Boulogne to duel. Claire then saw a note on the table: “I’m sorry. I must. J.”
She couldn’t believe that Jamie had betrayed his promise to her! Claire rode off to the woods in order to find Jamie. The entire ride there, she was in emotional and physical pain. When she arrived at the Bois de Boulogne with Magnus (after a very fast and kind of dangerous carriage ride), Claire’s distress grew as she observed Jamie and BJR fighting:
“I came through the fading light to find this, to stop them. Having found them, I could not intervene for fear of causing fatal interruption. All I could do was wait, to see which of my men would die, Jamie or Frank.”
And as they clashed swords, BJR taunted Jamie, asking how did Claire forgive Jamie after what happened at Wentworth (probably referring to when BJR manipulated Jamie into believing he was having sex with Claire so Jamie enjoyed it…). There was kicking, screaming, biting, and more… eventually, Jamie was able to stab Black Jack in the groin. Just as BJR went down, Claire did too. She was suffering from massive bleeding, probably a miscarriage. Things got even worse when the police arrived and placed Jamie under arrest.
Claire called out for Jamie, and before she passed out, she told Magnus to get her to Mother Hidegarde at L’hopital des Anges. The last thing Claire heard was Jamie screaming her name.
If you missed tonight’s episode, you can watch “Best Laid Schemes…” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.
*HUGS* Tonight was rough, Sassenachs. How are you doing? Share your thoughts and feels in comments!