As the Jacobites return to Scotland, a run-in with the Redcoats forces Claire and Jamie into a dangerous reunion with the Duke of Sandringham. Full recap of “Vengeance is Mine”, including new images and clips (first aired Saturday, June 18 at 9:00pm ET|PT on STARZ).
“Vengeance is Mine” (written by HERSELF, Diana Gabaldon) opened with Claire catching us up on the months following Prestonpans. The Jacobite Army had continued their march south, capturing Carlisle and Manchester. Though they had acquired weapons and artillery, the swell of supporters from Lowland Scots and Northern Englanders to join their cause hadn’t materialized. Now, they were camped in Northern England waiting for Prince Charles and his advisors to decide on the next move. While Claire performed some dental care on the Highlanders outside, Charles, General Murray, Quartermaster O’Sullivan, and other officers (including Jamie) met to discuss their options.
Charles wanted to press South to capture London; however General Murray and Quartermaster O’Sullivan believed they should turn back around, return to Scotland for winter, and solidify their claims there. Furthermore, there were three British armies numbering in 30,000 men that stood between the Jacobites and London… and they had no idea of their locations. It was too risky.
Jamie joined Charles in asserting that they needed to continue South. They were five days away from London and with luck and evasive maneuvers, it was possible the Jacobites could avoid coming into contact with the three armies. Moreover, if they turned back now, it would severely damage the Jacobite morale. Charles agreed and demanded to know which of the men in the room would stand by their Prince in this decision. Jamie picked up his sword, stared right into the other leaders’ eyes as he walked forward, and kneeled before Charles. He kissed Charles’ hand and pledged his loyalty. No one else did the same. Charles was incredibly upset that he couldn’t count of the advisors and allies: “I’d rather be run through by a British bayonet and have my body buried in an unmarked grave than turn back after we have come this far!”
He stormed from the room with General Murray and Quartermaster O’Sullivan followed after him, begging him to listen.
Outside, Jamie spoke to Claire telling her that the decision to continue to London didn’t have any support. It seemed that everything would transpire as Claire’s history books indicated. Jamie was approached by Ross and other Lallybroch men about the plans to turn back for Scotland. They were concerned that the Redcoats were nearby and could attack at any time. But Jamie promised that he would see the Lallybroch men home safe. He made a similar promise to Claire… again: “And you Sassenach. I’ll see you safe no matter what happens.”
That night, Jamie watched as Claire slept and whispered the most beautiful payers in Gaelic: “God, shield my beloved, my white dove. And the child she may one day bear. Preserve her from violence and from harm. In this place and every place. On this night and on every night.” (*SWOOOOOOONS*)
Claire woke up and noticed Jamie was just getting into bed. When he joined her in bed, she asked what he had been saying, but Jamie wouldn’t tell her: “There’s no’ much I can say waking without it sounding daft and Foolish, Sassenach. I can say things while you sleep. You dreams will ken the truth of them.” (This reminds me of the conversation Jenny and Claire had while watching Jamie speak with the baby in “The Fox’s Lair”)
The next day, Dougal arrived and stormed into Jamie and Claire’s room. Prince Charles had left earlier that morning with General Murray and Quartermaster O’Sullivan. They would be returning to Scotland and Jamie was charged with preceding them to Inverness to secure lodging and provisions for the Jacobite Army for winter. According to Dougal, Quartermaster O’Sullivan was weary of Jamie’s influence on Charles and, by doing this, had separated him from the Prince. Charles had even taken Jamie’s horse, Donas! (*RAGE*)
And so Jamie, Claire, and Dougal led the Fraser men back to Scotland. At one point they stopped to camp, but things took a turn when they were attacked by a band of Redcoats. The Fraser men set off to hide while Jamie, Claire, Dougal, Rupert, Murtagh, and Fergus took off on horseback to try to evade the Redcoats. During the chase, Rupert was hit by a bullet in the eye (thanks to some quick thinking and acrobatics, Dougal was able to ride with Rupert).
They were eventually able to lose the Redcoats by hiding in the forest. But they had to stop so Claire could tend to Rupert before he died. They took refuge in an abandoned church and using Fergus’ knife and whisky, she removed the bullet from Rupert’s eye. She sewed his eye shut and used some cloth to cover it: “I’ll get you a black eye path. You’ll be like a proper pirate.” (*SNORT*) Thanks to Ross, they were able to hide their horses nearby.
Unfortunately, that evening the band of Redcoats found them at the church and prepared to fire on them. At first, Jamie wanted to sacrifice himself, since he had a bounty on his head (Red Jamie FTW). But Dougal shut the idea now. If the Redcoats got Jamie this time, he would be executed for sure.
Claire then intervened. Like she did with William Grey, she shouted out saying that she was a British subject and being heldcaptive. According to Claire, Jamie should use her to bargain for their release. Jamie was completely against the idea, but Dougal and Murtagh quickly agreed. When Jamie still refused, but she responded: “Am I not Lady Broch Tuarach?! Are these men not my responsibility too?!”
Dougal went outside to negotiate. In exchange for “releasing” Claire (Mistress Beauchamp, a widow they encountered along the way) and surrendering their horses and weapons, the Highlanders could go free. Since the Redcoats might recognize Jamie, he stayed inside while the exchange was made. But before Claire left, he promised to get her back. Dougal believed the English would take her to the nearest Garrison, Hazelmere. Like Fergus suggested, she pretended to faint so the Redcoats couldn’t question her right away.
Once outside Claire woke and assured the soldiers she was alright. Then they all rode off. Meanwhile, Jamie and Murtagh would follow after to get Claire back and Dougal would gather the rest of the men and continue North.
The Redcoats decided to stop in Crich for the night to rest. When they arrived, we noticed an old friend Hugh Munro and he certainly noticed Claire too! Claire was escorted to a tavern and given food and drink. She got some lecherous looks and comments, but was otherwise left alone.
The next morning, the Lieutenant Barnes woke Claire up. The Captain and the majority of the Redcoats had left for Keswick. However, Claire would be escorted to Bellmont Castle, a big house owned by a rich Englishman who would provide her refuge.
As they left the tavern, Hugh jumped at Claire, pretending to ask for alms to get her attention. Claire recognized Hugh, who was then pushed away by Barnes. Claire admonished the Lieutenant for being so rough. When she went to help Hugh stand up, she whispered that he must find Jamie at Hazelmere and tell him she was going to Bellmont Castle.
Lieutenant Barnes brought Claire to Bellmont Castle, which had a substantial number of Redcoats guarding it. And when Claire was introduced to the homeowner, it was none other than the Duke of Sandringham. (OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, INTO THE FIRE!!!)
Of course Sandringham and Claire recognized each other, yet he pretended not to know Claire. Furthermore, he promised to offer “Mrs. Beauchamp” hospitality. Lieutenant Barnes left, and Claire was alone with Sandringham. She told him how she came to be with the Redcoats over dinner. Then he told her about how he was actually a prisoner at Bellmont himself. Sandringham was suspected of being a Jacobite, and after some time as a “guest” at the Tower of London, he was allowed to return to his estate, under house arrest. In fact, Bellmont was surrounded by Redcoats. Sandringham was under constant watch. But if Jamie came to rescue Claire, they could take Sandringham with him (in fact, this was why he hadn’t spilled the beans on her true identity). Furthermore, Sandringham promised to help Claire send a letter to Hugh Munro in order to want Jamie about the number of Redcoats at Bellmont. She wrote it in Gaelic in order to prevent any interception.
Before Sandringham left to give the letter to his messenger, they were joined by Mary Hawkins (!!!). Apparently she was Sandringham’s goddaughter (!!!)… Sandringham had arranged a marriage for her with a British loyalist (Mr. Granger, a wealthy merchant) to help persuade the King that he wasn’t a secret jacobite. Claire promised to help Mary.
Later when Claire spoke to Sandringham about Mary’s marriage, she noticed a birthmark on his valet’s hand. Danton was part of the gang that attacked Claire and Mary in Paris! Then Sandringham confessed to the whole thing… the attack was a plan hatched between him and Le Comte St. Germain because Sandringham owed him money. Originally, St. Germain wanted Claire dead, but Sandringham persuaded him that Claire’s rape would be an adequate exchange for his lost shipment. Sandringham arranged everything as payment of his debt.
Furthermore, Sandringham had told the Redcoats that Red Jamie was coming to save Claire. They were in the process of setting up a trap and when Sandringham turned over Jamie and Claire to the English, they would no longer suspect him of being a Jacobite. (*RAGE*) Danton them took Claire to her room and locked her inside.
Elsewhere, the messenger was able to find Hugh and give him Claire’s letter. Hugh was eventually able to find Jamie and pass on the letter. Even though Jamie and Murtagh had some difficulty deciphering Claire’s Gaelic, they figured out that she was at Bellmont with Sandringham and the house was surrounded by Redcoats.
From her window, Claire saw Hugh approach Bellmont and knew she needed to warn him and Jamie. By chance, Mary came to see Claire and was able to release her from the room. Claire wanted Mary to go outside to help her, but Mary was too scared to meet a beggar. Claire went off by herself and tried to sneak out of the kitchen…
…but Sandringham was there having a late night snack. Claire was trapped and instead, he tried to force her to give details about how St. Germain died. Mary eventually came to the kitchen and saw that her godfather was keeping Claire. Mary then went to the front door to try and get to Hugh, but came face-to-face with a Redcoat. However, Hugh was there too and knocked the soldier out. Mary passed on the message that Claire was in the kitchen and this was all a trap. But then Danton came and manhandled Mary… he didn’t see Hugh though!
Danton took Mary back to the kitchen and reported her to Sandringham. But then Jamie arrived! (Sandringham, apparently wanting to look debonaire for Jamie, grabbed his wig and put it on. L.O.L.). Danton grabbed Claire and held her at knifepoint. Jamie dropped his dagger, but when Murtagh came into the kitchen from the other door, Danton was distracted. Claire elbowed Danton, while Jamie grabbed him.
Claire then told Jamie the truth about how Danton had attacked them in Paris and Sandringham arranged the attack and rape to pay off a debt to St. Germain. Jamie lunged for Sandringham and grabbed him by the throat, ripped off his wig, and pushed him back toward Murtagh.
In the midst of this, Mary had grabbed a knife and stabbed Danton in the gut. He bled to death.
Then Murtagh took an axe and decapitated Sandringham. Covered in blood, Murtagh grabbed the head, knelt and placed it in front of Claire and Mary.
Murtagh: “I kept my word. I lay your vengeance at your feet.”
Jamie, Claire, Murtagh, and Mary then left the castle.
What an ending! What an episode!
I can’t say that I’ll miss Sandringham… he was such a despicable man, but I found his sass to be funny. But quick question: does this mean Black Jack Randall could be nearby? After all BJR has always been close to Sandringham.
I’m also curious about what the Jacobites are about to do, especially since hiding out in Scotland doesn’t seem particularly assertive. The Redcoats will pursue them. So maybe Culloden can’t be avoided… *WAILS*
In any event, I LOVED “Vengeance is Mine” and give Diana Gabaldon a standing ovation for an amazing episode!
If you missed tonight’s show, you can watch “Vengeance is Mine” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.