Jamie’s day-to-day activities to stop Prince Charles’ rebellion start to become a burden; meanwhile, Claire finds a new outlet for her medical talents. Full recap of “Useful Occupations and Deceptions”, including new clips and images (first aired Saturday, April 23 at 9:00pm ET|PT on STARZ).
“Useful Occupations and Deceptions” began very early in the morning with Claire being roused from her sleep by loud noises. Jamie had just arrived back at their (borrowed) Parisian apartments after a night of carousing (and plotting) with Prince Charles at Maison Elise. Between trying to gain the Bonnie Prince’s trust and running Jared’s wine business, Jamie was busy. He arrived home only to then redress and go back out to meet a government inspector at Jared’s warehouse, then to Versailles for a game of chess with Minister of Finance, Joseph Duverney, and then another night at Maison Elise. But Jamie was willing to lose sleep if it meant preventing Charles’ rebellion.
As Claire helped Jamie finished dressing, he told her about how Prince Charles had run out of patience with him and demanded to meet with Duverney. They also had a very sweet moment when Jamie caressed Claire’s baby bump and encouraged her to rest before joining Louise for tea. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t really excite Claire. Was it really likely that gossiping with Louise and other ladies would reveal important information about the Jacobite Movement? Claire doubted it. On his way back out of the house, Jamie realized that his SAWNEY wooden carving (made for him by his [now deceased] older brother Willy) was missing. Claire promised to have the servants search the house for it.
Later at tea, Claire, Louise, and Mary played a game of cards. Out of the blue, Mary remarked that she couldn’t marry a Frenchman because of how they prevailed upon their wives in bed (she meant sex). Englishmen didn’t do that sort of thing… even a Scotsman like Jamie was too gentle and kind to trouble Claire in that way. The entire time Louise laughed.
Mary: Men don’t do things like that where I come from!
Louise: And where is that? The moon?
Mary replied by saying no, she was from Seaford, in Sussex. And this triggered a memory for Claire. She remembered Frank showing her his family bible with a family genealogy in the front. At the bottom of the tree was Frank’s name and at the top (seven generations back) was his direct ancestors, Jonathan Wolverton Randall (BJR) married to Mary Hawkins!
In the present, Claire was clearly distraught at this memory. It re-confirmed for her that Black Jack was alive, if only because he still had to marry Mary and father Frank’s direct ancestor. Claire left Louise’s home and became even more upset when she realized that Frank’s existence depended on BJR living.
When Claire arrived back home, she received an update from the majordomo about new letters and invitations, as well as the unsuccessful search for SAWNEY. He also gave her a piece of lace he found in the kitchen. Apparently Suzette (her lady’s maid) was meant to have mended it. When Claire went search for her lady’s maid, she found Suzette in flagrante delicto with Murtagh!
Claire stormed from the room and went to her rooms to mend the lace herself. Soon Murtagh came to find her. He refused to chastised by Claire for spending time with Suzette. And Claire agreed, what Murtagh did in his own time was his business. But surely there were other responsibilities to tend to in the middle of the day. Murtagh was surprised at Claire’s prudish comments and she responded by reminding him that she ran this house. As Murtagh turned to leave, Claire apologized for being rude. It was clear that she was upset about something. Claire then confessed to Murtagh that Black Jack Randall was alive, confirmed by Sandringham and Alex Randall. At first Murtagh couldn’t believe the news, after all, he saw BJR lying in a pool of blood in Wentworth Prison. Interestingly, Murtagh then supported Claire’s plan to keep it a secret from Jamie. If Jamie learned the truth, he’d go back to Scotland to get revenge and end up being arrested by the Red Coats and hanged. Murtagh would keep this secret with Claire, to save Jamie’s life.
After their agreement, Murtagh went to finish his business with Suzette and Claire made a trip to Master Raymond’s for contraception for her lady’s maid.
Later, when Claire arrived at the apothecary, she saw Master Raymond speaking with Le Comte St. Germain. Claire tried to leave before being spotted, but Master Raymond called out to her. When Le Comte realized it was Claire, he looked at her very menacingly and then took his leave. Claire felt a little betrayed, especially since Master Raymond supposedly viewed Le Comte as an enemy.
Master Raymond: “Sometimes mutual interests force us to associate we do not like or trust.”
As Delphine (Master Raymond’s assistance) prepared the contraception, Claire spoke about being an unusual lady. Instead of indulging in frivolous affairs like other French gentlewomen, Claire wanted to useful.
Claire: “I feel since I’ve come to Paris, my life has got more and more conventional by the day, as, I suppose, have I.”
Master Raymond encouraged Claire to put her medical talents to use as a volunteer at the local charity hospital, L’Hôpital des Anges.
With Murtagh as a (reluctant) companion, Claire went to L’Hôpital and met with Sister Angelique and Mother Hildegarde (and Bouton, her pup!!!). At first Mother Hildegarde didn’t seem to think too much of Claire’s “medical skills” and put her to work emptying bedpans. However, when Claire successfully diagnosed one patient as suffering from diabetes (sugar sickness), Mother Hildegarde was impressed and gave Claire other tasks dealing directly with patient care.
That night at Maison Elise, Charles, Jamie, and Duverney drank together. Charles also confessed that he had raised the vast majority of the funding needed for the rebellion. Jamie and Duverney were shocked to hear that several English aristocrats planned to back Charles’ war.
Charles: “I cannot tell you how happy I am to see the look of relief and shock upon your face, James.” (Shock, yes. Relief, not so much!)
All Charles needed was a promise from King Louis to provide the remainder of the funds. In exchange, Charles promised an alliance between Britain and France once his father was on the throne. Such an alliance would change the world (VERY TRUE!). Duverney agreed to speak to Louis on Charles’ behalf, but first he would need evidence of the other funders.
Jamie was very distressed and, when he arrived home that evening, he wanted to speak about these developments with Claire. But she still wasn’t home from L’Hôpital des Anges. As the evening passed, Jamie tried to catch up on paperwork, but grew more agitated. When Claire and Murtagh finally arrived at home, Claire was exhilarated by her work at the hospital. However, Jamie wasn’t very supportive. What if Claire caught a disease and put her and the baby at risk? She tried to tell Jamie that she only worked with patients that had a physical injury or diseases she was immune from; however he didn’t want to hear it. Jamie needed Claire’s support in carrying the burden of trying to sabotage Prince Charles. Claire’s work at the hospital wouldn’t help them save Scotland.
Claire: “What would you have me do, Jamie? Go to Maison Elise with you and Charles? Or do you want me to run the wine business in your place?”
Jamie: “What I want, when I come home with a problem, is to be able to turn to my wife for help.”
Jamie then stormed out of the house and went to Maison Elise.
(Immediately after Jamie left, Murtagh and Suzette speculated about Jamie’s anger. At this point, she revealed to him that Jamie and Claire were no longer being intimate.)
At Maison Elise Jamie drank and observed the general merriment. He also made note of a servant boy (Fergus!) who was picking pockets as he collected dishes. Jamie seemed to have some inspiration and chased after him. Jamie eventually caught Fergus outside and threatened to tell Madame Elise about his stealing from customers. Instead, Jamie offered Fergus a job pickpocketing for him. Jamie also discovered that SAWNEY wasn’t missing… Fergus had stolen him!
That night Claire woke up to find Fergus sitting at the dining table eating a piece of chicken. He complimented Claire’s breasts, but then Murtagh came to fetch him for a bath and to go to bed. Jamie arrived and told Claire that he had hired Fergus/Claudel to help steal Prince Charles’ letters. That way they could find out who Charles’ English backers were.
And so the plan unfolded. Fergus would steal the Bonnie Prince’s letters and pass them to Murtagh. Murtagh and Jamie would copy the letters and then reseal them so Fergus could put them back before Charles noticed. (Murtagh noted that they weren’t the only ones stealing and copying Charles’ correspondence. The seals had been broken several times before.) Jamie and Murtagh had some trouble breaking the letters’ code and figuring out why Prince Charles would be receiving German music compositions from England.
Murtagh suggested that Jamie speak with Mother Hildegarde (she was a musical prodigy AND exchanged music with a German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach—who Claire recognized!) Jamie arrived at L’Hôpital des Anges just as Claire (with Bouton’s guidance) had cleaned out a patient’s infected wound. With Mother Hildegarde’s help, they figured out that the key to breaking the composition’s code was in the musical key changes.
With this in mind, Jamie deciphered that Charles’ English ally had negotiated with three aristocrats and were willing to contribute 40,000 pounds. The message was signed with “S”… SANDRINGHAM!
According to Jamie, if he could meet with Sandringham and convince him that aligning with Charles was a bad investment, they might be able to stop things from going any further. Jamie was thrilled and wanted to drink a toast to Mother Hildegarde and Claire. As Jamie got the drinks together, Claire and Murtagh realized that if Jamie met with Sandringham (and his secretary, Alex Randall), he would learn the truth about BJR. Murtagh implored Claire to tell Jamie everything now.
And Claire almost did… but at the last minute changed her mind. As Claire embraced Jamie, she shared an ominous look with Murtagh.
If you missed tonight’s episode, you can watch “Useful Occupations and Deceptions” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.
What did you think of the episode? How long will Claire keep the truth about Black Jack Randall from Jamie?