OUTLANDER’s “Through A Glass, Darkly” goes straight for the feels!
Congratulations, Outlander fans! You survived the “Droughtlander,” as the show’s official media channels like to call it, of 2015-2016! Now let’s recap the Season 2 premiere, “Through A Glass, Darkly”!
It begins with a major WTF moment. It’s a different WTF moment that the book, but a WTF moment all the same.
Claire is back at Craigh na Dun, but she’s not happy to be there. She’s hitting the ground, screaming, crying, and writhing. Something is most definitely wrong.
Eventually, she makes her way down from the hill and walks along a road. A paved road. Because Claire is back in the 1940s. 1948, to be exact. A care approaches and, after discovering the year, Claire asks another question in a panic: Who won the Jacobite Rising?
When the stranger reveals it was the English, Claire knows she changed nothing and on top of it, all her Scottish compatriots are dead.
We want to know how it all happened right away, but Season 2 is cruel and makes us deal with a fallout with Frank first. He comes to collect his wife and while she recovers at the Reverend Wakefield’s home, Claire decides to tell Frank the whole truth, something his logical, academic brain just can’t fully handle.
Honestly, we can’t blame him here. If we heard this story from someone, we’d assume they were kept in 18th century garb as part of a kidnapper’s fantasy, bought into the delusion after several stressors, and had a healthy dose of Stockholm Syndrome.
Someone people will be upset with the sheer… Frank-ness of this episode. Clearly, he’s not part of the OTP situation and the books indicate that he was never a great husband. The show make an effort to make him a well-rounded character– he just wasn’t in the books– and while we still don’t love him, but Frank is an interesting character here. And Tobias Menzies? Freaking phenomenal!
And despite his fighting tooth and nail to be with Claire even after she makes it pretty clear that she really doesn’t want to be with him, he proves himself to be a bit of a dick by getting really aggressive when Claire drops her big bomb: She’s pregnant with Jamie’s baby.
Thankfully, Frank has a “Come to Jesus” talk with Reverend Wakefield. Literally.. they compare the situation to the story of the Virgin Mary.
His troubles are eased slightly when wee Roger Wakefield makes his way into the room, because that adorable little muffin would make anyone want to have babies.
Frank wants to raise the baby, but he has conditions: The couple must make a fresh start in Boston, where Frank was offered a job at Harvard, and the baby must never know that Frank isn’t his or her real father. Claire agrees, because Jamie wanted her to move on, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.
And then as Claire reaches for Frank’s hand when the plane reaches Boston, a magical transition happens…
And Claire is holding Jamie’s hand back in 18th century France! We’re back to discovering exactly what happened to Mr & Mrs Fraser once they enter France, where they continue to be an amazing couple and their trusty companion Murtagh hilariously HATES EVERYTHING.
Though Jamie believes Claire’s story, he’s still willing to try to stop the Jacobite Rising. Unfortunately. Claire paid no attention to history and has no idea what went wrong when the Rising faced the British. There’s also another issue: They need to make a certain unhappy Scotsman believe they destroying his country’s revolution is a good idea.
When that’s taken care of, we meet Jamie’s cousin, Jared. He owns a wine import business in Paris and he’s a Jacobite who can get Jamie into the movement, but don’t have much of a personality. He’s skeptical of Jamie’s motives until he sees this:
Because effing ow.
Jared gets Jamie in on his wine business and gives them a place to stay, but Claire still finds herself hanging out by the docks. Naturally, gets herself in trouble by a) trying to save everyone and b) getting all up in everyone else’s business. It’s very 20th century of her.
In this case, she diagnoses two sailors with smallpox, forcing the harbor master to destroy the ship and its valuable cargo.
The owner is Le Comte St Germain, who just happens to be THE competitor for Jared’s business. He doesn’t think Claire’s diagnosis and loud declarations are anything less than a conspiracy against him. Needless to say, Jamie and Claire have a new enemy.
Honestly, we’d hoped for a little more excitement from the big premiere, but it’s all very true to the books–even with the altered start point, the story is still what’s described upon Claire’s return– and the set-up is definitely there for big episodes in the future.
Until next time!