The “Best Laid Schemes” fell apart spectacularly on OUTLANDER!
The scheme to stop Le Comte St Germain and Bonnie Prince Charlie from funding the Scottish rebellion got crazy on Outlander, because as the famous quote about “Best Laid Schemes” says, it was bound it go awry!
In episode five, Claire realized she could stop Le Comte St Germain’s massive shipment of Portuguese wine from ever reaching the buyers by mixing up the right herbs to imitate the symptoms of smallpox. If St. Germain’s crew displayed the symptoms, the harbor master would destroy his ship and all the “infected” product.
And so the Frasers et al start playing with medicinal ingredients. Some a little more literally than others.
A few nettles on the skin, a quick concoction to drink, and Jamie is definitely displaying some worrying symptoms.
There’s only one person who isn’t totally down for this plan: Murtagh, who still doesn’t understand exactly why Jamie needs to stop his sovereign prince from regaining the throne, even though he’s going along with his dear friend. Murtagh has earned their trust in spades, so Jamie finally decides to tell him the truth.
Murtagh takes it as well as any Scot can..
But of course, the small bout of anger about being kept in the dark quickly subsides and he’s on their side, no matter what.
Now all they have to do is get these ingredients in the bodies and on the skin of St. Germain’s sailors. It’s not a easy task, but Jamie and Fergus ride out to the port and Fergus, the little expert thief and trickster that he is, carefully put the ingredients in their wine and all over their coats.
With the task at hand down, Jamie goes back to worrying about the other things haunting him. Specifically, letting Black Jack Randall live. He (correctly) reasons that he and Claire are pretty even on the life-saving scale and really, he doesn’t owe her anything on that basis.
However, he’s still keeping his promise for a very noble reason: They still haven’t stopped the Battle of Culloden from happening. If it does happen, he’ll fight. And he knows he’ll likely die. Jamie wants Frank to be alive in case he should die, so Claire and the baby have somewhere to go.
The two have a very touching moment featuring Jamie having a little chat with their impending arrival, but the sweet moment doesn’t last. Because Prince Charles, of course.
Le Comte St. Germain realized that his men where displaying symptoms of smallpox and managed to hush the whole thing up, but he and the Prince need Jamie’s help transporting and selling their product under the radar. Jamie doesn’t want the sale to go down, but he has no choice but to play along. St. Germain doesn’t trust him one bit!
The Frasers scramble for another plan. In the end, it involves getting a group of mercenaries to imitate the noble gang Les Disciplines, lead by none other than Murtagh dressed up as a French nobleman!
Jamie isn’t afraid to admit that the plan is extremely dangerous and could lead to someone’s death… even though Claire would really rather he didn’t admit to it.
But really, Claire’s mind shouldn’t be at ease. Murtagh’s highwaymen hold Jamie and Le Comte at gunpoint on a deserted stretch of road, but Le Comte refuses to back down. He’s ready to die for his honor and take his enemies down with him. He shoots at Murtagh, but misses thanks to Jamie knocking him off balance.
Jamie tries to play it off as if he was saving St. Germain’s life. But with the highwaymen long gone with their wares and the Bonnie Prince Charlie bumbling in defeat next to them, St. Germain knows it was a set-up. And he still suspects Jamie unabashedly. Jamie plays it off and even insults Le Comte along the way, bringing them close to blows.
While all this is happening, Claire is overworking herself at L’Hopital. After she starts to bleed a bit, Mother Hildegarde insists she spend the night. Claire sends her young companion Fergus back to tell Jamie all about it.
Jamie and Fergus both return home at dawn and after Fergus’ message is received, Jamie receives another: Prince Charles is in trouble down at the brothel and needs Jamie to immediately pay off his sizable debts. Naturally, Jamie’s little companion won’t let him deal with this alone.
While Jamie pays off the debt, Fergus wanders, seeing what he can thieve from the guests. But he unexpectedly gets shut in by one of the patrons… a patron with a British dragoons coat hanging by the fire.
Claire doesn’t know any of this, but when she gets home, she knows Jamie has gone back on his promise to her. He’s gone to duel Black Jack Randall.
Claire frantically gets the location of the duel and rushes off. It’s a hectic sequence in which we see more genuine worry out of Claire than ever before. Still, she’s too late. When she arrives, the duel is well underway and distracting either Jamie or Jack could get them killed.
All Claire can do is watch and see which of her husbands will die as the result of this battle.
The fight is a gritty one. Claire can hear the police coming to stop the illegal duel. And just before they arrive, Jamie strikes the fate-changing blow: He hits Black Jack in the genitals. He’s not dead, but it certainly doesn’t seem like he’ll ever be able to father children.
He isn’t the only one injured.
As the officers surround Jamie, Claire cries out. There’s a gush of blood. Jamie screams for her, but all she can do is ask her driver to bring her to the hospital and Mother Hildegarde before she crumples to the ground. The screen goes black.
This episode was tough, but we suspect the next one will be even harder to handle. Prepare yourselves!