Claire and her red-headed daughter are looking at picture books and my heart does a Triple Lutz and a backflip. It’s our first peak at Brianna Fraser.
Claire wakes up in L’hopital as Monsieur Forez tries to save her and the baby and Mother Hildegarde is comforting her. Time passes and Claire wakes, her hands immediately run over her abdomen looking for her child. When she realizes the baby is gone, she begins to ask again and again ‘Where’s my baby? Where’s my baby?’ Mother Hildegarde tells her the baby was stillborn. For mothers who’ve lost a child, given birth to a sick child or spent countless hours worrying over a sick child, this is complete and total heartbreak. Most of us have been there in some fashion and the memories are extremely painful although watching this can be cathartic, at least it was for me. Mother Hildegarde has baptized the baby, Faith, and buried her in ‘hallowed ground.’ Claire is very ill and is being given ‘Unction for the Sick’ by a priest who resembles a sexy vampire giving me a slight reprieve from the pain.
Claire has a serious infection and is close to death. Master Raymond, disguised as a monk, sneaks into her room. He skedaddles le petit Bouton from the bed and runs his hands over her body, healing her with his mildly sexual, hocus pocus moves, eventually reaching inside her and pulling out her rotting placenta accompanied by nauseating squishy sounds. Claire’s fever breaks and she begins to heal. Master R says the King is out for blood so he must flee but risking his life to save hers are ‘things you do for your friends.’ I’m not sure my friends would pull a rotting placenta out of my body so I may need to expand my circle. A very relieved Mother H tells Claire that Jamie is in the Bastille for dueling and BJR is still alive. Evil Black Jack survives everything. Maybe he’s a vampire too.
Weeks later Fergus comes to the hospital and brings her flowers and asks her to come home, so she goes. The servants line up to greet Claire as she emerges from her carriage. Murtagh’s bae, Suzette, and Magnus, the Butler I used to not trust but now love, greet her with tears of love and affection. #ForgiveMeMagnus Fergus brushes Claire’s hair in front of the fire, trying to comfort her and she thanks him. Later, Claire hears Fergus crying out during a nightmare and he tells her what happened between himself and Randall and Claire realizes why Jamie went back on his word. Although she doesn’t realize it yet, Claire is a mother and her child is brushing her hair.
Claire goes to see Mother Hildegarde to arrange an audience with King Louis to petition for Jamie’s release. Mother H advises Claire that Louis will expect ‘Le Bonkadeebonk’ if he grants her a favor. As she’s the bravest woman in literature, this will not stop her and she goes. I worry that it hasn’t been at least 6 weeks, because that’s what my OB-Gyn recommended. The King offers her hot chocolate and an orange. She tells him that Jamie is in the Bastille and asks that he be released. She says she’s ‘at his complete disposal’ and does everything but wink at him. He says he will help, but he has a favor to ask. Yes, Sire, we were afraid of that.
Instead of jumping her, he calls her La Dame Blanche and leads her into a glorious room, The Star Chamber, that manages to be both terrifying and amazing. The door opens and Le Comte and Master Raymond are shoved inside and Monsieur Forez who’s been casually standing against the wall like a ghoulish Arthur Fonzarelli, reads their indictment. They are accused of participating in the ‘dark arts’ which could mean what? Witchcraft, playing with a Ouija Board or in my case coloring my hair and lying about my age. Monsieur Forez shows her the evidence collected from the Comte’s home and Master R’s shop gesturing like a creepy version of Vanna White.
King Louis tells Claire to look into the men’s souls and if she sees darkness they will be put to death. I can’t see the faces of the hooded-masked men, but everyone else looks like they think the King’s nuttier than a fruitcake and I gotta agree. Claire says she can see the name, Les Disciples, in the Comte’s mind. The Comte says she’s a liar and Claire can drink poison and survive and he knows it because he poisoned her and she lived so she’s a witch. She says she is a White Witch and practices White Magic but she sees darkness in his soul. She also sees darkness in Master R’s soul too but only the normal darkness that’s in all men’s souls including the King and Kanye West.
His Royal Wackadoo then brings in a giant snake saying the bible says ‘pure men can handle a snake and survive’ and I’ve just about reached my limit cuz I don’t do snakes. #Waah Claire suggests both men drink poison and whoever lives is pure of heart. The King, who is easily lead by Claire, is all ‘okay’ and lets her give them bitter Cascara. Master R has terrible cramping and lives. Unfortunately for the Comte, Master R added poison with his David Copperfield moves and le Comte knows it as Claire’s super-magical necklace turned black and it’s curtains for him. Le Comte dies a quick, horrifying death and to tell you the truth, I’m sad to see him go. He’s a fascinating character and hotter than a Texas summer. Louis releases Master R, then tells Claire he will only honor his agreement with her after he receives payment. Lucky for her, Louis is just not that into her so it’s over very quickly. Louis says he will issue a pardon for Jamie and she can leave. She takes a parting gift and exits with her head held high.
Sometime later, a filthy, bearded Jamie returns from the Bastille slowly trudging up the stairs with no household staff to greet him, only Claire. When he finally speaks, it’s with the voice of a very old man. Claire says their daughter’s name was Faith and she’s buried next to the convent. Jamie says he tried to keep his promise but couldn’t let BJR go unpunished for assaulting Fergus. He asks if Claire hates him and she says she ‘did.’ After their baby died, Mother Hildegarde brought her to Claire and she held, rocked and sang to Faith all day. Louise de Rohan came to help her friend and asked to hold the baby and you know when Louise is the voice of reason, things ain’t good. We’re back to present time and Claire says ‘yes’, she did hate him, but says she asked the impossible of him, put Frank before their family and shouldn’t have followed Jamie to the woods. It’s her own fault. She tells him she slept with the King to buy his freedom and he immediately forgives her because they have both given themselves to someone to save the other.
Claire asks how they can ever be the same. He says they cannot bear it alone, they have to carry the burden together. Claire says she wants to go home, to Scotland. His relief is palpable you can see how desperately he wants to go home, but he says there’s something he wants to do first. So, together they visit Faith’s grave. Jamie leaves the St. Andrew spoon from the set of Apostle spoons to watch over her in France. And when the piano begins to play that haunting tune in the cemetery, and I begin to cry again, I wonder what I’ve ever done to make Bear McCreary want to hurt me so much.
Well friends, that sure was a plethora of sad emotions, wasn’t it? Book readers, we know what’s to come and much of it’s dismal. But, I hope the Outlander Grand Poobas have tossed us a few bones of happiness in the upcoming weeks, because I personally need a little somethin somethin after this emotionally exhausting week. See you next week. Until then, Tulach Ard Y’all!