How to even begin? This week’s episode was heart wrenching on every possible level. Every time I took a second to breathe, I was hit with a new blow. Faith was one of those episodes that covered so much ground, I don’t even know where to start. Even though we get our entire season in succession this time around, this really felt like a mid-season finale. It definitely wraps up nearly every one of the Paris storylines. There is so much turmoil to cover. I am probably crazy, if nothing else I am sleepy and a little broken, but I am going to try a slightly new structure for this top five and structure each section around a stage of grief. I feel I owe it to Claire, Jamie, Fergus, and Faith to mourn accordingly.
- Denial- I knew ahead of time that the charming redhead in the opening scene was not the baby Claire was carrying in Paris. Even someone who has never read the books has probably realized the timeline doesn’t work out. But I wanted so badly for this girl to be that baby, I could almost believe it. I also had serious denial over what happened with Fergus and Black Jack. It was horrifying and I definitely wanted to think Jamie arrived in time to protect Fergus entirely. Of course that wasn’t the case. We can’t live in denial world and understand why Jamie challenged the duel. I wanted to so badly. The only thing that yanked me out of my denial was the sobbing and holding each other between Fergus and Claire. Which leads nicely into stage two…
- Anger- Other than grief and fear, this is the emotion that most grasped me throughout the episode. I was angry with Claire before she knew the events leading up to the duel. I was exceptionally angry at the king for being a completely awful human being. I was angry with Mother Hildegarde for calling in the priest to give Claire her last rights. I was angry with Suzette for not putting on her brave face to welcome Claire home. As in real life, I later was able to reconcile with all of these angry feelings. Except for the king being the worst. Some things just are what they are. Just writing this section makes me angry. I had better get a move on and get to stage 3!
- Bargaining- “Please please please let us just get through the next five minutes and everything will be ok.” That is what I thought pretty much the entire time. Not much was ever ok, but I kept bargaining with the writers in my mind. If only they could go off book and save Faith. If only Jamie reached Fergus sooner. Many characters had to bargain in this episode. Claire more than anyone. From bargaining with grief to literally bargaining for Jamie’s release she was one busy lady.
- Depression- The depression stages of the episode were shattering. If you did not ugly cry when she started singing to Faith you must be dead inside. It was intensely painful to watch her lie in the hospital and grieve for her lost baby and husband. “I am not sure there’s a sea deep enough.” Claire spoke these words as Mother Hildegarde implored her to let go of her grief and revel in the miracles she experienced. Unable to do so, Claire tries to at least move forward. Her version of forward is simply to go home with Fergus, broken and depressed. We see her looking at the spoons from Jamie and spiraling deeper as she learns to swim through her sadness. When she is crying in the hall and hears even louder tears from Fergus’s room, we finally see a crack in her depression as she move towards the last stage.
- Acceptance- This is the stage that guides the entire back half of the episode. It begins with Fergus’s sharing of the events leading up to the duel. Claire loves him so much. I definitely saw a look cross her face that told me even she could have killed Randall for this offense. She accepts one more thing when she is told by Mother Hildegarde what the cost of freedom will likely be, adding her virtue to the list of things she has lost in Paris (insert more ugly crying here.) The real acceptance begins to roll when Jamie arrives home. Together they tread through the various miseries they have encountered and find a way to come out the other side together. It goes very fast but somehow maintains the truth we need to be believable. As they make their plans to return to Scotland and visit Faith’s grave we feel confident they are on the way to accepting their grief. When they take each other’s hand in the final seconds they let the audience let go and accept too.
An entire post and still so many things to talk about. That beautiful scene with Louise. That odd scene with Master Raymond. The scene with the poison and the Comte St. Germain. Mother Hildegarde illegally baptizing Faith. Fergus bringing the flowers. Almost a thousand words and so much left unsaid. Grief can do that to a girl! I also want to point out that I called it last week when I guessed they might jump timelines in this episode. So I will enjoy the gold star I gave myself. Looks like next week we will see Jenny again! She is one of my favorites and I can’t wait. Until next week!