Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! That was quite the episode of Outlander! Written by Diana Gabaldon herself, our race to Culloden continued to take our breath away. The episode covered several events from the book, and we even got a reprieve on a few deaths I was bracing for. This week you can set down the tissues and grab the arms of your chair as I cut right into the top 5 topics of episode 11, Vengeance Is Mine.
- What a well written episode. Diana really was showing off. What I loved the most is that many of the events in this episode call on the viewer to remember what has happened before. This is accomplished in a few brief flashbacks. For the most part it expects the viewer to remember the details. I am always happy when shows trust their audience rather than adding tons of exposition to repeat things we already know.
- Survival! After the surprising death of Angus in the final act of last week’s episode, I was prepared for the worst. I had a hunch what book territory would be covered in this episode and I was correct. The scene in the church and the rescue from Sandringham were both in this episode. What I did not expect was that Rupert and Hugh Monroe would survive those two storylines. In the book they both are killed. I suppose we do not know Hugh’s fate. I do know that his fateful moment from the book passes without Claire witnessing his death. Either way, it was nice to see a few characters avoid the reaper for one more week.
- On the warfront, the episode opens with Jamie backing the Prince’s plan to storm London, despite the reservations of both generals. As he points out to Claire, this would have be a surefire way to derail history as she knows it. He is rewarded for his efforts by being exiled to Inverness with his men. On the way they have a run in with a British patrol and take sanctuary in a church so Claire can tend to Rupert, who was shot in the eye. Upon completing surgery, the soldiers fine them. After the usual Dougal wants to fight their way out/Jamie wants to sacrifice himself argument, Claire takes matters into her own hands and shouts so the soldiers know there is an Englishwoman in there. Side note: how come they hear that but they can’t hear her and Jamie literally shouting at each other over how to proceed? She ends up being given to the soldiers in hostage negotiations and they soon leave her at the home of a nearby loyalist. None other than the Duke of Sandringham! And Mary is there! She is the Duke’s goddaughter and he has already arranged a new marriage for her.
- We have known Sandringham was slippery all along and in this episode many storylines are wrapped up as we approach the finale. When Claire and Mary were attacked we caught a glimpse of a birthmark on the hand of the lead attacker. Claire sees this same birthmark on the hand of Sandringham’s valet. It turns out he was in debt to our favorite Parisian villain, the Comte St. Germaine. The Comte said he would be even if he arranged the murder of Claire by a street gang. Out of the kindness of his heart the Duke arranged to downgrade the attack to a rape and he expects Claire to pretty much kiss his ring in gratitude. Caitriona Balfe instead grants us fans one of her smoldering “like hell I will,” faces. We are later entertained by the Duke relaying the various rumors surrounding the death of the Comte, but that scene is cut short.
- Cut short like the Duke himself will be in about two minutes! Haha! I crack myself up. The Duke and Claire are having a snack in the kitchen and keep getting interrupted by Mary as she tries to get word to the rescuers that it is a trap. Finally they are interrupted by Jamie and Murtagh. As revelations are made Jamie’s fury changes between the valet and Sandringham himself. Then a lot happens very quickly. There is a brief but awesome shot where Mary is picking up a knife in the foreground and Murtagh is preparing his weapon in the background. Mary stabs the valet that raped her. While everyone is looking over there, Murtagh raises an axe at the Duke. A few swings later and he is presenting Claire and Mary with the head of the responsible person.
“I think we’d better go,” says Mary in what is probably the best last line in any episode so far. Well done Diana! Just last week someone commented to ask if we will see Black Jack again. This is confirmed in the “next week on Outlander” segment. I promise you will be shocked when you see the circumstances. Stop by here next week for a recap of the episode The Hail Mary.