Episode 201 is the first episode of Season 2, and for non book-readers it was a WTH moment. About the first 35 or 40 minutes are spent showing Claire’s not-so-happy reunion with Frank after she goes back through the stones. The remainder of the episode up until the last half of the season finale is told in flashback.
“I made a promise, and I must keep it.”
The opening scene has Claire having just gone through the stones at Craig Na Dun. She didn’t want to leave Jamie and return to her life with Frank, but she made Jamie a promise and was bound to keep it. This isn’t a favorite scene, but it is a very important one, and gives us an idea of Claire’s emotional state and what we might expect from future scenes depicting the struggles in the Randall marriage.
Again, this isn’t a favorite scene, but it does illustrate the differences between the attitudes of Jamie and Frank. Initially Frank is upset to learn of Claire’s pregnancy, but since he is sterile he agrees to raise Jamie’s baby. He does have conditions, though, and this is where we see the contrast between Jamie and Frank. Frank as conditions attached to his reunion with Claire: 1) they will raise the child as their own, withholding the true paternity from the child; and 2) Claire must let Jamie go.
Jamie never made that demand of Claire during their marriage. He never told Claire she had to forget about Frank. However, Claire agrees with Frank’s conditions. She agrees to let Jamie go, not because Frank, in his selfishness demands it, but because she had promised Jamie she would. She did it for Jamie, not Frank.
I’m not a huge Frank fan (no offense, Tobias), but I must give him his due. He is at least willing to raise Jamie’s child as his own, and from all accounts in the book (Voyager, primarily), he was a good father, if not a stellar husband.
Back in time
To escape the rumors, gossip, and criticisms of of their situation, Frank and Claire move to Boston where he has accepted a professorship at Harvard. The transition back in time to Jamie two hundred years earlier in France occurs when Claire steps off the plane in Boston.
It was very hard for Claire and us to watch Frank burn her clothes. They were a symbol of his life with Jamie, and Frank would not have allowed her to keep them.
Secrets, Lies, and Deceptions
For the remainder of the season until the finale, Jamie and Claire embark on a mission of secrets, lies, and deceptions in an effort to thwart the Jacobite rising and avoid the tragedy of Culloden.
Unfortunately, and much to Murtagh’s chagrin, Jamie and Claire must keep their secret from him as well. That must have been especially hard for them because of their close relationship with him. It must also have been difficult when it was necessary to deceive Jared, Jamie’s wine merchant cousin. However, the deception was necessary for the requisite introductions to the Jacobite leaders in France.
“I’m sorry I doubted ye, brother.”
“I wouldn’t change you to save the world.”
This is absolutely a favorite scene. It doesn’t take Claire long to get them into trouble when they arrive at Le Havre, France. Because she diagnosed smallpox on Comte St. Germain’s ship, the ship and its cargo are burned. He is furious and vows revenge.
Instead of being angry with Claire, Jamie simply comments that life with her is never dull, but that he wouldn’t change her to save the world.
Perhaps Jamie wouldn’t change a thing about Claire, but they have made a dangerous enemy, and surely there is plenty about Claire that the Comte will want to change.