TV Recap: Outlander (Seasons One and Two)
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It’s been a while since season two of Outlander - the time-travelling drama that sexes up the Jacobite rebellion, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting a few details. Whether you’re a die-hard fan driven mad by #droughtlander or a new viewer trying to jump on the Outlander hype train for season three, here’s a reminder of what happened in season two. But first, a brief reminder (a meta-recap if you will) of season one: Claire Beauchamp, a former combat nurse who’s newly returned from World War Two, is visiting Inverness with her husband Frank. Claire finds herself transported back to 18th century Scotland after touching an ancient standing stone and narrowly escapes an attack by Frank’s ancestor, the sadistic English captain, Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall. Farfetched? Absolutely, but Outlander is just the right side of melodramatic, so let's go with it. Claire is held captive as a healer to clan MacKenzie, and plots to return to her own time. This plan doesn’t last long however, as she quickly falls in love with Jamie Fraser, a Scottish highlander who was subject to a brutal flogging by Jack Randall and is now a fugitive from an English prison. He’s also very, very handsome, which is very, very important. After being framed for witchcraft by Jamie’s spurned ex-lover Laorghaire, only to be saved by the sacrifice of fellow time traveller Geillis Duncan, Claire resolves to stay in the past with Jamie. At the end of season one, Jamie is captured by Redcoats and raped by Randall, leaving him suicidal. Claire and the MacKenzies rescue him from prison. Finally reunited, the couple board a ship to France and attempt to change history by preventing the doomed Jacobite rebellion from happening. In the season’s final moments, Claire reveals that she’s pregnant and there’s a small sliver of hope that the Frasers could be happy… But then, the opening moments of season two take that hope and smash it into tiny little pieces. Oh, you came here for light-hearted historical romance and pretty shots of mountains? Well tough. Prepare yourself for some pain. Claire has returned to the 20th century and Jamie is presumed dead. Claire reunites with her estranged husband Frank, and informs him that she’s pregnant with another man’s child. Frank agrees to raise the child as his own, provided he and Claire move to America to start again. Back in 1744, Jamie and Claire make their new life in pre-revolutionary France. Claire makes an enemy of a powerful courtier, the Comte St. Germain, after one of her diagnoses results in the destruction of his cargo. Jamie meets with Prince Charles Stuart, who hopes to seize the English throne on behalf of his aging father, but fails to dissuade him from planning an uprising. The couple resolve to work from within to undermine the uprising, whilst appearing to Prince Charles as allies. A frustrated Claire is confined to the domestic sphere, but befriends several ladies of the French court, including the Prince’s fashionable lover Louise and Mary Hawkins, the shy goddaughter of the Duke of Sandringham. Louise introduces Claire to waxing, because she is delightfully French. Through the connections of her new depilatory partner, Claire obtains invites to a party in Versailles. Here, Claire meets Sandringham’s sickly secretary Alexander Randall, who confirms his brother Jack is still alive. Claire conceals Randall’s survival from Jamie, fearing Jamie will kill Randall before he has the chance to father a child - therefore endangering the existence of her first husband Frank. Meanwhile, Jamie struggles with the aftermath of his rape, the trauma of which threatens his marriage with Claire. He escorts Prince Charles to his preferred brothel each night, in which Jamie meets a young thief named Fergus and learns that dildo rental is alive and well in the Ancien Régime. To avoid sleeping with prostitutes, Jamie starts a rumour that Claire is a benevolent but jealous white witch, gaining her the nickname la Dame Blanche.
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