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TV Review: Outlander 2.1 “Through a Glass, Darkly”
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Outlander 201-02

Season 2 Episode 1: “Through a Glass, Darkly”
Directed by Metin Hüseyin
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Created by Ronald D. Moore
Based on the books by Diana Galbadon
Starring Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Duncan Lacroix, Graham McTavish, Tobias Menzies, Grant O’Rourke, Stephen Walters, Robert Cavanah, Stanley Weber
Air Date: Saturday, April 9th, 2016, 9:00pm

Last season on Outlander, we were introduced to the time traveling epic love story of Jamie and Claire Fraser (Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe). She a 1940s war nurse, happily married to her historian husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) on a trip to Scotland. There, some mysterious stones suck Claire into 1743, where she is almost captured by Black Jack Randall, Frank’s sinister distant relation, and is saved by Jamie Fraser, whom she nurses back to health.Claire must now learn a simpler way of life, plus marry Jamie for protection. They fall completely in love. Jamie saves Claire from being burned as a witch, and Claire rescues Jamie from rape and torture at Wentworth prison (although a bit late to prevent that) at the hands of Randall. Wanted, they set sail for new beginnings (and to prevent Culloden), soon to be a family of three.

Spoilers below.

Outlander 2.1 “Through a Glass, Darkly” review: Oh, how I’ve waited for this season to begin! I even reread Dragonfly In Amber in anticipation! Season 2 opens as season 1 did – in 1940s Scotland. Claire is back at the stones, but this time it’s 2 years later in 1948. She accosts a stranger, screaming for the answer to, “Who won the Battle of Culloden?!?!?!” Her despair at the answer is so raw, we can feel it.

Frank is happy yet perplexed, at her return, at her reactions, at her clothing, at her mystery. She has not said a word to him.

Mrs. Graham knows the whole story. “Don’t spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost.” Good advice.

Claire tells Frank the whole story, including the pregnancy which changes his acceptance to joy, then to fury. Tobias Menzies deserves every award in the history of television. He is so good.

Reverend Wakefield talks to Frank of the opportunity, since he is sterile. We catch a glimpse of a young Roger, calling the reverend, “Father.” We know Frank will do the honorable thing. He is nothing like Black Jack.

Frank wants them to be together. He has two conditions: One, the child thinks Frank is the father, and two, Claire has to let Jamie go.

“To new beginnings…” Nice transitioning, Outlander!

1745 France – Jamie, Claire, and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) arrive in France determined to stop the Jacobite rising, thus preventing the massacre. Well Murtagh does not know the whole reason, but trusts Jamie when he gives him his vow to tell him the whole truth at a different time. They convince his cousin Jared (Robert Cavanah) of his patriotism. Those scars had to be good for something. Jared gives them the run of his household and business.

To the surprise of no one, they immediately make an enemy of the Comte St Germain (Stanley Weber), when his crew members get carried off his ship with red and leaking pustules – smallpox, and Claire declares it for all to hear. That lady sure knows how to get them into trouble, doesn’t she? But Jamie would have it no other way.

This is why the books and the show were and are so popular. Nothing gets in the way of their love – not time, lies, other lovers, nothing. They accept each other. This season will test that a bit, but I’m not worried. This was an episode with no sex or nudity at all, and it was fantastic. There was hardly any action until the end, yet I was riveted. Although my favorite moments of the book were in Scotland, I’m looking forward to seeing the storyline in France, only housed previously in my imagination.

Outlander airs Saturday nights at 9:00pm ET on Starz.

Starz’s synopsis:

Book Two of “Outlander” begins as Claire and Jamie arrive in France, hell-bent on infiltrating the Jacobite rebellion led by Prince Charles Stuart, and stopping the battle of Culloden. With the help of his cousin Jared, a local wine merchant, Jamie and Claire are thrown into the lavish world of French society, where intrigue and parties are abundant, but political gain proves far less fruitful. Altering the course of history presents challenges that begin to weigh on the very fabric of their relationship. However, armed with the knowledge of what lies ahead, Claire and Jamie must race to prevent a doomed Highland uprising, and the extinction of Scottish life as they know it.

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