Episode 204: "La Dame Blanche" (SPOILERS)
*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***
There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.
I thought this episode was very well done.
The opening sequence, showing a man removing a pin from a carriage wheel and replacing the cover, is clearly meant as foreshadowing of what happens to Claire and Mary Hawkins later in the episode.
I love that view of the entrance to the palace at Versailles. Gorgeous!
The discussion of baby names is cute, and I like the way both Jamie and Claire react to each other's suggestions. "Dalhousie" comes straight from the book.
My first thought on seeing St. Germain was that he's like a walking storm cloud, spreading gloom and doom (and danger!) wherever he goes.
"I'd give good money to watch you do it." - good line.
I like Jamie's waistcoat in this scene. That light blue color suits him very well, IMHO.
A lot of people seem surprised or taken aback by Jamie's reaction to the news that BJR is still alive:
"This is wonderful news!....You've given me something to hold on to. Something to look forward to! And that is a gift. Thank you, truly."
It seems like such an odd, joyful reaction. But in fact, book-readers have seen a very similar reaction from Jamie once before, in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, when he thinks he's about to confront "Butcher Billy", the Duke of Cumberland:
"His heart beat painfully, eager, for all at once the future had a shape to it. No more long days of mere survival. He had purpose, and the glow of it lit his soul."Much as we'd all like Jamie's life to have purpose, it would be better if that purpose was something other than the pursuit of vengeance. But keep in mind that a) he is awfully young in this episode, no more than 23 years old, b) the physical and psychological wounds left by his ordeal at Wentworth are not yet fully healed, and c) he's a Highlander and a "bloody man".
(From THE SCOTTISH PRISONER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 7, "When a Man is Tired of London, He is Tired of Life". Copyright© 2011 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I love Claire's outfit in the scene with Master Raymond. Gorgeous! Really glad we got a look inside Raymond's inner sanctum, complete with the animal skulls.
"I'm fascinated by things not of this time." Terrific line! I like the way Raymond smiles at her. Clearly he knows she's a time-traveler like himself.
"You have no need to worry. You will see [Frank] again." Yikes!! This is not good news, to put it mildly, and I like the way Claire reacts. Notice the Frank musical theme playing softly in the background.
I'm glad they included Louise's cuckoo clock. <g> Much of the dialogue in the scene between Claire and Louise comes straight from the book, except for this:
"But how will I raise a child with a man who's not the father?"
"All that matters is that the child is brought up with love."
Major foreshadowing here!
The scene between Jamie and Claire was just terrific! All of it. Very emotionally intense, and I loved what they did with the "fortress" lines. This is one of the best scenes in Season 2 so far, IMHO.
"Naked. Alone. Trying to hide under a blade of grass."
I wanted so badly for Claire to reach out to him right then, and was disappointed when she didn't. But the sex scene that follows more than made up for that! I thought it was really well done, one of the best ones in the series so far, IMHO. Tender and loving. I think it was just right for Claire to be the one to initiate it. ("Find us.")
"But I think perhaps you've built me a lean-to, at least." (Rubs her belly.) "And a roof to keep out the rain." Awww! What a terrific way to incorporate those lines. I love it. <g>
I like the way the rain coming down on the roof changes from metaphor to reality, so to speak, with Charles Stuart's unexpected arrival. That transition was very cleverly done, IMHO.
"Mark me!" We really need a "mark me" drinking game for this season! <g>
"The way I see it, we're doing a bad thing for a good reason." In other words, the ends justify the means. I don't like that. I understand the necessity of it, but I don't like it.
I like the scene with Fergus and Murtagh very much! Hilarious. Fergus is very perceptive, especially where women are concerned. I hope Murtagh's misogynistic views of women don't rub off on him too much!
The scene with Monsieur Forez is very much as I imagined from the book. Glad they included the hanged men's grease. I loved Mary's reaction to it.
"You, Madame, are a great deal better than nothing." Another line straight from the book, and high praise indeed, coming from Mother Hildegarde.
And now we see the broken (sabotaged) carriage wheel as shown in the very beginning of this episode.
I like Sandringham's wig in this episode much better than the one he was wearing when last seen.
Charles Stuart walks into the room with his nose in the air, exactly as described in various places in DRAGONFLY.
Notice how Mary's stammer entirely disappears when she talks about Alex. <g>
The attack was suitably sudden and violent, and I think it was a good decision to keep the focus mostly on Mary.
The costumes at the dinner party are fabulous! I like the way they intercut the scenes relating to the rape and its aftermath with the opulence of the party.
So Jamie wants to rush out and find the intruders, and it's Claire's idea to try to carry on as though nothing has happened. Jamie even offers to cancel the party, and Claire refuses. That's a change from the book, and I didn't care for it. It makes Claire look more decisive than Jamie is.
On the other hand, I liked very much the way Claire steels herself to meet the guests. ("OK. Let's go.")
Claire's gown is fabulous! And I love the embroidery on Jamie's waistcoat.
Alex is very good in the scene in the attic with Mary.
"Mark me" - again! LOL.
Sandringham is boorish and annoying at the dinner party. But I liked this line: "I must say that the combination of [Jamie and Claire's] respective beauties results in a child of unfathomable pulchritude."
Right after Jamie raises his glass to Claire, their eyes meet for a moment and she nods, very slightly, as the signal that he should spring the news about Louise's baby.
I like the Comte's line to the effect that "if Madame is worried about the cooking in her own home, perhaps we should all have a stone." Good point!
The melee in the hall is pretty much as I imagined from the book. But I love the bit they added at the end, where Fergus sits down at the dining table and helps himself. LOL!
So we have a cliffhanger ending, with lots of loose ends to be resolved in next week's episode. I can't wait!
I hope you've enjoyed this recap. Please come back next week to see my comments on Episode 205.
Here are my recaps of the previous Season 2 episodes:
Episode 201: Through a Glass, Darkly
Episode 202: Not in Scotland Anymore
Episode 203: Useful Occupations and Deceptions
Look here for my recaps of all of the Season 1 episodes.