Episode 211 shows that vengeance is a deeply personal matter. It often stems from anger and shame, and those are powerful emotions to drive action. Viewers get to see several characters get their much-anticipated revenge upon their enemies this time around. These acts won’t end the war, and they’ll undoubtedly lead to more trouble before it’s all worked out. Despite this, there’s still something satisfying in watching a beloved character end up free of an enemy instead of in the clutches of one. This episode strikes a good balance between physical and mental vengeance, but still weighs heavy on the skin side.
Sword score: 6/10. It’s a few months after the battle of Prestonpans, and things are moving well for the Jacobites. However, when Jamie proposes marching south to take London, the other commanders balk at the danger. Out of fear over Jamie’s growing influence, the commanders arrange to have Jamie and his men sent to Inverness to prepare for the army’s wintering. Along the way, they naturally run into a band of Redcoats. In order to protect literally everyone, Claire once again adopts her “kidnapped Englishwoman” disguise. It would have been a great plan, if it didn’t leave her right on the doorstep of the Duke of Sandringham.
Skin score: 10/10. It’s at the Duke’s estate where the plan truly falls apart. First off, it’s Bellmont, not the Garrison at Hazelmere where Jamie expects Claire to be taken. Luckily, an old friend shows up and gets a message to Jamie with the new rescue location. Second, the Duke is definitely not who he seems to be. Not only is he Mary’s godfather, he’s also the one behind the attack on Claire. It turns out that the Duke is rather bad at cards, and arranged the attack as payment of one of his debts to the Comte St. Germain. Now the Duke has created an elaborate trap for Jamie, and promised to deliver him to the Redcoats guarding the estate. Unfortunately for the Duke, he underestimates the power of love. Jamie and Murtagh easily find their way into the house, and subdue the Duke and his evil valet. It’s Mary who gets her vengeance first, by stabbing the valet (who turns out to have been her rapist) in the stomach and watching him die. Murtagh takes care of the Duke, and rather literally fulfills his promise to lay Claire’s vengeance at her feet.
Final score: 8/10. The plan to send Jamie and his men to Inverness seems like a half-baked scheme, and it’s not the commanders to blame for that. However, it does provide the impetus for Claire to end up at the Duke’s estate and is therefore mostly forgivable. The depths of the Duke’s betrayal are almost unfathomable, especially his easy dismissal of what he did to his own goddaughter. It wasn’t the vengeance that viewers may have been expecting, but it was deeply satisfying nonetheless. With that mystery solved, the list of scores to be reckoned before the end of season 2 has shortened. Now if only Black Jack Randall could be so easily crossed off.
Kade is often described as, “here just a minute ago” and can often be found just around the corner from where you’d expect. Approaching is not encouraged, unless you come with a strong wifi connection and a nice charcuterie board with gluten-free breads.