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Review: ‘Outlander’ Season 2 Episode 8, ‘The Fox’s Lair’: We’re Not in France Anymore

Review: 'Outlander' Season 2 Episode 8, 'The Fox’s Lair': We’re Not in France Anymore

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Outlander’ Season 2 Episode 7, ‘Faith,’ Tests Claire’s Limits

That’s What She Said

With the despicable Dame Blanch business behind her and the Comte St. Germain dead, Claire returned to Scotland with Jamie and the mutual hope that the rebellion can now be put to rest. It was a sweet but short-lived homecoming full of potato-planting and reminders of what an idyllic life could be should they be allowed to enjoy Lallybroch in full. Of course, this is a drama and such a life wouldn’t make for good television in the long run, and so it didn’t take long for Prince Charles to declare his war and pull Jamie in with him.

That’s What He Said

We suppose it must have been infinitely easier to forge a signature back in the day, because once Charles put the Fraser name to his documents it was game over for the clansman. Rather than hope against hope that somehow the rebellion had taken a turn for the better during his time away from it all, Jamie took all the needed measures to protect his people from what Claire has predicted will be imminent doom. And if that meant taking a little visit to his disowned (and basically disgusting) grandsire’s place, well so be it.  

Haggis and Kilts

So long lavish French outfits, dialogue and overall luxuries. With the Frasers’ return to Scotland came a nostalgic return to the show’s roots — including more practical costumes and yet another new show opener that dropped the French lyrics and included images of things to come in the remaining half of the second season. It was a marker that things are about to change for the couple yet again, and that their future together may no longer be as promising as we once hoped.

Familiar Faces

The return to Scotland allowed some former allies and enemies to resurface, including fearless leader Colum MacKenzie and the deluded Laoghaire, who notably tried to get Claire executed for witchcraft back in the first season. While Colum is an important marker in the revolution — one who wished to remain neutral while his fiery brother Dougal pushed to join the Jacobites — Laoghaire’s return was something of a surprise. Having her push the grandsire’s son towards rebellion was a clever way to incorporate the character into the story, but it also reminded us that Claire and Jamie have enemies far and wide.

READ MORE: ‘Outlander’ Season 2: How Designers Nailed The Glam 18th Century Paris Look (Emmy Watch)

The Family Tree

It’s easy to forget that being a “bastard” had a completely different connotation back in Jamie’s time period, so it makes sense that he hid his complete family tree from Claire until now given what that must have meant for his father. However, Jamie’s grandsire was much more despicable than we could have imagined, especially given his threats to ravage Claire and take his grandson’s lands. It was a stark reminder of the time period this show lives in, one where men and women are not equal no matter how much Jamie attempts to treat Claire otherwise. In the end, Claire’s little Dame Blanche show (okay, so maybe that part of the story hasn’t been put to bed) managed to get the men needed to start building up an appropriate army without sacrificing Jamie’s lands. But then again, how much can men like that really be trusted in the long run?

Seers and Doers

A large part of Claire’s struggle this season has been whether to act on the information she has about the future, and whether taking those actions can actually chance the future. So having a seer to bounce ideas and theology off of wasn’t a bad idea per se. Unfortunately the aforementioned Laoghaire managed to interrupt the pair before any actual ideas could be discussed, leaving the butterfly effect debate in large part unanswered.

A Revolutionary Cause

Given Charles’ rash decision to declare war, things aren’t looking so great for Jamie and his fellow clansmen right about now. While Claire may have some foresight into the overall rebellion (and the importance of potato crops, while we’re at it), she by no means has the knowledge to stop specific attacks or battles from happening. As a result we’re pretty sure things are about to get a lot bloodier heading into these final few episodes, and it won’t necessarily mean a happy ending for our leading couple. 

By the Book

Following last week’s horrific events, the series was due for a reset. But rather than linger at Lallybroch and allow Claire and Jamie a bit of a reprieve, the show pushed forward a bit quicker than anticipated, launching right into the actual rebellion that we’ve been talking about for eight episodes now (incorporating Laoghaire in the process). Although it’s not the most romantic of moves, it’s certainly one that makes the most sense, given everything that now needs to be packed into five remaining episodes.

Grade: B

“Outlander” airs Saturdays at 9pm on Starz. Check out our video interview with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan below…

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