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TV Review: Outlander 2.11 “Vengeance Is Mine”
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Outlander
Season 2 Episode 11: “Vengeance Is Mine”
Directed by Mike Barker
Written by Diana Gabaldon
Created by Ronald D. Moore
Based on the books by Diana Galbadon
Starring Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies Duncan Lacroix, Graham McTavish, Grant O’Rourke, Romann Berrux, Andrew Gower, Scott Kyle
Starz
Air Date: Saturday, June 18th, 2016, 9:00pm

Last week on Outlander, the Jacobites and the Redcoats were at an impasse, and a giant swamp was blocking them. Dougal (Graham McTavish) managed to impress Prince Charles (Andrew Gower) by foolishly braving the bog to test the redcoat bullet range. It didn’t work, but a native to that area showed them a sneaky way around it. A vicious battle ensued and the Scottish were victorious, but they lost Angus. Dougal quickly lost the prince’s favor, when he wanted to massacre the POWs. He was exiled, but Jamie (Sam Heughan) stepped up for him. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) hugged Fergus (Romann Berrux) with relief and pain when he returned safe from the battle he had snuck into, but in shock because he killed a man.

Spoilers below.

Outlander 2.11 “Vengeance Is Mine” review: After many successes, the Jacobites are idling, awaiting their next move from the prince. Claire is literally pulling teeth outside, while the prince and Jamie are metaphorically doing the same. Everyone wants to turn back except them. They lose. Everyone is going home. Only Jamie, Claire, and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) know that “home” is Culloden for many.

Be still my heart… naked Jamie making fierce Scottish vows of protection over his sleeping wife. How Balfe doesn’t fall madly in love with Heughan, I have no idea.

Dougal storms in and gives the news that he, Jamie, and their crew are exiled to “attain provisions” but we know where this is going.

The British attack and they all scatter. A wild chase through the woods leaves one of them wounded, but not mortally. They hide in the chapel, sans horses, and Claire saves Rupert by removing a bullet from his eye. They are soon surrounded. Claire wants to play the hostage card again, against Jamie’s adamant no. “Am I not Lady Broch Tuarach? Are these not my men too?” You tell him, girl. As the British carry “Mrs. Beachum” off in a faint, Jamie is ready to explode.

The English decide on a different destination for Claire. A bum crosses her path and it’s none other than Hugh Munro (Simon Meacock). She loudly lets the news drop. They arrive at her new sanctuary – the home of the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow).

Claire: “Why did you pretend not to recognize me?” The Duke wants to be rescued from his fancy prison too – he is a Jacobite at heart. What a liar! Mary (Rosie Day) is there and is his goddaughter. He sold her to a loyalist… well… to show his loyalty. Poor girl is always being given away to gross men against her will. We all know what her destiny will really be.

It’s a trap! But it’s too late. Munro already got the note to Jamie. They can barely read her Gaelic. “We’ll give her lessons later.” Funny Jamie!

The Duke’s man has a birthmark on his hand, and in a matter of seconds, everyone knows the jig is horribly up. It was the Duke all along, but he was being “kind” because rape is better than murder. They lock Claire up but she is inadvertently saved by Mary, who is afraid to help more. Claire goes to the kitchen to escape and Sandringham is there. And then Mary is there (who is good at thinking on her feet). And then “Birthmark” is there. And then Jamie is there, the rage pulsing off of him as Claire blurts the whole truth. Not everyone makes it out of that room alive. I don’t want to describe it fully as you just have to see it…

Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ… that last scene was a doozy. Everyone got their just desserts.

“I kept my word. I lay your vengeance at your feet.” We all just got a huge case of the feels for Murtagh.

Every single episode this season has just been better and better, building on the delicious layer of the previous one. Diana Gabaldon, author of the epic series, wrote the script for episode 211, and even before I looked it up, I felt like I already knew. That scene with Jamie over the sleeping Claire felt so much more than I even thought possible of him. It was like he was saying that to me. I got that same feeling as when I first read Outlander in the 90s. He seemed more… so much larger than previous episodes. In no way does that diminish the writing or Heughan from before. It was just unexpectedly more. Watching Jamie try to get to Claire after she left with the redcoats… magnificence. And Claire fiercely declaring herself Lady Broch Tuarach was that of a warrior, making the men stand down in respect, even Dougal. I keep thinking I’ve seen my favorite episode, and then one like this comes along and blows them away. And my Menzies was not even in this one!

The choice to keep Rupert alive was understandable. Grant O’Rourke is fantastic, and they just killed Angus. They did miss the chance for one of the most memprable scenes in the novel, where Dougal shows his vulnerability as Rupert lay dying:

But ye canna grieve ’til I be deid, can ye? I would die by your hand, mo caraidh, not in the hands of the strangers.”

Dougal jerked, and Jamie and I exchanged appalled glances behind his back.

“Rupert…” Dougal began helplessly, but Rupert interrupted him, clasping his hand and shaking it gently.

“You are my chief, man, and it’s your duty,” he whispered. “Come now. Do it now. This dying hurts me, Dougal, and I would have it over.” His eyes moved restlessly, lighting on me.

“Will ye hold my hand while I go, lass?” he asked. “I’d like it so.”

And…

Dougal’s dirk took him under the breastbone, hard and straight. The burly body convulsed, turning to the side with an coughing explosion of air and blood, but the brief sound of agony came from Dougal.

The MacKenzie chieftain stayed frozen for a moment, eyes shut, hands clenched on the hilt of the dirk. Then Jamie rose, took him by the shoulders, and turned him away, murmuring something in Gaelic. Jamie glanced at me, and I nodded and held out my arms. He turned Dougal gently toward me, and I gathered him to me as we both crouched on the floor, holding him while he wept.

The series is probably setting us up for something even more powerful.

Two more episodes!

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

Image Gallery

Videos

Outlander | Ep. 211 Clip: Read This | STARZ


Dougal brings Jamie some troubling news in this clip from Episode 211.

Outlander | Episode 211 Preview | STARZ


In “Vengeance is Mine”: Claire and the Highlanders are sent north after the Jacobite leaders decide to halt their march on London. A band of redcoats makes trouble for the Scots, leading to a most unexpected reunion for Claire.

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