Dragonfly in Amber begins in 1968 at the wake of Rev. Reginald Wakefield. Roger is watching the Avengers with a group of children in a daze when Fiona comes and tells him he should really get back to his guests. Roger goes out and toasts his “father” [Rev. Wakefield was his Great Uncle but his adoptive father after the death of Roger’s parents].
Roger sees a red haired girl and goes looking for her. Getting distracted by those paying their respect he thinks he’s missed her when she finds him, asking if he’s Roger Wakefield. An older Claire appears reminiscing about how young Roger was the last time she saw him and him meeting her daughter but Roger says he’s not had the pleasure (boys got it so bad). Bree introduces herself. Then Claire explains she’s an old friend of his father’s and that her husband was also. Roger finally realizes Claire is Frank Randall’s wife. He mentions her being a nurse and she tells him she’s now a doctor but Brianna comments her mother is being modest because she’s actually a surgeon. Claire asks after Mrs. Graham and we learn she died a few years back. (So is that three deaths in the 1960s? Frank, Rev. Wakefield and Mrs. Graham.)
Claire goes to look around and remember her time at the Manse while Roger asks Brianna if it is her first time in Scotland. Brianna has always been interested in Scotland but they don’t have time to take in the sites which Roger thinks is a shame as it is a “beautiful, wild country.” Fiona appears and drags Roger off to say goodbye to his guests.
The Hail Mary opens with Claire and Jamie arriving in camp just outside of Inverness. Spirits are low because the Jacobite army is doing nothing but retreating. Last we say they had decided to turn back and that was approximately December of 1745. Now, it is April 1746 and nearly time for the dreaded date of the Battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746). There is little food to be had but despite all the things pushing Jamie and Claire closer to the fateful battle which we already know separates them (remember in the premiere episode of the season Claire is in 1948), Jamie is going to go continue to go to the war council’s in hopes of finally seeing Charles make a smart decision.
Meanwhile, Claire goes into Inverness for medical supplies because well we know bad things are on the horizon and also some medicals might help those hunger pains.
At the Apothecary shop, Claire runs into Mary Hawkins who is purchasing laudanum for the second time that week. Claire is excited to see Mary but clearly Mary isn’t all that keen on seeing her good backstabbing friend Claire. Mary does tell Claire that Alex Randall contacted her when he got another position in Inverness and she came to marry him. So clearly Mary’s bolder than she used to be. Claire congratulates her but again Mary is rather cold, seems she talks to her betrothed and he told her about Claire’s interference in their relationship. Claire makes the same excuses she gave to Alex back in Untimely Resurrections about his lack of position because she’s sound crazy if she told Mary her baby daddy is supposed to be Jack Randall. Claire does apologize and then asks after Alex’s health which apparently is not great but Mary is optimistic. Claire wants to come by and see Alex for herself and Mary agrees.
Vengeance Is Mine opens in camp where Claire is pulling the teeth of the locals and the soldiers while Rupert looks on and reminisces about Angus and his missing front teeth.
In the war council, O’Sullivan and Murray are recommending retreat because the Jacobite support they were expecting, in the Lowlands of Scotland and Northern England, has yet to show up. They are only days from taking London but they are expecting three armies waiting for them in London and they don’t seem to have the resources to accomplish the goal.
Side Note: Apparently, in reality they were informed there was a large army mass between them and London at this point. In actuality there was no such army between the Jacobites and England. The informant was a spy for the English.
Charles is understandably upset his advisors want to turn back to Edinburgh for the winter instead of finishing this fight and taking London. Charles wants to know if there are none among them who will fight for him and God and Jamie pledges his sword. Charles tells the others he feels betrayed and then damns them to hell for their retreat.
Jamie apologizes to Claire, presumably because he’s been unable to change history. Ross asks Jamie if it is true they are turning back and Jamie puts a positive spin saying they are returning home for winter, promising to see his men home to Lallybroch. Rupert doesn’t seem overjoyed.
Jamie promises to see Claire safe no matter what happens.
Prestonpans opens with Claire off in the woods to “pish” but is brought up short by the corpse of a Highlander who died at the hands of the Redcoats. Claire takes the man’s weapon and returns to a waiting Jamie fearing there is nothing Jamie and she can do to prevent the future. The troops are at Prestonpans and Claire knows the Jacobites will win the day but one battle isn’t the war and knowing the outcome doesn’t prepare you for those who will get hurt or die. Claire has seen far too many men killed in war.
In a tactical meeting with Charles’s advisors, Quartermaster Sir John O’Sullivan (the Irishman) and Lieutenant-General Lord George Murray of Clan Murray (who is more favored than the Quartermaster) are arguing over strategy. O’Sullivan wants to attack quacking but Murray wants to hold the higher ground. The problem is to execute any attack they would need to cross Tranent Meadow which is likely boggy ground and will ultimately trap anything trying to cross it. Charles seems like he’s at a complete loss and Jamie suggests a cavalry field trip to determine if the meadow is passable. But they have no cavalry which is something else that angers the advisors. Charles points out how he took Perth and Edinburgh without firing a shot but it is quickly brought to his attention that they surprised General Cope which will not happen again.
Charles then has the brilliant idea to offer Cope generous terms of surrender, which is ludicrous in the extreme, because he informs his advisors, “We are all brothers, after all.” Everyone is stunned and O’Sullivan tells Charles he has a generous heart but the troops are there to fight and win.
Jamie tells the Laird of Clan McDonald to tell his men to “await further order, which may be some time,” while the advisors continue to argue. Jamie leaves followed by Charles who tells Jamie he must succeed because he’s promised God and his father. Am I the only one annoyed by the “Mark Me” line? Stop it.
Jamie and Claire arrive finally rendezvous with Murtagh and the Lallybroch men. They come with Lovat's men but have lost 100 men on the way. The men Jamie brought are not fighters and Murtagh and Jamie now have the task of training them. Fergus peeks out of his abode and sees "Milady and Milord!" and rushes to greet them which brings a huge smile to Claire's face and then Jamie's when Fergus informs them Murtagh has enslaved him mending the man's socks.
The next day Claire and Jamie are just out and about when they hear a voice they know and Rupert and Angus step into view. Angus seems rather happy to see Claire and she grudgingly gives him a kiss on the cheek. Claire wonders about the whereabouts of Willie and is told in a somber and melancholy tone that Willie got himself hitched and moved to America with his Irish bride.
Dougal appears and Jamie genuinely looks pleased to see him but Claire isn't so enthusiastic about it. Apparently, Colum doesn't want them there but Dougal, Rupert and Angus have come of their own accord. Jamie informs Dougal the men he's brought need training but Dougal thinks they are worth 10 redcoats because they have conviction on their side.
Jamie and Claire are back in Scotland in time to see the potatoes, Claire warned Jenny to plant, be harvested. Jenny and Ian have had another child and life seems good. Until, Ian comes in with the mail which contains a letter from Aunt Jocasta and bumm..bumm..bummm a letter from Jared congratulating Jamie on his loyalty or something because Jamie realizes enclosed is a declaration of Charles Stuart's divine right to the British throne with a list of signatures of clan chieftains who support Charles and wouldn't you know Charles forged Jamie's signature. Apparently, Charles is in Scotland (which makes no sense because they just had a harvest meaning it is October and Charles Stuart comes to Scotland in July 1745 and this would be 1744) and Jamie thinks the only way out is to try to win. Well what else are you going to do?
I'm sorry I'm so late with this post. There has been a lot happening and I've had trouble really trying to dissect this episode considering it's subject matter. I will ask you what you thought of the episode but for me it is a 5 Kilts and probably beyond. For me this episode surpassed any other and if Caitriona isn't nominated for an Emmy then there is something wrong with the system.
Onto the Recap....
Faith opens on Claire with a little red haired girl in the 1950s. This little girl calls Claire mommy and asks her about the birds in a book. Claire tells her she's seen the birds in Scotland an the little girl wonders if her mommy has been to Scotland.
We shift back to L’Hôpital where Claire looks shell shock and pale. She's losing her baby and as the "doctors" and sisters work to save her, tears run from the corners of her eyes.
Later Claire wakes at L’Hôpital and realizes her stomach is flatter than it should be. She sits up and starts looking around for her baby. She calls out for her child but Mother Hildegarde rushes to her side to tell her the baby was born dead and has now joined the angels. Claire has a moment of stunned disbelief before she starts hysterically asking for her baby.
Later, while Claire rests fitfully due to fever, Mother Hildegarde explains that she baptized the baby with the name Faith but that must stay between them as it is illegal to baptize a child who is not living. Mother Hildegarde brings in a priest to hear confession but Claire isn't willing to give up her sins, as they are all she's left with.
Bouton sits watch over her.
Jamie tells Murtagh there will be no duel which isn't okay with Murtagh at all. Meanwhile, Claire works at the Hospital with Mr. Forez who warns her about the Kings wrath and the possibility of Raymond being taken as a heretic. Claire rushes off to warn Master Raymond who tells her he will leave the city though she shouldn't be seen with him.
Later, Jamie tells Claire he's saved her life as many times as she's saved his and they are even. He's decided to take up her terms because he wants Frank alive too. Jamie wants there to be a place for her and their child if he should die at Culloden. Jamie makes Claire promise to go back to Frank should he not be there for her. Claire comes up with the plan to make the shipment of wine look as though the crew has had a smallpox outbreak.
Jamie returns home from the bastille to find Claire waiting up for him with Fergus who just passed out. After carrying Fergus to bed Jamie tells Claire how Duverney got them all out except Alex Randall who has been dismissed from Sandringham's service and is being held for the rape of Mary. Jamie asks for details about their attack and when Claire tells him they mistook her for someone named La Dame Blanche. Jamie is shocked and tells Claire he spread the rumor to stop Charles from tossing whores at him.
Murtagh is distraught about failing to protect Claire and Mary and Jamie charges him with finding those responsible and Murtagh plans to lay vengeance at Jamie's feet.
Claire checks on Mary, reassuring her the rape wasn't her fault and she doesn't think she'll have a baby. Mary asks that Claire deliver a letter to the bastille which will exonerate Alex of her attack. Claire breifly considering burning the letter but does the right thing in the end.
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Jamie and Duverney are playing chess and discussing baby names with Claire until the St. Germain interrupts them by predicting the outcome of their game. Claire walks away from the table taking a beverage from a servant which seems to be spiked with something unpleasant. Claire doubles over in pain and Jamie rushes to her rescue. They return to Jared's where Claire rests while Jamie tells her King Louis is interested in an alliance with England through Charles. Jamie suggests a dinner party to bring Charles and Sandringham together in hopes of Charles showing the Duke just how out of touch with reality he is. Claire realizes this would bring the subject of Randall up and tells Jamie about Randall's survival. Jamie is overjoyed because now he can kill Randall himself. The next day Claire informs Murtagh he was worried about nothing.
Claire goes to Raymond to see who he sold the bitter cascara to but comes up empty handed. Claire is worried about Frank's future and Raymond eases her mind by predicting she will see him again much to Claire's surprise. Raymond then gifts her a necklace with a stone which will turn colors in the presence of poison.
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