Sorry I’m late. I had a very lengthy post written about all the action that took place in “Crème de Menthe,” (had a hard time limiting it to just seven!) but you find can synopses of the episode many other places. I’m just here to express my not-always-popular opinions. So here goes:
Crème de Menthe, Episode 307
1. What’s to dislike?
According to Megan from Loinlander, there were a lot of complaints from book fans that the episode didn’t exactly follow the events portrayed in Voyager. That’s a good thing. I actually skipped over the chapters immediately following Claire and Jamie’s reunion, because it felt like a French farce. So many things happening at once, so much misunderstanding, so many interruptions. So no complaint here. Except maybe for Jamie. (See #6 below.)
2. Dr. Claire tries to save her would-be rapist/murderer
Last week’s ridiculous cliffhanger ended with some man threatening to rape and/or murder Claire, and that’s where we pick up “Crème de Menthe.” When the henchman slips during his struggle with Claire, he hits his head on the hearth. Claire realizes he’s alive and bleeding within his skull, so she decides to operate. Jamie says to let him die. I too question Claire’s motives, but she is a doctor. I suppose, or at least hope, that a doctor wouldn’t hesitate to try to save a life.
In the end, the henchman, who works for Sir Percival (the man Jamie paid smuggling “taxes” to last week), dies anyway. So I’m not sure why this scene was even included. Perhaps it’s to show us how different Jamie and Claire have become. Or maybe it was to fill out an episode that ran too short. Or maybe it was to introduce the Campbells (see below).
3: Fergus and Young Ian
Last week I thought perhaps Lesley and Hayes, Jamie’s fellow Ardsmuir inmates (but weren’t they set to go to American??) would be the new, less interesting Rupert and Angus. But after this week, it’s Fergus and Young Ian. Never mind that they’re over a decade apart in age, they work. And they’re better looking.
Fergus gives Young Ian pointers on what women want. And Fergus should know, having been brought up in a brothel. Fergus says he was 15 when he first had sex, and that it was a “ménage à trois, two women and one moi.” (Damn all these graves and acutes!) I’m calling shenanigans. I’m sure Fergus was 15, but the three-some rings of typical male boasting. Then again, Fergus is strikingly handsome and French with an adorable accent, so it could be true.
4. The new, softer Jamie
After the death of the henchman, Claire is despondent. Jamie tries to comfort her, and his face, for possibly the first time this season, has a softness to it that I’ve sorely missed. Also for the first time this season? Sam Heughan’s hair looks good.
5. Gleep, Gleep!
Claire meets Archibald Campbell at the apothecary as she’s prepping for her (failed) surgery, and agrees to see his sister in “payment” for him letting her go ahead of him.
Claire meets with Margaret Campbell, who is truly not right in the head; her first words to Claire are, “Gleep, gleep! Gleep, gleep!” Then she talks more nonsense. Archibald says she’s a seer and he can interpret her ravings, for a fee. Claire declines but wants to see Margaret again, but they’re leaving the next day for the West Indies.
So I’m sure we’ll never see them again. Also? “Gleep, gleep,” is my new go-to cuss word.
6. Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Ian Murray the elder arrives in Edinburgh looking for his runaway son. Of course, he’s shocked and delighted to see Claire again, and she him. It’s a lovely scene, and Steven Cree does a wonderful job of showing all the emotions you’d expect.
Then, the shit his the fan. Jamie lies to his brother-in-law and best friend, saying he hasn’t seen young Ian.
Afterwards, this leads to a horrendous fight between Claire and Jamie. Claire’s upset Jamie lied to Ian. Jamie says Ian and Jennie don’t understand Young Ian, that he is teaching him the ways of the world, and that the lad is safer with him. I say, “Young Ian is working in a whore house! He’s part of your smuggling crew and helping you print and distribute seditious pamphlets. How is that keeping him safe? Especially considering Young Ian is currently unconscious and trapped in a burning building. ” To paraphrase Dr. Jacque von Hamsterviel (from Lilo & Stitch sequels, because I am just that juvenile), I am irked.
7. Wait! There’s more?
You mean besides the escapade of the smuggled booze, Young Ian’s lost virginity, Jamie’s print shop burning to the ground, his seditious printings getting into official hands, and mention of Jamie’s other wife?
Jamie puts the body of the dead henchman in a cask of crème de menthe, saying no self-respecting Scot would drink the stuff. He isn’t aware that Young Ian threw in three casks of crème de menthe to sweeten the deal of quickly selling the illegal liquor. I’d love to see the fallout of someone opening that cask, but since Jamie and Claire have left Edinburgh, I fear it’s something we’ll never see.
One of the last things we see is Jamie telling Fergus to take care of Sir Percival’s other henchman (who has copies of the incriminating pamphlets) before he gets to Sir Percival. Does this mean he’s telling Fergus to kill the man?
I’m off to watch this week’s Outlander episode.