Starz’s Outlander Through a Glass, Darkly TV Show Review. Outlander: Season 2, Episode 1: Through a Glass, Darkly‘s second scene resembled the beginning of many horror films: a lone woman walked down a stretch of highway. When confronted, she was initially incoherent. That same girl either eventually went hysterical, remained taciturn, or began weeping. Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) did the former and the latter in quick order in Through a Glass, Darkly.
From the moment the viewer saw Claire in the hospital bed in her in 1948, it was obvious Claire did not want to be in that time period, even after having come to terms with being there.
Her outburst of remorse at “the standing stones at Craigh na Dun” had been shock and despair. In the hospital, she was sullen, in the last stage of grief – acceptance.
As Clair gazed at Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), she saw and heard Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall. There was absolutely no affection in her eyes as she looked at Frank (love had been turned to cold disdain through her experiences with Jack). The result was a reunion that was anything but happy. Claire’s animated recoil at Frank’s approach to touch her emphasized that point, to the both of them.
That and all the little touches about Claire’s reappearance added to its mystique: the expensive, authentic, antique garb she had been wearing, her acquired affection for Scottish whiskey, not knowing what year it was à la Reese in The Terminator.
The news of Claire’s pregnancy was the straw that broke the camel’s back with Frank. Claire’s reaction to Frank’s anger was of a veteran on a battlefield as a bomb went off. She was calm and relaxed. She had seen Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall at his worst. Frank’s anger was child-like by comparison. During her entire recounting, it was as if she was intentionally trying to drive Frank and the life that they had once had together away, by any verbal means necessary. If successful, she would have her memories of Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) to hold close to her bosom to the end of her days. Claire didn’t seem to care about Frank’s feelings at all at the end of her recounting, a side-effect of multiple engagements with Jack.
Frank showed himself to be an extraordinary human being and husband in Through a Glass, Darkly. Not only was he willing to accept his wife’s infidelity and her love for another man while still married to him, he was able to accept, for the love and company of his wife, another man’s baby. Frank was the polar opposite of his ancestor Black Jack.
The Jacobite sub-plot of Through a Glass, Darkly was one of two sub-plots that will bare fruit throughout the season. Because of the noble cause of Claire’s plan and the fact that the plan is being carried out on people Jamie knows and respects, the large betrayal he plans will likely not sit well with him. He will be betraying his on people on the word of a sole English woman. Jamie is an honest and trust-worthy individual. Because of that, the true purpose of Claire’s plan will gnaw at him.
The destruction of Le Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber)’s ship and cargo was another Through a Glass, Darkly sub-plot that will most-likely affect Claire and Jamie in the near future in Outlander. As Claire and Jamie climb higher in the aristocracy of Paris, France, the closer they will come to Le Comte St. Germain, who calls that aristocracy “home” and its inhabitants “friends.”
The way this season was set up, the effect being presented before the cause, was a narrative structure change that the viewer was not expecting. That was a good thing because who wants to be presented with the same, standard story structure season after season? Claire must go forward in time rather quickly as she was not showing in the past and she was not showing in the present either. She has traveled a long distance from Craigh na Dun, across an ocean in fact. Her journey back will be very interesting.
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