Outlander The Hail Mary Review
Outlander The Hail Mary Review. Starz’s Outlander: Season 2, Episode 12: The Hail Mary was an episode of death and released, long-harbored emotions. When Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz) said he had something to ask of his brother Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall (Tobias Menzies), the attentive viewer knew exactly what that favor would entail. Since Claire had foretold of the Jonathan Randall / Mary Hawkins marriage so many times, it was obvious what was going to transpire. When Black Jack tried to convince Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) to persuade his brother out of the marriage request, everything Jack said about himself, Jamie, and his bed were absolutely true. Under normal circumstances, Claire would have acquiesced and done as Jack bid her. In Hail Mary, however, Claire reminded the viewer that she knew the exact date of Jack’s death, which was days from that moment. Jack would be dead before he could harm Mary and Mary would reap all the financial and status benefits of the marriage. It was a shrewd move on Claire’s part not to help Jack.
Alex Randall’s dying request on the surface was a move to safe guard Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) and their unborn child but underneath, I believe Alex had an agenda. Alex’s concealed aim was to pacify and reinvent his brother, if not in whole, than in part. I believe Alex hoped that Mary’s goodness would rub off on Jack. By Jack being forced to show Mary the same goodness that he had shown to Alex for all of his life, Alex hoped that might pry open the goodness locked inside Jack. What Alex didn’t realize was that he was a special, singular case for Jack. No matter how much Alex wanted it, the leniency that that Alex conjured in Jack was not transferable.
Black Jack beating Alex’s corpse was as riveting as it was brutal. It went straight to Jack’s character and was a no-holds-barred, one-sided slug fest. It could be said that this was the best moment in the episode but it would be more correct to say that it was the best physical moment in the episode. It was nearly the best emotional moment as well but Dougal MacKenzie’s final scene with his brother edged it out. Black Jack’s rage burst against the person that made him do a good, righteous act. Black Jack hated his brother for: dying, for being the only person that saw good in him, for being the only person that he could be good towards, and for forcing Jack to bestow that goodness on another, a complete stranger.
That was how Jack let his rage out and expressed his grief. It was wonderful to behold in a morose scene turned horror movie. Mary saw exactly the type of man she was now married to during that unfettered fist pounding.
Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish)’s moment with his dying brother Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) was McTavish’s best acting moment on the series to date. When Dougal began talking about the accident that led to Colum’s eventual disfigurement, the viewer was drawn in by the sad tale and how it made Dougal feel. What Dougal had gone through as he watched his brother degrade was a variable the viewer probably had never considered. Dougal always seemed fueled by bravado and animosity towards his brother.
When Dougal laid his head upon Colum’s dead chest, the love Dougal felt for his brother and the fact that Dougal had lost something he greatly cared about was evident. Words and actions. Both combined in this scene and drew out an emotional and memorable scene from McTavish in The Hail Mary. This and Jack beating the corpse of his dead brother were the best physical / emotional scenes in the episode.
Lord General George Murray (Julian Wadham) asking to lead a column with Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Andrew Gower) during the night attack in The Hail Mary was nothing more than a grab for glory. He also wanted to be by the Princess side so that he could ingratiate him even further. What was not explained during the bungled night attack was how a soldier that rose to the rank of general could not have learned the skill of land navigation? Soldiers are taught land navigation in Officer’s School (at least they are in the modern incarnation). If Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) truly wanted to avoid the battle of Culloden, he should have joined General Murray’s column at the last minute to make sure everything went smoothly. Then again, Jamie thought the general was competent and had no way of knowing that the general would get lost.
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