TV Show Review

TV Review: OUTLANDER: Season 2, Episode 7: Faith [Starz]

Romann Berrux Caitriona Balfe Outlander Faith

Outlander Faith Review

Starz’s Outlander: Season 2, Episode 7: Faith had so much transpire during its run-time that it was staggering. Because of everything that happened during the episode, Faith seemed much longer than a normal episode and it was. Faith clocked in at one hour and four minutes and unlike Game of Thrones in recent years, every second of it was used effectively.

The medical incident that Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) underwent in Faith was as graphic as the abortion scene in Enter the Void, with the camera pulled back above the scene, showing the viewer everything at once. The blood loss that Claire had undergone was completely apparent by her grey complexion. Claire seemed completely numb to what was transpiring, as if her mind were disconnected from her body, a curious, common reaction of the mind when something traumatic is occurring.

That numbness did not last.

When Claire requested the presence of someone that she had never seen, someone precious to her, that was when the torrent of differing emotions that Balfe had to display in Faith truly began. The viewer doesn’t know where Balfe had to go in her mind to emote absolute sadness and despair but she flawlessly did so. It was Balfe’s best acting on the series to date.

When Louise de Rohan (Claire Sermonne) visited Claire in L’Hopital des Anges, it was the most touching moment between the two characters thus far. The viewer saw, for the first time, how close their friendship had become. Louise was almost a surrogate for the audience in the scene, wanting desperately to take away Claire’s aching pain and give her some measure of peace.

Claire’s homecoming in Faith was bittersweet. Its two most powerful moments were: 1.) Suzette (Adrienne-Marie Zitt)’s response to Claire’s return and 2.) Claire’s response to Magnus (Robbie McIntosh), who really went beyond the call of duty in Best Laid Schemes. Claire extinguished the class difference between the two of them in one humble movement.

The title La Dame Blanche (The White Woman), once a shield that had protected Claire, in Faith, made her judge, jury, and executioner at a secret, inpromptu trial. The two people on trial were a complete surprise at first but the King’s new edict, spoken of in previous episodes, made it less so. It was the shell-shocked defendant in the scene that made it even more memorable. This defendant, struck down off their high horse, was the picture of stubborn fear and indignation. This defendant stared down death with their back straight, even when it was literally handed to them. This defendant didn’t beg for their life, kept their self-respect to the very end, and denied their adversary a final victory.

The curious part before the defendant’s death was that they admitted that they had tried to kill Claire with poison. Then the same defendant had the gumption to call their killers “evil.” If they were “evil,” what was the defendant? Even if the defendant had somehow gotten out of that trial alive, they had just admitted to attempted murder in front of the last person in the kingdom that they should ever have made that statement in front of. If not death, the defendant’s indignant mouth had earned them a long prison sentence.

The trial scene was staged in an opulent room that can only be described as magical and evening sky-inspired. It dazzled, from floor to ceiling, and must have cost a fortune to construct in that time period. It was the most fitting place for that type of trial in all of France, which was why (one assumes) it transpired there.

King Louis XV of France (Lionel Lingelser)’s price for a private audience and possible clemency was…unusual. Outlander is a very surprising TV show, meaning the viewer never knows where the narrative will go (unless you have read the book series on which it is based). That is the show’s greatest strength, second only to its acting.

The reason for the duel was surmised in the review for Best Laid Schemes and it turned out that the supposition in that episode analysis was accurate. The Governor is still the best TV villain in recent history, possibly ever, but Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall (Tobias Menzies) is in the top ten. If we were talking about simply being vile (instead of the totality of a character’s villainy), Black Jack would be number one, hands down (Black Jack beats Craster and Hannibal Lecter). World-class scum masquerading as a human being doesn’t get ‘better’ than Black Jack.

Only someone uncaring could not have been softened by what Fergus (Romann Berrux) disclosed to Claire in Faith. It destroyed her rage toward Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) but it also increased the emotional baggage Claire carried. If she had let the duel happen days earlier, what happened in the brothel to Fergus never would have happened. Because Black Jack was alive, it did. Once again I pose the question: how many people have to be attacked and emotionally / physically destroyed so that Frank Randall can live?

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

  • rocelita duzon

    I absolutely agree with the author of this article. How many more people should be hurt just to save the life of Frank?? In the first place Claire thought long ago that BJ already died after Jaime was raped, right? How come she did not thought about Frank, then? I would stand by my opinion that everything bad that happened including the death of her baby and molestation of Fergus were all Claire’s fault, Did she expect her baby to live after she comes running to the duel scene and after exhausting herself in the hospital that she bled. How come she is crying a river of tears now??? She put Frank above Jaime and her baby, that’s the plain ugly truth!!! This is fiction only but in reality a pregnant woman who is anticipating the birth of her beloved child would never do what Claire did. She exposed her baby to danger and now her baby is dead. Maybe this is payback for all her meddling and for the wrong deed she made to Mary Hawkins. I felt more pity for Jaime than her because Jaime from the beginning to end suffered so much already. The baby could have been the one thing that could lift him up. My poor Jaime!

  • “She put Frank above Jaime and her baby, that’s the plain ugly truth!!!”

    She put Frank above Jamie’s revenge for one year. I don’t believe she put Frank above her baby. Her stupidity led to the death of her baby.

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