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Date Posted: 10:24:37 04/30/16 Sat
Author: Shadow
Subject: Episode 204 - La Dame Blanche

written by Toni Graphia, directed by Douglas MacKinnon

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. We've finally managed to wade through all of the new character introductions and background exposition and gotten to some of the real action events of the story. I was impressed by how much got packed into the hour without making it feel rushed. There were a number of the "book" scenes and dialogue in this episode.

synopsis:
Claire tells Jamie that BJR lives and Jamie reacts with joy, since now he may be able to kill the man with his own hands. Claire and Jamie resume marital relations and Claire discovers he bears love bites from the brothel.

Claire confronts Master Raymond about the poison, gains admittance to his hidden room of bones, and is given 2 things; a prediction that she will see Frank again and a necklace to detect poisons.

Louise de la Tour tells Claire she is pregnant by her lover (but doesn't say who it is) and Claire convinces her to trick her husband into thinking he fathered it. Prince Charles (with monkey-bitten hand) makes his midnight appearance via the roof, having argued with his mistress. J&C figure out that he is Louise's paramour and plan to host a big dinner party with Sandringham and the de Rohans and make Charles lose his cool.

On the day of the event, Claire goes off to spend the day at l'Hopital to help with injuries from a major accident. Jamie sends that Murtagh and Fergus with her. Mary Hawkins is there as well, assisting Claire. M. Forez is revealed as the crown's Executioner. Claire runs late due to emergencies. Her carriage is sabotaged. Fergus runs off to tell Jamie they will be late. Claire and her party walk home. They are set upon by 4 men, one of whom has a large birthmark on his hand. Mary is raped, but as soon as they see Claire's face they run off, shrieking about La Dame Blanche stealing their souls.

By the time they return home, the guests have already arrived at the party. Alex Randall, who was hanging out with the servants, spies them and glues himself to Mary's side. Mary is drugged and tucked up into a bed. Claire manages to get cleaned up and joins the party.

In the midst of the dinner, Mary regains consciousness and (probably hallucinating from the drugs) runs away from Alex, screaming. In his attempts to subdue her, he appears to be assaulting her when the party guests rush in and mayhem ensues.

Commentary:
This episode felt very familiar with many events and elements of dialogue taken straight from the books. Jamie tells Claire about the destruction of his inner fortress and the construction of a lean-to in which his soul can hide. I've always thought that was an excellent description of his trauma and the start of healing. Claire's reaction to the bite marks on Jamie was perfect. Interesting that Jamie didnít explain La Dame Blanche here. I expect we will get the explanation later. I kind of like that Claire doesnít understand the protection it providesÖ.yet.

I know a lot of folks aren't pleased with the representation of Raymond's apothecary shop in the series, complaining that it is too big, too airy, but I love it. I thought the room with all the bones was really cool and I loved the little hints Raymond gave about being a time traveller. It was subtle. If you didn't know the books you wouldn't guess that Master Raymond was anything more than a rather weird little man, but for those of us who know the story they were gems of foreshadowing. Admittedly, I sort of missed the playtime with mercury, but using fortune-telling bones was very appropriate and reminded us again that Claire was a widely-travelled woman. BTW, I thought the violet and purple gown was particularly gorgeous. Kudos again to Terry and her team.

I also really enjoyed the added scene where Murtagh and Fergus were discussing women. We can already see that Fergus is much more knowledgable than Murtagh in this regard and can see traces of the man we know he will become.

Poor Mary. The horror and disgust on her face when she looked at the cream on her hands was priceless. I didnít object to inserting the hanged-manís cream into the hospital scene as it made it natural for us to learn Monsieur Forezís profession in this way. I was pleased to see the use of the gold pin into the nerve plexus too. Itís important to me to see that Claire is still learning about medicine and the alternatives that are available in this era.

I also thought showing the sabotage of the carriage in that little vignette at the start of the show was clever. They didnít have to interrupt the flow of the narrative when the damage to the carriage became known. I thought it very effective and a good way to set up the audience to see that things in this episode were going to go awry for our heroes.

The dinner party. Jamie looked awesome. Claireís deep red gown was beautiful, reminding us of the red gown from Versailles without pulling the same focus. Heck, everyone looked totally fabulous! But what an uncomfortable bunch of yahoos to have at table. It was clearly a recipe for indigestion.

I canít say enough about the brilliance of the casting. Sandringham was again wonderful and a tad creepy, Charles callow, petulant, and haughty (that kiss on the hand!! Ewww!), Le Comte Saint-Germaine wonderfully aristocratic and subtly evil, Louise and her oblivious husband. Mary's father and her repulsive affianced. It worked. It all worked. It was a nice chance to see several important characters all at once, interacting in their own catty ways. It was beautiful, though the number of the dinner guests were rather skewed toward men. Since I watched it OnDemand I also saw the little ďinside the episodeĒ short afterward which explained the reason for thisóthe size of the table combined with the amount of space the ladiesí gowns require meant that they couldnít squeeze as many people into the scene as they might have liked. Regardless, it was a glittering horde and a feast for the eye. I really enjoyed the interaction between Claire and Saint-Germaine. There was so much said without words. Brilliant.

So, I donít have anything negative to say about this episode. I loved it.

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Replies:

[> Oops. Guess I forgot to include Claire's poisoning in the synopsis. It was an action-packed hour! -- Shads, 12:06:59 04/30/16 Sat

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[> You said everything I was thinking. I loved it. Cudos to Master Raymond and the foreshadowing of seeing Frank again. The interplay with the Comte and Claire about protection from the food was fabulous. Loved it! So tired of the Debbie Downers on other sites that nit pick the series to death. The book is the book, and the series is the series. I for one think Ron and all are doing a fabulous job! -- Lady Linda, 16:06:19 04/30/16 Sat

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[> The acting is superb. Sandringham, Mother Hildegqrd, Louise, our heroes - Claire, Jamie and Murtagh just totally nail it. What an ensemble. After all the new character introductions of last week, it was fun to get on with things, see some favorite scenes come to life. Of the newbies, Hildegard and Raymond are still my faves. Sooo good. -- Swarl, 18:42:55 04/30/16 Sat

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[> Spot on review Shads! Loved this episode. My only complaint, which is the same for every week is that it was too short! -- Chris, 21:57:36 04/30/16 Sat

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[> Fergus at the end feasting! A nod to the humor in the books and so Fergus! AND as I've been reading in reviews and was so obvious the lovemaking scene was a nod to the grotto at the end of Outlander from the lighting to the dialogue - and it worked here beautifully to give that ambiance! I'm s bit taken aback at Jaimie being healed so quickly by the thought that he can kill Jack Randall as Jaimie Fraser we know isn't a killer ... But we shall see how this plays out. Also I think most likely for edits that healing scene after Claire is poisoned is rushed...I'm poisoned BJR is dead- let's have a dinner party! Anyway the podcasts are up Ron is back from his Voyage...and has done great news for fans in podcast 204! -- BetsyG, 08:19:38 05/01/16 Sun

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[> [> I don't think Jamie is so much "healed" as he is seeing a reason to try to heal, to step out of his endless nightmare and begin to try to rebuild his life. It will be interesting to see the deleted scenes for this episode on the DVDs. It's a lot of material for a single episode, so I'm sure there are some great scenes that hit the cutting floor. -- Shads, 11:08:36 05/01/16 Sun

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[> I really enjoyed Episode 4. It was good to see Jamie and Claie on the road to reconcilliation - baby steps. I'm loving the Duke of Sandringham - he's so disgustingly slimey. Poor Mary!! -- Katiscotch, 20:09:32 05/01/16 Sun

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[> [> His slimed acting is so awesome. I watch his face and think of what is coming up for him. I can see him molding the character so that I what he does is true to who he is, gotta love such fine acting. I also love that Le Comte is not subtle in his evilness, but it is Samdringham who set his manservant on Claire and Mary thwt night. Terrific casting and I'm looking forward to the denouement for both these men. -- Swarl, 06:47:06 05/02/16 Mon

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[> I thought it was great.......watched it twice already, have to catch up on my podcast though. The first time I was watching in a hotel room on my sisters ipad, and other sister was in bed and was going to bed, but she stayed up just listening to it......and she says... that was a fast hour! LOL -- M&M, 18:13:03 05/02/16 Mon

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