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Date Posted: 10:44:08 05/21/16 Sat
Author: Shadow
Subject: Episode 207 -- "Faith"

Written by Toni Graphia, Directed by Metin Hüseyin

Plot points covered--
Claire's miscarriage and the struggle to save her life.
Raymond's healing hands.
Claire's sorrowful fugue.
Fergus' revelation of the cause of the duel.
Claire requesting an audience with the king.
The Star Chamber trial.
Claire lies with the king, who grants a pardon to Jamie and arranges an English pardon to facilitate their return to Scotland.
Jamie and Claire discuss the duel, the miscarriage, and blame.



The writing did a good job of staying faithful to the books, given the constraints of time and the expeditious reorganization of the story to date. This episode winds up Jamie and Claire's time in Paris very effectively. No real surprises or major changes to the tale, save that Claire returns home to finish her recuperation rather than being carried off by Louise to her country house.

Caitriona Balfe gave an absolutely stunning performance and I am glad to have seen every second of it. The pacing was amazingly good, slow and almost dreamlike for most of the episode, the way a major psychological trauma can leave one feeling detached from reality--- not quite present as life goes on around you. I'm sitting here bereft of words, filled with Claire's sorrow and guilt. It was a beautiful episode and extremely well done. I think...I think I am going to have to watch it again before I comment further.

*****

Okay, I watched again and made some notes.

First off, the heron and significance of it in myth and symbol. I wasn't sure why they went with the opening scene with Claire and Brianna looking at the birds, but I was sure there was more there than appeared on the surface. I did some research. The heron is a symbol of solitude, grace, patience, calm, and determination. It is also a symbol of partnership, since heron pairs build their nest cooperatively, so they are simultaneously a symbol of marriage and of individuality. I'm impressed by the choice for this episode. It fully embodies Claire's journey in this episode.

Fergus' nightmare and telling Claire of the true events that precipitated the duel was excellent. Romann Berrux (Fergus) was wonderful. That child is a fine actor and will be something special as an adult.

I quite liked the king's commentary about Claire's rings, and was again very impressed with Cait. She has mastered the art of showing a wide range of emotion without saying a word. She has Claire's "glass face."

The Star Chamber is my favorite set so far this season. It was stunning-- very Golden Dawn. The ceiling of starlight with the rays shooting off in all directions took my breath, but the four-quartered balance of the room was simply amazing. I did find M. Forez' presence to be somewhat off. I was under the impression that the executioners of the period were never part of a judgement and were supposed to be somewhat anonymous, at least to the condemned which is the reason they were normally hooded for their duties.

Costuming was gorgeous, of course. I loved the Comte's silver brocade. I also feel it was a good choice to put Claire in blue rather than red as in the book. It put her in nice contrast to the king and the heated colors of the chamber. It also echoed both her "blue aura" and somber mood while still being utterly lovely. I didn't like the way they did the color change on the pendant to show the presence of poison. I felt it was too radical and would have preferred either a soft grey or gold rather than the oh so obvious black. I was deeply gratified to FINALLY hear Claire say JHRC again. I think it might be the first time we've heard that phrase all season! Stanley Weber was great. It was nice to hear him speaking English for a change, and masterfully at that. Awesome death scene and some truly brilliant camera work as well. I loved the overhead angle shots with the clearly drawn quarters and the corpse sprawled across the medallion on the floor.

Just a side note---I wish Claire/Cait would curtsey properly. It seems to me that a proper curtsey is made with a straight back, not as a bow. Another side note---who has been running Jared's business while Jamie's been in the Bastille? And where is Murtagh? How long does it take to sell a boatload of wine, anyway? But I digress...

Jamie's return, filthy and bearded. Appropriate, yes, but I have mixed feelings about the beard. On first sight I hated it, but I think I actually like it because it adds gravitas to his presence, which he needs in this scene. It ages him more than I expected.

The pacing of the reunion and Claire's story is perfect and heartbreaking. She is so very good in this episode. Her pain and grief are tear-your-heart-out REAL. When she was singing to the baby...it was devastating. As the storyteller she seethes with suppressed rage and sorrow, as the fevered mother holding her dead child she resonates with the manic and disbelieving grief of the newly bereaved. This episode clearly shows Cait to be a world-class actress, Toni Graphia a fine writer (though a lot of that dialogue was DG's and we already knew she was a genius), and Metin Hüseyin to be an excellent director.

Bear McCreary also deserves commendation for his wonderful score. The music throughout this episode is almost elegiac. The final scene, where Claire and Jamie visit Faith's grave reminds me of a Celtic kyrie eleison I have in my music collection. It is haunting and sweet and utterly beautiful in its simplicity.

I loved this episode.

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Replies:

[> Watched the episode and wow wow wow. The performances of all the cast we spot on, but Catriona's was spectacular. Shads, I was wondering, jsut like you, how the wine business managed to stay afloat what with all the goings on. Amazing episode. -- Kim G, 14:48:38 05/21/16 Sat

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[> I cannot agree more. This episode should win Cait every award available. She was stunning and brilliant. I don't even have words to describe what Bear's piano music did to my heart when she returns to the house. The entire episode will be watched 3 more times tonight, and the DH has been firmly instructed to stay away from 9 - 10 as I know more ugly crying will occur. -- Lady-Jane, 17:50:31 05/21/16 Sat

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[> I was glad they got Louise in at the end. Having her gently take Faith from Claire and Claire's collapse broke my heart. It was beautifully done and I haven't been able to keep from crying every time I see it. -- Shads, 20:04:33 05/21/16 Sat

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[> It was pretty amazing, the acting, how they worked the story for TV. Need a Master Raymond short story now! -- M&M, 11:34:23 05/22/16 Sun

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[> Awesome. All the way arnd. Each of the actors was at the top of their game. Sets, costumes. I loved the Comte's silver brocade. More elegant than the king. All the close-ups. How do y make yrself drink a fatal drink? Fantastic scene. And Jamie screwing up his courage to ask, "do you hate me?" All this around Cate's performance. Oh my. -- Swarl, 05:37:01 05/23/16 Mon

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[> I watched the episode 3x so far. My favorite scenes are Claire returning to the house and anything in the last 10-15 minutes. The piano music for Faith was haunting. I think I enjoyed this episode because alot of it came straight from the book and the scenes "felt right" which wasn't always the case for me. Caitriona was amazing. I loved the star chamber and the white stone turning black. I loved how she took the orange. She earned it...need to prevent scurvy you know. Also loved Fergus. I smile when I see Bouton. BJR you're still a bastard! -- CarolSR, 06:53:00 05/23/16 Mon

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[> The episode was amazing. Two questions for you guys...wasn't the dress green? (maybe my settings are off on my tv *g*) and in the books doesn't the stone have to be dipped in a liquid to detect poison? Obviously we wouldn't have had this scene and the Comte's expression...but I'm too lazy to look it up ;) -- Ceilidh, 09:55:56 05/24/16 Tue

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[> [> The dress is deep blue overlaid with a green brocade. If you study the screen caps you can clearly see it is both blue and greenAnd I think you're right about the stone. -- Shads, 10:01:04 05/24/16 Tue

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[> [> [> This has a decent photo of it. Blue and green gown -- Shads, 10:21:15 05/24/16 Tue

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