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Outlander: Season 2, Episode 5 - "Untimely Resurrection"

Alyssa Rasmus

The return of Jack Randall reopens the breach between Jamie and Claire… and the future.


Airtime: Saturdays, 9pm
Cast: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Duncan Lacroix, Grant O'Rourke
Subtitle: Season 2, Episode 5 - "Untimely Resurrection"
Network: Starz
Air date: 2016-05-07

Ghosts are real. Jamie (Sam Heughan) has been haunted for months by a ghost that's decided to take up permanent residence in his head. For months, he's spent time in his dreams trying to combat the presence of a man who scarred him, and only recently has he started to win. Learning that his ghost is in fact still a living, breathing person offered him the chance to take him down in glorious fashion.

Following their climatically terrible dinner party and numerous arrests, including of Jamie, he returns from the Bastille to a waiting Claire (Caitriona Balfe). As much time as they have spent apart in their lives together, Claire has gotten used to having Jamie close by. When uncertainties make her doubt when he'll return home, she begins to get nervous. Alas, a night of waiting is all it takes, although Jamie quickly explains that Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz) was still in prison and has been let go from the Duke of Sandringham's (Simon Callow) service.

Claire's slowly becoming an expert on rape recovery. She doesn't always know what to say or how exactly she can help someone heal, but she knows how to listen. As a nurse, she understands that the best step to take for a patient is to listen and attempt to understand to help them reconcile. Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) looks like a shell of her former self. At first meeting, Mary was a shy, meek juvenile. After the attack, as she says, "I’m a different person now." Mary articulates the details of the attack in order to prove Alex's innocence. While proving his innocence won't return her own, she still believes whole-heartedly that she'll marry Alex and begin to repair her life with him. Claire runs into a very personal road bump as a result.

Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), Claire's 1940's husband, has ancestral ties to Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) and Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day), not Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz). It's remarkable how Claire can remember the smallest of details of Frank's history, particularly when she didn’t seem all that interested in his research (from what we saw in season one). Mary's letter would free Alex and offer them the chance to marry, but Claire needs to protect Frank. She decides to give the letter to the Bastille to free Alex, but confronts him about his future with Mary. Because he needs to find a job and may have to leave Paris, Claire explained this life was not one Mary deserves. Alex agrees, but is heartbroken.

Claire too has been living with a ghost: she's been absentmindedly carrying around the ghost of her other life. While she’s become accustomed to her life with Jamie and the complexities of her endeavors, she still insists that Frank stay alive to her. She's curious if fate will take a hand in guaranteeing Frank's existence, and meddles just enough to satisfy her need to interfere in order to keep her ghost of Frank sitting on her shoulder.

Later, Jamie feels the need to reconnect with the Duke of Sandringham by helping him pick a good horse at a sale at Versailles. Claire is on the grounds as well. Annalise (Margaux Chatelier) seeks out Claire, and starts to push a few of Claire's buttons by giving her some details about her former relationship with Jamie, finally point out a man staring at her as the two walk through the gardens of Versailles. She freezes when she realizes who it is: the untimely resurrected Black Jack Randall.

Annalise runs off to find Jamie, despite Claire's objections, leaving her alone with Randall. He's still threatening and controlling, and when Jamie arrives, the two men talk on cordial terms in the presence of the king as to not make any one suspicious of the burning angry and aggression growing underneath the conversation. The King does make a brilliant fool of Jack Randall, who was at the French Court to persuade the King to support his brother and help Alex find employment. Watching their haunting and dangerous ghost morph back into flesh and bone in a moment of embarrassment for Randall is a symbol of his lack of control on Claire and Jamie. Others still have power over Randall, and he doesn’t have much power over Jamie anymore.

It isn’t enough for Jamie, however, and the two agree on an outlawed duel as the best decision. A fight to the death. Jamie wants to watch him die and manage it himself if he can, fighting his demons while conquering the man himself: a winning combination. Except for Frank. The long-lost husband and the future relative. Leave it to Claire to bring him up at the worst time. Jack Randall and Mary Hawkins are supposed to have a child that would become an ancestor to Frank Randall. Without this pairing, the future may be changed permanently, and Frank would cease to exist. Jamie and Claire find themselves at literal opposite ends of the room as they argue. The figurative space between them they have worked on filling empties again when Claire asks for the life of Frank in return for her saving Jamie’s life multiple times over the last year.

Jamie, rightfully, does not know how to process what she's asking. Is it too much? Claire feels he’s in her debt and that’s how they claim to settle it. A debt repaid. Yet, Frank's life still hangs in the balance. Claire's still haunted; the ghost of her past life still lingers thick in the air between she and Jamie. Only time will tell if this ghost will leave them as well or if she will forever be haunted by the ghost of her other husband.


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