Welcome to the round table for Outlander Season 2 Episode 5! The discussion this week covers Claire's attempts to meddle with the timeline and the return of Black Jack Randall.
TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Amanda Steinmetz and Lisa Babick share their thoughts, and we'd love for you to join them by sharing yours in the comments below or on social media!
Do you think Claire might be getting a little off track when it comes to manipulating time? Why or why not?
Stacy: Yes, she is basically trying to "pick and choose" what gets changed and what doesn't, and I don't think it works that way. She's trying to manipulate everything when she should be focused on the one true goal of stopping Culloden.
Amanda: I completely agree with Stacy. Claire is playing a dangerous game by choosing what gets changed and what stays the same. Regardless of what she thinks she has control over, Claire can't control the ripple effects of her influence.
Lisa: Yes. She's a walking conflict. She's trying to protect Jamie, but also trying to protect Frank. She can't have it both ways.She needs to chill out a bit and let fate do what it needs to do.
What did you think of Black Jack's return?
Stacy: That was a fantastic scene. I liked that they had Claire run into him first before having Jamie appear. I was glad Jamie was able to restrain himself, but you could see the effort it took him.
Amanda: The entire scene was brilliant and tense. I wasn't sure how Jamie was going to react, but he held himself together and didn't allow Black Jack to see just how much he physically and mentally tortured him.
Lisa: I loved how it was done, though I'm wondering what Annalise's purpose was taking Claire into the garden. The look on Claire's face when she saw Black Jack walking towards them was priceless.
How would you rate St. Germain in correlation to Black Jack?
Stacy: So far, Black Jack is definitely worse. We're basically dealing with a sophisticated, passive-aggressive political manipulator vs. a sadistic psychopath.
Amanda: Definitely Black Jack. He's psychotic, sadistic, and uses what power he has to take control of what he wants.
Lisa: Oooh. Thats a tough one. I like them both as far as bad guy material goes, but Black Jack has more panache. He's grittier. St. Germain is kind of a hidden villain, and I guess that makes him more dangerous, but Black Jack is still tops.
What did you think of Claire asking Alex to step aside and not marry Mary?
Stacy: I had a hard time with that. While I can understand her wanting to ensure Frank's existence, it's hard to stomach condemning that nice girl to a marriage with Black Jack. Alex may not be long for this world, but I don't think Claire should be denying them happiness for the amount of time they could have it.
Amanda: Claire was definitely in the wrong. If time exists in circle, then wouldn't Alex and Mary have always been interested in one another? Also, perhaps we will discover that Frank's existence in entirely dependent on Alex and Mary being together. Just because the family tree says Mary and Black Jack had a child doesn't mean the baby was really his.
Lisa: Ugh. Why does she keep interfering? It's getting aggravating. She can't control everything. Obviously, Mary is going to marry Black Jack at some point, Frank's family tree says it's so, so why can't she just leave it alone and let Alex and Mary enjoy each other while Alex is still alive? He's sick. He's not going to last long.
What did you think of Claire asking Jamie to wait a year to kill Black Jack?
Stacy: That was heart-wrenching. Again, I understand that Claire feels the need to "save" Frank, but what she's asking Jamie to do is going to put a huge strain on their relationship. If she's so set on it, she should make an effort to get Black Jack and Mary together sooner. She's all about manipulating everything anyway.
Amanda: It wasn't fair for Claire to do that to Jamie after everything he's been through. This isn't going to be good for their relationship at all, but I understand why Claire thought she needed to pull the "you owe me" card.
Lisa: She's out of her mind. If I was Jamie, I'd be angry too. If she doesn't watch it, she's going to lose both the men she loves.
What was the most memorable moment of the episode?
Stacy: Probably the scene at the French Court. We knew Black Jack would be back eventually, and that reunion was just so uncomfortable but so well done.
Amanda: Definitely Claire and Jamie coming face to face with Black Jack again. For me, these last few episodes have been sort of dragging, so I finally feel like we're heading somewhere.
Lisa: When King Louie demanded Black Jack kneel before him. It was so absurd and demeaning and amusing all at the same time. I absolutely love Tobias Menzies. He may be a nasty, evil bad guy, but he's sexy as hell.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.