We celebrated Outlander’s leading lady, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, before season 2 - looking back on all of our favorite season 1 moments. With season 3 upon us, let us recall even more moments where we appreciated this English Scotch Time Traveler Healer’s badassery.
Season 2 took us away from the Scottish countryside and into the elegant gowns and scheming politics of France, as Claire and Jamie attempted to stop Charles Stuart from igniting his rebellion. That still gave Claire plenty of opportunities to lay her badassery at her enemies’ feet...this time in French.
This whole interchange is an art in nonverbal comedy. Between Jamie’s discomfort, Murtagh’s utter understanding that Claire will not take any shit, the other ladies looking expectantly for some response, and Claire communicating her feelings simply by expression, it’s an amazingly funny highlight in an already lighthearted episode. (Thank the gods for that.)
And let’s not forget that she is doing all of this in that STUNNING red dress she helped design.
Claire still finds a way to be a healer, even amidst stopping a war, spying and politicking, protecting Frank’s lineage, and being pregnant. When you have a calling, you have a calling.
Le Comte Saint Germain, everyone’s favorite grudge-holding debonair French aristocrat, slips some “poison” into Claire’s drink. Fortunately, Master Raymond’s supply of “poison” is usually just bitter cascara - enough to make the drinker ill for some time, but then make a miraculous recovery. Still, it’s a victory to wipe the smugness off of Le Comte’s face no matter how.
Black Jack is the worst. Literally the worst. And he is very not dead, inconveniently. When he pops up at Versailles and wants to laud his “victory” in front of Claire and Jamie, Claire is not having any of it. Fortunately, King Louis stops by to give Black Jack the requisite French-English humiliation, much to Jamie and Claire’s satisfaction. But not before Claire spits venom at him. It’s no “sadistic piece of shit!” but look, the French court is a little more public than a dank dungeon from which you think you won’t escape.
It nearly breaks her heart, and Jamie’s, but Claire asks for Jamie to withhold his vengeance for Wentworth for 1 year, so that Black Jack and Mary Hawkins can have a baby and guarantee Frank’s existence in the 20th century. However misguided Claire’s attempt (as we see later), her obstinacy in the face of Jamie’s heartbreak is evidence of a strong will.
Claire has just lost her baby. Jamie is imprisoned. Despite everything, she attempts to free him by currying favor with the king. During their meeting, however, Louis does not lead her to his bed, but rather an interior chamber meant to house “magic” workings. Here, Claire’s reputation as La Dame Blanche has real consequences - the king asks her to judge Master Raymond and Le Comte Saint Germain. Master Raymond sneakily stacks the deck against Saint Germain, such that he must knowingly drink poison and die in front of Claire, Raymond, and the king. While Claire is not responsible for the poison itself, I think she takes a small amount of pleasure in finally declaring victory over Le Comte. And she navigates this tricky situation with aplomb.
(Stanley Weber is a wonder, particularly in Le Comte’s final moments. In my searches I randomly found a romcom starring him and Karen Gillan, Not Another Happy Ending. It’s a little uneven and predictable, but still charming, and I recommend it.)
I mean, let’s face it. This is the crux of the whole season - that Claire had to leave Jamie, who was facing certain death, to protect the child they made. Meaning despite all of their efforts, the inertia of history still rolled through the Scottish Highlands, defeated them, and split up our powerhouse couple by 200 years.
Frasers can be stubborn...and spirited...and willful. Let’s face it, raising Brianna would have been an adventure either way. But raising her in the ‘60s, with a strained relationship with a husband you had all but abandoned, with constant reminders of your lost love, had to have been difficult. Claire gets points for turning Brianna into a smart, strong young woman over the last 20 years. Especially while she was clearly living half a life - I’ve written before about how cleverly Caitriona Balfe shows us just how withheld and subdued Claire has been in the 20th century without Jamie.
Can’t wait for the season premier on September 10th! Excitingggg! I’ve said it before...Voyager is one of my favorite books of the series and I can’t wait to see how they adapt it. (They’ve already hinted at the print shop scene, eeeee!)
Thanks for reading! Tell me what other BAMF moments I may have missed from last season in the comments, and what you’re most looking forward to in the new season.