Outlander Season 2, Episode 7: Caitriona Balfe shines in most heartbreaking episode

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

There have been sad episodes in Outlander, but none as heartbreaking as Season 2, Episode 7, Faith.

Just recently, I was reminded of a message that went around a few years ago that links to “Faith.” While a child without parents is called an orphan and a man/woman who loses their spouse is called a widower/widow, there’s no name given to a parent who loses a child. And that’s because it’s something that shouldn’t happen. No parent should outlive their child, but it happens and it’s still heartbreaking.

Trying to get that emotion right when you’ve never been through the loss is difficult for an actor. Caitriona Balfe showed off exactly why she is Emmy-worthy with her one single performance in this episode. She captured everything that it is to lose a child, especially when everything in your life has been completely turned upside down.

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A brief look at the future

After the cliffhanger ending, Outlander Season 2, Episode 7 opened with a quick look at 1954. The showrunners did their best at reminding us that there is a child in the future. It’s just not going to be the one born in the 18th century. We get a beautiful moment between mother and daughter, setting up the things to come.

Back in the 18th century, Monsieur Forez and Mother Hildegarde are looking after Claire, who is woozy and ill from the birth of her stillborn daughter. When Claire wakes to find no baby bump, she starts screaming for her baby. It’s up to Mother Hildegarde to break the devastating news that the baby was born dead. But Mother Hildegarde did baptize the baby, despite it being illegal, and named her Faith, allowing for the baby to be buried in hallowed ground. It’s a beautiful moment that shows how much Mother Hildegard and Claire meant to each other. This was a friendship I was sad to see go once Claire left France.

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Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels! /

Claire does get time with her daughter and just cuddles and stares at her. Just writing about it reminds me of the raw emotion; the sadness and despair at the loss of a child.

And it’s not over for Claire. Her body is suffering from infection and Claire knows that she’s dying of childbed fever, an illness that took the lives of far too many women in the past. Some of these women included Henry VIII’s wives Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr (the latter was after Henry VIII’s own death).

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

As Mother Hildegarde prepares for the worst, Master Raymond appears and uses his healing powers to take away the infection. When Claire mentions she sees blue wings, Master Raymond is happy. Blue means healing and the wings mean the pain and infection will be carried away. Master Raymond finishes and tells Claire to call out for Jamie, which she does. It’s a strange moment, but a sign of more to come throughout the Outlander tale (and not just Season 2).

Claire returns to Jared’s home

While recovering in the hospital, Claire learns that Jamie has been locked in the Bastille for duelling. What about Black Jack? Well, he’s not dead. Claire is relieved for Frank’s sake but angry at Jamie. It’s only after she returns home that she finally learns from Fergus what happened that day in the brothel. She learns that Jamie learned about Black Jack raping Fergus and couldn’t control himself.

Claire now decides that she needs to get Jamie out of the Bastille, but will need Mother Hildegarde’s help for that. Conveniently, Mother Hildegarde is Godmother to the king, which helps Claire get an audience. Of course, Mother Hildegarde knows the king well, and knows that it will likely mean sex as payment to release Jamie.

"“If it comes to sacrificing my virtue, I’ll add it to the list of things I’ve already lost in Paris.”"

Claire’s words continue the heartbreaking moments throughout the episode. Everything she thought she would have has gone. Her husband broke his promise, there was the fear of losing Frank in the future and now she’s lost her child. There’s nothing more that really matters to her.

Claire gets Jamie out of prison

Sure enough, the king does want Claire to do a favor for a favor, but it’s not sex right now. He has captured Master Raymond and the Comte and wants to figure out which one of these should be charged with sorcery and witchcraft. Of course, as La Dame Blanche, Claire should know since she can see into the hearts of men to see if they’re lying about their identities.

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

It would be the perfect time for Claire to remove her rival, the Comte, but she’s too sweet and kind for that. She also doesn’t want to handle a snake to follow Biblical lore, since that would be foolish and likely turn against her! Rather than choosing one, Claire comes up with an idea after the Comte refuses to admit to the rape of Mary Hawkins but does admit to the poisoning attempt on Claire. She’ll make a poison for both men to drink and whoever survives will be released—that means both can be released if they both survive.

Claire makes the poison with Master Raymond’s things that are at the side and gives it to Master Raymond to drive first. While he coughs and heaves, he doesn’t die and so the cup can be passed to Master Raymond. Just as Claire takes it, the necklace she wears to detect poison turns black. Master Raymond put real poison in the cup and now it’s Master Raymond’s turn to drink. Of course, neither of them want him to drink it, but he must and he dies on the spot.

Master Raymond is released and now it’s time for another favor. Yes, Louis wants to have sex with Claire. It’s over extremely quickly but it works. Jamie’s pardon will be arranged and he can return to Scotland.

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Jamie returns to Claire

Finally, Jamie and Claire are reunited but it’s not an easy or happy reunion. Jamie clearly knows that his daughter has been lost and feared that he had lost Claire too. Meanwhile, Claire is still somewhat angry at everything that had happened. But she’s not angry at Jamie; more at herself for everything she asked him to do.

In the end, it’s time for the two to return to Scotland, but there’s one thing they need to do first. They stop at Faith’s grave, giving Jamie the chance to place one of the apostle Christening spoons on her headstone and for the two to say goodbye.

Next: Outlander Season 2, Episode 7 recap: Faith

What were your feelings throughout the episode? What did you think about Balfe’s acting throughout the episode? Share in the comments below.

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