Episode 211: VENGEANCE IS MINE is a riveting and satisfying chapter in the story of Jamie and Claire. There’s an edge of peril throughout this episode – from the generals abandoning their Prince, to the shootout with the British and the subsequent standoff, up to Claire’s menacing clash with the Duke of Sandringham.
I must admit I expected to sense something different about this episode, being written by Diana Gabaldon. But I didn’t. I believe it’s a testament to the other writers on the show and to Diana’s ability to adapt. While no one knows the material, story and characters better than Diana, the additional contributions and talent augment the production to a different (not necessarily better) level. The fans praise and gush over the writing, directing, performances, sets and costumes every week. This episode deserves as much, no more and no less. I mean that with the greatest respect. During each episode certain story lines and/or performances stand out – my favorite this episode is Sandringham losing his head – but the entire series is held together by Diana’s original vision. I know I’m stating the obvious, but my point is there is no grandstanding in this episode. And that is a very good thing.
James Fraser in the hands of Diana Gabaldon produced some rather fierce faces. And being in danger through most of the episode, there was little time for tenderness. But Sam Heughan manages a grin and a sultry smile here and there.
For this episode, say hello to 20 of Jamie’s most intense looks and say goodbye to Simon Callow‘s Duke of Sandringham.
#20: Jamie’s Vengeance Is Bloody Sweet Face – Especially when Murtagh dishes it out – cold, wet and messy.
#19: Jamie’s The Prince Stole My Horse And Hit The Road? Face – Aw. Now who’s going to kiss the Prince’s pearly-white, entitled ass?
#18: Jamie’s Knows Best Face – As vigorously as Jamie is tracked down by the English, I’m beginning to think a woman is in charge.
#17: Jamie’s Not Quite In Cold Blood Face – Thank goodness dainty Mary Hawkins has the balls to finish this guy off.
#16: Jamie’s Hangman Or Headsman Face – Potāto. Potăto.
#15: Jamie’s Rest & Relaxation Face – I’m guessing no one is on watch duty at the moment?
#14: Jamie’s In The Shadows Face – And the English soldiers don’t check the church for stragglers and/or Scotland’s Most Wanted because . . . ?
#13: Jamie’s Stabbed In The Back And Voted Off The Island Face – And it wasn’t Dougal this time.
#12: Jamie’s Firm Scot Face – Just the way we like him . . . and you know I mean stubborn, right?
#11: Jamie’s Audacious Mordacious Face – Do these guys not realize they’re fighting for the kilt!?
#10: Jamie’s Last Man Kneeling Face – Ireland’s looking right good about now . . .
#9: Jamie’s Grand Escape Plan Face – Why does it always seem to involve throwing Claire under the horse and buggy?
#8: Jamie’s Sound Military Mind Face – And it’s not even his best feature.
#7: Jamie’s Prince’s Fighting Heart Face – Which is the only part of the Prince that actually ever fights.
#6: Jamie’s Prayer for Claire Face – I have only one question . . . does Jamie sleep in the buff no matter the season?
#5: Jamie’s Return to Inverness Face – The best vacation spot. Take a break from the war. Kick up your heels. Forget your troubles. Or . . . he could pack up the family and head for Dodge.
#4: Jamie’s Daft And Foolish Face – He had me at daft . . .
#3: Jamie’s A “Star Wars” Born Face – Tell me this man couldn’t take on the frickin’ Empire.
#2: Jamie’s Army Of One Face – Followed by legions . . .
#1: Jamie’s Cold As Ice Face – Only his feet, baby. Only his feet.