We’re going to want to stretch a bit for this one. Perhaps some deep knee bends. A few jumping jacks. Then, we can all settle in and let our feeling for Black Jack flow. Even from the preview, I knew that something like this was likely:
Wow, the smugness and entitlement of the Redcoats is rather hard to take, isn’t it? Less than four minutes into the episode, I found myself wanting to kick things. Like, many things. The introductory scene of the British commander certainly didn’t seem to help my mood, either. He’s priggish, oily, vaguely pervy, and dismissive. That’s quite an achievement for such a small scene, but John Heffernan pulls it off with ease.
And then Black Jack showed up.
The claustrophobic feel of an English officer’s dinner went from awkward, to convivial, to toxic. The only new ingredient was Captain Randall, whose malignant presence made every measured gesture into something dangerous. Tobias is growing into his role, just as Black Jack is swiftly morphing into much more than a sadist. He’s a psychopath. The ensuing– and I use this term loosely —medical scene is yet another of those moments where the collected prayer Thank God I Don’t Live In The 18th Century was lofted heavenward by millions of people. Let’s just say it was an uncomfortable scene and leave it at that, because how much more violent can this episode get, right? Surely our level of discomfort can’t get any greater, because that simply doesn’t add up.
So. . . .things go from bad to worse. Claire learns, too late, that everything she says is being examined for an advantage to the Crown, and by Crown I mean Black Jack and his toybox full of crazy. His retelling of scourging Jamie is like watching a wine tasting. He rolls each syllable on his tongue, and yes, it’s worse than we could have imagined. Therefore, may I present:
Umm. . . kudos to the show, I guess? What a ghastly scene. But, hey, Captain Randall reveals, at last, a core of humanity within his shriveled heart. Claire has reached him! There is hope!
And then– Oh. So Captain Randall isn’t the devil. He’s worse. To quote Claire, “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!”
Dougal then hits warp drive to Jamie town for you ladies. His simple solution– a wedding– is delivered on the banks of a Liar’s Spring, which science reveals to be sulfur,not the fumes of hell. If that were true, then every other home in Central New York would be sitting atop the gates of hell. (Trust me, my neighbors washed their hair in that water. It was. . .aromatic, but fortunately, the Aquanet drowned out the sulfur). Nonetheless, the die is cast, and Claire is in need of a wedding. Well, well, well.*
During the brief encounter between Claire and Jamie, the collective gasp of women the world o’er collapsed thousands of draperies, caused several car accidents, and altered the orbit of the moon. Slightly. Claire’s thoughts were transparent.
But wait! Claire grabs the bottle of hooch, strides purposefully into camera, and everyone girds their loins for THE WEDDING. Now, I hate to name drop, but I called Diana and asked her if she could confirm something I suspected about the incipient in flagrante delicto between Jamie and Claire.
She mentioned a restraining order, so I was forced to turn to other sources, but let me just say, for the benefit of all the women who have wondered for so long. . . .
Annnd, we’re done for this week!
*That’s really me. Personal ad pic from 2001. True story.
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