Outlander: Vengeance is Mine Review

The family that slays rapists together, stays together.

This Outlander review contains spoilers.

Outlander Season 2 Episode 11

As epic as last week’s Battle of Prestonpans was, I will always prefer these more intimate episodes of Outlander. And, by intimate, I mean the episodes that end with a found family killing a team of rapists together. Because, as we all know, the family that slays rapists together, stays together.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. In the wake of Prestonpans, the Jacobite army has made significant headway. They are only five days from London. Unfortunately, there are also three gigantic British armies somewhere between Jacobite camp and the capital city. Prince Charles and Jamie are enthusiastic about going forward and hoping for the best. Everyone else, understandably, isn’t. Even as we cheer for Jamie and Claire it’s hard to hold a grudge against the Jacobite commanders for what is, strategically, probably the right decision. One successful mud battle does not a victorious campaign make, you know?

This isn’t the only problem Team Fraser has. Wary of Jamie’s considerable influence over Prince Charles, the Jacobite commanders craft a plan to get Jamie and his men out of camp before he gives another “You have my sword!” pep talk and gets them all killed. Jamie, Claire, and the rest of the Lallybroch gang give a “good riddance” and make back for Scotland. They don’t get far before a band of British soldiers are upon them. Damn Redcoats.

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Though Team Fraser manages to get away, Rupert is shot in the escape (say what you will about Dougal MacKenzie, but that was some noble, Zorro-like rescuing of Rupert in this urgent, perfectly-paced escape scene) and Claire insists that they must find a place to stop and dig the bullet out if he wants to live. Given that we just lost Angus in a depserately tragic manner last episode, this is not an option.

The gang hunkers down in a seemingly abandoned church, but the British are actually pretty good at their jobs and soon find them, surrounding the structure and insisting the Scots surrender or they will set the entire building on fire, burning everyone inside. This understandably rattles the group enough to get Jamie to start talking surrender, but Claire has to one-up him with her own, better plan. That’s right: She’s pulling the Captured English Gentlewoman act again. (Hey, so far it has a 100 percent success rate.)

Dougal negotiates a deal: all of the men’s lives for Claire’s safety. They turn Claire over, and she is soon “safe” in the hands of the British army. They even deliver her into the hands of an old frenemy: the Duke of Sandringham. At first, it seems like fate has finally dealt Claire a good hand. The Duke claims that he, too, wants to escape from the British army camped out at his house. He helps Claire get a message to Jamie.

Soon, however, the Duke confesses his true nature: he never intended on helping Jamie and Claire. Rather, he hopes to catch Jamie as he tries to rescue his wife and hand them both over to the British army to prove his Loyalist spirit. Unfortunately, for him, he didn’t take into account the wild card that is Mary Hawkins.

Last time we saw young Mary, she was recovering from her rape in Paris and dealing with a broken heart, courtesy of one Alex Randall (with special assist from Claire). Now, she is staying with her godfather, the Duke, while she waits to be married off to some Loyalist merchant as part of the Duke’s efforts to prove his allegiances. Turns out: Mary has actually been learning from Claire’s fine example. First, she helps Claire warn Jamie that the rescue is a trap. Then, when she learns it was her godfather’s manservant who raped her, she takes her vengeance. A knife to the chest.

Murtagh, who is part of the rescue attempt, follows Mary’s example, chopping off the Duke’s head for good measure and delivering it to the feet of Claire and Mary — his promise of vengeance fulfilled. It is a bloody end to a humorous, yet nefarious character. I will be sad to see him go in a lot of ways — he was always a delight to watch on screen — but he has been sacrificed for a far nobler purpose: a victim’s vengeance.

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Say what you will about the bloody manner of Mary’s vengeance, but not enough TV shows let female victims get this kind of revenge — or any revenge, for that matter — for the all-too-frequent instances of sexual assault in film and TV. Sure, murder is bad, but violence tends to mean something else on-screen than it does in the real world, and I am 100 percent for Mary jabbing a dagger into her rapist’s chest. 

The episode ends with Jamie, Claire, Murtagh, and Mary slipping out into the Scottish night. No doubt this victory will be short-lived. After all, Claire has to end up back in the future before the end of the season with the Jacobite rebellion still failed. But, for now, we should enjoy the wins where we can get them. R.I.P., Duke of Sandringham. You were a hoot, but you also turned out to be pretty evil. 

Memorable Quotes

“Stop being such a hero.” — Dougal’s exasperated instructions to Jamie.

“Am I not Lady Broch Tuarach? Are these men not my responsibility, too?” — Claire

“We will find each other. Trust in that.” — Claire to Jamie

“Bring our lass back safe.” — Dougal to Jamie and Murtagh about Claire’s rescue

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“You could be hanged side-by-side. So romantic.” — The Duke of Sandringham

“I think we’d better go.” — Mary Hawkins, after the killing spree.


4.5 out of 5