The title gives us a lot to think about during this stunning and emotional episode. Literal faith in God. Faith as the name of Jamie and Claire’s lost baby. The ultimate faith they have in one another.
We open with quite a surprising flash forward to Claire and a red haired little girl leafing through a book with paintings of birds, it’s Boston in 1954. Perhaps this scene is to give us faith, to reinforce that Claire and Jamie have a child in the future.
We next see a disjointed timeline, which we imagine, is like Claire’s mental state at the time. Mother Hildegarde, Sister Anglique and doctors at L’Hopital des Anges attempt to save the lives of Claire and her unborn baby. We see an overview of the L’Hopital and then focus on Claire’s bed, where we see her awaken and she reaches down to feel her abdomen. She realises she is no longer pregnant and cries out for her baby. Mother Hildegarde comforts her and tells her that her baby is with the Angels. Claire becomes hysterical insisting it cannot be true. Next we see a fevered Claire laying almost motionless, with Mother Hildegarde telling Claire she has broken the law by naming her child to allow her to be buried in hallowed ground. Claire is so ill a Priest is called by Mother Hildegarde to prepare Claire’s soul. Claire asks for her husband and is told “there is no word”. Mother Hildegarde tells Bouton to stay by Claire’s side. As dark falls we see Claire shivering with fever, a hooded man arrives and Bouton growls at him. The hooded man is Master Raymond. He sends Bouton away and he proceeds to heal Claire. Master Raymond tells Claire why he calls her Madonna. He tells her they will meet again, and says she must have faith (again more faith), and calls Bouton back to her bedside.
Mother Hildegarde comes to Claire’s bedside and declares the fever is gone, “It is a miracle.” At this time Claire once more asks about Jamie, this time Mother Hildegarde tells Claire he has been arrested for duelling and is in the Bastille San Antoine, at the King’s pleasure, and that the English captain is still alive, but returned to England to recover from his severe injuries. A distressed Claire believes that revenge mattered more to Jamie than her or their child.
Weeks pass with Claire remaining unseen at L’Hopital until Fergus goes there in the carriage to bring her home. She appears shattered as she slowly steps down from the carriage, assisted by an attentive Fergus. The household staff, respectfully line Claire’s path to the front door, Suzette cries and Claire, finding it ever harder to keep her emotions in check, pauses in front of Magnus, she touches his chest, then his hand, bows to him and thanks him. It is very moving thing to see.
When asked about it, he says “it’s nothing”. Later that night, Claire opens the box containing the apostle spoons, she becomes angry and upset and kicks the box under the bed. Donning one of her (stunning) robes, in tears, she walks the hallways until she hears Fergus crying out in distress during a nightmare. She goes to him, he wakes and says it’s not just a dream and he does not want to tell her about it. She implores him to tell her what happened. So he does. Fergus feels responsible for all that ensued. Claire comforts him.
Armed with fresh insight into Jamie’s actions, Claire visits Mother Hildegarde to ask for a entree to arrange a private audience with the King to petition for Jamie’s release. Mother Hildegarde warns there may be a price to pay, the King may expect her “to lie with him”. Claire, slightly taken aback says that the sacrifice of her virtue will add to the list of things she has already lost in Paris.
We see a carriage approaching the Palace, then a sumptuously dressed Claire, being escorted through highly decorated corridors and rooms, into King Louis private chamber. King Louis welcomes her, saying he does not bite, and offer her a warm chocolate drink from New Spain and an orange from the his Orangerie, where he has over a thousand trees.
Claire explains her reason for seeing him and mentions that the Scot’s are quite fierce where questions of their honour are concerned. King Louis inspects both of Claire’s hands, looking at her rings, admiring her loyalty. As King Louis kisses Claire’s hand she looks uncomfortably towards the bed. The King asks Claire to grant him a favour, in return for his mercy.
King Louis strokes Claire’s face, “so pale, so fine, I can see why they call you La Dame Blanche” Claire is shocked at this reference. King Louis leads her away from the bed, into a corridor. Claire enters hesitantly, walking behind King Louis to a room with masked guards. The King asks “for the benefit of your skills”. Claire sees Monsieur Forez enter. Still uncertain of what the King needs, Claire asks and two men under guard are pushed into the room, they are the Comte St. Germain and Master Raymond. Both men stand indicted with charges of sorcery and the perversion of the search for knowledge and exploration into the arcane arts. They stand accused of plundering the knowledge of the ancient alchemists and employing the dark arts for their own agenda.
Claire discovers she is to be the judge of the men, the King says she is The White Lady, “a pure heart that cannot lie”.
The King brings out a snake to test the accused. Claire suggests an alternative, drinking a portion of poison potion (Sorry, I could not resist that bit), in the hope that such a test will give Master Raymond a chance. She asks that if the men survive the King should set them free. Master Raymond drinks from the vessel and doubles over in pain, however he recovers, stands and passes the cup back to Claire. The pendant, which was a gift from Master Raymond to Claire, immediately begins to turn from white to black indicating the presence of poison. The Comte stares at the pendant, unbelievingly, as the King insists Claire hand him the cup. St. Germain shows fear, shedding a tear. Resigned to the fact he is about to die he praises Master Raymond as an “evil bastard”, he drinks and dies. Monsieur Forez looks a little annoyed about losing a job.
When Claire asks for confirmation the King will honour her request he says there is still the matter of the payment. Gosh, I thought that little sideshow would have been payment enough. Taking her hand he walks her quickly back towards his bedchamber. King Loius exacts his payment from Claire, in a very brief encounter. When Claire leaves she picks up the orange and takes it with her.
Next we see the empty staircase in Jared’s house, then the figure of Jamie, slowly ascending the stairs. He is dirty and dishevelled after his weeks in the Bastille. Claire is stony faced at the top of the stairs. He is out of focus behind Claire as he says “I don’t even know if it was a boy or a girl”. His voice is husky with tiredness and emotion. As we focus on him we see his haunted eyes, bedraggled hair and beard. Claire is wearing black ribbons tied around both arms, looking fragile in her mourning clothes. Jamie kneels at her feet.
Claire tells him about Faith, we see flashback of Claire’s terrible distress back at the L’Hopital. We see Claire cradling baby Faith and singing to her. Claire is unable to give up her dead baby. Mother Hildegarde brings Louise to help Claire give up the child. Claire reluctantly gives baby Faith to Louise who passes the child to Mother Hildegarde. Claire breaks down sobbing.
Claire tells Jamie that she hated him, then she takes responsibility for her choices and her impossible request, absolving Jamie of blame. Jamie states ” I already forgave you long before today, for this and anything else you could ever do.” Claire then tells him there is something else – she slept with the King – “to buy your freedom”. Jamie concedes “You did it to save my life, just like I gave myself to Randall to save you.” Claire asks “How can we ever be the same?” Claire asks Jamie to bring her home to Scotland. There is one last thing to do before leaving, they go to Faith’s grave.