In this edition of their weekly “Outlander” recap (watch above), Gold Derby editor Rob Licuria and contributing writer Amanda Spears revisit episode 7, “Faith,” directed by Metin Hüseyin and written by Toni Graphia. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage, while Jamie (Sam Heughan), arrested after a violent duel with arch-nemesis Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), is detained in the Bastille. Devastated after her sudden loss, Claire soldiers on, determined to do whatever it takes so that King Louie (Lionel Lingelser) will agree to pardon and release Jamie. Claire and Jamie decide to leave Paris to return to Scotland and continue their quest to change the course of history. In a tear-jerking final scene, they say farewell to their stillborn child Faith, who is laid to rest in a Parisian cemetery.
Both Licuria and Spears agree that this is perhaps the strongest episode of “Outlander” to date, and applaud the cast and crew for how the miscarriage storyline was handled. “This was the episode of the season,” declares Spears, with Licuria adding “it’s a subject that a lot of people deal with in their lives and I can imagine it would have been very difficult and challenging to bring that to the screen in a genuine way.”
Much of their discussion focused on Balfe and her stunning, award-worthy performance. “It was from start to finish her show,” Spears proclaims. “Two years ago, if we were under the old panel tape system [at the Emmys], and she was able to sneak in to the top six, she would go from sixth or seventh place to us seriously debating whether or not this episode could make her one of those surprise winners.”
Licuria agrees that Balfe is deserving of serious awards attention, but is hesitant. “The Emmys these days are more of a popularity contest,” he notes, adding “it’s really difficult to crack the Emmys.” The duo discuss the state of the Best Drama Actress race at the Emmys at length, noting that according to Gold Derby, Balfe currently sits in a competitive seventh place ahead of previous nominees Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) and Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”), as well as critics’ favorite Keri Russell (“The Americans”). Licuria opines, “Starz needs to work really hard to get the voters to pay attention to the show and hopefully they see this episode and realize that it is a no brainer; she does deserve a nomination.”
Licuria and Spears were also keen to recognize production designer Jon Gary Steele and the set decorators. Key scenes throughout the episode take place at Versailles, where Claire is embroiled in a lethal trial of villain Saint Germaine (Stanley Weber) in front of the foppish King Louie. “There’s no better looking show on television,” says Licuria, calling the sets “just breathtaking,” with Spears adding “if it is not nominated, then something is wrong.”
Licuria also gives special mention to leading man Heughan, who features only in the last few minutes of the episode, but leaves a lasting impression. “He’s so underestimated by many,” Licuria says. “He has this huge following of devout fans that love him. He’s a really dashing, good looking guy, but I also think he’s a really good actor and the two scenes at the end were great.”
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