The penultimate episode of Outlander's second season tied up the last major loose end before the Scottish Jacobite rebellion reaches Culloden Moore: the marriage of Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).
The reemergence of the show's darkest villain should make everyone shudder, but it's Claire (Caitriona Balfe) who took the most deplorable route in this episode. Claire has worked tirelessly throughout the season to make sure that Frank's existence in the 20th century remains preserved. Yet when she was given the chance to make sure Frank's ancestral line stayed in tact and save Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) from a life of being tortured, she allowed her young friend to wind up in the arms of the most evil man either of them have ever known.
The top of the hour revealed that Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz) and Mary Hawkins reunited after Mary escaped from the Duke of Sandringham. The two are already expecting a child, but it has become apparent that Alex won't live long enough to see the baby born. Thus, he proposes that Mary marry his brother Black Jack Randall to ensure that she'll have a secure and prosperous life after Alex's death. Claire agrees it's the best plan.
Claire didn't have to agree, though. Seeing as Mary is already pregnant with Frank's ancestor, she could marry Alex in his final hours to have the name Randall and carry on the line. Murtagh (Dunan Lacroix) also volunteers to marry her if it'll save her from a life with Black Jack, but Claire pushes forward with the idea that marrying Black Jack is the only way for Mary to have a good life.
Black Jack is the first to affirm that a "good" life is the last thing that Mary would have if she married him. It seems even he is aware of the monster he is. He reminds Claire of the horrifying things he did to Jamie (Sam Heughan) when Jamie was a prisoner at Wentworth Prison and rubs in the salt that he doesn't regret it at all. Feel gross, yet? Imagine young and innocent Mary Hawkins having to share his bed. Claire had the power to convince Mary and Alex to marry each other, but she chose to push Mary towards Black Jack anyway.
There is one small sliver of hope — Black Jack Randall is set to die on April 16, 1748, which is only a few days after the wedding. If Black Jack dies at the Battle of Culloden as he's supposed to, then Mary will inherit his military pension without having to endure his sadistic tendencies. That's what Claire is hoping for, and so are we, or else it's going to be very hard to sleep at night.
There's only one more episode to find out how the battle — and the end of the Jacobite rebellion — will play out.
Outlander airs Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz.