In Barkskins Episode 2, the discovery in the woods causes big problems.
In Barkskins Episode 2, we begin to see the makings of a much bigger story. Hamish and Yvon’s discovery of Father Clape and the young girl is a catalyst for Lafarge to take violent action.
More light is shed on the massacre that opened the series in the premiere. Lafarge and Cooke orchestrated the French settlers to be slaughtered by the Iroquois and then killed the Indians when they were done using them to do their dirty work.
Neither man can afford to let that intel fall into the wrong hands. Hence why having potential witnesses is potentially damning.
Lafarge strikes out violently in Barkskins Episode 2
Yvon is instructed to keep watch over Clape while the girl is taken in by Mathilde, who instantly takes a shine to her. It isn’t hard to guess why the Geffards recently lost a daughter, and Mathilde is a maternal figure. She christens the girl as Renardette until they can find out where she came from.
Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse as the episode continues. Lafarge recruits his son Thom to lure Renardette out of the Geffard’s home, using his knife if need be. Then he goes for Father Clape, not expecting Yvon, who clocks him over the head.
Thom is more successful by comparison; he smokes out the tavern and appears to murder Francis Geffard. Then he climbs in through the window to Renardette’s room and tries to speak with her, coming face-to-face with Mathilde.
Panicked, Thom stabs the older woman multiple times in the stomach before making off with the girl. Luckily, Thom and Renardette stumble across Trepagny in the woods, who knocks Thom on his butt and tells the girl to run back home.
When we last see Mathilde, it appears she will survive with Hamish tending to her, but Francis is dead, and the girl is gone. Even worse, Lafarge is also missing, having escaped in the chaos. Yvon swore he was killed, but apparently not.
Speaking of Trepagny…
What was the Frenchman doing in the woods so late at night? Relishing in his delight at being granted a fille du roi, a.k.a. the King’s daughters. Trepagny will be gifted a wife from the many women we saw with Mother Sabrine in the premiere episode.
Trepagny is gleeful over this new development and gives thanks God for his service. But Mari is less enthused. She has an inkling of what Trepagny has planned and asks René for his assistance in confirming it by reading a letter she found.
If Trepagny is set to marry someone else, what will come of Mari? Based on the flirtation between her and René, it looks like she might not be left alone, after all.
The two spend a great deal of time together in Barkskins Episode 2 as Mari takes René to her secret lake spot hidden in the woods. They go skinnydipping together, and then Mari appears to vanish after submerging into the water.
René then finds a single red ribbon among the reeds surrounding the lake.
The King’s Daughters
In Barkskins Episode 2, Sabrine takes the women to visit Claudette, a former fille du roi who is married and has three children. Sabrine wants the girls to see how excellent their lives could be. Melissande is unimpressed with Claudette’s somewhat ramshackle home in the woods, well outside of the Wobik settlement borders.
Yet Mel finds a way to be helpful to Claudette in a way no one could have anticipated. She finds the woman hidden away and weeping, she warns Mel to be careful of the husband she marries as Claudette is deeply unhappy and pregnant with a fourth baby.
She fears she will die during the impending childbirth as she already came close during the third. Mel gives her a tip on how to abort the child by using cohosh leaves, which is a method of abortion where the woman chews the leaves to stimulate menstruation. It is still used today sometimes in an herbal tea, to varying results.
Claudette takes Mel’s advice and drifts into the lake, blood blossoms from between her legs, making it seem like the cohosh worked. Melissande watches her from nearby.
Charles Duquet gets himself into serious trouble
After making a run for it in the series premiere, Charles finds himself struggling to survive in the wilderness. He buries himself in the mud near an Indian settlement while searching for scraps of food.
They eventually find him and torment him, peeing on food before watching to see if he’ll eat it and putting a turtle shell on his head as an act of humiliation. Charles isn’t much better.
The instant he sees a white man, he lets his racism show, labeling the tribe as “savages” to which they respond by speaking in perfect English. The man laughs at Charles’s foolishness and leaves him with the Indians who take him as a captive. I’m guessing he’s regretting his decision to leave Trepagny’s now.
What did you think of Barkskins Episode 2? What do you think will happen to Mari? How will Charles get out of his current predicament? What will happen to Renardette? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
New episodes of Barkskins air Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic. Episodes are available for next-day viewing on Hulu.