Outlander, Ep 3×04, “Of Things Lost” aired on Oct 1, 2017
Four episodes in and the show is expertly (mostly) blazing through almost twenty years of plot and separation. Last week, we saw watched Claire triumph in her professional and continue to struggle somewhat in her personal. When she finally appeared ready to have some kind of relationship with Frank, he’d already moved on. He hated the idea that he would always come in second place to Jamie’s ghost. After one helluva final confrontation between the emotionally estranged couple, Frank dies in a car accident. As much as I couldn’t stand Jack Randall and wanted to feel the same about Frank, I will absolutely miss Tobias Menzies. Perhaps this won’t be the last we see of the actor.
This week’s episode, “Of Things Lost” bounced back and forth between Claire’s “present” day search for clues of Jamie’s life post-Culloden and Jamie’s time at Helwater. After the other Scot’s were released from Ardsmuir Prison and transported to the New World (Murtagh!!!) in 1756, Jamie became “Alexander Mackenzie”, a groomsman for the Dunsany family. Lord Dunsany knows who Jamie is, but promises to keep the truth underwraps as long as Jamie doesn’t forget that he remains a prisoner. Dunsany keeps his word, but his spoiled daughter Geneva develops a crush on Helwater’s new groomsman
You know the schoolyard bully who picks on someone and shoves them around because they like the other person? Yea, that’s Geneva. She grows suspicious about Jamie’s connection to John Grey, and gets his brother Lord Melton drunk when they visit Helwater. Once she finds out Jamie’s true identity, she uses the leverage to get Jamie to sleep with her. I was prepared not to like Geneva, but blackmailing Jamie with a return to prison and worse threatening his family back at Lallybroch made my dislike of this character a sure thing. I never even thought of Claire. Jamie is pretty much free to fall in love with or hook up with whomever he wants at this point. Geneva’s coercion took me back to that ugly place that was Wentworth Prison and Jamie’s time with Black Jack Randall.
That feeling was fleeting as it became more than apparent that Jamie wasn’t equating this situation to his brutal rape. He was actually tender with Geneva. He even let the girl down gently when she professed her post-coital love. Geneva goes on to marry Lord Ellesmere, but apparently, never beds the old man. This becomes problematic for Geneva when her night with Jamie results in an unexpected pregnancy. She doesn’t look in the least worried the next time Jamie sees her and her rounded belly. Perhaps she was arrogant enough to believe that she could somehow maneuver into fooling elderly Ellesmere into thinking the baby was his. Too bad that she hemorrhages and bleeds out after giving birth.
The entire Dunsany family look on in horror when Lord Ellesmere threatens to kill the newborn baby that can’t possibly be his offspring. Jamie manages to rescue the baby before he can be hurt. Despite the way he was conceived, it’s a beautiful moment when Jamie finally gets to hold one of his children. The moment is fleeting but sweet. Lord Ellesmere is dead and Jamie is offered a pardon by Lady Dunsany. She knows that Jamie is a Scot and tells him that they are forever in his debt. Jamie tells her that as much as he wants his freedom, he would prefer to remain at Helwater for now. He tells her that he’s been sending money back home.
Jamie remains at Helwater for years continuing on as groomsman and he’s allowed to spend quite a lot of time with young Willie who clearly adores his “friend”, Mac. For the first time since losing Claire, Jamie finally seems to have found some peace and happiness. He lost time with Brianna and never held Faith, but he was able to be there for young Willie by some measure. Of course, this couldn’t last. As the boy grew, more and more people noted his resemblance to Jamie. John Grey tells Jamie that he’s known for a while. As much as it pains him, Jamie knows that the time has come for him to leave. He has nothing to offer his son who is the young Lord Ellesmere.
Our second indecent proposal of the night, Jamie offers himself in exchange for a promise from John Grey that he will look after Willie once Jamie has gone. John Grey makes clear that he does have feelings for Jamie, but Jamie’s “sacrifice” isn’t needed. Grey plans to marry Geneva’s sister, Isobel. He promises that Willie will be taken care of. It’s still heartwrenching watching Jamie lose yet another child.
In 1968, Claire is on her own rollercoaster of emotions. After discovering that Jamie did survive Culloden, Claire works with Brianna and Roger to scour every record they can find to discover where Jamie ended up. They find records from Ardsmuir Prison. I was hoping she’d see Murtagh’s name there or even later when they were searching ship manifests. Of course, the only records on hand are 100 years too early. Claire becomes discouraged and decides that it is time to go home to Boston. I know this isn’t the easiest, but I was surprised to see her giving up at this point. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t want to leave Bree behind or perhaps she’s afraid of what she might find if she keeps digging. If it wasn’t Culloden, is there no trace of Jamie now because something else took him away from her. Or maybe he found love with someone else.
Ultimately, despite the fact that Claire and Bree pack up and take off for Boston, this definitely isn’t the end. In fact, this episode marked the beginning of another relationship. They’ve been dancing around their attraction since first meeting last season, but Bree and Roger share a kiss before she leaves. It is a certainty that Claire will be back to look for her Scot and Bree’s relationship is just starting. It’s just a matter and question of when.
What did you think of ep 3×04, “Of Lost Things” and how great was it when Claire received those pearls? What did you think of Geneva? Did you sympathize with her as a young woman looking to take her own destiny into her own hands or was her blackmailing Jamie a bridge too far? How sweet was Jamie giving Willie a Papist name? Hit the comments with your favorite moment.
Outlander airs on Sundays at 8/7c on STARZ
Photo Credit: STARZ/Outlander