**This is not a spoiler-free review of this episode. This is also a review from a non-reader and any comments revealing spoilers from the books will be deleted.**
JAMIE HAD SEX WITH A VIRGIN WHO GAVE BIRTH TO HIS FIRST SON.
But he had to save Lallybroch and protect his secret identity as a Jacobite traitor. God, I love this show.
Episode 304, “Of Lost Things”
Written by Toni Graphia, Directed by Brendan Maher
Welcome back Roger (Richard Rankin)! There’s something comforting about his gentle Scottish brogue. We’re back in Scotland 1968 as Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger do their best to establish Jamie’s timeline and whereabouts. Meanwhile, poor Fiona (Iona Claire) is so obviously in love with Roger, who obviously only has eyes for Brianna.
Claire, on the other hand, is conflicted. Balfe hasn’t had as much to do as Heughan this season, but when she is given a spotlight, she shines. I loved the moment where she sees his name on the Ardsmuir prison records.
“I found him,” she says softly, the musical leitmotif crescendoing like the hope in her heart.
Meanwhile, at the aptly named Helwater Estate, Lord Dunsany (Rupert Vansittart) has a few words of warning for our favorite Scottish prisoner. Jamie (Sam Heughan) is going by the name Alexander Mackenzie, and for a good reason. Dunsany warns him that his son was killed at Prestonpans and that his wife would have a hard time accepting that one of their groomsmen was a Jacobite.
“I’ve lost two children myself, my lord.” (Please tell me Jamie meets Brianna? Is a meeting sometime this season too much to ask for?) Lord Dunsany promises Jamie a small stipend with the caveat, “But you are a prisoner Mackenzie, mind you don’t you forget it.”
Brianna’s Scottish accent is ADORABLE. What’s even more adorable is how flustered Roger gets when she gently teases him about the fact that she thought Fiona was his girlfriend. I could see Roger falling in love with our ginger lass the moment she successfully started his car up again. Rankin and Skelton have a great natural chemistry that’s sweet to watch.
Meanwhile, Jamie wonders why his fellow groomsmen are drawing straws over who gets to take on a not-so-sweet task. His answer comes in the form of one of the Dunsany daughters, Lady Geneva (Hannah James).
Geneva is one of those women who wouldn’t get away with her attitude if she wasn’t entitled and beautiful. She certainly wouldn’t survive amongst Outlander fans after calling Jamie useless.
Our useless hero makes a snarky comment about Geneva needing a good kick in the rear. “The horse, or my sister?” Suddenly I love another character after only one sentence. While Geneva is the spicy barbecue sauce that leaves your tongue in pain, Lady Isobel (Tanya Reynolds) is the kinder, milder sister.
The honey barbecue sauce of Helwater Estate essentially.
Isobel confides in Jamie, telling him how she loves John Grey (David Berry). Heughan is as adorable as Rankin’s flustered Roger was earlier in the episode when he does his best to explain to Isobel with veiled language that Grey bats for the other team.
Speaking of characters that win me over in one sentence.
Dr. Joe Abernathy (Wil Johnson) calls Claire Lady Jane. The look on Claire’s face said it all. I don’t deserve you, you wonderful man. It’s nice to see her genuinely smile for one of the rare times this season so far.
If Geneva is spicy barbecue sauce, then the Earl of Ellesmere (James Cameron Stewart) is the plain white bread you consume to dull the heat. Lord Dunsany has betrothed Geneva to Ellesmere, and the poor girl valiantly hides her disgust as he kisses her hand.
“A mere fortnight until you’re mine.”
Girl, I don’t blame you for running to Jamie after that.
Hannah James could’ve easily portrayed Geneva as a straight out bitch (Geneva certainly has her moments), but the actress does a great job of showing you that underneath her overbearing exterior, Geneva is just an extremely vulnerable and naive teenager.
I half expected her to throw a fit when Jamie tossed her in the mud after she faked being thrown from her horse. When she started laughing, she sounded like a teenage girl with a crush on the handsome older senior in high school.
“I look forward to our next ride.”
I frequently get teased for being innocent but even I, dear readers, knew that was a double entendre with a capital E!
Speaking of people who want to ride Jamie….
Grey and Jamie are having a chess match in the woods (the sunlight filtering through the trees is GORGEOUS) when they have the most awkward run-in of all time with the Dunsany sisters who happen to be walking arm in arm with Lord Melton (Sam Hoare).
Poor Grey suddenly morphs into the guilty younger brother that knows he’s been caught taking liquor from their parents’ stash. (David Berry, you’re FABULOUS.)
Isobel and Geneva sing Jamie’s praises and wonder why Grey would ever let such a man out of his sight. Melton has the pitch-perfect response: “I wouldn’t have let him go. But I’m not my brother.”
Later Geneva boldly tells Jamie that since he has been married, he will know exactly what to do when he comes to her bed. Jamie’s response is that of any normal gentleman when a pretty woman invites them to do the horizontal tango.
I mean, I don’t blame Geneva for not wanting to have her first time be with someone like Ellesmere, but at the same time, the power dynamic between her and Jamie is so skewed that it’s a huge risk for him to reject her advances?
Positively desperate, Geneva resorts to breaking out copious amounts of blackmail.
The girl got Lord Melton drunk on a large quantity of port and found out that Alexander Mackenzie was Red Jamie, the notorious Jacobite prisoner. She threatens to out him to Daddy Dunsany and insinuates that her revelations could put Lallybroch under British sights once again as well.
Once again though, what’s great about this program is that even when one person’s actions are rather devious, you can understand their motivations. (Oh Tobias Menzies I miss you!)
She’s doomed to a life to with an old man who will expect her to perform her wifely duties. Can you blame her for wanting to experience intimacy at least once with a handsome man?
Jamie sneaks into her chambers late at night looking about as happy as a Democrat at a Donald Trump rally. Geneva shyly turns her head away, and I couldn’t help but be amused when Jamie tells her she can look at him. (Something Sam Heughan has probably never had to say to any woman ever.)
You can tell Jamie feels pity for her when she timidly says, “I don’t know what to do.”
“I want my first time to be with someone like you.”
I think any woman would die to lose their virginity to Jamie Fraser.
Geneva takes that a tad too literally.
Right after the act, Geneva tells Jamie, she loves him. Jamie is like; you are a child who blackmailed me into taking your virginity in what universe could that possibly qualify as love, except he says it more kindly.
“Love is…when you give your heart and soul to another, and they give theirs in return.”
Jamie didn’t give Geneva love, but he certainly did get her pregnant.
Meanwhile, sweet Fiona returns the pearls Jamie gave to Claire at their wedding. Claire had given them to Fiona’s gran when she had returned from the stones. Balfe continues to do an excellent job of portraying Claire’s internal conflict without saying a word.
Brianna excitedly interrupts Claire’s internal conflict by telling her that the National Archives of Scotland has the largest collection of ship manifests. What snaps our heroine out of her reverie is one word.
She hasn’t heard her daughter say that in a long time. Brianna and Roger continue to be adorable in front of the fireplace, where Bree confesses that she fears she’s going to lose her mother. Roger confesses that he’s afraid that once they complete their search, he’ll lose Bree.
Naturally, this is the moment Brianna boldly kisses Roger, and that’s it. Roger’s head over heels.
Poor Geneva. Ellesmere sure as hell knew that the son she gave birth to wasn’t his, and so does Isobel. She slaps the hell out of Jamie in tears after her sister passes away quickly after the child is born.
Jamie has much bigger fish to fry when he overhears the Earl yelling every sort of obscenity at Lord and Lady Dunsany. I won’t revamp everything he said here, but “soiled by another man’s cock” is a pretty poetic way of calling your dead wife a whore.
Ellesmere holds Jamie’s son at knifepoint, and Lord Dunsany draws his gun. Of course, as I’m yelling at Jamie to get the hell out of there he naturally steps in the middle and intervenes.
Dunsany lays down his gun, and Ellesmere lays down his sanity as he moves to kill the baby. Jamie kills him with one shot from Dunsany’s pistol. And all I could wonder was,
What will Claire THINK?
It turns out shooting nobility was in Jamie’s best interest. Isobel tells him they named the boy William or Willie for short. Lady Dunsany (Beth Goddard) reveals that she knows Jamie’s true identity and the Lord Ellesmere’s death was ruled a “misadventure.”
The Lady of Helwater offers to release Jamie from his parole. You can see Jamie tempted by the offer to return home to Lallybroch once more, but now he has someone else to live for. As William grows up, he starts to resemble his father, who Willie (Clark Butler) refers to as “Mack.”
Claire’s mind is made up by the time they realize at the National Archives of Scotland that the only ship manifests they have are from a hundred years before Jamie’s time. All I could think of was the fact that they could’ve found Jamie so much faster if they had Google!
Or just basic internet really.
I loved Claire’s rage at the fact that she and Brianna couldn’t sit at the bar with Roger without being stared at like monkeys in the zoo. “This is 1968; we have as much right to sit here as any man!” As much as I love the season so far, I really would like to see more on Claire’s timeline and her struggles and character growth in the time she spends apart from Jamie.
But seriously, what will she THINK of Willie? She’s going to find out. I know she is.
People at Helwater are certainly noticing the resemblance between Willie and the man he affectionately calls “Mack.” (A cuter form of Mac Dubh?)
Jamie’s incredulity at Grey’s betrothal to Isobel is hilarious.
“Married? To a woman?”
“I don’t think there are many alternatives?”
Jamie has decided to depart from Helwater and offers up his body to Grey in exchange for him caring for Willie.
The repartee these two have is charming. I love Grey’s reaction when Jamie takes his hand and assures him that Grey will always have his friendship. Just like Roger with Brianna, it’s clear Grey has already fallen hard for our hero.
Jamie leaves Willie with a parting gift, a wooden snake with Willie’s name carved into the back. I’m not confident that Willie will be able to keep his “stinking Papist” baptism as secret as Jamie believes.
Jamie finally departs from Helwater, and my heart shatters as his not so secret son chases after him desperately. I feel like Willie as I watch Claire and Brianna fly back to Boston.
No, don’t go.
If there are any Earls that would like to marry me in exchange for info about when Claire and Jamie reunite, I’ll meet you at the wedding chapel in an hour with a bottle of whisky. Any takers?
Well, until next time dear Outlander fans!
NEXT WEEK, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8TH AT 8 PM ET: EPISODE 305: “FREEDOM & WHISKY”
“As Brianna grapples with the life-changing revelations of the past summer, Claire must help her come to terms with the fact that she is truly her father’s daughter – her 18th century Highlander father. To complicate matters further, Roger brings news that forces Claire and Brianna to face an impossible choice.”
Photos and clips courtesy of Starz