I said it once (or twice...or more), and I will repeat it. I LOVE the books and I highly....HIGHLY recommend that if you just watch the show, you really need to read the books, because you are missing out on A LOT. Also, I said it before, that they really should have fought NOT to do a book a season, but who the hell am I to say anything?
So here we are, in the 5th episode of Outlander's 13 eps for Season 3. Jamie and Claire are NOT together yet. "Come on already! We need the reunion NOW!" fans worldwide scream at their screens. Well..we got the start of it at least. I found myself also going, "Why is Roger in Boston NOW??? Why are any of them back in Boston now?" What I am saying is that there were so many changes from the book and additions that I just lost count. *sigh*
This entire episode, except for the brief moment, in the end, there was only Claire, Brianna and Roger. Like Episode 2 was all about Jamie's life while apart from Claire (at least a portion of it), this is a critical turning point for Claire and how she comes to the decision to go back to Jamie.
The episode opens with a surgery happening, Claire elbow deep in someone's gut and Joe assisting and actually questioning Claire's amazing surgeon superpowers as the patient's blood pressure is dropping. She manages to get all the bad stuff before finding the "bleeder" and have Joe tie it off. If you think this is bad, wait until Claire has to do surgery in the 1700's!
At Harvard, Brianna is listening to one of her history professor's go on about Paul Revere's ride. She is busy drawing something in a book when she hears the professor say that the story of Paul Revere's ride is basically a lie. There was someone else that was with him, that completed the ride, but that man got lost in time, and what Brianna learns from this is that you cannot trust history. The class ends, and the professor tells Brianna to stay. He says that she is failing not just his class, but most of her classes. Brianna doesn't tell him the truth as to why and claims she is just fine and leaves.
Joe and Claire are having a drink together, and Joe asks Claire about what really happened in Scotland because she has that look again. Claire tries to say nothing really, but Joe isn't buying it. Claire decides to tell him, minus the time traveling part, about a man in Scotland that she was in love with. She had thought she might find him and reconnect, but it wasn't meant to be. Joe is sure there is a lot more to the story, but he doesn't push.
Brianna comes home to a dark house and walks into the living room where the Christmas tree is and fondles an ornament her mother made for Brianna's first Christmas. Bree is taking this first Christmas without Frank hard. She strokes his chair and then sits on the arm and opens up the box that holds his pipes and sniffs one. She then goes to the desk and opens a metal lunchbox that holds pictures of her and her parents, mainly ones of Frank holding her and kissing her as a baby. Sigh.....I have never been a Frank fan, and am still not. Sorry, I am just tired of him already.
A little while later, a yellow cab pulls up in the street out front of the house in Boston. Roger gets out and is claiming that this is the "most daft thing" he has ever done and is straightening his jacket and grabs his suitcase and ascends the steps. He rings the doorbell, and he hears arguing going on inside. He rings the bell one more time, and Brianna rips open the door with a loud and rude "WHAT?!" and then the look of pure surprise when Roger says hi. She invites him in, and the poor man gets stuck in the middle of the fight he heard outside. Apparently, Brianna is dropping out of Harvard AND moving out of the house. Claire is none too happy! Roger seems at a loss of what to do or even say. Bree excuses herself and grabs her coat and apologizes to Roger. She says to him that maybe they can "hang out" the next day. Once she is gone, Roger tries to excuse himself and say that he obviously came at a bad time and he should check into his hotel. Claire tells him absolutely no that he is staying there.
Once settled, Roger and Claire share some whiskey and Roger shows her something he found. He "is like a dog with a bone" since he is a historian and kept looking after they left. He shows Claire a pamphlet that has that Freedom and Whiskey line that Claire said she quoted to Jamie AND a couple of lines from another Robert Burns poem on the front. Roger is convinced it is Jamie since Robert Burns is only 6 at the time this pamphlet was printed AND the one poem would not be written for another 20 years after that. The name of the printer says Alexander Malcolm (two of Jamie's middle names).
Claire seems fine at first, but now that this shows Jamie is alive and well in Edinburgh she freaks out. She tells Roger she never asked him to keep looking. She tells Roger that when they had found he survived Culloden and then found him in prison, her hopes were high, and then they hit that brick wall and it all died. She can't get her hopes up again, plus, she doesn't want to leave Brianna behind with all she is going through at the moment. Sounds like an excuse to me.
Claire comes into her office to see bones all over the desk. Apparently, an anthropologist wishes to know if they can tell them the cause of death. The anthropologist seems to think it was a slave sacrifice as it was found in the Caribbean. Claire picks up the skull and automatically deduces that it was a female and decapitation. Claire always had an intuition at times in the book. Knowing whose bones these are, probably adds to the feeling Claire gets. But I am not going to spoil THAT surprise! Joe is amazed that Claire is right when he holds up some vertebrae that show her head was most likely chopped off. Joe also tells Claire that this lady was not a slave. Her bones show that she was white. Ah....the plot thickens.
The conversation turns to Claire deciding to tell Joe about the "mystery man" in Scotland she was trying to find, in fact, Bree's real father. Joe asks if she still loves him. Ummm....let me think...... Obviously, Claire says she does still love the man. Joe says tells "Lady Jane" as he calls her that, "no one thought her and Frank were Ozzy and Harriet" and that she has lived only half a life for 16 years and if she has a chance to find this man and be with him to take it! Thank you, JOE!
The next part I feel is unnecessary. If you read the books, you know Brianna's real passion is how things are built...aka....ENGINEERING. She and Roger are at Harvard and standing in a piece of architecture, and Roger tells Brianna how it is amazing to think of the history these walls and ceilings could tell. Bree answers that she never really thought of it like that even though she came here often with Frank and said that she was always amazed at HOW they were built and what made them stay up and connected. "Doesn't sound like a History major to me," Roger says. Yep....time to change majors Bree.
Why are they at Harvard? Well apparently, a wing is being memorialized to Frank Randall. Here we go again. Really? Did we need to do this? The gathering afterward, Claire is ironically introduced to Sandy, Frank's mistress.
Claire goes to walk away, but Sandy calls her out. A whole thing about how Claire was so selfish to keep Frank in a loveless marriage for 20 years, that she (Sandy) loved him completely, but knew that Frank still had little love for Claire. Sandy says something to the effect that Frank was her true love and you should always be with your true love. Okay, I give her that, but ..Blah, Blah, Blah......
Afterwards, outside, Claire comes clean to Bree about who Sandy was. Brianna says that Frank must have really hated her as she looks like her real father, but Claire says no. That he loved her very much. There is a very sweet moment of Claire also telling her daughter what she means to her and what it was like to hold her for the first time.
Bree reminds her mother that back in Scotland they made a promise never to keep secrets. That prompts Claire to reach into her purse and pull out the pamphlet that Roger gave her. She shows it to Bree who is beyond excited and immediately says, “So you can go back!’ Claire starts to make excuses about how she needs to stay for her. Brianna is not an idiot and can see her mother is scared. She asks her mom, what is the real reason. Claire pauses and says "What if he has forgotten me? What if he no longer loves me?" Brianna simply tells her mother that she had told her that what was felt for Jamie was the strongest thing she ever felt. So basically, it is doubtful he doesn't love or care for Claire anymore. She also says "You gave Jamie up for me. Now I have to give him back to you."
The next day, Claire comes into work and closes the door to the office and says she needs to ask Joe a question. "Am I attractive? Sexually?" she asks him. Joe is floored, but Claire simply tells him he is the only male she can talk to about this. He asks why? She says she is thinking of going back to her Scottish man and Joe smiles. He tells her that she "is a skinny white broad with too much hair but a great ass" which means yes.
Back at the house, Claire is looking for a box that holds old coins. Brianna says she and Roger found them in an antique store. They also give her a small history book for reference and Claire admits she "borrowed" a few things from the hospital like a scalpel, syringes, and penicillin. She smiles and says that she figured that they would need it more back then anyway. Bree gives her mom one more present, a necklace with her birthstone because she remembered from the journal of the madwoman that a jewel is needed to pass through the stones. Claire is touched. Bree asks how her mother intends on carrying all of these items with her and Claire shrugs and says "I guess I will have to make something." So, apparently, with putting herself through medical school and being a surgeon, she kept up with sewing? Believable.....
The next I thought was a little funny, but totally unnecessary. Here’s Claire sewing and making a dress out of old raincoats with the vintage Batman theme song playing over it. Nope....doesn't work for me. Yes, I will give them that it is MUCH better to have Claire make the dress than buying a gaudy costume -like one like she does in the book with a zipper in the back that totally baffles Jamie (hahaha). However, I feel the length of it was too long and a filler in that they didn't want us to have too much of a reunion at the end. Claire makes sure she has plenty of pockets for the things she needs to take with her. Sorry, I will miss the plastic wrap and the peanut butter and jelly sandwich part.
Brianna can't understand why she and Roger can't come with her to the stones to say goodbye. Quite frankly, neither can I. I mean, this is all happening in Boston where it isn't supposed to be in regards to the book. Claire claims that if Brianna was there, it might make her change her mind and not go. NOT TRUE! Brianna shows up at the stones in the book and tells her mother that if she doesn't go, SHE WILL and Claire goes through. I would have preferred that much more.
Alone for a minute as Claire gets her stuff together in a suitcase, Claire gives Brianna some paperwork, the deed to the house is now in her name as well as checking and savings. She reaches for a black bag and gives Brianna the pearls and tells her that Jamie gave them to her on their wedding night and that they were his mother Ellen's....aka Brianna's grandmother. Bree is touched.
They say their goodbyes and Claire get into a cab and leaves. Brianna sheds some quiet tears only for a moment, but then dons a Santa hat and grabs a tray and gives Roger his little wish of a lobster roll and Boston cream pie.
The metaphor of the puddles, fine, I get, but I think it would have been better to show Claire at the stones and show in some way the extreme pain of going through them for the THIRD TIME.
Instead, we get a refreshed Claire (tv only people have to imagine how she got from Craig na Dun to somewhere to get a coach to Edinburgh....but us book people know) who steps out of a coach in the city and looks around and smiles. She then stops a boy and asks where she can find a printer by the name of Alexander Malcolm. He tells her in the one "close" (alley), and she starts her journey.
She enters the alley and sees the sign with A. Malcolm and tentatively touches it. She slowly ascends the stairs to the door, takes a breath and walks in, the bell above the door ringing. She pauses inside and starts to look around when a very familiar voice asks "Is that you Geordie?" Claire heads towards that voice she hasn't heard in 20 years.
Jamie still has his back to her and is complaining how long it took this Geordie to get ink. Claire is in a dream state. She is just staring at the top and back of Jamie.
She finally speaks up and says "It's not Geordie." and Jamie freezes. "It's me. Claire." she continues.
Jamie very slowly turns around and looks up and sees his beloved Claire's face and their eyes meet. Claire is smiling at him, but he is in disbelief that she is actually there.
Suddenly, he faints dead away, and Claire gets a very shocked look. BAM!!! EPISODE ENDS!