He never misses his target....
Surrender is an understatement of sorts for this episode. Almost everyone ends up surrendering something here. I am also going to do things a little differently. Usually, I jump back and forth like the episodes do and write things up in order. However, I felt compelled to focus on each of our lovers separately and their story for the episode all at once.
Jamie is a gnarly, unkempt mountain man living in a cave and barely speaks anymore. Fergus becomes a man of leisure because he can't just be quiet and polite to the Redcoats. Claire is trying to be intimate with Frank and to be a "happy" married couple and raise Brianna. Both Jamie and Claire are trying to figure out how to go on after losing one another. Life for them both is rather depressing, and we can only hope that we see the reunion sooner than later because I am starting to get depressed along with them.
When this episode opens, we were suddenly six years in the future in 1752. Fergus along with Young Jamie and Rabbie McNab go into the dovecot looking for something. Fergus ends up finding the gun they heard was in there. It was Rabbie's dead father's gun. The boys argue about who knows how to use it. Fergus claims it is himself, as he killed a man in battle. Well, the argument doesn't last long as they hear a wagon and horses approaching. Fergus quickly hides the gun, and the boys go outside to see what is happening. As we learn, it isn't the first time a troop like this has come by and questioned Ian and Jenny. There are stories of a reclusive man the people call the Dunbonnet living in the woods in the area. He is called such as he wears a brown hat to hide his red hair. This leads the Redcoats to think it is the notorious "Red Jamie" and he needs to pay for his crimes against the crown. The question Ian and of course he lies and denies everything. Jenny comes out, hugely pregnant, and tells the Lieutenant that she has not seen her brother since the Rising and that is the same thing she has told every other soldier who has graced their doorsteps since. Basically, give it up and go to hell. They are reminded of a reward for his capture, and just because they can, they arrest Ian and take him away.
Later that evening, we see a very long haired, gnarly looking Jamie hunting. He finds a beautiful stag and shoots with bow and arrow (because weapons, like guns, are outlawed). He is wearing a brownish hat. Next, we see him come to Lallybroch, manly carrying what has to be the very heavy dead weight of the deer. For a moment he pauses and sees Claire in the herb garden, then it turns to his sister, as Jenny turns and tells him he nearly scared her to death. He doesn't say a word and walks over and throws the deer carcass down.
Inside, the deer, being bled and skinned is being butchered by Fergus and Jamie. Jenny, at heart, is telling him that the Redcoats retook Ian....surprise....surprise. In fact, she doesn't have to really lie to them, as Jamie Fraser hasn't been here in a long time. Jamie again doesn't speak. He is a shell of his former self.
Later, Fergus comes to the cave to visit Jamie. Really, he wants Jamie to teach him how to shoot the gun that he just happened to bring with him. Finally, Jamie speaks, but his voice is all gravely and hoarse. He tells Fergus no and to put the gun back. Fergus argues with Jamie and calls him a coward. Jamie doesn't deny anything but merely orders Fergus to put the gun back where he found it.
Jamie comes to Lallybroch on another day, and Jenny is in labor. He wants to see the ledgers and heads inside. Outside, the boys are doing work and hearing Jenny in labor. They see a raven, which is supernatural folklore means death for the baby or Jenny. Fergus runs and gets the gun, and they load it. Fergus takes aim and shoots and with amazingly, kills the raven. Well, Redcoats were nearby and heard the shot. Jamie comes flying out of the house and scolds Fergus. Mary McNab intervenes and takes the gun and tells Jamie he has a new nephew. Jamie back inside is visiting with his sister and is holding his new nephew, Ian (Young Ian to book readers). Jenny remarks that Jamie has always looked good with one in his arms and you can see the pain of knowing he will never hold his unborn child that went with Claire. Jenny isn't done there; she tells Jamie he is lonely and is trying to get the poor boy laid at the same time! She mentions to Jamie about Mary, but Jamie shoots the idea down dead, saying he will "never marry again."
Trust me, folks....Jenny will succeed eventually this season, and it will NOT be to someone we like, or have ever liked!
Suddenly all hell breaks loose as the sound of horses are heard, and Redcoats are spotted by Jamie at the window. He, still holding Young Ian, go and hide in a nearby closet. The soldiers come storming in demanding to know where the weapon is. They search Jenny's room and even rip off her covers. She calmly tells them there are no weapons here. The Lieutenant sees bloody rags and proof of a birth and asks Jenny where the baby is. She calmly stares straight ahead and tells them it was born dead. When asked where the body is, she says it was taken out to get prepared for burial. He orders one of his men to find his body. This entire time, Jamie is with a newborn who wants to fuss and tries his best to keep Young Ian quiet with a finger in his mouth.
Suddenly, Mary McNab comes into the bedroom with the gun and hands it over. She explains that it was a raven that she shot at as they are equal to bad luck for the mother and child. Corporal MacGregor (total asshole and a traitor to his heritage) confirms that it is a bunch of supernatural quackery and wants to take Mary into custody. They take the gun and decide Mary is no threat and leave. Jamie comes through the other side of the closet door into the room and reunites mother and child.
Fergus leaves Lallybroch and we see 2 officers watching him from the brush. They follow him into the woods and not very quietly because Fergus pauses and hears them behind him. Fergus decides to have a little fun with them and leads them on a zigzag path. He turns, sees them, smiles and runs off. The officers give chase. Of course, in true Fergus fashion, he can't keep his French mouth shut and insults them over and over. Meanwhile, not far away, Jamie is checking his snares and hears the yelling. He gets close enough to see Fergus taunting the officers and then the next thing. Officer Traitor Joe, grabs Fergus and put his head and shoulders on a log, spreads out his left arm and cuts off Fergus' hand. I knew it was coming, but I still flinched! Jamie waits for the soldiers to go off and comes running to Fergus and quickly wraps a tourniquet around the boy's arm, quietly reassuring him that he "has seen milady do this many times" (again thinking of Claire) and carries him to Lallybroch. I remember watching this and the only thing I could think of was.....where is the cask of alcohol? In the book, Fergus is carrying a cask to bring to Jamie and is stopped on the trail halfway up to the cave by Redcoats and then they take his hand.
Later that night, Jenny comes down to her brother and says that Fergus will be okay. Jamie isn't happy though and says that he should have done something to stop the officers. Jenny sternly says, “Then you’d be dead, and so would he. We’d all be dead." That is finally the breaking point for Jamie and he starts to sob and falls to the ground on his knees. Jenny stoops down and holds her brother tight while he cries.
When Jamie has calmed himself enough, he visits with Fergus who, when asked how he is feeling, tells Jamie that Jenny has been most forthcoming with the whiskey. Jamie apologizes to Fergus, Fergus reminds Jamie of a deal they had that if Fergus lost a limb, or appendage, then Jamie would take care of him for the rest of his life. Jamie says Fergus can trust him to keep that promise, to which Fergus replies that he has always trusted him.
Back downstairs, Jamie and Ian are sharing a drink by the fire. They talk about phantom limb pain and feeling. Ian looks to Jamie and says "Claire was your heart." That it was obvious what was between them and that is why Jamie is in the pain he is.....his heart isn't there.
Jamie hatches a plan to help his family survive this time after Culloden and to help him move on to something else. He wants Jenny to give him over to the English. Jenny protests of course, but Jamie says that there is the reward money and he can't keep living the way he is. Jenny tries again, with asking Jamie if he hasn't seen enough of the inside of prison walls in his lifetime. Ultimately, they agree to his plan.
Jamie is back at the cave when he hears someone coming up the path. It is Mary McNab. She brings him a meal and a shave and a haircut as well. When Jamie goes to wash himself in the creek, Mary gets herself ready but stripping down to her shift. Jamie wants no part of it, convinced that Jenny set her up to this. Mary tells him no, it was all her own idea. That both have a need for intimacy and she also tells Jamie “I saw your lady, and how it was between the two of you,” and adds that she doesn’t want to make him feel like he’s betraying Claire. Jamie draws near and says “I have not done this in a very long time,” tears streaming down his cheek and his eyes closed. Jamie explains to Mary that is just how he does things and she is okay with that. It is a very tender moment between them as they both need this so desperately. No real sex in this scene, just the kissing, and the knowing that it is going on.
The next morning, Jamie arrives all clean and shaven and smiling to his sister that he has finally come home. Suddenly, Redcoats are behind him with guns. Jenny doesn't have to fake the tears and Jamie plays his part as they take him into custody and hand Jenny the reward money. Jamie contemplates his future as he is hauled away to prison.
When we first see Claire, we don't see her. We see a naked Jamie walking to a fireplace and kneeling down. Suddenly, every woman watching loses the focus of what is going on. We hear heavy breathing and we see Claire lying in bed next to a sleeping Frank and she is well, use whatever term you like for getting it on with yourself.... to this daydream / memory of her husband. Jamie, naked and kneeling down, looks and see her and smiles and get up and walks back to her. Modern day Claire stares at the ceiling as she finishes, then looks to her right and at first sees Jamie lying next to her smiling. Then she sees Frank. She realizes that this isn't enough. She needs the intimacy that Jamie can't give her now. On another particular night, Claire needs some lovin' and reaches over to Frank and he says her name. Claire just says "I miss my husband." Before he can do anymore, Claire mounts him and goes for a ride. It is sad and depressing for us as Claire can close her eyes and imagine, we don't get that point of view.
One evening, they have that nosy neighbor, Millie Nelson and her husband Jerry over for dinner. Afterwards, Claire and Frank are sharing a nice flirtatious nightcap by the fire. Things start to heat up and they end up on the floor. Frank....do you need to thrust so hard? Geesh! Anyway, he looks down at Claire and tells her to open her eyes and look at him. She doesn't and he stops. When Claire asks why he stops he tells her because she wouldn't open her eyes. Claire pulls away and buttons up her dress telling Frank that if he wasn't in the mood, to just tell her. He tiredly replies, “Claire, when I’m with you, I’m with you. But you’re with him.” Claire just looks at him. In a way, you can't help but feel sorry for the guy, but I have more sympathy towards Claire.
A voice over tells us that Claire wasn't happy with just being a mom and wife. She was more when she was back in time with Jamie. She had more purpose. She looks at a knife and fade to her standing and looking at a scalpel at a University. She is interrupted by the teacher asking her if he can help her. She introduces herself as Claire Randall, first year. The teacher, being a typical man of his era, scoffs and says yes, the dean had informed him that a woman and a black were going to attend. Claire just brushes it off, but when the male students start to arrive and see her trying to get a seat, they make it hard for her. Of course, we know Claire. Stuff like this just makes her more determined. Shortly after she sits down, a young black man comes into the room. He makes his way through the ever so welcoming white male students and asks Claire if the seat next to her was taken. She smiles and says no and they introduce themselves. Our first glimpse of Joe Abernathy, who will be a good friend to Claire and even Brianna.
We see the Randalls at bedtime being very civil towards one another. Claire climbs into bed and tells Frank goodnight and turns out her light. When the camera pulls back, we see that they have come to the resolution of doing a very Lucy and Desi thing with separate beds. I believe this has now become a tragedy.
The very last scene of the episode is fade away of Jamie in cuffs and being hauled away and the sound of bagpipes playing to Claire walking along the sidewalk toward the university and hearing and seeing a bagpiper playing and she gives him some money and walks on.
They all want what they can't have and have to surrender to something else to get by. So many instances. Even Jenny, literally had to surrender to her brother's wishes and surrender him to the British. Jamie just wants Claire back in his everyday life. Claire wants the same with Jamie. Frank wanted to have a child of his own, instead he got another man's and that same man has control of Claire's heart which Frank wants to be the only one. Fergus lost his hand and know has to surrender to be a man of leisure, which will prove interesting in the future.
Overall, this season is sad. Not sad in how things are done, though there were things left out, but sad in how depressing everyone is. Happiness is a fleeting thing so far.
What are your thoughts on this episode or season thus far? Please comment below and if you haven't already, don't forget to subscribe to get updates!