So here we are on episode 3....10 more to go. I knew it when I heard them say back when, that they were doing a book a season (WHY? Be different!)....that this was going to be like this. I mean I came out of this episode satisfied with the emotional highs and lows of the episode, but felt like I had to have a seatbelt on as time just flew by so freaking fast! Voyager is a huge book and there is actually quite a bit that happens in this book, especially when we get to Jamaica. But to do this book in 13 episodes.....I trust that they will cover the basics and hope that all the episodes are as good as the first ones (My most hated ep ever was in Season 2 when Claire and Jamie go to visit Lord Lovat...God awful), but like what is happening in this episode I feel rushed and on a rollercoaster. Once again, as before because of jumping back and forth so freaking much and this time, time literally flies, I will concentrate on on era and then the other.
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS: We see Claire and Frank still together in 1956 with Claire still going to medical school and Frank is making a good English breakfast which he thinks that Brianna needs more of. They seem like they are getting along good, friends really. So Claire asks Frank if they can go see a movie and suggests 2 separate ones. He smiles a little and is quiet, but then speaks up and says that he has already seen both. That is when we see the beginning of the arrangement Claire and Frank had made at some time prior. He is free to see who he wants and do what he wants and she won't question. This seems to work more or less, as Claire has experienced true deep love with Jamie and he is still in her heart. Frank, well, I guess you have to feel sorry for him in a way. He truly loved Claire and nearly went mad trying to find her when she disappeared and then she comes back is pregnant and distant with him. He wants what she cannot give him, so he looks outside the marriage. This was something I am glad they hit upon, because I always thought that is what Frank probably was doing, but to have it out as an arrangement, an open marriage in a way, was refreshing.
SHE ARRIVES: Claire (and Joe Abernathy) graduate from Medical school and a celebration is held first at the house and then they were to go to a restaurant. Frank seems a little on edge that they haven't left yet and Claire explains that he has the time of the reservation wrong.
She finds out why he wants everyone out of the house. The doorbell rings and there is a young woman standing there. She is surprised to see Claire and Claire puts 2 and 2 together and realizes it is Frank's mistress. He invited her to their house! Claire quickly gathers everyone and suggests going to the restaurant early.
Frank comes home late drunk and to a very nasty Claire. He really doesn't want to have this conversation, but is seems ready to give it right back to her. She calls Sandy (yup, a blonde named Sandy) Frank's "blonde harlot" to which Frank claims that green is not really Claire's color. Claire dares to ask if they had sex in their house, in their bedroom. Really? I mean, sex in a twin bed really is NOT a comfortable thing.....but I digress. Frank just replies that their bedroom is already way too crowded. Ouch. Claire then suggests a divorce, but Frank tells Claire of a friend of his that got a divorce and lost his children, because the courts cater to the mothers, not thefathers and he really does not want to lose Brianna. Claire tells him she would never do that to him, but he refuses the idea of divorce, at least for now.
SUDDENLY GOODBYE: Time passes, Brianna is all grown up and is now in the shape of the actress that we originally saw her last season. She has her 16th birthday and then we see her graduating in 1966.
A little more ahead and Frank comes to Claire and states he wants to take Brianna with him to England. Claire thinks that is a lovely idea, until Frank says, no they are not coming back. He now wants a divorce because he wants to marry and be with Sandy and he wants to take Brianna. Claire is furious and they argue. Claire suggests divorce, but be careful on what grounds, because he can't really say adultery when there is really no proof, but she can on his end! Frank tells Claire that he would like to live with a wife who loves him and then adds that all she could see every time she looked at Brianna was HIM. Yes, it might have been easier if Bree didn't look like Jamie, but I don't think it would have been a cure all. Frank leaves and Claire sheds a tear.
A little while later, Claire gets a call from the hospital to come in for a surgery. Later we see her with the husband, giving him advice and consoling him as to his wife, who will survive. When giving him a hug, she see Joe Abernathy coming down the hall with a look of remorse on his face. He tells Claire that it is Frank, there was a car accident. She runs down the hall and pauses outside a door. Inside, we see a very dead (and clean for being in a car accident) Frank.
It is an emotional goodbye, as Claire tells him, if he is still close enough to hear, that she did love him (and we think....not nearly as much as Jamie) and kisses him goodbye through her tears. Now, to move on to yet another chapter.
THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF THINGS: Jamie has been in Ardsmuir for years and it is now 1755.. It is not the HIlton by any means. It is filthy, cold and damp and rats are plentiful (which we learn later is a GOOD THING for the prisoners!) He is out in the yard with the other prisoners, in shackles, hand and feet, and sees the old governor (Harry Quarry) of the prison showing the new one around (hello Lord John Grey!)
With Jamie staring at them, Gov. Quarry points to Jamie and informs Gray that he is the only prisoner they keep in chains and that the prisoners look up to Jamie, consider him like their chief, and call him Mac Dubh. He continues by saying that he treated Jamie as a liaison between him and the prisoners, to keep the peace so to speak and dined with him once a week. At this point it looks like John Grey may recognize the man that terrorized him on that night when he thought a certain English woman needed rescue. Harry Quarry makes sure to mention the legend of the French gold treasure that supposedly was sent to Prince Charlie and that is supposed to be somewhere out on the moor, but after a few years, he gave up on the search.
Back in the cell, Jamie is listening to the men talk about the "new guy" and Jamie remarks that he seems familiar, but cannot place him. Then we hear a voice we thought we would never hear again say "So, you've seen the new governor then?" That my friends is when we book lovers cheer! When we see beloved Murtagh, who most certainly died at Culloden in the book, is very much alive! However, Murtagh is coughing and not looking so good. He is getting sick and not getting any better from the God awful conditions of the prison. Jamie is called to the Governor's office and you can feel the tension. However, Jamie is quick to point out the lack of food for the prisoners and when a rat is seen in the room and the other prisoner who acts as the Governor's lackey, is told to bring a cat. When asked if there are rats in the cells, Jamie tells him there are plenty. Grey orders a cat for every cell, but Jamie comments that the men might have a problem with sharing the rats with the cats. Here we find out that the lack of food allows for some serious gross eating. Even Grey is repulsed. Other than that it is a short visit and not much is covered.
THE WHITE WITCH RETURNS? The next thing we know, it is another day, week....who the hell knows....and a raving mad man by the name of Duncan Kerr is found roaming the moors. He is babbling in French, Gaelic and very little English. But the hint of treasure is mentioned, so Grey tells Jamie that if he helps him he will strike off the chains. Jamie says yes, but he has some conditions, medicine and blankets for all the prisoners. When Grey refuses, Jamie says to put the shackles back on and take him back to his cell. Grey informs Jamie that he does not have THAT much power and would help if he could. Jamie says, fine, but blankets and medicine for one man then, his kinsman, Murtagh Fitzgibbons and Grey agrees.
The meeting with Duncan is short. He rambles on and changes direction, but when he mentions a white witch, Jamie is stunned and wonders if it is possible. The treasure is cursed , the white witch protects it and she is coming for him (Jamie). He dies in a short time. Somewhere in that conversation, Jamie must have received a hint of where this might be. Grey demands to know what the man said. Jamie gives him the basics, but leaves out the white witch story, the mention of Dougal, Colum and his mother Ellen and the brief mention of perhaps his father Brian. Later, in the Governor's room again, Jamie says that some of the men wonder if they could hunt for their own food. Grey is astonished at that idea, to give them weapons and let them run amok on the moor. Jamie says, no, to be allowed to set snares when they go out to collect peat for the fires. This is allowable, and when they go out to check on snares that have been set, A couple men help Jamie escape, by hiding him.
TO EARN RESPECT: Grey is NOT happy that Fraser has left the building so to speak. However, some men say that he was seen swimming to the island. God, there is so much left out of here. Hopefully, we see more in flashbacks or something!
Grey excuses himself to take a piss in some ruins when he is suddenly grabbed and disarmed and held by his own sword by Jamie. “That’s how it’s done, William Grey, second son of Viscount Melton,” Jamie snarls at Grey. This is when Lord John William Grey realizes that this man actually does remember who he is. Jamie makes him relive that thwarted attempt to save a lady's life so many years ago. “They were the actions of a foolish boy, and I regret them to this very day.” Grey tells Jamie. Jamie lets go and asks Grey if he remembers his promise. The one that if he ever saw Fraser again, he would kill him. Jamie lets go of him and hands him his sword back and gets on his knees. "Well, sir, here I am." he tells him and is basically begging Grey to kill him. Grey puts his sword at Jamie's throat, but stops and tells him that he is not in the business of killing unarmed men. The look of anguish on Jamie's face says it all. It is just impossible to die in this story if you are Jamie Fraser! Though it hurt to not get that wish, it also earned Grey some respect with Fraser who confides a little later that he didn't find much, just a box with a single sapphire (yeah....we will see if that is true in a few episodes) and hands it to Grey. He also admits that when Duncan Kerr mentioned the white witch he thought perhaps it was his wife returned. Grey turns to Jamie and says "You said she was dead." Jamie replies "No, I said she was GONE."
At another time, both men are being quite cordial with one another and have dinner and drinks and play some chess. Jamie is amazed at John's skills at the game. John talks about a "particular friend" he lost at Culloden and his brother took him away because how he reacted was not proper. *** For the record people....that friend's name is HECTOR....NOT Black Jack Randall! Jamie admits that the English lady that John tried to "save" was actually his wife and that John would not talk to save his own life but he did to save a lady's was worthy of respect in Fraser's book.
Jamie finally smiles some and says her name. "Claire. Her name was Claire." John our of sympathy, but also the fact that he is gay, reaches out and touches Jamie's hand. Jamie's smile totally disappears and the evil eye returns. ”Get your hand off me, or I will kill you,” Jamie says slowly, deliberately and quite furious. He gets up and leaves and John sheds a tear. It will be some time before he knows the story behind why.
A NEW LIFE: Time passes (yet again) and the prison is closing.
The men of Ardsmuir, including Murtagh are to be shipped off to America. Jamie is confused as Lord John has him tied with a rope and led behind him. Days pass and they finally stop. Grey explains to Jamie that because he is a high profile traitor of the crown, that it is at the King's discretion whether to allow him to go to America, etc. and it is NOT in the King's discretion. So, Grey apparently pulled some strings. “I couldn’t give you freedom, Fraser. This is the next best I could manage,” Grey says and explains that Jamie is to be indentured as a servant for the Dunsany family at the Helwater estate. Jamie is confused at first and states that it is because he didn't let John have his way with him. Grey can't apologize fast enough and says how foolish he was and regrets that action very much.
Before leaving (wait...what? He personally delivered Jamie to the family in the books!) it is suggested to Jamie that he not use his real name as this family lost loved ones in the uprising and he says to Jamie “You gave me my life several years ago. Now I give you yours. I hope you use it well.” and bids Jamie farewell. Jamie looks down at the huge estate and must be wondering what it holds for his future. Oh, my poor man....you have no idea.
The only problem I have with this episode (and I am afraid that there are going to be more like this) is that they just speed through stuff. I mean, you miss some things between characters that deepen the meaning of the ending. The actors did phenomenal job though with the emotional aspects and I am very grateful and in awe of that. All I have to say for this and probably the rest of the season...."please fasten your seatbelts" especially if you have read the books and if you have not read the books.....PLEASE DO! The show is awesome, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. You will see and gain so much more.
So, any thoughts, concerns, comments, etc on this episode? And may I add that this was the MOST WATCHED EPISODE ever for Outlander! Congrats to them...now wait for the print shop one! *grin*