The loss of a certain individual is felt within both narrative timelines in this episode. It continues this season’s trend of continuing the tales of Claire and Jamie (in their respective time periods), but shows the difficult changes that this man and wife must face after their fateful departure. Both have endured joy, sadness, and loss, and tonight’s episode continues that trend.
Synopsis: While serving as groomsman at the aristocratic estate of Helwater, Jamie is reluctantly pulled into the intrigue of a noble British family. In 1968 Scotland, Claire, Brianna and Roger struggle to trace Jamie’s whereabouts in history, leaving Claire to wonder if they will ever find him again. (IMDB)
Writer: Toni Graphia
Director: Brendan Maher
Running Time: 64mins
Since Jamie’s story took more precedence in this episode, let’s start there. Taking place in 1764, the episode picks up from where he last saw Jamie, being employed (as an indentured servant groom) at Helwater to Lord Dunsany. Dunsany has two daughters; the elder, Geneva, is infatuated with Jamie but is betrothed to Lord Ellesmere, an elderly man, but she blackmails Jamie into sexual relations with her. Geneva leaves Helwater and marries Lord Ellesmere, another powerful lord. Nine months later, Geneva goes into labor and is rushed to Ellesmere’s estate, so that the baby could be delivered. To everyone’s surprise, Geneva successful gives birth to a baby boy, however, dies shortly after. Her sister, Isobel, then confronts Jamie and says that she knows that he is the father of the baby (Geneva told Isobel of how her and Jamie slept together). This is then made worse as Ellesmere tells Lord Dunsany that the baby is not his, and threatens to kill him; but Jamie kills Ellesmere instead and saves the baby infant.
After the incident involving the death of Ellesmere, Lady Dunsany confronts Jamie and knows of who he is (a former Scottish Jacobite rebel). However, feeling grateful for saving the child, who is now named William (or Willie for short), Lady offers to ask Lord John to petition for a pardon so he can go home to Lallybroch. Although, Jamie is gracious for the offer, he declines (for now), wanting to stay employed at Helwater, but to secretly look after Willie. Several years later, with Jamie still employed at Helwater, Willie (now a little boy) has grown into an age where people are beginning to ask questions about his resemblance to Jamie. It’s at this time that Jamie decides to leave Helwater, asking Major Grey if he would lookout for Willie. Jamie’s story ends in this episode with Jamie leaving Helwater (getting his pardon to return home) and with Major Grey being betrothed to Isobel, making him guardianship over Willie. Thus, keeping his promise to Jamie. It was a sad moment for Jamie to leave Willie behind, especially since he was his natural born son. Additionally, the scenes with Jamie and Willie, though only lasting for roughly ten minutes, were great. It will be interesting to see if Willie will play a part in future episodes (or future seasons of the show).
In comparison to Jamie, Claire’s narrative thread in this episode got much less attention than Jamie’s. However, despite her limited screen time, what transpired was just as emotional as Jamie’s tale. We find Claire in 1968 (sometime after the events of where season two ended) with her daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) beginning their search to find what became of Jamie after the battle of Culloden. Searching through mounds of records and documents bares some good news on Jamie’s whereabouts (Jamie’s time at Ardsmuir Prison), but the trio hit a roadblock soon after that, with no evidence on where to go next. Claire becomes disheartened by this news and, after some personal reflection as well as receiving a call from her medical colleague Joe (slightly pressuring her to return home to Boston), Claire ultimately has given up hope on finding Jamie. Meanwhile, Brianna and Roger have started to warm up to each other, with Roger expressing his feelings to Brianne (future relationship blossom here). The episode ends with Claire and Brianna leaving Scotland and heading back to Boston, with Claire losing hope of ever finding Jamie again. However, there will surely be something that reignites Claire’s desire to continue her search for Jamie again and hopefully it comes soon.
All in all, thus episode told a very good story with Jamie’s thread and showed the heartbreak within Claire’s thread. The show continues to display quality storytelling from its dual narrative timeline structure and continues to share a few surprises within, especially after several moments in this episode. Love this show and hope they continue onward (the show has been greenlit for another season). Additionally, judging by where the episode ends (and by the preview for the next one), it’s almost safe to assume either the next episode (or the one after that) will finally show the reunion of Claire and Jamie. Super excited for that!
8.0 Out of 10
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