With all the hype that’s been leading up to the newest season of Outlander and that inevitable reunion clock ever ticking down, to say that this week’s episode was a bit of a bummer is quite possibly the understatement of the century. With Jamie and Claire still solidly stuck in two different centuries, they (and let’s be honest, us) are painfully pining away for their long lost lovers, and this episode revealed just how uncomfortable longing for someone who is (for all intents and purposes) dead can be.
We have a bit more time jumping (20 years does have to pass after all), and we fast forward six years and learn that Jamie has had to hide out in the lands of Lallybroch to avoid the British, who continue to hunt him down as a traitor. No longer able to live in his ancestral home, he hides out in a nearby cave and has basically become a glorified Grizzly Adams, where he lives off the land and sneaks into Lallybroch every so often to help his sister Jenny, who is (once again) pregnant.
Jenny (played by Laura Donnelly) is the only breath of fresh air in this episode. She is still the spunky lass we know and love from seasons one and two. Despite the fact that she is pregnant, she still stands up to the British who trespass into her home, smacks the boys of the house around a bit, and constantly speaks her mind. Immediately after giving birth, she is confronted by two soldiers and she manages to convince them to get out before Jamie is discovered. She is quick on her toes and is constantly looking out for her brother and the rest of her family. She sees Jamie suffering, living by himself, trapped inside his own memories, pining for a wife that is gone. Yet unlike her brother, instead of sitting back and allowing him to continue on wallowing for the rest of his days, she comes up with a solution. He hasn’t been with a woman in six years and Mary McNab (a woman from the town helping Jenny run Lallybroch) lost her husband years ago… perhaps they can end their loneliness together.
I’ll admit, I was hating on Jamie just as much as every other fangirl when he decided to listen to his sister and sleep with Mary. She’s not Claire! How could you betray her? How can you live with yourself? But on second thought, this single act is a pivotal moment in Jamie’s journey. It’s at this moment in time that he has finally accepted that Claire is gone and may never be coming back. It could be the start of him learning how to heal and move on and find love again… Of course, WE know that there’s a juicy reunion episode coming up but poor Jamie has no idea.
Claire’s attempt to rekindle the love in her marriage with Frank is somehow more painful (and awkward) than Jamie’s attempt to move on in his life. As Claire is sleeping with Frank, you hear her say, “I miss my husband,” but you’re not entirely sure which husband she’s referring to. Frank eventually puts the pieces together and realizes that he is not the husband that she misses, and that is the final nail in the coffin for their marriage. They begin to live their own separate lives: Frank continues to teach at the university and Claire has begun medical school. The episode ends with them sleeping in two separate beds (just like I Love Lucy but without any joy or laughter).
It’s hard to separate the two characters played by Tobias Menzies: Black Jack Randall, quite possibly the most diabolical villain to ever grace the television screen; and Frank Randall, loving husband just trying to compete with the red headed stud muffin, James Fraser. From the very first episode, Frank has gotten the short end of the stick, and it’s only gotten more painfully obvious this season. His wife mysteriously disappears on their second honeymoon, and three years later she returns pregnant. Choosing to ignore the fact that his wife was with another man, Frank offers to continue in their marriage, move to Boston, and allow them to raise the child in a (somewhat) normal household. He tries over and over again to reach out to Claire, to try to understand, and each time he is met with the wall that Claire has built around herself. It’s seems like he’s come to terms with his marriage and the complete lack of love and passion that was once there… but from coming attractions, maybe that’s not quite the case.
Despite the fact that we know Jamie and Claire will be reunited (if not, then why are we watching this show?), it seems like this episode has ripped them even further apart. In both of their attempts to move on, they continue to alienate themselves from the people in their lives that care for them and somewhat understand… they are alone and their desperation to find one another will likely grow to monumental heights as the years continue to pass for them… unconsciously hurting everyone in their lives…
Here’s what we can expect in episode three, All Debts Paid. From here it looks like a lot of angry drinking and Frank finally speaking his mind.
As a whole, this episode was probably my least favorite in the entire series. Not much actually happened, and what did happen was really awkward to watch. We continued to establish that Jamie and Claire miss each other and their obsession with each other has negatively affected those around them. Here’s hoping that this episode was more of a bridge episode, connecting episodes one and three. We now know that Claire has begun medical school to become a surgeon, and Jamie has handed himself over to the British in order to protect Jenny and the rest of his family.
+Laura Donnelly and Tobias Menzies carried the episode as Jenny and Frank.
+The return of Fergus.
-A bit too much angst.
-Lack of story.
Amanda Woomer-Limpert is one of the Geekiverse’s newest writers and an Outlander fanatic. While she’s still stuck in book one, she is counting down the days until episode six… Let’s be honest: A. Malcolm has got to be the reunion episode!
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to keep up with The Geekiverse across social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram and share with a friend. View live video game streaming on our Twitch Channel & watch regular videos & shows on Youtube. Lastly, listen to The Geekiverse Podcast Station on iTunes or Soundcloud today!