September 17, 2017
Something more than Jamie is missing from Claire’s life. She longs to be a part of something greater than herself. I mean, she spent an entire season trying to change history. And she does the same again when she decides to enroll in Harvard Medical School.
On her first day of class she’s met with disdain and outright hostility, as is the lone African-America student, Joe Abernathy. There’s plenty of bigotry from their classmates and professor to go around.
Claire spends her nights dreaming of Jamie – in her pantaloons. She cares for baby Brianna and celebrates milestones like rolling over. She and Frank mark the moment together. He’s wrapped in a towel after the water cut out on him mid-shower. And again, I ask, girl –
Claire seems to come to the same conclusion. She wakes Frank up one night and initiates the sexy times. She takes the lead again another evening after dinner. Sadly, Frank realizes mid-coitus – when Claire won’t open her eyes – that she’s thinking about Jamie. He says when he’s with her, he’s with her.
“But you’re with him.”
Eventually, they end up sleeping in separate beds, Lucy and Ricky style. Claire appears satisfied by the arrangement. Frank looks at her longingly and turns out the light.
Six years have passed since Culloden. Jamie has been living in hiding, a man wanted as a traitor. He seems to have spent the time skulking in the forest, growing out his hair, and perfecting the thousand yard stare of a man who is dead inside and just waiting for his body to catch up.
He calls on his heavily pregnant sister Jenny at the family home, Lallybroch. He imagines that it’s Claire waiting for him as he comes into the courtyard. He’s also toting a hart, and that … just … seems … conspicuous.
While Jamie butchers the deer, Jenny tells him the news. The local garrison has a new commander, Captain Lewis. After two bedevilment-free years, husband Ian has been arrested – again – on suspicion of harboring Jamie.
Young Fergus, the French orphan Jamie and Claire took under their care in Season 2, suggests they storm the garrison under cover of darkness, kill all the soldiers, and free Ian. Jenny is like,
She also tells Jamie that he’s picked up the outlaw nickname “The Dunbonnet” on account of the brown cap he wears to hide his red hair. Although every time we see him wearing said cap, his locks are just a’flowing in the breeze. Honestly, how has Jamie avoided capture for six years? He seems really bad at hiding.
Jenny teases that soon enough Jamie will have ballads sung in his honor. Jamie has been relentlessly silent throughout the one-sided conversation. Jenny finally can’t bear it. She tells him it’s easy to lie to the British because James Fraser hasn’t been there for a long, long time.
Later, Fergus comes to visit Jamie in the cave he’s been calling home. The boy is carrying a pistol he found hidden in the dovecote. He asks Jamie to teach him how to shoot. He says he needs to be ready for their next rebellion.
Jamie growls that there will be no next rebellion. There will be no more fighting. He reminds Fergus that weapons have been outlawed by the English. So put it back and don’t touch it again.
Jamie turns away, wanting only to be left to brood and gut his fish in peace.
Jenny is in labor during his next visit to Lallybroch. Her son, Young Jamie, cries out when he sees a raven land. Rabbie the stable boy says it’s an omen meaning the new baby will die. Oh noes! Bird on the roof of my mother’s house! No stone to chase him away! Instantly, Fergus knows what to do.
Shoot the raven with the illegal pistol that Jamie told him not to mess with and bring more English heat down on the family.
Inside, Jamie holds his new nephew Ian while Jenny asks how long it’s been since he had the sexy times and tries to set him up with housemaid Mary. Jenny tells him it’s not too late to find happiness again and have a family of his own AND OH THANK GOODNESS, THE BRITISH ARE HERE. Jamie will be arrested and hanged as a traitor if he’s discovered, but at least his sister won’t be sweating him about his sex life, so.
And indeed, the gun’s report was heard by two passing English scouts. Captain Lewis instructs his Redcoats to search the house. Jamie hides in an alcove with wee Ian while the captain questions Jenny. She explains the baby’s absence by saying it was stillborn.
Mary appears with the gun in hand before Jenny’s lie can spin out of control. She explains about the raven and says the pistol belonged to her late husband. It was the only thing she had left of him, so she kept it. Captain Lewis is satisfied and leaves. He confiscates the weapon and allows Mary to remain free.
Fergus slips off another afternoon to visit Jamie, but soon realizes he’s being followed. He leads the two men away from the cave, running them in circles. As they get closer, he begins taunting them.
Fergus runs, but his escape is cut off by two mounted soldiers. And then Jamie watches as Fergus has his hand actually cut off by one of the Redcoats.
And that’s why you shut up, Fergus!
Jamie applies a tourniquet after the soldiers leave and carries Fergus back to Lallybroch. The boy lives, but Jamie is wracked with guilt for not stopping the men. Jenny is clear-eyed about it. She says if he had intervened, he would be dead. Fergus would dead. The whole family would be dead. Dummy losing a hand feels like they got off easy.
Fergus certainly doesn’t bear Jamie any ill will. He’s like, ‘Hey, remember when you found me in that French brothel and hired me to pick pockets and pass letters, and you promised that if I ever lost a hand in your service that you would support me for the rest of my life?’
Maybe it’s the whiskey talking, but Fergus is feeling pretty good about having become a man of leisure in a single stroke.
Poor Ian had been 10 minutes out of jail when the slicening occurred. He pours Jamie a drink and explains that his leg still causes him pain, even though it was amputated years before. He expects the same will be true for Fergus. “Feeling a pain in a part of you that’s lost …” HE’S TALKING ABOUT YOU AND CLAIRE, JAMIE. CLAIRE WAS YOUR HEART. AND YOU LOST HER. SEE, IT’S A METAPHOR.
Jamie decides that his family has lost and risked enough trying to protect him. He tells Jenny to turn him in. That way she’ll get the reward money and prove the family loyal to the crown. Jenny thinks it would be a death sentence for him, but Ian is like, well they’re not really hanging Jacobites anymore. It’s likely he’ll only be sent to prison, so. I kind of love how Ian gives no fucks. Jamie isn’t bothered by the prospect. To him, one dank stone cell is the same as another.
Maid Mary comes to his cave that evening to deliver dinner – and the sexy times. Jamie is like, I TOLD MY SISTER TO STAY OUT OF IT. But Mary tells him it’s 200 years until medical grade silicone and AA batteries are invented and poor, lonely widow women have needs, too.
She undresses and tells Jamie he can look at her, if he likes. Jamie says it’s just something he does. I’m not sure if he means keeping his eyes closed, or crying during sex.
A freshly shaved and shorn Jamie presents himself at Lallybroch the next morning. DEAR SISTER, TIS ME, YOUR BROTHER JAMIE, WHOM YOU HAVE NAE SEEN LO THESE MANY YEARS. Jamie feigns shock and betrayal when the Redcoats surround him. Jenny grudgingly accepts the reward money and plays her role. She shouts at Jamie that he gave her no choice and she’ll never forgive him. She doesn’t have to pretend her anger and grief.
The Redcoats toss Jamie in the wagon and cart him off to prison. Bye Jamie, bye!
COOL COOL BUT WHAT ABOUT THE KNITWEAR?
We get a cunning yellow cap on Brianna and Mary’s fawn-colored shawl. Still no knitwear for Claire, but I’m not mad at her shirtwaist dresses. She wears a yellow paisley print at the dinner party and a black and white clover print when she decides to go to medical school. I am in love with the clover dress and may need to make a scouting trip to the fabric store to find something similar. The sleepwear game remains strong.