‘Outlander’: Of lost things

Outlander
“Of Lost Things”
October 1, 2017

SCOTLAND 1968

Claire’s timeline has caught up to the present and converged with the events from Season 2’s finale. Claire and Brianna were visiting family in England when they learned of the death of old friend Rev. Wakefield.

They traveled to Inverness where Brianna stumbled upon news accounts of Claire’s disappearance. She did the math and realized Frank couldn’t be her biological father, but rejected Claire’s story of sexy time travel.

Until Brianna witnessed another woman, Gillian Edgars, go through the stones at Craigh na Dun.

That’s when Rev. Wakefield’s handsome son Roger revealed that Jamie survived Culloden. And as the sun crested the hill and its rays exploded through the standing stones, Claire was all like

we have to go back jack lost

Now the three of them are trying to piece together Jamie’s movements in the 20 years after the battle using a John Winchester wall of crazy. Their goal is to establish that Jamie is still alive in 1766.

They’re working from the theory that time passes at the same rate in both centuries. But here’s the thing. Gillian Edgars went through the stones in 1968. She had been living as Geillis Duncan for four years when Claire met her in 1743. But Claire traveled through the stones 20 years before Geillis. So how did she get there first?

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Brianna sits by the fire with handsome Roger. She tells him that learning the truth about Jamie has finally broken the wall between her and Claire, but she worries that finding Jamie may mean losing her mother. What if Claire can’t come back from the past? What if she doesn’t want to? Handsome Roger says a part of him doesn’t want to find Jamie either. Not if it means Brianna goes back to Boston.

And then they kiss. FINALLY!

bad-first-kiss

Roger’s housekeeper Fiona stops Claire in the hall and returns a string of pearls to her. They belonged to Jamie’s mother Ellen, and he gifted them to Claire on their wedding night. Claire brought them with her through the stones and gave them to Fiona’s grandmother, Mrs. Graham, for safe keeping.

Fiona says that Mrs. Graham left them to her when she passed. She knows of the special friendship the two shared, and knows her grandmother would want Claire to have the pearls back. Claire is verklempt. Also, she’s wearing Jamie’s wedding band on her right hand, the one he had made for her from the key to Lallybroch.

Claire finds the prisoner rolls from Ardsmuir, but the lead peters out with the prison’s closing in 1756. Thinking Jamie might have been transported to America, the trio travel to Edinburgh to research ship manifests, but the National Archives’ records stop in the 1630’s.

They repair to a pub where the men all grumble and glare because WOMEN are SITTING at the BAR! Handsome Roger suggests maybe they should move to the lounge. Claire is like, BOY, DO NOT TEST ME.

joan burn it down

Roger and Brianna try to boost Claire’s flagging spirits, but she says this what Mrs. Graham warned her about – spending her life chasing a ghost. Claire raises her glass and offers a toast to all of those they have lost. Then she tells Brianna it’s time to go home.

HELWATER, ENGLAND 1756

The Dunsanys return home after an extended trip to Italy. Lord and Lady and daughters Isobel, the plain and kind one, and Geneva, the beautiful and insufferable one.

Jamie, working as a groom and posing as ‘Alexander MacKenzie’, is summoned by Lord Dunsany. M’lord knows that Jamie is a paroled prisoner, fought on the Jacobite side in the uprising, and spared the life of Lord John Grey before the Battle of Prestonpans.

M’lord reveals that his son Gordon was not so lucky, but that he’s not one to hold a grudge. He warns Jamie that M’lady doesn’t hold the same view. He says she’s never overcome Gordon’s death. Jamie tells M’lord that he’s lost two children of his own. He says that pain never leaves you.

Jamie is shortly introduced to the grooms’ ritual of drawing straws. The loser has to accompany Geneva on her daily ride. She arrives at the stables and snaps at Jamie to fetch her horse and polish her saddle. She wants to see her face shining in it by morning.

Princess Buttercup rides off with the losing groom. Jamie snarks that she’s in need of a swift kick in the ass. Isobel saunters up behind him. She agrees but doesn’t think it would do much good. She strikes up a conversation with Jamie, but she really just wants to talk about Lord Grey. Isobel is a smitten kitten. Jamie is like, yeah …

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A year later Princess Buttercup is betrothed to the Earl of Ellesmere. She’s 17. He’s old enough to be her grandfather. On her next ride, Buttercup orders Jamie to accompany her.

She flirts with him, and when he doesn’t bite, she stages a fall from her horse. Jamie is genuinely concerned that she’s injured, but Buttercup laughs and laughs when he picks her up.

Jamie is like, as you wish this, and dumps her face down in the mud.

As promised, Lord John Grey calls at Helwater to check on Jamie. His brother, Lord Melton, happens to be visiting at the same time. He plays along and doesn’t blow Jamie’s cover, but Buttercup can tell from the awkward body language and shifty, furtive glances that there’s a knot to be unraveled. She plies Lord Melton with strong drink and learns the truth about Jamie.

Buttercup comes to Jamie with a proposal – he screws her, or she’ll screw him. Give her a night she can store away in the spank bank, or she’ll tell M’lady that not only is he a Jacobite, but that he’s the infamous Red Jamie. His parole will be revoked and he’ll go back to prison. Buttercup makes threats again Jenny and her family just for good measure because she is the worst.

Jamie won’t go back to prison and so he comes to Buttercup’s room as commanded. But he tells her she will keep his name out of her mouth. She’ll call him Alex, not Jamie.

He undresses and Buttercup gasps when she sees the scars on his back from Black Jack Randall’s brutal Season 1 flogging. You know the damage is bad if it’s enough to distract her from dat ass.

And hey, Starz Ginger Off Part 2: Bare Backside Boogaloo!

Having the sexy times.

New Girl Intercourse

Having the sexy times.

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Having the sexy times.

Buttercup tells Jamie she loves him. Jamie is like, you love my bonny Scotsman you mean. He explains that what she’s feeling now she can have with anyone. It’s not particular. But wuv, twue wuv, is when you give your heart and soul to another, and they give theirs in return. It is the dweam wifin a dweam that will fowow you foweva.

Nine months later Buttercup gives birth to a healthy baby boy and promptly dies. Bye, Geneva! Bye! A distraught Isobel confronts Jamie with the truth. Lord Ellesmere also knows the baby isn’t his. He rages at M’Lord and M’Lady while holding a knife on the infant.

boy-that-escalated-quickly

M’Lord pulls a pistol and Jamie steps between the two men.  He convinces M’lord to give him the gun. When Ellesmere won’t drop the knife, and in fact seems ready to cut the child’s heart out, Jamie shoots him in the head. Bye, Ellesmere! Bye!

The baby opens his eyes and blinks up at Jamie. He’s like, Pops, this ain’t even my whole day.

A few days later Jamie meets Isobel on the path at Helwater. She’s out walking with the baby. She says they named him William, after M’Lord. They’re joined by M’lady, who asks for a private word with Jamie.

She thanks him for saving Wee Willie and tells him that the coroner’s court has met. They determined that a grief-stricken Lord Ellesmere took his own life. The final verdict is that he met his death by misadventure.

She also reveals that she knows that Jamie is one of Lord Grey’s Jacobite prisoners. But rather than sending him back to prison she asks if Jamie would like to go home. She says that M’Lord can use his influence in London to have Jamie released from his parole.

Jamie is overcome at the thought of finally going home to Lallybroch … but then he looks down at Wee Willie sleeping in his pram. He asks to continue in the Dunsany’s service. As cover, he explains that times are hard in Scotland, and he wishes to continue remitting money back to his family.

So Jamie stays and gets to enjoy eight years with his son … until people begin to notice the resemblance between the two of them, and Jamie realizes it’s time to leave. As John Grey observes, it’s hard to keep a secret when it’s walking around.

Before he leaves, Jamie asks John Grey if he’ll spend time with Wee Willie and be a surrogate father to him. In return for this great favor, Jamie will give John Grey the sexy times. Lord Grey is like,

My body is ready Adventure Time

But unlike some people – BUTTERCUP – he likes his sex willing, consensual, and not coercive. Instead, he tells Jamie that he’s going to marry Isobel and that they will raise William together. The friendship between Jamie and John Grey is easily one of the best parts of this season.

Wee Willie comes to Jamie’s room that night and catches him at his evening prayers. He tells Jamie that M’lady says only stinking papists burn candles in front of heathen images. Jamie agrees that he’s a stinking papist, but says the roughly carved image is of St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things.

Jamie explains to his son that he lights a candle and prays for the ones he’s lost. He prays for his late brother, also called William. His sister Jenny. His godfather, Murtagh. And his wife. He tells Wee Willie that he’ll have a wife of his own one day – despite the boy’s protests. “You’ll find her … or she will find you.”

Wee Willie is more interested in being a stinking papist like Jamie. Jamie dips his fingers in some water and makes the sign of the cross on the boy’s forehead, christening him William James. Willie is like, woo! I’m a stinking papist now!

Jamie gives the boy a gift as well – a carved snake. He says his brother William gave him one just like it. He tells his son to keep it to remember him by. “And for god’s sake, don’t tell anyone you’re a papist.”

The next morning Jamie takes his leave of Isobel, John Grey, and William. The boy runs after Jamie’s horse, crying out to him to come back. Jamie forces himself to look straight ahead and leave the ghosts behind him.

COOL COOL BUT WHAT ABOUT THE KNITWEAR?

Where to start! I mean, there were really only a handful of sweaters, but after the drought of the last few episodes, it feels like a deluge of knitwear! First, there’s Claire’s very smart burgundy cardigan with an open knit diamond pattern that’s the perfect complement to historical research. And her fawn colored mock turtleneck with a Celtic inspired cable design. But the episode MVP is the grey turtleneck that Roger wraps himself in to brood over Brianna’s departure. So cozy! So broody!

Outlander airs Sunday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Starz. Whitney also watches Supernatural and Timeless. Follow her on Twitter @Watcher_Whitney.

 

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