Outlander Season 3 Episode 2 “Surrender” – Recap and Musings
Full disclosure, I have been trying to find a way to write this post since I watched the episode on Sunday night. It’s been a few days now and I still haven’t come up with anything creative. I mean, what can I say about Surrender except:
As I predicted in my premier post, the writers are following the books closely. Unfortunately that means we’re going to get a LOT of episodes before Jamie and Claire finally reunite. It’s not that I’m not interested in what happened to our protagonists during their separation; it’s that I don’t need hours of exposition about it. I get it, they are listless shells without one another, next chapter please!
Surrender Episode Recap
The Claire/Frank storyline picked up where it left off. They have brought home baby Bree and are attempting to establish normalcy in their lives. Outwardly they are a proper, stiff-upper-lip British family; poster children for the WWII boomer families. Inside, Claire is barely able to cover the fact that she’s perennially displeased, while Frank mopes around perfecting the wounded-puppy look. It’s painful to watch. Even more painful when Frank points out that Claire imagines Jamie when they have sex. Awkward much?? We do however, see Claire start to brighten towards the end of the episode when she starts her medical training. Here’s hoping we see more of that aspect of her life because, quite frankly, it’s the only semi-interesting thing going on in her storyline.
Meanwhile, Jamie’s world has progressed six years. Jamie has healed from his physical battle wounds but has clearly developed a whole host of psychological ones. Hiding from the English has turned his life into a torturous purgatory in which he is seemingly unable to converse outside of grunts or bathe.
That being said, Heughan turns out an excellent performance as the haunted, brooding outlaw. He seems more broken now than he did after Wentworth. But I think there is a difference between being physically broken and being broken emotionally. For the first time, Jamie has given up. It takes an altercation between Fergus and some Red Coats (in which Fergus loses a hand) to shock Jamie out of his stupor. Then we get the most beautiful and poignant scene of the entire episode when widow McNab and Jamie seek mutual healing through anodyne sex. Finally ready to move on, Jamie surrenders to the English while simultaneously securing money and protection for Lallybroch.
Surrender Episode Musings
I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m just not a fan of the book but I found it really hard to get excited about the Surrender episode. Aside from the Jamie/McNab scene that may, MAY, have made me a little weepy, I struggled to find an emotional connection in this episode. I just found it boring.
I was a little miffed that we didn’t get ANY content from an older Claire, Bree, or Roger in their attempts to locate information about Jamie. It bugs me. The story is so caught up recounting the minutia of the separation that it is forgetting to progress the overall plot. The writers could at least pepper us with some hints, some teases, of the search for Jamie.
I did however walk away with two bright spots after this episode. First, we got to meet Joe Abernathy. I always liked his friendship with Claire in the books, so it was gratifying to see its origin. I loved that they came together through mutual adversity and I look forward to seeing the friendship blossom. Second, now that Jamie has surrendered, he is on his way to prison where he will meet Lord John. I’ve already talked about how much I enjoy their relationship so I won’t ramble about that more. I’m just excited that we are close to seeing it in action!
The next episode is called All Debts Paid, so I’m going to hazard a guess that Jamie is going to do something foolish in prison that will cause Lord John to intervene and repay his life debt. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the plot will start to kick up a bit and we may actually see some progress!