Outlander Season 3 Episode 4: Of Lost Things
Ok, I think I can finally say it: Outlander is back! I know new episodes have been airing for a month now, but in case my last three reviews didn’t convince you, I haven’t been a fan. Now it feels like the show is finally back on track. Episode 4 “Of Lost Things” brought together all of the things I loved about the first two seasons. It featured complex characterization, an interesting story and LOTS of raw emotion. It also covered a LOT of ground and several major plot points that have repercussions for the rest of the series.
I’m so excited that the series is finally returning to form.
Of Lost Things Recap: Claire
Of Lost Things picks up Claire’s story in 1968, with the quest to find Jamie underway. The manor has been turned into CSI: Locate Jamie. Whiteboards in the background display a giant timeline as they attempt to trace Jamie’s whereabouts through the years. They’ve figured out that time between the stones moves at the same speed. If they are going to have any hope of reuniting Jamie and Claire, they have to locate where Jamie was roughly 20 years after Culloden.
Claire is struggling. Information is scarce, and with Jamie using any number of pseudonyms the chances of finding him are slim. Seriously, I’ve lost count of how many names he’s had at this point. Jamie McTavish, James Fraser, Red Jamie, Dunbonnet, MacDub, Alex MacKenzie, Mac – and those are just the ones I remember. The strain of looking but not finding wears Claire down emotionally; she is taught and fragile. At the end of the episode she recalls Mrs. Graham’s warning not to live her life chasing a ghost. So she stops the search and returns to Boston and her career with Bree by her side. Obviously we know that’s not actually the end of the search, but it’s sad nonetheless.
Equally poignant is the growing relationship between Claire and Bree. Both women have lowered their guards and are opening up to one another. It’s so touching and yet, as Bree points out, heart wrenching. She’s just beginning to develop the relationship she has always wanted with her mother, and the result of it will be their parting. How gutting is that?? In a brief spot of joy, Bree and Roger finally get to share a kiss. Considering it’s something we’ve been waiting for since Season 2, it’s a long time coming.
Of Lost Things Recap: Jamie Part 1
Of Lost Things was almost completely focused on Jamie. In my last post, I was curious about how the writers were going to treat Jamie’s time at Helwater. Well they opted to condense his entire life there into a single episode. That’s a helluva lot of drama to put into one episode. Seductions, intrigue, blackmail, bribery, deaths, murders, illegitimate children, this episode had it all. I literally cannot recap it all unless you want this review to be a novella. So I give you a ridiculously-brief nutshell via bullet points:
- Jamie works for the Dunsany family
- The Dunsany’s have two daughters. Isobel is plain but good-natured. Geneva is beautiful and a pain in the ass
- Geneva must marry Lord Ellesmere, a creepy old dude that she hates
- Out of spite, she blackmails Jamie to sleep with her before the wedding and gets pregnant
- She has a baby boy, but dies in the process
- Ellesmere knows the baby isn’t his and tries to kill it
- Jamie kills Ellesmere instead
- The Dunsany’s are so grateful they offer to fix Jamie’s parole and set him free
- Jamie declines, preferring to stay at Helwater close to his son
- Jamie and William (Willie) grow close
- Willie starts to resemble Jamie a little too much so Jamie knows it’s time to leave
- In the most heart-wrenching scene OF ALL TIME Jamie leaves Helwater with Willie screaming for him in the background, and Jamie can’t even look back. Oh my heart!
Of Lost Things Recap – Jamie Part 2
Having read the books, I knew what awaited Jamie at Helwater. Seeing the action laid out in a single episode however, was absolutely bonkers. Jamie is one of my favourite male literary characters, so my expectations of him are crazy high. If Heughan’s performance in the final episodes of Season 1 hadn’t won me over, his performance in Of Lost Things would have taken the cake. He is masterful. The subtlety and nuance he brings to the character is amazing. He can say more with a jaw clench than many actors can say in an entire monologue. He also never shies away from showcasing Jamie’s vulnerability, which I’ve always felt is a key but often overlooked aspect of his character. Bravo Mr. Heughan.
I have ONE gripe about this episode. It’s a small gripe, but it must be said. Who cast the actor that portrayed Willie?! Because whoever they are, they should be fired. It’s not that the kid is terrible, in fact as child actors go he’s not bad. But he doesn’t look like Heughan in any way, shape, or form. In fact he bears more resemblance to Fergus. In the books, Willie is described as being Jamie’s double and since the resemblance is the impetus for Jamie leaving Helwater it’s a pretty significant detail. From what I’ve read, that is all we are going to see of Willie this season so it might not be a big deal. It is kind of aggravating to have such a major flaw in an otherwise perfect episode.
Of Lost Things – What’s Next
The next episode is called Freedom & Whiskey, which gives us a little hint of what’s to come. “Freedom” likely refers to Jamie’s life post Helwater. This is the first time that he hasn’t been a wanted fugitive in his home country in over twenty years – don’t forget that he was already an outlaw when he met Claire. If you’ve read the books you know what he does and what questionable choices he makes with that freedom. I’m excited to see it play out.
We STILL won’t get our Jamie/Claire reunion though, which makes me disappointed. There is quiet a bit of story left to cover before they get there. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. The reunion scene was one of the only parts of the book I actually liked, so they better devote something excessive, like half an episode, to that scene.
In the meantime, I’m predicting the next episode will propel our characters to the brink of their reunion. The pace will be slower than Of Lost Things. The episode should be solid though, there is still a good content between where this episode left off and when we finally get the reunion. Bring it on!