Outlander was emotional and heavy with its Season 3 premiere last week, and the latest episode is held up once more by our favourite redheaded Scot, Jamie Fraser.
The premiere episode saw the repercussions of the Battle of Culloden with Jamie (Sam Heughan) facing death and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) adjusting to life in 1940’s Boston. The two lovebirds struggled immensely and we last saw Jamie return home to Lallybroch and Claire give birth to Brianna and thinking she can have a life with Frank (Tobias Menzies).
There’s No Place Like Lallybroch
A six-year time jump sees Jamie still a wanted man by many (yes you too, you thirsty Outlander fan) in 1752. A puberty ridden Fergus (Romann Berrux) adventures with his somewhat cousins Rabbie MacNab and young Jamie Murray in search of a gun. They’re quickly interrupted by the Red Coats who are in search of Red Jamie and The Dubonnet, who are actually one and the same. Pleading ignorance, Ian (Steven Cree) is hauled away and leaves a yet again pregnant Jenny (Laura Donnelly) behind.
Unfortunately the years have not been kind to all as a wild Jamie appears with luscious long locks and a woolly beard, not to mention he’s sporting a bow and arrow. He now spends his day’s hunting, hiding in caves, and checking on his family from time to time, which doesn’t involve much talking on his behalf. It’s heartbreaking to see his visions of Claire and Jenny is quite bothered by the walls he has built around himself. Jenny isn’t the only one frustrated by this Fraser as Fergus calls Jamie a coward, which receives no fiery response like the one the Jamie we all know and love would have given.
There’s Three In The Bed…
We find Claire panting in bed as she thinks of Jamie whilst lying next to Frank. She conjures up some steamy images of her Jamie, and this was quite pleasant to see, not just for the obvious reasons, but also after seeing him not himself.
In 1949 Boston, Brianna continues to grow and a Globe-reading Claire lusts a little over her husband’s freshly showered and naked body, which is a significant improvement in their relationship. This leads to Claire sleeping with Frank one night and later on, she entices him with the removal of her undergarments. Naturally, this leads to a fully clothed session reminiscent of those she had in the Highlands with Jamie, but Frank insists she opens her eyes to look at him because she never used to do that when they were together. Claire gets huffy and stops, but Frank won’t have it as he declares he is with her, but she is with him.
The Return of Jamie
A raven lands at Lallybroch and since they are a harbinger of death, Fergus decides to try to shoot it. He manages to hit it, but this attracts the attention of an angry Jamie and some nearby Red Coats. Whilst Jamie holds his new nephew in his arms, Jenny asks about Jamie’s love life and suggests Mary MacNab (Emma Campbell-Jones) as a release. This only infuriates Jamie, and every Outlander viewer, but he has no time for anger as the Red Coats storm Lallybroch.
In a search for the gun, Jamie hides with a fussy baby in his arms whilst Jenny lies and said the baby died when questioned. Unfortunately the saviour of this situation is Mary who claims the gun was her deceased husband’s and she fired the gun at the raven.
Fergus’ anger towards the Red Coats grows and when he goes to see Jamie, he is followed by a group of them. Taunting and playing games with them, Jamie overhears and sees Fergus captured by them. A nasty Scottish Red Coat cuts off Fergus’ hand and leaves him to die, but Jamie reacts in a true Jamie fashion and rescues him. After checking Fergus is okay, Jamie finally releases all his pain and heartache in front of Jenny.
Rewards All Around
Jamie tells Ian and Jenny he wants them to turn him in so the Red Coats will leave them alone and they can claim the reward. On his last day of freedom, Mary pops up yet again and visits him at his cave with food. However, she does shave and cut his hair so we can be appreciative that because now he’s looking mighty fine again.
Her redemption is short-lived when Jamie returns to find Mary half undressed, preparing a bed for them, and offering her body to Jamie. Infuriated by the idea once again, Mary somehow manages to convince Jamie it will be good for the both of them. This scene offered a lot of parallels between Jamie and Claire’s first time, so it was quite heartbreaking to watch, but thankfully, it cut off just as the steam levels began to rise.
Jamie makes his triumphant return to Lallybroch to “discover” his sister has betrayed him and given him to the Red Coats.
To New Beginnings
Claire has thrown herself into motherhood, but she finds something is still missing from her life. Perhaps a redheaded Scot? She soon finds herself at Harvard as a student and introducing herself to her professor, who is not impressed to be having both a woman and a negro in his anatomy class. All her classmates are quick to judge upon their arrival, but the seat next to her becomes occupied by Joe Abernathy (Wil Johnson) and so the two outcasts are not so alone.
As for Claire and Frank, the two now sleep in separate beds and Claire still longs for Jamie when she hears the sound of bagpipes as she walks through the park.
With each season, Outlander becomes drastically different and so it seems with the third season. The main focus of Season 3 currently appears to be Jamie as Claire was barely present for this episode and her scenes didn’t feel very worthwhile. A disappointing element missing from this episode was the transitions they used in the premiere episode to jump between our leads. This made the episode feel quite short and lessened the connection and relationship between Jamie and Claire. Perhaps whilst Claire thought of Jamie, he could be thinking of her? But then again, it’s all about ensuring they get everything in.
Sam Heughan was remarkable in this episode with his portrayal of two very different Jamie’s, but I do hope our other male lead, Tobias Menzies, gets some more scenes before his inevitable death that we all know is coming. Let’s also hope episode six comes quick so we can see Jamie and Claire reunited once again and the balance of Outlander restored once more.
What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below!