Outlander season 3 episode 3 highlighted Jamie and Claire’s continued isolation. There are all types of prisons, and some even have walls.
For the first decade or so after they part, both Jamie and Claire experience an isolation that is largely of their own making, but is also frequently not what they bargained for.
Claire and Frank
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gave Frank (Tobias Menzies) the opportunity of freedom, but he doesn’t take her up on this offer because he fears he’d never see Brianna again. The main consequence that neither Frank nor Claire ever anticipated was how much Frank would love Bree (Sophie Skelton). No matter how much this open marriage with discretion caused flareups, it came down to Bree that it was still intact.
One thing thing that was constantly clear in this broken relationship was the inability to let go. What remained on the best of days was a friendship. On the worst of days it was bruised egos.
You wonder if Frank’s fears that he’d never see Brianna again were true. He had cause to doubt, but would those particular doubts have played out as he feared? How would their lives have been different if they co-parented? It’s hard to know.
Regardless, a fond farewell to actor Tobias Menzies is in order, as this is likely his last episode in the series now that both Frank and Black Jack are dead.
Well, I guess we got our answer to one of our burning Outlander questions. Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is locked up in Ardsmuir Prison with whatever is left of the rounded up Jacobite Army. What’s unclear is how Murtagh landed there.
It’s an interesting departure from the novels in that Jamie is completely left without male companionship from his past, save for Ian. Jamie’s isolation is now a little less isolating.
The gold, the witch, and the silkies
This one might have been a bit confusing for those who aren’t book readers. As John Grey enters the prison for the first time, we hear of a mythical lost gold hoard meant for Bonnie Prince Charlie that was supposedly stashed on the nearby moors. The next time we hear of this gold is from a deranged and bedraggled mystery man saying, “The gold is cursed,” and then other unintelligible things in French and Gaelic.
The short version is that Jamie eventually agrees to play translator for Major John Grey (David Berry) because it will benefit the fellow inmates and in particular Murtagh. Jamie will continually put himself last, but those under his are first. This is the Jamie Fraser we love.
In broken Gaelic and French, the wandering traveler tells a tale of the gold meant for “The McKenzie,” but Collum and Dougal are dead. It’s the White Witch’s gold, and it’s hidden on rocks where the silkies (AKA seals) go.
Jamie thinks it may be a message from Claire and that’s why he investigates. In the end, it’s not what he thought.
What an interesting road of bisecting lives wrapped up in love, loss, and a moral code of honor! Lord John and Jamie go from combatants, to respectful enemies, to eventually what’s the start of a friendship.
When they finally stop owing each other life-debts and see each other as people and actually talk, they are far more alike than different.
By the end of the evening, it’s obvious that both Jamie and Claire have shut themselves off. They each live a performance of a life with a focus, but they are constantly emotionally stunted without each other. They only thing keeping them going are the family members that depend on them. In Claire’s case, it’s Bree. In Jamie’s case, it’s his men.