Episode 304: "Of Lost Things" (SPOILERS!)
*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***
There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.
The opening shot, with Jamie carving the little wooden snake, is even more poignant once you've seen the episode.
I love the amount of detail on that corkboard! I'd love to get a closer look at it.
Nice to see Fiona again. I like that she's not used for comic relief as much here as in the books. And I laughed at the way Bree and Roger exchanged looks after Fiona said, "You're much too thin."
The scene with the servants lined up outside the house is reminiscent of DOWNTON ABBEY, but it also reminded me of the way the servants lined up to greet Claire when she returned to Jared's house in Paris in Episode 207 ("Faith"), after the miscarriage.
Interesting that Lord Dunsany doesn't hold Jamie's Jacobite past against him. "You were defeated. Our quarrels are bygone."
"The pain of losing a child never leaves you. I've lost two children myself, my lord." Awwwww, that's sad!
The fact that Jamie receives a small stipend for his work at Helwater is a change from the book, but I can see why they did it: to give Jamie a plausible reason for staying at Helwater after Geneva's death.
Meanwhile back in 1968... When Roger said, "I don't have a girlfriend," Bree's grin said plainly, "You're looking at her!" <g> Bree fixing the car reminded me of the time she fixed the TV at Joe Abernathy's house during the moon-landing party in DRUMS OF AUTUMN. It's a subtle way to introduce the fact that she has engineering skills.
"What do I owe ye?"
"I'll think of something."
That made me smile. I like the way their relationship is developing.
The bit about the grooms drawing straws comes straight from the book:
Pretty, spoilt, and autocratic, the Lady Geneva was accustomed to get what she wanted when she wanted it, and damn the convenience of anyone standing in her way. She was a good horsewoman--Jamie would give her that--but so sharp-tongued and whim-ridden that the grooms were given to drawing straws to determine who would have the misfortune of accompanying her on her daily ride.Geneva refers to her riding horse as a "palfrey". According to Wikipedia,
(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 14, "Geneva". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
A palfrey is a type of horse that was highly valued as a riding horse in the Middle Ages. It was a lighter-weight horse, usually a smooth gaited one that could amble, suitable for riding over long distances. Palfreys were not a specific breed as horse breeds are understood today.I liked the scene between Jamie and Isobel. "A cage is still a cage" - good line! She's right, of course, even if the bars are invisible.
Back in 1968, it was great to hear from Joe Abernathy again. He's aged visibly since the last episode, of course, but he's still a very likeable character, and it was good to see Claire relax as soon as she heard his voice. In case you're wondering, Murphy's sign is a test for gallbladder disease.
So Lord Ellesmere finds Geneva's disposition "appealing"? Well, maybe. Or perhaps it's actually the size of her dowry that he finds appealing?
"My God, if a child of mine had hair that color, I'd drown him before he drew his second breath!"
Grrrrr!! When I heard that, I said, "Hey, cut that out!" (Speaking as a redhead myself, of course. <g>) That comment presumably reflects attitudes that were common among the British aristocracy at the time, but it is, of course, calculated to make all the Jamie-fans in the audience indignant on his behalf.
It's impossible to miss the way Geneva stares at Jamie afterward, obviously Getting Ideas.
The next scene, with Jamie and Geneva riding through the woods, is really well done. Geneva is terrific in this scene.
"What do you find attractive?" Ouch. I wanted Jamie to say, "None of your business, my lady," but of course he's more tactful than that.
When Jamie came upon Lady Geneva sprawled in the road, I thought of the scene in Episode 114 ("The Search") where Jenny pretends to swoon so that she and Claire can capture the Redcoat courier.
"I knew you'd do as I told you," she says, with that insufferable, self-satisfied expression, and THUD! down she goes, in the mud. I laughed out loud at that. This bit isn't in the book, but I thought it was a very entertaining addition.
Wonderful to see David Berry again as Lord John. I liked the chess game, and their easy manner of talking with one another.
I was surprised when Hal showed up. He's clearly taken aback when he recognizes Jamie, but to his credit, he recovers quickly, playing along with the deception and giving no hint that he knows Jamie's true identity. Lady Geneva obviously sees that something odd is going on, though, and takes Hal away to speak in private.
(Just an aside: in these Helwater scenes, I'm watching the female servants in the background, wondering which one might be Keren-happuch, the character in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER that Diana Gabaldon named after me. <g>)
The scene between Jamie and Geneva is very good. I really liked Jamie's reaction to Geneva ordering him to her bed. Geneva's use of blackmail here is not quite as dire as in the book -- she certainly doesn't threaten to have him flogged! -- but she is still talking about harm coming to his family at Lallybroch if he doesn't do what she wants.
Jamie's rendezvous with Geneva doesn't carry the overtones of enormous risk and danger to Jamie that we see in the book. I was a little disappointed by that. He just walks into her bedroom in the middle of the night as though it's the most casual thing in the world.
"Having brought me to your bed by means of threats against my family, I'll not have ye call me by the name they give me." This is a direct quote from the book, and I was glad to see it here.
"You may disrobe." Wow. I wasn't expecting her to order him to do that, but it does seem in character for Geneva. (He's only a servant, after all.)
It's impossible to watch Jamie in this scene without thinking of the wedding night, and Claire's first sight of his naked body. Just heartbreaking to remember that now.
"The first time can often be...vexing." Of course Jamie can't help but be thinking of it, too. <sigh>
I wasn't surprised that they left out Geneva's "No! It's too big! Take it out!" There's just no way they could have explained that to a modern TV audience, and anyway the important part is the fact that they had sex, not that Geneva briefly had second thoughts. Very wise of them to sidestep the whole controversy!
Their post-coital conversation about love is taken almost word for word from the book -- except for this bit: "Love is...when you give your heart and soul to another, and they give theirs in return." Awwwww, that's so sad!
The next time we see Geneva, she's very obviously pregnant.
Meanwhile, back in 1968.... The scene with Fiona and Claire is well done, but I have a very hard time believing that Claire would have given the pearls away to Mrs. Graham as a gift. Aside from her wedding ring, and Brianna <g>, the pearls are her only tangible link to Jamie. Why would she have willingly parted with them for twenty years? I'm glad she got them back, though.
So Bree isn't accustomed to calling Claire "Mama"? Interesting.
I liked the scene with Bree and Roger. Bree is more introspective in this episode, showing more vulnerability, and I liked seeing that.
"Part of me doesn't want to find him either, because, well, once you do, you'll go back to Boston." And Bree pulls him impulsively into a kiss. I loved that! <g> Rik and Sophie have good chemistry together, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Bree and Roger's relationship develops. The writers are laying a good foundation here, I think.
Ellesmere's estate is enormous, even by comparison to the Dunsanys' mansion.
I liked Jamie's reaction to the news that the baby is "a fine, healthy boy." He stops dead, as though he can't quite believe it.
The scene where Jamie finds Isobel weeping in the hallway is really well done. I think having Isobel tell Jamie the news, rather than a servant as in the book, works really well here. We can see how devastated Isobel is by her sister's death. I was taken by surprise when Isobel slapped him, but I can't blame her for being furious with him, under the circumstances.
I really liked the confrontation between Ellesmere and Dunsany. It's a lot of fun to see this very dramatic scene from the book brought to life on TV. I like the way Jamie tries to defuse the situation, managing to get the pistol away from Lord Dunsany.
Having Ellesmere threaten the baby's life by holding a knife to his throat, rather than threatening to drop him out the window, makes sense to me. The threat is just as deadly this way, and if they're using a real baby in this scene, there's no risk of injury to him if something should go wrong in the filming. So I think it was a good decision.
I just loved the way the baby opened his eyes and looked at Jamie. So glad he got to hold him, even if only for a short time!
The next scene, with Isobel, Jamie, and baby William, is very well done. I'm really glad they included Jamie talking to the baby ("You're a braw laddie"), just as he did in the book. I had tears in my eyes, watching this.
When Lady Dunsany offers Jamie his freedom, the presence of baby William in the pram beside them makes the choice blindingly clear, just as it is in the book:
Scotland. To go away from this damp, spongy atmosphere, set foot on that forbidden road and walk it with a free, long stride, up into the crags and along the deer trails, to feel the air clearing and sharpening with the scent of gorse and heather. To go home!But somehow it's even more heartbreaking for Jamie to have to make that decision while looking down at his newborn son.
To be a stranger no longer. To go away from hostility and loneliness, come down into Lallybroch, and see his sister’s face light with joy at the sight of him, feel her arms around his waist, Ian’s hug about his shoulders and the pummeling, grasping clutch of the children’s hands, tugging at his clothes.
To go away, and never to see or hear of his own child again.
(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 15, "By Misadventure". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I love the scenes with Willie, age six, played by Clark Butler. The casting people did a terrific job finding him.
Clever idea to use the excuse of wiping down the carriage windows to let Jamie take a really good look at Willie's features, compare them to his own (reflected in the glass), and see the resemblance for himself.
Back in 1968, I'm not sure I see the point of that futile visit to the National Archives. Just to show Claire's frustration at how difficult and time-consuming it's proving to find Jamie in the past?
The scene at the bar seems pretty contrived, designed by the writers specifically, IMHO, to put the idea of Burns' "Freedom and whisky gang thegither" in Roger's head, so he'll search later with that thought in mind.
Claire's complaint about the sexist attitudes of men in 1968 doesn't fit well here. Claire is seriously contemplating going back to the 18th century for good, assuming they find Jamie. If she's that irritated by the sexist behavior of mid-20th-century men, has she forgotten what it was like to be surrounded by 18th-century men (Angus, for example) who thought even less of women, or to live in a society in which women had few legal rights?
Interesting that Claire seems to be having second thoughts about "chasing a ghost".
The scene with Willie and Jamie is terrific! "You have to do what I tell you," Willie says, echoing Geneva earlier in the episode.
"I suspect no's a word ye've not heard much of, but you'll hear it in the world and you'd best get used to it." That made me think immediately of the wonderful scene in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER where Jamie teaches two-year-old Willie how to say "No." <g> (One of my favorite scenes in that book!)
Willie's reaction to the word "bastard", and Jamie's response, hugging him at long last, is very much as I've always imagined from the book. I like the way Jamie murmurs to him in Gaelic.
"We all have our secrets," Lord John says to Jamie. Good line -- and John has more secrets than most.
I like the scene with John and Jamie in the woods very much. David Berry's facial expressions in this scene are absolutely spot on, especially his utter astonishment at Jamie's offer.
They don't state specifically that Lord John has resigned his army commission, but I think it's obvious from the fact that John is not in uniform on this visit.
I'm glad they included John's line, "I made trial of my capacity in London." Some day I hope we'll see that scene in a published book!
"I'm grateful to ye," Jamie says, and they shake hands as gentlemen, as friends, as equals. And then Jamie puts his free hand over their clasped hands, in echo of that disastrous incident at Ardsmuir that nearly shattered their friendship permanently. I loved that, as a sign that all is forgiven between them.
Jamie and Willie's farewell scene is just wonderful! I think the inclusion of the little statue of St. Anthony, "the patron saint of lost things", is really fitting -- and now we see where the title of this episode comes from.
I was really glad to see they kept so much of this scene almost word-for-word from the book. <g> But the gift of the wooden snake is really an inspired idea, and I love it! It's a gift with deep meaning for both Jamie and Willie, and it will be easier than a rosary for Willie to hide from the adults around him.
As the scene ended, I was a bit startled to hear the Bob Dylan song. At first I thought, this is an odd choice for a show that takes place mostly in the 18th century. But the lyrics ("Oh where have you been, my blue-eyed son") are very appropriate (heartbreakingly so), and I love the montage that follows.
I had tears in my eyes when Jamie said goodbye to Willie, John, and Isobel. "It's hard" seems like a vast understatement, but the music is somehow comforting.
When Brianna looked around one last time just before leaving the manse, I thought she must be thinking of how much her life has changed since she walked through its doors for the first time at the beginning of Episode 213 ("Dragonfly in Amber"). She's changed a lot in a short time already, and this is only the beginning.
Willie running toward "Mac" as he rides away, not looking back -- that's just gut-wrenching. Devastating. I can imagine Willie's cries echoing in Jamie's memory for a long, long time afterward.
Roger playing with the toy plane segues neatly into Claire and Bree, on the plane going home to Boston.
And at the very end, we're left with the image of Jamie riding away, leaving Helwater and Willie behind forever. I can't imagine what Jamie must be going through, emotionally, not knowing if he'll ever see his son again. And once again I think what an appropriate surname "Ransom" is for William: the "ransom" Jamie paid -- the price for regaining his freedom -- is to give up forever any chance of a relationship with his son. Just heartbreaking.
They did a fantastic job with this episode. Kudos to the entire cast and crew!
I hope you enjoyed this recap. Please come back next week to see my reactions to Episode 305.
Look here for my recaps of all of the OUTLANDER episodes so far.