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Outlander - All Debts Paid - Review: "A Little Unfair"




We’re moving on toward the end of the 20 year span before Claire found out Jamie survived Culloden. This week is more story forward that the previous two episodes. Jamie is in Ardsmuir Prison and Murtagh is alive!

I was absolutely tickled to see Murtagh, although his health had me worried for most of the episode. He didn’t survive Culloden in the book, so I spent the episode with my fingers crossed that they hadn’t simply moved the character’s demise for the show.

It was nice that Jamie had someone to talk to about Claire even though he tries to avoid thinking about her too much. Happily Murtagh survives the episode and hopefully we will see him again.

Jamie is the unofficial chief of the prisoners. In addition to speaking for them regarding official issues, he has taken to doctoring.

The affect that Claire had on his life remains strong. He forces Murtagh to drink concoctions he makes from Milk Thistle and probably a few other things. I assume he’s also tried to convince the other Scots to eat watercress to avoid scurvy.

It’s a less emotionally intense episode as Jamie meets and gets to know John Grey. John remembers their first meeting less fondly than Jamie does, and, consequently, wants nothing to do with the man beyond the perfunctory business of the prison.

However, the appearance of a dying man who may know where the gold sent from France has been hidden forces John to approach Jamie for help as a translator.

The delirious man mentions the White Witch, and Jamie briefly escapes Ardsmuir to determine if Claire has returned. Jamie tells John that he didn’t find Claire or any gold. He just found an empty box containing one jewel, which he hands over to John.

I liked John Grey, both the casting and the character. He, like his older brother, is an honorable man. His instinct is to do right by the men in his care, agreeing, for example, to allow them to set snares on the moor to catch rabbits to supplement their rations.

John and Jamie establish a friendship that allows John to reveal that he too lost someone at Culloden; someone he cared deeply about. (One of the stand out scenes of the episode.)

It becomes painfully obvious that John considers Jamie more than a friend and that Jamie will not consider that type of relationship. In fact, John’s overture severs the friendship.

They don’t speak again until Ardsmuir is closed. Since Jamie is an imprisoned traitor, he won’t be sent to The Colonies like the other prisoners.

John does the best for Jamie that he can. He arranges for Jamie to serve out his time on an estate called Hellwater. From the looks of it there are no dank rat infested cells. It looks like this will be a good thing.

This episode basically zipped us through the next eighteen years. I loved the English breakfast scene. It was nice to see Claire and Frank as friends.

The arrangement alluded to at the end of the last episode (the separate beds) apparently included the freedom to see other people.

When Frank gets timing mixed up and his girlfriend arrives to pick him up before Claire and her friends leave for a dinner to celebrate her graduation from medical school, she loses her temper and accuses him of doing it on purpose to humiliate her.

I must confess I am not on Claire’s side in this one. These disagreements were my least favorite aspect of the episode. Claire does finally suggest Frank file for a divorce, but Frank’s seen men lose their relationship with their children (Brianna’s 10 at this point I believe), and he’s not willing to take that chance.

It seems that this argument was the death of those friendly moments like the one that opened the episode. They barely speak while celebrating Brianna’s 16th birthday.

Once Brianna has graduated from high school, Frank is done with the charade. Frank informs Claire that he wants to return to England and will encourage Brianna to go to school there.

He is ready to file for divorce and marry his longtime girlfriend. Claire freaks out at the idea of Frank taking Brianna to England with him.

Though I understand why the idea of losing her only connection to Jamie would freak her out, I felt a sense of unfairness to Frank in her anger. Frank is the innocent victim in all of this.

With the exception of Brianna having a good father, I can’t help but think it would have been better if Claire had not allowed the doctors to tell Frank when she returned through the stones.

This last fight ends with Claire telling Frank a painful truth. Frank wants to know, if Brianna had not been a constant reminder of Jamie, would Claire have been able to forget Jamie in time.

She doesn’t say it to inflict pain, but the one thing she has almost always been with Frank is honest with him about Jamie. But the words “That amount of time doesn’t exist” strike hard and deep.

Later that night, Frank is killed in a car accident. Claire says good-bye telling Frank that he was her first love. My first thought was ‘too little too late’, but I’m not sure if there was ever anything she could have done to make things better for Frank. What I do believe is that Frank didn’t deserve the half-life he lived.

I am curious. What are your opinions on Claire and Frank’s relationship since the season started? What did you think of the episode overall?







 
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