In this episode of Outlander, titled “All Debts Paid,” Jamie reunites with someone from his past who proves to be an unexpected ally. And Claire and Frank continue to lead separate lives, until an accident promises to change Claire’s life forever.
For those who “canna” stand for Claire and Jamie to be separated for much longer, time begins to pass quickly for both as Jamie serves his prison sentence and Claire, stuck serving out a sentence of her own, attends medical school.
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There’s Gold in Them Moors
It’s 1956 in Boston, and it appears as if relations between Frank and Claire have improved. They are the picture of domestic bliss, with Frank cooking a traditional English breakfast for the family. But the cracks show when Claire learns that Frank is seeing someone. The two have an understanding, which means they lead separate lives — as long as they’re discreet. Of course, the discretion part only applies to Frank because Claire is still pining away for Jamie.
Claire may be in a loveless marriage, but at least she has all the creature comforts, unlike Jamie, who is sharing a cell with a bunch of fellow Jacobites and a whole lot of rats (they bite) in Ardsmuir Prison. It’s 1755 — nine years after the Battle of Culloden. On the upside, there’s no sadist trying to bugger him.
The prison gets a new governor, Major John William Grey (David Berry). This is the same John Grey who infiltrated the Jacobite camp but was let go by Jamie. Grey declared that he owed Jamie for his life. His brother, Lord Melton, discharged the debt, allowing Jamie to go free as other Jacobites were executed immediately following the battle that doomed the Jacobite uprising.
As Grey is shown around his new post by the outgoing governor, Colonel Harry Quarry (Jay Villiers), Grey questions if the prison is always so gloomy. Quarry assures Grey that aside from paperwork, the job is a cinch. There’s tons of good local booze, there’s plenty of grouse to hunt and the prisoners are all pretty docile except for one — Jamie. He’s the only former Jacobite officer, the only prisoner kept in chains and all the other men treat him as their chief, calling Jamie ‘Mac Dubh’ (Son of the Black). Of course, Grey knows who Jamie is, but he doesn’t divulge anything to Quarry, who says while in command he had supper with Jamie once a week to make sure he had Jamie’s goodwill and cooperation. Quarry suggests Grey devise a similar arrangement, but Grey isn’t immediately amenable. He’s very handsome but also a bit green and a tight ass.
Quarry also shares with Grey the rumor that there’s a fortune in gold sent by Louis of France to Charles Stuart that the Highland army hid somewhere on the moor. Quarry was fascinated by the prospect and spent several years looking for it with no success. Quarry does believe that any man who manages to deliver such a treasure would gain favorable attention from the Crown.
Also locked up at Ardsmuir is Murtagh, who is in very poor health and clings to a tattered piece of tartan as a reminder of days past. He and Jamie discuss the new governor, and Jamie feels like he’s seen Grey somewhere before but can’t place him.
Grey sends for Jamie and asks if Jamie would like to continue the arrangement he had with Quarry — to serve as a spokesman for the prisoners — and Jamie agrees. Jamie questions what Grey must have done to be sent to Ardsmuir and tells the young officer that he hopes he deserved it.
The Other Woman
Back in Boston, two years pass and Claire graduates from medical school. She throws a small party to celebrate with her classmates, friends and future colleagues. The party is interrupted by the arrival of Frank’s girlfriend, who did not expect Claire to be at home.
Later, Claire confronts Frank. She’s less concerned that he’s cheating than the fact that she was humiliated in front of her colleagues. Frank makes it clear that while Claire thinks she may be doing a fine job of playing half of a happily-married couple, it’s pretty common knowledge that their union is a farce.
Claire suggests that it might be time to file for divorce, then at least Frank can have his freedom. But Frank worries that he’ll never see Brianna. Claire swears that she would never keep their daughter from him and offers to work out a compromise, but Frank doesn’t trust Claire or her promises.
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La Dame Blanche
English soldiers come across a man on the road heading to the prison babbling about cursed gold. The possibility of there being truth to the treasure rumor causes Grey to call on Jamie for help. He wants Jamie to interpret what the man, Duncan Kerr (Murray McCarthur), is saying. (He’s speaking mostly in Gaelic and French.) Initially, Jamie says no, so Grey offers to take off Jamie’s chains. Once free, Jamie imposes another condition for his cooperation. He wants blankets and medicine for all the men. Grey isn’t able to comply due to a severe shortage of supplies, so Jamie asks for special care for Murtagh.
Jamie questions Duncan about the “Frenchmen’s gold.” Duncan talks about curses and death, even mentioning Dougal and Colum. What catches Jamie’s attention is when Duncan mentions the “white witch.” Duncan says the witch seeks a brave man, a MacKenzie, and warns Jamie with his dying breath that she will come for him.
Jamie has nothing useful to report to Grey, who thinks Jamie is holding back. He threatens to torture him, but Jamie makes it clear there’s nothing Grey could do to him that hasn’t already been done.
Jamie does share the details of the conversation with Murtagh, who wonders if Claire could be back and wonders what happened to her after she passed through the stones.
Grey proves to be not such a terrible guy. He makes good on his promise to provide care for Murtagh and decides to invite Jamie to dine with him. He even acquiesces to Jamie’s request that the men be able to hunt for themselves by setting snares on the moor. He also asks that they be allowed to gather watercress to eat to avoid scurvy. Grey questions how Jamie would know such a thing, and Jamie responds that he learned it from his wife, who is … gone.
But Jaime’s request for the snares is part of a bigger plan. One day while the guards are distracted watching prisoners check the traps, Jamie hides in a nearby ditch with the aid of some of his fellow prisoners. The news gets back to Grey that Jamie has escaped, and soldiers search the nearby shoreline for three days.
While out on patrol, Grey is caught off guard by Jamie — the Scot sneaks up on him while he’s taking a piss, just as Grey did to Jamie all those years ago. Jamie reveals that he does remember Grey and wonders why Grey didn’t reveal their connection. Grey is embarrassed that he so easily gave away information about the British troops and that he got tied to a tree where he promptly crapped his pants.
Grey knows that his brother discharged the family debt, but Jamie reminds Grey that he still has a promise to fulfill — to kill him. Try as he might, Jamie just can’t die. He gets down on his knees, but Grey refuses to murder an unarmed prisoner.
Jamie confides in Grey about Claire and how Duncan’s words held special meaning to him. Jamie had to go see for himself if there was any sign of Claire, but there wasn’t. He resigns himself to the fact that she’s gone forever. There’s also no gold since Louis didn’t send any to Charles, but Jamie did recover a rather large jewel, which he hands over to Grey.
Paid in Full
Over the course of the next few months, Jamie and Grey forge the closest thing to a friendship that two men in their situation can. They’ve moved on from having dinner to playing chess, and one night Grey reveals that he lost someone very special to him during the Battle of Culloden — a male someone. Jamie thanks Grey for saving Claire’s honor that night so long ago. (Grey is understandably surprised to learn that Claire was no damsel-in-distress.) They bond over their shared grief, but when Grey makes a subtle pass at Jamie, he advises Grey to back off or he’ll kill him.
Claire and Frank watch Brianna graduate from high school, but afterwards Frank drops a bomb. He’s been offered a job at Cambridge, and he want to take Brianna to England with him. Frank also wants a divorce so he can marry his long-time side piece. Claire feels blindsided, and she’s determined that Frank won’t take Brianna. But it seems Claire has been a bit of an absentee mother, and Brianna is closer to her father. Frank wants to live out the rest of his days with a wife who truly loves him. And as for Brianna, she’s a grown woman who can make her own decisions.
Frank does question if, under any other circumstances (like no Brianna), Claire could have ever gotten over Jamie, and she gives him a hard no.
Later, Claire is at the hospital, and Joe Abernathy informs her that Frank has been in a car accident. Claire rushes down a corridor, but when she opens the door to a room, we see Frank’s lifeless body laid out. Claire is genuinely upset, and as she kisses him, she says that she always loved him; he was her first love.
Ardsmuir is closing, and all of the prisoners are to be taken to the Colonies. Jamie doesn’t have a chance to say goodbye to Murtagh as he’s tied to Grey’s horse and led away. Don’t be certain you won’t see Murtagh again. Grey informs Jamie that the prisoners will work as indentured servants and earn their freedom after 14 years.
Jamie asks why he wasn’t sent to the Colonies with the rest of the men, and Grey explains that Jamie is a convicted traitor imprisoned at the pleasure of the King. (Funny, since I thought most of the prisoners were Jacobites and therefore traitors.) Jamie’s sentence can’t be commuted without royal approval, and the King will not give his consent. Since Grey can’t give Jamie freedom, he comes up with another plan. Jamie will be serving a man named Lord Dunsany, who is not a fan of Charles Stuart or his followers.
Jamie wants to know why Grey would do him any favors, especially since Jamie spurned his advances. Grey apologizes for the moment of weakness and says he owes Jamie a second chance. Jamie points out that Grey’s brother already discharged the debt, and Grey makes the distinction that it was done for the sake of the family name; this time, it’s for the sake of his own.
Claire’s a free woman, and Jaime has been handed over to a Highlander-hating aristocrat, who will most likely make his life hell. Still centuries apart, the two lovers are one step closer to reuniting.
Did Duncan see Claire or witness some type of magic, or was he an incoherent, suspicious man recounting local gossip? Do you think Murtagh and Jamie will see each other again? Are you surprised that West turned out to be a decent guy? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Outlander season 3 airs Sundays at 8/7c on Starz. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Facebook page.
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