At the end of episode 301 Jamie came home to Lallybroch… six years have passed. Six hard years, the strain of living under constant threat is wearing on Jamie and the residents of Lallybroch…
The scene opens with a Redcoat pinning a wanted poster to a door – the poster shows a drawing of a likeness of Jamie “WANTED By the Lords Justices” – offering a reward to any person who shall seize and secure the infamous outlaw known in these parts as the Dunbonnet.
Our beloved Lallybroch appears, Scotland 1752 – six years after Culloden.
Boys are being boys. Fergus, Young Jamie and Rabbie are looking for Ian’s pistol. The owning of weapons being outlawed by the Proscription Act. Having a weapon is a very serious matter. Redcoats arrive and Fergus hastily hides the pistol again.
We see Ian being manhandled by Redcoats down the steps… one of the soldiers is a Scotsman. The boys rush to the dooryard, Young Jamie is hauled from Ian’s arms.
The Scottish Redcoat, Corporal MacGregor seems intent on being nasty. A new Captain is in town, Captain Samuel Lewis of His Majesty’s 10th Dragoons. He seeks the Dunbonnet, just like his predecessors. Ian denies knowledge of the Dunbonnet, or any other follower of the Stuart cause. The captain surmises that the Dunbonnet and Red Jamie are one and the same. Jenny exits the house, denying that Jamie Fraser has been seen or heard from in six years. The captain threatens hanging to every man, woman or child, who harbours the Dunbonnet. He announces there is a substantial reward for information leading to the capture of Red Jamie. He then orders Ian arrested. Corporal MacGregor continues being nasty. Ian’s parting words are to tell the boys to get to their chores! The father force is strong in Ian! You get the feeling this scene has been played out repeatedly over the last six years, as Ian is led away to be placed in a wagon and imprisoned…
Young Jamie seeks comfort from his pregnant mother, Jenny. We are assured by Mary McNab that each time Ian has been arrested the courts have released him. Resentment builds on Fergus’s face… The Redcoats leave, taking Ian along with them, as they travel along the road, we see into the forest. There is movement in the deep shadow, a dark figure… Sweet music plays as we see the Dunbonnet (James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser) in more open forest, he bends and picks up, then smells something. A man of the forest now, he can judge the closeness of the deer by the freshness of it’s spoor. Better you than me Jamie!
We see a stag silhouetted a short distance away as Jamie crouches studying his prey. The stag comes nearer as Jamie rises and prepares to fire an arrow…
Thankfully we are spared the sight of the arrow finding it’s mark, as next we see Jamie coming through the archway at Lallybroch, the heavy stag slung over his shoulders. (Yes, a real stag – from a game farm – and it was heavy).
The light is dim, reflective of early morning. We see a woman in the herb garden, Jamie looks very intense as he approaches her. The woman turns… it is Claire, she starts to smile. However, it is a fantasy, in reality the woman is Jenny.
She turns, startled by Jamie’s approach. Jamie stares but says nothing. We now see his unkempt appearance, long hair and a scraggly beard obscure his handsome face. Clearly Jamie is not the same proud Highlander we left in Season 2.
Jenny tells him they have taken Ian again, he is still silent. We see Jamie butchering the deer, he looks grim, as Jenny continues talking. Fergus enthusiastically says he will slit the throats of the Redcoats. His frustration at being unable to fight back is obvious.
Jenny tries to involve Jamie in tallying the books, anything to break the spell. She is exasperated by his silence, and tries to get his attention as he grimly butchers the deer. She says they did not lie to the Redcoats, Jamie Fraser hasn’t been there for a long time… still Jamie is quiet.
Flip to Boston – the camera pans up rumpled bedclothes – revealing Claire, head pressed hard into her pillow, her breasts pressing against the fabric of her nightgown as she arches her back, deeply inhaling. She is awake, open mouthed… fantasising about Jamie by her side, and then we see him naked, glowing as if by reflected light from a fire, walking toward a fireplace (Diana, you are totes correct). Claire gasps as she reaches her climax, Jamie smiling as he looks at her then moves towards her. Reluctantly Claire looks at her bedmate, it is Frank, asleep with his back turned to her, both are now bathed in the cold blue light of reality.
We get a time stamp – Boston 1949.
A much happier Claire bounces baby Bree and places her in a playpen. Claire gives Bree her bunny toy to play with (love that touch!) and she settles down to read the newspaper. Reading out loud to Bree about the birth of the Republic of Ireland (a very nice nod to Caitriona’s heritage) as Bree fusses. Brianna cries, getting Claire’s attention, revealing she has turned over all by herself! Claire beams with happiness and picks Bree up, bouncing and hugging her baby.
Frank comes downstairs a large white towel wrapped around his waist. The hot water has cut out, he is on his way to the boiler. Frank must have hidden handyman skills! Who knew? He pauses to ask what happened, Claire joyfully tells him Bree rolled over all by herself. It’s a very nice moment as he says “come to Daddy” and gives the baby a kiss. Claire and Frank look at each other awkwardly over the baby’s head and he parts from them to check the boiler.
Cut to the wild forests of Scotland, Jamie walks though to undergrowth, through the stream, carefully covering his approach to the cave he has been forced to live in since his miraculous return from Culloden. Once he passes though a screen of vegetation, the entrance looks invisible.
Inside he is gutting a fish until he hears a whistle, a signal from a visitor… he warily looks outside and he responds likewise. Crouching, he reaches for his knife. Fergus comes into view, Jamie quickly bundles him inside the dark cave. Fergus is proud he’s avoided being followed by using techniques Jamie has taught him. Fergus wants to learn to shoot. Jamie bluntly asks where he got the pistol… the dovecote. He wants to defend his home and family and prepare for the next rebellion. Jamie, quietly but definitely, says there will be no next rebellion. Jamie turns quickly to Fergus “There will be no more fighting”. Frustrated and disheartened, Fergus lashes out. He hits Jamie in the chest accusing him of cowardice. Jamie is calm, too calm… he pushes the pistol back into Fergus’s arms telling him “weapons are outlawed, put it back where you found it”.
Fergus is distraught to see his hero, his father figure, so cowed and compliant, a shell of himself. Jamie goes back to tending to the fish as Fergus leaves the cave. In the brief recap shown before the episode Jamie on the day of the battle of Culloden tells Fergus “you are a soldier now”, but now he is telling Fergus to be passive, little wonder that Fergus is resentful.
Back at Lallybroch Mary McNab is removing washing from the line, removal of a large cloth reveals Jamie in the archway. His shoulders are slumped, eyes downcast, he looks a broken man. Mary says she didn’t know he was expected today. Jamie walks towards Mary looking crestfallen and pale, his unkempt hair uncovered, he has come to look at the ledgers. As he asks after Jenny, a cry comes from upstairs… “dinna fash” Mary says… the bairn has decided to come early. Jamie merely nods and goes inside.
Jenny’s cries can be clearly heard in the dooryard. The boys are attending to chores. A raven caws, Rabbie retells his Grannie’s story about ravens being messengers of death. Fergus knows the pain a loss of a child can cause, he has seen it back in Paris. He seizes the opportunity to get the pistol… he primes it, and shoots the raven. No ravens were killed in filming!
Nearby Redcoats hear the noise. Jamie is next to the boys in a flash… Fergus defiantly protests that they were protecting the bairn. Fergus has become a Scot! Mary arrives on the scene, breathless, with news! Jamie has a wee nephew! She takes the pistol from Jamie who goes back into the house. The boys look shamefaced.
Jenny is sitting up in bed. Jamie has newborn baby Ian in his arms, looking tenderly at the bairn. Jenny comments about Jamie looking braw with a wee bairn in his arms. Jenny is direct… she asks Jamie how long it has been since he lain with a woman. Jamie looks pained, saying “Don’t. Janet”. “She’s dead…” Jamie’s use of her proper name says volumes. Jenny responds, pointing out it’s been six years. Jamie is firm, he won’t marry, ever again.
As Jenny presses the matter Jamie leaves the room, still holding wee Ian. He hears strident voices downstairs. “Find the weapon” the Redcoat Captain says, as Jamie hurriedly seeks a hiding place in an adjacent room.
The Redcoat Captain and his men enter Jenny’s bedroom, questioning her about the weapon. The men pull the room apart looking. Captain Lewis is insistent that he is obliged to search the house, Corporal MacGregor is overzealous in his searching endeavours. They note Jenny has recently given birth. She says the baby died.
Captain Lewis wants to see the body. Jenny pleads that she can’t stand it, as Mary bravely brings the pistol, claiming it belonged to her late husband.
All the while Jamie is cradling the newborn in a nearby room. Mary tells the raven story, Corporal MacGregor grabs Mary to take her into custody. Mary looks distraught. Captain Lewis shows some humanity, takes the weapon but leaves Mary alone. As Captain Lewis and Corporal MacGregor leave Jamie steps on a squeaky board. The Corporal looks anxious to investigate but is called downstairs by the Captain.
Jenny sighs deeply from the release of tension and Jamie ducks under a tapestry entering Jenny’s room as she reaches out for her baby. Reunited, baby Ian feeds at Jenny’s breast.
Mary’s bravery is recognised by Jenny, who has seen the look in Captain Lewis’s eye, he is not a man to give up. Jenny is very quick thinking. She tells Jamie to get a shovel and dig a grave to be found in case the soldiers return to look. It has been a very close call. Jamie looks thoughtful as he walks about the room, he glances at Jenny, decision made, as he leaves the room.
Back in Boston Frank is sleeping (on his back – I thought that was Jamie’s style!), Claire is awake. She touches Frank’s shoulder and face, he wakes saying her name, and asking “What is it?” Claire says “I miss my husband” as she climbs on top if him, she kisses him as they begin to have sex (I refrain from saying “make love”, as Frank is like a robot). Claire’s statement is ambiguous, or is it? We all know which husband she is really missing.
Next we see Fergus, a baleful expression on his face, tending the goats, as Redcoats appear with a wagon, Ian sitting uncomfortably on the back.
Corporal MacGregor says half the garrison are searching to the south, and half to the north… it is only a matter of time before they find Red Jamie. Then he threatens they will be back for Ian and the whole family… It is not an idle threat. As they leave a snarky Corporal MacGregor glares at Fergus. I love that Fergus is wearing a piece of fabric over his shoulder, in honour of the banned Highland Dress.
Fergus exits from the Lallybroch dooryard… looking around as he does so. The Redcoats hide in the shrubbery observing him, they follow him. He leads them in circles. They catch up to him. Fergus smiles smugly saying he knew they were following him. He taunts them, once too often.
We see Jamie checking traps, a dead rabbit lies on the ground. He hears a commotion in the distance and approaches, but cannot help Fergus as the Corporal orders Fergus held down as he cuts off Fergus’s hand. The soldiers are ordered by MacGregor to leave Fergus. After they have gone Jamie rushes to Fergus, to staunch the bleeding and carry him back to Lallybroch.
Back at Lallybroch we see Jamie waiting for news. Jenny comes downstairs telling Jamie his quick actions saved Fergus. Jamie says he should have stopped them, Jenny points out that if he’d tried they would all be dead. It is the truth of the perilous life Jamie is leading. He collapses, sobbing into Jenny’s arms, he is devastated. This has broken him.
Upstairs we see Fergus in bed, having been tended to by Jenny. Jamie speaks to him, finally sounding more like himself. Jamie is reawakening. Fergus says “There you are, Milord” seeing the old Jamie resurface from beneath the facade of a lost soul. He shifts in bed, grimacing, and mentions Jamie’s promise…
Back in Boston, Frank and Claire are hosting a dinner party with the neighbors, Millie and Jerry who are being flirtatious at the table. After they leave Claire initiates sex with Frank, she is sexually provocative with him, but not intimate.
He starts to respond, then Claire closes her eyes, she can’t look at him. Frank is offended, knowing she is imagining a man other than himself having sex with her. He withdraws, any chance at reconnection is lost.
Back at Lallybroch we hear Ian speaking of how he still feels discomfort from his missing leg, he passes a drink to Jamie, speaking of pain from a part which is lost… Claire was Jamie’s heart. Ian nods in recognition of Jamie’s loss. Later as Jamie walks down a hallway he sees a family tapestry on the wall has been slashed, Mary McNab is passing on her way to give Fergus another blanket. He asks Mary what happened. “The soldiers, when they were searching the house”, she replies. Jamie knows they will not stop the harassment of the family until they find the Dunbonnet.
Later, we see Jenny is outraged… Jamie wants her to turn him in to the soldiers. The reward money will help the family and release them from their current peril. It is arranged.
A shot of a green, peaceful woodland, then a river, come into view, next we see Mary McNab walking toward Jamie’s cave. He looks out, she speaks to him “Mistress Jenny has sent food. Do ye mind the company?” Jamie responds “It will be welcome”. Inside we see Mary shaving Jamie’s face with a cutthroat razor, his hair has been cut. At this point Jamie doesn’t realise it, but these small intimacies are actually foreplay for what Mary is planning. Jamie praises Mary’s bravery when she handed over the pistol. Jamie runs his hand over the now smooth skin on his face. He leaves the cave for a wash in the river. While he is gone Mary begins to undress. He returns to see her in her shift. At first Jamie is annoyed, thinking this is Jenny’s idea. Mary assures him it’s not. Mary tells him she knows how he loved his lady, this is not about that.
She is offering something they both need, something to keep them whole. They are both very tentative. A single tear slides down Jamie’s face, as he closes his eyes and proceeds, with reluctance, tenderness and acceptance.
Back in Boston we find Claire pushing a Very Large Pram, Brianna fusses and Claire bends to coo and comfort her.
Next we see Claire at home, thinking about her life through voiceover. Knowing she must act to get her life back on track, she handles a knife… it morphs into a scalpel. I love the plaid check outfit Claire!
She is alone in the lecture room of Medical School. A man enters, the tutor, she introduces herself. “Claire Randall, First Year”. He condescendingly acknowledges her, his has been warned that a woman and a negro are in this years class. More students enter and find a place to sit, they look scornfully at Claire, even blocking her from entering a row. She finds a place to sit. An African-American man enters, also looking for a seat, he asks if he may sit beside her “it’s all yours” she replies. He introduces himself, Joe Abernathy… and she to him, Claire Randall.
Next scene the furniture tell us volumes. Frank and Claire have separate beds.
Frank is in bed reading, as Claire enters the room having just attended to Brianna, who insists on wedging her bunny behind the bed. I see the bunny as a representation of Jamie looking over Brianna. They say goodnight to each other, Frank looks rather wistful, then he turns out his light.
At Lallybroch Jamie exuberantly enters the dooryard, his arms flung wide… “I’ve come home.” Jenny looks heartsore as the soldiers appear from everywhere arresting Jamie.
Captain Lewis pronounces the charges “you are hereby under arrest for High Treason against His Majesty, King George”. He tells his men to put Jamie in irons, and he is led away protesting. Jenny is torn apart seeing Jamie manhandled into the back of a wagon as she accepts the reward money and rushes inside. Jamie has dropped the brown bonnet on the muddy ground – he is no longer the Dunbonnet.
We hear “Scotland The Brave” being played on bagpipes… as the scene changes to Claire walking along a bridge where a piper plays. She pauses and reaches into her purse for money to leave him, then she continues walking… Always a link back to Jamie!