I’ve seen a lot of blogs talking about “Of Lost Things” correlating how the theme of “lost” is portrayed– how Claire lost her hope of finding Jamie, how Jamie lost the joy of being with his son, how Geneva lost her life and so on. And while I do think it was a masterfully written episode contrasting the characters within an overall motif, I was more moved by the smaller moments, the clenched jaws that bespoke disgust and the shimmer of tears in the eye as hope dwindled.
Geneva – Brat, bitch and other words that I can’t write down or the blog would become R-rated. I hated the girl in the book, and while last’s night episode didn’t make me want to invite her over for tea, I at least got a better understanding of her motives. She was headstrong and spoiled and trapped – at the time, by convention and by her family into marriage with a man that made my skin crawl. While I don’t defend her actions toward Jamie and the way she used Hal for information– at least I can understand them. It was the only way left for her to rebel against what is tantamount to being sold into a slavery – a situation more confining than anything Jamie has ever withstood.
I think Jamie understood that – and it made him gentle with her, Jamie is, after all, a gentleman. Was he attracted to her – no. Did he have feelings for her – well let’s just say Jamie’s feelings for her were characterized perfectly when he dumped her butt in the mud. But Jamie understood what it means to be no more than a slave and for that and love of his family he conceded to an act he found morally reprehensible. Who didn’t shed a tear when Jamie so eloquently described the difference between sex and love and we all know that while Geneva might have had his body for a moment, Claire always had his heart.
Isobel – I LOVED Isobel. Her character in the book resided always in the background with cursory mentions that gave us a sense of her. The show fleshed out her character in a way that made me not only love her, but forged a bond between Jamie and the woman who would be a mother to his son. Where Geneva was rash and bold, Isabel was calm and astute. Well astute until it came to John Gray, whom she loved despite Jamie’s carefully worded warning. Isobel understood her sister, which also gave her an understanding and respect for Jamie. One of the most tender moments of the show came when Isobel wrapped her arms around Jamie’s shoulders and promised to take care of his son.
Lord John – David Berry is phenomenal. With only the flicker of a glance, he can portray Lord John’s longing for a man he will never have to his amusement at an offer made in desperate gratitude. Jamie knows who Lord John is – that despite his proclivities this is a man of goodness and honor – a man who Jamie felt safe giving his son. Lord John was part of two of my favorite moments in the show… when Jamie offered his body, an act so reprehensible he couldn’t find the words to describe it and Lord John’s shocked and humorous reaction, leading to a friendship forged and enduring. More heart-rendering is his last moments when we see reflected in Lord John’s face the agony of Jamie’s sacrifice. Lord John’s love for Jamie is so stalwart that he condemns himself to a life contrary to his nature to make sure Jamie’s son is cared for, even going so far as to test out his desires to make sure he will be an adequate husband. Oh, that we all have a friend like that someday.
Roger and Bree – The budding romance – the kiss of longing tinged with sadness. I know some aren’t fond of Sophie Skelton’s portrayal of Jamie’ and Claire’s daughter, but I’m more inclined to give her a chance. Sure, she comes across a bit stiff at times, but if you think of what her character is going through – well I’d probably be a bit stiff myself. Her seamless move from “mother” to “mama” is the signal that Brianna is beginning to understand her mother’s heartbreak, something Claire recognizes as well. She promises Claire that they will find Jamie, even though Brianna knows it will cost her the presence of a mother – a mother who just now she is coming to know.
Roger is absolutely precious and will be one of my favorite characters as we move forward. He is stumbling and downright awkward around Brianna, devoted to the task of finding her father. Roger lays his interest in Jamie at the feet of being a historian – even though we all know that it’s simply because he’s in love.
Clare – We didn’t get much Claire last night, but the parts we got were poignant. When Claire gets the pearls from Fiona, her fingers caress the beads as though she is touching Jamie’s skin. Existing on hope, the phone call from Joe is a blatant reminder of a life forged away from the mists of Scotland – a life she denies to follow hope. When that hope is dashed with the dates on a page, Claire’s heart cannot bear the loss of Jamie again and she returns to her life in the present, leaving the ghosts of Scotland in the past, where they belong.
And finally, Jamie. Damn that Sam Heughan! I’m seriously thinking about suing him to recoup all the money I’ve spent on Kleenex this season – and we’re only 4 episodes in!! In Sam’s skillful hands we watch Jamie accept his life at Helwater the best he can, finding contentment among the horses he loves. We see his aggravation at Geneva’s scandalous suggestion in the clenching of his jaw. We watch him go to her room, resigned at the duty before him and yet we see the gentle way he handles her, empathizing with her dilemma. When Geneva tells him that she loves him, Jamie’s emotionless façade breaks only for a second as he looks to his past and the memory of what love really is, not just flesh but heart and soul.
Jamie’s face as he looks down upon his newborn son holds not only joy at the creation of this little being but a tinge of heartbreak as well for thoughts of another infant he knows he will never hold. He gives up his freedom to stay at his son’s side – this type of indenture far more easy to bear.
When we first see Willie an off-hand comment tells us of a resemblance that is more dangerous than dear. My favorite moment of the whole show comes as Jamie stares at his reflection next to the face of his son. There was a split-second of pride that washed over Jamie’s countenance, replaced in an instant with regret as Jamie realizes that the resemblance demands sacrifice.
Willie is as enamored of Jamie as well, even though he doesn’t realize the connection – blood will out I suppose. When Jamie smacked Willie’s butt in reprimand, I laughed out loud, shifting just as quickly to tears as Willie in his childhood innocence strives to be like the man he will only ever know as a servant. “I baptize thee William James”, the Papist name being his father’s name, along with a carved serpent, the only things Jamie will ever be able to give his son. There is no need of a token of remembrance from Willie, Jamie will – like Claire – remember him always.
Upon his departure, when Jamie laid his hand on Willie’s head, I was reminded of Abraham laying his hand on his sons in blessing. The nod Jamie gives the people who will raise his son so full of gratitude and sadness and so much more eloquent than any words he could say.
That final scene – the desolate face of Claire dealing with the loss of hope in finding Jamie, as she leaves Scotland behind is juxtaposed with that of her husband 200 years in the past trying to remain strong with a heart so broken he can hardly breathe. Wordless, powerful and hauntingly beautiful – even in memory, I need a Kleenex.