Those of you who have read the entirety of the Outlander series might recognize that my title is plagiarized from the dialogue of a very adorable young man getting an anatomy lesson from his father and grandfather. Those of you who haven’t read the books don’t know what you’re missing.
Life’s pretty good on the ridge it seems and nowhere as hectic as my life has been of late.
Claire is enjoying the company of Murtaugh who’s treating her like a queen. The two of them are so content in each other’s company and neither seems surprised to see a child squawking about leeches on his legs, despite the fact that they’re in the wilderness three miles from the nearest town. She goes immediately into doctor mode and attends the boy. Myself I would have least have asked how he got there before I gave him a lesson in the medical attributes of slugs.
Jamie, it seems, has developed a tolerance to the cold mountain air as he saws wood in an ensemble that in modern times would amount to nothing more than a pair of shorts and a wife-beater. The chest hair and muscles aren’t lost on a very appreciative Lord John, who stammers around excuses for travelling hundreds of miles out of the way before blaming it on Willie.
Lord John looks at Jamie like he wants to eat him with a spoon, something that isn’t lost on Claire and Murtaugh. Claire handles being slapped in the face with the sight of Jamie’s son rather well, but Murtaugh is another matter. The old Highlander has a whole other reason to dislike John-Culloden and Ardsmuir forgotten, its all about the taxes now. (Poor Murtaugh, he’d likely keel over dead if he got a look at my last tax return). Dinner is tense despite the forced pleasantries and Willie’s abhorrence of an outside toilet. You know how a lot of people have their best ideas sitting on the toilet. Well it seems Willie has his while in route. A Gaelic comment to the horses and Willie remembers the MacKenzie from his youth, but that was a long time ago and he’s a big boy now who doesn’t play with wooden snakes and pees outside.
Claire & Lord John’s first tête-à-tête is tense as well, still Claire does better than I probably would, at least she doesn’t scream at John to keep his grubby hands off her husband. She’s sweet and supportive listening to Jamie gush over memories of his son. Murtaugh is a different matter. The godfather can’t fathom Jamie’s friendship with Lord John and Jamie’s seeming unconcern over the plight of his Scottish brethren until the canny grey fox figures it out. Murtaugh’s demeanor when he asks about Willie’s mother makes me think he wouldn’t be surprised to find out she lived in a molly house. Maybe he’s just pissed off that Jamie & Claire are sleeping in a lean-to while Lord John and the young Earl take the house. That part bothered me too, simply because the Lord John of the book would have never have stood to “discommode” Jamie and Claire so.
Lord John gets the measles…which gives Jamie the opportunity for some time alone with his son. The kids definitely got the Fraser stubbornness and I have to say, he’s a far more convincing spawn of our Laird than the young man in season 2. Willie is impressed with the grandeur of America, Jamie is impressed with his son. In the course of vignettes through the gorgeous countryside, Jamie reminds Willie of their time together ….and Willie begins to remember. The two begin to bond and Willie kills his first tear while at his true father’s side, a rite of passage even by today’s standards. Like every other boy, Willie flouts the rules and crosses into Indian territory causing a ruckus. Like any good father, Jamie takes the blame and offers himself with a truth that won’t matter any longer. Willie however proves just exactly how much of Jamie Fraser’s blood courses through is veins. Does Willie believe Jamie’s words about his paternity. Not in the least, but Willie does remember Mack, his Mack and the love and devotion Jamie showed him all those long days ago. Even in heartbreak Jamie finds peace in this because through Willie’s actions, we see what a wonderful father John has been to him. This time at farewell, it’s Jamie that takes a tentative step after his son, only to be rewarded with a look of hope for the future.
Despite Willie being a child of what was tantamount to Jamie’s rape, Jamie’s unabashed delight at his son was sweet and sad at the same time. This is the only child Jamie believes he will ever know even though he may never call Willie his own. I wish the writers would have shown up some of the heartbreak Claire must have been feeling over the knowledge that Jamie would never meet his daughter.
Now let me get to my favorite part of the episode – the scenes between Claire and Lord John. I will say, the Outlander writers had a far more eloquent way of Claire asking John how he kept a wife happy without bedding her and John’s even more eloquent way of saying “I did bed her and she never had any complaints!”. John calls Claire on her crap. Claire counters that she too raised Jamie’s child and reminds John that he British robbed her and Jamie of raising Brianna together. Claire turns right around and calls John on his crap as well. She doesn’t buy for one second John’s excuse of bringing Willie so Jamie can see him.
John’s sicker in round 2 and therefore not as guarded. John still loves Jamie and admits they came for himself. When Claire touts him of the physical love she and Jamie have that John cannot, John’s right quick to tell Claire that he could have had it
if he wanted it, but that it was HIS character and not Jamie’s that won out in that situation. Claire doesn’t handle this revelation well, but it does make stop looking John like he’s got a rainbow spouting out of his forehead. They finally find common ground through their love for the same man and this time they part as friends with Claire’s fond wish that one day, John will get his world rocked like Jamie rocks hers. (I couldn’t help but think about Echo in the Bone book readers!)
With the house finally empty, perfect time to take a bath isn’t it? Does anyone know here I can buy a Jamie shaped sponge?? No seriously, what a perfectly romantic way to reaffirm their love and commitment to each other after the result Jamie’s romp with another woman was shoved in their faces. Though not exactly like the book, the ring, quote and following nookie had only one flaw…it was too damn short, they should have at least let us watch them count to at least 200! It looks like its Roger and Bree flying solo next week, so I’ll assuage missing Jamie & Claire by imaging all the ways they counted to 1000!
SPOILER WARNING FOR NON-BOOK READERS….DON’T VENTURE PAST THIS POINT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED!!
I know some people didn’t like Jamie’s joy in his son. It didn’t bother me much because like I said, as far as Jamie knows, this is the only child of his blood he will ever know. I like to think Willie gets a double dose since Brianna isn’t around for Jamie to lavish love on. Now with that said, let me add that I hope someone had the good sense to learn from their mistakes in last years print shop scene and made sure we see some good old-fashioned blubbering, snot crying from Jamie Fraser when he meets his daughter! If Jamie can love a product of rape that much…can you imagine how he will feel meeting the physical manifestation of his and Claire’s love. I tear up every time I think about it and I just hope the show does it justice. If anyone that reads this knows Sam Heughan…you might warn him, I’m going to be PISSED if I don’t see some snot-crying when he meets his daughter…and I’m not the only one.
One last note: Cynthia Gentit, my heart breaks you didn’t get to hear your favorite line…. “What news from the underworld Persephone!” I could try and console you with a mention that at least the episode title card alluded to that scene, but since they used a snake that I’m fairly certain didn’t exist in North America at that time…I’ll just say I’m sorry.