The second episode of Outlander Season 3 continued to move Claire and Jamie's lives forward, despite the pair still being apart. The road towards their reunion is slowly forming, with Claire trying to find her way back to her 20th century husband Frank, and Jamie sacrificing his freedom for the well-being of his loved ones.
"Surrender" was the fourth most watched Outlander episode ever, and has made this third season the first to keep steady ratings after the premiere. Alternating between 1752 Scotland and 1949 Boston, "Surrender" centered on relationships and sacrifices, while mixing quite a few book storylines together.
1. Claire Is Randall In Name Only
In the season premiere, Claire and Frank had a hard time adjusting to their new reality as a couple but, by the end of that episode, things seemed to be on the mend between them. Unfortunately, in "Surrender," Claire finally realized she will never have in Frank both a husband to herself and a father figure to Brianna.
Despite trying to reconcile with Frank and fulfill her duties as a wife (while also quenching her desire for Jamie), Claire couldn't find it in her to be truly intimate with Frank. They had sex a couple times but, since Claire refused him the intimacy of some simple eye contact, Frank realized that she was still in love with Jamie Fraser. So, while the previous episode ended on a high note for the Randalls, this one saw the couple sleeping in separate beds and accepting their roles as parents.
2. Jamie Gives In To His Loneliness
After saying goodbye to the love of his life and surviving the bloodiest battle in Scottish history, Jamie Fraser is a pale memory of the man he used to be. He retreated into a cave, kept to himself and, apart from providing for his family, he did little but survive for years. As his brother-in-law, Ian, rightfully put it, in losing Claire, Jamie also lost his heart.
That didn't mean, however, that James Fraser didn't have urges or needs and so, after years of self-imposed celibacy, he accepted the comfort Mary McNab offered. Jamie and Claire are the heart of Outlander, but seeing Jamie get some sort of care and relief — even if it was provided by another woman — was a welcome change of pace. That whole scene where Jamie and Mary slowly seek comfort in each other was simple and heartfelt, and Jamie's inner struggle turned it into a real masterpiece.
3. Claire Joins Pre-Med
As her marriage to Frank became one of convenience, and baby Brianna was well taken care of, Claire decided to invest some time in making a career for herself. Breaking taboos, she became the first woman to enroll in pre-med classes at the university, along with the first person of color to join. That's how Claire Randall met Joe Abernathy, and I can't wait to see their friendship grow and bring Claire some measure of strength and understanding.
4. Fergus's Big Loss
Usually, Outlander makes some pretty amazing adaptations from the books to the show, but the scene where Fergus lost his hand (sadly) wasn't one of those good changes for me. In the books, Fergus runs into a group of English soldiers as he's on his way to the cave to see Jamie. He's carrying a cask of ale to Jamie, but the red coats demand he delivers it to them; when he refuses, his hand is cut off as punishment.
Now, don't get me wrong, seeing Fergus lose his hand was terrible and infuriating all the same. The problem for me was that Corporal MacGregor cut the boy's hand off simply out of spite from being taunted. Fergus is a lively kid, with a lot of spirit and a foul mouth, but he's also clever enough to know better than to instigate soldiers or provoke any reprieve. There was no punishment or any bigger meaning behind Fergus's tragedy, apart from making sure Jamie would provide for him for life. Sadly, unless the show continues to focus on Lallybroch even after Jamie leaves, this may have been farewell to Romann Berrux as young Fergus.
5. Jamie Fraser Surrendered The Dunbonnet
After being taken back to Lallybroch, Jamie took to living in a cave, so that his family could be safe. The Red Coats continued their search for Red Jamie — now called the Dunbonnet — and Lallybroch became a target for the English soldiers. In the rare instances that Jamie did visit his family home, he brought some sort of problem for his sister Jenny or her husband Ian, which led Jamie to make the ultimate sacrifice in "Surrender."
In order to not only spare his family, but also to guarantee they would never be seen as Jacobite sympathizers, Jamie planned his surrender to the English soldiers with the help of his sister. She would be the one to tip the Red Coats of Jamie's arrival, while also collecting the reward for turning in the Dunbonnet. Hats off to Laura Donnelly for her heart-wrenching, silent farewell to her beloved brother as he was taken away into custody.
Next episode promises more drama for Claire and Frank, as their marriage deteriorates even further, while Jamie's time in the Ardsmuir Prison begins. Take a look:
Outlander Season 3, Episode 3 - 'All Debts Paid' - airs next Sunday, on Starz.