In its latest episode, Outlander broke a record for time-jumping in storytelling, and this time it wasn't only moving back and forth between the 1700s and the 1900s. "All Debts Paid" also covered 18 years in the lives of Jamie and Claire, from birthdays, graduations and affairs to dinners, chess games and life in prison. There was certainly a lot going on in this episode, so here is a look at the five most memorable moments.
1. The Life Of Bree
In the span of a single episode, Outlander managed to cover Brianna's whole life — from her baby years to her high school graduation. However, possibly the most important piece in this Brianna puzzle has to be her clear preference for her father, so much so that Frank assumed Brianna would gladly join him in his move to England, and leave her mother behind.
Some folks were pretty displeased last season, when Outlander introduced a firmly anti-Claire Brianna. She clearly blamed her mother for every wrong turn in their lives — possibly even Frank's car accident — and, because Frank and Claire had always worked hard to keep appearances, Brianna couldn't possibly know all that Claire had put up with for the sake of giving her daughter a safe home. Perhaps these first three episodes offered enough insight into Claire's life as a mother and a wife to allow for a better reception of Brianna, when she returns on team Jamie next week.
2. Murtagh Is Alive
In my review of the previous episode, I mentioned how sometimes changes from the original book stories don't work so well on the screen but, as it turns out, sometimes they work out wonderfully. Jamie's loyal godfather, Murtagh, was last seen getting ready for the battle in Culloden, back in Season 2; and, judging from his complete absence from the Outlander premiere (and his his storyline from the books), I was sure we'd never witness Murtagh's gruffness again. Luckily, I couldn't have been more wrong.
"All Debts Paid" not only brought Murtagh back but, in a much welcome twist, it seems Outlander has decided to keep him on a while longer. Personally, I've always felt like losing Murtagh just added to the pile of terrible heartbreaks Jamie had to go through in Outlander. Now, at least in the show, book fans will be able to actually see what Murtagh would think of Jamie's future actions when he eventually transitions to America. No doubt, having him around will add even more depth to Fraser's Ridge and all the adventures to come.
3. Lord Grey Paid His Debt
In another change for the better, the Ardsmuir Prison story arc was dealt with in a single episode, along with the French gold plot. "All Debts Paid" opened with the introduction of both Governor Major John Grey and Mac Dubh — a.k.a. Jamie Fraser — and their respective roles in Ardsmuir. Since Grey and Fraser met before and had some baggage, Outlander opted for a fast transition from past transgressions to a newfound kinship between the two.
Luckily for fans, Outlander's fast pace also spared Jamie from getting flogged yet again, but the show remained faithful to Jamie's position of respect in the prison, and his influence over the prisoners. Once again, Lord Grey helped Jamie keep his head on his shoulders when he provided Red Jamie with an alternative to being executed as a traitor. By taking Jamie to serve the remainder of his sentence in Hellwater, Lord Grey gave the highlander yet another chance at a life he didn't think he could have.
4. The White Witch's Gold
The mysterious gold was supposedly sent by the French to aid the Jacobite rebellion, and it might have seemed a simple plot device to bring about trust between Jamie and Lord Grey — but book fans will know it to be much more than that.
As Jamie translated the dying man's cryptic information on the gold, he gathered some bits and pieces about a "white lady" who was searching for a MacKenzie man. Clearly, Jamie thought it could be Claire and quickly staged an escape to try and find the truth about it. Then, when he found neither Claire nor the gold, he returned to Ardsmuir with a single gem and gave it to Lord Grey. All of that was true, except the part where Jamie didn't find any treasure. If you haven't managed to read through the books yet, then I won't spoil it for you; but, suffice to say, that won't be the last you hear of that gold this season.
5. Frank Randall's Farewell
We all knew that Frank would eventually die this season since Season 2 showed Claire and Brianna in Scotland after Frank had passed, but saying goodbye to Frank (and the glorious Tobias Menzies) was harder than I'd imagined it to be. True, Frank was never Claire's true love, and when he told her he'd take Brianna with him to England, Frank crossed the line; though he did his best to keep his promise of raising Brianna as his own.
His affairs and broken heart on account of Claire's love for Jamie made Frank a scarred, cold man. Once he'd been a loving husband willing to overlook his wife's infidelity with an 18th century man she'd found after traveling through some magic stones (as crazy as it might have sounded to him); but, when he died, Frank had become someone willing to patiently wait 18 years to exercise his revenge on Claire. Sadly, with Black Jack in his family tree, Frank proved that the apple doesn't indeed fall far from its tree. Nevertheless, Tobias Menzies's rendition of both Frank and Black Jack will be sorely missed in Outlander. Ae fond kiss to Frank Randall, and good riddance to Black Jack.
Next week's episode will be all about Hellwater and Jamie's time with the Dunsanys — especially the naive Geneva. Brianna and Roger are back as Outlander catches up with the time from last season's finale, and Claire's journey through the stones and back to Jamie approaches. Have a look:
Outlander episode "Of Lost Things" premieres next Sunday on Starz, or on Saturday for those who have the Starz app.