Sep 25 2017 10:15am

“That Amount of Time Doesn’t Exist”: Outlander Season 3, Episode 3 Jamie and Claire Heart-to-Heart

Outlander, 3x03 "All Debts Paid"

Show/EpisodeOutlander, Season 3, Episode 3, “All Debts Paid”
Couple(s): Jamie and Claire

Outlander 3x03 Captain's Log

We start off the episode in 1956  Boston, where Claire, charmed by the full English breakfast Frank set out for Brianna, invites him on a movie date. Frank has already seen both of Claire’s movie choices, and not alone. Awkward, but Claire did agree to this arrangement, and Frank is discreet, and hey, here’s Brianna, so let’s eat.

Back in 1755, Jamie is no stranger to prison, nor is he a stranger to Major Lord John William Grey, now governor of guess which prison. Jamie acts as the chief of the prisoners, and thus their go-between to the governor, so things are about to get interesting. Lord John calls Jamie in for a private dinner conversation, not that Jamie is eating. Nope, the food is all John’s, while Jamie has to argue against the addition of cats to the cells, because the men need the rat meat. Ew.

For Claire, two years have passed, and her graduation celebration takes a punch in the gut when Frank’s mistress, Sandy,  crashes the party. Franks protests Sandy was only picking him up, since Claire was going to take the car. Claire is livid; this is the house where their daughter lives. Frank meant to hurt her. He doesn’t deny it.  Claire asks for a divorce, but Frank refuses. Their neighbors divorced last year, and now the father never gets to see his children. Frank won’t risk losing Brianna, period.

John summons Jamie to deal with a new problem. Duncan Kerr has been found wandering the moor, near death and deranged, but in possession of information that may be useful to the crown. Kerr speaks no English, but Gaelic and French. Jamie will interpret. Uh, no he won’t. Well, what if John strikes off Jamie’s irons in exchange for said translation? Sure, if John provides blankets and medicine to Jamie’s men. Nope. Okay, just for Murtaugh? Deal.

Jamie warns Kerr that anything Kerr says will be relayed to the British, but Kerr is not exactly coherent, and babbles.  Um, wait, what’s that about a white witch? This is relevant to Jamie’s interests. She will come for Jamie,  Kerr  says, on his dying breath. John doesn’t buy that Duncan only babbled about witches and selkies and threatens to make Jamie talk. Jamie returns that there’s not a lot that hasn’t already been done to him. Murtaugh has hopes that the white witch might indeed be Claire, but Jamie tries not to think of it, as it would only bring him pain and suffering.

Lord John Grey in Outlander

John calls for Jamie once more, and this time, Jamie can actually eat. Jamie will accept the offer, if the men can be allowed to set snares for their own meat, and collect green plants to combat scurvy. Where’d he learn that? From his wife, but she’s gone. Well, okay, then, let’s eat. John looks at Jamie the way Jamie looks at food. Jamie’s mind, however, is on other matters, like escaping while the men check their traps for game.

Three days later, John still searches for Jamie...who isn’t that far away, and ambushes John at a vulnerable moment. The two men now know exactly where they’ve met before. Cue flashback to said meeting, and John’s vow that, once his duty to Jamie is discharged, he’d as soon kill Jamie. Well, here Jamie is. Jamie kneels and sticks his sword in the ground, but surprise, John is no murderer of unarmed prisoners. We next see the men in what we should probably be calling their field by now, where Jamie tries to convince John that the escape was only to look for Claire, who is not-dead-just-gone. John is not entirely buying this, but he is into Jamie, and if Jamie wants to slip him a precious stone,well, John won’t complain.

Cut to a sweet scene of Brianna’s high school graduation. Frank’s proud “that’s my girl,” as Brianna accepts her diploma might look like a hope spot for the Randalls, but don’t get too attached to that.

Three months have passed back in Scotland, and Jamie is now a regular guest of John’s. Over a game of chess, John allows that he, too, knows what it’s like to lose a piece of his heart, as he lost his particular friend at Culloden. Jamie praises John’s character, reminding John that he wouldn’t speak to save himself, but to save the honor of a lady he did. Jamie has thought of that often since he lost his wife. John makes his move and covers Jamie’s hand with his own. Jamie is not into John that way, and chess date is over.


So, alas, is the Randalls’ marriage.  Frank wants to take Brianna with him to his new job at Cambridge. That’s wonderful, but Claire can’t just leave Boston and her patients. Yeeeah, about that. Frank would like that divorce now.  Brianna is an adult, Claire is hardly around anyway, and Frank would like to spend the rest of his life with Sandy, who  truly loves him. Well, fine. Frank can file for divorce on any grounds but adultery, because he can never prove it. Frank is out the door. Soon enough, so is Claire, as she’s needed at the hospital.

Back at the prison, John culls Jamie from the herd of prisoners being transported to the colonies, and tethers Jamie, on foot, to the back of a horse. Three days later, they approach a stately home, and John cuts Jamie loose. Since Jamie is a traitor, John can’t give him freedom without royal approval, so making Jamie servant to the lord of the manor is the next best thing. Jamie is skeptical. He  didn’t let John have his way, so why this big favor? John regrets his moment of weakness. He told Jamie about someone he cared for, and Jamie did the same. Jamie gave John his life all those years ago. Now John will give Jamie his; make good use of it. They’d best be on their way. ...but to what?

The clue may lie in 1966 Boston, where Claire gets out of a successful surgery, to some tragic news. It’s Frank. There’s been an accident. Claire races to Frank’s side, but she’s too late. She bids a tearful farewell to her first love.

Everybody hurts here; Frank’s pain seeps through the screen, Claire loses her first love, John falls for a man he can never have, and Jamie gains a sort of freedom but loses his kinsman. The saving grace, though, is that Jamie and Claire are both free, and the season’s only just begun.

Memorable Lines:

“Perhaps the greatest burden lies in caring for those we cannot help.”

“If you find a sixteen year old shitting himself with fear a worthy foe, Mr. Fraser it’s no wonder the Highland army was defeated.”

“If you’re still close enough to hear me, I did love you. Very much. You were my first love.”

Charting the Course:

Jamie and Claire are both free, but still two hundred years apart. John has it bad for Jamie, who doesn’t like him like that, and Murtaugh is presumably headed for the colonies.

Next Stop:

Season Three, Episode Four, “Of Lost Things”

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Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her on Twitter.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
What kind of terrible person am I that I don't remember Frank's death in the books AT ALL? Clearly I only retained info about Claire and Jamie.

How sad, though! Frank deserved a much better ending, poor guy.
2. Pellin
Are we to assume the person Gray lost was Black Jack Randall? Because that's the only other gay (bi) soldier we know about, who was lost at Culloden. Big coincidence if it's a 3rd guy...
3. Samantha1024
it's not BJR!

Anyone else suprised by Murtagh being at Ardsmuir??
Kat Howard
4. Pokey
Pellin, John Gray lost his lover Hector. (I think that was his name!)

I kept telling my husband, but Murtaugh died in the book! LOL. Being such a fan favorite, I guess they figured out a way to keep him.
Anna Bowling
5. AnnaBowling
@HeatherWaters, I agree about Frank. I hadn't read this far in the books yet, so it was a surprise to hear 60s Claire refer to him as dead, then again when it actually happened. I knew she couldn't stay with him, so he probably was going to die, but theory and practice are often different.

@Pellin, @Pokey and @Samantha1024, I thought it might have been BJR at first, but that might have been too neat of an answer. Should be interesting to see how much we learn about Hector in the TV series. I was very glad to see Murtaugh. Perhaps we'll see him again.
Susan White
6. whiskeywhite
@Samantha1024, I was surprised and happy to see Murtaugh at the prison. I had asked previously whether anyone knew what happened to him. I feared he was dead at Culloden. But his sending to the colonies is little better. A sentence of 14 years Jamie is told. "If they survive," he glumly and rightly replies.

Does anyone know which colonies? (Australia? Famously populated with prisoners. The Caribbean?) Let's hope we see him again. I know from the promos that J & C end up on a ship. I have a vague sense they go to Jamaica. Does anyone know? (I haven't read the books -- or to be more precise I'm books behind). Maybe they all meet up somewhere?

I feel badly for Sandy (not Candy -- shades of an episode of Lucifer). Caught between Frank and Claire. She loses Frank too, whom she also loves.

Jamie's rejection of John was harsh. Understandable.
Jennifer Proffitt
7. JenniferProffitt
@whiskeywhite, given the time period, I had assumed Colonies meant America since they had not yet declared their independence, but Australia and the Caribbean are also viable options!
Anna Bowling
8. AnnaBowling
@whiskeywhite, I'm also assuming Colonies means American colonies, but this is the British Empire, so they did have more. Only adds to our suspense (I'm a few books behind, too.)

I also feel bad for Sandy, as mourning her married boyfriend, in 1960s Boston can't be an easy thing to do. We didn't know her well, but she certainly left an impact, which says a lot for the writing, and her actor.
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