Claire and Jamie were torn apart. Again.
I'm pretty sure it's in the show bible that the lovers have to be ripped about at least twice each season, and Outlander Season 3 Episode 10 fulfilled that requirement. Luckily we didn't have to watch them fall into despondent depression this time. I'm not sure that I could have handled that.
No, this go-round saw Jamie and Claire much more focused. Claire's focus on stopping the typhus outbreak made sense, Jamie's attempts to mutiny were a little harder to understand.
I get that he doesn't want to be separated from her again; that part makes sense. But this wasn't like when she got captured by Randall, or any of their escapades in France, or Culloden. There was no reason to assume that she was in any immediate danger.
Rebelling against the captain the way he did just doesn't fit with Jamie's MO. Not having a plan? Not James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser.
I lost her once, Fergus. I canna lose her again.Jamie
Look at how he planned his escape from Ardsmuir, or the plan to stop the Comte's shipment that would have funded Charlie's war or his smuggling business. The man is a schemer, a planner, a master chess player.
And okay, he's lost his temper and acted rashly before, but not when it came to saving someone he loved. Attacking the captain and planning a mutiny would only impede his goal.
But even worse than this rash, completely out of character behavior was his treatment of Fergus.
Fergus: Non. I love her, too, Milord, but --
Jamie: What good are you, you damn fool?
He was just cruel. There's no other word for it. The first time I watched the episode, I couldn't even bear to watch and just fast forwarded through Fergus' second visit.
I mean, this is the boy that's supposed to be like a son to him, the boy that he risked permanent damage to his relationship with Claire to avenge. "What good are you?" Are you kidding me?
Clearly, the writer thought that having Jamie attack Fergus, another person for whom Jamie cares deeply, would reinforce just how much he loves Claire.
Jamie: I see I was right to withhold my blessing from you. Proves ye dinna ken what love is.
Fergus: You do not mean that, Milord. How could you say that?
Jamie: Because if you did, ye would move heaven and earth. You would risk arrest and death. Even hell. You would do it as easily as...the prick of a pin. Ye'd set me free from this cell to help me rescue the woman I love from her kidnappers. Until ye risk all, ye canna speak of love.
But I don't think it worked. One of the hallmarks of a good relationship, a strong relationship, is that two people make each other better. If this is what loving Claire does to Jamie, inflicting pain on others, is that a good, true love?
Not that some of the things he said to Fergus weren't damn romantic in their own way. I mean, his soliloquy about how one will do anything for the one the love was moving, even if it didn't make a lot of sense as a way to convince Fergus to comply with Jamie's demand.
Elias: Is there a secret to it?
Elias: Remaining so calm in the face of so much death.
Claire handled the separation in a much more productive manner. She wasn't pleased about being pressed into service, but she was smart enough to realize that the situation wouldn't be helped by her pitching a fit and that there was little to no danger that she and her husband wouldn't be reunited.
Once she figured out that Jamie may be in danger, she tackled the problem logically and efficiently. Her plan to get Tompkins out of the way wasn't well thought out, but it was an attempt to solve the problem quietly and effectively.
It also gave us a more nuanced look at how far Claire is willing to go for Jamie. We've seen her dedication to the Hippocratic oath when she boarded the Porpoise and when she tried to save her attacker, but she walked right up to the edge of ethical behavior imprisoning the man.
One of the things I dislike the most about the back half of the season being so rushed is that we get so little time with new characters. Elias and Annekje had minor roles to play, sure, but I really liked both of them and would liked to have had more time with both.
We also haven't really seen much of Fergus and Marsali together. The scene where she cares for his stump was touching, both for her care for him and his insistence that they stop before things went to far. Now if we could just get her to reevaluate her position on Claire...
Jamie: What are you doing, lass?
Marsali: Just give him your word. And he'll set you free. You canna see what he's done for you, can ye?
Marsali: No, Fergus.
Jamie: What Fergus did, he did for you.
Marsali: If you believe that, you dinna deserve to be let out of here.
I'm hoping that happens on Outlander Season 3 Episode 11. The antepenultimate episode of the season starts with our OTP still separated, with Claire wandering through the mangroves of Hispaniola and Jamie apparently shipwrecked...somewhere.
That at least solves his problem with Captain Raines, but doesn't really get him any closer to Claire. But having lived through a disaster, maybe Marsali would be more open to having a healer in her family. The girl has finally stopped acting like a complete brat and that would be the last step in liking her.
Claire: Half the men on this fucking ship are dying of typhoid, and this bloody fool has almost drank himself to death on the alcohol I need to stop the goddamn fever from spreading! [pause as the men look stunned] I'm sorry, Mr. Pound. Didn't mean to offend your tender ears.
Elias: Oh, I've heard many such things before, madam, but not from a gentlewoman.
If you're not warming to Jamie's stepdaughter, maybe you need to watch Outlander online and watch her scenes again. When she's not calling Claire a "whoooooorrrrre," she's not so bad.
Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments section! We want to know what you think about the latest separation, Jamie's "plan," Claire's hat, and the general pacing of things!
Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.