Outlander gives us all of Jamie in this steamy fourth episode
Outlander episode 4 was mostly centered around Jamie (Sam Heughan) in Helwater. Still a prisoner but with a freedom of sorts as a groom to Lord Dunsany, his wife and two daughters, Isobel and Geneva (Hannah James). Isobel has a crush on Lord John, and Geneva is spoiled and awful. She’s been betrothed to Lord Ellesmere but he’s really old and pretty disgusting and she seems to find Jamie pretty intriguing. When she senses tension between John Grey (David Berry) and his brother Lord Melton about Jamie she uses her woman’s wiles to get him to spill the details about who Jamie really is. Uh oh.
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Geneva goes to Jamie and blackmails him, saying that she’ll tell her mother he’s a notorious Jacobite and also put his family at risk unless he takes her virginity. She doesn’t want to lose it to an old man and Jamie is hot, so why not blackmail? Jamie comes to her room and a scorching deflowering is followed by a time jump to Geneva being nine months pregnant and returning with her husband. The look she gives Jamie says it all. Unfortunately for her she dies giving birth. In her grief her sister Isobel reveals Geneva had told her who the baby’s father is and she blames Jamie for her death.
Unfortunately Ellesmere the jerk knows the baby wasn’t his and threatens to kill it. The Dunsanys try to talk him down but Jamie shoots him to save his son. In return for this Lady Dunsany offers to pull strings to have Jamie pardoned and released but he isn’t ready to leave his son so he stays. Flash forward six more years and Willy is really starting to resemble Jamie. Before the talk gets too bad he knows he needs to leave, and he asks Lord John to care for his son. In return he offers him his body, but Lord John is too noble a guy for that and he tells him he’ll care for Willy no strings attached. Oh, and he’s engaged to Isobel, who has always had a crush on him so that works out.
Willy is attached to Jamie and doesn’t want him to go, but before he leaves Jamie leaves him the snake he carved for him like his big brother had done. He also baptizes him. Jamie then leaves Helwater forever, Isobel looking on him with pity and Lord John looking at him like his heart was being cut out.
As for Claire (Caitriona Balfe), she’s been looking for Jamie with Roger (Richard Rankin) and Bree (Sophie Skelton). Unfortunately the trail seems to have gone dead and Claire is afraid she’s chasing a ghost. Fiona, Mrs. Graham’s granddaughter, returns Jamie’s pearls to her and she makes the decision to give up and go back to Boston. Roger and Bree are helping to look for Jamie, but they’re also getting closer to each other. At the end of the episode Claire and Brianna are headed back to Boston and Roger is sadly still in Scotland.
Enough with the recapping! What did our roundtable panel have to say?
Andee (@andeesings) – Writer for TV After Dark, lover of tacos and David Bowie in Labyrinth.
Carole (@cbraunnj) – Costumer, teacher, admin for Outlander Forever. I make use of my excessive tv watching by being an obsessive knitter.
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – Writer for Outlander TV News, lover of music, traveling, and a good gin and tonic.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – Unlikely fan girl, co-admin for TheRankAndFile @RRankinFans Loves a burrito.
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – Jenni really does have a lot of freckles. She’s still in mourning for Frank.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – Your friendly neighborhood armchair critic. Book and Jamie fan, first and foremost.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – Mom of 3 men, wife, habitual volunteer, WCCUSA Ambassador, JDRF supporter, Medical Office Manager & Outlander Addict books & series
1) We’re back in Claire’s present, in 1968 with Roger, Bree, Fiona and Claire. What’s up with this search?
Andee (@andeesings) – To be honest I’m not sure. Because there’s this MASSIVE timeline on the corkboard that seems like they’ve been searching for AGES, but Roger is explaining what they have to establish. Which it seemed like they should’ve talked about months ago. So they couldn’t have Roger explaining this over a montage of them making the massive cork board timeline? And then she found him ten seconds later? I don’t really understand it.
Carole (@cbraunnj) – I guess since they figured out that Jamie didn’t die at Culloden, try to trace his whereabouts.
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – I just kept thinking those are some well preserved records that they are allowed to just flip through. In the books I REALLY don’t like Bree and I don’t care for Roger, I was hoping the actors could turn that around for me. Richard Rankin is doing a decent job making me interested in Roger, but I’m still not feeling Bree. Time will tell.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – I love that we see all of them working together on the search for Jamie. This scene really sets the ground work for the blossoming relationship between Roger and Bree. The knowing glances the share over Fiona’s comments are like the beginnings of cute inside jokes. I can’t wait to see more of them in the coming seasons
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – Claire knows Roger has the tools and resources to find Jamie. Claire might as well utilize them while she’s in Scotland.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – Hmm, they didn’t seem to put a whole lot of effort into these scenes at all. There was hardly anything new learned. I would have liked to see more of Claire’s life, sans Frank. They could have used some of the time from THAT scene to add to Claire’s story.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – I was surprised to see the jump back to 1968, I had thought we’d see a little more of Claire and Brianna after losing Frank, I’m not complaining though. I loved the return of the pearls, well done Fiona! The search seems to have stalled. It felt as though they were taking one step forward and two steps back. It was disheartening, but the episode was called “Of Lost Things” I believe they were trying to mimic the feeling of loss on both sides of the timeline.
2) What were your first impressions of Lord Dunsanay, Isobel and Geneva, and on Lord John being back here?
Andee (@andeesings) – Well Isobel is obviously me, so I felt an instant kinship with her the minute she asked about Lord John. Poor Isobel. In love with a gay man. I was also surprised that I liked Lord Dunsany and actually felt like Geneva was just being obnoxious to keep people at a distance from her, including her parents so they wouldn’t find her a husband. That backfired, huh?
Carole (@cbraunnj) – Lord D seems to be a regular sort, he doesn’t give me anything other than just being there. Isobel is trying to be the “Good Child”, since her sis is a spoiled, petulant brat. LJG did say he was going to come around every quarter to check on Jamie’s welfare, so it makes sense for him to show up.
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – I LOVED the Dunsany family. I thought both actresses did a fantastic job showing the drastic difference between the characters. I adore Hannah James and I’m devastated she will not be in any more episodes. (Could she not have been dyed red? Can she be a Bree understudy?)
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – I have no real feelings about Lord Dunsany. I really liked that they humanized Geneva, she needed that desperately. I really liked Isobel as well and of course, Lord John. David Berry is doing an incredible job portraying him and I can’t wait to see more of him. I think he and Isobel will be a great fit, too
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – It’s Downton Abby 1756. Fancy & walking around like they’re God’s gift to Helwater. Lord John only shows up to see his sexy man muffin, Jamie.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – My first thought of Lord Dunsany was “Hey! That’s the guy from Game of Thrones!” Why does Geneva look so stylish and Isobel looked a bit – my first thought was clownish. But, I really liked Isobel’s character. She’s much nicer than in the books. I understand they tried to make Geneva likeable but, for me, they failed. I like Lord John, mostly. He seems to not be able to forget Jamie.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – Lord Dunsany seemed a straightforward kind of gentleman trying to do the right thing by his family. Geneva was quite the spoiled brat & Isobel was endearing. I really liked the portrayal of Lady Dunsany, another quiet yet strong female character. Lord John did tell Jamie he’d be checking in on him and he has proven yet again to be a man of his word.
3) Claire is struggling a bit this episode. She’s not connected with her work, her friend Joe, even Jamie and Bree! What are your thoughts about what’s going on with her?
Andee (@andeesings) – Bad writing for her? I don’t understand why she did so little here in this episode. Nothing she did made me feel anything or feel any sort of pity for her at all. Her getting the pearls back was a lovely touch and the one time I really felt like she had something to do in this episode. She couldn’t even be coerced back to deal with her patient.
Carole (@cbraunnj) – I think she’s struggling not to get too excited over the Jamie search, in case they find out he’s dead. She’s mourned him already so she really doesn’t want to do it again. But it does seem she’s just phoning it in here
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – She was in research mode and she was pretty well connected to that whisky at the bar. Honestly it was nice having an episode where Claire doesn’t have it all together, its realistic.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – I think Claire is living a lot in her own head for much of this episode. She’s been all of the years not knowing if Jamie is alive and now she’s terrified she will find that he did indeed die. I also feel like this episode did a great job of showing the tensions between Bree and Claire start to ease up a bit. For once they’re on the same page…both searching for Jamie.
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – Besides looking like she’s fighting a massive migraine all the time, she seems like she needs to pick a life. Does she go back to Boston and continue her New England life or does she stay in Scotland and continue chasing a ghost.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – Honestly, they aren’t doing Claire justice this season. I could see she was frustrated in the library but I think they could have developed her story a little more thoroughly.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – Claire may be agonizing over her desire to locate and return to Jamie and the fact that this would mean leaving Brianna, their child. I think she’s feeling torn, guilty and maybe she’s second guessing that initial instinct to run back to him. Abandoning the search isn’t really like her, but I’m sure that defeatist attitude won’t last long.
4) Lord Ellesmere is in fact old and disgusting. But Geneva’s solution seems a bit extreme (and she’s not exactly a book fan favorite). What do you think of her, and her solution to her problem?
Andee (@andeesings) – Like I said above I really liked Geneva. I felt pity at her situation. She was raised to wealth and privilege so I can definitely forgive her for some minor spoiled behavior. That being said I can’t forgive her for blackmailing Jamie into doing what she wanted. Straight up assault, G. What are you doing? Can’t you just seduce a man the old fashion way like any normal girl?
Carole (@cbraunnj) – I’ve always thought she was a brat but I do understand her thinking. If she has to marry the old geezer she might as well have one chance of having sex with someone who’s not decrepit. I did notice that there was no discussion of when is a good time of month so that she doesn’t get caught
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – Oh Geneva. In the book I like readers most don’t care for Geneva or her solution. In this episode I DID like the changes that were made in the bedroom dialogue wise, it was however a bit…graphic, especially since we haven’t seen a scene with Claire and Jamie like that since the very beginning.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – I’m 100% on board with Geneva. I certainly wouldn’t want my first sexual experience to be with a man old enough to be my Grandfather. I cannot even imagine.
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – Geneva’s a spoiled child. The girl gets what she wants. Forcing Jamie to bed her shows her sneaky character.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – Yeah, I wouldn’t be happy about marrying “that old goat” either. She was right about that. But, her solution was very rash (I hated this storyline in the book and wasn’t fond of it in the show). I realize she only had two weeks before she was married. But, blackmail was not the way.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – I absolutely didn’t want to see this! I was dreading it. Geneva is definitely not this book fan’s favorite. I’ve always felt that this was an assault on Jamie and I still do. A young woman exerting her position and power over a prisoner in her father’s employ by threatening his freedom and the safety of his family certainly seems like sexual assault. Her behavior was truly despicable, no matter the reason. Geneva is in a sad situation she has no choice but to marry Lord Ellesmere, but she can deny him her maidenhead. Of course I understand her choosing Jaime, however I don’t like the way she went about it. I think that it was portrayed in a way that made it very obvious that Jamie wasn’t happy about it, it was more clinical than passionate. Jamie still treated her well because he felt sorry for her and because no matter what the circumstances he is an honorable man.
5) Seems like controversy over Geneva gone. Or is it? What do you think of this particular adaptation and how it affects both Jamie and Geneva’s characters?
Andee (@andeesings) – Thank the lord this book scene was changed. It is possible for two people to assault each other. I was almost cringing waiting for it to happen and when it finally did instead of hiding my face behind my hands I was actually fanning myself! Seriously, an inferno of heat coming off that screen. I think it made both characters more sympathetic. Jamie because you feel bad that he was taken advantage of by Geneva, and Geneva because it really highlighted the fact that she was just as much a prisoner as he was.
Carole (@cbraunnj) –It takes away the rape question. I’ve never thought it was rape, it always was blackmail. The controversy will always be there, especially with anyone who can’t deal with seeing Jamie with anyone other than Claire.
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – Is it? I didn’t notice controversy. I enjoyed the show adaptation more than the book Helwater scenes. It felt more in character for Jamie to me.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – She may have gone about it an unusual way but I thought the show did a great job in making it a clear message about consent.
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – It’s pretty convenient that she dies and Lord Grossness is taken out by Jamie. Now there are less people to think about because there are so many people in this house I can’t keep track.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – Hahaha, the controversy isn’t gone. While the show adapted it better than the book, I really didn’t need to see all of it and for so long. I see where Ron Moore and Matt Roberts wanted to make Geneva more likeable but don’t think they succeeded. I don’t think it affected Jamie’s character. He did what he did to protect his family. I just don’t like the means.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – Geneva was a spoiled brat and everyone knows it. Jamie had no choice in the matter and did the only thing he could do. I think their characters are intact.
6) Jamie with his son! Talk to us about seeing Jamie as a father. And what do you think of little Willie?
Andee (@andeesings) – Jame as a father was the best thing. When he hugged him and whispered in Gaelic? When he was looking at the baby when it was first born before he talked to Lady Dunsany? It made my heart ache that Jamie never got to raise his own babies. So sad.
Carole (@cbraunnj) – Willie is a cute kid who is being spoiled rotten. But I do understand why.
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – Awe, protective daddy Jamie. It was nice seeing him finally be able to have a bit of relationship with one of his babies. Willie was cute but looked nothing like his daddy, especially since that’s the entire plot purpose for Jamie leaving.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – Oh my god. Willie is absolutely adorable. It was a little difficult to watch Jamie as a father-ish figure. On one hand, I felt so much sadness for him that he never got to watch his girls grow up and on the other hand, it was nice to see him come into his own with Willie. It’s too bad he couldn’t have had a hand in raising Willie for the rest of his childhood.
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – Jamie’s an amazing father as we all knew Himself would be. He’s the King of Men, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Little Willy is adorable. He’s the spawn of Jamie, of course he’s going to be perfection. Anything Himself touches is blessed with amazingness.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – I’m glad Jamie got to spend some time with at least one of his kids. You could tell he was so proud of the boy. But, umm couldn’t they find a kid who looked a little more like him. There was nothing even remotely close to resemblance between the two.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – This was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Jamie has lost so much and now he finally has a his own child, a son he can not claim. Jamie’s protective instincts kick in immediately and he continues to watch over and guide Willie during his first formative years. Watching them together just made me feel so happy for Jamie and so sad for him at the same time. Jamie leaving his son to prevent the truth from becoming obvious to all was heart wrenching. Sam Heughan’s performance was outstanding!
7) Lord John and Jamie’s friendship has certainly come a long way. And he’s marrying Isobel! What were your feelings on these developments?
Andee (@andeesings) – GET your MAN Isobel! He won’t ever love you and you’ll be forever carnally unsatisfied but I guess join the 18th century club. But in reality I think he might actually make her a good husband, who knows what she would’ve been like in bed anyway. I wish that there had been a little more room in the episode for David Berry to do his thing. I even think more time between those two particular actors would’ve improved the moment where Jamie offers himself to Lord John and Lord John turns him down. In an episode where all the male acting was so strong and that one scene felt just off-kilter, we don’t knw.
Carole (@cbraunnj) – The friendship has developed from the mutual admiration. Marrying Isobel is a good idea, keeps John looking out for Willie and keeps his own personal lifestyle out of anybody’s business, including his brother Hal.
Ashley (@ashgenfen) – Lord John and Jamie developed a friendship like a lot of people, with mutual respect. I didn’t like Jamie offering himself up to LJ for protection of Willy, I know it was supposed to show viewers his level of dedication but it really just seemed sad.
Michelle (@mad_maxxie) – The friendship between Lord John and Jamie might just be in my top 5 all time favorite television friendships. They’ve got this deep understanding and ultimately respect for one another. I think it really eases Jamie’s mind that Lord John will be able to keep a very close eye on his son, Willie.
Jenni (@freckledjenni) – First, why does Lord John look more like a vampire this episode?? That man needs to step into the sun. John’s marrying Isobel to be closer to Jamie & wee Willie. Everything John does is revolves around Jamie. The heart wants what the heart wants.
Kyra (@emrld_eyes76) – I’m glad to see that they’ve worked out their differences and for John to hide his feelings more. I think he and Isobel make a cute couple.
Dawn Polk (@7_polk) – Both men live by a code of honor and their friendship is one based on mutual respect. I do believe they genuinely like each other even though they have historically been and likely will continue to be on opposing sides. I appreciated the fact that Jaime questioned Lord John regarding his intentions in an honest and forthright manner, the way only a true friend could. Lord John explaining that he tested himself and he is capable of being a true husband and that he truly is fond of Isobel put Jamie’s reservations about the situation at rest and settled the matter of Lord John watching over Willie as a father figure. Jamie and Lord John have a genuine friendship.
Final Verdict: Outlander gives us another character we love to hate as we rush towards the reunion we all need!
Sam Heughan really stole the show in this episode of Outlander. Even though Claire felt a little shoved to the side it was definitely time for Jamie to shine, and did he ever! Some smart adapting put a slight balm on a massive controversy, but it still felt like a mad rush to get to a finish line. But what’s going to happen next week with the printshop looming on the horizon? We’ll be back at it next week!
Outlander returns next Sunday, October 8th at 8/7c on Starz!
Three cheers for Jamie from our panel!Every week we do a detailed review of Outlander, and we do a roundtable with a rotating panel! Interested in being on a future roundtable? Give Andee a shout on twitter!