Though Jamie is back at Lallybroch, he lives a life of isolation and his family suffers harassment from local British patrols. Meanwhile, in Boston, when Claire and Frank’s relationship continues to deteriorate, she looks for fulfillment elsewhere. Full recap of “Surrender”, including new clips (first aired Sunday, September 17 at 8pm ET|PT on STARZ).
“Surrender” picks up six years after the end of “The Battle Joined” when Jamie is returned to Lallybroch (1752). As Claire foretold, life in the Highlands is highly restrictive for Scots. For example, the episode begins with Fergus, Wee Jamie, and Rabbie McNab sneaking away to the dovecote to find Ian Murray’s pistol that he’s hiding. Why? Because it has been outlawed for Scots to have weapons.
Fergus seems particularly determined to prove his mettle and stand up to Red Coats. He brags to Jamie and Rabbie about being at Prestonpans and killing a British soldier with a knife. Fergus regrets being sent away and not fighting at Culloden. Their discussion is interrupted with a group of Red Coats arrive at Lallybroch. The outlaw known as the Dunbonnet is at large and the British Captain, Samuel Lewis, is convinced that Dunbonnet and Red Jamie are one in the same and hiding in area. The captain has come to Lallybroch in order to demand information from Ian and (a very pregnant) Jenny. They fiercely deny seeing Jamie, not since he left to fight in the rebellion, but the Red Coats still take Ian away to jail in hopes of forcing information from them. As this confrontation unfolds, you can see the disdain Fergus feels. He even challenges one of the Red Coats, who happens to be Scottish (Corporal MacGregor), calling him a traitor.
As the soldiers leave with Ian, Jamie watches from the woods. Time has passed and you can tell Jamie has taken it hard. His hair, his clothing, his countenance all reflect a unkemptness. Jamie tracks a deer and kills it with a bow and arrow. He them carries the body back to Lallybroch… and even now, he still has visions of Claire waiting for him. It’s actually Jenny in the garden. She catches Jamie up on the news while he skins and butchers the deer: Ian being arrested again, that they’ve taken to calling Jamie the Dunbonnet, and how it’s time to tally the rent.
Fergus is also there and makes the case that he and Jamie together could kill the Red Coats holding Ian and free him, but Jenny dismisses the idea outright and Jamie remains silent. His general silence frustrates Jenny so much that she claims that she isn’t lying to the British patrol when they come looking for Jamie Fraser. The real Jamie still remains absent because she hardly recognizes the person there as her brother.
Some time later, we follow Jamie through the woods as he returns to his cave with some fish. He’s interrupted when Fergus comes to the gave with Ian’s pistol and asks Milord to teach him to shoot. Fergus wants to be prepared to defend Lallybroch when the next rebellion starts. Jamie shuts him down, saying there will be no “next rebellion;” no more fighting. Fergus becomes upset and shoves Jamie, calling him a coward. Jamie gives the pistol back, reminds Fergus that weapons are outlawed, and says to put the pistol back and never touch it again.
The next time Jamie returns to Lallybroch to look at the ledgers, he meets Mary McNab (Rabbie’s mother) doing laundry and Jenny in labor. Mary is kind and reassures Jamie that all is well.
While Wee Jamie, Fergus, and Rabbie are doing their chores, the notice a raven perched near the house. Rabbie mentions that the raven is a harbinger of death and can’t be near the house while the baby is being born. So Fergus takes matters into his own hands by getting Ian’s pistol, loading it, and killing the raven. And the gun shot can be heard all over… including by the Red Coats riding nearby. Jamie storms up to Fergus, angry that his instructions to never touch the pistol were ignored. However, it seems like Fergus and Rabbie have no regrets, they were protecting the bairn. And in fact, Mary comes to tell Jamie that Jenny has given birth to a little boy. She diffuses the situation and takes the pistol herself, while warning the kids to stay out of trouble.
Jamie goes to see Jenny and Wee Ian, and you can tell that he’s enthralled with the baby. Jenny takes the chance to ask Jamie about the last time he’s been with a woman and remind him that he can have another family of his own, perhaps with Mary McNab. This flusters Jamie, who is adamant that he’ll never marry again. (Interestingly, Jamie has never told Jenny what happened to Claire, only that she’s been gone for these six years.) When Jamie leaves the room with Baby Ian, things take a turn as Cpatain Lewis and his soldiers arrive and search the home for the weapon they heard. Jamie, who still has the baby, hides away in another room. The Captain questions Jenny, who notices that she’s just had a child. Where is the baby? Jenny says that the child died and the midwife took the body away to clean for burial. Before they can enquire about the body, Mary McNab enters the room with the pistol. She claims that the weapon belonged to her husband, Ronald, and that she is the one who killed the raven. Captain Lewis shows some restraint by refusing to arrest Mary. The Corporal takes the pistol and the soldiers all leave.
Jamie returns Baby Ian to Jenny, who is cleary upset. She realizes that Captain Lewis will just not let this go. What can they do? As Jamie leaves, she asks him to take the shovel and dig up a grave so they can say the baby was buried.
*SIDENOTE* This scene with Jenny and the officers is upsetting for several reasons, but the fact that she isn’t accorded even a modicum of respect just boggles my mind. The way the soldiers just storm into her room and rip the bed covers right off her, it’s horrific. And when Corporal MacGregor hears that the baby has died, his response is “good!” Disgusting. Aren’t women and and children supposed to be treated with some form of civility? But I guess that’s the thing… Highlanders aren’t people in their eyes.
Later, Corporal MacGregor and fellow soldiers return Ian to Lallybroch and issue a warning that it’s only a matter of time before they find the Dubnonnet and come back for the whole Murray family. Fergus is outside and witnesses this, even making eye contact with MacGregor as he leaves. When Ian enters the house, Fergus heads to the woods… and MacGregor and another soldier (Jenkins) lie in wait, prepared to follow. Fergus realizes he’s being followed and leads the two of them in circles. When Fergus stops to taunt them, MacGregor demands to know where Red Jamie is. Fergus tells them there is no Red Jamie and that the Red Coats should stop harrassing them. Fergus calls MacGregor a traitor again and tries to run, but it’s too late. Fergus is trapped by MacGregor, Jenkins, and two other Red Coats who arrive on horseback, Jenkins holds Fergus down as MacGregor chops of Fergus’ hand. MacGregor then orders them all to leave. Thankfully, Jamie is nearby and witnesses it all. He runs to Fergus’ aid, and makes a tourniquette out of his belt, just like he’s seen milady do many times. Jamie then carries Fergus back to Lallybroch.
That evening at Lallybroch, Jenny tells Jamie that Fergus will be alright, but Jamie still feels guilty for not stopping those soldiers. His devastation boils over and Jamie collapses in Jenny’s arms as he cries. Later on, Jamie goes to see Fergus. Fergus and Jamie apologize to one another…
“You remind me I have somethingto fight for.”
“There you are, Milord.”
Fergus is mostly optimistic. He’s been able to have all the whisky he wants. Plus Fergus mentions the agreement he made with Milord in Paris, that if he loses a hand while in his service, Jamie would support him for the rest of his life. Jamie reassures Fergus that he will keep that promise. And Fergus jokes that now he can be a man of leisure.
Ian and Jamie share a drink while Ian reflects on how he still feels pain in his leg, even though it’s been gone. Fergus will likely experience the same. And Ian says that this is what Jamie is experiencing too. His heart is gone with Claire, but Jamie still feels the pain.
When Jamie sees that the soldiers slashed a tapestry of his family coat of arms, he realizes that they won’t stop until they catch the Dunbonnet. So Jamie decides that Jenny and Ian should turn him in to Captain Lewis and take the reward money. Jenny is enraged, but Ian reassures her that Jamie will just be imprisoned. And really, for Jamie, he’s already in prison so it makes no difference. They make their plan and Jamie goes to the cave to prepare.
Mary McNab comes to the cave the next day with food and company. They share a meal and she helps him shave. And then she offers herself to him…
Jamie refuses at first and even tries to leave, but then Mary offers again:
“I ken well enough what you’re thinking, for I saw your lady and how it was between the two of ye. And it’s not my mind to make ye feel ye’ve betrayed that. What I want is to share something different. Something less, mayhap… but something we both need. Something to keep us whole as we move forward in this life.”
And, with tears in his eyes, Jamie accepts her comfort.
The next morning, the plan unfolds. Jamie comes to Lallybroch pretending that he’s just arrived home and the Red Coats descend. Captain Lewis comes out of the house and arrests Jamie and hands Jenny the reward money. Jamie pretends to be angry as they lead him away.
Jenny cries, “You gave me no choice, Brother! And I’ll never forgive you, never!”
That is true in so many ways, and Jenny’s anger and saddness is so palpable. When she goes inside the house, the Red Coats drive Jamie away.
Back in 1949 Boston, we catch up with Claire as she’s having a moment of some personal sexy times. She masturbates as she pictures a naked Jamie, tending to the fire, laying down next to her. Jamie is gloriously gorgeous. But when Claire comes back to herself, she realizes that she’s in bed with Frank and her satisfaction fades.
The next morning Claire reads the paper as Baby Bree plays. News includes the Republic of Ireland gaining independence from UK. Bree fusses and when Claire looks up, she realizes Bree has rolled over for the first time. Frank enters the room wearing a towel. The hot water cut off during his shower and he intends to check on the boiler. However, seeing Claire’s joy stops Frank. When Claire shares that Bree turned over by herself, a full month ahead of expectations, Frank shares in the celebratory moment. The moment becomes a little awkward and you can tell that there’s some tension between Claire and Frank. However, it might not be the bad kind…
That night Claire can’t sleep, perhaps overcome by the sexual frustration. “I miss my husband…” (WHICH ONE?????) And so Claire initiates sexy times with Frank.
Claire and Frank have their neighbors Millie and Jerry over for dinner and it’s a nice evening. Jerry raves about Claire’s pavlova and they make jokes with one another. You can tell that there’s a new intimacy between Claire and Frank. When Millie and Jerry leave, Claire takes the opportunity to initiate sexy times with Frank in the living room. But when Frank urges Claire to open her eyes and look at him, she refuses, and the mood shifts. Frank accuses Claire of using him while imagining another man. Claire doesn’t deny it, but she does leave the room. (*SIDENOTE* At least she doesn’t shout out Jamie’s name!)
Instead Claire focusses on being a mother and she loves it. However, she misses that feeling of being part of something greater than herself. So when Claire reads the paper and sees that President Truman has appointed Georgia Neese Clark as the country’s first Treasurer, it sparks something. Claire decides to enroll in Harvard Medical School! On her first day of class (Anatomy), Claire realizes she is the only woman in her class. Her professor and classmates aren’t very cordial, with their mean looks and snide remarks. But Claire does find an ally… Joe Abernathy, the only African-American in the class. 🙂
That night when Claire goes to bed, Frank is already there and she wishes him a good night. When the camera pans out, we see that Claire and Frank now have two separate beds… YIKES.
When Claire is on campus, presumably on her way to class, she walks past a street performer playing the bagpipes. She gets a little emotional, but leaves money for him before continuing on her way.
For more of our thoughts on this week’s Outlander, watch my video review with Katie, where we talk about watching Jamie and Claire struggling to live meaningful lives without one another.
If you missed tonight’s episode, you can watch (or rewatch) “Surrender” on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.
Deep breaths, Sassenachs. How are you doing? Share your thoughts and feels with us below!