by Diana Vaccarelli
—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—
Sunday October 1, 2017, Starz aired season 3, episode 4 of Outlander. In this episode, Jamie (Sam Heughan) is serving as a groomsman for a noble British family and is pulled into a web of intrigue by the scheming Lady Geneva Dunsany. Meanwhile, in a much later time period, Claire, Brianna, and Roger continue their search for Jamie’s whereabouts via history books.
- Toni Graphia pens this episode, and takes a difficult chapter of material from the novel “Voyager” written by Diana Gabaldon, which this season is based on, and builds up the drama and intrigue with care. I was very impressed and happy with how this part of the story was handled by all involved.
- Lady Geneva (Hannah James) is a spoiled brat and really doesn’t want to marry the much older Lord Ellesmere. After eyeing Jamie and liking what she sees, Geneva threatens his family, leveraging him into sleeping with her three days before her wedding. What makes this turn of events so powerful is that after the “deed” Geneva professes love for Jamie, totally changing my perspective about her and putting me more on her side even after all her deceit. Heughan and James have terrific chemistry in this episode, their characters challenging each other brilliantly.
- The union of Geneva and Jamie produces a child, Willie (Clark Butler). After Geneva’s death in childbirth, Lord Ellesmere, now her husband threatens the life the newborn child, who is saved – yay! – Jamie. Gratefully, the Dunsanys give Jamie the opportunity to go home, but he rejects the offer because he wants to watch his son grow, even if it’s from outside the family. Jamie stays for a while, and whispers about Willie looking like him begin. To protect the boy, Jamie leaves and return home to his estate.
The Claire storyline in this episode is dull both conceptually ands visually, with nothing at all exciting to push it along. Research is not a dramatic enough replacement for conflict!
I LOVED the Jamie storyline in this episode. So heartfelt! Heughan shines as he grows his character’s relationship with his son. I couldn’t help but tear up as he rides away, with 4 year old Willie calling out, “Don’t go Mac” and runnint after him futilely while Jamie continues with a perfect single tear falling down his face. Truly perfection. We feel the hurt in both of them.
I’ve said it before and must say it again. If you haven’t watched this series yet, what are you waiting for?
Diana Vaccarelli is TVWriter™’s Critic-at-Large and a student in the TVWriter™ Online Workshop. Find out more about her HERE