This is the fifth article in a series of “mock” season-three Outlander episodes. Click on the links for Voyager Redux! “Mock One”, Voyager: “Mock Two” , Voyager: “Mock Three”, and Voyager: “Mock Four”.
“The treasure—it was all right to use it when there was need, to feed the hungry, or to rescue folk from prison. But to try to buy my freedom from guilt… I think maybe that was wrong to do.” – Jamie, Voyager
So in our ongoing discussion of the theme of FREEDOM, we are now reaching the psychological implications of the word. What does freedom mean to Jamie? Not just being with Claire, but feeling that he has the right to do so. That he doesn’t have to be burdened by guilt. Because a guilty man is never free.
And with that, let’s get started.
TITLE: PAYING THE PIPER
THEME: The price of freedom. If Claire and Jamie are on a season-long quest for “freedom,” what price will they have to pay? Includes the “literal” price (money to Laoghaire) and the existential price (what happens if Ian Jr. is lost and it’s their fault?)
BOOK CHAPTERS COVERED:
The second half of Part Seven: Home Again
Ned Gowan, the lawyer, is summoned to settle Jamie and Laoghaire’s divorce. He determines that Jamie is going to owe a lot of money to Laoghaire as part of the divorce settlement, thus leading to the late-night excursion to get the fortune on Silkies’ Island and Ian Junior’s kidnapping.
Ian being kidnapped is really what we call the “inciting incident” of this novel. However, it doesn’t happen until the 50% mark. So in reality, what will probably happen is season three will take on a similar structure to season two: namely, it will be bifurcated into two parts that, on the surface, have very little to do with each other, but will serve the same over-arching theme: Freedom. First half: Scotland. Second half: The Sea and Beyond.
FLASHBACK – BROCH TAURACH, JAMIE AND LAOGHAIRE’S WEDDING DAY, 1765
Jamie peeks through a cracked door watching as Laoghaire discovers her inner Bridezilla, ordering people around and telling her two young daughters to back off because it’s “Mummy’s day.” Disgusted, Jamie heads back to his own room to make his preparations for his wedding… looking for answers at the bottom of a whiskey bottle.
Jenny enters, a grandchild on one hip, and tries to reassure Jamie that marrying Laoghaire is a great thing to do: It will give him some stability, seal his place in the clan McKenzie, and give him a sorely-needed warm body in his bed at night.
Jamie tries to put on a brave face for his sister, but his eyes say it all: this is a huge mistake and he knows it. Jenny leaves the room and Jamie finishes the bottle. “I’m sorry, Claire,” he whispers to the empty room, before getting up to follow Jenny.
IN THE CHAPEL – LATER
The wedding is taking place in the small chapel on the grounds. Jenny watches from the back pew. Jamie and Laoghaire stand before the priest. Suddenly Jenny’s eyes grow huge. She is terrified by a sudden vision.
Jenny looks around. No one else seems to see it. Jenny stands and stumbles her way out of the pew, running from the church.
PRESENT DAY, 1766:
Jamie awakens on the couch, rubbing his sore arm, a much better color than the last time we saw him. Claire’s penicillin shots have been working.
At this point, I’m going to stick in a conversation I skipped at the end of the last episode—the one where Jamie explains to Claire why he married Laoghaire. Namely, it was mostly Jenny’s idea and Jamie was never that into it. He didn’t love her and that’s one of the reasons he had moved to Edinburgh, leaving her behind.
Okay, moving on: it is announced that Laoghaire and her uncle Hobart will be coming to the house that afternoon to “talk.” (In the book, only Hobart shows up. We never see Laoghaire again. But I think our second favorite antagonist needs a bit more screen time, just for fun.)
Jenny is not terribly excited that Hobart is coming—she’s fairly certain that he might try to kill Jamie just as Laoghaire had done. But Jamie’s not worried about it. He stays on his sick bed, or couch, if you will, while his nieces and nephews braid his hair.
Okay, so this part isn’t terribly different from the book: Claire realizes she needs to talk to Jenny about why she being such a “kuse,” if you’ll pardon a Heathers reference that really has nothing to do with anything, but this part is a bit boring.
Looking for Jenny, Claire briefly runs into Fergus, who reveals that he is upset about losing his share in the (now burned down) printing press, because the air of legitimacy it gave him was the only way he might convince his girlfriend’s mother to let him marry her. More on that later.
For now, let’s follow Jenny to the…
Okay, so this is a great scene in the book where Claire basically says, “What’s your damage? Why did you tell my husband to marry my mortal enemy?” And Jenny basically agrees that it wasn’t her best idea, but her reasoning was sound. She knew that if Jamie married Laoghaire, he’d probably stay close to Lallybroch for the rest of his life. After all he’d been through, it was a way to keep him near and safe. (All together now: Aww!)
But then, at the wedding, something happened…
FLASHBACK – WEDDING DAY – 1765
In the chapel for the wedding, Jenny’s eyes grow huge as she watches the vows. And now we see why: Standing between Laoghaire and Jamie is Claire. And she’s dressed in 1960s clothing. When Jamie says his vows, it’s as if he’s saying them to her.
Jenny freaks out a bit, but nobody else seems to see it. She runs from the chapel.
PRESENT DAY – RESUME
Jenny talks about having the “sight,” and knowing that there is something different about Claire. She doesn’t know what it is, but she knows now that Claire is back that she will take Jamie far away. She also reveals that she trust Claire to care for her brother.
Now this scene is kind of a trip, because if you’ll remember, Outlander started with Claire getting her palm read by Mrs. Graham and being told that she would go on a journey. It’s an interesting parallel, and in fact one that Claire recalls earlier in Voyager, in a flashback scene with Frank.
I love that scene and never got to show it earlier, so as Claire walks back towards the house, I’m going to give her a flashback of her own:
FLASHBACK – CLAIRE AND FRANK, 1957, BOSTON:
Isn’t that a great scene?
Okay, let’s get back to:
BROCH TAURACH – PRESENT DAY – RESUME
Young Ian comes running up to Claire as she walks, lost in her reverie, shouting that Hobart and Laoghaire have arrived. Jenny comes running from the root cellar, asking if Hobart brought a weapon. “No, Mam!” Ian shouts. “It’s worse. He’s brought a lawyer!”
Okay, so now we have the rather fun scene with Ned Gowan in which he negotiates a divorce settlement between Laoghaire and Jamie. And as I said, I’m going to keep Laoghaire in this scene. Because we need to revisit their marriage just once more. We’ve already seen the wedding day from Jamie and Jenny’s perspective. Now Laoghaire will share her tale of…
FLASHBACK – THE WEDDING NIGHT
From Laoghaire’s perspective, she did everything humanly possible to seduce Jamie, but in this scene, he barely looks at her. She tries to remind him of what they were like when they first met, how they were making out behind cabinets and in hidden places. She remembers it as the most romantic time of her life. And she declares that she’s never stopped loving him, not even when she was with her first husband.
But hearing her talk about passion and longing, Jamie can only think of Claire. Laoghaire can see it on his face: she doesn’t have him. She never will.
Jamie promises that she’ll never want for anything, that he’ll always support her and the girls. But that’s not what she wants to hear.
RESUME – PRESENT DAY
Okay, that was the last flashback, I promise. Laoghaire finishes her sad story, and everyone in the room kind of feels sorry for her. Even Claire can’t help but feel—oh, who am I kidding? Claire couldn’t care less about this chick.
But Jamie can’t deny that he’s hurt her. He tells Ned that she can have whatever she wants. Ned is very excited about this. He starts filling out paperwork. Jamie tries to catch Laoghaire’s eyes to apologize one more time, but she won’t look at him.
After a long time, Ned finishes up and declares what Jamie will owe Laoghaire—essentially, buckets of money. Way more than Jamie and his household can actually afford. Laoghaire and her uncle leave, and Jamie and Ian Senior look at each other, a secret communication between them.
Jenny, Jamie and Ian Sr. try to figure out where they’ll get the money. Jenny just wants to get Laoghaire remarried so she won’t be Jamie’s responsibility anymore. But Jamie and Ian know that even if that happens quickly, they’ll still need to get some cash. And there’s only one place they can get it—Silkies’ Island, where the French treasure is buried. And Jamie convinces Jenny to let him take Ian Jr. with him, as he cannot swim to it with his bad arm.
Okay, I know it seems like a lot has already happened in this episode, but all of this will likely only be about 30 minutes of screen time. Because the next 30 minutes will be dedicated to…
THE SILKIES’ ISLAND SEQUENCE
And this, ladies and gentlemen, will not be too terribly different than it is in the book. Now remember, in the book, there was a scene in which Jamie described in great detail to Claire how he swam for the island the first time (when he escaped from Ardsmuir) and how the tide carried him to land, etc. We cut that description, however, because it’ll be much more fun to see it live right now.
As we watch Ian Jr. make his perilous swim in the dark foggy night toward the hidden treasure (man, just typing that sounds like such a great scene), we will hear Jamie’s words narrating what young Ian must do to get there.
And everything will seem to go just great until…
The fog clears. And a boat becomes visible, anchored in the water just beyond the island.
Claire and Jamie watch from the shore as Ian Jr.’s limp body is carried from the cave and brought aboard the ship. There is nothing they can do as the ship sails away, swallowed by the dark night.
PS- In a really weird little bit of synchronicity that kind of freaked me out, this chapter is literally called “LOST, AND BY THE WIND GRIEVED,” a reference to the same passage of Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel that I quote extensively in my article Outlander 2: Written in Diana’s Own Heart’s Blood. Which is weird. Because I hadn’t read Voyager yet when I wrote that article, and how many people go around quoting 90-year old Thomas Wolfe novels all the time? My point being… okay, I don’t have one. It just freaked me out.
Where was I?
Ian Jr.’s limp body. Right.
And so I’m going to wrap up my mock episode five by basically leaving in this fantastic little scene from the book which occurs the morning after the kidnapping (with some key passages highlighted):
And as a button to the episode, let’s have Jamie realize that his cousin Jared in France will probably know which ship took Ian, as they can describe it quite accurately. So with the momentum of setting out to talk to Jared, the sun will rise on our two heroes, riding away from the cliffs.
END OF EPISODE FIVE
Whew! That was exhausting. I remember getting to this point in the book—the 54% point, mind you—and thinking, wait, where are we going with this? Is Diana seriously introducing a whole new plotline now, after like—I don’t even know—400 pages or something? Are we going to go find Ian Jr. now? Is that where this is going, Diana?!
And the answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind (or sailing for Jamaica, more accurately). Lost, and by the wind grieved.
Until next week, let’s be kind.
(Kudos, by the way, to www.dgabaldon.de for their super-accurate Outlander timeline.)
This article has been the fifth in a 13-part series. To read part 6, click here: Voyager: “Mock Six”
And if you’re looking for Outlander-themed jewelry, here’s the link: Sassenach Jewelry
Photo credit: http://www.littonweekendadventure.com/born-to-explore/episode/legend-lore/