TV Show Review

TV Review: OUTLANDER: Season 3, Episode 3: All Debts Paid [Starz]

Sam Heughan David Berry Outlander All Debts Paid

Outlander All Debts Paid Review

Starz’s Outlander: Season 3, Episode 3: All Debts Paid was the beginning of a new chapter for James “Jamie” MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and the end of one for Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser (Caitriona Balfe).

Though Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall was dead (presumably), his grip on the lives that he had touched remained ever present in All Debts Paid. That was made abundantly clear when Lord John William Grey (David Berry) made a pass at Jamie Fraser. The moment skin contact was made, all the pain, revulsion, and helplessness came flooding back for Jamie. Heughan’s facial acting gave the viewer everything they needed to know about what was going through his head. The prison location most-likely reinforced what Jamie was feeling i.e. returning to the scene of the previous crime. That hand touch moment was the point in the episode when Lord Grey was the most in danger from unshackled Jamie. If Grey had persisted in advance, Jamie would have struck, lethally.

Jamie and Grey’s platonic evenings together in All Debts Paid were reminiscent of similar scenes between Spartacus and Quintus Lentulus Batiatus in Spartacus: Blood and Sand – two people at opposite ends of the same spectrum setting their differences and situations momentary aside. In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Batiatus was potentially setting a dangerous precedent – making the gulf between master and slave smaller. In All Debts Paid, Jamie used it as a bargaining table, a negotiation platform, an effective conduit to make the needs of the prisoners heard.

When Jamie Fraser absconded from prison to hunt for Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s gold, following Duncan Kerr (Murray McArthur)’s cryptic clues, and returned with a precious stone (to curry favor with Grey), “Mark me,” I believe that Jamie returned with only a smidgen of the wealth that he had actually found. Jamie was clever enough to come up with and sell that lie (that he had found little-to-nothing) to Grey. Jamie was also smart enough to plan for the future i.e. when he was released from prison, the treasure would be there for him, his family, and for the Prince’s cause.

No plan, not even a clever one, could have saved the Randall’s marriage in All Debts Paid. Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser and Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies)’s façade marriage degenerated to the point where they actively tried to hurt each other. As All Debts Paid left Jamie Fraser’s prison predicament and continuously went back to the Randalls, the increased turbulence of Randall’s marriage paralleled their escalating affection for their daughter Brianna Randall Fraser (Gemma Fray, Sophie Skelton). Those two facets of the Randall marriage ran coterminous throughout All Debts Paid as their bitter-sweet storyline progressed.

Though morbidly entertaining, it was the moments when Frank and Claire were brutally honest with each other that made their scenes so effective. When Frank asked Claire, given enough time and without the constant reminder of Jamie via Brianna, could Claire have forgotten about Jamie, her response was the final scene in a play that had simultaneously come to a close. After she spoke, there was nothing else to be said.

The viewer wondered since the beginning of the season why Frank stayed in a loveless marriage. All Debts Paid gave the viewer the answer to that question and it was as logical as one would expect from a Harvard history professor. Frank Randall was a brave man, sacrificing one type of love (from a potential spouse) for another (the love of his daughter). Frank was in a predicament that only one instrument could extract him from – time. Waiting until Brianna Randall Fraser turned eighteen to file for divorce was a brilliant move on Frank’s part. Even Claire, through her hypocritical anger and surprise, could see it.

Many viewers may have wished that Frank found love again before his untimely demise but Frank’s death served to reinforce the cage of despair that he had existed in through Claire’s continued love for Jamie. That was coupled with the fact that Frank never secured his full freedom from that confinement. Frank had been on the brink of achieving it, tittered at its precipice, before death snatched it from his grasp.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

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