Outlander Of Lost Things Review
Starz’s Outlander: Season 3, Episode 4: Of Lost Things featured a storyline for James “Jamie” MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan) that was more like a TV movie (think Black Mirror‘s San Junipero) than a regular TV narrative because of the amount of events that happened to Jamie during the episode’s runtime. Of Lost Things was a far-reaching episode for Jamie, not just for his physical and emotional state, but for his family and those around them.
Adaptation to an in-home prison, in this case Helwater, was always going to be easy for Jamie Fraser, when one considered all that Jamie had been through and where he had just come from. Negotiating the divergent personalities in Helwater was a different story.
Stuck up, spoiled, and bellicose Geneva Dunsany (Hannah James) turned out to be a woman of hidden depths, a cliché phrase but one apt for Geneva. Geneva’s dislike of her future husband seemed to be solely built upon his appearance and his age. She never seemed to give the man a chance. If Geneva found his personality disagreeable as well, on that point, she was in little-to-no position to judge. Her personality was so abhorrent that others had spoken of its disposition behind closed doors to Ludovic Ransom, Eighth Earl of Ellesmere (James Cameron Stewart), while the marriage was being arranged, to warn him beforehand. If a warning was deemed necessary (and it most certainly was), it was Lord Ransom that should have been disappointed in his betrothed, not vice versa.
That one-sided animosity on Geneva’s part bled into a virginity / maidenhead scheme that was silly on its face until the viewer looked beneath it. Under its idiocy lay Geneva’s raw physical attraction to Jamie Fraser, innocence, curiosity, and the last opportunity for Geneva to make her own choice on to whom to bestow her special gift. Why she choose someone twenty rungs below her socially, a foreign peasant, and almost a complete stranger who had sexually been with God knew who before Geneva were difficult logic points to swallow. Once swallowed, Geneva and Jamie’s physical time together was sweet. All of Geneva’s bravado, threats, and blackmail fell to the floor as she was overwhelmed with kindness, lust, and sensations that she had never felt. It was Hannah James’ best acting in Of Lost Things.
Something curious happened, however, at the beginning of Geneva and Jamie’s coital session and something far more curious happened at its conclusion. Geneva asked Jamie if first-time coitus would hurt and he responded (to paraphrase) not if he did it slowly. There seemed to be nothing slow (or gentle) about how he actually proceeded. Why did Jamie thrust into Geneva as if he were with a woman that wasn’t a virgin? Later in Of Lost Things, it turned out that Jamie had ejaculated inside of Geneva. Why did Jamie do that? Jamie didn’t “go” into a vacuum. He “went” into a consequential womb. The barking question was, why? Why would Jamie establish, even the possibility, of Geneva getting pregnant by him? It didn’t seem like Jamie got carried away with himself during coitus and had an accident. In actuality, it seemed like just another day “in the office,” with no thought to consequences (i.e. possibly getting his jailer’s daughter pregnant on the eve of her wedding) or the future (e.g. being thrown out of Helwater for a far worse prison, being shot, or hanged). For a shrewd person able to think ahead, a tactician, what Jamie Fraser did with Geneva was critical and extreme folly.
Geneva’s death, following those events, was unexpected but it served as a fulcrum for two narrative highlights within Of Lost Things and the season. When Jamie Fraser was deposited in Helwater, he never thought that it would be a life-altering event, that he would alter other people’s lives, or that he would create life but that was exactly what he did. Like I said, Jamie Fraser found himself in a TV movie within Of Lost Things.
Watching Jamie transfer the love he had in his heart for Claire over to William “Willie” Ransom, Ninth Earl of Ellesmere, was a healing moment for Jamie Fraser. It showed Jamie that life could go on, even without Claire in it. The relationship between Jamie and Willie was endearing.
Jamie raising Willie and all the other elements surrounding that segment Of Lost Things were the best portions of the episode. Cumulative narrative sections usually have the benefit of everything that has came before them. That was the effect on the Willie moments in Of Lost Things. From the look on Jamie’s face, the viewer could assume that Jamie had not been that happy or content in years – a son, a great home, no money, prison, or combat worries. Jamie had found peace, a peace punctuated with keen observations by those that had come to care and respect Jamie Fraser.
Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) had come to care for and respect Brianna “Bree” Randall (Sophie Skelton). That was obvious in Of Lost Things. Roger might have lost Brianna by the end of Of Lost Things but at least he wouldn’t have to dream about what it would be like to kiss her. By the end of Of Lost Things, he knew. Better that their relationship end like that than for Brianna to leave when Roger was in love with her. A “what if,” a “probably,” was better than a broken heart.
Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser (Caitriona Balfe)’s search for Jamie Fraser in Of Lost Things was a small portion of the episode but its implications were immense. Was Jamie Fraser still alive twenty years after Claire and Jamie last saw each other? That search hit a brick wall in Of Lost Things but if it hadn’t, what would have been Claire’s response? Would she leave her life behind and go to Jamie? Of course she would. As Of Lost Things and this season of Outlander have shown, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser have not gotten over each other, even after decades of separation.
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