SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched “Of Lost Things,” the fourth episode of the third season of “Outlander.”
When we last saw Jamie (Sam Heughan), Lord John Grey (David Berry) was dropping him off at Helwater, the estate of Lord Dunsany. When we last saw Claire (Caitriona Balfe), she was bidding her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies) goodbye after he died in a car accident.
In this week’s episode, the bulk of time is spent with Jamie at Helwater, where Jamie’s irresistibility to women makes it tough for him to keep a low profile. Meanwhile, Claire is determined to trace Jamie’s whereabouts through history because her love for him remains strong and true. A new love story begins with Roger (Richard Rankin) and Brianna (Sophie Skelton).
Helwater, England, 1756. Jamie, now calling himself Alexander Mackenzie, is told to go meet Lord Dunsany, his new boss at Helwater. Dunsany reveals he lost a son in the rebellion. Jamie empathizes and says he’s lost two children. The Lord tells Jamie he’s a groom, but reminds Jamie to never forget that he’s a prisoner. The Lord says his wife hates anyone associated with the rebellion because of the loss of their son. For now, the Lord keeps Jamie’s true identity to himself.
Jamie works as a groom, caring for the horses and accompanying the Lord’s daughters Isobel (Tanya Reynolds) and Geneva (Hannah James) to town or on leisurely rides. Geneva is haughty and snotty. Isobel is softer and kinder and she asks Jamie about Lord Grey – it’s clear she has a crush on him. Jamie doesn’t tell her everything he knows about Grey, instead saying Grey is married to the military. Isobel says Grey’s dedication is one of the things she finds most attractive about him. Apparently, gaydar was not a thing in 1756.
Geneva is to be married off to the much old Earl of Ellesmere, and she’s not at all happy about it. She asks Jamie to accompany her riding and while they’re in the woods, she asks what he thinks of her betrothed. He stonewalls her, saying it’s not his place to offer opinions. She takes off deeper into the woods and he finds her lying on the ground, but when he picks her up, she laughs; she tricked him! Jamie drops her and leaves her in the woods.
Lord Grey visits and while playing chess, Grey tells Jamie that Lord Dunsany likes his work. Grey’s brother, Lord Melton, visits and recognizes Mackenzie as Jamie but doesn’t say anything. Isobel continues to crush on Lord Grey.
While Jamie is doing one of his groom chores, shoveling horse manure, Geneva talks to him and asks if he’s ever been married. He says yes. She asks him to come to her bed because she doesn’t want old man Ellesmere “to have her maidenhead.” Jamie tells her she’s lost her mind. Then she reveals that Col. Melton told her all about Jamie’s true identity and she calls him Red Jamie. Knowing he’s in a tough spot now, Jamie tells Geneva he’s sorry her brother died in the rebellion but says he won’t return to prison. He finally consents to visit her that night.
When Jamie goes to Geneva’s room that night, he tells her to call him Alex. She tells him to disrobe and he tells her she can watch if she wants. She gasps when she sees his scarred back. He tells her it doesn’t hurt and then says, “Let’s get on with this.” He asks permission to touch her. She says she doesn’t know what to do and says, “I’m doing this for myself. I want it to be with someone like you.” She asks him to show her how it’s done. She asks permission to touch him as he moves on top of her. They have sex. Unlike “The Wedding” sex scene with Claire and Jamie, this one is more Cinemax sexy but perfunctory and not as passionate. After Geneva and Jamie finish having sex, he asks if he hurt her. She says it was painful at first but then she liked it. She says she loves him and Jamie explains it’s not love, just a feeling that happens after sex. He says, “Love is when you give your heart and soul to another and they give theirs in return.”
The show jumps in time to Geneva and Ellesmere arriving at Helwater. Geneva is pregnant because there was no birth control back then. Isobel wakes Jamie one night, telling him they have to get to Ellesmere’s because Geneva is giving birth, and she’s in distress. By the time the Dunsanys arrive, Geneva is dead after giving birth to a baby boy. A distraught Isobel slaps Jamie, saying Ellesmere knew the baby wasn’t his because Geneva never had sex with him. Ellesmere calls the baby a bastard, and brandishing a large knife in a rage, threatens to kill the baby. Lord Dunsany pulls a pistol. Jamie tries to def
use the situation and takes the pistol from Dunsany. When Ellesmere threatens to kill the baby, Jamie drops him with one shot. Jamie holds the baby – his son. The Dunsanys take the baby home and name him William, called Willie. The show jumps in time again, to 1764, when Willie is eight years old, and Mac (Jamie) teaches him to ride a horse. Willie and Mac have bonded, and everyone notes how much Willie looks like Mac.
Lady Dunsany tells Jamie the matter of Ellesmere’s death is ruled that he died from grief over his wife’s death. She reveals she knows who Jamie is and that Lord Dunsany can send him back to Scotland if he’d like to do that. Jamie says he’d like to stay because working at Helwater has allowed him to send money to his family. She tells him, “When you want to leave, just ask.”
Jamie tells Willie he’s going home to Scotland, and Willie snaps back that he can’t go and Jamie has to listen to him because he’s his master. Jamie lashes out and calls Willie a bastard. Willie tells him “Take it back!” and Jamie does and then hugs the boy.
Lord Grey visits and he and Jamie talk about Jamie returning to Scotland. Grey tells him he thinks it’s a good idea because everyone can see the resemblance between Jamie and Willie, and it’s only a matter of time before Willie catches on. Jamie asks Grey to do him a favor – to watch over Willie and serve as his father. Jamie offers Grey his body in exchange for the favor, and though a dumbfounded Grey says he’ll want Jamie “until the day I die, he doesn’t accept the offer. He tells Jamie he’s marrying Isobel, and they will take care of Willie. Jamie says he’s grateful to Grey and tells him he’ll always have his friendship. The two men shake hands.
Willie and Jamie talk about a statue of St. Anthony that Jamie has. He explains to Willie that St. Anthony is the patron of lost things. Willie asks who Jamie prays for and Jamie says his wife and brother. Willie tells him, “Mac, I want to be like you.” Jamie baptizes Willie and tells him “William James” is his Papist name. He makes Willie promise not tell anyone he’s a Papist and gives him the item he was whittling. As Jamie rides off, Willie runs after him. As “A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall” plays, Jamie starts to cry.
Meanwhile in Scotland, 1968, Claire and Brianna are trying to trace Jamie’s journey through history, with Roger’s help. Roger and Brianna flirt as they all work together. Claire is determined to find Jamie but when they run into obstacles, she worries it might not happen.
While in Scotland, Claire gets a call from Joe Abernathy (Wil Johnson) about one of the patients she treated. She tells him she’s sure he can handle it, but he asks her to meet for dinner, and she says “Soon.”
Mrs. Graham’s granddaughter Fiona (Iona Claire) gives Claire the strand of pearls Jamie gave her on their wedding night. (Reminder: Claire gave them to the Rev. Wakefield’s housekeeper Mrs. Graham when she returned from the 1700s, in a desperate effort to put her time-traveling period behind her.) Claire gets emotional and teary at the beautiful memory of Jamie. Roger and Brianna talk about all the work they’ve been doing to find Jamie, and Brianna confesses she’s afraid she’ll lose her mother for good to this pursuit. Roger tells her he doesn’t want her to go back to Boston, and they kiss.
The group goes to a pub where the women get stares because they’re sitting at the bar, and even though it’s 1968, that’s frowned upon. Claire doesn’t care, though. She proposes a toast, “To all of those we have lost. It’s time to go home.” On the plane back to Boston, Claire and Brianna both look very sad.
New episodes of “Outlander” are on Starz Sundays at 8 p.m.