Written by the wonderful Anne Kenney, “Surrender” was everything one could hope for. And more. Well, maybe not everything if you were looking for an exact repetition of the book, or took exception to the brown tam not hiding the red hair, or whatever other nitpick you had. Yeah, this is just my opinion, but it bothers me when people can’t enjoy the forest because there’s one tree they’re unhappy with. Then again, I want everyone to like everything.
I will miss you next season, Anne! Your scripts are wonderful. So here are my thoughts for
Surrender, Episode 302
1. Sam Heughan
What a terrific performance! Dunbonnet was a shell of a man. One could hardly see the Jamie Fraser we fell in love with. He brought to life a beaten version of Jamie I had not perceived from the book. His stooped posture, sunken cheeks; he didn’t even speak until 16 minutes into the episode. Some fans didn’t care for Sam’s interpretation (and that’s okay!), but for me, it really brought home all that Jamie has lost. When Jamie fell to his knees after feeling he’d failed his family, my heart broke.
2. Fergus (and Roman Berrux)
The young actor had a growth spurt during the off season. his voice changed, and his French accent was a little less noticeable. All of it allowed one to realize that several years had passed since we’d last seen him. If the voice was an acting choice and not just result of growing and spending more time in Britain, then Bravo with a capital B! The kid is even more talented that I’d originally thought. And that bar was already pretty high.
I confess, I didn’t want Fergus to lose his hand. But now I see how necessary it was. It was the catalyst that snapped Jamie out of his shell and forced him take action to care for his family.
3. Claire’s pleasure
Even sex with yourself can be hot. Especially if you have Jamie Fraser to enhance the mood.
4. Jennie (and Laura Donnelly)
Jenny is a dynamic character and Laura Donnelly plays her to perfection. Jenny doesn’t treat her brother with kid gloves. More often than not she berates him (sometimes with good cause), but she loves him fiercely. She’s there when Jamie collapses, and her heart breaks for him. She’s vehemently opposed to Jamie’s plan to turn himself over to the British soldiers, while she and Ian collect the reward money. Instead of a teary farewell when Jamie’s arrested, she yells truthfully hollers at him, “You gave me no choice, brother, and I’ll never forgive you! Never!” The Redcoats believe her words indicate her support for the Crown, but we know their true meaning.
5. Ian’s understanding
Fergus has lost a hand, Ian lost a leg years ago. But Ian knows that’s nothing compared to what Jamie has lost—his heart. Ian’s soft, sympathetic understanding is a stark contrast to his wife’s anger.
6. Oh Frank
Why can’t you just enjoy the newly rediscovered sex with your wife? Stop making demands on her. Just close your eyes and enjoy the moment.
7. My conflicted emotions
So far, this season’s two episodes have been strong, especially “Surrender.” Immediately after watching this episode, while I still had tears in my eyes, I had that glow of having watched a great show. But after watching it again on Sunday night with the Sex and Whiskey live tweet, I wasn’t quite as euphoric. It’s just so damned sad! I love that the focus is more on Jamie, but his life is just one horrendous situation after another. Claire may be miserable in the mid-20th century, but at least she has electricity, indoor plumbing, and the chance to become a doctor.
Episode 303 brings us Lord John Grey! I can’t wait!