Time marches on, leaving things behind – some within our control, others not. Loved ones pass from this life, relationships end (by our choice or not), and some things are literally lost. They’ve fallen from our grasp and we can’t locate them. At what point does one stop looking, or hoping for things that can never be?
Claire knows Jamie survived the battle of Culloden, and she’s just located his name on the annual rolls at Ardsmuir Prison.
There are listings for several years, but when the prison closes in 1756 the direction of their search becomes uncertain. They scour the ancient ship manifests trying to locate him, with no success. At some point, Claire remembers Mrs. Graham’s warning about spending the rest of her life chasing a ghost. My heart sank as she dismantled the bulletin boards that documented the timelines and search for Jamie. What was going through Claire’s mind? Is there a limit to the pain, heartache, and dashed hopes that a heart can bear? At what point do you declare, “Enough is enough,” and turn the page of that chapter in your life?
Jamie and Murtagh are led out of Ardsmuir Prison the day it closes. At first, Jamie and Murtagh are together in line, and then Jamie is pulled away.
Murtagh has been at Jamie’s side for most of his life, and he survived the battle at Culloden (yay!). Now they’ve been separated without a chance to say their goodbyes or figure out a way to find each other again. Jamie learns that the other prisoners will be put on ships to the American colonies to serve 14 years as indentured servants. Will Murtagh survive the voyage? Will they see each other again, or is he seeing his godfather for the last time? Communication and news traveled at a much slower pace in the 18th century. It was easier to disappear and lose touch, whether you wanted to or not. It brought to mind Claire’s voice in the very first line of Season One: “People disappear all the time.”
It’s not impossible to disappear in today’s world, but it’s much harder. Our electronic, digital world finds and tracks us whether we want to be found or not. But there are ways to make oneself less visible or available. You can disconnect from social media, “unfriend” someone, and/or block them from the contacts on your phone. That’s where the broken-hearted go – in an effort to hide their pain and heartache, they try to hide themselves.
Events at Helwater have brought Jamie a son. Young Willie is the only child he’ll have to carry on his bloodline (or so he thinks at this point). He knows nothing of Claire or the child she was carrying and tells those he confides in that “she’s gone,” hoping they are both alive and well in some future time. Time at Helwater intensifies Willie’s resemblance to Jamie, forcing him to leave his young son behind and return to Lallybroch. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy – the pain and anquish is etched on Jamie’s face as he rides away from his son. Is young Willie lost to him forever?
I wondered about the fate of the beautiful pearl necklace Jamie gave to Claire on their wedding night. She tried to buy Jamie’s freedom with it when he was at Wentworth Prison. They remained elusive in France and now we know Claire gave them to Mrs. Graham (I’m not sure why she did that – I wouldn’t have parted with anything that precious), who left them to Fiona. Her generosity put them back in Claire’s hands, where they belong.
That gesture brings a measure of hope – that perhaps something lost is not lost forever. What do you think?