There is so much surrendering going on in this episode, it’s hard to know where to start. Part of the definition of the word is to, “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent.” There is a lot of it happening, but there isn’t a battlefield in sight.
First of all, Jamie has surrendered his name. He is no longer the proud James Alexander Malcom MacKenzie Fraser; he is being hunted down by the British as simply James Fraser, Red Jamie, or the Dunbonnet. He is living on his family’s lands (lands that should be his), but he’s living in a cave to avoid capture by British soldiers. He’s a shadow of his former self, answering in grunts or in as few words as possible and seems to have given up on the life he once knew and loved. He is existing, not living.
Fast forward to the future, and Claire is struggling with the memories of the life with Jamie she’s left behind. She, too, is going through the motions of day-to-day life as she tries to fill the role of housewife and mother. Bree seems to bring her happiness, but it feels like it’s the tie to Jamie that’s keeping her engaged and focused. An interesting comment by Claire leaves a question in my mind as she approaches Frank for sex. She wakes him, then whispers, “I miss my husband.” Which one? My mind went immediately to Jamie. My hunch was confirmed when they have a short-lived interlude in front of the fireplace, and Claire refuses to look at Frank. He sums it up by saying, “When I’m with you, I’m with you – but you’re with him.” Claire is trying to surrender, but her attempts are futile. Has Frank given up the fight? I wonder whose idea it was to go from one bed to two.
Fergus wants to protect Lallybroch for Jamie. Perhaps he thinks if he can hold the British soldiers at bay long enough, Jamie will snap out of it and fight for his family and lands. He finds a gun in the dovecote, and it all goes downhill from there. In the end, Fergus loses a hand for his efforts. It’s an understatement to say that Fergus surrendered quite a bit. In a bit of a twist, Fergus’ injury has pulled Jamie from the depths of despair. He tells Fergus as he visits his bedside, “You remind me I have something to fight for.” Finally! In all of this surrender, no surrender!
Mary McNab is trying to keep it all together at Lallybroch. She scolds the boys for shooting a raven, tells Jamie that Jenny is in labor, and spins a believable tale for the British soldiers when they come looking for the gun and its owner. But perhaps her most generous gesture is helping Jamie experience intimacy after Claire. She’s not trying to take Claire’s place, but she knows a plan has been put into motion that will put Jamie into prison. She tells Jamie that it is, “something to keep us whole as we move forward in this life.” She gently helps Jamie surrender to his desire for intimacy, knowing it’s not her he loves, but she knows it’s something he needs. And it’s something only she can provide.
Perhaps Jenny has the hardest task of all – that of surrendering Jamie to the British authorities. Jamie and Ian have convinced her that it’s for the best, and the reward money will help Lallybroch survive. Jamie tells her that the prison he’s heading to is not all that different from the one he’s been living in (mentally and physically). His mind is made up, and plans are put in motion. Jenny pulls it off, but her tears and words fight each other. She says she’ll never forgive him, but does she mean she’ll never forgive him for endangering them for the benefit of the British soldiers’ ears? Or that she’ll never forgive him if something happens to him and she never sees him again? She loves Jamie, and the tears brimming in her eyes are too far away for the soldiers to see or be of any concern to them. They’ve just made a major score in capturing Red Jamie, but all Jenny can see through her tears is her beloved brother being hauled away in shackles.