Episode 302, “Surrender,” shows us where Jamie and Claire are about six years after the Battle of Culloden (show time line). It is a heart-wrenching episode, so it is difficult to select “favorite” scenes. Most scenes will be sad until we reach Jamie and Claire’s reunion, so let’s look at some of the most heart-wrenching scenes.
There are several changes from the book version, but they seem to work well.
Claire has given birth to Brianna and is trying to reconnect with Frank, but to no avail. In Episode 301, Frank complains that Claire uses her pregnancy to keep Frank physically distant. However, even after Brianna is born they continue to be estranged. Claire fantasizes about Jamie, and since Claire has, in the past, embraced her sexuality, she misses that part of herself. Frank becomes aware they she closes her eyes during sex and fantasizes sex with Jamie. By the end of the episode, Claire and Frank’s sexual relationship, as well as their marriage, is for all intents and purposes done. Our last shot of them is in twin beds. They agree to remain together and lead separate lives. In translation, Frank is given permission to have extramarital affairs as long as he maintains discretion.
Book readers were nervous about how the writers might handle Mary McNab, but I think it was presented very well. Jamie is a shell of the person he used to be, and after Fergus loses his hand at the hands of Corp. MacGregor, Jamie decides to turn himself in so he family can collect the reward and escape the harassment they have long endured. When Mary comes to the cave to visit him on the last night, she offers herself to him. Reluctantly, he eventually agrees. However, the scene is very sad rather than sexy. I felt sorry for Mary and Jamie. Jamie actually cried and kept his eyes closed (as does Claire with Frank). Mary tells him he can look at her. To avoid hurting Mary’s feelings, he assures her she is a bonnie lass, but closing his eyes is something he always does. We know that isn’t true. Closing his eyes allows him to fantasize about Claire.
The title is a good description for the episode. Both Jamie and Claire surrender to their circumstances. Claire finally accepts that her life and marriage to Frank will never be as fulfilling as her life with Jamie. She surrender’s herself to the idea that he is gone forever and that she must make the most she can out of her life in Boston. Finally she enrolls in medical school, where we finally get to meet Dr. Joe Abernathy, who becomes Claire’s closest friend and confidant.
Jamie surrenders himself to the same realization that Claire is gone and that he must find a way to live. Deciding that protecting his family gives him purpose and at least a reason to live, he surrenders himself to the British soldiers. Jamie always puts others before himself. Anther reason he is King of Men.