Bombshell! Jamie hasn’t exactly been quick to spill the beans to Claire about a marriage-changing secret — he’s got ANOTHER living wife. And then, there are a few other worrisome aspects to Jamie’s life that Claire starts stumbling on.
There’s a lot about life in the 18th century with Jamie Fraser that Claire had forgotten during her 20 years in the 20th century. Like, how there’s never a dull moment and there are LOTS of dangerous days and nights. When we left Claire last week, she was terrified, trapped in her brothel room with a scary stranger coming at her with a knife. He was in search of Jamie’s bookkeeping logs. Boy, everyone is after Jamie’s papers! (More on that later.) Now, poor Claire is fighting for her life as this creep tried to rape and murder her. This being Outlander, Claire manages to knock the knife out of his hand and the lug falls to the ground and hits his head so badly, he passes out.
That’s when Dr. Randall springs into action. She’s all ready to save the life of the man who was about to take hers, much to Jamie’s complete and utter disbelief. But then again, he hasn’t taken a Hippocratic oath and for Claire, close to 20 years of medical training and then practicing as a surgeon are habits that she’s not going to abandon just because she’s stepped 200 years back in time. “I’ve dedicated my life for 14 years to saving lives without judgment,” she explains. But before she runs out to get supplies so she can attempt a touch of brain surgery to relieve the swelling in her attacker’s brain, she takes a moment to apologize to Jamie. “I’m sorry I’ve caused you so much trouble. I just dropped in out of the clear blue sky and put your livelihood and your life in jeopardy,” she tells him. After all, she doesn’t really know yet what exactly Jamie does and why strangers are coming after his books and why he is even living in a brothel.
But, Jamie instantly dismisses her concerns and his words must have felt like music to Claire’s ears. “Sassenach, I’m grateful you’re here, no matter the cost. I would give up everything I have for us to be together again. You’ve come thousands of miles and 200 years to find me. Don’t you see I’ve been living in the shadows? You walked into the print shop and it was as if the sun had returned. You cast off the darkness.” Aww!
That’s exactly what Claire wanted to hear for 20 years. But, there’s so much that she still doesn’t know about Jamie and she’s not the least bit happy to learn that Jamie is lying to his beloved brother-in-law, Ian Murray, and his sister Jenny about the whereabouts of their young son Ian. When big Ian turns up at the brothel to talk to Jamie, he is stunned to see Claire. He truly looks like he’s seeing a ghost. He and Jenny had long thought that Claire was dead. He has tears in his eyes, gazing at her. Not only is she alive, but he’s no doubt wondering — how the hell did she not age a day?!
It breaks Claire’s heart when Jamie lies and says he doesn’t know where little Ian is — the boy has been missing for weeks. After a worried Ian leaves, Claire questions Jamie about how he can lie and say he doesn’t know where young Ian is. “You have no idea what it’s like to be a worried parent. You’re not the boy’s parent,” she accuses. She is, of course, technically wrong, since Jamie no doubt worries every day about young William, who he has had to leave behind. She is NOT okay with this secret of Jamie’s and she doesn’t approve of why Jamie is keeping Ian’s whereabouts secret. But, this issue taps into a deep hurt for Jamie. “No, I’m not Ian’s father. I’m Brianna’s father but I didn’t get to raise her, did I? I didn’t have a say in how you and Frank brought her up and how you let her parade around in a wretched thing you call a ‘bikini.’ Even whores have the decency not to go parading around in the like.”
“Christ, I’d forgotten how bloody rigid this century is,” Claire snaps back. “A woman is either a Madonna or a whore. If Frank and I had raised Brianna, taught her how to smuggle (liquor) and be a traitor, then you’re approve!” Claire fires back. This 200 year difference definitely poses some differences in outlook, even for a progressive like Jamie. “At least her virtue wouldn’t be endangered,” Jamie snaps. “Says the man living in a brothel!” replies Claire. Snap!
And Claire isn’t about to to let poor, dead Frank get impugned over this. “I’ll have you know that Frank was a wonderful father to Brianna,” she insists. But this brings up more of Jamie’s fears. “Was he a wonderful husband as well? Did you fall back in love with him when you went back?” He demands to know. After all, he already confessed to Claire that he hasn’t loved any woman since her. So, of course, he wants to know.
But, what Claire would really like to know is the secret that Jamie hasn’t spilled yet. Before the two can talk any further, Jamie gets a message that he beloved print shop is on fire and that Young Ian is most likely inside. Brave Ian has confronted an intruder in the shop, who was also looking for Jamie’s bookkeeping logs — umm, everyone wants to nail him on whisky smuggling — but he discovered some of the “seditious” leaflets Jamie has printed for customers, instead. As we know, the Brits do not take rebellion from the Scots lightly, so if this intruder has escaped with Jamie’s pamphlets, he could be in far more trouble than if he was just a smuggler.
In a hair-raising scene, Jamie runs into his shop, which is ablaze, finally finds Ian and carries him out in the nick of time. Jamie’s livelihood is gone, his life is now in danger AND he now has a second living wife on his hands to provide for. Plus, as one of his compatriots says to him: “The Lady does not know about your other wife.” No, Claire doesn’t yet. Jamie, what are you waiting for?! We’ll all have to stay tuned.