Outlander Episode 303 Recap: All Debts Paid

Outlander Season 3 episode 3 All Debts Paid, was written so beautifully by Matthew B. Roberts. I felt like I was watching two completely different shows. Claire and Jamie’s lives are so utterly independent from the other physically, it’s hard to imagine them ever being together in the same frame again. 

We open in Boston 1956 it’s breakfast time again at the Randall’s but this time Frank is the one cooking a delicious English breakfast. 

Claire is feeling quite chipper And suggests they see a movie that night but both of the movies Claire suggests, Frank has already seen — with another woman. We are made privy to the details of the domestic arrangement of Frank and Claire’s marriage. An open marriage with a healthy amount of discretion. 

Claire seems a little bummed by the reminder of the reality she lives in. Brianna joins them at the breakfast table and the facade pops right back up.

Next we are at Ardsmuir Prison 1755, enter Lord John Grey. Who even though,he is described by herself as a little more feminine looking and blonde, was perfectly cast. The range of emotions that cross David Berry’s face in these scenes are phenomenal and I 100% believe him as LJG.

John Grey is the new governor at Ardsmuir Prison, his predecessor is giving him the lay of the land, mentioning the hidden Jocbite gold and the benefits to Grey if he were to find it. This is the first hint we get that perhaps John Grey in not in the crown’s good graces. 

Next we see Jamie and the other prisoners heading back into their cells and who do we find hunkered down and in poor health in Jamie’s cell? It’s none other than a one Murtagh Fraser. 

So ye’ve seen the new governor. Is that what the old neep-heids were blethering about.” Murtagh says fondling his little piece of tartan. 

He is alive! Now book readers know that this is a diversion from the original story line in the books. However, I think it was justified and rather necessary. In the books there is a lot more time and space to narrate the inner dialogue of Jamie and to develop the relationship between Jamie and John Grey. We don’t have such a luxury in TV, they only get 13 episodes so instead of time they give motive. Jamie lacks motivation to help John Grey when the delusional old guy speaking Gaelic shows up talking about hidden gold. John tells Jamie that he will have his shackles struck off if he agrees. They come to an agreement that Jamie will interpret what all the man was saying in exchange that Murtagh, his kinsman, is provided with medical care. 
Ok back to the moment with Murtagh…I love that Jamie has taken to using the healing techniques that he learned from Claire. Having Murtagh in this scene helps us as viewers to see how alive Jamie’s love for Claire is in his heart. As viewers we have to see that Jamie still yearns for her but he’s not going to just talk to any old person about the deepest wound in his heart…but he would talk to Murtagh.

Major John William Grey would like to keep the arrangement that  Colonel Quarry had with Jamie and dine with him and act as spokesman for the prisoners. The Major is perturbed when a rat runs across the floor and makes an order for cats to be placed in all the prison cells. While John meant well Jamie gave the enlightened view that the prisoners often snack on the rodents if they are lucky enough to catch one causing John to realize that the prisoners are not fed very well. 

I love this next part as Jamie takes a couple steps forward approaching John Grey, and we get a glimpse of the infamously feared Scottish warrior, Red Jamie, that everyone else saw. Sam plays this so perfectly. 

“God knows what you did to be sent here, but for your own sake, I hope you deserved it,” Jamie says ominously. **oh snap**

Next we are in Boston again and it’s Claire’s medical school graduation party. Bree is adorably snapping photos of Claire and Joe holding their diplomas. Next she directs Claire and Frank to pose for a picture. **super awkward**
Frank casually asks Claire if she should be heading out to her reservation at Fontaine’s but Claire says it’s actually an hour later than Frank thought. **cue Frank’s oh shit face** Frank realizes he got the time wrong to be picked up by his side piece. Bree and Frank have a quick but sweet interaction showing that Bree is indeed a daddy’s girl “I’m not going if you’re not going,” she says with a sweet and determined innocence.

Joe hands Claire a drink “there’s nothing a martini can’t cure,” Joe says.

The door bell rings.

You are going to be a horrible Doctor,” Claire teases Joe as she walks to answer the door.

You get a feel for the level of comfortability between them signifying a strong friendship. 

Claire answers the door to see a younger-ish woman at the door, who Claire quickly realized is Frank’s not so discrete side piece. 

Claire quickly suggests to her guests that hey head to the restaurant early and everyone files out of the house with Frank’s indiscretion on display for all to see.

Next we see the delusional old guy (Duncan Kerr) hobbling through the moors, mumbling about the devil and cursed gold. The English patrol takes him into custody.

The deal is struck between John and Jamie about the interpretation. We see John get lost in Jamie’s eyes. Home boy I feel you we all get lost in our TV husband’s eyes on the regular. It’s safe to say this is when John Grey realized that he is (as they used to say in 1997) SPRUNG!

Frank comes home pretty wasted and Claire is wasting no time calling him out of parading his trollup around her graduation party. Frank tries to explain himself but Claire is having none of it. 

They start to hit below he belt. “Green ain’t your color Claire,” Frank says.

“Oh go to hell,” she replies. Yeah Frank, go to hell, we know perfectly well Claire looks effing fantastic green especially when it’s plaid! But that’s besides the point…

Claire very impolitely asks Frank if he’s done the deed with the blonde harlot, excuse me, Sandy. To which Frank replies, “I think our bedroom is far too crowded already.” Oh….burn….but we all saw the sex dream in episode 2 so we know Frank’s got a point. 

She asks him why he won’t just divorce her and its because Frank doesn’t want to risk not being in Brianna’s life.

**the way Frank says charades, is how I will now and forevermore pronounce charAHdes**

Jamie is talking with a deathly ill Duncan Kerr, who at first seems to be rambling nonsense until he begins to say very specific and meaningful things to Jamie. Colum, Dougal, Ellen (Jamie’s uncles and mother) are all dead and Ellen Mackenzie married a silkie (seal) from the sea. Jamie is like holy guacamole, I didnt realize this cray cray would have such specifically relevant things to say to my face right now. 

In his final breaths Duncan says the the white witch seeks a brave man, a Mackenzie. Of course Jamie believes Duncan is quite possibly speaking of Claire. “She will come for you…” he whispers cryptically and dies.

Jamie tells John what he heard, but not the significance. John is no fool and says he can make Jamie talk. “There’s nothing you can do that hasn’t already been done to me. Try if you must.”

Next we see the Randall’s. Bree is blowing out her candles for her 16th birthday. Claire tells Brianna not to wish for a car because she’s not getting one, Frank contradicts Claire and tells Brianna to “wish away.” Further illustrating that they are not a united front.

Next we see Murtagh acting as Jamie’s inner thoughts translated to outer dialogue. Jamie suspects that Claire is the white witch Duncan Kerr was referring to even if he won’t admit it. 
Jamie is wary of John Grey’s intentions but their honor and intellect are well matched. Jamie requests that the prisoners be allowed to hunt for their own food “God’s teeth Mr. Fraser!” Lord John gasps at the seemingly ridiculous request. Oh how I do love a good English catch phrase…I’m going to add that to my rotation with my husband, “God’s teeth Mr. Kearney!” He’ll probably give me a good unamused stare without blinking for a inhumanly long time. By the by I digress…ahem…

Anyway LJG and JAMMF are having some pheasant for dinner in some rather tasty wine sauce. You can see the far off look in Jamie’s eyes and you know he’s thinking of Claire and their time in France…this isn’t his first wine sauce rodeo…but apparently it was Lord John first (wine sauce rodeo that is).
Next we are in the moors amd the prisoners are being escorted out to do their daily work of cutting peats and checking the snares they set. 
In a well laid plan, Jamie expertly ducks away and hides under some bushes and none of the officers notice the giant-notoriously-dangerous-redheaded-warrior-hunk-of-burning-sex-appeal disappear. I’m mean the grass was pretty tall I guess….so maybe…ahh who am I kidding? You idiots! 

Anyway Jamie escapes and LJG is less than pleased. The soldiers comb the moors and the coast line for three days. Now this is a fun part, goddess Diana Gabaldon so eloquently wrote this next scene with Lord John Grey taking a rather ruacious shit. Only to stand up and find himself looking James Fraser right in the eye. Diana never shies away from making us feel a little (or a lot) uncomfortable….and I love her for it. 

In this scene however, the major is just taking a regular old piss and Jamie sneaks behind him. Jamie addresses the fact that he remembers their first meeting and knows that John remembers it as well. Lord John doesn’t appear to hate being so close to Jamie (can’t say I blame him). My god Jamie’s face is so ruggedly delicious I had to watch this part like four times because I kept forgetting to pay attention to what he was saying. *whew fans self** 

{ok ok this wasn’t the exact look but it’s what I saw, alright?!}

Now that the life for a life debt has been discharged Jamie wants John to make good on his promise to kill him. Aw my poor boo is so sad he didn’t find Claire bear at the island he just swam to. **blowing kisses to tv husband**

In episode one you’ll remember Lord John’s brother saying “no man will be shot lying down, not on my watch. Not even if he’s a traitor.” LJG echos his brother Lord Melton’s honourable sentiments “I’m not a murderer of unarmed prisoners.” They have a very strong sense of propriety and right and wrong. And it is in this moment that by extending grace and mercy to Jamie that Lord John forges a friendship with him. 

Jamie goes on to explain (whilst fondling the heather on the hillside) the personal meaning of what Duncan Kerr said. The white witch, possibly could have been Claire (notice how Claire has worn white the entire episode thus far). Jamie proves his story is true that he found treasure and hands Lord John a big fat sapphire.


Next we jump to Brianna’s high school graduation. It’s 1966, 10 years have passed since the start of the episode. The unhappily married parents smile with pride throughout the ceremony. 

“That’s my girl,” Frank says as she walks across the stage. Tobias has the tremendous ability to convey so much with just one look. 

He knows Claire sees Jamie’s face every time she looks as Brianna, and he’s kinda bummed about it.

Oh goody the very much alive Murtagh is getting medical treatment. He’s stayin’ alive…cue the Beegees…We love you Murtagh.

A lively game of chess between Jamie and John. Lord John talks about losing the man he loved at Culloden. Jamie opens up about his loss because of John’s vulnerability and openness. He speaks her name “Claire, her name was Claire.”

Then Lord John makes a move, very subtle but enough for Jamie to threaten to kill him. **awkward silence**
Now for another uncomfortable scene. Frank comes downstairs as sees Claire decompressing after a tough surgery.

 Frank says an encouraging schpeel that he’s said countless times before. Claire and Frank do this dance with words that can start out very docile and civilized and suddenly turn on its head and combust into an all out war. Frank wants a divorce, he’s kept his end of the bargain. 

They raised Brianna and now he wants to go live his life (yeah Sandy we see you) and take Brianna back to England. Brianna is 18 now and can decide who she wants to be with. Frank is sure she’ll choose him because (prepare for low blow) “Between med school and the hospital, you’ve barely been here,” he says bitterly. And then we get to see Frank’s heart and the pain he’s endured. 

“It isn’t about you and me anymore. Brianna is a grown woman, she can make her own decisions…I would like to live the rest of my life with a wife who truly loves me. You couldn’t look at Briana without seeing him. Could you? Without that constant reminder, might you have forgotten him with time?” 

Then Claire replies tearfully,  “That amount of time, doesn’t exist.”  Oh man that was heavy…but it’s the truth and the truth apparently hurts big time. 

Frank takes the keys and walks out the door. Claire immediately gets a call from the hospital and is summoned to surgery. 

The prisoners are being shipped to the colonies to but Jamie is pulled out of line and has his hands bound and tied to the back of Lord John’s horse. We see a much healthier Murtagh heading to the colonies…see ya at the ridge homie! 

Jamie walks behind Lord John’s horse for three days. They begin to talk and Jamie wants to know why Grey kept him in there rather than being sent to the colonies. 

Jamie is expecting John Grey to just be another Black Jack Randall and we know what a sadistic psychopath Black Jack was. So Jamie is wary of this arrangement. However, we find out that Lord John has arranged the best scenario possible for Jamie within his power. I imagine Jamie is likely thinking, “So…a man can be in love with me and not want to torture me body, mine and spirit? Interesting…”

So this Lord John guy can be trusted. This is the very reason why we need John Grey in the story to help redeem a part of Jamie that was destroyed by BJR. 

We see Claire talking to a concerned husband after his wife has had surgery. I love when she gets all doctory and livin’ out her life’s purpose and what not. 

JABS (Joe Abernathy) comes walking down the hallway looking like the epitome of the bearer of bad news. Shit is about to get real folks. “It’s Frank, there’s been a car accident.”

Claire runs down the hall and slowly opens the door. Frank is not alive, but lying peacefully on a gurney. His face is exposed and his body is covered with a white sheet. We don’t see anything of the accident and I’m glad. We need to see Claire give a tender goodbye to her first love. They never got to finish that second honeymoon after all.

“If you’re still close enough to hear me, I did love you. Very much. You were my first love,” Claire kisses Frank as a tear rolls down her cheek onto his face. 

**the first time we see Claire with Frank she is wearing a similar shade of blue**

It’s tragic but their fate was unavoidable… we new that marriage line was FORKED… Mrs. Graham said so in the pilot. Anyway we say good bye to first Husband, we really did like you and you were a good daddy to our love child. Rest in peace Frank Randall. We are gently ushered out to the ending credits with Bear McCreary’s beautiful Frank and Claire theme music. 

You hit it out of the park with this one Matthew B. Roberts.

Until next week Sassenachs!!



8 thoughts on “Outlander Episode 303 Recap: All Debts Paid

  1. Enjoyed your recap. I am a book reader too. I am guessing we will see Jamie swimming to the Silkies Island when he tells Claire about it later on. Missed not seeing the piece of tartan problem. Maybe will show that too. I think as Jamie says in the books to Claire, your the only one I don’t lie to and you make friends where you can. Also, suggested how he may use them, but never her. This is what I have always thought about ljg relationship. Needed character as we know, but a best bud of Jamie’s naaaah. My feelings after reading all the books, many times since 1992.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent recap! I like your point about needing Murtagh to help flesh out the story line between Jamie & LJG. I’ve seen a lot of discussion whether that particular deviation from the book is good or bad, and I don’t mind it. Show Murtagh was such a bigger character than in the book, and I’m glad he’ll have a role in future seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

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