A universe in which Jamie raises William as his own from the start.
“Da…” Willie’s voice hissed in Jamie’s ear. Jamie fought his way to the surface of sleep but not fast enough for Willie. He started poking Jamie’s cheek. “Da…” he said again, louder. Jamie was just opening his eyes when he felt Willie’s knee connect with his side. It wasn’t a strong blow but unexpected enough to make him jolt and curse under his breath.
“What Willie?” he asked, exasperated.
Willie didn’t seem to notice his father’s frustration.
“Are we here?” he asked quietly.
Jamie choked out, “Yes, lad. We’re here.”
There was some shifting from Willie’s side of the bed and then the blankets were pulled away. Cool air rushed in raising goosebumps.
“I wanna see Lallybroch,” Willie exclaimed as he tugged on Jamie’s arm to get him going.
“All right, lad, all right,” Jamie yawned and pushed himself up. “Let’s see if yer Auntie Jenny has some parritch ready for breakfast.”
Jamie grabbed Willie beneath the arms and swung the boy up onto his shoulders before ducking to get through the doorway without knocking Willie in the head.
Willie gasped as they made their way through the hall and down the stairs.
“It’s almost as big as Helwater,” Willie said as Jamie ducked again to get into the kitchen. “But not as fancy.”
“What’s not fancy?”
Jamie turned to see a boy of eight or nine at the table with a bowl of parritch in front of him and a befuddled expression on his face.
“And who might you be?” Jamie asked, peering at the lad down the bridge of his nose.
The lad gave him a look that Jamie had seen a thousand times on his sister.
“I thought I heard Mam say that ye were back, Uncle Jamie—ye are my Uncle Jamie, no?”
“I ken ye’re no wee Jamie and I dinna think ye’re old enough to be Michael, either,” Jamie addressed the lad. “If ye’re young Ian Murray as I suspect, then aye, I’m yer Uncle Jamie. And this here is yer cousin, Willie.” Jamie lifted Willie over his head and set him down on the seat beside Ian.
“There ye are, brother,” Jenny said as she entered the kitchen from the back door, a basket under her arm with eggs from the chickens. “Thought ye said ye would be back down last night.”
“I was tired. Didna even get my breeks and stockings off before I was snoring,” Jamie said lightly as he held his sister’s dissatisfied gaze. “Willie, this is yer Auntie Jenny.”
Willie’s cheeks went red as the stern woman’s attention turned on him then softened. He nodded, “Au-auntie Jenny.”
“Welcome home, then, Willie. Ye must be hungry.” She set the basket of eggs on the counter and grabbed a spare bowl, filling it from the pot of parritch still set near the hearth keeping warm. “When you lads are through wi’ yer breakfast, Ian will show ye around a bit and introduce ye to yer other cousins.”
Willie blinked at Jenny before looking to Jamie with confusion for confirmation.
“Actually, Jenny, I want to be the one to show him Lallybroch,” Jamie told her as he crossed to grab a bowl for himself. “I’ve only been telling him about it since he was a wee bairn in my arms.” He held her gaze as he lifted a spoonful of parritch to his mouth.
“Of course, brother,” she replied with a strained smile. “I was only hoping you and I could have some time to ourselves to catch up. I suppose ye might manage to make time later, aye?”
Jamie pushed the parritch around in his mouth and simply nodded.
Jamie had forgotten how many memories of Claire lingered in the nooks and crannies of Lallybroch. It was difficult to remember she’d lived there with him for little more than a year. Even after fifteen years, he half-expected to turn the corner and see her in her herb garden or taking wash down from the line. The onslaught of memories made him quiet as he fought to master the lump that rose in his throat, to overcome the tightness in his chest.
Willie didn’t notice much. He was busy prattling away about how the reality of Lallybroch compared to how he’d envisioned it from his father’s stories. He was shy around his new cousins and his uncle and aunt but he wouldn’t last long in the face of young Ian’s determination to drag him into his schemes. The youngest Murray was thrilled to have someone around who was younger and would look up to and admire him.
Jenny stopped asking about Helwater and Willie’s mother after the first few days and instead began dropping hints about some of the widows in the area.
“The widow MacKimmie has two lasses,” Jenny said as she salted and set aside fresh meat Jamie was hacking off a deer’s carcass. “Her youngest isna much older than yer Willie. I’m sure she’d make a fine mother for the lad.”
“I’m no remarrying, Jenny,” Jamie told her flatly, the fall of the cleaver punctuating the sentiment. “Willie and I are fine on our own.”
Jenny scoffed. “Ye’re better than ye were livin’ in that cave—I’ll grant ye that—but ye’re still a long way from ‘fine,’” she opined. “And it’s the lad I worry for. Ye didna say much in yer letters but it’s clear he’s never had a mother’s care and that’s something every child ought to know.”
“He’s fine,” Jamie insisted. “If he hasna had it at least he’s been saved the pain of having it and losing it… Ye ken he’s no much younger than I was when Mam passed.”
Color flooded Jenny’s cheeks and she said no more that day.
But a few days later Jamie saw Ian waiting to help him mend the water wheel at the mill; he’d been expecting Young Jamie. From the look on his brother-in-law’s face it was clear that Jenny had sent him.
Jamie set his tools on the ground next to the fresh boards that would replace the ones that had rotted away.
“If ye came with a list of widows Jenny’s compiled for me to choose a bride, ye can toss it in the burn and save yerself the trouble,” Jamie advised.
“Why is yer Willie telling my Ian that Claire is his mother?” Ian asked.
Jamie froze. “He’s… an imaginative lad… I’ve told him about Claire and how I lost her… that she was carrying a bairn. It’s a… misunderstanding—one I mean to let him correct on his own as he gets older and understands the world more. Soon as he’s learned more arithmetic he’ll figure it out.” Jamie shrugged but Ian hadn’t missed the sorrowful note in Jamie’s voice as he talked of that future day.
“Ye dinna think the lad will want to ken about his real mother? That he’ll not be upset to learn ye’ve let him go on thinking… What are you thinking, Jamie? Ye moved on enough to father a child by another lass. I’d have thought that yer mourning for Claire was…”
Jamie’s feet brought him dangerously close to Ian, startling his friend. “Moved on? Ye think one night with another woman is enough to make me forget?”
Ian stepped back, his brow furrowed with confusion. “I think there’s more to what happened than ye’ve told us so far… and I think ye ought to tell it—not because I’m curious or going to judge ye… Whatever it is, it’s eating ye up, Jamie.”
Jamie realized he was trembling and blinked twice before closing his eyes to focus on controlling the shaking. “I… dinna correct Willie… because… I’d rather… believe along with him. I’d rather… pretend that Claire… I dinna want to think of his real mother when I look at him. I’d rather think of Claire and the mother she’d have been to him—the kind of mother he deserves… I dinna want him thinking… that I dinna want him or love him because he learns that I didna love his mother.”
With a sigh of resignation, Jamie walked over to the side of the mill and leaned against the wall.
He told Ian everything—about Geneva, about the arrangement with the Dunsanys, about how and why he left Helwater. All he held back was the truth about Claire and the stones. Ian listened silently. His eyes went wide every so often and his head was bobbing with understanding by the time Jamie finished.
“Tell Jenny,” Jamie said when Ian remained speechless after he was done, “so long as I dinna have to speak of it again nor listen to her talk of my remarrying.”
“Aye… I’ll do that. And neither of us’ll say anything to Willie. But… someone is bound to say something to the lad if he goes about talking of Claire like that. It’s been some time but folk hereabouts remember her. It’s only a matter of time before he learns the truth… and that’s something that would be best coming from you,” Ian insisted, his eyebrows raised for emphasis.
Jamie nodded but said nothing. They let the matter drop and moved on to fixing the water wheel.
Jenny didn’t say anything further but every day Jamie could feel the weight of the truth in the air between them. It made him incredibly self-conscious when he and Willie were in company. Whatever relief he’d felt in those moments following his revelation to Ian had been swept away by the strain of waiting for someone to criticize Willie’s understanding of his parentage and open his eyes to the truth—a truth his father had been keeping from him.
Lallybroch wasn’t the relaxing refuge he’d imagined it would be all those years at Ardsmuir and Helwater. What he and Willie needed was a true fresh start—the kind of clean break that could only come from being in a place where no one knew or cared what your past might be, where only the present and what you could contribute now mattered.
He took Willie and left for Edinburgh before Hogmanay.
Great that the Divas may get a better deal after this #GiveDivasAChance thing with AJ Lee calling Stephanie out and Vince McMahon responding and whatever but niggas are still either shuckin and jivin in the WWE or being kept off TV all together. This is so fucked. And this has been after the issue got some decent coverage a while back and nothing’s changed. Y'all did notice how it’s been Black History Month and they’ve put out a few bullshit vignettes and clips of old school black wrestlers that they recycle every year and have seemingly just let the month run it’s course unnoticed after a while. The New Day’s gimmick is still bullshit and embarrassing with the preach shit and Vine reference(“Do it for the Day” or whatever the fuck they say). Shit, they haven’t been seen much or made any sort of headway since their inception. Prime Time Players are back but it looks like they’ll probably go nowhere too. R-Truth was on RAW on commentary for absolutely no reason besides coonin’ and buffoonin’ like a “Good R-Truth”, so to speak. And Mark Henry too old and frail to be hot in these streets anymore so he ain’t helping matters. Shit is fucked up.
Shit, if you look at NXT, they got mad folks that are deemed the future of the WWE. Luckily we got Sasha Banks who’s been holding it down but who else is there? That one nigga that was a college wrestler, Angelo Dawkins, they had him be a pure wrestling jobber for a while then turned him into a coonin’ hypebeast jobber with a shitty entrance theme that didn’t make sense, then they ain’t know what else to do with him so they just through him in a tag team that may or may not go anywhere. Sadly, ion see that Jason Jordan nigga ever getting hot too seeing as he got immediately thorwn in a tag team with Tye Dillinger who may still not make it after his second shot at making it in the WWE and that’s a shame. Shit, I’m praying that Uhaa is that “one in a ten thousand” nigga and becomes a superstar in the WWE, I can only hope. I had hope with Willie Mac but sadly WWE cut him loose so quick but I can’t shake the feeling that he would’ve been fucked there anyway.
Shit is still fucked in the WWE on every conceivable level. Niggas getting disrespected at every turn and everybody tryna turn a blind eye. #GiveDivasAChance? Shit, #GveBrothasAChance too. And don’t get me started on WWE’s problem with Asians………..
This recap contains spoilers for Outlander Season 3, episode 6, titled “A. Malcolm.” To refresh your memory of where we left off, check out our episode 5 recap.
On Oct. 22, Outlander finally gave us the reunion that we’ve been waiting five episodes for (which is a while, sure, but definitely preferable to the 20 years that Claire and Jamie had to suffer through).
“A. Malcolm” was supersized to 74 minutes to give Claire and Jamie (and us) ample opportunity to… ahem… catch up — which was just as well, considering how frequently they were interrupted over the course of the episode.
The narrative spine of episode 306 — beyond the simple anticipation of Claire and Jamie’s physical reunion — traced their tentative steps back together on an emotional level.
As Jamie pointed out with agonizing honesty, they almost know less about each other now, after 20 years of separate life experiences, than they did when they first got together. That resulted in some beautifully awkward (and kind of heartbreaking) moments as the couple relearned each other — like Jamie’s instinct to turn around out of modesty when he had to take off his trousers in front of Claire, despite the fact that she’s seen it all before.
“I think Claire, when she goes back… this is a woman who’s put her entire romantic and sexual life on hold for the best part of 20 years. Obviously that gives you I think a slight rigidity,” Caitriona Balfe tells us. “I think it’s that thing of, almost like when you go home to your family, we all sort of regress, and even though there’s that initial trepidation with Jamie, once they’re in each other’s company, all of that starts to strip away quite quickly.”
Jamie’s had plenty of aliases over the course of the show, and episode 6 introduces one more: the titular “A. Malcolm.” Sam Heughan tells us that he relished the opportunity to explore another new facet of his character in a season that has already been full of transitions.
“I love that episode because it’s like, we lose track of Jamie; he’s gone through these different permeations of different people. He’s obviously Jamie Fraser, then he’s an outlaw — the Dunbonnet — then he’s Mac Dubh, then he’s Mac to Willie. So he becomes these people and finally we find him as Alexander Malcolm, this print maker,” he says. “I loved that first scene in episode 6 where he’s going about his everyday business at the print shop. I was like, ‘Who is he now?’ And it was so fun to think about what’s been going on in his life since we last saw him. So when [Claire] reappears, it’s a blast from the past — a blast from the future. She turns his whole world upside down, which is exactly what happened in Season 1.”
Many of the moments in the print shop were lifted straight from Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager, but the producers did decide to deviate from the novel in one pivotal way — after Claire told Jamie about their daughter, Brianna, he opened up about the fact that he also has a son, Willie. That’s a revelation that comes much later in the book, but executive producer Maril Davis reasons, “when she brings up Brianna, I just think he feels like 'I want to share this and get it off my chest,” so that he’s not keeping too many secrets from her right off the bat. (That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have other secrets, of course.)
Balfe points out that after 20 years apart, it’s inevitable for Claire and Jamie to have put each other up on a pedestal, but she notes that it’s hard for anyone to live up to those romantic ideals.
“There’s that initial excitement and… it’s almost like no time has ever passed. Then you have to start learning who that person is again. It’s like a complete reintroduction, and unfortunately both of them have changed,” she says. “It would be ridiculous to imagine that Jamie hasn’t lived a life, same with Claire. I think it’s hard sometimes to reconcile the person in front of you with the image in your head, but they do.”
Heughan reveals that by this point in his life Jamie has basically closed off a huge part of who he is, because he isn’t whole without Claire, and sharing a little of how he tried to shape the character over the course of the season in response to that loss.
“When he’s at Culloden and afterwards, he’s lost her, but he sees her. And definitely as the Dunbonnet, he’s this feral, barely human being… I tried to make him more animalistic,” he says. “So it’s about his awareness and his character — he’s quite an outgoing and resilient, sort of 'king of men,’ so it’s about shutting all that down. And then as Mac Dubh, he’s more separated from everyone; he’s in the shadows. So then when she does come back, it’s a reawakening of who Jamie Fraser is.”
That reawakening has its bumps in the road — including Jamie accidentally bashing Claire in the nose when they start to get hot and heavy again — but let’s be honest; that’s part of the charm of their dynamic. Real life sex is rarely as easy and perfect as it’s often portrayed in pop culture, and these characters are so resonant precisely because their relationship is so honest, even in the most fantastical circumstances.
“We wanted to have it not be the classic romance novel moment. We wanted to play with it in terms of that they’re like two teenagers again,” Balfe says. “And to do some mirroring to the wedding episode, where even though they’ve never forgotten about each other, they don’t really know each other. And so there’s definitely a process of discovery, and they’re not quite sure what to do with their bodies or their words. And I think that that lends a realism to it.”
“Have you really got to go, Mac?” he asked, in a very small voice.
“Aye, I have.” He looked into the dark blue eyes, so heartbreakingly like his own, and suddenly didn’t give a damn what was right or who saw. He pulled the boy roughly to him, hugging him tight against his heart, holding the boy’s face close to his shoulder, that Willie might not see the quick tears that fell into his thick, soft hair.
Willie’s arms went around his neck and clung tight. He could feel the small, sturdy body shake against him with the force of suppressed sobbing. He patted the flat little back, and smoothed Willie’s hair, and murmured things in Gaelic that he hoped the boy would not understand.
At length, he took the boy’s arms from his neck and put him gently away.
“Come wi’ me to my room, Willie; I shall give ye something to keep.”
“Here. Keep this, too, to remember me by.” He laid the beechwood rosary gently over Willie’s head. “Ye canna let anyone see that, though,” he warned. “And for God’s sake, dinna tell anyone you’re a Papist.”
“I won’t,” Willie promised. “Not a soul.” He tucked the rosary into his shirt, patting carefully to be sure that it was hidden.
“Good.” Jamie reached out and ruffled Willie’s hair in dismissal. “It’s almost time for your tea; ye’d best go on up to the house now.”
Willie started for the door, but stopped halfway, suddenly distressed again, with a hand pressed flat to his chest.
“You said to keep this to remember you. But I haven’t got anything for you to remember me by!”
Jamie smiled slightly. His heart was squeezed so tight, he thought he could not draw breath to speak, but he forced the words out.
“Dinna fret yourself,” he said. “I’ll remember ye.”
This past Sunday, the eBay auction for Mac’s shoes officially closed, and the final bid of $21,100 was retracted by the winning bidder. Since the auction had already ended, there is currently no winning bid. The Auction was created to raise funds for charity with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. To make sure the girls of Willie Mae can still rock out, Mac DeMarco and Vans are teaming up to match the winning bid of $21,100. If Mac’s old sneakers do end up selling on eBay to another bidder, all proceeds will also go directly to the camp.