Jamestown

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 3, Episode 4

Jocelyn and her hat game are undefeated  (Photo: Courtesy of Carnival Film & Television Limited 2019)

Previously on Jamestown: Pedro and Maria attempt to run away from the colony, but their efforts are thwarted thanks to (who else?) Yeardley, despite the fact that the rest of the town conspires to help them get out. Silas tries to do us all a favor by killing the Governor with a Pamunkey bear trap but his goal is thwarted by Pedro, of all people. He saves Yeardley’s life even though he despises him, because we aren’t allowed to have nice things, I guess. If you want more details, our full recap of Episode 3 is right this way.

If last week’s episode of Jamestown was the series’ dullest hour to date, this one is perhaps the most bizarre, spending most of its time on a truly weird hunt for a palomino horse that manages to involve most of the town.

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 3, Episode 3

Jocelyn in "Jamestown" (Photo: Courtesy of Carnival Film & Television Limited 2019)

Previously on Jamestown: Meredith and Verity take in a random child newly arrived on the boats from England after Rutter – who appears to be in some kind of mental decline – decides that young Tam is actually his son. Who is dead. Elsewhere, Henry Sharrow’s daughter sickens and dies thanks to his refusal to listen to his native wife’s pleas to involve tribal medicine in her treatment, because Jamestown will apparently never stop trying to rehabilitate this terrible character for some reason I cannot understand. Need more details? Our recap of Episode 2 is here.

ReminderJamestown is a WETA Passport-exclusive series, meaning that in order to watch it, you’ll need to be a WETA Passport member (If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll also be able to watch on the PBS Masterpiece channel.)

The third episode of Jamestown Season 3 is possibly the least fun installment of the series to date. And you know I don’t say that lightly, generally being of the opinion that even during this show’s most historically inaccurate or deeply ridiculous moments there’s usually something to enjoy. That’s…not really true here.

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 3, Episode 2

Meredith and his young protege (Photo: Courtesy of Carnival Film & Television Limited 2019)

Previously, on Jamestown: Alice Sharrow departs Jamestown with her son when she realizes it’s unlikely Silas will ever return from his new life with the natives. Jocelyn’s secret partnership with Farlow is exposed, and the magistrate literally gets beheaded for his trouble, as Yeardley brands him a traitor and blackmails Joss into helping him (illicitly, naturally) acquire more land for himself. The governor's also pretty eager to kick up a war with the local native tribe, although he’s having less success on that front once the Sharrows realize his promise to pardon Silas is a lie. Oh, and despite her farm burning down last season, Jocelyn has somehow become a successful landowner with a thriving crop in her own right, and as a result she’s basically rejected the romantic advances of all the men who were chasing her back in Season 2. Need more details? Our recap of the Season 3 premiere is here.

For the first time on this series, Jamestown’s story is largely focused on the next generation. Which is admittedly a bit strange, given that Jamestown likes to gloss over the fact of how many people regularly died in the colony even well into its more prosperous years

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 3, Episode 1

Jocelyn and the Governor (Photo: (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2019)

Previously on Jamestown: There’s honestly too much to fit here, so go skim the Season 2 recaps if you need a refresher on where we left things after last season. Fair warning: A whole lot of crazy happens.

In case anyone was worried that Jamestown would take its foot off the proverbial gas in its third and final season – don’t be. The period drama remains as bonkers as it’s ever been as Season 3 kicks off, offering up an episode that’s got everything from the departure of a major character to mystical visions to an actual beheading.

‘Jamestown’ Recap: Season 2. Episode 8

Jocelyn's not only a strong woman, her fashion game is on point.  (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2018)

Previously on Jamestown: In one of the series’ most uncomfortable episodes to date, the slave girl Maria stabs Pedro and runs away after she learns Governor Yeardley was trying to encourage her pseudo-boyfriend to make babies with her. (Spoiler alert: The Governor is disgusting!!) Verity and an injured Pedro ultimately convince Maria to return to the settlement, where she’s branded across the face for her escape attempt. Elsewhere, the show finally remembers that Henry Sharrow is a rapist and that neither his victim (Alice) nor her husband (Silas) should be treating him like anything other than trash. And Jocelyn gets publically shamed, Cersei Lannister-style, but the incident only reinforces her determination to let no man control her life again.

Season 2 of Jamestown has done its best to wrestle with more issues of consequence in its second season, from the brutal question of slavery, to the colony’s complicated relationship with the local native tribe, to the difficulties facing women trying to carve out lives for themselves outside of the world of men. It hasn’t always been successful, to be sure – frequently embracing the ridiculous and soapy in order to avoid having to wrestle with the difficult or uncomfortable. The season finale is no different, posing complicated questions that it chooses to subsequently ignore in favor of more manufactured drama. This isn’t entirely a criticism – as an episode, the story is exciting to watch and sets up some intriguing storylines for Season 3. But for every great moment – Jocelyn’s dogged determination to make her new plantation crew respect her, Alice’s sudden appearance at the Sharrow family standoff with a musket – there’s also one that…really isn’t. (Looking at you, weirdo subplot where Verity and Meredith urinate on a man and then blackmail him about it.)

‘Jamestown’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 7

Abubakar Salim and Abiola Ogunbiyi (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2018)

Previously on Jamestown: Governor Yeardley remains a trash person, and fakes a Spanish invasion to distract the settlers from the fact that he seems to have made the Sharrows’ tobacco crop disappear on its way back to England. Elsewhere, there’s an eclipse, the colony suddenly believes its being haunted by Samuel Castell’s ghost, and everyone tries to force the spirit to leave town through various increasingly ridiculous means. Sometimes, this show is too crazy for its own good. At least someone finally teaches Verity to use a sword. Need more details? Our full recap of Episode 6 is right this way.

In the penultimate episode of Season 2, things get slightly more dramatic, but no less wild. For the first time this season, Jamestown tries to confront its slavery storyline head on, and though it turns into something that’s soapy and deeply uncomfortable by turns, it’s at least not boring. (Which is often the best thing you can say about this show.) The real problem is that the show is stuck between a proverbial rock and a hard place – the one in which it knows that slavery is abhorrent and wants to write small moments of the series’ popular characters standing up against the vile practice human bondage, but is also aware of the historical realities and attitudes of the time during which it is set.

‘Jamestown’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 6

Verity (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2018)

Previously on Jamestown: A weird episode sees Nicholas Farlow return from Bermuda with a fey new acquaintance named Simeon, who claims to be an alchemist and bears a more than passing romantic interest in his friend. In the end, though Simeon cannot make gold, he claims to have changed his gender, but Farlow chooses his love of the law over sexual attraction and sends his new friend away. Elsewhere, Jocelyn chooses herself, telling both Dr. Christopher and James Read that she can be with neither of them, even though none of us are terribly clear on how she has enough money to live on as a widow with no property. Need more details? Our full recap of Episode 5 is right this way.

The sixth installment of Jamestown’s second season follows a familiar pattern, once again embracing the show’s ridiculous spirit and telling several truly unbelievable tales. But, since they’re focused on characters we care about, they’re a lot more fun to watch than Episode 5’s unwanted and unasked for sojourn into Farlowe’s psyche. This installment has everything from impending rebellion to government deception, all mixed in with the threat of a Spanish invasion, wandering ghosts and a mysterious eclipse that riles everyone’s superstitious natures. Someone even goes randomly blind out of nowhere! Why can’t every installment of Jamestown be like this??

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