Jamestown Recaps

‘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??

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 2, Episode 5

Is it possible to feel sorry for Farlowe? (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2018)

Previously on Jamestown: James Read experiences a personal tragedy, Henry gets married, Jocelyn makes an extremely poor romantic decision, and the Governor’s plot to swindle the natives doesn’t work out as planned. It’s a soapy romp, and the best episode of Season 2 thus far. Read our full recap of Episode 4 for more details.

Jamestown, it seems, has settled into a pattern in Season 2 – one that involves an exceptionally entertaining episode one week, followed by a disappointingly bland one the next. Last week’s installment was a soapy romp; this week’s is an uncomfortable and generally painful slog, focusing on characters we’ve never really cared about a plot we know from the jump won’t go anywhere interesting.

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 2, Episode 3

Alice and baby Silas (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2018)

Previously on Jamestown: Verity and Meredith Rutter decide to become professional thieves for a hot minute, snagging stolen merchandise from one of the Virginia Company ships and selling it under the table to other settlers. This all has something to do with Meredith wanting to prove his manliness to his wife, but it really just puts them both at risk, particularly when one of their trading partners is caught and forced to drink molten lead when he won’t talk. Yikes. Elsewhere, James Read and Jocelyn make out for reasons that are difficult to decipher, and Alice is afraid her husband Silas has turned traitor and is passing Jamestown secrets on to the local natives. (Need more details? Our full recap is this way.)

This week, Jamestown largely focuses on a single dramatic storyline, which brings several characters together into one key plot. This mostly works, because the story is compelling to watch, reminds us of the stakes involved in living in what is basically the unconquered wilderness, and largely abandons the other boring plots going on in favor of this new drama. And it is all very intense.

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 2, Episode 2

Verity is the great mystery of this show (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2018)

Previously on Jamestown: Jocelyn’s husband Samuel is found dead in the river, leaving her a widow with few prospects, though she manages to blackmail her way back into her government sponsored housing. Alice gives birth to the colony’s first child, a boy she dubs Silas in honor of his father. And slaves are now a regular part of the fabric of life in Jamestown, including Pedro, who wants to earn his freedom in the New World, and Maria, who wants nothing more than to go back to her old life across the sea. Need more details? Our recap of the Season 2 premiere is this way

This second episode of Jamestown, strangely enough, feels more like a table-setting installment than the premiere did. Possibly this is because both episodes aired back-to-back when the season premiered in the U.K., but also because there’s just a lot going more going on in Season 2. Either way, while it feels as though nothing much happens in this episode, one has to assume that a lot of things are being set up for payoff down the road.     

‘Jamestown’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 1

The settlement celebrates the adorable Sharrow family (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2017)

Previously on Jamestown: There is way too much to sum up in a paragraph, merely suffice to say that three very different women are brought to the colony of Jamestown to start new lives (and marry some of the settlers). A whole lot of stuff happens after that. Skim the Season 1 recaps if you need a refresher on the details, because this story is wild. (And a whole lot of fun along the way.)

Season 2 of Jamestown generally picks up a few months after the first season. But lest you think that the period drama’s second season might turn more serious, what with the arrival of slaves in the colony and the formation of an actual governing body at the end of last season, don’t worry. Before the opening credits roll there’s already been a murder and an accident leading to the onset of childbirth, so it appears as though things will continue to be as crazy as ever in 17th century Virginia.

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 1, Episode 8

The three leading ladies of "Jamestown" (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2017)

Previously on Jamestown: The presumed dead Henry Sharrow reappeared in Jamestown, carrying a bag of metal he claimed was silver and ready to rub his newfound riches in the face of everyone who was ever mean to him. The show makes vague efforts to convince us that there’s more to Henry than a disgusting rapist, despite the fact that it refuses to grant Alice any real justice. Henry’s dreams of a riches are dashed, however, when it turns out his metal is false silver. This revelation manages to kill the gold rush in Jamestown entirely, which is something we can probably all be grateful for. Unfortunately for Jocelyn, however, it also ruins her blackmail material against Temperance Yeardley, so she now has no leverage against that incoming letter full of dark secrets about her past. (Need more details? Read our full recap of Episode 7.)

The Season 1 finale of Jamestown does a pretty good job of wrapping up most of the current crop of outstanding story, all while setting the series toward something of a darker path for its second season. The episode’s final moments introduce slaves to the colony, and while slavery is completely permissible in the settlement, it appears that the bulk of the colonists see the practice for the abomination it is. With the tobacco prices set thanks to Jamestown’s newly formed General Assembly, it appears that the presence of slaves may be the next big flashpoint among the colony’s residents. (Though I initially predicted the settlers’ relationships with the Native Americans would play a much larger role in this season than they ultimately have, so, who knows.)

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 1, Episode 7

Max Beesley in "Jamestown" (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2017)

Previously on Jamestown: Verity is so shaken by the death of a man she barely talked to that she decides to start stealing things all around the settlement. Jocelyn, rather than maybe talking about her obvious issues with her friend, decides to use Verity’s thieving skills for her own benefit and grab some blackmail material on Temperance Yeardley. Silas heads off upriver to look for his suddenly not-dead brother, but little does he know that Henry has returned to Jamestown, with a sack full of silver he found out in the woods. (Need more details? Read our full recap of Episode 6.)

A lot of things happen in the seventh episode of Jamestown Season 1. It’s just unfortunate that most of them involve a character we barely know and that many (most?) of us actively dislike, all at the expense of the stories we were watching in the last installment. Episode 7 does pick up where we left off, with Henry Sharrow’s triumphant return to the settlement, sporting an elaborate burn scar and a large sack of a silver on his back. It kind of makes sense that most of the episode is dedicated to him. We haven’t seen him interact with any of these characters since the series’ first episode, and he’s literally carrying a game changer (vast riches) on his back. This, however, presumes that Henry’s story is something we want to see – or should want to see – and Jamestown hasn’t exactly done the greatest job of explaining why we should feel that way. 

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 1, Episode 6

Niamh Walsh in "Jamestown" (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2017)

Previously, on Jamestown: Verity flirts with the boys at the tavern enough that she can be credibly accused of inciting violence when two of them get in a bar brawl and one murders the other. Bailey, the murderer, gets shot while taking part in what appears to be a planned military coup in the settlement and Verity gets extremely sad about it, despite the fact that we’ve never seen them interact before. We also learn that Jocelyn’s big secret is she poisoned an ex, and James still can’t seem to let go of his obsession with Alice. In a petty move for the ages, he manages to find out Henry’s still alive and tell everyone in town about it. (Need more details? Read our full recap of Episode 5.)

In Episode 6, Verity’s behavior becomes increasingly bizarre and erratic, as Jamestown proves once and for all that the show really really has no idea what to do with her character. In the wake of Bailey’s death, Verity is apparently so distraught – despite having barely conversed with the man – that she suffers what can only be termed some kind of bizarre break from reality. As a result she decides to process her grief by openly stealing from residents around town, including one of the town magistrates and one of her own best friends. Who is this woman?

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 1, Episode 5

Naomi Battrick in "Jamestown" (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2017)

Previously on Jamestown: Everyone went nuts over the idea of a map that allegedly leads to some hidden gold mines that definitely did not exist in seventeenth century Virginia. Pretty much the whole town loses its mind looking for it, including Jocelyn, who sees it as social climbing on steroids; Farlowe, who just wants to be rich; and Henry Sharrow, who thinks gold will give him enough status to cover up the fact that he’s a rapist dirtbag. Too bad for all of them, though, because it’s Governor Yardley who secretly has the magic map. Elsewhere, Alice and Silas finally got married, which irritated James Read enough that he punched the governor and got partially hanged for his troubles. (Need more details? Read our full recap of Episode 4.)

The fifth episode of Jamestown is…well, it’s kind of a wild mess, covering everything from unhygienic surgery to possible revolution in the colony, with a bit of a murder confession in between. This show is nuts, y’all.

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 1, Episode 4

Sophie Rundle, Naomi Battrick and Gwylim Lee in "Jamestown" (Photo: Carnival Films Ltd 2017)

Previously on Jamestown: The settlement is raided for some never-explained reason by a group of warriors from the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. The locals manage to capture one of them, a brave named Chacrow who is remarkably chill about the whole process. As a show of good faith and friendship, the gang decides to take him back to his people and even though only one person in town appears to speak their language. Elsewhere, Silas gets arrested for a generally dumb and made-up reason, and Alice saves his life through bullying, sheer stubbornness and her willingness to overlook the fact that she’s for sure got proof that one of the local magistrates is a murderer. Oh, well! (Need more details? Read our full recap of Episode 3.)

The fourth episode of Jamestown’s first season is something of a mixed bag. At times, it almost feels as though two different episodes are happening concurrently – one of which is interesting, and one of which is not. The town’s obsession with the prospect of finding gold feels tiresome more than exciting, and everyone’s immediate, white-hot interest in the hunt for a treasure map takes away from more interesting character stories happening elsewhere.

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