Jamestown Season 1

'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 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.

'Jamestown' Recap: Season 1, Episode 3

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

Previously on Jamestown: Some of the men in Jamestown – namely the generally terrible Redwick and Farlowe – decide that the women of the settlement are getting too uppity for their own good, a problem they decide to handle by demonstrating how easily they could have one of them accused of witchcraft. Of course that person is Verity, who does nothing to help her own cause by openly talking about how worthless her drunk husband is, cursing local men who annoy her and rejoicing in the illness of her enemies. Girl, come on. Elsewhere, Alice is struggling to fend off the unwanted advances of local blacksmith James, who has decided he deserves to marry her because he can pay off her original travel debt. Men are gross, you guys! Luckily, Jocelyn swoops in to save both her friends at the last minute, by virtue of being both clever and quite rich. Girl power forever, y’all. (Need more details? Read our full recap of Episode 2.)

The third episode of Jamestown is, quite frankly, less interesting than the two that have come before it, and the reason for that seems pretty obvious. It’s primarily about the men. What makes this series interesting is its focus on the women involved – how they react to this harsh new world, and how they navigate life in a society where the men possess even more power than they did back home. This installment, unfortunately, focuses largely on the men of Jamestown, several of whom are either such jerks or so impossibly stupid that it’s impossible not to at least vaguely hope that the ladies overthrow them all and establish a matriarchy.

‘Jamestown’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 1

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

Get ready everybody, our new period drama obsession is here. Welcome to Jamestown.

For those of you who don’t know, Jamestown is a period drama from the producers of Downton Abbey. It’s set in the 17th century Virginia colony of the same name, and follows the story of three independent and very different women seeking a new life in the New World. The series, at the moment, is currently only available to stream online in the U.S. and, despite being a Masterpiece program, won’t actually air on television. You can see all eight episodes now on the PBS Passport service, an online member benefit that provides users with access to an online library of public television programming. Jamestown will also be streaming weekly on the Amazon PBS Masterpiece channel, but if you don’t want to wait to get your binge on, your best option is activating Passport right now.

Now, with all that technical business behind us, let’s get down to the fun part. Talking about the show.