The lines in Claire’s palms didn’t lie.
Remember back in Outlander Season 1 Episode 1 when her tea leaves and her palms were read? There was a prediction of two marriages and we’re getting Claire’s second wedding on Outlander Season 1 Episode 7.
We’re also (thankfully) seeing a less tough-to-watch episode than last week’s so we can be grateful for that. This episode, overall, is quite the opposite for many reasons.
But first, as the series has been apt to do, we start this episode with a reminder of Claire’s past (future?) with Frank as they decide, on a whim, to have a quickie wedding in the city. Their love is true and quite lovely to see and will serve as a reminder of what follows.
And what follows is returning to our Sassenach in 1743 and Claire and Jamie are husband and wife.
You forget your life after a while, the life you had before.Claire
Claire and Jamie are now off to spend time together and basically consummate the marriage so Randall has no way to prove the marriage is a false one (and it also accounts for everyone hanging out outside the room so they can be witnesses). So what do our newlyweds do first? They drink, of course, to smooth out the rough, uncomfortable edges since they're both in a situation they never could have predicted.
Claire: Why did you agree to marry me? Dougal didn't give me much of a choice but you...
Jamie: I didn't see I had much of a choice either.
And we get our first flashback of the episode as Ned and Dougal talking to Jamie about marrying Claire and saving her from Randall.
You know Randall and you know what he's capable of. What do you think will happen to her if she falls into his hands again?Dougal to Jamie
You gotta admit, the awkwardness of Jamie and Claire is adorable but we’re also getting something we haven’t gotten much of before – more Jamie backstory, which isn’t as important for the details as it is a way for he and Claire to get to know each other in a way they hadn’t before. And, of course, you see Claire slowly getting more and more drawn into Jamie and his natural charms.
Claire: It's getting rather late. Perhaps we should go to bed?
Jamie: To bed or to sleep?
Claire: (smiling) Well...
And then Jamie helps Claire out of her corset and temperatures rise all around. Remember, for Jamie, this is his first time and, for Claire, well, she’s no virgin, but she’s also in a complicated position, so to speak, being married to someone in another date and time so she's just as awkward with her second of two husbands!
Claire: Where did you learn to kiss like that?
Jamie: I said I was a virgin, not a monk. If I need guidance, I'll ask.
So their first time is, well, like any first time. A little clumsy, awkward and over waaaaaay too quick. Not exactly the pinnacle of romance, is it? Me thinks the new Mrs. Fraser has some teaching to do especially since Jamie reveals he got some advice form Rupert and Murtagh and Ned so that tells us a lot about what he needs to learn!
Not only was I a bigamist and an adulteress but I had enjoyed it.Claire
After doing the deed, Jamie takes some ribbing from the men as he gets some food for himself and his new wife. We see Dougal sitting calmly, deep in thought. Is Dougal happy about this arrangement or is there something more going on here? (Oh come on…we know the answer to that, don’t we?)
Jamie: 'mo nighean donn'
Claire: What does that mean?
Jamie: My brown-haired lass.
The beauty of the episode is how you can see both Jamie and Claire getting more and more comfortable with each other and, yes, in my opinion, this is where they are truly falling in love. One observation I had in this episode is that Jamie is a good, kind man and he shares some of the same gentle qualities as Frank, who we saw in the pilot was just as awkward with being alone with his wife after separation.
We see more flashback to Jamie getting his kilt for the wedding as well as a nice moment between Jamie and Murtagh, who compares Claire’s smile to that of Jamie’s mother. Aw, Murtagh! You big softy!
Your mother had the sweetest smile...Claire's smile is just as sweet.Murtagh
As he agrees to the marriage, Jamie gives Dougal three conditions and we get a string of light, comical scenes. First, Jamie insists on being wed properly in a church and with a priest, who has to be convinced to do the wedding quickly instead of the usually allotted amount of time. Second, he wants a wedding ring made from a particular key. Jamie doesn’t tell Claire what the key is from but it’s obviously of some sentimental value.
The third condition? Ned goes to the local whorehouse to find a dress for Claire and, once they see he has plenty of money, they make sure to satisfy him before he’s on his way. Equally comical to these scenes is Claire getting woken, seriously hung over on her wedding day.
One thing about all these mini-scenes is that we see this community of MacKenzies and how much they band together when need be. Also, I noticed what a fine cast of characters we have in this series, which is a treat to watch.
Finally, we get Jamie’s version of the wedding itself, which he remembers vividly.
I'll never forget when I came out of the church and saw you for the first time, It was as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day and suddenly the sun came out.Jamie
The wedding itself is surprising in that Claire appropriately is out of sorts and we don't need a Frank flashback to know how conflicted she is. Jamie, being THE man, takes care of her nerves and makes her feel better as they say their vows to each other. Dougal is standing right by to make sure it all gets done and is there a bit of envy in his eyes?
One of the best moments of the episode is when Claire turns her back on everyone and removes her wedding ring to Frank. Though we've had no reason to question Caitriona's acting, this is the epitome of an actress who knows her craft because without saying a word, her face says so much. She slides the ring in her bosom and that's that.
Maybe it's the fact that Jamie remembered so clearly their wedding or just the fact that she got a little taste of something she liked but Claire knows it's time to take things to the next, more enjoyable level with her new husband.
Take off your shirt. I want to look at you.Claire
And let’s take a moment in praise of Jamie in his full glory. Claire doesn’t look too bad either, does she? We get the love scene we were hoping for with both of them very satisfied…and Jamie getting very satisfied.
One thing I think we can agree on is that this isn’t just a physical thing anymore and it’s definitely not just an obligation. Claire and Jamie are falling in love with each other…on their wedding night no less!
Claire later goes down to get more food when Dougal appears and tells her that he’s shared the news with Captain Randall and he thinks Randall is going to leave Claire alone now. (Me? I'm not so sure but for now she's safe). And then Dougal says a little more...
Dougal: I commend you for doing your duty but it needn't stop you from sampling other pleasures. I find you to be the most singular woman, Claire.
Claire: I'm Jamie's wife.
See? Dougal is having some major feelings for Claire, too. They’re thankfully interrupted by Rupert entering the room and Claire is able to return upstairs. She doesn’t tell Jamie what’s happened but we do get one more love making scene that has lots of them looking into each other's eyes and experiencing some damn fine sensuality
Swoon alert #2!!
The next morning and Jamie leaves while Claire tidies up the room. She shakes out her wedding dress and, of course, her wedding ring to Frank falls out. It rolls across the floor and stops and Claire picks it up. Another reminder of her marriage to Frank probably hits her in the gut as hard as Randall's fist in last week's episode.
She slides the ring on and the episode ends with her looking at two hands, each with a wedding ring from a different man. Talk about a conundrum, right?
And, not to end this review on a sour note but know that next week is our mid-season finale! Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Will Claire and Jamie live happily ever after?
Outlander airs Saturdays at 9pm on Starz. Remember to watch Outlander online and catch up at any time.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.