A lot happened during this super-sized episode, but of course, the highlight was the BIG SEXY REUNION between Jamie and Claire. It was, as promised, spectacular.
A woman’s touch
We open with Madame Jeanne straightening Jamie’s scarf, although by the way she looks at him, she’d rather be removing it. The two flirt a bit and Jamie is off for the day’s business.
“I trust you with my life. Trouble is, I dinna trust you with your own.”
Jamie arrives at the office to find Hayes and Leslie – two smugglers who still refer to him as Mac Dubh – waiting for him. He admonishes them for using the front door – he can’t afford to be publicly associated with them any more. He sends the two on an errand delivering seditious flyers and warns them not to get caught with the contraband.
Enter Geordie, who is roundly mocked by everyone but Jamie. He’s a sourpuss about it. Jamie sends him on an errand and he’s snide about that, too – he asks Jamie if perhaps he could let him know of any necessary errands the night before, so that he doesn’t have to retrace his steps on the way into the shop. Jamie seems more amused than annoyed by him and merely smirks in reply. Make no mistake, however – Geordie is definitely annoying.
Is that you, Geordie?
Later in the day, the bell chimes. Jamie starts to tease, and we hear “Is isn’t Geordie. It’s me. Claire.” Jamie looks stunned and turns slowly to see her above him. She smiles as he collapses on the floor.
“I havena done this in a verra long time.”
Jamie comes to with Claire kneeling over him, worriedly. “Y…You’re real!” he exclaims. “So are you!” She replies. She explains that she thought he was dead. He leaps to his feet after discovering that he’s sat in the ale pot and begins to remove his wet trousers. Claire hasn’t even been back for two minutes and he’s taking his pants off. My man! “It’s alright,” Claire smiles. “We’re married.” Jamie notices that she’s still wearing his wedding ring. “I never took it off,” she says. Jamie awkwardly lurches towards her, then seems to remember his manners, even pantsless. “I would verra much like to kiss you,” he growls. “May I?” Claire nods through tears.
“It’s the two of us now.”
The two kiss and they’re crying, I’m crying, we’re all crying. “Whenever I needed you, I would see you,” Jamie sobs. They kiss again and Geordie chimes in from above. “I quit!” He rants and raves about immoral papists and orgies in the shop. “God’s tooth! It’s not even noon!” Claire cannot conceal her amusement at the scene. Jamie lets him leave, promising to explain it to him later.
“Time doesn’t matter, Sassenach.”
Claire follows Jamie into the back room as he fetches fresh trousers. He asks about their daughter. Claire beams, and pulls a parcel of photographs from her cloak. Jamie pulls out a pair of glasses, and assures Claire they’re “only for reading, and such.” She confirms that he looks as dashing as ever, not like an old man. She confesses that she colored her hair for the occasion of meeting him again. “You will always be beautiful to me,” Jamie tells her. Aww!
“She used to smile in her sleep, just like you.”
Jamie is overcome looking at the first photograph and sits down to look at the rest. He asks through tears all about Brianna. “She has your red hair,” Claire says. “Like her sister,” Jamie says, quietly. “Faith.” I thought that was a lovely touch – and also a departure from the novels – but a good one. No parents would ever forget a stillborn child. Claire smiles.
“I am guilty of her death, before God, and perhaps more than that, because I did not love her.”
Jamie tells Claire about his son, Willie, whom he hasn’t told anyone else about – not even his sister, Jenny. He has a small likeness of Willie to show Claire. “Did you love his mother?” Claire wants to know. “No,” Jamie reveals that she died in childbirth. Claire asks what Willie is like. “Spoiled, stubborn, ill-mannered, loud, has a wicked temper…and braw, and bonny, and canty, and strong…” Claire smiles at his description. “And yours,” she finishes. “And mine,” Jamie smiles.
Wee Fergus is not so wee any more
Jamie remembers he’s late for a meeting, but doesn’t want to let Claire out of his sight. She goes with him and catches him up on Bonnie Prince Charlie’s fate as they walk. Jamie points out a now-grown Fergus and they have a small reunion. “You’ve grown into such a handsome young man!” Claire exclaims. “Aye, I have!” Fergus jokes. Same old Fergus!
A wrench in the works
Fergus pulls Jamie away for a chat and asks if Claire is back for good. Jamie says he hopes so, and Fergus rather ominously asks “What about…?” Jamie confesses that he hasn’t had time to think it through, but that he’d consult Ned Gowan about the law. Book readers will know what Jamie’s little legal issue is, but I won’t spoil it here just yet. Side note: Ned Gowan is still alive?!
Leans on Heaven
Jamie and Claire rescue Jamie’s drunken associate, Mr. Willoughby, from a tavern. He has apparently annoyed a prostitute. Jamie pays her for her trouble, then introduces Claire as his wife. He entreats Mr. Willoughby to entertain Claire while he’s doing his business, and the little man obliges.
Meanwhile, Jamie is meeting with the tavern owner, who is trying to gouge him for more money. Jamie isn’t having it. Jamie comes to retrieve Claire. By this time, it’s night.
“It’s not much, but it’s convenient.”
Jamie brings Claire “home”, which is really Madame Jeanne’s brothel. Claire is more than a bit taken aback, but none so much as the Madame, when he introduces Claire as his wife. Now Jamie must explain to a horrified Claire why he lives in a brothel. Jeanne keeps a room for Jamie, as one of his best customers – because it’s warm and convenient for him – he can rest or eat at any hour, regardless of where he’s been. Claire seems to buy it, but Jamie’s tone turns serious. “Sassenach, why have you come back?” She’s incredulous, but he presses the issue. “Have you come back to be my wife, again?” She hedges again. He points out that the two know each other less than they did when they were first married. He makes it extremely clear that he wants her – has ALWAYS wanted her. “But I must know. Do you want me?” A thousand times yes, Jamie!
“Bloody well say something!”
Jamie and Claire sit down over dinner and wine and get to know one another once more. Finally, it is time for bed. The two slowly undress each other, savoring the moment. Jamie can’t resist helping her with his pants. He’s been eager to get out of them ever since he saw her! Jamie gets Claire undressed and simply looks at her for a long moment. She blushes and crosses her arms in front of herself. “Christ, Claire,” Jamie breathes. “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
“Do it now, and don’t be gentle!”
The two get to know one another again in the biblical sense, and it’s sexy, funny, awkward, urgent, and sweet. “Is that how you felt, the first time?” Claire asks. “It has always been forever for me,” Jamie replies.
“You won’t lose me.”
The two spend some more time catching up. Claire can’t guess Jamie’s occupation, besides printer. He’s a liquor smuggler, of course. It’s fun to see how quickly they’ve regained their comfort with each other. He warns her that one day, he’ll likely hang for treason. “Do you want to leave now?” he teases. “I did not come here to make love to you once,” Claire grins.
“I’m not likely to go anywhere. My legs are like Jell-O.”
Jamie leaves again in the morning to take care of some business without Claire. He bids her to stay put, and she agrees. Young Ian, her nephew, makes an appearance and introduces himself.
Eventually, Claire makes her way downstairs to eat something and is mistaken for one of the ladies of the evening – an assumption she does not correct until Madame Jeanne catches her eating with the other ladies and is horrified. Jeanne banishes her back upstairs, and Claire finds an unexpected visitor in her room. He’s after Jamie’s ledgers. “Maybe if I fuck you, it will jar your memory!” He grabs Claire’s throat.
- In a departure from the norm, we have a cold open of Jamie’s life before the opening credits roll – ordinarily we have a brief recap of the previous week, then credits. This may have been done because seeing the reunion scene from Jamie’s point of view is also a departure from the novels.
- After the opening credits, we see a few additional credits come from Jamie’s printing press. These were said to have been printed by Sam Heughan himself!
- We do see the Newfoundland dog once again here, but only in a photograph of Bree with him. His name is Smoky.
- “Canty,” in Jamie’s description of Willie, means “cheerful, spirited, in high spirits.” “Braw” means “fine, fine-looking, excellent.”
- In other departures from the book, Mr. Willoughby is much less of an unmanageable drunk, and his English is fairly good for the show. This makes Jamie’s terse treatment of him a little confusing in the context of the show – he’s such a lovely little man, here.
- In the love scenes, Claire looks as lovely as a girl, of course, but she’s pushing 50 in the story. I thought that they aged her up fairly well – she’s much curvier than when we last saw her naked with Jamie – typical of having put on a few pounds as we age. I don’t have to mention how smoking hot Jamie looks, although he’s supposed to be 45 or so.
- In a delicious, swoonworthy moment, the two are making love in the morning and are interrupted by a knock on the door. Breakfast is served. Jamie admonishes them to come back later. “Don’t you want to eat?” Claire asks. “Aye,” Jamie grins wickedly as he kisses he way down her body. Oooh, good gracious, Mr. Fraser!
- In another departure from the book, there is no misunderstanding for young Ian who Claire is, or about her virtue. I thought this actually worked better than in the book where there was some confusion on Ian’s part.
Join us next week for Episode 7: “Creme de Menthe.”
Image Credits: Sweatpants & Coffee.