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Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW

The Outlander mid-season finale Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW showcases quite a bit of Frank Randall’s character. While it’s fun exploring his dark side in the show, I’m sticking with Jamie’s top looks this week. If you are a friend of Frank, I suggest you check out my review which has plenty of pictures of good guy gone bad then good again.

Last week’s steamy episode, THE WEDDING, focused on Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) in the honeymoon suite and church. We were awarded several perfectly framed shots of both of them.

This week, I was challenged by the night-time shoots and awkward camera angles in a few scenes. But I managed to find some gems to share with you all. I hope you enjoy Jamie’s Top 30 Looks for Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW

#30: Jamie’s Promise Me Face – Jamie wants the producers to promise him an excuse to spank Claire because he dinna have one yet.

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#29: Jamie’s This Is The Worse F#@*ing Honeymoon Ever Face – Given the number of interruptions to your honeymoon, Jamie. I’m surprised you lost your virginity.

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#28: Jamie’s I’m Ready For Anything Face – That’s a big dagger you’ve got there, Jamie. No joke. That’s a really big dagger.

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#27: Jamie’s I’m Kicking A$$ Face – I usually like to include at least one action shot. Sam is moving so friggin’ fast throughout this fight, this is the only clear frame I could get. He likes his stunts.

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#26: Jamie’s I Can Take My Wife Home To Lallybroch Face – Yes, pleease. We need to see Ian in a kilt!

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#25: Jamie’s I Have To Listen To My Uncle Dougal Face – I know they’re discussing something very serious here, but all I can think about is Sam’s fruity lip balm. I’m wondering if there’s any left after his scene in the glen.

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#24: Jamie’s I’m In Love For The First Time In My Life Face – Yeah, too bad it’s gonna get wiped off your face in the next 24 hours. Marriage!

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#23: Jamie’s Yuletide Face – Jamie can’t wait to try out the celtic mistletoe this year on someone other than leechy Leery.

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#22: Jamie’s Worried About Claire Face – Jamie is worried about Claire after the incident with the redcoats. Translation: How long is it going to take her to get over it so they can have sex again.

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#21: Jamie’s I Know Sign Language Face – Ah . . . now I know why Jamie is so good with his hands.

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#20: Jamie’s Proud Of My Wife Face – Jamie looks like a proud dad on the sidelines watching his kid play rugby, only the kid is a 27-year-old woman learning how to kill a man by stabbing him in the kidneys.

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#19: Jamie’s I’m Drinking To My New Wife Face – And he’s wishing Hugh had come along just 30 minutes later.

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#18: Jamie’s You Should Have Pulled The Trigger When You Had The Chance Face – And the sucky honeymoon continues. Nothing ruins the mood more than . . . Let’s face it. The only way to get over this fast is to have sex – like in the book.

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#17: Jamie’s I Look Just As Good In Profile Face – Now, you’re just showing off.

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#16: Jamie’s I’m Embarrassed To Show My Sensitive Side Face – Jamie may have learned what goes where in the bedroom, but he has yet to learn about bonus points.

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#15: Jamie’s That’s MY Wife Face – Yep, and she just learned how to kill a man. They grow up so fast.

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#14: Jamie’s I Feel So Emasculated By My Wife Face – Losing your virginity made you a man. NOW you’re a husband.

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#13: Jamie’s I’m A Good Man and A Good Husband Face – Okay, I had to give Jamie this one after the last. Here he’s ready to put his vows to the test and protect Claire with his body.

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#12: Jamie’s Silent Communication Face – Jamie and Hugh Munro share a private exchange. Even I don’t know what the hell Hugh just told him but it looks fairly personal and makes Jamie look really hot.

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#11: Jamie’s Christmas Stockings Face – This is Jamie’s most adorable face of the Top 30. Claire so often brings up references he doesn’t understand, but he always humors her. Such the gentleman.

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I’m sad to say, we’ve reached our final Top 10 for the first half of the Outlander season – at least as far as episodes are concerned.

#10: Jamie’s Waterweed Face – If you want to know what happens next, you should dash over to my review and read the waterweed excerpt. I’ll say no more.

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#9: Jamie’s The Horses Are Restless Face – There’s a lot of hand-eye communication in this episode. Thank goodness Jamie speaks both languages so well.

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#8: Jamie’s Passionate Kisses Face – Jamie knows this is the only love scene he has in this episode, so he goes for it. Too bad they’re not alone.

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#7: Jamie’s I Have To Go Face Danger Now And Leave You Alone But I’m Sure Nothing Will Happen Face – I’m still so confused with this scene, I can’t even think of a good joke – but Jamie looks really good, so he stays.

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#6: Jamie’s Not To Imply You’re A Hoor Face – Jamie’s still working the kinks out of his touchy-feely side. Bless his little heart.

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#5: Jamie’s I Look Damn Fine On A Horse Face – Just, yeah.

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#4: Jamie’s Take Your Hands Off My Wife Face – How much are we digging pissed off Jamie right now? Did he stop long enough to kick Willie’s a$$?

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#3: Jamie’s My New Wife Is Laughing At Me While I’m Inside Her Face – Well, you’re the one who said, “I feel like God Himself when I’m inside you.” And still looking good with the sexy laugh.

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#2: Jamie’s Married To A Fraser Face – This isn’t my favorite scene, but it is my favorite moment in the show. Jamie says, “Every man and woman in the world needs to know how to defend themselves, Sassenach, especially those married to a Fraser.” It’s this intimate connection I want to see between Jamie and Claire on a larger scale.

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#1: Jamie’s I Knew This Was Special Face – Aww. How can Claire even consider leaving this face? Silly Claire.

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Outlander Episode #109: THE RECKONING premieres on Starz on Saturday, 4 April 2015 in the U.S.

If you missed last week’s Top 40 Jamie Looks, you’ll find it here: Top 40 Looks from Outlander Episode #107: THE WEDDING

My review for Ep108 is also available: A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW

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A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW

For more goodies on this episode, check out Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW

The Outlander mid-season finale, Ep108: BOTH SIDES NOW, brings Claire’s past-future and future-past together in a parallel story with a beautiful crossing point between the two worlds. As usual, SPOILERS are rife in this recapped review.

This episode is directed by Anna Foerster who did a wonderful job here and on Ep107: THE WEDDING. Ron D. Moore penned the dual timeline story, most likely assigning himself the task because he envisioned the cliffhanger for this show – and the finale – long ago.

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Last week, the story was woven together with flashbacks. This week the story cuts back and forth between the two time periods, synchronizing Claire and Frank’s lives – showing “both sides” of the tale.

Claire and Jamie’s storyline is tweaked from the book a bit, and I am eager to see how the ends tie together in the second half of the season. I’ll get to the specifics later.

Frank’s scenes are wholly created for the show and a very welcome addition – even if not appreciated by all. It’s the first time we see him on his own, experiencing his pain and frustration at the loss of Claire. Up until now, Frank has been viewed only through Claire’s memories. Even the scene of his searching for her in Episode 102: CASTLE LEOCH is her projection of what he must be going through without her.

The story begins in 1945. Frank (Tobias Menzies) sits in a police station, waiting for news of his wife. The constable in charge (Gerry McLaughlin) is not happy to see him and apologizes for their disappointing lack of progress. After all, they haven’t thought to search for his wife in other space-time continuums yet.

Frank replies:

“Disappointing. That’s an interesting word. It suggests expectations that were unmet. My expectations of your department were low to begin with and I can assure you, that you have met those expectations at every turn.”

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Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), aka Mr. Knock-My-Socks-Off politely tells the constable where he can stick his apology.

Snap! Do not piss off Professor Frank Randall. Excuse me. Did I say Frank? I meant, Black Jack Randall disguised as Frank. Anyway, the constable is lucky it isn’t BJR, or he’d have found himself without a throat at the end of the scene.

We pan to a picture of Claire’s poster hanging beside an artist’s composite sketch of Jamie. I am shocked by the accuracy considering how dark it was when Frank and Jamie fleetingly passed one another seven weeks ago.

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Constable Boyle sets his tea cup down and decides it’s time Frank face the fact his wife has run off with the Highlander last seen watching her from the street.

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Constable Boyle (Gerry McLaughlin) needs to take a class in sensitivity training.

Frank’s response is to slam his fist on the constable’s desk and declare:

“My wife is not with another man!”

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) slams his fist and raises his voice. For the British, this is considered riotous behavior.

Cut to Claire with another man. The constable may be insensitive and incompetent, but he’s correct.

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Mr & Mrs Fraser (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) enjoy a lazy lunch on a hill. It’s a beautiful landscape but I can only wonder why they are clothed.

It is 1743, and Claire is on her third happy honeymoon in Scotland. And I really need to go there because Claire’s having all the fun.

Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan and  Caitriona Balfe) or Mr. & Mrs. Perfectly-Happy-Because-They’re-Having-So-Much-Sex sit on a hill overlooking a beautiful landscape of Scotland. And I really, really need to go there.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is having a hellva lot more fun on THIS honeymoon than her last.

They’re having a romantic lunch away from the others. Jamie – apparently shyer with his clothes on than off – asks Claire if their feelings for one another are normal:

“Is it usual,” he asks ” . . . what it is between us when I touch you . . . when you lie with me . . . is it always so between a man and a woman?”

Claire has been contemplating this same question herself, wondering where Jamie’s been her whole life and why can’t men in the 20th Century be more like him? I have the same question for the 21st Century and eagerly await an answer from anyone able to offer one.

“No, this isn’t usual,” she slowly admits. “It’s different.”

They have a bit of hand sex . . .

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This is how you do hand sex.

. . . giving their other body parts a much needed rest and stare into each other’s eyes. Before things can go any further, an arrow rudely interrupts them and lands in the ground a few feet from where they are about to have more sex.

Jamie protectively pulls Claire down to the ground before investigating the arrow on his own. Alas, it’s only our good friend Hugh Munro (Simon Meacock) making a dramatic entrance – trying to outdo Black Jack Randall’s snappy entrance from THE GARRISON COMMANDER. Of course, no one can outdo that one – except maybe Jamie.

Hugh Munro, in a fabulous Christian Dior floppy hat circa 1970, speaks only in grunts and sign language having lost his tongue to the Turks several years ago, as Jamie explains to Claire. As if that wasn’t bad enough, boiling oil was poured over his legs in a persuasive effort to convert him to the Musliman Religion. As compensation for his pain and suffering, Hugh is in possession of several gaberlunzie tokens – licenses to beg.

After bestowing a gift of a DRAGONFLY IN AMBER! to Claire as a wedding gift . . .

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Hugh Munro (Simon Meacock) presents his wedding gift to Claire (Caitriona Balfe). Isn’t that amber worth at least the price of a hovel?
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Dragonfly in amber. Claire’s wondering, “What the heck do I do with this?”

. . . Hugh makes known the reason for seeking Jamie out and interrupting their sexfest. Horrocks, a redcoat deserter, has come forward as a potential witness to the murder of which Jamie is falsely accused. It’s not certain he can be trusted, but he’s Jamie’s first real chance at clearing his name. He wants to take Claire home and make her his:

“Lady Lallybroch.”

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) hugs his Lady Lallybroch (Caitriona Balfe) Even bigger problem, “What the heck does she do with him?”

Jamie is a young man in love, trying to set his life on the path he’s always wanted with a beautiful wife. Unfortunately, she already has a husband. We cut back to Frank and Reverend Wakefield, theorizing what could have happened to Claire. The good Reverend thinks Claire has been living in a cave the past seven weeks, confused and disoriented, living off of fish and frogs.

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Reverend Wakefield (James Fleet) explains his theory of fish and frogs to Frank (Tobias Menzies). All that information on the board, and this is the best theory he has? Stick with preaching, Reverend Wakefield.

Frank looks like Black Jack Randall again and wants to belt the Reverend for offering such a hair-brained and useless theory. And I am loving this side of Frank. He’s so dark.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) pretty much looks like this through the entire episode, except when he goes Jamie-berserk.

But that’s not the most exciting part of this scene. We finally meet a new and very important character to the series of novels – Wee Roger Mac (Rory Burns), all 2 foot 6 of him. He enters with Mrs. Graham (Tracey Wilkinsoncarrying a plate of biscuits . . .

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Wee Roger Mac (Rory Burns) could melt Black Jack’s heart. Well, maybe not . . .
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Rory Burns as Wee Roger Mac may have been payed in biscuits.
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Rory Burns as Wee Roger Mac. How many times did they ask him not to look into the camera before giving up?

. . . but fails to put a smile on Frank’s morose face.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) is unmoved by Wee Roger Mac. He really is turning into Black Jack Randall.

Mrs. Graham thinks a spot of tea will do the trick. Frank looks as if he wants to take off everyone’s head, including the kid’s.

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Mrs. Graham (Tracey Wilkinson) offers Frank (Tobias Menzies) a spot of tea. I really want him to swat that cup from her hands – at least in a dream sequence.
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Come on. Do it! You know you want to.

“I think I need something a little stronger, “

he says to the cup in her hands and strides from the room. Mrs. Graham heaves a sigh at the Reverend, seeming to blame him for something. Hm?

We follow Frank to a bar where he slugs down a glass of whiskey – the only thing available in Scottish pubs.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) channeling his inner Black Jack.

An attractive blond (Olivia Morgan) walks in and sits down beside him, addressing him by name.

“You can call me Sally,” she says with a sly smile, “but that’s not my real name.”

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Sally (Olivia Morgan) could have come up with a better “nom de guerre.”

She pulls out a tattered copy of Jamie’s poster and tells Frank she kens where the man is. She offers to take Frank to him.

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Olivia Morgan as Sally, no last name. She didn’t have time to make one up. Frank just needs to bitch-slap her right here.

“Meet me on Drummond Lane, just past the coffee shop at half past 12. Come alone. And bring the reward.”

No one with a brain does NOT think this is NOT a set up. I guess the blond and her thuggy friends think Frank is so desperate to find his wife, he’ll show up with £1000 in small, unmarked bills. They don’t know they’re dealing with Black Jack’s reincarnation.

Frank downs the rest of his whiskey and asks for another which segues us back to 1743. Angus (Stephen Walters) pours a round of drinks for the Highlanders sitting around a campfire, listening to Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) tell the story of a waterhorse.

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Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) and Angus (Stephen Walters) share a drink. I’m beginning to wonder if they share anything else . . .

Jamie and Claire sit by themselves . . .

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Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) are on a crowded honeymoon. I see you back there, Dougal.

. . . still having hand sex . . .

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This is how to do hand sex in public.

. . .  and making googly eyes at each other in the dark. I thought the kilt had at least 101 uses? They should pull that bad boy over their laps and get busy with those hands elsewhere. To heck with the Highlanders. Dougal’s in the background with his kilt over his lap. What do you think he’s doing?

No time for that though. The horses are restless and everyone around the campfire goes on edge. Raiders are nearby. Rupert continues with his story while each of the men take a weapon in hand and spread out. Ever protective Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) – love him – takes his place closest to Jamie and Claire. His godson has just lost his virginity. Murtagh will be damned before Jamie’s sexcapades are cut short.

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Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) will lay down his life to protect Jamie’s sex life.

Jamie puts a large dagger in Claire’s hand – a real one, not the euphemism for, well you know – and kisses her. Aww.

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This is an advanced form of hand sex.

No time for that. He tells her to head for the fallen tree when he gives her the signal. The signal is a loud, “GO!”

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) makes a dash for the fallen tree. Not sure why she’s ducking.
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The Highlanders are ready to party. It’s been a slow night and everyone is tired of watching Jamie & Claire ogle each other.

All hell breaks loose, as they say. I gloss over this part because you don’t really want me to describe blow-by-blow who hits who. Plus it’s really dark, and I’m not sure if it’s Jamie, Murtagh, Angus, Rupert, Dougal (Graham McTavish), Willie (Finn Den Hertog) or Ned (Bill Paterson) turning me on while I watch this fight. Just kidding. I’d know Jamie in the dark any time, and Dougal’s head shines in the moonlight.

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) is getting ready for the waterweed.
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Dougal (Graham McTavish) is always ready for the waterweed.

Fight over. They lose a horse and three bags of grain off their wagon to the Grant raiding party. Claire comes out of hiding. Everyone is safe and unharmed. She and Jamie hug. End scene.

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Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) hug. Yeah, that ain’t gonna cut it. Jamie needs more than that.

Now, I have to stop here to – not complain but – point out in the novel, several injuries are incurred. Nurse Claire puts her cap on and goes to work. When she and Jamie finally retire for the evening, they enjoy one of my favorite intimate moments in the novel.

Diana Gabaldon is a master at writing sex scenes. No two are alike. To add to the picture of Claire and Jamie’s relationship, I include the “waterweed” excerpt below. If you’re a fan of the novel, I’m sure you won’t mind reading it again. If you’ve never read the novel, maybe this will entice you to pick up a copy of Outlander. [Note: I added this before Ms. Gabaldon posted the exact same excerpt but decided to keep it in for those who missed it.] Propriety compels me to add a WARNING of graphic sexual content.

“The moon was sinking, and I was shivering., half with reaction and half with cold. It was a wonderful feeling to have Jamie lie down and firmly gather me in, next to his large, warm body.

“Will they come back, do you think?” I asked, but he shook his head.

“Nay, it was Malcolm Grant and his two boys – it was the oldest I stuck in the leg. They’ll be home in their own beds by now,” he replied. He stroked my hair and said, in softer tones, “Ye did a braw bit o’ work tonight, lass. I was proud of ye.”

I rolled over and put my arms about his neck.

“Not as proud as I was. You were wonderful, Jamie. I’ve never seen anything like that.”

He snorted deprecatingly, but I thought he was pleased, nonetheless.

“Only a raid, Sassenach. I’ve been doin’ that since I was fourteen. It’s only in fun, ye see; it’s different when you’re up against someone who really means to kill ye.”

“Fun,” I said, a little faintly. “Yes, quite.”

His arms tightened around me, and one of the stroking hands dipped lower, beginning to inch my skirt up. Clearly the thrill of the fight was being transmuted into a different kind of excitement.

“Jamie! Not here!” I said, squirming away and pushing my skirt down again.

“Are ye tired, Sassenach?” he asked with concern. “Dinna worry, I won’t take long.” Now both hands were at it, rucking the heavy fabric up in front.

“No!” I replied, all too mindful of the twenty men lying a few feet away. “I’m not tired, it’s just –” I gasped as his groping hand found its way between my legs.

“Lord,” he said softly. “It’s slippery as waterweed.”

“Jamie! There are twenty men sleeping right next to us!” I shouted in a whisper.

“They wilna be sleeping long, if you keep talking.” He rolled on top of me, pinning me to the rock. His knee wedged between my thighs and began to work gently back and forth. Despite myself, my legs were beginning to loosen. Twenty-seven years of propriety were no match for several hundred thousand years of instinct. While my mind might object to being taken on a bare rock next to several sleeping soldiers, my body plainly considered itself the spoils of war and was eager to complete the formalities of surrender. He kissed me, long and deep, his tongue sweet and restless in my mouth.

“Jamie,” I panted. He pushed his kilt out of the way and pressed my hand against him.

“Bloody Christ,” I said, impressed despite myself. My sense of propriety slipped another notch.

“Fighting gives ye a terrible cockstand, after. Ye want me, do ye no?” he said, pulling back a little to look at me. It seemed pointless to deny it, what with all the evidence to hand. He was hard as a brass rod against my bared thigh.

“Er . . . yes . . . but . . .”

He took a firm grip on my shoulders with both hands.

“Be quiet, Sassenach,” he said with authority. “It isna going to take verra long.”

It didn’t. I began to climax with the first powerful thrust, in long, racking spasms. I dug my fingers hard into his back and held on, biting the fabric of his shirt to muffle any sounds. In less than a dozen strokes, I felt his testicles contract, tight against his body, and the warm flood of his own release. He lowered himself slowly to the side and lay trembling.

The blood was still beating heavily in my ears, echoing the fading pulse between my legs. Jamie’s hand lay on my breast, limp and heavy. Turning my head, I could see the dim figure of the sentry, leaning against a rock on the far side of the fire. He had his back tactfully turned. I was mildly shocked to realize that I was not even embarrassed. I wondered rather dimly whether I would be in the morning, and then wondered no more.

As much as I enjoy the sexual content of that scene, what I really want to emphasize is how close Jamie and Claire are after only a few days. Their connection is physical, emotional and mental. This scene would have been a nice addition, but I understand its exclusion. Regardless, I like to think it’s what happened after the fade to black.

While Claire and Jamie theoretically get hot and heavy in 1743, we join Frank arriving at his meeting with Sally and her friends. Immediately, he is attacked – struck by one of the men.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) takes a hit. I can’t believe he let them get off a single cheap shot. Too much whiskey, I guess.

But Frank has come prepared and takes a small club-like weapon from his pocket . . .

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Frank’s weapon looks purchased from Psychos–R–Us. That or Black Jack Randall’s favorite Ye Olde Sex Shoppe.

. . .  when they demand he turn over the reward money. What follows is a brutal retaliation which continues even when the men are down on the ground. Let’s face it – they kind of deserve it, trying to take advantage of a sad and desperate man who’s lost his wife.

Frank releases his impotent Black Jack rage spawned by his futility to find Claire. It’s a fascinating exploration into Frank’s reaction to the situation in which he finds himself – as engrossing as Captain Randall’s turn in THE GARRISON COMMANDER. Both men find themselves dwelling in darkness, but Frank pulls himself out of it before doing harm to Sally.

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Frank dwells in light and light is where he belongs. He needs sympathy and compassion from the stupid cops and better theories from Reverend Wakefield. Sorry, but he looks super sexy here. Just sayin’ . . .
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Sally (Olivia Morgan) really needs to get a day job and stop doing favors for her thuggy boyfriend(s).

“It’s very simple in this modern age to dismiss the idea of good and evil, but there is evil. And it finds purchase in good men by giving sin the sweet taste of ecstasy.”

Reverend Wakefield’s voiceover floats over the gasping Sally as Frank backs away from her, taking charge of his emotions.

The next morning, we find he has confessed his sins to the Reverend and receives his guidance.

“The Nazi’s drank from that poisoned cup thinking all the while they were slaking their thirst with the sweetest wine.”

Wakefield believes Frank has taken only a sip from the cup and can save himself by leaving Inverness to begin his life again without Claire. She is gone and has started a new life somewhere without Frank. Citing Sherlock Holmes, Wakefield tells him,

“When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth.”

The Reverend talks the talk but does not walk the walk as we learn later. It’s time to go back to the Highlander camp. Rupert, Jamie and Claire search for the dagger she lost during the Grant attack.

“It’s too long and heavy for me,”

Claire says when they find it. Rupert claims his imaginary lassies say that to him all the time. Yeah, Claire isn’t talking about yours, Rup.

Everyone chirps in on the conversation. Ned suggests Claire learn a little Highlander self-defense. Jamie agrees as being a Fraser means leading a dangerous life. Dougal advices Claire be given a sgian-dubh –  a small, single-edged knife handily worn on the leg.

As Angus is apparently the deadliest with a knife – yeah, right – he is assigned the duty of teaching Claire how to attack and kill.

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Angus (Stephen Walters) is a man of many talents, few manners, and fewer teeth.
Dougal (Graham McTavish) watches with Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) who has become one of the most treasured characters of Outlander. The man really needs his own show.
Dougal (Graham McTavish) watches with Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) who has become one of the most treasured characters of Outlander. The man really needs his own show.

Murtagh from the sidelines has one of the best lines of the show:

“I still say the only good weapon for a woman is poison.”

“Perhaps,” replies Dougal, “but it has certain deficiencies in combat.”

Claire’s lesson is very technical and precise. Angus shows her how to stab with a strong upward thrust. Moments later, Jamie is showing Claire his strong upward thrust.

Yes, we finally get le sex. Jamie and Claire have left the camp to

“. . . find some more of her wee herbs.”

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Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) back in action. Looks like he’s crushing her again. Who the hell cares?
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Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) alone in the glen. I’m really impressed with Jamie’s steep learning curve.

So many ways to play with that sentence, but I’d rather move onto one of Jamie’s more iconic lines:

“Does it ever stop . . .  the wanting you?”

he gasps as he undresses her.

Honestly, I always imagined this line being delivered in a more tender voice, but I’m flexible. Jamie and Claire are hungry for each other. Hand sex isn’t cutting it any more. They didn’t get their honeymoon at the inn – as in the novel – and have had to restrain themselves around the other men. Yes, I know this scene has always taken place on the road, but I think they have even more pent up sexual energy without those first few days of alone time in the honeymoon suite. Who am I kidding? A few days with Jamie just ain’t gonna cut it.

Finally alone in the glen, Jamie takes possession of his new wife, claiming:

“Now I know why the church calls it a sacrament,”

Why?” Claire asks to which Jamie replies:

“Because I feel like God Himself when I’m inside you!”

Giggle. Snort. Aww. They’re having such a good time they don’t notice the two soldiers in bright red coats who sneak up behind them. Fun time’s over.

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Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) really are having the worst honeymoon ever.

Let’s recap. Claire has two half-wits bust in on her first night with Jamie hoping to catch them doing it – 10-minutes later and they might have seen something. Then she gets hit on by Dougal ten-minutes after doing it with Jamie. Now, she gets caught by two quarter-wits while doing it with Jamie – they needed another 10-minutes. This honeymoon really sucks.

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Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) at gunpoint. I don’t know, if I was an army deserter, I probably wouldn’t go around in my uniform advertising it.

On a serious note, rape is a common theme in the Outlander novels because it was common practice in the 18th Century. Anyone who claims the novels glorify rape simply call attention to their own ignorance. And that’s all I have to say.

What happens next is a defining moment in Claire and Jamie’s relationship. Jamie stated on the day of their marriage that Claire had his name, clan, family and the protection of his body. Now when she needs him most, he stands helpless with a gun to his head while another man prepares to rape her. Claire is forced to save herself; and thus, save both their lives.

In the novels, many times Jamie is described as going berserk with a violent yet controlled fury. We are supposed to see him close to that here, barely holding onto his rage. Claire knows if she doesn’t take action quickly, Jamie will attack no matter the consequences of his actions. It’s a bit subtle in the show, but it’s there.

The bulk of the scene is played from Claire’s perspective – surreal, happening all at once but in slow motion. She has very little time to think and even less time to act. The moment she does, Jamie is quick to slice the throat of the man holding him at bay. Then he whisks Claire away from the glen.

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) FINALLY shows us his berserker side.

Back in 1945, we come upon Mrs. Graham and Reverend Wakefield in a heated argument. Because the house is old and they are yelling rather loudly, Frank cannot help but hear them talking about him. This is a creative addition to the story I rather like which leads to a beautiful crossover scene later.

Mrs. Graham takes Frank into the kitchen and tells him she believes Claire has passed through the stones of Craigh na Dun to another time.

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Mrs Graham (Tracey Wilkinson) is not nuts just because she dances around a fairy hill.

Frank listens with a sober expression, asks a few questions then rises from the table and announces he’s leaving for Oxford.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) is so close to going postal. I can feel it.

Mrs. Graham is shocked Frank doesn’t believe her even though her explanation is the only one that makes sense. The Reverend stands in the background, reconsidering Sherlock Holmes’ logic.

“I simply do not share your beliefs,”

Frank says. Translation: You are nuts.

DO NOT READ the indented paragraphs below if you do not want to know about Roger’s future.

Wee Roger Mac with his adorable eyes and pinchable cheeks comes up behind Frank and stares at the angry man. And I am feeling sorry for the little tyke – always in a suit and tie. Does the kid not have any play clothes? He reminds me of young Arthur from Somewhere in Time whose father wouldn’t let him play with his ball in the lobby. Hey, that’s a time travel story, too!

Anyway, now I’m sad thinking about all the $hit that happens to Roger when he gets older. Ugh. Stay little, kid. Better yet, don’t go through the stones! Going after Brianna and knocking her up is what gets you both stuck there for a spell.

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Wee Roger Mac (Rory Burns) is even cuter than Jamie’s a$$.

It’s time to check on the honeymooners. The honeymoon has not improved. Jamie and Claire cling to one another with Jamie berating himself and apologizing to Claire for putting her in danger. Claire goes into shock and has a more severe reaction to the attack than in the novel although it’s much more violent on page.

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Claire and Jamie (Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan) comfort each other. Is it just me, or is Jamie’s hair longer than Claire’s?
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Jamie (Sam Heughan) kisses Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) cold hands. Yeah, they really just need to do it.

In the Outlander novel, Claire and Jamie react to the attack in a more carnal manner. In her words, they come together in a:

“. . . savage, urgent silence, thrusting fiercely and finishing within moments, driven by a compulsion. I didn’t understand, but knew we must obey, or be lost to each other forever. It was not an act of love, but one of necessity, as though we knew that left alone, neither of us could stand. Our only strength lay in fusion, drowning the memories of death and near-rape in the flooding of the senses.”

That union serves to release the tension brought on by the attack. When Dougal comes upon them, Claire falls into a fit of hysterical laughter.

In the show the logistics are changed such that Jamie leaves Claire’s side. She stays alone at the top of a hill while he returns to the bodies with Dougal and the others. It’s determined the dead men are deserters from the English army, like Horrocks. This leads to the decision they must all go with Jamie to the meeting.

The MacKenzies hit the road. Claire is now angry about the incident though she claims not to know why. Hm . . . I can think of several reasons. But they’ll argue about that later. For now, the caravan stops in a lovely wooded area. Jamie wants Claire to wait with Willie because he doesn’t want her put into danger again.

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Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe) hit a bumpy patch in the marriage after only 4 days. Being around 20 stinky Highlanders isn’t helping.

Claire reminds him she saved both their butts in the glen, proving she can take care of herself. Jamie is feeling a bit emasculated right now and grinds out:

“You needn’t prove it again.”

 No hand sex tonight for Jamie.

We come to the moment in the story where I don’t care for the choice in divergence from the novel. Perhaps all will be rectified in the second half of the season, but an important exchange is omitted in this scene – in my opinion because there’s no other in this review – and replaced with lines which, frankly, make no sense to me.

In the novel, Claire insists on accompanying Jamie to the meeting with Horrocks. They get into a real argument over the issue. I’ll let another excerpt speak for itself:

“Did ye no promise to obey me?” he asked, shaking me gently.

“Yes, but –” But only because I had to, I was going to say, but he was already urging my horse’s head around toward the thicket.

“It’s verra dangerous, and I’ll not have ye there, Claire. I shall be busy, and if it comes to it, I can’t fight and protect you at the same time.” Seeing my mutinous look, he dropped his hand to the saddlebag and began rummaging.

“What are you looking for?”

“Rope. If ye wilna do as I say, I shall tie ye to a tree until I come back.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Aye, I would!” Plainly he meant it. I gave in with bad grace, and reluctantly reined in my horse. Jamie leaned to kiss me glancingly on the cheek, already turning to go.

“Take care, Sassenach. You’ve your dirk? Good. I shall come back as soon as I can. Oh, one more thing.”

“What’s that?” I said sullenly.

“If you leave that copse before I come for ye, I’ll tan your bare arse wi’ my sword belt. Ye wouldna enjoy walking all the way to Bargrennan. Remember,” he said, pinching my cheek gently, “I dinna make idle threats.” He didn’t, either. I rode slowly toward the grove, looking back to watch him racing away, bent low over the saddle, one with the horse, the ends of his plaid flying behind.

Forgetting the rendition above for a moment, in the show Claire doesn’t seem to care or mind staying behind. She makes no mention of following Jamie or leaving, so why does he ask her to:

“. . . promise me you’ll stay put. Promise me, Claire. Swear you’ll be here when I get back?”

It feels like part of the scene is missing or maybe some dialogue cut out. With a few lines, we establish they are angry at each other, but where’s the threat? Why does Jamie think she’ll leave?

Going back to the novel, there’s a disconnect for me between it and the show. Very different characters are speaking. Last week, I was disappointed to find Jamie’s “honesty speech” omitted and hoped to hear some form of it in this episode. Now, the forceful husband is gone, replaced with a man who asks his wife to make him a promise rather than threatening her – which is what any self-respecting man in the 18th Century would do.

Assuming the spanking scene is still in the show, I make another assumption that a new plan to get us there is in place – obviously, not yet revealed. What new surprises do the producers have in store? We can only wait to find out.

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Caitriona Balfe as Claire deserves an award for her chin acting.

While Claire waits in the copse for Jamie to return, she chides herself for enjoying sex with him so much she forgot about her plan to return to the stones. Understandable. It’s Jamie.

At the same time in 1945, Frank is leaving Scotland. Something compels him to stop at the turn to Craigh na Dun. Mrs. Graham’s crazy theory? Maybe Sherlock Holmes is right. He turns his car around.

Claire finds herself alone when Willie excuses himself to “take care of business.” He’s a terrible body guard, by the way. Fuming over the incident in the glen, Claire takes a walk through the trees and comes to a very important realization – the 18th Century is not fun any more.

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Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) sex haze has finally cleared.

Lo and behold, she spots Craigh na Dun up ahead.

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Claire spots Craigh na Dun up ahead. Quick! Go back and see if that gorgeous shawl is still there.

Claire does not have to think twice. She runs toward the hill and her future with Frank. Back in her own time, Frank also approaches the stones. But he has a car so gets there first.

The professor in him doesn’t want to believe his wife traveled back in time, but the man who loves her wants to believe she didn’t leave him for someone else. Well, that’s kinda sorta true.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) stands alone at Craigh na Dun. I’m telling ya – hazard tape will do the trick.

Claire is still running up the hill. I hope a stunt woman did most of the running because I’m getting tired just watching her ascent.

Frank stands in the middle of the stones. He has no idea what to do. Tap his heels together? Cry on the stones? Maybe tears of love will magically open the space-time portal. Aw. Poor Frank. I’m feeling really sorry for this guy. His_wife_is_right_there. If he can just reach out and grab her.

Claire is still running . . . getting closer. Now, I’m thinking of that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You know the one . . .

Frank finally figures out what to do and calls out her name in a most agonizing voice:

“Cla-a-a-a-a-air!”

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) outdoing Marlon Brando.

He calls it several times, louder and louder. This is the part I love, the camera cranes up from him over the stone to reveal Claire coming up the hill on the other side. They are in perfect sync, just in the wrong time zones. She stops when she magically, mystically hears her name being called and screams back:

“Fra-a-a-a-nk!”

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) calls out her husband’s name. And where the hell is Willie?

“Cla-a-a-a-a-air!” Frank cries again.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) calls for his wife. Rips my heart out. No joke.

“Fra-a-a-a-nk! Wait for me!”

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) runs toward the stones. I’m thinking, she should have gone back for her horse.

They can hear each other, and now I’m reminded of LadyHawke when Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pheiffer reach out their hands and almost touch before she turns into a hawk with the rising of the sun. So close.

Claire reaches the stone and just touches it . . . or does she?

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Claire reaches for the stones. At this point, I probably would have dove into the darn thing.

. . . but the damn thing doesn’t suck her through. Must be the wrong day. Instead she is dragged off by a couple of English soldiers.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is hauled away. Please. Can someone tell me where these guys came from? Is this their secret hangout?

Don’t know where they came from or why they grabbed her. Did Black Jack put out an APB on her with a picture? Or do redcoats just go around grabbing women yelling out the name Frank? Maybe one of them is named Frank?

Oh, well. I tried, Frank decides. It’s time to move on. He climbs down the hill hoping no one heard him screaming out his wife’s name in the general direction of the standing stone.

At the same time, Claire is manhandled toward a waiting wagon. Her crappy body guard is still no where to be found. I highly anticipated Willie being skewered by a redcoat in a heroic effort to save Claire. But no, he’s still “taking care of business” in the woods. I suppose Jamie might beat the you-know-what out of him later. I would. He had one job and failed. He’s making me wish Angus had been left behind.

The shot of Claire and Frank each leaving Craigh na Dun is Ron Moore’s stroke of genius. Not only is it a fantastic story element, adding drama, suspense and heartache, but the way it was shot and composited is brilliant as well. Notice the colorization transition taking us from 18th Century Scotland to 1945 in a single move.

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Frank (Tobias Menzies) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) descend the hill together, 200 years apart. No joke. Just beautiful.

Now trussed up in the back of the wagon, Claire heads to Fort William to face Black Jack.

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Claire is carted off to Fort William. She’s probably wishing now she had the bigger knife. And where the f$#* is Willie, that good-for-nothing bodyguard?

We still don’t know why she’s been taken into custody. I didn’t notice Corporal Hawkins among the men. And if he was there, shame on him because he knows what Captain Randall will do to her. Maybe he’s taken up kicking women in his spare time and has grown to like it. He’s hoping to get in a few licks.

Claire thinks she has an advantage over Randall. He doesn’t know she’s coming and hasn’t prepared an advanced questionnaire for her. Silly, silly Claire. He told her four days ago:

“I dwell in darkness, madam, and darkness is where I belong.”

Does she really think a man like that needs a head’s up? Plus, he’s on his home turf this time.

Out of the wagon and into the frying pan, Claire sits in Randall’s office, looking like Hannibal Lecter’s next meal. And I’m wondering if a sauté pan rather than a frying pan is going to be whipped out with that bottle of Chianti.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) watches charming Black Jack pour the wine. If he breaks out the fava beans, get the heck out of there.

“Felicitations and congratulations on your recent marriage,”

Captain Randall greets her, pouring two glasses as if they’re on a third date. The scene stealer is back in the show, and I’m ready to be dazzled. He actually looks giddy here if not ready to taste her.

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Tobias Menzies as Black Jack Randall. I have no idea why he’s sticking his tongue out here, but I love it.

Claire decides to play it cool and show no fear, but still shoots her mouth off too much. There’s no sense in goading Black Jack, but she can’t seem to help herself. Not a good idea to bring up flogging to a man who gets off on it. His smile slips when she accuses him of being amused by the activity.

“Amusing myself? What an odd thing to say. As you know from our previous meeting, I consider flogging a very serious matter indeed.”

Way to go, Claire.

Black Jack dragging a chair across the room is not necessarily supposed to be comical, but I find it hilarious – akin to his dusting himself off in Lord Dancing Monkey’s doorway. Positioning himself at Claire’s shoulder, Black Jack tells her in a very ominous tone:

“Madam, you need to understand your position. In this hour, our third encounter, I fully intend by any means necessary to discover both your true nature and the secrets that you hold.”

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Randall (Tobias Menzies) takes him time with Claire (Caitriona Balfe). Time management skills are not always a high priority for masters of evil.
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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) bides her time beside Randall (Tobias Menzies). She’s better at shooting her mouth off than she is with the sgian dubh stuck in her boot.

Claire smiles and immediately pulls out her ace – the Duke of Sandringham. The gambit manages to discombobulate Black Jack . . .

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Randall (Tobias Menzies) spills his Kool-aid at the mention of the Duke. Come on. I expected more from you, Black Jack.

. . . and she presses what she considers to be her advantage. Wrapping a veiled threat around his neck as she reties his band into a tidy knot, she tells him the Duke would not be happy with an interruption in her fake mission.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) ties Randall’s (Tobias Menzies) doohickey. Don’t they look like the cutest couple here? Come on, settle your differences.
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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) puts on the best BAFTA performance of 1743.

Confidence overtakes her, and she scoops up her adorable cape, ready to flounce from the room. But she forgets Black Jack is the master of lies and deceit.

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Randall’s (Tobias Menzies) headache has returned. This is why he’s in the army. Ten minutes alone with a woman, and he has a raging migraine rather than a raging hard-on.

When he brings up the Duke’s wife, she quickly acknowledges a connection, falling for the oldest trick in the spy handbook.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) should never trust the Lord of Lies.

The Duke has no wife but Randall has a rope.

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Randall (Tobias Menzies) pulls a rope from his desk drawer. I’m thinking he doesn’t have any legitimate office supplies anywhere in that office.

Claire dashes to the door only to find Corporal Going-to-be-sent-to-hell Hawkins standing guard. The lily-livered corporal forces her back into the room and into the waiting arms of Black Jack who gives his lackey a “Frank Randall” wink as he ties Claire’s hands behind her back.

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Randall (Tobias Menzies) give Hawkins a Frank-like wink as he ties up Claire (Caitriona Balfe). This is a really good time for her to try the olde head-butt. What’s she got to lose?

Randall orders the corporal from the room and tells him not to open the door no matter what he hears.

Alone again, Claire is now scared and does a bit of useless screaming for help. Where’s Lt. Foster when we need him? Black Jack has a very large knife which he uses to cut open her dress. Claire tells him he’s going to regret hurting her, but her empty warning doesn’t deter him. It more goads him into throwing her across his desk by her hair. I’m thinking her screams got him in the right mood.

Sprawled against his desk, Black Jack lifts Claire’s skirt and finds her cute sgian-dubh stuck in the back of her even cuter boots.

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Randall pulls Claire’s sgian dubh from her boot. The guards did a terrible job frisking her.
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Randall uses Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) own weapon against her.

Now he has a new toy. Oh, joy! Before he can test its sharpness on the part of a body no woman wants a knife touching – well one of them anyway – Da da da dum . . .

The window shutters fly open to reveal a very pissed off and dirty-looking Jamie perched with a pistol pointing at Black Jack.

“I’ll thank you to take your hands off my wife.”

he says very politely.

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) in his Dread Pirate Roberts big moment, catches Randall (Tobias Menzies) terrorizing his wife, Claire (Caitriona Balfe). Nothing like perfect timing in a hero’s entrance.

Black Jack cannot be happier to see his favorite whipping boy again. Jamie does not return the sentiment. The end.

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This is the happiest we will ever see Randall (Tobias Menzies) until Ep115. Ick.

Several creative liberties were taken with the story in this episode, and I must say I very much enjoyed them for the most part. I usually try to stay away from twitter until I’ve written my review, but I did see a bit of squawking about Frank’s screen time versus Jamie’s. In Ep105: RENT, I was among those complaining about Jamie versus Angus’ screen time, but in this case I cannot protest. If anyone deserves to have his story told, expanded and included, it’s Frank Randall. The surface of his character in the novel is barely scratched. Of course, the producers are going to jump on his development. He is essential to Claire’s motivation. I didn’t care about him in the novel, but I do care about him in the show. Certainly, I want Claire to stay with Jamie, but I want her to be torn and she is.

Most of the focus in my reviews this season has been on character development, specifically Jamie and Claire’s. I tend to spend more time discussing Jamie’s character than I do Claire’s. The reason for this is obvious. Her character is very well defined and developed in the show. From the first episode to the mid-season finale, she is the star, and we’ve seen several different sides to her.

The development of Jamie’s character is on a slower arc. It could be I’m biased by my knowledge of the books and expect more from him than I should. I believe I’ve watched each episode with an open mind but continue to feel something lacking. I want him to be stronger. Is it just me, I continue to ask myself? Am I expecting too much too soon? Am I imagining him as mature-Jamie?

Unfortunately, I can’t unlearn I what I know or contain what I feel. I see hints of the Jamie I think he will eventually become full-time. Jamie is an authoritative man, demanding and possessive. Those don’t necessarily sound like positive qualities, but Jamie is not perfect.

In this final episode of 2014, we are gifted with two wonderful Tobias Menzies’ performances. He takes Frank to the dark side and manages to bring a bit of lightness to Black Jack – a clever reversal of roles. We see a bit of both men in each – mirrors of one another. Of course, Black Jack cannot stand in the sun for long and quickly returns to the darkness where he belongs.

I am planning an 8-episode postmortem for the first half of the season, so I’ll stop here. Reactions to the finale are mixed, but my position remains the same. I am very happy with the adaptation of the story so far, less so with Jamie’s character BUT I continue to have faith.

Ron Moore gives us another inside look at the making of this episode and discusses the exploration of Frank’s character beyond the novel:

Outlander Episode #109: THE RECKONING premieres on Starz on Saturday, 4 April 2015 in the U.S.

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Ask Mr & Mrs Fraser

Outlander Season 1 wrapped principal photography this week. The cast and crew are all heading off in separate directions for a well-deserved break in some cases or to sneak in more work before pre-production on Season 2  starts ramping up in January 2015.

I’d like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the production team, cast and crew for exceeding my – and I’m sure your – expectations. I will await patiently and eagerly for the second half of the season to premiere on April 4th of 2015.

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As a wonderful send-off, Outlander Starz decided to make our last #AskOutlander of 2014 (most likely) a mega-double-feature: the adorable on-screen couple, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, both jumped onto twitter at the same time to answer our questions.

Ladies first. Because it was too much work to go through the thousands of #AskOutlander tweets, I snagged all of Mrs. Fraser’s tweets first. Mr. Fraser’s follow. And as an added treat, I’ve added a little bonus content at the end of the tweets. I hope you enjoy Our Lovely Claire’s Top 35 Looks from Ep101–Ep107.

Caitriona Balfe’s #AskOutlander Tweets:

Sam Heughan’s #AskOutlander Tweets:

Claire’s Top 35 Looks from Ep101–Ep107

Episode 101: SASSENACH

#5: Claire’s Oops! That Was A Trick Question Wasn’t It? Face – Yeah, if your husband asks whether you’ve ever noticed another man, the answer is “No.” Of course, time travel romances are the only exception to the rule. Thank God.

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#4: Claire’s Awkward Moment Face – Not sure what’s worse, catching your husband wearing women’s underwear or finding out he’s a sadistic English dragoo– Oh, I guess the second one.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) needs a divorce lawyer. Stat.

#3: Claire’s You Can Give Me A Bath Face – WWII was a long time, Frank. Why would your wife want to spend her honeymoon traipsing through cobwebby, dirty castles? She’d much rather you take her downtown.

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#2: Claire’s What Is That Strange Ringing Sound? Face – Someone really needs to put a warning beacon on this hill. Hazard tape . . . a flyer . . . anything.

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#1: Claire’s No, I Don’t Want You To Throw Me Over Your Ruggedly Handsome Shoulder . . .  Or Maybe I Do Face – Her chin says “No,” but her eyes say, “Well . . . if you really want to.”

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Episode 102: CASTLE LEOCH

#5: Claire’s Oops! I Stepped Into The Middle Of That Sibling Rivalry – Don’t feel bad, Claire. Men getting what they want from women is a favorite pass-the-time sport in the 18th Century . . . and the 19th . . . and the 20th . . .

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#4: Claire’s I Wasn’t Done With My Hot Broth And Where The Hell Is The Bathroom In This Place, You Bossy Biddy? Face – This has to be the worst case of time travel hangover ever.

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#3: Claire’s I_Can’t_Keep_Myself_From_Staring_At_His_Thighs Face – One question: Is this in the script or are you ad-libbing? #AskOutlander

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#2: Claire’s Try Not To Get Stabbed Or Flogged Today Or At Least Make Sure It’s Somewhere On Your Torso So I Can Take Your Shirt Off Again Face – Yeah, I’m not as picky as you, Claire. Anywhere on Jamie’s body will do.

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#1: Claire’s IF This Was A Romance Novel I Would Totally Jump This Guy’s Bones Face – Okay, just this one time . . . we’ll put Outlander in the romance section.

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Episode 103: THE WAY OUT

#5: Claire’s How Long Do I Have To Watch This? Face – Believe it or not, watching Geillis croon over her husband isn’t the worst thing to burn your retinas in the 18th Century. Better start drinking rhenish.

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#4: Claire’s I’m Not Tempting The Fates The Fates Face – Jamie’s handsome and smart, but he’s still from the 18th Century.

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#3: Claire’s I’m Not Really Jealous I Caught You Making Out With That Strumpet Laoghaire Even Though I Fixed You Two Up Face – How dare everyone else have fun when you can’t have any, Claire. Thank goodness for the rhenish.

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#2: Claire’s I’m Almost Drunk Enough Not To Care I’m Married And the Scene Where I Catch You Kissing Laoghaire Hasn’t Happened Yet Face – This is the only positive side effect of your excessive drinking, Claire. Have another glass of rhenish.

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#1: Claire’s I’m Going Home Face – Don’t tell Claire, but she looks happier here than when having sex with Frank. She should try to sneak back a bottle of rhenish.

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Episode 104: THE GATHERING

#5: Claire’s I Wish I’d Been Struck Suddenly Blind For Ten Seconds Face – See. I told you. You’re probably wishing your sense of smell had been zapped, too.

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#4: Claire’s I Look So Darn Cute In This Cape You Should Help Me Escape Face – Again . . . please . . . Claire, just ask someone – anyone – to take you to Craigh Na Dun.

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#3: Claire’s I Knew We Should Have Stayed In The Stable and Had a Roll In The Hay Face – Murtagh agrees with you.

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#2: Claire’s I Could Give Angus A Bottle Of Piss And His Palate Wouldn’t Know The Difference Face – Don’t be fooled by his comical behavior, Claire. He’s really a clouty bastard.

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#1: Claire’s My Ovaries Just Exploded Face – Yeah, Claire. Join the club. Every time Jamie says, “Je suis prest” – that kind of happens.

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P. S. We know you were looking at Jamie’s chest when he took his shirt off even though you pretended not to be.

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Episode 105: RENT

#5: Claire’s Oops! I Can’t Believe Angus Just Saw Me Peeing Face – Fair’s fair, I guess. Personally, I think he got the better show.

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#4: Claire’s I Hate All Men Right Now Even You Neutered Jamie Face – Don’t worry, Claire. It’s only a plot device to create conflict so when you all become friends we’ll say, “Aww. Yay!”

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#3: Claire’s I Believe Your Left Hand Gets Jealous Of Your Right Face – I think this band of Highlanders invented carpal tunnel syndrome with all the bragging they do.

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#2: Claire’s Omg! He’s So Adorable I Want To Show Him What A Bad Reputation Is Face – Do it, Claire!

You never listen to me.

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#1: Claire’s Absence Hear Thou My Protestation. Against Thy Strength, Distance And Length Face – Metaphysical rhetoric only gets you so far, Claire – plus THE WEDDING is two episodes away!

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Episode 106: THE GARRISON COMMANDER

#5: Claire’s Oops! There Goes My Ride Face – This could have been a short series if you’d kept your eyes averted and your mouth shut. Good for you. Bad for us.

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#4: Claire’s I Hope He’s Buying My Fake Tears Face – WE didn’t buy your fake tears, Claire, and we were rooting for you.

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#3: Claire’s I’ve Never Sat This Close To Evil But I Believe He Can Still Be Redeemed Face – Yeah, no. Never trust a man who gets a yoo-hoo while talking about flogging another man nearly to death.

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#2: Claire’s Why Can’t Your Deranged Six-Times Great-Grandfather Be More Like You Face – Frank’s apple fell way the hell from another tree altogether.

Oh, and I hope you threw that damn straight razor away!

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#1: Claire’s I’ve Never Seen Such A Good Looking Virgin Face – And he’s all yours for the low, low price of your fidelity.

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Episode 107: THE WEDDING

#5: Claire’s I Just Remembered Why I Don’t Have Sex With Virgins Face – The night is young, Claire, and so is Jamie . . .

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#4: Claire’s You’re Mad! Face – Aww! Poor Frank never had a chance.

I blame Hitler.

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#3: Claire’s Here Comes The Bride Face – Maybe if Frank had married you in the damn chapel, this wouldn’t be happening. #ButterflyEffect

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#2: Claire’s I’ve Never Had A Kiss Give Me An Orgasm Face – Wait ’til you see what he can do with his boots off.

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#1: Claire’s I Am A Twentieth Century Vixen Face – Hate her. Love her. Hate her. Love her. Hate her. Love her. Hate her. Love her. Hate her.

LOVE HER!

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Tune in to Starz on September 27th,  2014 for the mid-season finale of Outlander Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW.

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Episode 107 – The Wedding – The Gàidhlig bits I Could Decipher

Candida_LN:

Mandy did her diligent duty this week, picking out bits of Gàidhlig for us. She had to watch and listen to certain scenes several times, but she’s a dedicated decipherer so didn’t mind. Check out her blog to find out what the groom said during Ep107: THE WEDDING.

Originally posted on Great Scot!:

Well, isn’t it nice to be back to an episode with some Gàidhlig? Oh, and that little other matter of a certain couple getting married. ;-)

While there wasn’t a great deal of Gàidhlig dialogue this week, we did get some great new words as well as repeats of some old favorites. Dare I hope that some of you are starting to recognize and understand some of the more common words and phrases?

21:01 Jamie to the tavern wench when she gives him food

Taing dhut – Thanks

23:03 Jamie to Claire (We’ve all been waiting for this one!)

Mo nigheandonn – My brown-haired lass

34:39 Jame to Claire when she admits to drinking the day of the wedding

Slàinte – health, cheers

39:38 Jamie and Claire’s Blood Vow at the wedding

I didn’t translate this myself but saw this yesterday. I’m not sure that it’s 100% accurate as…

View original 61 more words

Ep107_cover

Jamie’s Top 40 Looks from Outlander Episode #107: THE WEDDING

Before I begin, I have to warn you – given the hotness of the latest episode, I decided to write my captions accordingly. While I strive to be respectful of the actors, we’re all here to have a little fun. So in advance, I apologize to anyone I may offend. Now, down to business

As I state in my review, Outlander Episode #107: THE WEDDING is blazing hot. Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) sizzle together even when they aren’t touching. As the show progresses, the heat factor also increases.

Due to popular request, I turned my Top 30 Looks into a Top 40. Yes, I know 50 is better than 40 and 100 is better than 50, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the selections I made this week. I’m eager to hear from you regarding my cream of the crops. Because I was unable to limit my favorite shots to a Top 10, I call special attention to the final 15. Let me know which is your favorite!

#40: Jamie’s Do I Need To Hide The Whiskey? Face – Isn’t the alcohol content in whiskey higher in the 18th Century? I’m surprised Claire is still alive.

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#39: Jamie’s I Can’t Believe I’m Being Rejected On My Honeymoon Face – It’s too late to annul. By the way, thank you very much for that. But I’d be happy to pay for a quickie divorce. I’m sure Claire will be fine . . .

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#38: Jamie’s Don’t Talk About The Woman I Might Marry That Way Face – You should hear what he says to her when you’re not around.

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#37: Jamie’s Women Love A Man Who Loves His Mother Face – You got that right, stud.

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#36: Jamie’s We Need To Make Our Marriage Official Face – Lord, do I wish this wasn’t fan fiction.

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#35: Jamie’s What’s That About Consummation? Face – I sent you pictures, Jamie. Did you not get them?

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#34: Jamie’s I’d Like To Make A Toast Face – He said “make a toast,” Claire – not “get toasted.”

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#33: Jamie’s Take My Hand Face – Is this a trick?

Ow! Damn screen.

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#32: Jamie’s Here’s Comes The Groom Face – Well, not quite yet. #DidISayThatOutLoud?

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#31: Jamie’s Your Servant Face – You can service me any where, any time, any place on my body, Jamie.

Oh, ser-vant. Never mind.

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#30:  Jamie’s To Sleep Or To Bed? Face – You really have to ask?

Off topic, is that the shirt that rips easily down the back?

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#29: Jamie’s She’s Not Sorry She Married Me Face – Given your perfection, why would she be? That’s rhetorical, by the way.

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#28: Jamie’s Claire Has A Sweet Smile Face – Who knew such a sweet face could get so nasty?

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#27: Jamie’s Yeah She Wants Me Face – Wait a second! I’ve got the paperwork right here. Just sign by these little red tabs.

Damn it, Claire. Make up your mind.

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#26: Jamie’s Did You Like It? Face – What’s a little crushing?

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#25: Jamie’s Three Conditions Face – Oh, boy. Are you going to hit the jackpot with these three conditions.

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#24: Jamie’s I’m Not Listening Any More Sex Face – I have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about here . . . something about a key? Whatever. I just want Jamie to look at me this way.

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#23: Jamie’s They’re Very Precious To Me – As Are You Claire Face – Can we hate Claire for just one second?

Okay. I love her again!

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#22: Jamie’s And Now They Belong To My Wife Face – Hate her again.

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#21: Jamie’s I Must Marry Claire Face – I never had a chance, did I?

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#20: Jamie’s My Mother’s Pearls Face – For weeks I’ve been complaining about Jamie not sleeping in the nude. Now, I have to deal with this dark lighting? What is wrong with this show?

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#19: Jamie’s Mo Nighean Donn Face – Oooh. I’ve been waiting for that one! It’s the closest he’s come to saying my name.

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#18: Jamie’s Thank You Uncle Dougal Face – Translation: F#@* You, Uncle Dougal while I go upstairs and make love to the beautiful woman you gave me. But really, THANK YOU!

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#17: Jamie’s I Look Adorable When I’m Asleep Face – Shhh. Don’t wake Jamie. He needs his rest. 1,000,000 women are awaiting their turn.

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#16: Jamie’s I Look Just As Good Waking Up As I Do Asleep Face – Umm. Drawing a blank here. Can you lie down and get back up again? Oh, and maybe move up a little on the bed? This camera is a lock off.

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And somehow I managed to whittle the list down to a Top 15. Enjoy!

#15: Jamie’s James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser Face – The following two images work in union. Feel free to bask.

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#14: Jamie’s I’m Taking My Shirt Off At Your Request Face – I am loving you so much right now, Claire. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now, can you move to your left?

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#13: Jamie’s I Want To Be Married By A Priest Face – I’m sorry. What were you saying? I was too busy melting in your liquid blue eyes to listen.

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#12: Jamie’s I Can Tap This Any Time I Want Face – If he can do this to her by touching only her shoulder . . .

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#11: Jamie’s Tha Mi ‘n Dùil Sgàin Mo Chridhe Face – When Jamie has a really powerful orgasm, he switches to Gàidhlig. Good going, Claire!

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#10: Jamie’s Did I Do That? Face – When Claire has a really powerful orgasm, she makes Jamie smile. Good going, Claire!

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#9: Jamie’s I’ve Never Seen A Naked Woman Up Close Face – Now, you tell me.

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#8: Jamie’s I Thought My Heart Was Going To Burst Face – Me, too, Jamie. Me, too.

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#7: Jamie’s I’m Escorting My Reluctant Bride To The Church Face – Oh, is that who she is? I was too busy watching you. You’re not supposed to outshine the bride.

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#6: Jamie’s My Brown-Haired Lass Face – Finally! I get a little attention around here.

Oh, you weren’t talking to me.

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#5: Jamie’s I Just Kissed The Most Beautiful Bride Face – All right. That’s too sweet for me to make a joke.

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#4: Jamie’s I Said I Was A Virgin Not A Monk Face – Okay then, I need to kiss more virgins.

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#3: Jamie’s I’m Laughing At Myself Face – This is what I want to see. Jamie laughing in bed. The only thing that would make this picture better is if we lose the shirt.

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#2: Jamie’s And Not One That’s Mine Face – This particular look is more about the words and the way Jamie says them as he takes Claire into his arms.

Oh, my. I need to watch that again . . . and again . . . and again. Ooh. Maybe throw a “je suis prest” in there and we have ovaries exploding.

 I’d also like to point out, I was right about the shirt.

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#1: Jamie’s Take Off Yours As Well Face – I thought you’d never ask. Good night!

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The Outlander mid-season finale Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW airs on Starz on Saturday, 27 September in the U.S.

If you missed last week’s Top 30, you’ll find Jamie and Black Jack Randall’s Top 15 Looks here: Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #106: THE GARRISON COMMANDER

My review for Ep107 is also available: A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #107: THE WEDDING

Ep107_Title_00001

A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #107: THE WEDDING

Check out the Top 40 Looks from Outlander Episode #107: THE WEDDING

Ep107 THE WEDDING has a lot, and I mean a lot . . . of hand holding. Hands are good for so many things, most notably for touching. There hasn’t been as much touching in any of the other episodes combined. And I’m not only talking about Claire and Jamie. Everyone gets in on the touching action in this episode – not all of it gentle.

Last week, I summed up THE GARRISON COMMANDER in two words: Bloody brilliant. This week, I sum up THE WEDDING with two new words: Blazing hot.

What makes this episode blazing hot are the two people for whom we’ve been waiting to touch these past seven weeks, beyond playing footsie under the table and patching up the latest black eye. Caitriona Balfe (Claire Beauchamp-Fraser) and Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) sizzle together onscreen, elevating their performances to yet another level of intimacy, vulnerability and open honesty.

I make no secret of my concerns regarding Jamie’s character arc thus far. I feel in certain story lines, his responses have been lessened compared to his actions in the Outlander novel by Diana Gabaldon. He’s also been held in the shadows while the main plot develops and other characters are expanded. With this episode, we seem to have caught up with our ginger-haired hero, and it is indeed a pleasure to spend quality time with him.

Expectations were extremely high this week, putting co-Executive Producer & writer for this episode, Anne Kenney, and Director Anna Foerster in the spotlight. Both did an admirable job in this latest chapter of the story, but I believe Ms. Foerster’s masterful direction did most of the heavy lifting. I don’t normally pay attention to insert shots during a first viewing, but the small touches added made a large impact in my viewing pleasure which you will learn as I discuss the episode.

Past the kitty, SPOILERS are ahead.

Anna_Foerster_00001 Anne_Kenney_00001

The newest aspects introduced in this episode are the alternate character perspectives, mostly Jamie’s. Angus (Stephen Walters), Rupert (Grant O’Rourke), Ned (Bill Paterson), Willie (Finn Den Hertog) and Dougal (Graham McTavish) all carry a few delightful scenes on their own as flashbacks through Jamie’s storytelling. Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is at Jamie’s side in each of his first person perspectives.

Flashbacks are a story device either loved or hated by most. I happen to love flashback storytelling when done right. I am happy to report, I believe it is done very well in THE WEDDING and adds to the anticipation and momentum of Claire and Jamie’s budding relationship. Rather than the traditional build up from wedding to wedding night, the story jumps right into the honeymoon suite.

But before we get to the hot and heavy sequences, let’s start at the beginning. The first flashback is one of only two Claire has, and it all starts with hand holding.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Frank (Tobias Menzies) are happy and in love. #fact
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Excited Frank (Tobias Menzies) proposes marriage to Claire (Caitriona Balfe). He looks more like he’s terrified she’ll say yes. #fact
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Claire (Caitirona Balfe) accepts Frank’s (Tobias Menzies) proposal of marriage. Caitriona looks adorable in hats. #fact

Mr. Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) is escorting Miss Claire Beauchamp to a luncheon with his parents, her first time meeting them. In an act of spontaneous romanticism, he proposes marriage in front of the local registration office. 

“You’re mad!”

Claire exclaims, but she agrees and they skip into the building together, still holding hands.

This is probably a departure from the novel which may ruffle a few feathers. Claire and Jamie are supposed to get married in the same chapel where Claire married Frank. Obviously, that doesn’t happen here which leads to other changes in the story. I mention this deviation as a fact, not a complaint. Because of the flashback format of the episode, the chapel conspiracy would only have convoluted the story; therefore, I’m fine with the change.

Another wonderful rip through the space-time continuum occurs as Claire kisses Frank to the voiceover announcement that “the groom may now kiss the bride.” We cut from happy bride to unhappy bride Claire kissing Jamie.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is an unhappy bride. Claire is crazy. #fact

It’s not clear if her first wedding memory is on her mind while kissing Jamie. This is a good time for Claire to stop thinking about Frank – at least for the rest of the day.

The real story begins in the middle. Claire and Jamie have just gotten married and finished celebrating with his kin. We join Claire alone in the honeymoon suite, waiting for her groom while the festivities continue down below. The suite is a whale-like chamber complete with a romantic fireplace and large bed. Everything a newly wed couple needs.

04_Awkward_honeymoon_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) have an awkward moment in the bridal chamber. Awkward and bridal are not two words you want in the same sentence. #fact

Jamie enters to find a tense Claire sitting in her corset and undergown. Her wedding dress, of which we are given only a close-up glimpse, lies discarded on the floor. They have a short awkward conversation regarding the making of their marriage official.

Jamie is trying to make the best of the situation, understandably confused by Claire’s mood and general pissed-off demeanor. At this point, she is most likely angry with every man in her life – past, present and future. She’s a fiercely independent woman being commanded and forced into having sex with the best looking man she’s ever met in her life, and she can’t even enjoy it. She turns to her usual solution – alcohol. They break out the whiskey, and Jamie makes a short but sincere toast:

“To a lady of grace . . . Woman of strength . . . And a bride of astonishing beauty . . . my wife, Claire Fraser.”

Yeah. Yeah. Claire drinks to her beauty. Refills their glasses and drinks again. Jamie watches as she refills her glass a third time, no longer waiting for him to catch up.
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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) boozes it up. This is stock Claire photography. #nottrue
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By the end of the night, the room should be littered with empty bottles. #fact

The show’s had a great deal of fun making Claire out to be a lush, but Jamie’s face doesn’t show appreciation. He raises his glass between each refill to make further toasts then gives up. Finally, he puts a hand on her arm and assures her that he has no intention of forcing himself on her. Little does he know his prowess is the least of Claire’s concerns. Jamie has said all the right things, they just happen to be all the wrong things to say to Claire.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) asks Jamie (Sam Heughan) why he married her. Claire cannot resist Jamie from across the room. It doesn’t work that way. #fact

With liquid courage coursing through her veins, Claire ask Jamie why he agreed to marry her. She had no choice in the matter but is convinced he has better things to do with his time than lose his virginity.

Jamie explains the situation from his point of view, and we flashback to his conversation in the barn with Dougal, Ned, and Murtagh. Ned makes clear what must be done on a hasty timeline, i.e. consummating the marriage within earshot of witnesses.

Apparently, Jamie wasn’t given all the details of his shotgun wedding when he agreed to marry Claire. He appears shocked to learn she has to have sex with him right away. Did he think it was one-way? Or maybe he didn’t see last week’s episode.

This scene feels out of conjunction with Jamie and Claire’s “important conversation.” What exactly has changed to make Jamie say?

“If Claire does become my wife . . .”

He can’t possibly think she’d rather choose option A) be turned over to the English, imprisoned, questioned none too politely, and tortured almost certainly. I suppose he might feel persuading her to have sex with him – as Dougal puts it – is just as bad or worse than what Black Jack will do to her. Whatever his reasoning, Dougal brings Jamie to an abrupt halt by reminding him of Black Jack’s evilness. Yeah. I think Jamie is the last person who will ever forget what’s inside Black Jack.

“So you married me to keep me safe.”

Claire says when we swing back to the honeymoon suite. Jamie nods as if it’s nothing then turns on the heroic charm with:

“You have my name. My clan. My family. And if necessary, the protection of my body as well.”

This is the first point in the story where I wonder why Claire is not jumping Jamie’s bones, specifically when he says the word “body.”

Calmly, she sets her glass down – Step 1 – and joins him on the bed. Ever so slightly, she drifts toward him or maybe she’s off balance from too much whiskey. Jamie’s okay with that and takes her hand to lean in for the hero’s kiss.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) hold hands. Awkward handholds do not lead to hot kisses. #fact
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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) almost kiss. Don’t think. Just kiss. The rest will come naturally. #fact

I think this is an excellent place to stop and talk about the MacKenzie and Fraser family trees. Claire thinks so, too –Jamie a little less. But he’s a good sport and nervous as hell, so he goes with it.

I rather like this version of the honeymoon. It’s playful and very much in line with both characters. In the novel, Jamie is just as nervous but approaches their unorthodox situation with a horse handler’s experience – by suggesting they hold hands while they talk. He understands the importance of touch and the development of trust. It’s missing from this scene, but we do see a glimpse of it later. It happens to be my favorite scene in the episode. More when we get to it.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) have a good laugh on their honeymoon. Marrying a man who looks like Jamie leads to great sex. #fact

Several hours pass with Jamie telling story after story. They drink more whiskey. The sun sets. Claire shares what she can about her life and manages to stay sitting up. Eventually, the whiskey (about a barrel’s worth by now) and Jamie’s natural storytelling ability relaxes her. This is starting to feel like the perfect first date until Rup and Ang barge into the room to check on kilted matters.

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Angus (Stephen Walters) and Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) interrupt the tea party. Marrying one of these two does not lead to great sex. #fact

Dougal has sent them upstairs to find out if Claire has put a smile on her new husband’s face yet. I can’t really tell if they’re drunk or back to their old selves – maybe both. They argue and are tossed out by Jamie before coming to a consensus on the groom’s virginity.

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) have another awkward moment. You can’t have sex from 10 feet away, unless the guy . . . #fact

Alone again, an awkwardness returns. While Jamie stares around the room at nothing and Claire sits coyly on the bed, I’ll jump in and say – Thank goodness she wasn’t forced to marry one of the two dimwits. She has yet to know Jamie very well, but it’s plain to see she has absolutely nothing in common with Ang and/or Rup. I can’t imagine the hellish wedding night with either of those two.

Back to Jamie and Claire. She, being the non-virgin, makes a fine and dandy suggestion:

“. . .  it’s getting rather late. Perhaps we should go to bed?”

Jamie’s courage is on the rise, probably in direct relation to a certain part of his anatomy which until tonight has seen very little action.

“To bed . . . or to sleep?”

I could be mistaken, but he seems to add a little swagger to his delivery with a wobble of the head. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be cute, cocky, or sexy. I don’t think he knows either. Regardless, it works on Claire, but then she’s drunk.

Given this is Jamie’s first time with a woman, he catches on fast by offering to help her undress. After all, Mrs. Fitz isn’t around, and Claire can’t possibly handle all the tiny buttons, laces and doodads in her current condition.

Hand action ensues. Claire takes Jamie’s hand and rises from the bed. Jamie takes Claire’s whiskey which leaves her hands free to fidget. I hope this is a sign of sexual anticipation and not alcohol withdrawal. It’s only been about 5 seconds.

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) takes Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) hand. This is not a handjob #fact
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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie’s shirt are deciding what to do next. A hand cannot have a relationship with a shirt, not even Jamie’s. #fact

What comes next sobers Claire up right quick. Imagine this . . .

You turn around so Jamie can unfasten the ties of your ridiculous skirt and undergarments. Not very sexy, so you want them off as quickly as possible. Step 2 is complete.

Now Jamie’s hand slowly runs up along your arm, skimming over your exposed shoulder. His gentle fingers pull on the ribbon tied around your neck, releasing the wispy band to slide down over your breasts.

Step 3: With a shy smile he turns you around to face him. He is mesmerized by your beauty and your reaction to his touch. His eagerness grows as he undoes the front of your corset. It slides to the ground to join the puddle of clothing at your feet. All that separates you now is a gauzy chemise – molecules of transparency.

Shall I go on or would you rather stop reading and watch the episode again? I can wait but while you’re gone, I’m going to talk about first kisses.

The first kiss is very, very important to women. I’m not saying it’s not important to men, but I’m a woman – so I can only speak from a female perspective.

It’s all about anticipation. Claire has been wondering, as their evening draws on, what it will be like to kiss Jamie. Silly Claire. She’s expecting she’ll have to teach him. But then again, he seems to know what to do with his hands. Just because he’s never touched a woman’s breast doesn’t mean he can’t figure it out – as he quickly proves.

Once again, the scene is played a bit different from the novel. Literary Claire is less nervous and takes early command. She removes his shirt and slowly runs her hands across his chest before kneeling down to slide her hands up his kilt. When she touches the Cracker Jack surprise, Jamie pulls her up for their first real kiss.

In the show Claire doesn’t get that far. She unbuckles his kilt which is enough for Jamie to plant one on her. No pictures here. Kissing in an action verb and thus should be watched in action. I highly recommend it – watching the scene, I mean. And kissing, for that matter. I do provide an adorable insert shot of Claire rising up on her toes, the better to kiss Jamie.

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Claire (I don’t think that’s really Caitriona Balfe) rises up on her toes to kiss Jamie (I don’t think that’s really Sam Heughan) Standins. #fact

Now that he’s knocked her socks off – well, not quite yet. Claire asks in a very breathy voice the epic question:

“Where did you learn to kiss like that?”

19_first_real_kiss_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) finally kiss. They were not faking that. #fact

To which Jamie replies – say it with me, girls:

“I said I was a virgin, not a monk.”

Then in a very definite cocky tone, he adds:

“If I find I need guidance, I’ll ask.”

Jamie proceeds to line her up for a rear mount, but Claire takes command. In unspoken direction, she pulls Jamie down onto the bed, face-to-face! Two-minutes later, we see Jamie’s reaction down below.

20_Claire_laughs_at_Jamie_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) talk after sex. They did fake that. #fact

“I dinna realize you did it face-to-face.”

Jamie says sheepishly.

Claire reacts with a laugh which, by the way, makes her a big fat liar. She promised she wouldn’t. If literary Claire can hold it in . . . just sayin’.

When Jamie asks if she liked it, Claire’s reaction is delayed. It’s clear on her face she liked it quite a bit, and that’s the problem. Claire’s never had a casual sexual encounter her entire life. She thought she could remain detached and stay true to Frank, but that don’t work with Jamie. Maybe with Rup or Ang, she would have fantasized about Frank, but Jamie is an impossible man to substitute.

21_Claire_the_bigamist_00001
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is a bigamist and an adulterer. Jamie (Sam Heughan) doesn’t know he’s married to a bigamist and an adulterer. Geillis can fix it. #fact

Sex shame falls on Claire. She admits to liking it and calls herself names. Jamie perks up, not able to read her confusion. He’s just happy she liked it. Claire can’t handle his innocent happy face and dashes from the room for food, wearing only her chemise. Jamie runs after her, and they both stop on the landing outside their room to the sound of catcalls and rude remarks from the men down below in the tap room.

Gotta say, I didn’t care for this rendition of the scene. I’m also not sure why Claire stands on the landing staring down at the men as they shout up at her. As a modern woman, especially one serving in WWII, this is nothing. Either ignore them or go back into the room. Jamie steps closer and tells her to go back inside. Thank you, Jamie, for bringing that part of the scene to an end.

The rest is a welcome perspective addition to the story. Jamie strolls through the tavern in only his boots and shirt – hilarious, by the way – and makes up a plate of food. He dishes out the insults as they’re served to him. Then he approaches a very drunk, very smiley Murtagh by the fireplace and accepts his godfather’s congratulations.

22_Murtagh_proud_godfather_00001
Proud Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) congratulates Jamie (Sam Heughan) for losing his cherry. I think Duncan is really laughing here. #fact
23_Jamie_not_a_virgin_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) wonders if he looks different ’cause he sure feels f#*@ing great. Lasting longer than 30 seconds feels even better. #fact

Heading back upstairs, Jamie passes a grumpy Dougal. His uncle has been nursing his decision all night, pissed he’s not the one ploughing Claire. Is Dougal in love or in lust with the Sassenach? The show has certainly amped up his feelings for her much more than in the novel. I have a few problems with this subplot but am eager to see how far they take it. Dougal is an enigmatic character who adds an interesting spark to the Jamie/Claire dynamic.

Back upstairs, our newlywed couple dine on what look like steak fries, and Claire talks Jamie into opening another barrel of whiskey. He fills her glass then reaches out to touch the back of her neck – a completely natural gesture. Claire shies away from the intimate contact. She’s still fighting her attraction and doesn’t want to get too comfortable too soon. Jamie moves away, not happy about being rejected by his wife so soon. He figured he had a few more months before that happened.

Claire realizes she’s being silly – Silly Claire! – and apologizes. I’m detailing this short scene because it leads up to my favorite in the episode.

Jamie smiles from across the room and returns to stand behind her. He’s back to staring at her with an openness spawned by true love. Jamie loves Claire, and now she’s his. It shows in the way he looks at her, and especially the way he touches her.

Here, he teaches her a bit of Gàidhlig:

Mo nighean donn,”

he says softly. “My brown-haired lass.” Note: I have brown hair, too.

26_Jamie_seduces_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) plays with Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) hair. Letting a man touch your hair is good. #fact

Claire smiles at his teasing tone, not realizing he’s no longer playing. This young man is figuring out the sex-love connection pretty darn fast, and he’s ready to try his hand at seducing. It takes only a second for her expression to change.

Jamie’s warm steady fingers – I’m positive they’re warm – caress the back of her long neck. Then he slips his hand under the blanket covering her shoulders and pulls it off. His fingers brush along the edge of her barely-there chemise. It’s in the way.

Yeah. He’s ready to go again.

Claire doesn’t dare turn around and look into his eyes.

I love the play between these two – the wrangler and the skittish colt. Jamie puts his animal husbandry skills to good husbandly use. It’s my favorite interaction between them because it’s subtle, sexy, playful and so very Claire and Jamie.

27_Jamie_seduces_5_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) moves to Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) neck. Letting a man touch your neck is even better. #fact

The main difference between the honeymoon scene in the book and the show is mileage. Jamie and Claire’s growing intimacy is stretched out in the show. It starts out slow and tentative and builds as they get to know each other. It makes their final lovemaking scene all the more powerful. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

While Jamie plays with Claire’s neck, she slows down his libido by asking him more questions. Jamie humors her and jumps back into storytelling mode. Several flashbacks follow.

Jamie and Murtagh have a bonding moment in the barn over a broach belonging to Jamie’s mother, Ellen. Murtagh compares Claire’s sweet smile to that of Ellen’s, helping to allay Jamie’s reservations about marrying a complete stranger – even one as pretty as Claire.

30_Murtagh's_smile_00001
Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) thinks Claire has a sweet smile. Duncan Lacroix has a sweet smile under that great big bushy beard. #fact

Jamie then lays out to Dougal his three conditions for marrying Claire. He wants a church wedding, a ring and a proper wedding dress for his bride. In the novel, he also insists on an extended honeymoon at an inn. Dougal and Willie procure the use of a dilapidated church, using threats then honey to induce the priest to forget about the required 3-week bans. Rupert and Angus are sent to procure the ring from the local blacksmith. And Ned Gowan pays a visit to a whorehouse to buy a dress for Claire. He transacts a bit of business for himself, telling the whore he follows up the stairs, “not too fast.” I doubt she’ll be saying that to him.

Claire’s hours leading up to the ceremony are less productive and more booze-related. As in the novel, she gets stinking drunk and has to be dragged from her bed. Murtagh does a fine job of having her whipped into shape. Where exactly did he find strong, black coffee?

31_Murtagh_wakes_Claire_00001
Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) wakes Claire from a booze induced stupor. Murtagh is way cooler than Dougal. #fact
32_Claire's_wedding_day_00001
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has a monstrous hangover. The words “monstrous hangover” would never have been used in the 18th Century. #fact

Finally, we arrive at the wedding. The story of the ceremony floats back and forth between Jamie and Claire. Mostly it’s from Jamie’s perspective because Claire has very little memory of her big day though she does remember some later parts. In Jamie’s words:

“I remember every moment . . . every second. 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.”

Claire_in_dress
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is the most beautiful bride. #fact

From beginning to end Claire is in a daze, being swept along by the events. Dressed by strangers. Marrying a stranger. She looks up at Jamie as the enamored groom approaches her and tells him she can’t marry him because she doesn’t know his name. I guess she was too drunk (how long is that excuse going to work?) to read it off the marriage certificate she signed.

Jamie, standing proud in Fraser plaid, speaks his full name for the first time:

“James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser,”

pausing between each name. Claire holds out her hand, introducing herself to her new life-long partner.

“Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp.”

35_hands_meeting_00001
James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan) meets Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp (Caitriona Balfe). If you travel back to the 18th Century, you will find a groom like Jamie. #notfact

Dougal decides they’ve had plenty of time to get to know one another – Who needs more than 5 seconds of hand holding anyway? – and encourages them to move things along. I think he’s trying to get Claire married to Jamie before he changes his mind and elopes with her to Paris.

I’ll let the ceremony speak for itself.

37_wedding_2_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) exchange wedding vows. Jamie is the best looking groom. #fact
38_wedding_hands_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) holds Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) hands. Jamie wants to hold something else. #fact
39_Dougal_cuts_in_00001
Dougal (Graham McTavish) wants to stab Jamie (Sam Heughan) and elope with Claire (Caitriona Balfe). #fact
40_Claire's_ow_1_00001
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) doesn’t like being pricked by a prick. #fact
41_Dougal_ties_the_knot_1_00001
Dougal (Graham McTavish) “ties the knot” between Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe). Dougal still wants to stab Jamie and elope with Claire – maybe some place tropical. #fact
42_blood_oath_1_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) exchange blood.
43_saying_blood_oath_1_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) exchange blood vows. “You’re Bone of my Bone. You’re Blood of my Blood. I give my body, so might two be one. I give my spirt, ’til our life be done” This is romantic. #fact
Wedding_kiss
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) kiss. Claire is not thinking of Frank right now. Oops. #fact

Claire may not remember much, but she does recall the kiss. Though this isn’t the passion they share in the honeymoon suite, she clearly reciprocates his ardor. Jamie confesses to thinking:

“When you kissed me like that . . . Well . . . Maybe you weren’t so sorry to be marrying me after all?”

Silly Jamie. Silly Claire. So much miscommunication going on between these two. Thank goodness for Uncle Dougal playing matchmaker.

From here on out, Claire and Jamie come together because they want each other, not because it’s a duty. True, it’s a duty James is more than happy to perform, but he honestly wants to understand Claire, to please her.

He tried flattery. It made her drink. He tried storytelling. It got him one roll in the sack. He tried seducing. It made her nervous for all the right reasons though he doesnt’ know that.

44_Claire_seduces_1_00001
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) wants Jamie (Sam Heughan). Claire is most definitely not thinking of Frank right now. #fact

Claire finally decides, she’s ready to give Jamie the night of his life. No more holding back. No more guilt. No more nice girl. With the touch of her hand, she grabs his attention.

45_Claire's_ready_1_00001
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) wants Jamie (Sam Heughan) to take her. We want Jamie to take Claire #fact

It’s naked time. Claire orders Jamie:

“Take off your shirt. I want to look at you.”

In the novel, this is something Claire requests very early. She dives into the deep end and takes Jamie with her. I rather like the build up to this moment in the show. It’s what the writers and producers knew they had to do to make up for the lack of camaraderie between Jamie and Claire in the last few episodes. I’ll admit, I think it’s still missing from these scenes. There’s very little humor and joking between them which is part of what makes their relationship so special on page. But Ms. Balfe and Mr. Heughan do a lovely job of bringing Claire and Jamie together in a romantic, I-have-to-have-you-or-I’m-going-to-die sort of way. I think their offscreen friendship is what pulls it off. They trust each other and work well together which makes for an engaging onscreen chemistry.

The scene which follows is scintillating from Claire’s exploration of Jamie’s body with her hands and eyes to Jamie’s claiming of Claire as his own. Neither one of them holds back, especially Claire who decides she’s been too lady-like for long enough. I won’t describe the details of their sensual sex scene. That’s for you to enjoy on your own.

Jamie falls asleep – naturally – which leaves Claire alone and in need of a drink – of water this time. She traipses downstairs in Jamie’s kilt and finds the tavern empty. Dougal enters with that sixth sense of his  and calls out her name:

“Mrs. Fraser.’

Frankly, I wish this part had been left out entirely. Dougal is confused; thus, I am confused. He wants her. He doesn’t like her. I guess he doesn’t have to like her to bed her. The scene would make much more sense if he were drunk, but he’s stone-cold sober having just come from a visit with Jonathan Randall. He reports Claire is in the clear – for now – so it seems. But she’s not safe from his advances. Dougal is still looking for payment for all the times he’s saved her butt.

46_Dougal's_other_pleasures_1_1_00001
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) wants to throw up. I want to throw up. #fact

“I commend you for doing your duty,”

Dougal says with a hand cupping her chin,

“but it needn’t stop you from sampling other pleasures. I find you to be the most singular woman, Claire.”

46_Dougal's_other_pleasures_2_1_00001
Dougal (Graham McTavish) needs a girlfriend. #notAngus #fact

Dougal’s good. Dougal’s bad. Dougal wants to help Claire. Dougal wants to screw Claire. Dougal thinks she’s a whore. Dougal thinks she’s singular. I think he bounces back and forth so much, even he doesn’t know who he is or what he wants.

I’m going to defend Dougal and say I think this scene is way out of character for him. If he were drunk and back at Castle Leoch, then maybe he would hit on her. I don’t buy him trying this less than 24 hours after she marries his nephew. We get it. He finds her attractive, but he does too much lurking, smirking, pouting and grumping about it.

His confusion further shows when Rupert enters the tavern, greets Claire politely then makes a completely normal guy joke about her looking well-ridden by an inexperienced Jamie. Dougal punches him in the face and orders him to check on the horses again. Then he takes up drinking while watching Claire re-enter the bridal suite. Now, she’s Mother Theresa.

Back upstairs, Claire sits by the fireplace waiting for her Scot stud to wake up. From the look on her face, she’s at peace – her first moment of it since her arrival in the 18th Century. Jamie has given this to her.

As if her thoughts call to him, he wakes and stares at his new wife from across the room. Rising from the bed, he takes something from his sporran and drapes it around her neck, telling her:

48_Claire's_pearls_1_00001
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) looks like a 1940s siren next to her Scottish lover, Jamie (Sam Heughan). I have a girl-crush on Caitriona Balfe. #fact

“They’re Scotch pearls. They belonged to my mother. And now they belong to my wife. They’re one of the few things I have left of her. They’re very precious to me. As are you, Claire.”

Claire is touched by his tender honesty. He has shared himself completely with her. His words express a genuine feeling, and she does not trivialize his affection. Silently, hand-in-hand, they make love.

49_Jamie&Claire_holding_hands_1_00001
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) make love. I have a boy-crush on Sam Heughan. #fact

From consummation to sex to making love, Jamie and Claire experience it all in this episode. Claire may believe infatuation is driving her, but it’s something much stronger which she will eventually learn. Jamie falls in love only once in his life, but he recognizes it for what it is, though it’s more powerful than he ever imagined it could be.

This episode begins with Claire holding hands with Frank. In between, there’s much hand holding with Jamie as seen above. It ends with her staring at her own two hands. Two rings. Two husbands. Two lives. Two loves?

51_Claire's_hands_1_00001
Claire’s hands. I can’t tell if these are Caitriona Balfe’s hand or a hand standin. #fact

Overall, I enjoyed this episode very much and admit to watching it with a smile on my face – simply because I was happy to watch Claire and Jamie together. The script is not as strong as that for THE GATHERING nor as brilliant as the writing for THE GARRISON COMMANDER. It had a lot to achieve in a short span of time, and I think it accomplished the task.

I mentioned an open honesty at the beginning of my review and was disappointed to lose the dialogue from Jamie at the start of their first night together. Trust and honesty are very important elements in their relationship, established early on. The history of Claire’s origin is the one thing she cannot share with him which leads to several problems, as the readers know.

I am looking forward to many more perspective changes in the story – a huge and intriguing departure from the novel. The additions create an interesting potential for the scenes in Wentworth and Lallybroch.

Going back to the wedding, I’d like to point out one other obvious scene removed from the show – that of Claire fainting after the ceremony. I am guessing it was eliminated because of the change in location. Without the chapel where she and Frank were married, there’s less reminder and connection to her first wedding. It’s a charming scene in the novel and would have been lovely to see, but it’s not necessary in this story line as written.

Ron Moore and Terry Dresbach’s podcast for Episode 107: THE WEDDING is available for free on  iTunes or you can listen to it here. Mr. Moore also gives us another inside look at the making of this episode with special attention on Claire’s incredible wedding dress:

The final 2014 Outlander Episode #108: BOTH SIDES NOW airs on Starz on Saturday, 27 September in the U.S.

The Timeless Marriage between a Bloody Scot and an English Rose

Jamie and Claire’s live action wedding and honeymoon is upon us. I couldn’t resist writing a companion sonnet to the formerly entitled: Highland Groom. After all, what’s a groom without a bride?

If you missed Jamie’s sonnet in the wedding invitation I created earlier this week, here it is again with a handsome picture of our happy husband – at least he will be momentarily, I’m sure. It’s newly entitled: Bloody Scot.

Bloody_Scot

Claire’s sonnet is entitled English Rose and includes a variation of a quote from Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander, Chapter 38: The Abbey.

“And if there was eternity, or even the idea of it, then perhaps Anselm was right; all things were possible. And all love? I wondered. I had loved Frank; I still did. And I loved Jamie, more than my own life. But bound in the limits of time and flesh, I could not keep them both. Beyond, perhaps? Was there a place where time no longer existed, or where it stopped? Anselm thought so. A place where all things were possible. And none were necessary.

And was there love there? Beyond the limits of flesh and time, was all love possible? Was it necessary?

The voice of my thoughts seemed to be Uncle Lamb’s. My family, and all I knew of love as a child. A man who had never spoken love to me, who had never needed to, for I knew he loved me, as surely as I knew I lived. For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.”

This is one of Claire’s most poignant moments as she meditates in the chapel of the monastery where Jamie lies dying. This is the night before Jamie shares with her the details of his ordeal with Jonathan Randall. It is through her genuflections in the chapel the answer to saving Jamie’s life comes to her. I selected this passage because it all comes down to the choice she makes for him here . . . to let him die or save his soul.

#English_Rose

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