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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
“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.”
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:
“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.
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?
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.
81 thoughts on “A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 107: THE WEDDING”
Reblogged this on tiacue22.
was just thinking if and when the following pops up in the show – they all point out that he married her to keep her safe, but like Dougal said himself, she kept silent the first time but if she were questioned again she would probably be forced to speak, and thus their big revolutionary Jacobite secret would be revealed. So actually he married her to keep quite a bunch of people safe, eh 🙂
I think that’s more Dougal’s motive than Jamie’s. He wanted to protect her from evilness. Jamie’s not a die-hard Jacobite – I don’t think.
I agree. But either way I don’t think Jamie would like it if all his companions got knocked down by the Dragoons and Black Jachopath, whatever the reason. The main thing remains – they’re married 🙂
Well, maybe Dougal. lol
/snorts/ he does have this special knack of being especially annoying
Thank YOU for the wonderful reviews – better by miles than my lengthy comments! And it is best, I know, to be attentive to that which is working well on this show. And a lot is working well, especially Cait and Sam. They are making the whole thing shine!
Once again, Candida _nails_ it. Best review I’ve seen!! #fact
I wholeheartedly agree with your comments.
I’ve tried a different tack, of just watching the last 2 episodes with no spoilers, no going online (including no social media), to see if that improves my experience of the show. I think it did, as I had fewer expectations – and lowered expectations.
Importantly, this is the first episode with no “Stupid Claire” blurting out dumb things which Novel Claire would never do, or petulantly getting judge-ey about the locals’ culture, stomping around in remonstrance or pouting. So this has to be my favorite episode thus far, as I was despairing due to all the “Stupid Claire” stuff. (It’s like they forgot this character had spent her childhood among other peoples and cultures, and for those of us who have done that, one of the things indelibly learned is tolerance for Other Ways of Doing Things, even if we disagree with aspects of those practices. And in the novels of course, Claire reflects that upbringing: she only ever speaks out if someone’s health or wellbeing is at stake, and then she usually finds a diplomatic or trick approach (like the ear-nailed-to-stocks rescue gambit), unless its an emergency.)
I truly don’t mind any of the adaptation changes except for the (a) Dumbing Down of Claire (and to a lesser extent, Dougal and his Clansmen), (b) the loss of important character development for Jamie leading up to the wedding, and similarly (c) the loss of important relationship development for Jamie and Claire. It’s the misfires on the character aspects I mind, not the exact language, clothing, location, or whatever. It’s the Who and the Why — because the What, Where, When and How are fine to modify if they really feel they have to. But the Who and the Why, the heart of Outlander, are the elements I find troubling when they are mishandled. What ultimately makes Jamie so heart-crushingly appealing is his emotional intelligence, learned from Brian, Ellen, and Jenny – and we’ve seen so much less of it by now than we should have.
Caitriona and Sam were wonderful with the material they were given, and I surely enjoyed their performances in this episode.
Overall the episode was enjoyable, and as we’ve seen, it could have been a lot worse…
Thank you Candida for an excellent job with the episode review!!
Glad to see you back, Laura. I was getting worried about your absence. Now, I know what you were doing and am happy to hear it recharged your experience.
Yes, I tend to focus my analysis on character development not changes to the story points. I am confident the producers have a plan that will get us where we need to be. Sometimes they make Claire, Jamie, and Dougal act in a way I do not believe is faithful to the novel, but it’s an opinion. Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is no right or wrong, just differences. Claire and Jamie are together now. Hopefully, they will grow together as they do in the novel.
Thanks for you lengthy comments!
You took the words right out of my mouth Laura! This is exactly how I feel – every word! Episodes 3 and 5 made my blood pressure go dangerously high for all the reasons you describe.
It was like watching Hermione being act dumb and Ron act smart.
The one thing I worry about is the time they are going to take away from all the important characters you list because they wasted a lot of time early on. I’m hoping that these early anomalies are just the show runners getting the kinks out of the machine.
Thank you for such a thoughtful recap. I’ve read several for this episode, and I really like yours. Two points:
1. I don’t think Dougal is at all conflicted. He’s ruthless in pursuit of his goals (protecting his brother’s lairdship of Clan MacKenzie and facilitating the return of Bonnie Prince Charlie); he’s an unrepentant opportunist; and he’s used to wielding and enjoying power. Claire appeals to him on many levels, and the facts that he dislike her, knows she is a liar, and even arranges her marriage to his nephew, don’t really factor into his attraction. On some level he recognizes her as an enemy, but there is room for admiration as well. This is a man who has mastered the art of compartmentalizing.
2. I do wish they had included Claire’s fainting. [WARNING: BOOK SPOILER COMING.] In book three (Voyager) when she returns to Jamie after more than two decades apart, he faints, and the first thing she says when he wakes is exactly what he said to her when she fainted on their wedding day. It makes for a sweet, poignant bookend.
Thank you so much, Ms. Ocher Velvet. I know there are a lot of reviews out there, though I don’t read them.
Regarding #1, I agree completely. As I state, I am eager to see how far they take Dougal’s obsession with Claire, but I stand by my opinion I don’t think he would hit on her on her wedding night – not without more alcohol anyway. lol. I thought the scene was misplaced. Would have fit better the next day.
2. You’re talking about my absolute favorite scene in ALL the novels. Voyager has been my favorite in the series without question, and that scene from Claire’s entry into the print shop to showing the pix of Brianna in his room makes me cry every damn time. I think he will still faint. She’ll have to say something else. If they take the fainting out of that scene. Oh, boy. Watch out! Stay away from my website that day. You have been warned. lol
Yes! My favorite scene, too! A long time ago a priest told me that Christians place too much emphasis on Christmas and not enough on Easter. The fact that Jesus was born is not particularly noteworthy, he said, since billions of humans are born, too. It’s his rising that is the pivotal moment, the entire reason for the existence of the church.
I know this is a weird analogy, but it reminds me of Claire’s “second coming.” The fact that they married and had a wonderful honeymoon is great, and I looked forward to this episode along with everyone else. But it’s her return in Voyager that, to me, is the linchpin of the series. As Claire says to Jamie (paraphrasing), I married you for necessity, but I came back for love.” IMHO, this is when their life together truly begins.
I’m with you—if they omit this scene there will be blood! (And let’s all pray that the series continues to do well so that there *will* be a third season.)
What a wonderful analogy. I agree. I have always “preferred” mature Jamie to young Jamie, so the second half of their marriage is more exciting to me. I also love “watching” him grow without her. Sad, yes, but necessary to become the man he does.
Voyager is my favorite too. I’ll miss that from the scene in the print shop. However, I thought of one thing: they did such a thorough job of making Claire a reluctant bride that it would be a nice contrast to Fergus and Masali’s wedding day. She remembers her own wedding to Jamie and how she didn’t want him then but wants him now.
Oh. My. God. Fergus and Marsali’s wedding was HYSTERICAL! Drunk Father Fogden, asking Fergus if he was missing a cock, as well as a hand! And poor, departed Arabella, the sheep. That whole episode was priceless. Ms. Gabaldon has written some truly funny scenes.
Loved your posting Candida. verra funny!
Apologies to anyone who loved this episode, but I have to say I’m beginning to get concerned with all the changes they are making. I have no issue with poetic license but I hope they do not depart too much from the books and in the process lose their essence. I have watched this episode several times and still have mixed feelings about it.
I didn’t like the focus on Claire’s wedding dress as something new and special. The custom design of the dress is amazing and it is beautiful. But in the book it is something borrowed that Claire describes as still having the smell of the prior owner. This aspect of the dress showed how improvised and urgent the wedding was; it also seems more realistic than Ned finding a brand new wedding dress at a brothel.
Jamie gave Claire his mother’s pearls before the wedding not after coitus. this is significant because it shows prior to the wedding that he cares for her (note that Dougal is in disbelieve when he sees this).
In the book he uses the nickname describing her hair color and then states that he had been “longing to say that” to her later on; again, it hints that he was in love with her prior to the wedding. the way is conveyed in the episode as part of the conversation they have on the wedding night to me trivializes the nickname; it didn’t convey the same longing.
I would have liked them to get married in the same chapel as Claire and Frank. In the book, this really showed how unsettling the whole situation is to Claire. The ring made from a key (don’t care it is Lallybroch’s), no-no. Hope he later gives her another where the verses can be inscribed in it. Taking the honesty conversation out was crazy; it is foundational in their relationship. I hope they added it later on.
Maybe I expected too much from this episode based on the book. There is something in the Claire-Jamie dynamic that seems lost. As much as I liked it overall, they changed a bit too many things from the book for me.
I intend to watch this episode a couple of more times. I hope I end up loving it as much as everyone else who did.
Look forward to your next posting Candida!
Thanks for your comments, Aniuska. After the disappointments in ep103, I decided to pick my fights. We’ll never get a “verbatim” adaptation because the producers are making the for non-novel lovers as well as us. It was very difficult for me to “bite my tongue” this week and in ep103 and ep106, but I decided to focus on essentials – or at least, what I consider essential elements.
Given the 60 minute time slot, there was no time for the chapel coincidence/fainting scene. I think they decided the honeymoon scenes were more important because they advanced Claire & Jamie’s relationship in leaps in leaps and bounds.
I agree with you about the honesty discussion – obviously. I’m hoping they squeeze it into ep108.
Regardless, I will continue to support the show but remain honest in my reviews to the degree I feel is fair.
“There is something in the Claire-Jamie dynamic that seems lost.”
Exactly, the rapport and the attraction between Jaime and Claire was very much established for the reader by the time they got married as well as were the strong feelings Jaime has for her. They could have used the time spent on embellishing Dougal’s feelings (although I am enjoying that) by showing more of Jaime and Clare’s getting closer.
And I agree about the wedding dress. It was pretty to see but you are right, it changed the tone of the wedding.
I agree with you Aniuska. The honesty element better be added soon or they’ll have ruined sth essential. And the thing with the dress, yes (which also leads to my disappointment regarding the cut-out of Claire’s jaw-dropping when she sees Jamie, as in the book it says sth like “in came the sun in the person of Jamie”).
I also noticed sth that frankly bothers me quite a lot. In the book it’s clear that they were both nervous and scared, in a holding on to each other sort of way. Here they make it seem like Jamie’s in control, more or less, and quite happy, and I really don’t like how utterly unhappy Claire looks the whole time. Sure, she wasn’t supposed to leap from joy, but I think their attitudes should’ve been more balanced with each other; and if nothing else, then out of respect for Jamie she should’ve tried to put on a better face, instead of looking like her life was over (life the way she knew it was over, but still, the sour faces were too much imo). I felt sorry for him at times and wanted to shake Claire. The shift of dynamics just before their first time is also not the best choice imo, it seems again as at times Jamie’s in control and Claire the trembling virgin. (but other than that, the sweet build-up of tension is very well done, undressing her is a hell of a foreplay :))
I rather saw Claire’s expressions as a tie-in to ep101: SASSENACH. She looked exactly the same as in the cottage. Then when she wraps his kilt around his shoulders at the end – beautiful bookend.
I very much missed Jamie taking her hands out of nervousness and talking about honesty. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for ep108.
Yes, Claire definitely took control of their first time together, but I’m okay with Jamie “rushing” it. I mean, he’s been waiting a long time! Love the look on his face when she turns back around to face him.
i agree to disagree, imo she looked genuinely scared & upset in episode 1 (great acting), and here rather appalled. but then again, i’ve watched this episode more often that the 1st so I’m probably biased haha.
And I agree about when she wraps the kilt around him. imo that 3rd love scene was the best scene, so emotionally beautiful.
yes I also missed the taking of hands to ease the nerves. and rushing did make sense lol. I totally love the look on his face just after they kiss, before Claire asks one of the questions of the century. Soo emotional. Wasn’t that like one of the best kisses ever?
Made you lick your lips, didn’t it? :oP
rather go faint in the knees with butterflies inside 😀
“Ron Moore and Terry Dresbach’s podcast for Episode 107: THE WEDDING is available for free on iTunes. He also gives us another inside look at the making of this episode”
Nope, it’s not there. They don’t even have episode 106 up yet.
Thanks for the reminder, Jo Ann. I remember Terry saying it wouldn’t be available until but the podcast for ep106 should be there. No? I have been unable to download thru iTunes. Thanks.
http://assets.starz.com/stzcom/outlander/podcast106.m4a This is the link for Episode 106 from last week. I haven’t seen the link for 107 yet and have trouble with iTunes.
Yes, Terry tweeted over the weekend they had not yet recorded their podcast. Wrapping the show is a lot of work!
I always have to wait until the podcasts are on iTunes. For some reason when I try to listen to them at Starz, all I get is pages and pages of code and no sound when I click on the podcast.
Starz tweeted the link to episode 7 earlier.
For some reason I can’t get the Starz links to ever work. All I get is page after page of computer code. I always have to wait until they put them on iTunes. Hopefully, that will be soon.
Reblogged this on Highland Saga.
Nice recap. I did miss the promise of honesty between the two of them, but I’m guessing this is merely being saved for a future episode rather than being omitted entirely. We’ll see.
I do believe the flashback of Jamie speaking to Dougal and Ned about the legality of the marriage must have taken place the day before and not after his conversation with Claire. Remember when Claire says to Dougal by the spring, “you’ve been speaking with Ned.”? He thought it may come to this. Not sure about the logistics here, but I get the feeling Claire is with Randall during this conversation. Because Jamie has already agreed to the marriage when Claire is holding that contract in her hands.
The scene with Claire and Dougal on the wedding night isn’t exactly out of character. It’s taken from a later scene in the books I believe after Jamie has been taken prisoner by the English. He figures Jamie is out of the way and it’s his time to move in finally. It may be premature in the show, but Dougal has been lusting after Claire the entire time, so I didn’t really put this past him.
I see next week as not exactly a departure from the books as we do get this back story of Frank searching for Claire in book 3, I believe. There was a composite drawing of Jamie’s ghost and everything if memory serves. Frank does go through hell during the 3 years Claire has disappeared from him. I think the show made a good decision to juxtapose this with what is going on in the past with Jamie and Claire. Makes for great TV!
Thanks so much for you comments, Jenni. Yes, I think you are right, the conversation in the barn must have been BEFORE their “important conversation.” So glad that’s cleared up.
My issue with Dougal hitting on Claire is all about timing. The bed is still warm for Pete’s sake!
By departure from the book in next week’s episode, I’m speaking of format rather than story line. I am very much enjoying these alternate perspectives.
however, how could all the guys be speaking together, including Dougal, when Dougal was in the same building as Claire and Randall? Besides this fact, it would’ve made sense, yes.
Ha ha ! Good point! Now I’m even more confused. lol.
I thought all the stories being told were while Claire was passed out stinking drunk AFTER her encounter with BJR and the all important talk.
So, I’m back to what’s with the “IF I marry Claire” line?
It could still have happened after they got back but before Ned gave her the contract and we see her sitting by herself.
I agree with you. I’ve read everyone’s speculation and this seems the most logical to me. It also explains Jamie replying, “I know” when Claire says, “Dougal wants us to marry” in a questioning do-you-know voice. Jamie has already had the conversation with Ned and Dougal.
yeah i finally figured that one out on the way to work this morning, had this eureka moment lol
Good, I’m glad you came to the same conclusion. 🙂 I can’t believe how much discussion there has been about this.
i’m glad to have found a way of discussing the series (and a bit the books as well) with someone, even if it’s only online (as I don’t know anyone in my entourage who know Outlander) 🙂
I have three real life friends with whom to discuss the books and Starz film. One of these friends introduced me to the Outlander books many years ago and I will be forever grateful to her for that. But I have MANY more on-line friends who are Outlander fans. I love chatting with everyone about Outlander. It’s always fun.
But Dougal wasn’t in the same building as Claire. Remember that Claire told him to leave before they accused him of the ambush. Claire then helps with the amputation and has her long talk with BJR which provided enough time for Dougal to go where the others were waiting, talk to Ned about his fears and then hightail it back to get Claire. So it’s entirely possible that that is when the scene in the stables takes place.
Hmm. I don’t think he went very far – if anywhere. Yes, she told him to leave, but I don’t think he did. He stays in the tap room in the book. Of course, her conversation with BJR is shorter, but he knows what kind of man BJR is. Plus, the MacKenzie’s were camping in the middle of nowhere, not staying in a village.
Jamie and Claire have their conversation near the campsite before the events in the stable.
Tag. You’re it.
Haha! It’s like a game of Clue. It was Jamie in the stables with his dirk. You’re right. They were still at the camp when she talks to Jamie. The stables meeting must take place while Claire is passed out but then why does it seem like this is the first time marriage is being brought up when it would be taking place after he talks to Claire at the camp? Unless! (Lol!) They were really at a camp on the outskirts of the town which is cheaper than paying for rooms for all of them (and more in keeping with the book) and really had only the one room for Claire which she is angrily trudging to after grabbing the bottle from Dougal and is also the bridal suite.
lol. Yep, I’m back to my “What changed for Jamie?” question. The flashbacks are all from the day of the wedding while Claire was passed out. I think it’s silly Jamie has “second thoughts” because of the idea of consummation right away. Maybe there’s some other purpose for that scene we don’t get. Or just plain weak writing.
or maybe the producers did it on purpose, to keep us fans scratching our heads; love the discussion thread this has generated 🙂 although, it could just be a mishap of some sort, i spotted a few (like when Claire pushes Jamie away when he touches the back of her neck, and then when he comes back there’s a shot of her from behind and her shoulders are bare, and in the next shot they’re covered again so that Jamie can push the blanket away; and then when he sits next to her to ask her about her day, he still has his boots on, but quite shortly after when he gets up to strip they’re gone; of course he could have taken them off while they were reminiscing about the wedding, but somehow I can’t picture him doing that at that moment :))
Well, all Jamie’s flashbacks definitely happen the day of the wedding while Claire is passed out. Confirmed that night from Dougal’s dialogue.
Maybe Claire took Jamie’s boots off and he peeled her stockings off? Sexy deleted scene. :oP
Continuity is always tough. It may be correct on set, but the editor cares about performance not wardrobe, hair or set details.
Watched the episode with my mom tonight. Noticed Jamie taking off his boots when he started talking about the wedding.
haha so that one’s sorted. I did watch it again but missed that moment.
Thanks for making me laugh so many times as well with the review as with the Top 40 looks. I really love your comments. By the way: I didn’t know how much I can get a crush on naked knees “worn” between boots and shirt… That was hilarious, I do agree.
Amazing job, as asual. Made me laugh a lot.
thx from a french fan!
hey it’s great to run into a fan from France here 🙂 so I’m not alone 🙂
Best recap I’ve read so far. You gave voice to all of my own reservations about this episode. I was quite miffed after my first watch but liked it much better the second time. I still think that not having Frank and Claire get married in the same church and leaving out Jamie’s speech about honesty were missteps. Thanks for doing this blog.
Yours is the first recap I read–always. And I agree with you about Dougal. He was an arse throughout the episode–particularly “You haven’t properly thanked me” scene in the tavern. And I agree that the scene was handled beautifully – I was afraid that the consummation scene might be rushed without the buildup to it. That is where I was holding my breath. As far as Dougal, I classify his portrayal as one of the departures from the book to which I am looking forward. I had to wonder if this is the beginning of where he no longer lusts after Claire as a whore but begins to realize that he is falling in love with her, and that maybe his opinion of her changed after the ‘passed the test’ at the liar’s spring.. That would be a departure from the book, but an exciting one, imo. Thank you, again, for your wonderful and witty review.
Great post as usual from you Candida! I think my favorite part of the show — aside, obviously, from Jamie & Claire’s growing intimacy — was of the Highlander wedding planners (and Ned). It was so unexpected and entertaining. The change of perspective to Jamie related via the storytelling with Claire was inspired! And…of course I love that spectacular gown! Jamie looked pretty doggone good too 😉
Best review I’ve read, Great job Candida.
Beautiful, thoughtful and detailed review. Thank you for your honesty!
Excellent, excellent recap and looking forward to the faces of Jamie, but I don’t know how you can limit them to 30 this time! I loved this episode, and love & appreciate it each time I watch it again.
Thank you, Connie. Top 30 posting very soon!
Candida, I love your recaps. You are an excellent writer. Enjoyed it very much! ♥
Thanks for the laughs!
I love the many faces of Jamie posts. They make my Sundays!
I loved it and I loved your recap. You saw things that I didn’t see. Now I have to watch it again … oh darn!
I do agree that Jamie and Claire’s relationship have been shortchanged a bit over the course of the series so far, so anyone who points that out is on A list.
I’ll just point out that I think a big part of what made Claire let go was his explanation of his conditions. It’s hard to resist a man who’s done that much for you.
Lastly, Frank looked like a bit of a jerk in this episode and the way their “wedding” was described made me put “wedding” in “quotes.” I can’t stand Frank and it’s about time we see just how much he pales in comparison to Jamie. The only Frank-flashback that made me happy!
As usual, great review. Made me snort with laughter more than once 🙂
A few thoughts:
I agree, and I’m disappointed, actually, that they cut out the honesty scene. It is so crucial!
Also, I really wished to see the dialogue about snakes being acted out, in the book it’s funny and such a great example of Jamie’s humor. Anyone else missed seeing it 😀 ?
I’m also kinda surprised about the change regarding how their first time evolved. I mean, the chemistry was great, it was sensual, but I also think the part in the book where he tells her that she can ask him to stop before they’re joined for the first time is quite essential to Jamie, and it was beautiful. In the show he seems much more confident and urgent in the matter, needing no guidance. I guess they’re trying to make up for the last few episodes, like you suggested, Candida.
And then, the dress really is beautiful! Wow. However, am I the only one thinking the push-up was wayy over board? Like literally…I know push-ups are not natural, but usually it looks sexy. Here, IMO it looks quite ugly actually, less would have been better.
All in all, enjoyed the episode, the acting was great, loved the romantic build-up, and Angus & Rupert came blazing back to the comic department lol 😀
And I forgot to add my thought about this – Jamie’s appearance in the book was excellent, as was Claire’s reaction to it; in the show the focus was more on Claire, and I would have preferred a bit more focus on the drop dead gorgeous groom 🙂
Well, that’s what Top 30 is for. Why I put so few pix of Jamie in my review. Have to conserve the great looks!
In a post on her blog, Terry Dresbach mentions that Claire was never supposed to be so exposed in the wedding dress. A sort of frill attached to the neckline was so delicate it got destroyed as the crew put on and took off the heavy cloak Cait was wearing in between takes. There’s also a beautiful closeup photo of the pearls, which are indeed “Scotch” pearls with gold roundels.
I’ve watched the episode four times and loved it more with each viewing. Yes, there were many changes from the book and I missed the same not-included bits that you did, especially Jamie requesting honesty. That was so touching in the book.
I wondered about the ring the blacksmith made. Was that the key to Lallybroch? And I wonder if Jamie will still have the silver ring with the thistles on it made for Claire later on.
Has Jamie been expecting to give Claire his mother’s pearls all this time? Makes me wonder just what else is in that sporran.
I thought the direction was wonderful. The episode benefited from a woman’s touch. And boy oh boy do those two have chemistry.
Diana was spot-on when she said, “You have one fine ass, man!” #fact
I’m very surprised that the honesty conversation didn’t happen as it’s pivotal to their relationship. I have a feeling it’s still coming though, for that exact reason. Possibly in episode 8….just a hunch!
Fingers crossed. It was main/biggest complaint – as you know. I can live with changes to the story but not changes to the fundamental characters.
I confessed I was a little nitpicky on first viewing, but found myself satisfied later. Kind of like Claire! 😀
I really did miss the fainting scene, though. It means we’ll lost that amazing moment in Voyager, as well.
A lot of people hated the ring, but after hearing what it was the key to from Terry, it actually made me very happy.
It really bums me out to lose the faint for the reason you stated. Season 3 will be a little less fulfilling without that moment in the shop. And the ring…I don’t care what it’s a key to, I’m so pissed that they changed that, because it also changes “Da mi basia mille” which ties to a huge moment when a certain person finally believes her in season 2. I don’t get why they have to change things that don’t need to be changed. It’s almost like they prefer to write their own story and if that was the case then why decide to make these beloved books into a television show?
I’m with you! I hoping that they fix it by Jamie getting here a “real” ring back at Castle Leoch. That thistle bloom ring is so pivotal! In the book, he gives her his clan ring and then she gives it back. So, I’m hoping he buys the real ring later saying that he didn’t expect her to wear part of a key forever – despite the symbolism of it being the key to Lallybroch.
Amen! I love the books, and I love the show, but they’re very different already (for very little reason that I can see (what was the point of the addition in episode 6 of Lt. Foster and creepy claret-drinking Lord GuywhosenameI’dalreadyforgotten5minutesaftertheepisodeended? They could have put her interview with BJR and the actual wedding ceremony into the same episode, and made this episode about the wedding night, which would have given them time to include the whole honesty speech, which I’m kinda ticked they left out.
Just think of him as General Dancing Monkey.
I get the “adaptation” thing, and I trust that Diana has her hand in things, and she reassures us that “important” things are still there. Maybe she’ll faint later… or Jamie will buy her the ring later, I don’t know. I still loved the episode, even for the little disappointments.
Yes, as long as the good outweighs the bad, we have to let go. The books are forever. I’m enjoying the new ride!
Oh, believe me, I’m sensitive for that, and it’s a thin line. These are my all time favorite hero, couple, and series of books, so if they walk over the line of gutting any of those, you will hear me screeching across the world. 🙂
I screeched pretty loud over episode 5, so I know exactly what you mean.
Wonderful job, Candida!
Thank you, Becky!