A couple of months ago my little one was at a sleepover, and my guys were doing their individual man cave thing, so I decided to partake in some woman cave. I looked to see what episode Starz was re-running that night, thinking I’d watch and maybe do a recap. I went to the Starz menu and perused the options; my attention went first to 207, Faith… such a beautifully well done episode.
Nah, too depressing.
Next, Episode 101 attracted my eye: the beginning of the saga, with the infamous cabin scene, the chase through the woods to a lively tune “…This lot isne my blood, no much of it anyway...” the moment Jamie falls in love with Claire, and the many other memorable moments <sigh>.
Then 102, Castle Leoch passed through my awareness. “Ye need not be scairt of me….” It’s pretty much worth watching for that scene alone, if not that line. And there’s Mrs. Fitz and Colum…. But, I kept looking. And then, my eye drifted down to the eventual winner….
If you guessed 107, The Wedding Episode, you’d be right.
It’d been a long while since I’d watched that episode, and after making my decision, I was eagerly rubbing my figurative hands together and licking my figurative chops. I turned off the lights, closed the door, and climbed into my absent daughter’s stuffy laden twin size bed (the other good wifi cave spots were already taken). I tossed the stuffies off, fluffed the pillows, and burrowed down under the covers. I situated my laptop on propped up knees, put in earbuds, and prepared to experience Jamie and Claire falling in love… again. Tee hee heeeeeeeeee!
Good God, I’m already hooked after the “Previously…!”
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, this guy knows what to say to a woman…
And by contrast, we have this man, who definitely does not have a way with women (or men, children, animals, etc.) in the punching Claire in the stomach scene from episode 106, The Garrison Commander.
106 was a really interesting episode for many reasons. We feel compassion for Dougal among the sneering British officers, and then he gets to be an actual hero in this scene, and does it quite well. I love when he stares down the sniveling corporal just after entering to reclaim Claire. Graham can deliver the goods in the intensity department!
Epic scene here, which could have come off as ridiculous if portrayed by lesser actors. The famous corn grinding line…
And then this scene! I remember laughing out loud and slapping my knee when I first saw this one. Prodigious, and straight from the book…
“Well, doesn’t it bother you that… I’m not a virgin?”
“No, so long as it doesna’ bother you that… I am.”
uh… did he just say that?
And then into the theme song… woo hoo this is already a great episode!!
I love the opener for this episode: panning across the leavings of the wedding party, and resting on a cat eating from a plate on the table.
Here’s a nod to Ms. Anne Kenney, who will be sorely missed in future seasons!
When this episode first aired, I was surprised by the structure of it, starting with the wedding kiss, and showing the day in flashbacks. It works beautifully though. I suspect The Wedding is the most re-watched episode of Outlander, (though I located no data to prove that theory). Ron Moore describes the thinking behind its structure below (and we get some nice tidbits from Terry about the wedding dress too)…
Woo hoo… come back! Where DID you learn to kiss like that, Jamie?
OK, so where does the blueprint for the Print Shop idea come in? To me, it makes sense that the Print Shop episode will be evocative of, and have parallels to the Wedding. An after 20 year, sort of surprise rediscovery might be quite like the original surprise discovery of each other. The elements of awkwardness, being thrown together more or less, and the questions: Can this work? Can we (still) be in love? Becoming (re)acquainted with each other and each others’ bodies, is it possible? Is it desired by both of us? How have the events of your life shaped you? Can we find a common ground?
And then, about a month ago, I read an interview Sam did with Parade Magazine, in which he said about Jamie and Claire: “I think they have absolutely grown up. When we first started, she was a more experienced woman and he’s young and falling in love. But it was that their love was brand-new and they were finding each other for the first time. This time, they’ve lived their own lives separately so they reconnect on, “Oh, it’s you. I know this person.” And there’s a great joy of that but then it’s the rediscovery. There are parallels to Season 1 even in the way the episodes are written, shot and play out.”
So, while I recap this most awesome of Outlander episodes, we will look at some parallels, in anticipation of what’s to come….
After the wedding table/cat scene, we cut straight to Claire and Frank walking hand in hand down a street in London’s inner borough of Westminster in the late 1930’s (which is really a street in Glasgow near George Square).
Ahhh, life was simple then…
and Claire was so young and openly, simply in love.
A stark contrast to this later Claire…
Poor doomed marriage… and it really was no one’s fault.
And then the shot cuts to her 2nd wedding, to Jamie…
when he is clearly in love,
and she is thinking, “What the hell have I just done?” (Kudos to Terry for accentuating Caitriona’s exquisite neck with that delicate lace choker).
And one final look back to Frank and Claire, as they slide into wedlock and then fade away… indeed.
These guys do such a great job as the awkward arranged marriage partners…
We will see their awkwardness again in the Print Shop, but they will have the benefit of age and experience. Will that be a benefit? And how will they feel, knowing they’ve both gained more intimate experience, with others?
Accolades to Terry’s team, Gary’s team, the lighting folks, the cinematographers, the editors, etc. for the beautiful details in this episode.
Claire’s drinking prowess far exceeds her toast making skills on this occasion…. What will they do to break the ice in the Print Shop? SPOILERS: Book readers know that there will be some photos of Brianna shown, and I would imagine some drinking too. In the book they go on some wild adventures involving Mr. Willoughby and Madame Jeanne’s brothel before reconnecting physically; we shall see what transpires in the show.
Good old Jamie, always knows the right thing to say (I won’t jump your bones just yet, lass)
Jamie tells Claire that he married her to keep her safe, and in that moment, she begins to soften toward him…
Another parallel between this episode and the Print Shop is that Jamie accepts Claire so completely with mostly only the knowledge in his heart. Claire has so much more information than he does in both scenarios. In Season 3, she will have been preparing for months to come back to him, having followed the events of his life, and having lived in 18th century Scotland before, whereas Jamie has no warning about her return, and no knowledge of what has transpired since he said goodbye to her at Culloden. In Season 1, he gave her everything, as I suspect he will in Season 3….
“Now, you have my name, my clan, my family, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well…” <thud>
And then this great sequence…
“Tell me about your family”
And after hours of drinking and story telling, this sweet moment happens,
just before Rupert and Angus barge in unannounced…
And then Claire decides she’s ready, and invites her new husband to bed…. Jamie’s a smart one. I suspect that comes somewhat from working with horses; he’ll know that if one facilitates readiness, willingness generally follows.
He’s pretty psyched, but wants to make sure he’s reading his new wife correctly… “To bed…? or… to sleep?”
This is called a come hither look, hubby…
I’m reading you loud and clear, hot damn, patience pays off…
OK, let’s pause here for a sec. Poor Mary Hawkins got paired with that awful warty guy, Geillis was stuck with farty old Arthur, Geneva was strapped with the old dude who yells “I’ll not grieve for a woman soiled by the cock of another man!” in a distinctly unattractive way. Claire freaking MADE OUT in the 18th century!! It’s sad about Frank, boo hoo, but dude, JACK POT!!!
Before we go further, I saw some questions on Twitter to Hannah James, who played Geneva Dunsany in episode 304, along the lines of “did you enjoy that?” etc., so I’m including this video shot by Samantha Kraupner of Sam talking about what it’s really like to film sex scenes. He paints a pretty vivid picture, and it sounds anything but sexy…
So, keeping that in mind, or not, here is Jamie losing his virginity… these guys are such great actors… Claire is a wee bit nervous when Jamie takes the glass of whisky out of her hands.
20th century Claire has not become abstemious when it comes to whisky, based on Episodes 301-305, so we should expect more…
Jamie’s removal of that delicate lace choker is, for me, one of the most provocative moments…
This is cute, when he’s unlacing her corset and it’s taking forever…
and then it’s off…
His reaction when he touches her for the first time is wonderful, full bodied, Sam is such a talented actor.
Claire is breathing pretty heavily by this point too
and then the kiss…
so good (can you imagine they did this from 8:00AM to 8:00PM one day, with only a break for lunch??)
Looking forward to that first kiss in the Print Shop…
“Where did you learn to kiss like that?”
“I said I was a virgin, not a monk”
“If I need guidance, I’ll ask” (now, turn around horsie)
“Jamie, you’re crushing me”
And… it’s over pretty much right after it starts,
as is fitting for a young man’s first time
Will they be in sync their first time making love again after 20 years? Or will it be a bit awkward again for them?
Claire sweetly asks how it was for Jamie, knowing it was his first time… and he’s puzzling something out, with the telltale tapping of fingers
you must do it the back way, like horses…”
I am pretty cute, aren’t I? Hey did you like that? (I did)
…hang on a minute, Murtagh was wrong? You DID like it? That means we can do it more, A LOT more! ? ??
Fast forward to episode 304, when Jamie is the one with experience, and the one, not only coerced, but blackmailed into bed. And yet, he finds the compassion to be kind and tender to Geneva in her first experience, as Claire was with him.
Afterward, Jamie asks Geneva “Did I hurt ye?”
and when Geneva says “I love you, Alex,” he takes the time to explain to her… “it’s not love, milady. It’s just the feelings I’ve roused in your body… strong, but it’s not the same thing as love. This… What you feel for me now, you could have with any other man, it’s not particular. Love is when you give your heart and soul to another, and they give theirs in return.” (some very nice writing Toni!!). CORRECTION: Thank you Allison Jakoby for setting me straight- these are Diana’s words, straight from Voyager. No wonder they’re so good! (Toni is excellent too, of course).
Back to 107… and Jamie finds that Claire is still a bit standoffish.
So, he gives her space, and then woos her with words. In this scene the term of endearment, mo nighean donn is poetically bestowed upon her.
And then we cut to scenes about the preparation for the big day.
The first one is Duncan LaCroix’s favorite scene, in fact, where Murtagh has found a Fraser widow who loans her late husband’s plaid for Jamie to wear on his wedding day.
“Cost me nothing but time and conversation… I wager she talked the poor bugger into an early grave…”
Here’s a clip from that scene…
And 3 conditions…
This is one of my favorite Dougal moments, he’s so ill tempered. When Jamie asks to be wed properly, in a church.
“Ah Christ, it would be easier to kill ye both!”
I love the way this wedding story unfolds – it’s the guys out madly pulling together the romantic details, while the bride is getting sloshed, for a change!
First Dougal and Willie bribe the priest with new windows for his freezing church,
then beloved Angus and Rupert have the ring made from Jamie’s key to Lallybroch (what a thoughtful groom).
“‘Course he’s the blacksmith ye great gob! We want a ring made, a weddin’ ring, for a lass, can ye dae it?” Miss these two in the series?.
Bill Paterson is so great as Ned Gowan, and the wedding dress acquisition scene is ??
And then Jamie asks what Claire was up to all day…
To which Claire responds…
“Hey, on yer feet, lass… ye hardly wanna get married lookin’ like a melted candle”
“Like a what? Oh God.”
And then the two of them reminisce about their wedding, and we get to see it. Jamie starts out quoting a line from the book, “It was as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day, and suddenly the sun came out.” (Don’t forget to notice the juxtaposition of Angus cleaning out his ear in the background ?).
This line was actually said by Claire in the book, describing first sight of Jamie on their wedding day: a Highlander, in full regalia. But in the show, the line was given to Jamie, and said about Claire.
Apparently this line has significance for Ron Moore and Terry Dresbach as well. Here is an excerpt from an interview they did with The New York Times in April, 2015.
They met “…in 2003, while working together on the HBO drama Carnivàle. After a long production meeting in a fluorescent-lit room, Mr. Moore confessed his feelings to Ms. Dresbach.
‘I told her when she leaned forward, it was as if the sun came out, and when she leaned back, the sun went away,’ Mr. Moore recalled.
‘I stood up and walked around the desk, and that was the first kiss,’ Ms. Dresbach said. ‘We were engaged six weeks later.’ Source: NYT
The fact that Ron said to Terry what Claire says about Jamie (in print, some 12 years earlier), is certainly evidence of the Outlander Effect, if you ask me. It’s pretty cool that Ron made sure that line stayed in as a tribute to his wife.
I love that this part is done in slow-mo, and I particularly love the exchange between Murtagh and Dougal in this scene.
Jamie’s full bow, and Dougal’s irritation.
In the book, this is when Claire realizes, this is no farm boy.
I have a very good friend, who must be close to 70 by now, but he’s the consummate southern gentleman.
Sam perfectly exudes his essence in this scene… “Your servant madame.” (I think guys should still say that, btw).
And, here’s where we get Jamie’s full name for the first time. James, Alexander, Malcom, MacKenzie, Fraser…
and Dougal… “Well, if you two are quite finished… let’s get on with it.”
“Say the words after me.”
Their first kiss…
The memory of which leads to this…
which leads to this… “Take off your shirt, I want to look at you…” <gulp> (remember this). Will they be doing this in Episode 306? Wow.
(hang on, let me open a window in here ?)
Call me a weirdo, and normally I do not like to objectify or talk about parts, but I think this is the sexiest “part” of Jamie in this scene.
(This is good acting, if he’s been watching her take her clothes off for 14 hours on this particular day).
“Have you never seen a naked woman before?”
“Aye, but not one so close.”
Here, Claire takes Jamie’s hand and places it on her breast, both as the more experienced person, and in invitation.
Claire is a very considerate first lover, guiding Jamie along the way, even though she was basically coerced into this marriage.
We see this repeated, later.
First, we see Mary McNab do this with Jamie, when he’s lost, and soul sick, and has not been with another woman since Claire… she is the gentle leader, placing his hand on her chest.
And then later, with Geneva, we see Jamie as the experienced, compassionate leader, despite the fact that Geneva has blackmailed him into taking her virginity… we can actually see a lot of parallels to his first experience here.
He tells her she may watch him undress, seeing her naive interest…
When she tells him she doesn’t know what to do, he sympathizes, saying the first time can be vexing. He takes her hand, just as Claire did with him, all those years ago, and just as Mary did, and he guides her.
Jamie uses so much restraint, (let’s face it, this guy hasn’t had sex with a woman in a very long time, and Geneva is very becoming), gives her an out, “We don’t have to do this, you change your mind if ye want…” When she says, “Will it hurt much?” He says, “I think not, if I take my time.” And then he does, bless his heart ?
He even instructs Geneva “and move with me” during… ? ? ?. I’ll be honest, that whole prelude and intimate scene was extremely hot IMO. Phew.
and… Back to the wedding night… let’s see, where were we? Ah yes, “Have you never seen a naked woman before?”
“Yes, but not one so close,
and not one that’s mine.”
Our guy Jamie is a verra fast learner. In fact Claire is carrying on so, he thinks he’s hurting her…
And then he realizes, wait a minute… ohhhh women can… ohhhh ?
Claire gives him a little lesson in the principles of pain and pleasure.
Hang on, Murtagh didn’t mention this part…
Pretty happily married at the moment
not awkward at all, in fact, so relaxed…
zzzz zzzz zzzz
This is a pretty sweet shot
as is this one. Claire looks pretty pleased. So, who will lead in the Print Shop? They are both experienced now. It will be interesting to see how those scenes have been written by our hopeless romantic, Mr. Matthew Roberts.
And of course, then Claire goes downstairs and encounters Dougal the slimeball, who comes onto her.
and Rupert makes the mistake of saying’ “Young Jamie may no have much experience, but that one looks WELL ridden.” getting a punch in the face for his trouble.
Upstairs, Jamie wakes up, ready for Round 3, and remembers his mother’s pearls…
“They’re one of the few things I have left of her, and very precious to me, as are you, Claire.”
They make love one final time
and this time, Claire’s a gonner.
The next shot is morning, and the happy, sated couple are dressing for the day, famished for breakfast…
Jamie leaves, and Claire shakes out her wedding dress…
and out pops Frank’s ring, rolling across the floor to remind Claire of the complications of her new marriage, not unlike the ending of Episode 301, when Frank and Claire have pledged a fresh new start, and the nurse says “Where’d she get the red hair?”
I’m sure there will be a similar such ending to 306, and I can guess what it might be, can you guys?
The Print Shop episode (actually called A. Malcolm) will be 74 minutes long, and airs on October 22nd in the States. Plenty of time for awkward stops and starts, flashbacks, adventure, beautiful words, and some hot sex. We ALL look forward to it!
Below are some more tidbits about Episode 107, The Wedding, including more input from Anne Kenney, Ron Moore, Sam, Caitriona, and Terry, as well as some deleted extended scenes. Enjoy, and as always, leave your comments below xo
When you look at these deleted scenes, and imagine how much more material there was to work with from 12 hours of filming the same scene over and over again from different angles, a huge credit goes to the editor, Ron D Moore (and others) for what we see as the final version. I agree completely with the edits made for this iconic episode.
This one repeats a bit, but has the part from the book – room for secrets but no for lies…
And lastly, here is the extended scene of Jamie and Claire getting to know each other on their wedding night… again, I agree completely with the editing decisions made.