In “A. Malcolm,” the Outlander production team gave insight into the anxiety of being Jamie Fraser and what might have weighed on his mind during his reunion with Claire.
I haven’t been able to let go of Outlander episode 6, “A. Malcolm.” I usually watch, repeat, maybe repeat (again) and then move on until the following week when I do it all over again. This time around, I conducted my ritual and I just couldn’t let it be. It left me unsettled for reasons that I couldn’t explain until now.
Don’t get me wrong. I love that Jamie and Claire are reunited. I love the kisses that finally look right (don’t even make eye contact with me, Frank Randall, you know I’m talking about you). I love that Jamie and Claire finally got a chance to get back to business, and by business I mean that little dance number they do so well between the sheets.
When I read the books, I imagined the print shop and the brothel scenes as a joyous reunion of spirits (and flesh too). I envisioned Jamie and Claire both beaming at each other through salty kisses and warm embraces. As I replayed the episode, I realized that I had seen it all through Claire’s eyes. Of course Claire was happy. She planned this trip. She knew, or at least hoped, that Jamie would be her final destination. She even brought things from her new life to share with him.
There was something missing in the televised version of this reunion and it was James Fraser’s spirit. Jamie had already spent most of his life protecting those he loved. He gave up his wife and child to see them safe. He chose prison to protect his family and save Lallybroch. He watched over his men at Ardsmuir. Even in the opening scene of this episode, we see him draw a dagger when entering HIS OWN PRINT SHOP. The man is never at ease.
Yes, he looked happy when Claire touched him and he realized that she was real. He was emotional when they kissed for the first time. However, when he said, “it’s very fine to see you again, Claire,” I was waiting for the “but.” It was fine seeing you, Claire, but I have to be at the shop early in the morning, you should see yourself out. It was fine seeing you Claire, but this is a bad time. It was fine seeing you Claire, but I’ve moved on and you should do the same. He started to say something on more than one occasion but he kept getting interrupted, once by Claire who had the good sense to realize that behind one of those doors in the brothel bedroom a few skeletons were waiting to be released.
And this brings me to the magic of storytelling. The Outlander crew took a story that I thought I knew and made me question it. They made me look at the uncomfortable truths lying just below the surface that I could avoid when I was the one interpreting the words. They gave me an insight into Alexander Malcolm’s world and reminded me that all was not well just because his one, true love had returned.
While Jamie is clearly happy that Claire has returned, he is just as clearly anxious about what this return might mean for his future; their future. Living an “unsavory” life of printing treasonous pamphlets, smuggling spirits and sleeping in a brothel is one thing for a bachelor. It’s quite a different thing for a man married to a respectable healer. If Jamie believes that there is danger lurking in his own shop, how could he possibly allow Claire to be there? Where will they go? What will they do? How will he have to reinvent himself (again) to protect the one he holds most dear? How many times can one man begin a new life?
When I watched the episode again with those questions in mind, it made it easier to understand Jamie’s loss of words, his occasional hesitation, his inability to let go and immerse himself fully in the joy of Claire’s arrival. Per Newton’s Third Law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. There is no doubt that Jamie is happy to have Claire back in his life, but he’s also concerned about the countless chain reactions that her arrival will trigger.
With that in mind, I’m going to watch episode 6 one more time, and then I’m going to sit back and wait for next Sunday. I think I’m ready for it now. Well played, Outlander writers. Well played.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think weighed on Jamie’s mind during his reunion with Claire?
While you try to decode Jamie’s mindset, enter for a chance to win this week’s global giveaway—this gorgeous “Sassenach” bracelet from DecodedDesigns! Entries must be logged by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
I’m totally with you! Only after seeing the episode 3 times, I remembered (from the book)/noticed that of course Willoughby’s name for Claire meant first wife, not honourable wife, as Jamie told her it meant. You could see he was quite uncomfortable then… Took me a while to understand why he was acting like he did, but then the penny dropped. They’ve done a marvellous job of interpreting the book!
Thanks so much for reading Guro! The rest of the season is going to be a whirlwind right?!
Well, I am happy to see someone other
than myself seen a difference in Jamie. I have not read the books for fear of disappointment from what I read than what my appear in a episode. Don’t get me wrong I do intend to read. My thoughts were the initial kiss he gave Claire after his faint was the true Jamie. Upon entering the back room to put on his pants he began to be someone else.
Yes, yes, yes. I felt it as well. That he seemed guarded after initially seeing her. A shade went up. I won’t say a wall. I felt sorry for Claire. My stomach dropped. Like when a person says I love you and doesn’t hear it back. I keep telling myself it’s bc of the much bigger “L” secret. I know it is, but it’s a dreadful feeling. The same as in season 2. This time it better not last 5 episodes. I will be done!
I kind of disagree. To me he was shocked, caught completely unawares by the return after 20 years of his soulmate and love of his life that he has longed for all this time. The last thing he would be thinking about is how her return would impact his current life. First he had to determine she was real, then whether she planned to stay. He couldn’t risk his heart again if she didn’t plan to stay. I absolutely loved the way Sam portrayed this. The joy of touching her again, making love with someone so completely in sync with you. Finally smiling, laughing, knowing you have found that person who completes you at last.
I agree with that too, but you see him react a few times, that I think has to do with Laoghaire.
I think you are correct :))
That’s totally cool Shari! It’s what I love about these books and the show. They are big enough for lots of different viewpoints. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!
I completely agree with your take on Jamie’s reaction to Claire’s return. I think he may have been thinking about the family ties he has, mostly Wille and Laoghaire and her girls and Lallybroch and his family there, not to mention those around him that he supports and employs. Although he has burned for Claire for 20 years, his life has continued. The complications of his life now multiply even more with her return. Treason, sedition and smuggling take on even more weight than they already have. Also, Jamie clearly asks Claire, “Sassenach, will ye take me – and risk the man that I am, for the sake of the man ye knew?” Of course he wants her! But he has to come clear and confess to her. I think it was brilliantly acted by Cat and Sam.
Thanks so much for reading Chrissi! That “will ye take me” line is one of my absolute favorites. I could not agree more on Sam and Cait’s acting. They are truly knocking it out of the park this season.
Omg I am loving Season3 so Far But Laoghrie has completely been forgotten about by Jamie, Wait till Claire finds out that Jamie is married to Laoghrie, Can’t Wait For That But Technically Claire Was Married To Jamie First, Gonna Be Interesting , God I Love & Adore This Show it’s Awesome?
I am totally OBSESSED..
Thanks to Sam Heughan’s brilliant performance, I felt the shock that Jamie must have felt seeing Claire in the flesh after 20 years. If you’ve ever encountered something or someone that you never expected, you would be tongue-tied, hesitant, speechless, etc. just as portrayed by Sam. Jamie has a lot to digest in a short amount of time.
Thanks so much for reading Karen. Yes, to think about it from Jamie’s perspective is a bit overwhelming isn’t it?
Agreed. Jamie is rapidly processing all of the implications of Claire’s return – the hesitation at some moments is about that, now having the responsibility of protecting her from the unsavoury people and circumstances he lives with, but it’s also about the OMG what am I going to do about the other wife! How will I explain? How will Claire be OK with that? Which wife is my legal wife? 20 years is beyond the statute of limitations isn’t it? And of all people to marry, the awful brat of a woman who almost got his number one wife burned as a witch!!! You see those same thoughts going through both Fergus’ and young Ian’s minds too. I think this episode, well the entire production, is brilliant. It didn’t disappoint at all in any way. I watch first just to see how it rolls out. Second time, I pay more attention to the actors. They are magic together. They become Claire and Jamie. That is an incredible gift and a gift to fans. Love the entire production and all of those souls who bring it to life. Thanks for this.
I agree with you 100%. Can’t wait for next episode!!! Love the actors
Thanks for reading Susan! I think these next two episodes are going to be chock full of adventure and mayhem. What a ride!
The thing is I NEVER feel let down by Sam and Cait’s acting. I just sometimes get thrown off by my own expectations and interpretation. It always comes back to an excellent story treated carefully by skilled writers, and masterfully performed by actors who embody the characters. I cannot complain about that. Thanks so much for reading!!
Nikki!! That is such a great way of putting it. The story is so rich and the characters are amazing. But it is true that you can sometimes get thrown off by one’s own expectation of the story. You can never go wrong with Sam and Cat’s portrayal.
Yes to everything in this article. As soon as I understood that the perspective had shifted and we were seeing it through Jamie’s eyes…I knew that we were in for some changes and treats…trick-or-treat. Anyway, I felt that Jamie was controlled with his emotions because he HAD TO BE for 20 years. He didn’t have anyone that he could open up to, but now he does. I believe that is why He decided to unload the truth regarding Willie…earlier than most desired, but he was unloading a burden to Claire. Something that he could let go of, and maybe walk a little taller once that bit was unloaded from his shoulders. He looks worn and heavy laden, and that is ALL Sam Heughan. He’s AMAZING. Great writing and cast.
Joey, those are such good points. In DIA Jamie told Claire that he could talk to her like he talked to his own soul. His soulmate was with him again and he had some things he needed to tell her. Thanks so much for reading and for giving me something else to think about.
Said it himself in the new clip he would give up everything to be with her again. Though there are complications, he is finally living outside the shadows. He is just not complete without her, he doesn’t care about the cost, though there are things to work out…
Thanks so much for reading Linda! The next couple of episodes are going to be crazy good!
Well said. Thank you for that perspective!
Thanks for taking the time to read this Robyn!
I too felt Jamie’s anxiety but couldn’t understand it at 1st. Your explanation helped.
I’m glad I could help Susan! I figured that if I was frustrated maybe some other folks were too. 🙂
Yes. Thank you. At first it upset me just like S2. I didn’t want to watch that again. Remember he said to Fergus when they were outside that he hasn’t figured it out yet. It is weighing on his conscience heavily. Claire senses something but is so euphoric she easily in denial. Pushes it away quickly. They don’t go to Lollybrock in 307 from the description on my app. It says Claire and Jamie travel to Lollybrock for 308. So we’ll get the fire and all that this Sunday. We will have to wait for “L” until 308.
I just remembered 308 is titled FIRST WIFE. Not honorable wife. Or is it 309? Sorry just forget what I read. Well I’m thinking the drama will end with her tending to his wounds and then we’ll get Ned. Don’t want to write too much. Does anyone think we’ll get the whole scene with lawyer in the same episode? Also, Jamie did say to Fergus that he hoped she was staying and he may not have to worry about the legalities now. I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!
I lost my husband 15 years ago and if he were to walk through the door I can only imagine the turmoil of emotions that would ensue. Happiness yes but upheavals beyond imagination. Jamie knows how complicated things are going to get. And he isn’t the young man Claire left at the stones 20 years ago..he has, I assume, built some pretty thick walls around himself. It’s going to take some time and he has, they have some hurdles to overcome. Be patient y’all, as with all good things, it will be worth the wait. Love this show and Sam and Cait are priceless.
I couldn’t agree more Ruth. It’s going to be worth the wait!
My husband only passed 2yrs ago this Nov..I would be crumbled with tears of joy seeing him..’Also my parents 20 yrs now..I would be blinded by the tears of joy and not even be thinking of anything else beyond that at that point..
I agree–Jamie is in various stages of shock and does not seem to allow himself to totally enjoy Claire’s return, plus he has kept his mask in place, almost as if he’s afraid he will wake up and find it is all a dream. Living as a bachelor under a different name, he had much less to lose. He’s also older now, and probably tired and weary of living mostly without joy and without Claire. Next week’s episode is sure to be interesting!
The mask is a great image Susan. I think we’ll see it fall away in the next couple of episodes. Can’t wait!!
Thank you Nikki for this post and comments. As I’ve stated I was searching for the joy which I found in bits but there was something else. I too see the mask and think it will fade by 208.
Thank you for this. After all the hullabaloo on the Facebook pages, this is a well-written, measured response to the most-anticipated scene in season 3.
Thanks Susan! If I don’t understand something or feel frustrated I always try to look at it from a different angle. This time it worked pretty well and I get to spend a few minutes in Jamie Fraser’s head (it’s amazing in there). 🙂 Thanks so much for you kind words and for taking the time to read this.
Also Nikki. Your post let me realize too that we were seeing it from his perspective. So we get his take and bc of the commitments he has thus the tension. Great post. This is the first I’ve read that mentions this most needed angle.
Joey I think your perspective is dead on. I agree with what you said
Well let’s start with the fainting part – spot on reaction for a man who has seen his wife in his dreams, at his worst times of need for the last 20 years. This man had never stopped grieving for Claire and had no expectation that she would ‘come back some day’. I think he did pretty well seeing photos carried in a plastic baggie of the daughter who is his spitting image. The scene with Willie’s portrait made perfect emotional sense for Jaime and brought Claire up to speed. I loved the Fergus street meet: Cait & Sam were superb introducing adult Fergus to us all. I saw Jaime’s walls starting to come down as he replied to Fergus what about -she who must not be named -saying not a problem we’ll get Ned Gowan on it. He knows instantly his 2nd marriage( catholic doctrine saves the day here) is invalid as his wife is still alive. By the time they are ensconced upstairs in the brothel, Jaime’s declaration of her beauty and asking permission whether she’ll ‘have me’, the slow disrobing, served to fuel the avalanche of emotion played to perfection by these talented actors. Confession: I have lost count how many times I have watched this episode, it is that compelling.
This episode might get viewed as much as The Wedding. Oh wait, is it just me that’s watched it XXX times?
I just read your article and I agree with you. I think it plays into why Sam chose to play the scene where he sees Brianna’s photos for the first time differently then the book. His point of view is could not be overly dramatic given how he has shut himself off from emotion for such a long time. I cannot wait to see how they handle the Claire learns Laoghaire is wife #2. Will make for some good tv watching! Thank you for the piece.
And thank you for taking the time to read it. You can almost feel the drama lurking around the corner can’t you?!
Agree with your post and many of the comments here giving additional reasons for Jamie’s response. Loved the episode, but Sam’s incredible portrayal has left me tense with wanting to see Jamie give in to the joy we know will be there, to see them truly together again. I had expected the tension of building up (and then waiting two weeks!) for Printshop would be released with Ep. 6 (as it was in my reading of the book), but no… I’m guessing it’s at least two more episodes until we see them comfortable and feel that tension ease. Makes me wish maybe I had waited until December so I could binge the whole season at once because each week’s wait is torture!
I think you’re right Kelly. I think it’s going to take two more episodes for things to finally settle down. And oh what adventure awaits between now and then! I know what you mean about the temptation to binge it all at once. I stumbled on Outlander last spring and I was able to watch both seasons straight through. This waiting a week between shows is killer!!!
This brought some different perspective to me & helps me not hate the episode. But I still always get the feeling that the writers just don’t “get” Jamie & his larger than life personality as the “king of men”.
Anita, thanks for reading. I sometimes think that Jamie’s humor doesn’t get to shine on the screen like it does in the books. Then again, there’s only so much you can do with 50 minutes episodes. 🙂
Jamie’s personal and social burdens are now heavier than they’ve ever been. He must deal with not only the reality of Claire’s return to his life but also with his personal responsibilities to Jenny, his Lallybroch family and his marriage to Laoghaire. In terms of his social burdens, he has to continue his commitment to his printing business, his smuggling enterprise, his connections with Willoughby and the other partners in his illegal business, and his regained reputation as a man of substance. After twenty years of deprivation and the condescending attitude of the English, Jamie has achieved some personal success and purpose. Claire’s appearance now puts his recently gained status in limbo. His pleasure with having her in his life once more is tempered by the questions of what this will mean for his present life and the people in it, and how much of that life he should explain to her. That is why he asks her if she is willing to accept him for the man he is rather than the man he once was. . .he has so much baggage, he is no longer the young man with a strong sense of ethics and a code of honorable behavior. He has struggled and learned that living often requires a breach in honor and morality for a chance of survival. Telling Claire about Willie was easy and honest because while Jamie had known and loved that child, he was no longer a part of that child’s life and never expected to be again. Telling Claire about treasonous pamphlets and smuggling was a bit difficult because it was dangerous, the consequences of which would be dire for her as well as himself. Telling Claire about Laoghaire after she has just returned to him risked everything. . .losing her and a part of his soul again, a possibility that he was not prepared to face. Jamie’s anxiety is reflected in his astonishment, his fumbling and awkwardness, his oblique responses; only his physical desire for Claire gives him momentary reprieve from the many concerns he suddenly has realized. Sam’s performance is perfect in every moment of this reunion.
Yes to all of that!! Also, thanks for using the word oblique. It’s one of my personal favorites. 🙂
LOVE LOVE LOVE this article. Great way to explain the complexities of Jamie’s life!!!!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this Joanna. I’m glad you liked it.
This article is pure perfection. Nikki when did this concept come to you? It flashed past me but only as a consideration until your article. Did you know it all along why Jamie seemed off or did it take a while?
Jamie is someone well-versed in taking on new personas. He is intelligent and resilient, two qualities that have helped him survive tragedies that others wouldn’t. He will again pick up the pieces of his disassembled puzzle of a life and find a way to reincorporate the extra piece that is Claire.
So are you saying that his wisdom and resilience will help him survive? 😉 I love the image of the puzzle pieces Karen. The rest of this season is going to be mighty fun to watch. Slainte!
Very helpful insights. Thank you!
Thanks for reading Piper!
I totally agree, in the book it’s all from Clare’s pov. I’ve watched 7 times now and take away something new each time. Jamie is taken completely off guard, and while he’s definitely happy to see her, there are so many skeletons in his closet he doesn’t know which way to turn. Yes hes happy to see pics of Bree, but he doesn’t know her, I totally get why Jamie told Claire about willie, he had a relationship with him and keeps in contact with LG. I can’t wait to see how this all plays out in the rest of season, nothing is done or said without a path to follow by these writers and Ron.
Thanks for reading Carol. the remainder of this season is going to be a whole bunch of fun!
20 years is a long time – a life time! This is a love story yes, but it is also a very tragic story, which takes place during times of great cultural upheavals – from the 18th C to WW2 to 1960s. We learn about living life in these times and yet desire more ( control ? ) key – we have no control to make this story connect to our desire for that ” happy ending ” where actions and reactions reflect our expectations. Jamie is a tragic figure and one who illustrates the conflicts which still affect men today – they must be in control and masters of their fate and the fates of their family or as in James Fraser’s times – his people who are more than his immediate blood kin but also his warriors and all those living at /on Lallybroch as wlel as relationships with other Lairds …. we moderns have little comprehension of the loyalty and reliance needed to make that work, ya ken ? Jamie has sacrificed so much for the wellbeing of others , no wonder his control over his emotions is almost repressive – but he must master them ! He is a victim of torture , his lands, social stature, taken away violently , given no rights to his children ( again, looking at this issue from modern eyes, we’ve forgotten about ‘ succession ‘ , infant mortality etc. and how vital they were in our ancestors’ times ). Now, after 20 years of living rough, he has raised himself up to be a business person and his long lost love who has been ” gone ” 20 yrs. re appears. I have been shocked when reading the FB posts from people who think his reaction should be MORE . .When seeing a photograph of a daughter, now 20, who he has never known, and no doubt spent 20 years trying not to focus too much on since he may never see this daughter or Claire again. Ever. ” Stunned ” would be a good word and yes, I watched Sam H talk about how his reactions as Jamie were internal. Of course they were. are – for that is MAN. Our social requirements for men’s emotions – since JF’s time in the 1700s to modern times demand that men are not overtly emotional. It was perfect that he fainted to upon seeing Claire , after 20 years. It was perfect that upon seeing his first ever photograph of a woman he never knew, his reactions were his own internal emotions OMG – to take all that in ? !
HUGE ISSUES here and we follow along as best we can – trying not to let our emotional expectations govern the actors ‘ interpretations of their roles.
Excellent insight….I absolutely agree…..yes, Jamie is a tragic hero and with your words perhaps those who would have liked more tears, more crumbling, more physical response will begin to understand the reasons Sam chose this beautiful, realistic response….It is Jamie. The marvelous acting by Sam indicates true understanding of who Jamie is, his responsibilities, his innate emotions.
Valerie, I was one of those people whose gut reaction was that we should have seen more. I even wrote that in the live blog that Ashley Crawley and I did. It was only after some reflection that I realized how truly on point the writing and the acting were. Thanks for sharing your excellent thoughts and for taking the time to read this.
Me too. I was so disappointed, but now feel it was dead on. Now bc of your post I understand. I am thinking we may still see him going to pieces like a tall tree falling?!?!?!?
About all I also think foremost in his mind is what will Claire do when she finds out Jamie is married to to whom he’s married. I’m sure so many other things were on his mind as well. It also takes a while to become used to one another after being separated.
Right?! When he’s talking to Fergus you can almost hear him yelling “Oh crap!” in his head. We’ve all been there before…trying to be cool on the outside while we mentally freak out on the inside. Sam’s acting is just.so.good.
Well written and well reasoned as are the comments. I think some key words were missed and the sex scenes could have been shortened to include them – the blackmail that resulted in Willie, for example. I enjoyed watching Jamie struggle with the myriad of emotions and uncertainty and thoughts. Well done indeed.
Agreed on these amazing comments. They are knocking me out! I still think we’ll see a conversation about Willie down the road. That’s my prediction anyway. 😉
Well said. Even though we have Claire’s voiceovers, director & writers are presenting a very realistic, not as romanticized version. I do think Jamie, Ian, Jr., Fergus and Mr. Willoughby almost blew the Big Secret. Fergus asked Jamie directly about his plans on it.
I have watched 4 times. I have thought about what was shown and how I feel about all the choices made in production and performance more than is likely healthy. Perhaps we can all agree on this :
I’ll bet that was the best night’s sleep either of them has had in 20 years.
I think you summed up the tone of this episode from Jaime’s point of you very well. In fact as much as we fantasize about the Big love Jaime and Claire share. Outlander is not a fairytale. The way the reunion was written in the book in my opinion was more like a fairytale. The joyous reunion the happily ever after vibe. However outlander is far from it from a fairytale. Jamie and Claire are survivors! Their love has survived and grown stronger overcoming great odds and in that respect their love is a fairytale. I am glad that the show gave us a very human view of what their reunion would look like after all that they have been through & survived. I’m grateful that this episode didn’t come off as fake or Mela dramatic. They Gave us the bitter with the sweet, the awkward with the sexy, The laughter with the tears. I believe the actors performed the truth of the moments in that episode. There is more danger, adventure and romance ahead for these characters and I hope show continues to show the yin and the yang of those moments in life and not just a fairytale. Thank you for this well written post and helping us Unravel some new insights into Jaime.
Well said! I really think that the emotions will come in the next 2 episodes. He is shocked and stunned and does not want to lose the love of his life again. I actually am really excited to see the big secret revealed. For me, that is when the two of them come together again as one. At least in the books, that is when they connect with each other again. Claire has had MONTHS to adjust to this revelation of reuniting. Jamie has had seconds. They need time to get to know each other again and learn about the people they have become.
Wow! Excellent insightful take. I, too, thought something a little off but could not put my finger on it…this was it.
I, too, understand Jamie’s reaction to seeing Claire again. He was very honest when he told her about his son, whom he loves. Shock at seeing here. Losing his equilibrium for a bit. I thought it very honest. And as I keep eatching, just love the reunion more and more. Claire is smiling now, didn’t do much of that in Boston.
I think when Claire and Jamie get to Lallybroch , the reason why Jamie told Claire about Willie when he did will be explained. Stay tuned for that episode. Don’t want to say any more that might be spoilers for those who haven’t read the books.
I love this series. Read the books twice and yes for me it was a little flat. Maybe I am wrong but the build up let me a little down. Even so, I love it!
My husband a I were talking after the show. I said Jamie not the same, something is missing in his demeanor. My husband answers me with what do you expect, he has lost everything. His wife, children, family, all of his friends, his home and his life as he new it. So I think Jamie is just trying to cope and live in his different life.
I think this is spot on I loved the episode too
I never had a problem with all the hesitation but this truly makes so much sense
I kept thinking that Claire knew she was coming back but that day that Jamie woke up he had no idea that the love of his life was about to enter his life again
I also thought that first scene of him going to work I thought to myself mmmhh his life is in order
This is from Jamie’s perspective so it all makes sense that he would be hesitant and probably really nervous about how to reveal to Claire the whole Laoghaire situation. I feel for the guy truthfully.
Uh I guess he’s worrying about his wife at home. I haven’t read the books and I was able to ferret that information out. A wife that tried to have Claire burned as a witch! Small detail Jamie is leaving out!
Oh dear…yes…it’s going to be interesting to say the least.
I’m new to Oulandercast and the blog and am loving this place!!!
Excellent…..you put into words my exact thoughts. We all love the books so much…and I bet we all have a slightly different opinion of how things should play out. I have rewatched several times and I find I love it more every time…seeing it in a different light. Yes, Poor Jamie has a lot on his mind and I understand his actions so much more now than I did watching it the 1st time Sunday!! It will only get better as the season progresses…..we all have the Turtle Soup episode to look forward to!!!
ABSOLUTELY! ABSOLUTELY! ABSOLUTELY!
20 years, folks, 20 YEARS! …..and life hasn’t been a lovely walk in the park for Jamie either. He’s a military vet, he’s been raped TWICE (BJR and that little manipulative bitch in England), mutilated, blackmailed, starved, stabbed, beaten, robbed, lost 3 children, lost the love of his life, lost his family, etc, etc, etc. You name it, it’s happened to him. You can only kick a dog so many times. I can’t imagine anyone I know or myself responding any differently to the situation after 20 years of hell. He HAS been shedding tears…..he HAS been falling apart……..for the last 20 years……everyday of his life and in his dreams, if not externally, most definitely internally. Grief doesn’t go away. You simply learn to live with it. Some days are worse than others, but it’s always there……lingering. Grief is an entity that numbs you and becomes part of you like an appendage. It speaks to you everyday and with time you learn to befriend it’s dull ache. You have to in order to survive and that, Jaime, certainly has and he continues to fight. Just look at the way he carries himself. Claire’s arrival, as much as it has brought him joy, also brings a heavy burden for him to carry. Looking forward to this continuing journey. This is just my interpretation within my 21st century mind and my own experience. DG sure has a gift of making one think a lot about their own life and experiences. Outlander isn’t just a love story. It’s also therapy.
Erika – Well put! This has been an excellent discussion of this episode!
Awesome words, gosh I would hate to think how many things Jamie had flying around his head since Claire’s unexpected return, everything happening all at once, plus trying to engage with Claire without letting too much on ?
Definitely thrown head first back into their own world of chaos.
I think Sam did an amazing job portraying this, it gets better with every viewing
I like your perspective immensely. I’ve watched epi 306 4 times and loved it more each time. I enjoy the complexity that Claire’s reappearance causes. Wonderful post!
Thanks Nanci. I really appreciate you taking the time to read. Do you think you’ll watch one more time between now and Sunday?
I loved the episode from the start. On my last viewing, because I have to admit it’s been many, I noticed something that ended up making me cry. I had missed it on the initial 225 times I viewed it. 🙂
When Claire says “I knew you’d have had a life” after learning about Willy, Jamie’s expression changes right after and to me revealed the pain of mostly living in isolation and loneliness for 20 years. He doesn’t say anything as he has kept those feelings well buried. Claire doesn’t know at this point what he’s been through, but in truth he hasn’t had a life. HIs walls came down for 1 second and if you blinked you missed it.
Just wanted to share.
‘Me’, that’s exactly what I saw in that moment. A reflection on Jamie’s part of what his life have been. A heartbreaking moment.
I agree completely with your take on this episode. A lot of my Outlander friends have said that they were disappointed with this episode, especially Jamie’s reactions. We have to remember that Claire planned her return to Jamie but he had closed that part of his heart and deadened his emotions. Not to mention who is waiting for him at Lallybroch ?. His world just got turned upside down!
Thanks Diana. I really dread the return to Lallybroch but I keep reminding myself that once we get over the nastiness it’s going to make everything that allows that much sweeter!!! Turtle Soup anyone?! 🙂
I agree it was on his mind. Why is she here exactly? What’s next for us? Fear he will loose her again and could he survive it again? Will she understand my life now, especially you know who? Everything Claire went through, he is going through. It was a great show. My 2nd favorite is 304 where Jamie gets to be with one of his children. Some happiness again. The road back to living was 304.
When Jamie acted like maybe Claire had popped over to say hello and was then going to leave again I was wondering where he thought she might go if she didn’t stay. Then again, the shock of seeing her, not knowing fully what’s up with the stones and the travel, it’s not fair to think that he would know that she had come to stay. Thanks for reading Pam!
I have always wondered why Jenny and Ian did not give Lallybroch back to Jamie after he came home from Helwater a free man. Jamie is at his core a Highlander and a Laird. He has a job to do and does not shy away from his responsibilities.He would have put all his energy into rebuilding Lallybroch for his family and tenants. In doing so he would have carved out some sort of life for himself. Of course then Claire might not have found him and we would have no story.
The day Claire comes back into his life is something he told himself would never happen. I donot think he was thinking of how this would affect his life. It was more a shock and then a fear she would go again and he could not bear that again.He is tentative, even a little shy with her It has been a very long time. I think he is terrified she will not stay. I don’t think he has thought much further ahead than that.
Yes, Judy Glasson! I hear him thinking how do I tell her the truth AND keep her from running away…let me say what I can now and then I’ll figure out how to deal with the rest tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. He’s eating the elephant, one bite at a time.
You know, I never realized how cold “it’s very fine to see you again, Claire,” sounds, used, as I am, to 21st century’s “cool”, “awesome”, “amazing” – and yes, I heard that “but”, that I didn’t catch in the book 🙂 This goes to a season 2 Heughan’s contribution, when he finished walking the length of the table long before his speech was done, and had the director/writers make adjustments 🙂 When reading the book, the dinner table is as long as it needs to be, for Jamie to finish talking, but in the visual world, the dinner table has a fixed length 🙂 So yes, Jamie didn’t react like his 23 years old self with a perhaps “mighty fine”, end of sentence 🙂 Book 6 (ABOSAA) has Claire remembering the reunion and how Jamie was keeping his eyes “shaded” so she couldn’t tell what he was thinking, while they were having the epic dinner. My one dent is in the symmetry / come full circle department, when she couldn’t say “that bad, huh?” – to return his words at *her* fainting, on their wedding day, 20 years before.
Agreed with all of your observations. Jamie has a very complicated life that will all be revealed over the next few episodes . Sam is doing an amazing job portraying Jamie, can’t wait for next episode.
Julie, I have been completely blown away by everything from Cave Jamie to Jamie’s reaction in episode 6. He’s nothing short of amazing. Thanks for taking the time to read. 🙂
I certainly resonate with everything you just wrote. I too watched it over and over, hanging on the dialogue, trying to interpret the actors methods, and the possible meaning of their portrayal. I selfishly acknowledged that I miss the sword swathing kilt wearing youthful Jaime – but that’s not who he is anymore, and that’s what made it so real. That’s what happens in real life, too. Being a reader of the books, though, it became obvious to me what is happening soon – don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but we will all soon find out who he is married to, and what happened. What I saw was a Jaime who just could not imagine telling Claire about her, as he just could not possibly risk losing her again. Soooo…he avoids it at all cost, leaving himself an anxious mess. There you have it.
Some things I did not like about A. Malcolm – I’m Jaime’s age. I just started wearing reading glasses. But I think his acting portrayed him more as a grandfather than a 45 year old – but Sam…I forgive you, it’s OK, I’ll get over it. The other thing I can do with less of is timid overly sweet Claire with the really low voice. I mean, I get it, too – I do love how much respect she is showing Jaime…but oh how I miss that woman who would yell and scream at Jaime, at others, yet always remains loving and loyal, and strong.
This is about where I get excited for next weeks episode, and chill out. Not to mention, get back to my life as a surgeon. 😉
On glasses and age: 45 was the age of a Grand sire back then..happily for Claire her old man works out!!
Is that true, Mary Beth! I guess they didn’t live very long back then either, did they. This cross century thing is a fun thing to get tripped up on. I wonder how long it will take Claire to make zippers (instead of buckles) for Jaime’s boots??
Maggie, I hadn’t really thought about Claire’s voice but you’re right. She is protecting her emotions as much as Jamie is protecting his. Never fear, I think we’ll see her unleash on him soon enough. There will be fireworks over Lallybroch!! 🙂
SO loved your post! And also appreciate the responses of your intelligent and thoughtful commenters. There is always so much to see and think about.
Thinking back to Book print shop, I think that J’s response to Bree’s photos is so poignant there because ‘slowly falling to pieces’ is so very unlike his usual steel strong emotional control. One word I always find myself saying about both the books and the shows is TENDER. Their tender warm relationship as in tender hearts, and also tender as in painful.
And besides all of the 20 years of cares on Jamie’s shoulders, add to that now the huge responsibility to keep Claire safe and to never lose her again.
And finally, compare that to Claire’s happy, glowing SO satisfied face at the end, knowing she won the gamble and did the right thing to come back. Then, (dun dun DUN!) evil comes back into her world. Welcome back to your new world, Claire!
Thanks Peigi! I don’t know what they’ve done to Claire’s face or if it’s a combination of makeup and Cait’s fabulous natural beauty but she is positively GLOWING in this episode. Gorgeous!
I love this episode, together again after 20years,. Jamie’s hesitant because of Laoghaire, he did say to Fergus that he’d need to consult Ned Gowen. Laoghaire is the last person she would have wanted Jamie to marry after the witch trial.
Ned Gowan will fix this. He fixes everything! 🙂
Saw a tweet about being patient re the missing quote so perhaps it’s moved to the next episode? I loved this article, it helped me be happier about the episode, which I loved but felt a loss about. I’ve read so much this week…and watched this several times, now I want to watch it from this POV.
I saw that as well. I have faith in the writers!
Enjoy the rewatch! Thanks for taking the time to read this.
It’s going to be a major stramash! They far is about to hit the fire! Scary, but will be watching! Slainte mhath!
Oh girl, it’s going to get a lot worse before it get’s better, but I can’t wait until all the secrets are out and Jamie and Claire can finally be themselves again. #fireworksatLallybroch Thanks for reading!
I’ve gleaned so much wonderful insight reading these comments. No doubt Jamie was shocked, overjoyed at his soulmate’s return he believed had been lost to him forever. He may have given some thought to how his involvement in treason, sedition, smuggling could complicate life due to Claire’s return. The impending burden of the secret yet to be revealed. To say there is a lot to digest is putting it mildly.
He has managed to survive being raped and tortured, a historical battle, loss of his wife, children, home/land,being protector/savior his entire life. All the while maintaining honor, integrity,sincerity and kindness.
The ending of episode “A Malcolm” showing Claire being attacked is a preview of the imposing danger Jamie must contemplate.
His mind and soul must be experiencing a whirlwind of turmoil. Knowing full well he wouldn’t be able to withstand the intense pain of losing Claire again, along with his heart and soul he was straight forward with his questions. Why did you come back? To share news of our child? Do you want me? Are you willing to accept the man I’ve become?
Jamie’s heartfelt description of how he had been “Living in the Shadows”. Then Claire entered the print shop. It was as if the sun came out shining light on this empty life was so very touching. Jamie has always been the absolute ideal man to deliver such poignant thoughts.
Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments.
Linda, these comments are truly amazing and I’ve had so much fun reading through them all. Thanks for taking the time to read. Enjoy the remainder of the season!
Your comments gave a clarity of my own thought. Yes, I love seeing Jamie and Claire back together again but I felt his uneasiness about something. Of course I know what that something is and you have voiced more reasons for his anxiety and caginess.
My only gripe of the show is his handling of Brees photos but Sam was brilliant in his acting. Understated and yet one can feel his unease.
Sam is a master of the subtle performance and he’s killing it this season! Thanks for reading.
I’m commenting without readying the comments so I’m not side tracked.
YES, YES, YES!!! All of it! YES! I’ve thought for years that there was never a moment’s peace for Jamie…ever! He is always carrying the emotional and spiritual weight for those he loves and feels a moral responsibility for, including of course, Claire. Now there is confirmation of the existence of Bree, piled on top of the growing weight of William.
There are only a few moments for Jamie where he can lay those burdens down and I look forward to a certain field of wild strawberries where he not only sets those aside but can actually feel the joy of love and light in the same moment
Thanks so much! If you want even more insight you really should go back and read some of the comments. They are amazing.
Thinking of Leghair of course, which is why I cancelled STARZ. Refuse to watch some a**hole marry the woman who tried to have his wife killed, there’s NOTHING That consitute this being ok. Just says Claire really wasn’t and isn’t that big of a deal (except good sex) I understand forgiving someone for something, but not FORGETTING. And yes Leghair was old enough to know what she was doing (I ‘m talking TV version of it not book) And if Claire would really be stupid enough to stay with him no matter what excuses he’ll have makes her top pick for “stupid broad of the decade”. In the books Jamie doesn’t find out til “books” later and then tells Claire “Christ, you can’t think I’d have married the woman if i’d known that”. Sorry, I got too involved in the series and can’t continue to watch listening to his forever for me, only loved you bull, if he could marry L.
Shortdoxie, so sorry for you. Inability to look at the “Big Picture” and consider every possible factor seems to be a shortcoming, some fans suffer from. Judging w.o. knowing emotional, psychological aspects is sad. You’ve not even seen how the series will present this event. Why bother to join this profound conversation. Take care.
I must say this! See I have not read the books to this series but the comments that I read have open my eyes to see what is really going on with Jamie. First of all Sam, does an magnificent job at portraying Jamie in his emotional state of confusion and or anxiety. My first thoughts were he is “suspect “of being guilty. of what .I did not know until the beans were spilled here with all the different comments. I love this show and happy that they are back together again, but I am having so many thoughts of what will happen next and I fear the worst. I do hope all will go well in the end.for they do love each other sincerely. I repeat watching this episode just to see his reactions, for Claire genuinely is happy at seeing him again but I believe now his fears has enabled him to express his true happiness at her return. Just saying….
I’m so sorry that you feel that way. I’m not sure how you landed here if you’ve given up on the show but maybe give it another try? The acting this season is amazing and I absolutely believe that the showrunners are going to handle this “marriage” with the dexterity that they’ve handled everything else.
Your blog made me sit back and think about the episode. I went into it all starry-eyed, partly because I have just returned from Scotland and was at the print shop filming location on October 6th (even with a homeless man sitting in the archway where the carts were it was still magical). So I just had my glass of whisky, sat back, watched the episode and sighed. Now, however, I can see that Jamie was hesitant for more than just the reason that I, and book reader, assumed. Claire did suddenly appear in his life without warning and he now has many adjustments to make no matter how overcome with happiness he is to have her back. Thanks for the perspective. The episode is still stunning in its beauty, acting, directing, writing, settings, and authenticit yet. I have watched it 9 times so far and still love it.
How fabulous Trudy! Here’s hoping that you had a wonderful journey to Scotland. It’s on my personal bucket list. I agree with you on the episode being stunning in so many different ways. The Print Shop set is worthy of it’s own blog post. It felt so warm and nearly sacred.
I can handle my own pain but I could not yours that is more then I could bare. That line that Jamie says was constantly on my mind while I was watching episode 6. I got that initial feeling from him, while he has only loved Claire and always will. Jamie sent her back and their child so they would be safe. He knew his time only brought pain and suffering to Claire while she was there with him. So, why would he want to have her back with all the disasters of his time? You want to do what is best for the person that you love dearly even if it means to let them go. Jamie has always put other people’s safety and happiness before his. Why would this time be any different? He wants Claire but he wants her to be safe above all else. I felt his emotions through his actions. I love the show and I love the books!! Both are different and that is ok. Way to go Sam and Cait!! You are truly wonderful actors!!!
What a lovely point Diane. He sent her back to keep her safe and there she stands in front of him. Claire just can’t stay put and I love her for it. ;0
I absolutely agree. Twenty years must be filled of things and persons that can’t be put apart just when Claire appears. Kamie’s life has never been simple, abd he does not says “oh, I love you, let’s go home and be happy forever”. He has secrets and things to solve… and we will see how
It’s going to be an amazing ride Iseabail! Thanks for taking the time to read.
Your words so mirror my own thoughts about this episode that it is almost scary. Sam Heughan knows Jamie Fraser better than any of us, and his portrayal in this episode, indeed in the entire season 3 episodes so far has been outstanding. He knows, as Jamie knows, that one more loss in his life could send him into a dark place that he may never crawl out of, and his suspicions about Claire’s return are understandable. He is afraid, afraid to experience the joy he so badly wants to feel, lest it too be snatched away, like Claire and their unborn child, Lallybrach, his freedom, Faith, his son, the young men that he knew from boyhood, Colum, Dougal, Rupert, Angus, Murtagh, his way of life, even his nationality in a way, his kilt and plaid, his language, almost his entire life. How can he put all that behind him in one small moment when he sees the woman whose memory he has clung to over 20 years suddenly appears? And he has secrets, secrets that he believes could cause Claire to vanish again. How can he be anything but wary?
I also sense a change in Heughan himself, maybe accidental, maybe on purpose. He is much thinner; is that Heughan’s attempt to show that Jamie is no longer the young warrior, but forced into a more sedentary life? Or is it his way of looking beyond his current character, to his future career? I sense a difference in his relationship with Balfe. They have lost their old camaraderie, their playful intercourse, their mutual admiration of each other. And it has nothing to do with people assuming or wanting them to be in a personal relationship. Behind their giggles there are barbed remarks, said with a smile, but barbed none the less. I am trying very hard not to let that interfere with my devotion to Outlander, the series, and I hope that as we view the next seven episodes of Season 3 that they become the Jamie and Claire we grew to love in the first two seasons, partners in life, and that Sam and Cait go back to being partners in their endeavor to bring these characters to life.
Judith, I’m hoping that they return to the “old” “young” Jamie and Claire too. I think they will, we just have to slog through some terrible stuff first.
Yes, yes, and yes. As I read all the negative comments, I thought, don’t these viewers no all of the implications that Clare’s return have for Jamie? Give him time. His life has been one shocking blow after another. It’s no wonder he doesn’t know how to react and doesn’t trust that all will be well.
Yep, poor thing. Every time Jamie finds himself in a comfortable spot, the rug gets pulled out from under him. Why does he have any reason to believe that this wouldn’t be the same.
This episode was a ride to partake in. I love the points you point out. I think his paranoia is worse in the show. He send more shady too. He would meet Percival openly in the tavern in the books.
I know, this is the show. I just like looking at the differences. Will be interesting to see how he acts in the next episode now that Claire has been caught up in things.
Yes, Cyndi the paranoia and the shadiness are what threw me off. It’s one of the beautiful things about seeing this story adapted for television. We get new and interesting insights into the characters that we’ve come to love (and thought we knew).
Excellant analysis. I am sure his “marriage ” (not to give anything away for those not having read the books) is also weighing heavily on him and going forward. I thought the episode hit everything perfectly and frankly am a little upstairs with those disgruntled. Done perfectly and shout out to the unspoken chemistries between our two lovers.
Ugh…I’m glad you used quotes around the word. I don’t want to see it but we have to in order to get to the good stuff. #fireworksatLallybroch
WOW! Never thought of all those things but can see the truth in what you said. For me since the books are all from Claire’s perspective that is the focus but one of the many great things about the show is we get to explore things from other viewpoints. I will admit when Jamie said ‘It is fine to see you again Claire’ it felt like a knife in my heart (for Claire).
Exactly Joanne. I’m like what…that’s all she gets? Would you also like to offer her a piece of stale hard candy from your nana’s candy dish?
I’m going to have to watch it a few more times, I think. There was a lot going on below the surface.
Jillene, you really should watch it a few more times. That’s the awesome thing about Outlander, I see something new almost every time I watch an episode (and that’s fairly often).
Thank you all for your comments and views. I sooooo understand this episode now as I was confused at first. Your viewpoints have been thoughtful and helped me to see it from different vantage points. I believe no one could understand Jaime’s reaction unless you’ve suffered such loss. Sam, you are the man! I love all the actors portrayals. I love this TV series. I love the books. I had purposely not read ahead to far in the book series but I think I’m ready to continue reading now. Let the ride begin! ???
Karen, definitely read on further in the series. There are so many tiny details that you don’t get in the show; that you can’t get because there isn’t enough time. It WILL be an amazing ride. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Now I am forever a fan of you. This post is like when I’m mulling over something and I just cannot let it go. I need someone to talk to about it. Someone to confirm my thoughts. I’ll discuss it with several friends, be unsatisfied by their responses, still unsettled by it. Then!!…I have an outing with that soul sister friend — I discuss it with her and she puts it all into perfect perspective, mirroring, improving on, confirming, and adding insight. I sigh and say “yes, thank you! You get it!”
Yes, thank you!
Thanks so much Rebecca! I feel like we just shared a cup of coffee. Sometimes you’ve just got to talk this stuff out. My friends get tired of me blathering on about Outlander so I have to write blogs. Thanks so much for hanging out with me for a little bit and sharing Outlander thoughts.
They both have secrets. You could tell. Both failed to tell all as they had promised to never lie. Can’t imagine how Jamie is going to untangle himself. When Jamie mentioned his stay at the prison and Claire said she knew and more, his look of concern as if she knew his secrets. His statement that they know less of each other now than they knew of each other when they wed is so true. Secrets, secrets……..
Okay, as I watch this episode over and over again, I think, poor Claire! Traveled back again to hurt and pain! What will become of this, I ask myself…
There is something about Sam/Cait, they have changed. Great performance as Jamie/Claire but there is a difference between them two. Can’t explain just yet.
I’ve noticed the different too and I’m hoping that it’s just the tension of the material. Maybe once we get past the getting to know phase maybe we’ll see the old Sam and Cait. Fingers crossed!
Of course reading the post I understand all of that. I’ve read the complete series twice. Mainly because I wanted clarity regarding the scot on the corner that frank encountered before the teip through the stones. Still not quite satisfied on that count, and thinking another book may be coming. Hope so! In the episode being discussed, having read the books, Jamie does have a lot on his mind.
Beckett, Diana is working on book 9 now and she said recently that book 10 would be the final one in the series. I think she’ll tie up all the loose ends with the final books. Here’s hoping for her good health!
I love the name of the episode because Jamie is not the same man he was before. In many ways Jamie Fraser is dead and A. Malcom now lives.
Stacey, you’re so right about that.
This is good! Yes I thought his reaction was stifled because of the utter shock of having her in front of him. Can you imagine??? She had many weeks to prepare and he did not. There has to be a grace period for him to wrap his head around it. Poor guy. You are so right about the endless chain of events that could result from her arrival. Thankfully, they get this all figured out and start a new life to become who they are meant to be in NC.
Can’t wait to see these two recreate their lives together. This season is going to be such fun!
Yes, we got very close to the secret didn’t we? Even these interactions, I think, are subtle. So much good acting here. Thanks for taking the time to read this Jen,
That’s hilarious Andrea and an excellent point. I’m not sure how even the most disgruntled viewer could disagree with that! Thanks for reading.
I thought so, then skimmed the book again. Turns out DG says they both slept lousy. Still, the book is the book and the show is the show, and I still believe they felt safer and more at home then at any time since they were last together.
Teresa, I usually don’t post links to my own blog posts in responses but I can’t help myself. You hit upon one of those reasons why I love this story. It might seem like a fairytale at first but it’s so much more than that. It’s about real life struggles and survival. It’s why we all relate so well to it. https://www.outlandercast.com/2017/02/outlander-from-book-to-screen-favorite-lines-of-love.html
Thanks so much taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.
Yes, her smile. We’ve seen so little of it this season. It was time! I love the way they look at each other and can’t wait to see more. Thanks so much for reading this Louise.
At first, I was like ok where is she going with this, but I completly understand what your saying. When I watched it the first time though, I felt all of Jamie’s emotions and he had many! Sam never ceases to amaze me with what he brings to the character of Jamie. I absolutely loved this episode and believe i have watched it 10 times already…. yup I’m crazy haha! Love your blog and I hope I win this beautiful bracelet!
So true Barbara. I’ve got some difficult things to say but I’ll start with the least difficult of the things. 🙂
Have you read the entire series twice? #lifegoals
Patti, give your husband a high five from me. I love that there are so many couples who watch this show together.
Rosanne, I (briefly) felt a little bit bad for him knowing that his life was about to get turned upside down. For the first time this season he looked truly comfortable and then Claire fell out of the sky. Thanks so much for taking the time to read.
Natalie, don’t you think it’s going to be a train wreck? We’ll want to look away but we’ll be completely unable to.
Welcome Shelly!!!! I’m so glad that you found us. We’re a little bit nutty (I think that’s my mother’s quote) but we have a lot of fun and are always happy to have one more join us.
Sher I’m hoping to get in one more rewatch before Sunday. We’ve got a lot to get through before we get to sample the Turtle Soup but I believe it’s going to be worth the wait.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.
Excellent! I was hoping to get in one more rewatch before Sunday. You’ve given me something else to look for.
Absolutely loved this post! A clear, easy to understand viewpoint that makes perfect sense. It’s great too, that so many of the comments embrace and build on the idea opening up even more facets of this wonderful episode. Really appreciate this and look forward to more posts.
Thanks Beth! These comments have been truly amazing and I’ve learned so much from reading them. My family refuses to listen to my Outlander blathering so I have to keep writing posts. 🙂
Excellent reviews and great comments you have received. One of the things I thought was interesting from the writer’s room is their mention of wanting the print shop to reflect upon the scenes of the wedding night without duplicating them . They said you can’t do somethings twice and expect the same reaction. Since we had just seen Jamie go to pieces and faint – to have him do something so similar over the photos of Brianna in the same episode probably would have felt like a repeat action. by Sam giving it the twist of an internal falling apart it, stood out in a different way that we all noticed.
Judy, I think they did a fabulous job in capturing the “essence” of the wedding. It was close enough to make us remember that episode but different enough to make us aware that things have truly changed with these two.
I agree with you at first I was a bit confused as to why he was he was reserved but after watching the episode a few more times you realize that Jamie has had a rough time since he sent Claire through the stones, it took him a very long time for him to recover from that devastating loss he didnt even want to be alive , so I can see why he would be a bit hesitant to allow the emotions to overtake him at least until he knows for sure she is here to stay and because she chose to come back and give up her future life to be with him. Im so excited for the next episode! Cant Wait! 🙂
Sue, it’s an interesting point. When you think of the different iterations of Jamie that we’ve seen this season; Cave Jamie, Prison Jamie, Groomsman Jamie, and now A. Malcolm, it’s easy to see how he was completely taken aback by Claire’s sudden arrival. Enjoy the rest of the season. I think it’s going to be amazing!
I so appreciate this. It’s exactly how I saw it. Steller writing and acting gave us beautifully nuanced performances. Claire’s tentative relief and excitement, initially hesitant to touch him. Jamie’s quietly stunned awe, shyness and eagerness and then restraint in asking if he could kiss her. Emotions boiling underneath for them both. It was all in their faces, breathing and tears. We watched as they began working their way back to each other in “real time”. This journey of rediscovery continues into Drums of Autumn and beyond.
It occurs to me that there are instant gratification viewers and content viewers.The difference is that I don’t see this story as, say, an ice cream cone. I see it as an unending feast that unfolds a lifelong relationship with all its ups and downs.To gorge on everything at once is initially gratifying, but leaves one empty. Diana wrote a lifetime story that is nuanced, layered,rich and delightfully fulfilling. I’m so pleased Ron and his talented colleagues saw the immense value of playing it this way, and that Cait and Sam bring Claire and Jamie fully alive with their perfectly human and brilliant, thoughtful embodiment of these characters. Patience is required to fully appreciate what they are all giving us. No other tv show does it this way. As Matt said, they are letting the story breath. This season is beautiful and in good hands. Bravo.
Diane, this…all of this. You have captured exactly what it is about these books that sucked me in and there is nothing I can add to it. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.
I was at first disappointed that Jamie didn’t completely “fall to pieces” when he saw the photos, but glad that he shared about Willie so soon. Thought the timing of that was more in keeping with Jamie’s character. But once I got past my expectations, and saw the episode again (will watch it again too, as i’ve Been out of town), I could see the emotion that he portrayed. It all fit. For me then, the “falling to pieces” came when he gave himself physically again to Claire. I am looking forward to how the rest of the season unfolds. Cat and Sam are brilliant actors.
Nancy, I was completely take aback by the Willy reveal but I agree with you. After further reflection I think it was a great move to get that out sooner rather than later. As we know, there is so much more to come. #fireworksatLallybroch
Tremendously insightful, and just as sublime and nuanced as Sam’s performance. I truly loved every moment of the episode from the second I watched. It made sense, and was beautifully done.
Wow! Look who’s an OUTLANDER fan!!! Very cool to know that you spend your Sunday nights with us before we take our Kindles to bed to spend them with you (and Killian and Evrest and, and, and …)
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment Angel.
Thanks for this!!
Thank YOU for taking the time to read and respond Ysolde. Enjoy the rest of the season!
You are completely drawn in and become part of the ups and downs to the point of not breathing. Then Bam! it is over until the next episode. Wow, where did the time go?
Ruth, I have caught myself holding my breath so many times this season that I’ve lost count. Enjoy this amazing, wild ride.
Thank you for this very intelligent interpretation of this episode. I felt exactly as you did. Claire had planned and anticipated her reunion with Jamie. Jamie was completely caught off guard in the middle of his life “spent in the shadows” living a dangerous life, one that will be very difficult to include Claire in and very dangerous for her. I thought the episode was excellent and that Sam played Jamie exceedingly well. And, of course, his hesitations are telling Claire about Loghaire. I think that too many people had their minds set on what they wanted in the episode and when it didn’t go exactly as they it planned, they became way too critical.
Barbara, I think you’re right. Most of the negative reactions that I’ve read involve peoples’ expectations not being met. I would include myself in that number. It’s why I had to spend some time thinking about it. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.
Poor Jamie is so terrified of losing her again, and to his 17th century way of thinking, how will she want to stay when she finds out all that’s happened during hie timae away from here. He’ll do whatever he has to make suree she never leaves him again. He wouldn’y survive being seperated again.
Absolutely! Maybe he doesn’t have a good idea of how much sh*t Claire can actually take and continue to move forward with her life. I think he’s about to find out though!
Wow. Just watched 307 and were we all right. I even remember posting somewhere that it seemed Claire didn’t approve of his lifestyle and she may leave. I also felt sad for their love to take such a turn.
After seeing the previews for 308 I see I am right. They are going in a more interesting direction with this than the book. The book is more fairytale and the show is letting us see the reality of what happens to two people. They took this angle in S2 but too far. 4-5 episodes of them emotionally and physically apart was too much. It seems this time it’s a bit of give and take. More like a real relationship but not overkill. We can’t take it. This season is fantastic. I loved 307 and cannot wait for 308. It’s going to be like WW3.
Thanks so much Nic for making me see this from Jamie’s eyes (brilliantly portrayed by Sam Heughan). Several things didn’t make sense until I read this review. Beautiful written, directed and acted episode!!
Rhonda thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I think Sam is doing a bang-up job this season.
I agree but now see the reason. I, too was put off abit but didn’t understand why until this post. Others will come around. Thankful for this post.
Thanks so much Mc!
Glad I was able to really read other’s thoughts on episode “A Malcolm.” Just finished watching it for the 6th time, I think, myself. Tempted to sit up until midnight to watch the next episode. Obsessed does not even begin to describe me.
I agree with most everyone here that being “inside Jamie’s head” when Claire shows up, we’re going to see a terrified Jamie. Terrified because of what all he’s into now. Terrified that Claire has come back and the what the repercussions of this will mean not only for him, but on his family. Terrified that she’s come back at a dangerous time. Even possibly more dangerous than Colloden. And yes, dangerous because of Loghaire and what is likely to happen when Claire finds out.
The next few weeks are going to be “edge of your seat” for sure. And it’s going to go by way too quickly. Then we’ll be back to “Droughtlander” again.
Going to enjoy it while I can. Even if it means watching every episode many times after each release. Getting all that I can out of each minute and compare with the books.
Sam and Cait have done a Very good job at keeping in character all this time. As have all of the actors.
Thank you for this blog.
Julie, this is the only show I have ever watched over and over and over again. I’m able to do that because I see something different with each rewatch. It’s simply amazing. Thanks so much for taking the time read and respond.
This episode was everything I’d hoped it would be! Sam and Caitriona were simply perfect – the joy and pain and fear and disbelief and absolute beauty of every look – it broke my heart and put it back together all in one episode! It was definitely worth waiting for – in fact, putting them back together any sooner would have diminished the emptiness of that long separation. We FELT that loneliness so profoundly that when the FINALLY reunited, it actually meant something! A. Malcolm was the perfect episode!
Yes, Carri! I think it’s nothing short of brilliant writing and acting to bring fans along for this ride, get them so emotionally invested, and then have them keep coming back week after week. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.
I thought many parts of the print shop episode were tender and sincere. We have to remember that Claire knew a lot more about Jaime’s life for the past 20 years than Jaime was prepared for. Jaime is holding back and Reluctant to share another pice of information about his life and relationships. He doesn’t want to lose her. He even conveyed that sentiment in bed at one point that he couldn’t bear finding her and then losing her. Those that have read the book will know and those that haven’t will soon find out. Happy Outlander viewing. ??
Oh, the next few weeks are going to be tense but I’m ready for the ride. It should be amazing!
I have read so many comments disappointed with Jamie’s reaction and that wasn’t how I felt at all. It’s wonderful to read your interpretation. Claire had so much longer to prepare for the meeting, it was all such a shock to Jamie and he has so much to figure out.
Thanks so much Karen. There have been some amazing comments here and I’ve learned so much from reading through them. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Laoghaire and how the hell he’s going to explain what Jenny has been doing? Or just, as you say before, how risky his life is and how dangerous it coukd be for the woman he loves?
What in the hell has Jenny been doing and yes how will he explain he married L..It’s like the temperature is rising in each episode an explosion is about to come.
Ugh…it’s going to be an interesting next couple of episodes. Right? Thanks for reading Julie!
I love this article. I’ve only read each book once and maybe because of this I don’t have the mind set that it’s all about Claire all the time. 306 was great because it showed the angst of the situation and the uncomfortable truth of Claire’s return. Yes, Jamie has a life. He moved on and his life has always been full of unsafe choices that were always to the benefit of others. With that said, their reunion was exactly what I thought it would be. It was awkward, seemingly full of tension and ultimately they were Claire and Jamie again. The love they share is timeless but in that time there are some bumps in the time space continuum. They will survive!
Peggy, your comment made me think of something. Their reunion was awkward and I think we always view “awkward” as a bad thing. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s actually beautiful because two people feel so deeply about something that they want to make it work and they wind up stumbling over themselves. That’s what I saw Jamie and Claire doing and it was kind of lovely. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.
Yes, I agree that Jenny has interfered with Jamie’s relationships, pushing him to wed Mary McNab and probably doing the same with Laoghaire. Jenny is certainly responsible for the upcoming confrontation at Lallybroch.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this Melinda!
Exactly how I felt!
Yes!!! Great take on this episode, Nikki. I haven’t read all of the comments, but I think the points you bring up illustrate why so many viewers (book and show fandom) also found this episode troubling. We all know Jamie has many secrets yet to reveal, which makes me think back to when he and Claire are first married (in the book), and they agree to be honest with each other – he says something like “I think a marriage has room for secrets, but not lies” (paraphrasing as best I can, lol!). He’s got some whoppers he’s holding onto at the moment! Brilliantly played by Sam and Cait – both thrilled and hopeful to be together again, yet apprehensive of what they might discover about the other….and Jamie not wanting to give himself back to Claire if she does not intend to stay. So much to come!
I’m so happy she lost that voice in Creme de Menthe. Be gone to the timid, low voiced Claire!
So happy to see her drilling holes in heads. Much better.
Haha Maggie! Isn’t it weird to be comforted by an impromptu craniotomy? I’m right there with ya though.
I rather enjoyed the awkwardness – and not just the head butting moment (although that was perfect!) – it would have felt a little ‘too’ perfect had everything fallen back to being just the way it was when she left.
I had an aha moment a couple of comments ago. Their reunion was awkward and I think we always view “awkward” as a bad thing. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s actually beautiful because two people feel so deeply about something that they want to make it work and they wind up stumbling over themselves. That’s what I saw Jamie and Claire doing and it was kind of lovely. It sounds like we’re on the same page here! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.
The hesitation we see in Jamie concerns what he is hiding from Claire. From the nature of his business concerns to the truth of his private life, Jamie is hiding many things at this point. He is unsure what to mention to Claire and when to be forthcoming because he doesn’t want to lose her again! He is afraid if she were to learn the whole of his life she might turn right around and go back to her own time. He is right to have these concerns!!
You are so right Christine! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it.
I agree with you that I was at a loss at Jamie’s response to Claire’s arrival! But yes, upon further thought, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be reunited with a loved one after 20 years! Claire had concerns which she mentioned to Brianna! Naturally Jamie has the same concerns!
I have been reunited with a loved one after months and I know how awkward that was after we had both been living our own lives. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like had the separation been 20 years long! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!
This episode had everyone thinking. It would have been very hard for Claire to finally see Jamie, her heart would have been beating out of her chest. Even though she had some time to prepare herself, I think that would have gone all out the window, as soon as she saw him standing there. Jamie has missed her so deeply & it would have had to carry this pain with him everyday & night & that would have taken it’s toll on him. To hear her voice, after 20 years of wishing she was there with him, it would have been so overwhelming & I am not surprised he would fainted, his body could just not cope with hearing her voice. Jamie has had a extremely tough life & I think he portrayed the internal emotions just perfectly & to tell Claire about Will so quickly after talking about Bree, I think is the most natural thing he could have done. He loves Claire & that feeling would be so overwhelming & that fact that he can actually tell Claire about his son would be surreal. They both did amazing jobs this episode & I can’t wait to see more.
Thank you Maria! We’ve only got one episode remaining and still with the angst. Enough already!!!
YES,Yes & Yes again what all You ladies have commented,big Thank You Nikki for this wonderful post,of course more angst to come,but Sam is doing a brlliant job in this episode,I actually really liked it,as it was lot more realistic,read the books twice,and now we can have both,books and TV!
Thank you Suzanne!
I was disappointed in the last two Outlander episodes (among others), but I’ve been a huge fan of this story since the first book was released, and therefore I will plug along until Starz is done. And, as usual, I will re-watch all of the episodes (well most of them) only for the chance to relive this story with my favorites- Jamie, Claire, Murtagh, Rupert, Angus…
Don’t laugh, but I’ve read each of Diana’s huge volumes twice (and parts of Outlander repeatedly).
Reading this write-up and all of the comments gives me a slightly less critical opinion of Jamie and Claire’s reunion as depicted on screen. I can understand what you mean that Jamie may be somewhat distracted and anxious by the problems that Claire’s return may cause, however, I draw issue with the fact that he appears to be TOO distracted.
His heart has returned (remember Ian’s conversation with him).
Seriously! His heart has returned!!
And he is apparently so hesitant over what this might mean to his smuggling and seditious activities, what problems might arise as Claire discovers that he remarried, what dangers lurk for her ahead? Is that really what one does upon regaining this most vital of organs after two decades of going without? No.
I don’t think the first episode of their reunion was all that bad (having re-watched it three times, it’s now growing on me), but the second episode of their reunion was. I don’t think they hardly touched each other, except in passing. I don’t care what else may be on their minds, when two people who love each other come together after 20 years, the second honeymoon usually lasts longer than one night. (My husband was US Navy for 20 years; with multiple six-month cruises separating us constantly, believe me, I know of that which I speak),
No matter what, Jamie always had a good sense of humor, even in their worst of times (“it would have been much easier if you’d only been a witch”). His sense of humor is gone, and perhaps for good reason, however, we should have caught at least a glimpse of it upon Claire’s return, right? It is his most important quality!
In all previous episodes the writers would give us Claire’s (and once Jamie’s) voice-overs so that we knew their inner thoughts. This was absent this past Sunday. Please, I pray, they don’t do away with this altogether. I think it was sorely missing and I would have loved to know what Jamie was thinking.
For better or worse, I remain always, an Outlander fan.
This episode just seemed off to me. I did not like how distant Claire and Jaime seemed from each other. Yes, 20 years takes one time to catch up on…and I’m sit they remembered the good things better then the bad things about each other….but this episode turned Claire into a both and Jaime into a lying ass… he would never usurp his sister and Ian’s power of parenthood. If Claire had mentioned her oath as a physician to Jaime her actions would have made more sense to everyone…she does bring it up in the book! But why did that whole section have to take place anyway? Why did Jaime feel the brothel was an appropriate place for him and Claire to live. He already saw some of the dangers it left her in at the beginning of the episode! Just those few things bothered me…but I’ll be there with bated breath to see where things are going!
It’s not the same -I used to love the show and could see they were together. Now it has changed and she should just go back home . She doesn’t need to live like this.
Thank you for a great blog post Nikki, I really enjoyed it especially as a newcomer to this site. I am also very new to ‘fandom’ (of any show) but have been reading a lot of very negative Facebook fan comments about Season 3, so it has been lovely to find this post and what seems to be well considered opinions from other fans (even ones I don’t necessarily agree with!).
I entirely agree with your comments about Episode 6, although it wasn’t until my third viewing of the episode that I really felt I loved it, and understood all its subtleties and nuances. I loved seeing the mix of emotions Jamie was clearly experiencing, my favourite moments were when we saw cheeky and humorous Jamie start to re-emerge post love-making (you know the scene, where we were treated to naked Sam albeit with strategically placed pieces of furniture). #insertloveheartemojo
I would love to hear your thoughts on Episode 7, as I am really struggling to find my usual love of Outlander from that Episode. Perhaps I also need to re-watch that one, two times may not have done it justice!
I look forward to reading more of your work.
I’m sorry that I’m just now seeing your comments! I’m pretty new to Outlander and the fandom myself but when I fell I fell hard. I’m so glad that you found us and hope that you hang around for awhile. There has been a great deal of negative feedback but I’m just over here in my little love bubble soaking up every moment I possibly can with Jamie and Claire!
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Can’t put my finger on it, but I felt more emotion/sexual excitement when Jamie was with Geneva. Yes, possibly the first encounter contained retiscence but Jamie spent more time kissing her neck and the side of her body and the sex wasn’t that rough (as Claire asked) it was awkward and looked like hard work!! He kissed C’s breast in France (come find us) and Geneva’s breast(sultry/wow). Second time was okay but I almost felt by 3rd time she was just pushing with so many questions and she just took from him without returning something for his needs. After 20 yrs away , did she really have the right to be so judgemental and nitpicky about him and what he was doing. He loves her but her return has caused such havoc just as in the beginning. I may be very wrong but after watching 6 times, each time I have mixed feelings..something lacking!!
Agree with all, I felt it too. Something was lacking in a subtle way which is bc of Sam’s excellent acting. He was able to portray Jamie’s fears in such a realistic manner that we are all reacting to it. I think some of us are confusing the fantasy with the realistic way it’s being portrayed. I am grateful the writers are portraying her return in such a real way and know their audience is bright enough to see what’s goi g on. Jamie is ecstatic over Clair’s return. He’s also feeling guilty about his secret and terrified she will leave when she finds out. He is in quite a pickle and I feel badly for him. Remember, he’s a man and men act angry sometimes when they are in uncomfortable situations.
You raise a good point about unexpected reactions when faced with fear or an uncomfortable situation.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you for this thoughtful and open-minded look at what is a multifaceted event. The Books are purely Claire’s perspective, but the Series does give us Jamie in greater depth. And we do need that. Remember, as Don Henley sings, “There are three sides to every story – there’s yours and there’s mine and the cold hard truth…”
Every reader has their own personal interpretation, one held and cherished for 20 years. Thank you for realising the writers gave us theirs, and we should accept theirs inasmuch as we expect them to accept ours.
Thank you again…
Thank you so much for those kind words and for working in a Don Henley reference to boot!
I’ll begin by saying that I love the series and I believe that the tv adaptation elevated the book material by the visual medium it uses, through the excellent performances by the well cast actors, the level of craftsmanship employed in production of both sets and costumes, by the wonderful music, detailed light set up, directing… and last but not least by the dedicated work of the script writers.
Still, I have a few issues with episode 6. No, not the photographs scene, I fully agree with Sam Heughan’s heartbreaking performance. Still I sorely missed a few essential lines from the books that would have taken a minute out of the long enough sex scenes and given the characters a necessary depth of connection…
I guess the most obvious thing for any book reader was Jamie’s line “it was always forever for me Sassenach”. That was, in the books, the reply to Claire’s remark that she did not mean to stay on their wedding day. Her line would have taken only a few seconds out of the episode, but would have made very clear the contrast between her coming through the stones accidentally the first time, but on purpose the second time around… underlining her decision to spend her life with him. I did not comprehend the logic in cutting dialogue in favour of monologue.
The second was his line that he could never keep his hands off her. I was sorely disappointed when he did not continue by saying that even without their physical connection he would still be happy to share his life with her. That is the level of connection that these lovers have, beyond just sex, the joy of being together on a daily basis, sharing their little moments and making each other happy just by being there… Again, a few seconds of screen time that were not there, although they would have added a deeper layer to their connection…
“I never thought I’ll laugh again in a woman’s bed” was in the books a line coming right after a moment of laughter shared together… on screen it was far from any laughter, out of context and weightless… I remembered the laugh they shared on their wedding night, and wished for the smallest laugh before that line, to give meaning to Jamie’s remark, to underline his loneliness all those years, to show that he missed sharing his joy with his partner…
Last but definitely not least, why have Jamie say “do you want me” instead of “would you risk the man that I am for the sake of the man you knew”… Why? He is a different man and he knows it. Why shouldn’t he be able to say so, articulately, as an educated person with a gift for words and pamphlets… Why shorten it like that? It is such a beautiful line, it would have been lovely on screen and it would make her “yes, I do want you” even more assumed and profound.
These four moments would have balanced and deepened the relationship between our heroes, they were integral to the story but not seen on screen. I tend to give credit to Matt Roberts… maybe they were part of the script but were cut on the editing floor? Either way, they were sorely missed in an episode long enough to allow them the screen time they deserved…
I would love to hear your opinion on these. Thank you.
I think it was cut on purpose but we will see all this later. I get the impression they wanted to portray the conflict Jamie was having. He was overjoyed she was back but then his conscience took over. He doesn’t feel comfortable giving all of himself to her bc he is not yet in a place to do so. But he will? According to the books. I am hoping all will work out or this is a completely different show than the one I thought I was watching.
I agree with you completely and, having seen these comments with one episode remaining in the season, I think we’ve gotten most of what we were looking for.
I have loved everything they have done this season. I love the the way Sam and the writers decided to play Jamie for the reunion. Jamie has many many secrets that he knows will upset Claire and one very BIG secret that he is afraid to tell her cause he knows she will leave him again and that would destroy Jamie. He has built this wall around his feelings and with her coming back she is breaking down that wall and his soul mate that he can tell everything to us back. I can’t wait fir the rest of the season. Each episode just keeps getting better and better. Sam & Cait and the rest of the crew and all the writers are doing a great job. I just love to watch Sam as he goes through all the emotions of Jamie. It just shows in his eyes.
Agree. Agree. Agree!! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I hope that you have enjoyed the remainder of the season.
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I guess the first concern for me if I was Jamie would be:” will I be able to handle all the love that i burried in my heart long ago , and now it is bursting and coming back to life? ”
It is such a big challege, as with this deep rare type of love come trouble and worry !
But just like an addict, he would be thinking: ” now she is here, I will never ever want her to leave my side”
Love is a complicated commitment yet the sweetest one ever …