Want a minute-by-minute recap of Outlander Season 3 episode 6, “A. Malcolm?” We give all the details….
Do you find yourself gabbing obsessively about Outlander to your friends and family? Wishing your Sunday nights included a living room full of people with whom to watch, discuss, comment, cheers, jeers and well, experience alllllll the feels? Dinna fash, Obsessenach—you are not alone.
Good news—we can
get new family and friends pour ourselves a dram and, through the magic of technology, enjoy it together! As we brought to you during Season 2, we’ll be LIVE blogging all the episodes in Season 3. Like the Outlander Cast podcast, it will be SPOILER FREE for non-book readers.
Not into distractions during your visit to the World of Outlander? That’s okay! Our LIVE blogs double as episodic recaps to serve as a trusty viewing companion on your second, third and umpteenth re-watches (hey, we get it).
So get all your post-18th Century gadgets ready and settle in, because the best things in life should be shared with a buddy. Hi, buddy.
Speaking of, we decided the recap of tonight’s very special episode (not to get all mid-90s NBC on you) needed not one but two twisted and often-conjoined brains. Ergo, an Ashley-Nikki recap mashup!
Now let the show begin…[8:00 p.m.] It’s finally here! We’ve waited 20 years (literary, but still) and two whole weeks (which felt like 20 actual years) and and and — Nikki, pass the paper bag. I’m running out of oxygen too soon. [8:03 p.m.] Who is this??? Hands off, trollop! Yours are so not the hands we’ve waited to see fiddle with this man. [8:04 p.m.] “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye”—one of our favorite tracks from Season 1! We love how Bear McCreary’s beautiful work from previous seasons has been treated as evergreen and re-purposed throughout Season 3. [8:05 p.m.] Since we no longer have knee porn, I guess we’ll have to settle for tricorn porn instead.
[8:06 p.m.] He is spit-shining the very letters of that sign that Claire will soon touch and my heart is starting its happy dance.
[8:07 p.m.] I like a man who is ready to kill at any moment. Does this man ever get a chance to relax?
[8:08 p.m.] Geordie is either high strung or costive. Either way, once Claire gets settled she should be able to whip up something to help settle him down a bit.
[8:09 p.m.] Did I just watch a man operate a printing press and find it sexy?
[8:11 p.m.] As if we needed more evidence that Claire and Jamie are soul mates, they’ve been apart for twenty years and have somehow managed to wear matching neckerchiefs.
[8:12 p.m.] Ashley: THE GLASSES. I’m sorry – Frank who?
Nikki: Seriously, put your glasses on and read a seditious pamphlet to me James Fraser.
[8:13 p.m.] JHRC, that was all before the title sequence?!? Sweet laird, this is going to be the mother of all episodes.
[8:14 p.m.] That weekly title card? We love you too, Matt B Roberts.[8:15 p.m.] The ol’ I thought I pissed myself but I just spilled my beer line.
Note to Nikki: I’m having trouble putting together coherent thoughts during this.
Note to Ashley: And I just realized that I was holding my breath…again…
[8:16 p.m.] What a coincidence, Jamie. I’ve been sick with fever all week and you and this episode were all I thought about too.
[8:17 p.m.] Byeeee
[8:19 p.m.] This print shop set is truly unreal. It looks almost like a church. Jon Gary Steele, you’ve once again outdone yourself.[8:20 p.m.] “It’s very fine to see you again Claire.” I know he didn’t wake up this morning knowing that Claire was going to magically appear in his doorway but I was expecting something a bit…well a bit more. Yes, that’s right. I still miss you, Ms. Fitz. [8:21 p.m.] The glasses are “only for reading and such.” Don’t worry, I can still see all your bits just fine, Sassenach. “My hair has some gray.” You can’t see it now, Jamie, but in 8-10 washes the roots will start to show.
[8:22 p.m.] Oh my god, the be-speckled proud papa look, gazing at these photos. If my heart’s all jumpy when they’re still just in the chit-chat phase…[8:23 p.m.] “She has your red hair.” “Like her sister.” Faith is still in his heart after all this time. My heart might actually burst. [8:24 p.m.] Wait, what? We’re doing the Willie reveal now?!? These recaps are billed as spoiler-free, so we’ll just file this under “rewrite.” But I’m not sure how I feel about abruptly cutting off the long-awaited Brianna introduction to shortcut a plot tie-in here. [8:25 p.m.] Claire’s taking this well. That’s right girl, don’t jump to conclusions. Just tiptoe your way around it and ask if he loved Willy’s mother. That answer will unlock others. [8:26 p.m.] I mean there was that whole thing where I closed my eyes and pictured you every time we had sex, but otherwise it worked fine… [8:29 p.m.] Oh wee Fergus done growed up! It’s socially acceptable—and legal—for us to ogle his tres magnifique self, right? [8:30 p.m.] Claire has apparently opted for a game of two truths and a lie to explain this whole where I’ve been for 20 years thing. [8:31 p.m.] I’d adore any chance to see Ned Gowan and the wonderful Bill Patterson onscreen again… except where this one is concerned. And that’s all I have to say about that. [8:32 p.m.] Oh god, we’re about to meet Mr. Willoughby, whose onscreen adaptation I’ve feared the most. Please do this right. Thou shalt not lose trust in Ron. Thou shalt not lose trust in Ron. Thou shalt not lose trust in Ron. *crosses fingers*
[8:33 p.m.] His correcting that she is Claire MALCOLM, not Randall, gave me flutters too, Claire. And for those keeping count at home, that would be like the 4th last name she’s had in this epic saga.[8:34 p.m.] He calls Jamie unsavory like it’s a bad thing. We find his savory status to be most acceptable. [8:36 p.m.] Yes yes, that’s right. I brought my wife to the brothel. And I still get to be the King of Men. We shall be spending the night. No matter what you hear, don’t send help.
[8:37 p.m.] Oh my god, the noises. Not really interested in hearing those sorts outside of this room…Cringe. Something not really described or felt by reading the words in the book.[8:38 p.m.] The captions say “moaning continues”. That’s going to be the way I describe work meetings from this point forward. [8:39 p.m.] Claire thinks that brothels are run like airline lounges. Jamie went platinum with Madame Jeanne three months ago, which entitles him to a free room and one sex act upgrade per week. [8:40 p.m.] Hold up James Fraser! How about I’m glad you’re here. You danced her to the stone and now you’ve got questions? [8:41 p.m.] Well, first I sewed this badass dress during a musical montage scored to the Batman theme but, yes, then I came back. [8:42 p.m.] Do you want me? Circle yes or no. [8:43 p.m.] Who knew that there was fine dining at a brothel? The power of a strong Yelp review. [8:44 p.m.] I’m pretty much hearing nothing in this VO that doesn’t sum up “eye-f*cking each other in between grapes.” [8:45 p.m.] Along those lines, I always preferred red grapes to green………until now. [8:46 p.m.] To bed or to sleep? [8:47 p.m.] I’d just like to note that her eyes are wide open. [That minute where our brains nearly burst along with our hearts] So many buttons and knots. This could take hours. Wait, is this why we got 15 extended minutes in this episode?
Claire hair is BACK!
We’re going to go ahead and just make one umbrella statement about how this all parallels so beautifully to “The Wedding.” Now, as you were…
A zipper has NEVER been sexier. Evah. And we also got at least 90 seconds of this episode back with that easy access wardrobe hack.
[8:49 p.m.] Claire covering herself out of insecurity for how he might receive her aging body just made this scene completely perfect. It’s believable, it’s relatable, it’s vulnerable—pretty much all the -ables.[8:50 p.m.] Claire is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, and he has seen a few since she’s been gone.
[8:52 p.m.] “Do it now, and don’t be gentle.” Yep, Claire just confirmed that she’s our collective spirit animal. Forgot to breathe again.[8:53 p.m.] Is anybody else sweating or is that just me and this damn flu again? Seriously drenched. [8:54 p.m.] It has always been forever for me, Sassenach. Swoon.
[8:56 p.m.] How we’ve missed these conversations with Claire’s head on his chest.[8:57 p.m.] So apparently Lance Armstrong was wrong—it was about the bike. [8:58 p.m.] First he was a virgin, but not a monk. Now he’s not a pimp, but not a saint. Defining Jamie Fraser is starting to feel like an LSAT logic questions. [8:59 p.m.] No, you don’t get muscles like that slaving over a printing press. You get them in gyms all over the world. (And forgive me, but I can’t help but think that is Caitriona giving Sam credit where credit is due.) [9:01 p.m.] Do I take out my price in trade? Sassenach, there’s not enough wine and rum for that. [9:02 p.m.] And again I say, eyes WIDE open. Even in a slow motion, dream-like, completely satiated state. [9:03 p.m.] They still don’t know what it is between them. I don’t know either please don’t let it stop. Ever.
[9:05 p.m.] Did they seriously have her say “don’t you want to eat?” right before that? Clearly, he’s going to have breakfast alright, but the parritch can wait.[9:08 p.m.] “Hurry back, soldier.” She kept this going, all these years. And now I’m done. (Also, there’s always room for Jell-O.) [9:10 p.m.] Young Ian! Wait, should he be 16? I thought 14… someone do the math with us below in the comments. [9:12 p.m.] Soak your bits in warm water. It may take more than warm water to soothe the bits ravaged by 20 years of longing. Maybe she should add some epsom salts too… and maybe some essential oils? [9:13 p.m.] Put your finger up his bum and we’ll save a bannock for you. And yet, I still like these new friends much better than the neighbor pal in Boston. [9:14 p.m.] “Thanks for the tip.” Just one, Claire…you sure? I picked up a few in there.
[9:15 p.m.] Really, less than 24 hours back and she’s already in her first life-and-death struggle?[9:16 p.m.] SERIOUSLY? They ended all that magic like that? We reserve the right to watch a few more times before deciding about that ending. Yeah yeah, for the ending. #Research
Nikki’s Closing Thoughts: There are times when couples say “I love you”; leaving for work, departing for a journey, etc. As humans in love they become part of our vocabulary and the words can lose their meaning over time. There are times, however, when your other half looks at you and says “I love you”. The words are completely out of place for the moment or the surroundings and your heart flutters a little bit because you recognize that the words aren’t being said out of habit but out of a moment of true, connected, deep love. This is what drew me to this story; these moments of connected love spanning decades. Sam and Caitriona BECOME that love. They become the story. This episode was everything that I hoped it would be (except that last scene, what the hell) because Jamie and Claire were in the same room again bringing the story that we love to life.
Ashley’s Closing Thoughts: Mhmm, what Nikki said. I want to heap praise on Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe and their palpable, unmatched chemistry for putting the sparkle back onto my screen. We only put completely unrealistic expectations on you because of our gushing fan anticipation and, to me, you exceeded them all. But mostly, thank you to the intrepid King of Creative Men, Matt B. Roberts, for his respectful nod to Diana Gabaldon’s beautiful source material—but with his own spin to it all that weaved in so well. Were there some head-shake “wait, whatt?” moments? Sure. But overall, nothing could dim the overall shine on this episode.
Thank you, friends, as always for joining us. If you’ve missed any of our episode recaps, you can catch up with them here:
Episode 3.01: “The Battle Joined“
Episode 3.02: “Surrender“
Episode 3.03: “All Debts Paid“
Episode 3.04: “Of Lost Things“
Episode 3.05: “Freedom & Whisky“
Your entry at 8:58 was priceless!
Thank you for your hilarious yet very insightful recap!
Just what we needed to cool us down after that steamy episode! Wowza!
Agreed, that entry had me laughing out loud!
Oh oh, which one which one!
Tish, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Is it wrong to still need cooling down after your dozenth re-watch? Asking for a friend.
Many friends here at the ready should you need some therapy ?
Funny, witty comments that I shake my head yes to every week. I especially liked both closing remarks. Well said.
Teresa, well that makes me happy. We tried to take off our smart-ass hats and put on a serious one for the end note, because no matter how sarcastic we get, we ADORE this show for all it has to offer. Thank you for allowing us to wear both hats.
Loved this ep.Thank You Nikki&Ashley so much wit in this post wonderfully done!
Suzanne, thank YOU! We appreciate you reading and commenting.
I love this minute by minute recaps .. your comments always make me chuckle.
And yes Wee Ian was 14 going on 15 in the book. I wonder why they changed his age? Maybe because the actor look older than 14 or I have another guess but it would be a spoiler,
Good to see you on here, Donna! Thanks, as always, for your support. That’s what I thought about his age… which makes future things that he goes through in Voyager/S3 a tad harder to swallow. So young! Not that 16 isn’t still a wee baby in the grand scheme. Then again, wasn’t Leg-hair 16 when she was baring all to Jamie by the creek? Hmm. I more took issue with the show’s timeline versus Voyager. It’s fine if they changed it from the book, but when Young Ian was born at Lallybroch in Ep. 3.02, we were 6 years into the 20-year timeline. So he should be 14. And I don’t do math normally, so take it with a grain of salt.
I have just discovered your blog and have to say it was awesome. Went back and read all season 3 on this site. I laughed so hard I cried. You mirrored everything I was thinking. Thank you for that.
Have a couple thoughts on this episode. First, next to the The Wedding this is my favorite episode. I loved it. I especially loved the opening. It’s the first time this season we see Jamie without that haunted look in his eyes. Ahhhh! Big sigh!
Jamie is back. But my very favorite scene is in the print shop when he says to Claire,after their first kiss, how he has been seeing her in his dreams, etc. Ahhhh! Big sigh! Jamie spilling his guts again. It was so vulnerable and so beautiful. All the acting was superb.
Last, Bear McCreary is a genius. As they came together for that first kiss I started yelling “cue the music” and there it was. Not sure how this episode would have played without it.
Linda, you’ve made my day that you found us and that you went back and read our older recaps! That makes me a tad giddy. I think only one other time in three seasons have they done a cold opening and I loved it hear too! Vulnerable and beautiful- you’ve hit the nail on the head for how I feel about Sam Heughan’s performance overall in Season 3. Hell, Cait too!
Well done, Ladies! Loved reading your pespective on the episode. Now that our favorite couple is back together, the adventure will really begin. Overall, I did enjoy the episode. Initially, I was a bit disapointed on the first viewing. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it had more to do with my unreasonably high expectations rather than the material presented. I am now up to the sixth viewing, LOL and I am now able to fully appreciate the episode for itself.
Imagine how you’ll feel when you get to a baker’s dozen in viewings! You know, research. I love it. Full support from us, hands down.
Hi Nikki and Ashely, wonderful play by play as always. You guys made me laugh, swoon and nod all the way with you guys.
Oh yes, I too was in a fever the whole time.
Well, I was totally impatient waiting for the reunion, So I watched The Wedding like I threatened I would.
I just loved the parallels to it! The blocking of the scene was so much the same, that I just melted. The undressing and the music.
That is to say, the reunion reminded me quite a bit of the wedding, but it was not the same. First, with A Malcom there were some extremely funny bits,
Jamie, first fainting, then him having to change his pants! (I miss that kilt!) And then him with his glasses that just was amazing!
In these 20 years Jamie has gone though changes, he has matured and mellowed, and he’s just as delectable as ever!
Claire is still so beautiful.
Then there was the meeting of adult Fergus! Loved him. He seemed to have all of the delight of the child actor who played him previously, and you saw his utter emotion in welcoming Claire back home–a woman that was essentially his mother.
Impressive when it was a brand new actor in the part.
Okay, but back to Claire and Jamie…
Back to the brothel. That was quite funny on the one hand, awkward on the other as was the talking between Jamie and Claire, about their lives. I thought it was so lovely they brought up Bree and Faith (couldn’t you melt?) But Willie?
Yuck. I could have smacked Jamie for bringing back the memory of that blackmailing tart.
But I think all of that was in there because until the sex Jamie and Claire were unsure of each other, the situation, the goings on and the way they related to each other and connected was through sex.
Amazing sex and music as well.
Jamie was well worth waiting for.
I giggled at the scene with Claire and the prostitutes (such great bawdy ladies!)
Loved seeing young Ian. So adorable.
But I HATED the end! Another rape or almost rape? Oh God.
I really wish that the’d stop doing that. It feels like it’s almost thrown in there now just for the sake of it.
But all the rest of A Malcom was gold.
Thanks so much for sharing, Ladies. I loved what you wrote.
I forgot to say, Georgie was hilarious!
I guess he didn’t approve of making love in the day.
There’s a great smuggling plot being set up.
Is there an edit button or modify button on here, by the way?
Dawn, we always love your awesome comments! Do you ever get the feeling that the writers (or even Diana, originally) get stuck and go to their bag of stock, predictable outcomes – like a game of Mad Libs. “Hmm, not sure we should just leave her satiated and smiling in bed at the end… flogging? Midnight raid by horseback? I know, rape! Let’s go with rape again!” I’m kidding, clearly, but totally agree that rape is too frequent a plot device in these books and in the show. But boy did I love about 74 minutes of the 75!
I always make sure I read your commentary after each episode now.
Have to admit I thought Cat was great as shy then fun Claire at the brothel. Loved the bit about guessing Jamie’s work but what about those looks between Jean & Jamie? Hope that’s not going anywhere.
My fave bits were those intimate conversations between our two leads. Have missed those so much.
Also love the dialogue, especially those words direct from the book. Cesar is so adorable as Fergus. Think your’e going to have some great comments about him in future and I was also so happy they did Mr Willoughby that way.
Looking forward to your next piece so much and more great episodes.
You are so entertaining.
Vonnie, thank you so much for your kind words and for reading! Both actors knocked it out of the park with showing nervous hesitation mixed with anticipation and longing. It was so realistic and palpable. Being a voyeur has never felt so goooood.
Love your witty comments. Crying with laughter. It’s like you read my mind! Look forword to your next commentary.
Jenny, your comment has me smiling with giddiness. So glad you like and that you’ll be back. So will we… muhahahaha!
Wow, so many thoughts. First, ladies, it’s really fun to read your play by play – thank you for doing that.
To get the nitpicking out of the way first – there were a couple things I wish had been done differently but both were because they were different than the book and so the nitpicking is directed at me for unrealistic expectations that expedience wouldn’t have to play a role in trying to squeeze all of Voyager into 13 1-hours episodes … plus 15 minutres 🙂
Too may things to list so I’ll just throw a couple in that I haven’t seen in other comments. I liked the two POVs of the print shop scene – nice touch. While the undressing each other scene probably seemed a bit long because we wanted them to get down to it already, I actually loved it. There were elements that reminded us of not only the Wedding episode but also earlier in Season One when Claire took his neck cloth off to check his bullet wound and they had an almost intimate eye contact moment where Claire had to catch her breath afterward. Ron does a great job of connecting past moments with the current scene and he did so there. Plus, the almost frustratingly slow undress gave us more time to appreciate how beautiful and handsome our Claire and Jamie are. It was true to the book that each were nervous and that scene conveyed that well.
Is the guy playing Geordie and the same actor who played the priest in the Wedding episode? It looked like it to me.
Glenn, always good to hear from you! Our sarcasm aside, we both thoroughly enjoyed the undressing scene. The build-up was incredible. I loved every layer of it, literally. It reminded me of both instances from S1 you mention, especially the checking of the bandage one, which might be my all-time favorite. It’s when I knew that their story was headed somewhere great and all-consuming.
And I feel like they have a casting factory somewhere where they crank out all these pasty, skinny, young Scots on a moments notice. Between Geordie, Young Ian, the Weasley twins from Ep 3.01… they all look the same to me!
LOVE ‘hands off Trollop’ your minute by minute recaps are always so much fun!
Back the frack off our Jamie, lady. That neck and chest are claimed. I’m so glad you enjoy them!
I’m not complaining at all, but this episode simply belonged on 1980’s Cinemax, after midnight. Lol
Hahaha! Mark, it’s like you’re channeling my husband who was like “what the hell, this is soft core porn…” to which I upped the volume to drown him out. 🙂
Hilarious and so spot-on !
The undressing: yes it was a bit too slow, but what do you expect when C was wearing a utility belt bum-roll??
And yet, I missed an encore of my favorite Wedding moment, when J slips his hand beneath her shift to touch her breast for the first time.
For me, the episode ends when J goes out and we see the utterly glorious glow of a thoroughly satisfied and happy woman. “… and God, he loved her well !! “
My God, did he ever! I just got happy shivers thinking of that hand beneath the shift moment from The Wedding. Good call! So much great mirroring overall, though. Thanks for your comments and for reading!
Ashley, you made me giggle with the “reach into the bag of predictable outcomes,” The subject of rape in Outlander often feels like that.
But I forgot to mention another thing that I thought was great in A Malcom (I keep doing that)
I thought it was hilarious how when you thought it was going to be such a hot sexy moment when Claire and Jamie are on the bed and he accidentally knocks her.
“I think I broke my nose!”
“Nah, you’ll hear a cracking noise and bleed like a pig.”
Wow, what a way to break and then rebuild the mood!
But it just kind of reminded me of the realistic way lovers are when they are not 18, shall we say. (But boy Jamie, sizzle)
There’s a lot of humor in the bedroom.
Such wit, I never stopped smiling. Millions of us know the books inside out. I do look forward to understanding the writers’ deviations: out-of-sequence intro of characters, new dialogue and such in the S3E07 Podcast. If you want answers to the “Why…” it’s all there in The Original Outlander Podcast.