Well…that was one hell of a reunion, and entirely worth the wait, Outlander fans. There wasn’t a second where I didn’t feel like I was constantly holding my breath, watching Jamie and Claire interact for the first time in twenty years in the infamous Print Shop, in “A. Malcolm”. But I am getting ahead of myself, I fear.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
As much as I miss the kilt, James Fraser looked fine and proper walking down the streets of Edinburgh to his print shop. In episode 5, we saw their first meeting in twenty years from Claire’s perspective. Getting to see it from Jamie’s perspective was a gift I was not expecting.
The little things were all I could focus on, like Claire and Jamie touching each other so gently as to reassure it was really happening; Jamie asking Claire if he could kiss her was so resoundingly him that I couldn’t breathe in that moment; their kiss was as if the world had been sideways for such a long time and, in an instant, it was turned right and made alive again. Is that sappy? Oh yes, but I don’t care, as I was crying with both of them. The tear that came out of Claire’s eye when Jamie was leaning in, saying he hadn’t done this in a long time just about killed me.
It’s hard to find the words, but this entire episode felt like a love letter to Claire and Jamie’s relationship and how they found each other, against literally all odds. It’s one of the wonders of Outlander, watching the impossible come true — even more so when love is at stake, so it’s worth fighting for it.
This hour, though, was less about fighting and more about discovery. Learning about and seeing Brianna was something I had been waiting for and, as per usual, Sam Heughan did not disappoint. His reaction to her wardrobe I laughed at, but his relief that she was alive and happy was heartwarming. It was just as profound to see Claire and Jamie discovering each other again.
It was an excellent choice to hone in on Claire and Jamie reuniting and the effect it would have on them. As easy as it would be to imagine it’s all rainbows and unicorns, their hesitancy is understandable, given the hard questions that grew into elephants in the room, the second Claire found him.
As luck (or just really wonderful writers) would have it, the sheer happiness bends over into the questions they want most to ask — Jamie wondering if Claire still wants him, and Claire asking if Jamie ever fell in love with anyone else. We, the audience, have the pleasure of shouting yes and no, respectively, to the television screen, but their declarations were the equivalent of the sun bursting through the window.
However, when it came to the passionate part of their relationship, they certainly didn’t need any reminders, beyond literally dropping back into bed. It would have been perfect — if it wasn’t certainly human — for Jamie to bump his head on Claire’s nose, breaking the tension and sending the audience into peals of laughter.
Frankly, I could go on and on about how every beat of this episode was perfectly written, but we’d end up with a review that would never end. Suffice it to say that, if I had to pick a few moments of why this was a perfect hour, it would be something like this:
- The entire Print shop scene – Jamie taking in Claire, and both of them crying out of the fact that they’re both there, and Jamie actually asking if he could kiss Claire.
- The unexpected comedy – between Geordie bursting in, saying he was going to quit over orgies in the shop, and Jamie accidentally hurting Claire’s nose, I couldn’t help but think this is literally all hilarious events that would happen in real life.
- Caitriona and Sam’s acting this entire hour – I can’t say it enough, but watching these two as Jamie and Claire was, more than ever, proving how perfect their casting and abilities are. They brought out all the emotions you’d imagine after that kind of reunion, and never overplayed it for a second.
- Claire being mistaken for a lady of the night, and the brothel keeper clearly not liking her, because she’s the millionth lady to have her eyes on Jamie – sorry, dear, he has only loved one woman, and that’s Claire.
How about you, Outlander fans? What was your favorite moment from “A Malcolm?”
Outlander airs Sundays at 8pm on Starz.