Have your smelling salts on hand for this week’s sexpisode, titled “The Wedding.” You know what that means: Everyone dies.
Wait. Wrong fantasy TV show. Carry on, then.
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For "Outlander," this love connection payoff has been a long time coming. And for avid followers of Diana Gabaladon’s original novels, that wait's been even longer - 1991, yikes! - but it certainly does not disappoint. “The Wedding,” sumptuously shot and perfectly paced, is the culmination of the slow burn of Claire and Jamie’s intense sexual tension since Episode 1 (or Book 1). It’s decedent, languid and really, really sexy.
And yes, Claire finally gets a look at what’s under Jamie’s kilt.
But first we have to pay our dues by wading through some plot and character development...
Getting to know you: Lessons on Jamie Fraser
The episode opens in flashback – at Claire and Frank’s wedding. Wearing killer hats, the two 1940s love birds are strolling down the street hand in hand, when Frank pulls Claire up short in front of a registry building. He proposes to her and convinces her to marry him right there and then. I can’t help but think that Frank was just angling for a free ride – weddings are expensive, y’all.
Back in the 1700s, the Scottish wedding is over and Claire and Jamie have been left in a bedroom alone in order to seal the deal, as it were. Claire’s not just ready yet (COME ON CLAIRE) and chugs about three glasses of whiskey before telling Jamie she has questions first. UGH. CAN’T THEY JUST DO IT ALREADY??? She wants to know why Jamie agreed to the marriage. He responds that he didn’t have much choice – either he marries Claire, or leaves her to the cruelty of Captain Jack Black Randall. “You have my name, my clan, my family and, if necessary, the protection of my body as well,” Jamie promises Claire.
LET ME REPEAT THAT: THE PROTECTION OF HIS BODY.
Claire, touched by this, moves to sit beside Jamie on the bed, and as we all collectively hold our breaths for This Moment, she leans in for a smooch….
…only to ask another question at the VERY LAST MINUTE. COME ON CLAIRE!!! At this point, it looks like Jamie is ready to take the coldest of showers, but he obliges, and they talk long into the night about Jamie’s family. Finally! Some much needed Jamie Fraser character development! Turns out he’s a natural storyteller, and he’s funny and clever and well educated and pretty much everything we already knew he was.
Time to make it official, if you know what I mean
After a rather timely interruption by Angus and Rupert bursting in to see if the deed has been done (don’t worry boys, we’re just as disappointed that Claire and Jamie are both still clothed as you are), Claire finally (FINALLY) suggests that they both ought to go to bed.
"To bed, or to sleep?" Jamie stutters, then recovers and adds, smooth as butter, "Either way, you're not likely to sleep in your corset. I'll help you wish the laces and such." YES. YES YOU WILL. We’re treated to a slow, sexy undress sequence (which only lasts as far as their undergarments) and finally things begin to heat up. Claire is thrown onto the bed, and Jamie is on top of her, and I am gripping my pearls tightly as Jamie thrusts a few dozen times (I didn’t keep count of the exact number, I’m sorry), and then he’s done.
They lie silently for a moment, before Jamie asks if she liked it, which she obviously did. (WHO WOULDN’T, RIGHT?!) Via voice over, we learn that she’s a little disgusted with herself, admitting that she is both a bigamist and an adulteress. (Don’t worry Claire, we don’t judge you.) She’s got the post-coital munchies now, and goes to leave the room to grab something to eat, only to be met with jeers and hoots from the clansmen who are still downstairs awaiting confirmation of consummation.
Jamie, taking it all on the chin, heads down to collect their food. When they’re both alone once more, Claire, trying to distract herself (and him, since he’s obviously ready for round two), inquires about the three marriage conditions Jamie had given Dougal earlier.
1. Jamie wanted a proper church wedding. (Aw.) With the help of a few bribes (it IS the Church, after all), Dougal managed to procure the services of a somewhat unwilling priest at short notice.
2. Jamie wanted a ring for Claire. Angus and Rupert brought an iron key to a blacksmith in order to have it melted down.
3. Jamie wanted Claire to have a proper wedding dress. This one proved rather tricky. So Lawyer Ned asked the local whores. (Because that’s EXACTLY where you find a wedding dress. Good one Ned.) Apparently a john hadn’t been able to pay for his, um, services - so he traded this exquisite gown, which probably came in handy for all of the whore's fancy galas. And now it's Claire's wedding dress. Success!
Rather embarrassingly, Claire hadn’t been nearly so diligent in her wedding preparations: She had a good part of her day drinking, and so was suffering from a rather nasty hangover as the actual wedding took place. She admits to Jamie she barely remembers the ceremony at all. Jamie does, though. (Because, if you hadn’t already noticed, he’s perfect.)
“It was as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day, and suddenly the sun came out.” Jamie says of seeing Claire for the first time in her dress. Via flashback, we’re treated to a lingering shot on the beautiful embroidery on Claire’s gown. For her part, Claire had stuffed Frank’s wedding ring down her cleavage for safe keeping, walked with Jamie down the aisle and exchanged some vows, both in English and in Gaelic. There’s a lovely, albeit chaste, kiss, and then we’re back to the present, where Claire is now looking particularly tender.
Round two - because why the hell not?
I’m not going to give you a blow by blow (ahem) of how things go down (AHEM), but after Claire demands Jamie takes off his shirt to get a better look at him (AND WHAT A GOOD LOOK IT IS INDEED) and then returns the favor for Jamie, they go for a much steamier, much more intense round two.
Turns out for someone who doesn’t get around much, Jamie is a very, very thorough lover. (Don’t take my word for it, just ask Claire!)
Once Jamie has fallen asleep, Claire heads downstairs for more food – love making is hungry work, you guys! As she’s filling her plate, Dougal walks in and lets her know the she is safe from Black Jack. For now, at least. And then things get really, super awkward as Dougal hits on her, telling her being married shouldn’t stop her from seeking other pleasures. (HINT: Dougal means him.)
As we’re all cringing and screaming “ABORT, ABORT!!!” At our screens, Angus bumbles in to break the tension, allowing Claire to flee back upstairs to the protection of Jamie’s body.
The next morning, as Claire shakes out her wedding dress, Frank’s ring flies loose, and as Claire slides it onto her RIGHT ring finger, we wonder if she still wants to get back to him after how steamy her new husband is in bed. (And under Claire’s tutelage, he’s only gonna get better, RIGHT?!!) Guess we’ll find out next week during “Outlander”’s mid-season finale.