This review took me slightly longer to write than my previous posts on all things Outlander. That’s because I decided it would be a good idea to watch this, the wedding episode, with not only my roommate, but my roommate’s mother who is visiting from Texas. That’s right, because nothing says “welcome to our home” quite like a forced viewing of softcore (albeit vaguely historical) pornography. After the shameful experience of listening of listening to Claire holler in ecstasy, I excused myself and promptly climbed under my bed until my dignity had recovered.
My poor choices aside, my reaction to the episode was probably the same reaction as fans the world over: Finally! The simmering tension between Jamie and Claire came to a head (ha, terrible accidental pun) when they married to save her from being called again before Black Jack Randall. From a plot standpoint, not much occurred this episode. From an emotional standpoint, EVERYTHING happened. While Jamie lost his virginity and the men caroused downstairs, something much more important to the Outlander story was happening: Jamie and Claire forged a connection.
I’m not just talking about a P in V connection, either (though I’m sure Jamie will be forever grateful to Claire for explaining to him that you don’t have to “do it” like animals, unless, I mean, that is your thing). The sex was highly anticipated by fans of the story sure, but what I was more struck by was the burgeoning connection between the two. Claire worked to suppress her guilt over Frank (deftly handled with just the right amount of flashbacks) by asking Jamie to tell her about his family — that began an exchange of life stories showed through montage in a way that was believable and compelling.
If you’d told me my favorite episode of Outlander so far would be the wedding episode, I would have laughed, made a lewd joke, but obviously, thought better of myself. Truthfully, this is their strongest episode to date. The structure, starting from the moment the two are left alone and working backwards, was perfect and smart. The comedic moments (Gowan in the brothel, Claire’s hangover) struck the right balance with the heavier moments (the reveal of Claire in her gown, Dougal’s weird pass at her).