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Warning: This post contains spoilers for Outlander Season 3, Episode 8, “The First Wife.”

My heart is pounding. This has probably been one of the most satisfying, rich episodes of Outlander so far this season: We see just how much conflict Jamie and Claire’s separation and pasts can create, we return to Lallybroch (JENNY! IAN!), and witness some very dangerous developments. Things just aren’t going to be the same again after this episode.

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Here are all my thoughts and feelings about “The First Wife.”

1. Claire’s face is almost as radiant when she looks at Lallybroch as it is when she looks at Jamie. ALMOST. Meanwhile, Young Ian looks like he’s pooped his pants. Well, that will happen when you run away from home and lie to your parents about it. They thought you were missing, for crying out loud. Maybe even dead.

2. “Never thought I’d see you grace my front step again.” JENNY! I missed you, dear, sweet, fierce, terrifying Jenny. But Ian seems rather more grim than he did last time we saw him. What’s he thinking? That he’s angry at his son? Angry at Jamie and Claire? Or all three?

3. “There was a wee fire at the print shop.” Jamie, Jamie. Ever the master of understatement.

“Open wide, come inside…hehe, that rhymes.”

STARZ

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4. Wow, it seems like there are 19 children living at Lallybroch. Those Frasers; they’re like bunny rabbits.

5. I wonder why Jamie and Claire don’t tell Jenny about the stones. Honestly, out of all the other characters, she’s the most likely to be able to process it. Plus, she’s too suspicious and wily to believe Jamie’s lie about where Claire’s been for 20 years. She’s right: This is a couple that would do literally anything to find each other. That’s literally what this whole TV show is about. Jamie’s excuse for keeping Jenny in the dark—that she’s not a woman of the world and has never left the farm—doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason not to try. Or does it? Would I believe a wild story about time travel? I don’t know…probably. Outlander has befuddled my brain.

6. Okay, that sea swim looked absolutely brutal, but seeing a wet Jamie Fraser at the end of it was worth it, I’m sorry.

7. Claire pretending that birdsong is actually Jamie talking to her is the saddest, sweetest, most romantic thing. Also totally bonkers.

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8. DADDY??????? LAOGHAIRE?????????????? Who is that tiny adorable child and why is Jamie Fraser her daddy? And I am truly unhappy to see Ol’ Meanie Laoghaire back. How dare she call Claire a SASSENACH WITCH. Only Jamie is allowed to do that. Anyway, Scottish Cruella has definitely become more poisonous with age. Why is she so deeply unpleasant? Jamie, the fact that you’re married to her is a bad secret to have kept from Claire. A very, very, very, very bad secret.

9. “There are other red-headed men in Scotland, Claire.” Well, that’s news to me.

10. I get that Claire has had a horrible shock, and Jamie definitely screwed up by keeping such a huge secret from her. But she should know far better than to confuse “marrying” for “being in love with.” Especially if Lady Sour Patch Laoghaire is involved. Truly, marrying a young widow who has two children is such a Jamie Fraser thing to do. Not that Jamie should get off lightly. He deserves to be in the doghouse for this.

11. “Left you? You forced me to go back. I would have died gladly at Culloden with you.” Give Caitriona Balfe’s tears an Emmy.

12. I LOVE THIS FIGHT. It has been brewing between Jamie and Claire for a long time now. They still have so much pent up inside them after 20 years apart, it was always going to boil over. And it’s SO SATISFYING. Upturning furniture and kicking tables and crying and slapping and everything. Give this fight an Emmy. And of course it’s going to turn into sexy sexy sex. God I love this show.

13. OMG and here’s Jenny coming in like a high-school principal with the cold water jug. I think I’m in love.

Claire and Jenny in Outlander

“See, in the future, we have these things called marshmallows. They’re delicious. No, seriously.”

STARZ

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14. Jenny is no dimwit. Whatever the opposite of “dimwit” is, that’s her. She knows Claire hasn’t been in the colonies for 20 years. Alright, so it’s pretty harsh that she orchestrated the whole Laoghaire–Claire situation. But she knew she wasn’t going to get answers any other way.

15. “Family writes letters.” This made me giggle. I don’t think there’s a postal service between the future and the past, Jenny, my dove.

16. Well, Claire was right. Jenny really is in no mind to trust Claire again until she knows the whole truth. Just tell her already!

17. “If there’s a pot of shite on to boil, you stir like it’s God’s work.” IAN, YOU CHEEKY SOB. There’s something to what he’s saying, though. Jamie and Claire have enough issues without Jenny interfering.

18. “Canna take back those 20 years.” The way Outlander‘s showing the fallout from their long separation is super realistic. This is no fairytale reunion: They’ve both had long, rich, complicated, difficult lives since they parted, and it’s made them into who they are now. They’re going to have to come to terms with that, and it’s going to take…possibly another 20 years. That chemistry though.

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19. A GUN? What the flipping hell happened to Laoghaire? She’s always been a vindictive, petty, murderous, possessive, jealous kind of lass. But coming at Claire with a pistol? That seems a bit much. And then shooting Jamie? Yikes. It all makes sense later when Jamie explains his hunch that one of her former husbands might have been violent—nobody should ever have to go through that, and its understandable if it’s validated the resentment and suspicion we already know Laoghaire has in spades.

20. Honestly, nothing is going to bring Claire and Jamie back together than a flesh wound. Claire is immediately in surgeon mode, and it feels so good. Jamie might be too drunk to see Claire’s satisfaction at being able to help him with her immense skill, but it’s nice that Young Ian gets to witness her mastery. Personally, I could deal without all these close-ups of WOUNDS, though. Yuck.

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21. “I dinna ken what Swiss cheese is, but if it looks like that, I wouldna want it on my bread.” Always love it when Jamie learns about something new. Just wait until he finds out about, like, airplanes.

22. This Hogmanay flashback is shot perfectly. It’s warm, cozy, convivial, joyful. It totally makes sense that Jamie would feel bereft in the midst of all that happiness, and even more sense that it would inspire him to be part of a family again, even if it’s one of the worst decisions he’s ever made.

23. NED!!!!!!!! The only lawyer I’ve ever truly enjoyed. Nice to see him again. Even if he is communicating Lemonhead Laoghaire’s exorbitant alimony request.

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24. “I’m just not sure if we belong together anymore.” While this breaks my heart, I’m glad Claire’s showing some remorse about leaving her life behind. Obviously Jamie and Claire share a passionate love, but a woman’s life isn’t just about Jamie Frasers, you know. (Except for every Sunday night for one hour on STARZ, amirite.)

25. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Poor sweet baby Ian—captured by pirates? Is this the biggest mistake Claire and Jamie have ever made? My stomach dropped one million fathoms. Jenny and Ian are never going to forgive them. Well, it looks like we’ll be going out to sea next episode.



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