Episode 306 A. Malcolm was incredible. There have been a lot of criticisms of the way the episode was written. There were things that were moved around, changed and left out all together. All of that is absolutely to be expected. Naysayers do yourself a favor and relax and enjoy the cinematic rendering of this glorious series. Story telling is an art form and the end result looks different when filtered through different mediums. Enjoy it for what it is, look at the changes from the book as pleasant surprises. I love that the writers can still surprise me even though I’ve read every letter of every book; I think it makes it even more exciting to watch. Also I must say, I have a huge crush on Matthew B. Roberts.
Ok on to the episode; we open with Madame Jeanne rather fondly and familiarly helping Jamie get his stock and giant blanket scarf wrapped right. We don’t really like her very much but we get it…nobody can seem to get off Jamie’s jock.
Jamie arrives at the Printshop (holy hell the actual Printshop) he gives his sign an endearing spit shine and enters the building. Upon entering and inspecting a few things here and there he hears a noise. Que dirk being pulled from a secret pocket.
He quickly realizes it’s just his home boys from the Moor. The loyal and goofy followers of Mac Duhb are given the task of secretly distributing seditious reading material.
Good ole’ (or young rather) Geordie makes his appearance and doesn’t take to kindly to the teasing of Jamie’s minions. The minions head out on there mission and Jamie asks Geordie to run and errand to go get more ash.
Geordie passive aggressively tells Jamie to make him privy to any errands the night before so he can do it before he heads into the shop so he’s not retraveling his steps. He’s a snarky little toaster strudel isn’t he?
He set out on a regular day not expecting his ghost of a wife from 20 years prior to suddenly reappear. Her angelic voice softly says, “It isn’t Geordie. It’s me Claire.” Sam’s performance was impeccable. I honestly never even notice Sam during the show I truly only see Jamie and believe him fully as that Character. Same goes for Caitriona.
He faints and the papers fall gloriously to the floor. He awakes to see Claire staring back at him. She’s really there. I love how all the important lines from the books that we love so much have been fit neatly into this episode. In this short little beat we get a to see a glimpse of what Diana Gabaldon describes as “the longing of twenty years spilling down our faces.”
“Claire,” Jamie replies, saying her name out loud just to hear it being said. I feel like he was officially declaring her presence to be so.
The awkward removal of the pants is great. Jamie is hesitant inittially but CLaire reminds him that they are married and rather self-consciously adds, “At least I suppose we are.” Jamie says with a rather obvious oh-shit-that’s-right-we-are-holy-crap-what-the-hell-am-I going-to-do-about-you-know-who look on his face.
His pants are off and he approaches Claire and takes her hand in his and looks down at the ring he had made for her when they were married. “I never took it off.” There are many different versions of Jamie in this episode and I like to call this one hungry Jamie. He has hungered for his wife for 20 years and now she stands in front of him and he wants nothing more than to feel her lips on his. “I havena done this in a very long time,” Jamie whispers and one perfectly timed tear runs down Claire’s cheek.
“I saw you so many times, ye came to me so often. When I dream sometimes…when I was in a fever. I was so afraid and so lonely, I knew I must die. Whenever I needed you I would see you, smiling…your hair culed around (arrrooond) your face. You never touched…” If that’s not the longing of twenty years spilling down their faces I don’t know what is. They go in for kiss number two and then the funniest part of the episode ensues.
“I quit!” Geordie has returned from his errand and has caught is employer, pantsless and engaging in an intimate encounter. “DO what you like with your own soul man, but if it’s come to orgies in the shop it’s come to far.” And then my favorite line ever that I’ve begun saying regularly, “Oh, God’s tooth. It’s not even noon!” I love how much conviction and disgust we’re infused into these two lines of script. This performance was absolutely stellar and hilarious. (Anyone know the name of the actor that played Geordie? I looked but didn’t find anything).
Jamie heads to find another pair of trousers. “Come with me. If ye dinna think it immoral,” Jamie says. He doesn’t want to let her out of his sight. Claire looks relieved and happy, she doesn’t want to be far from him either. He leads her back and gets in his trousers. Jamie says, “it’s very fine to see you again Claire,” then he remembers their child. Claire says “I thought you’d like to see our daughter.” Can you imagine the feeling of finally finding out about your child after 20 years, it would probably feel like they had just born. The photographs are in a plastic bag…we still get to see a plastic bag in the 18th century even if it didn’t contain a peanut butter sandwich, so I’m happy. So they go the opposite route here and say that Jamie no longer has the eyes of a hawk and he pulls out his sextacles again. And he really looks as dashing as ever. Claire confessed to dying her hair to help Jamie not feel self conscious. “Time doesna matter sassenach. “Ye will always be beautiful to me.”
He we see another version of Jamie, Big Poppa Jamie. He looks at the first photo and has to sit down. He is overcome with emotion and asks what her name is. “What an awful name for a wee lass.” They go on to talk about Brianna and what she’s like.
“Just like her sister, Faith,” Jamie replies.
I choked up at this part because Jamie validates the life of their lost child. Claire had to tuck that memory away in her own time but in the here and now with Jamie the things that are important to her get to be seen and heard and given value. It also illustrates that Jamie loves each of his children deeply, and the tradgey of his life is that all his children are lost to him presently.
“You always were one, but now you have the title to go with it,” again I love this validation from Jamie. He credits her always and knows and cherished her value and it’s highlighted beautifully here. Good job Matthew B. Roberts!
I can understand why Jamie shares about Willie here. It’s possible he sees a resemblance in Bree or he’s really just dying to share this information with someone. And the person he trusts most is Claire, there’s no one else he feels he could really tell. Jamie quickly assures her that he did not love Willie’s mother and Claire is relieved and accepting of this new information. I love that Jamie gets to brag on his son a little here. It’s pretty damn adorable.
Jamie asks about Frank, the first few time I saw this part I didn’t see the deeper meaning to it. Now I see insecure Jamie, the version of Jamie that wants to know for sure that Claire still really loves him.
Jamie remembers that he has to be at the tavern and asks if Claire will come with him. Claire perfectly delivers my favorite line, “Wild horses couldn’t keep me away.” For book readers we know that line ends the chapter entitled A. Malcolm Printer. We know what’s next wink wink.
I love that Claire gives Jamie a little history lesson about Bonny Prince Charlie. Oh and then we see our sweet Fergus. Cesar Domboy perfectly captures young Fergus’s essence. Gosh this scene is just heartwarming. Fergus was like a son to Claire. Oh how I love Mama Claire, she of course notices Fergus’s wooden hand.
We get to the tavern and we meet Mr. Willoughby. I love that they treated this character with more dignity. In the book Mr. Willoughby is treated like somewhat of a lap dog. Perhaps true to the time period he would have been treated this way but Jamie and Claire are much more forward thinking. So it feels much more natural that they would treat him with dignity.
Next we see another version of Jamie, Boss Hog Gangster Jamie. This Jamie is mysterious…we don’t know this Jamie at all. As viewers we suddenly realize we’ve missed quite a chunk of time since we last saw our Tv husband.
We learn that Jamie saved Mr. Willoughby from starvation. Mr. Willoughby bids Claire goodbye and I’m pretty sure he says honorable FIRST wife here but Jamie edits it for obvious reasons with much irritation.
We skip a lot between here and unhealthy brothel and I’m totally fine with that…which I’m sure you know if you read my blog about that take me to the whore house!!!
This scene is played out almost exactly. Madame Jeanne is a trifle jealous of Jamie’s newly appeared wife. Claire and the Madame exchange a couple death looks and then Claire and Jamie head up to his room.
Claire is feeling a little uneasy as would I. Claire wants to know why Jamie has a room in a brothel. Jamie assures her that he is not a customer. Madame Jeanne is a customer of his, Jamie explains. That information isn’t very soothing either.
Another side of Jamie comes out Desperate Jamie. “Why have you come back?” he asks. They misunderstand each other a little here, he’s asking her because he wants to know that Claire really wants him and loves him still. Claire thinks he’s asking because he doesn’t want her there. This is dark Jamie mixed with a little desperate Jamie, “I’ve burned for you for so long. Do ye not know that?”
“Do you want me to go?”Claire asks and Jamie says no but asks, “ but I must know, so you want me.” Claire gets it now, Jamie is the one needing to be reassured. “Whoever you are James Fraser, yes I do want you.”
“Suppose you might be at that but d’ye know sassenach, I dinna think I care.” Their passionate kiss is interrupted by Pauline bringing in supper.
They sit down to eat and I notice their matching outfits that perfectly mirror the others. Much unlike the breast baring corset from the wedding night. As much as this episode does mirror the wedding episode there a lot of differences; their wedding wasn’t a matter of wanting eachother (initially) it was a matter of necessity and survival.
“Will ye come to bed with me then?” Jamie asks her. Claire whispers yes as we ask scream HELL YES!
The build up is what makes the sex scenes great. This slow and seductive and rather drawn out undressing helps make it feel like it really has been a very long time since they’ve been together.
Claire takes her hair down and Jamie’s eyes fill with tears because he’s looking into the face that he has conjured up in his mind so often and now she is here in front of him. When Claire is naked Jamie just stares at her. Claire is self conscious but Jamie reassures her, “Christ, Claire, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
They make there way down to the bed and the iconic book moment of Jamie and Claire bonking heads happens. Claire things her nose is broken. This was executed perfectly and I love the little smile from Jamie and his explanation, “No ye didn’t. When you break your nose it’s makes a nasty crunching sound and you bleed like a pig.”
Jamie quickly gets back to the delightful task of making love to his long lost wife. Claire gives the sexiest consent ever, “do it now and don’t be gentle.” Jamie takes direction very well and begins to give Claire a healthy and thorough serving of James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser penis. Yes I said it. It was everything we’ve been waiting for, passionate, sexy and so satisfying. “Give me your mouth Sassenach,” oh god….and I’m dead. So freaking sexy. **Cue cold shower**
Then Jamie says some sexy sweet nothings that I will most certainly be making my husband say later…cough cough*** “You’re breast’s are like ivory. To touch you sassenach. You’re skin is like white velvet and the sweet long lines of your body. God, I couldna look at you and keep my hands from you.”
“It was always forever for me sassenach.” **swoon**
I love that they kept this in there “What is a bicycle?”
“I’m not a saint sassenach but I’m no a pimp either.” **Yes you are I say breathing heavily with all the heart eyes**
The guessing game of “what does Jamie do for a living begins. We get another glorious glimpse of Jamie’s fiiiiiiiiiine ass self…and that candle light though. Sweet mother of all that is holy. **call ambulance to report own death**
I need someone to feed me grapes like this…oh yes I do have someone ***texts husband***
“I canna tell you sassenach, what it felt like when I touched you today and knew you to be real. To find you again and to lose you…”
Claire kisses him and reassures him again, “you won’t lose me, not unless you do something immoral.” Jamie stiffens at this statement which Claire immediately translates as a confession of immoral behavior. So Jamie saves his ass by telling Claire that he is in the smuggling business. Alcohol to be exact. Claire accepts this explanation. Madame Jeanne is a customer but Jamie assures her that he doesn’t take his price out in trade.
I love this next love scene, Jamie and Claire fit together so perfectly. In this round of love making its more romantic and slow and they are really taking eachother all in. Where as the first time around they were filled with desire and need. There is still a bit of need here but it’s different, are connected on a different level now that they are certain they other really wants to be with them for keeps. You can sense the comfortability between them as they rememorize the others every feature.
Claire sees Jamie’s leg and the long scar and simply says how? “I will never leave you again,” Claire says ferverently. Jamie tells her she was right to leave for Brianna’s sake. “Because of her we will live forever.”
Now this shot of them lying together is a little tiny bit morbid. I immediately imagine them dying together in their 80’s or 90’s in the exact same position. Only Diana Gabaldon knows how Jamie dies but I did read somewhere that Sam Heughan and Ron Moore have seen the last page of the last book that has not yet been written in full. So who knows maybe it’s a foreshadowing maybe it’s not. I do love a good conspiracy theory don’t you?
The next morning Jamie is staring sweetly at Claire as she sleeps, yet another version of Jamie… that I like to call Creepy in a Sweet Way Jamie.
“I wanted to see if you were really here,” Claire says and touches his face. “Maybe I’m a ghost,” Jamie replies…..I love this callback to the lpast-future” in episode 1 season 1 when Jamie is an actual ghost.
Mo nighean donn he calls her for the first time in forever (accidentally starts singing song from frozen). The chemistry is still there they agree and I love how Jamie finishes Claire’s sentence when she is telling him that she still doesn’t know what it is when they touch eachother… “but it’s still there” Jamie assures her.
He never thought he would laugh in a woman’s bed instead of coming like a brute, blind with need. Claire asks him if that’s how it was when he had the need. Here we see he tries to confess something but Claire tells him they don’t have to rush the confessions but she does want to know if he’s ever fallen in love with anyone else. “No sassenach, I’ve never loved anyone but you.” With that announcement they are off to the sexy races again. Pauline with her impeccable timing tries to deliver breakfast but Jamie sends her away because he has a different sort of breakfast in mind…wink wink…an English breakfast…..
A little while later Jamie is buckling his bootstraps…doing a fine job if I might add…Jamie has to attend to more business… “you’ll stay here until I return,” Jamie instructs. “I’m not likely to go anywhere. My legs are like jell-o.” Jamie bends to give her a kiss and repeats the word Jell-o and officially makes it a sexy word with his breathless puzzled pronounciation. “Hurry back soldier.”
He’s asks her if the stories about her being a fairy are true. “Do you live in a dun?” Claire gives a great on the spot explaination of her absence that Ian seems to accept…but he knows something she doesn’t. Then the aborable element of his awkward pleasantries just makes me love him. “Very pleased to meet you uncle Jamie’s wife.”
Neathermouth – vagina
Kitlin’ – baby
Squeaker – not entirely sure (pregnant? A baby?)
All I know is these new vocabulary words will definitely be put into my regular rotation.
I love that Claire is basking in the glow of her reunion with Jamie. Debbie downer (Madame Jeanne) breaks up their fun and send Claire back to her room.
The second visitor is already in The room when Claire arrives back in her room. He’s an intruder and not a friendly one. Claire tells him to get out and he doesn’t appreciate that and the episode ends with him grabbing Claire by the neck. Jamie’s new life is already bringing complications to their lives.
Whew! That was a long one! Thank you for reading this supersized post for this supersized episode! I’m definitely satisfied! I’d love to know your thoughts on Episode 306!