The reason for that is because Diana Gabaldon wrote one of the most swoon-tastic heroes of all time when she wrote Jamie Fraser. Even when he is being a total cad (*cough* LAST WEEK *cough*) Jamie always seems … right. He is always redeemable. He is always the guy we are making excuses for because he is the one we love the most, and let’s be honest, we think he can do no wrong. Even when he DOES wrong, legions of fans are willing to overlook those faults because Jamie is just that good. We are thirsty, and JAMMF is fine Scottish whisky.
WHY is it this way? WHY do we – forward-thinking, progressive, intelligent women – give Jamie a pass when he does dumb shit? I could get into the psyche of women who fall for fictional hero tropes that they would never excuse in real life, but the truth is a little less complicated. And … it’s the very first top moment of this week’s episode.
Top Ten Moments from Episode 308: First Wife
1. Jamie Says the Best Things
There are plenty of times when I am reading an Outlander book, and even more when I am watching the series, that I want to punch Jamie in the Adam’s apple and run away. He can be boorish and selfish, sometimes callow and always stubborn. Neglecting to tell Claire the truth about Laoghaire when she first returned to him is one of the top throat-punch moments of the series.
But then … Jamie sweet-talks me out of being mad at him. Just like Claire, my eyes get all soft around the edges, my nose prickles with unshed tears, and I just want to wrap him up in nakey-time hug and tell him everything will be alright. He’s just … damn smooth sometimes.
“I still can’t believe you’re here.”
“I would have gone back and killed Kerr myself for giving me hope.”
“Because I am a coward.”
“I wanted you so badly that nothing else mattered. I would sacrifice honor, family, life itself to see you, to lie with you again.”
“Do you know what it is to life 20 years without a heart?”
“Having seen you again, I would do far worse than lie to keep you.”
“If you’re not going to stay with me, I’d rather you let me die and have done with it.”
“Will you risk the man I am for the sake of the one you once knew?”
All of the sudden it doesn’t quite matter what he’s done. It’s the things Jamie SAYS that hit me in the affection bone, and I can’t hold a grudge any more.
2. Claire and Jamie On Horseback
There are a couple of images from the Outlander series that are so ubiquitous that they immediately place me in the space I was in when I read them for the first time. One is Jamie and Claire lying in something really uncomfortable but humping like it don’t itch – heather, hay, thistles – nothing in God’s good nature will stop them from getting their hump on. And the other is Jamie and Claire riding together on horseback. The opening image of this episode (even though it was accompanied by some truly heinous voiceover) put me in the “I LOVE OUTLANDER” place, and sometimes I really need that.
3. Parenting 101
Call me a helicopter parent, but we live in an age where everyone and every blogger thinks that they have right to tell you how to raise your children, and it drives me insane. Every child and every family is different, and the last thing any good parent needs is someone else telling them they know better. As much as I absolutely HATE how everyone in the last couple of episodes has given Jamie shit for how he’s never been a real parent or raised any child of his own (leave the poor guy alone!) Ian and Jenny are 100% right to be pissed at him for what he did with Young Ian.
Your child is your own to grow into the functioning member of society they need to be. Advice from a trusted relative, sure. A trusted relative essentially stealing your kid and working them against your wishes and without your consent because “they know better” … HELL NO. I don’t like Jenny, but I was so on her side here.
Related and yet slightly hypocritical of me, considering what I just said … but the glimpses of Daddy!Jamie that we got in this episode were heart-bursting. HE JUST WANTS SOME LITTLE ONE TO LOVE. The scene with Little Joan was so heart-breaking. Just a glimmer of what he would have known if Faith or Brianna had been his to guide and love. It allows us to believe whole-heartedly that the idea of being step-father to Marsali and Joan was enough to bring him a measure of joy after leaving Willie in England. When little Joan turns back to hug him?? Ugh, my heart.
5. F*** Me Up
You ever listen to a pop song that’s just DEAD MORBID about the state of the singer’s relationship? Like these people are either totally terrible for one another, or they really really get off on fighting. Ryan Adam’s Come Pick Me Up and Civil Wars’ Poison and Wine are two that come to mind right away. But then I see an explosive fight like the one Jamie and Claire have after he comes back to their room, and I get it. I mean … come f*** me up, indeed.
This type of intensity (while often dangerous in real life) is highly addictive to watch. Both of them speak rashly and without thinking. Their emotions are at the forefront, and while it can be frustrating, it’s also a relief to watch them finally hash some of this out. Plus … it’s hot. I mean, GOOD GOD when Jamie yells that he doesn’t care for Laoghaire and never has … YES. Come f*** me up.
6. I Hate Jenny
Sorry. I know I was on her side a hot minute ago. And she makes a good point about Claire never reaching out to her, and how much it has to hurt to grieve someone only to have them come back after 20 years. She had to feel like Claire’s absence was suddenly less like a death and more like a purposeful shunning. Ouch.
But damn, this bitch needs to mind her business. Maybe it’s the people-pleaser in me (I can hear you laughing, but it’s a real thing that I really am thanks to being a middle child), but I cannot bear to see someone be willfully dismissive to someone else. When Claire returns, being around Jenny is like death by just a couple of well-placed cuts.
Then she inserts herself into Jamie and Claire’s hate sex with that water pitcher moment, AS IF SHE HAD ANY BUSINESS being in there. The shouting had ended, Janet. Mind yo business.
Then when Claire confronts her, she has the audacity to say that Laoghaire is his wife. BOLLOCKS OF BRASS, this woman, I swear. And when Claire admits to having had a husband in America, the first thing shit-stirring Janet wants to do … tattle to Jamie. Ian was not kidding when he said if there was shite in a pot, she’d enjoy stirring it to soup. Lord, lady. (Sidenote: Ian is Husband of the Year to put up with her mess and call her out on her bullshit.)
7. This bag
Is this going to be in the new Winter Madewell catalog? Because I could use a new weekender.
8. Dr. Fraser
I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite part of the show, but I love it when Claire goes into full E.R. mode. Dr Claire is always cool and competent, and I appreciate the fact that we see her working just as diligently on Jamie when she’s pissed as hell as when she’s distraught or concerned. Then of course there is the very self-satisfied smirk she gives him when she sticks him in the rear with that syringe. Her bedside manner is A+.
9. Ned Gowan Winkle
At least Claire said we were all thinking: this guy has not aged a single day and he was already meant to be old as hell when she was there two decades earlier. It’s pretty ridiculous.
That’s nothing however compared to the fact that Jenny is a grandmother several times over, is at least 45 years old and looks exactly how she did at 25. Did Old Man Time only visit Ian’s hair?
10. Cliffs of Insanity
I love the last shot of the episode as the camera pans out to show Jamie and Claire on the shore, helpless to do anything about Young Ian being taken away just a quarter mile away. Without that perspective we may not feel their desperation and impotence.
The real insanity in that scene, however, was Claire’s speech. I could buy her assertion that she had a life in Boston that she was loath to leave if she had … MENTIONED HER DAUGHTER. Oh, you had a career and a home and … friends? How nice. Did you also have, I don’t know, A CHILD OF YOUR OWN DAMN LOINS THAT YOU WERE BRINGING UP? Cheese and rice, writers.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Anyone wondering why Laoghaire’s wind-burned face wasn’t in my top ten? It was because I couldn’t figure out why she suddenly had rosacea at 36.
Tune in tomorrow night for Hangoutlander … it’s at 10pmEST and 7pmPST. And check out all our Outlander coverage here.