Oh boy, is there a lot to discuss this week. The Reunion of the Centuries has finally happened, and it brought with it innumerable new plot developments. There’s a whole host of new characters, new careers, and at least two potential new villains. There’s also QUITE A BIT of Claire and Jamie. (Seriously- it’s like Outlander is trying to one-up Game of Thrones with the amount of skin on display this week. Sorry kids.) Let’s break it all down with our Swords vs Skins Scores. We know you’re all here for the Skin score, but we’re going to start with the Sword score anyway. After all, if there’s one thing Claire and Jamie’s separation teaches us, it’s that absence clearly does make the heart grow fonder.
*SPOILER WARNING! The following review contains spoilers from Episode 306. Do not read further if you have not seen the episode and wish to avoid spoilers. You’ve been warned.*
Sword Score: 9/10. The only thing keeping this score from being a 10 is how frustrating it all is. It’s so clear that Jamie is keeping secrets from Claire, even as she does her best to drag information out of him. To be fair, it’s hard to explain 20 years of subterfuge in one night, especially with someone else’s tongue in your mouth, but Jamie doesn’t even try to be honest about his business until Claire demands it. He is once again on the illegal side of things. When he’s not guilty of sedition in the form of printing pro-Catholic pamphlets, he’s smuggling whisky and other liquors into the country. He’s not been acting alone in these endeavors either.
Helping him skirt the law are one Mr. Willoughby, a Chinese immigrant that Jamie saved, and one all-grown-up Frenchman by the name of Fergus. (Side note- Claire’s reunion with Fergus is everything we hoped it would be and more.) Also playing for Team A. Malcolm is Jeanne, a French Madame in charge of the local whorehouse. She stores the illegal liquors in her basement in exchange for first dibs on purchasing the product. Madame Jeanne also offers Jamie a rent-free apartment in her house, an arrangement she immediately seems to regret upon Claire’s arrival. Jamie then sells the rest of the liquor and pays a British official to look the other way. Naturally, Claire shows up right as this deal is going south. The Redcoat wants a bigger cut of the profits, and intends to prove that Jamie is holding out on him. He sends one of his agents to search Jamie’s room for his ledgers. This agent accosts Claire when she enters in the middle of his search. If the previous two seasons have taught us anything, it’s that that will not end well…for the agent. Exactly how the writers plan to wrap up all these new plotlines in just 7 episodes remains to be seen, but Jamie could probably offer a few pointers on strategic planning.
Skin Score: 10/10. Ok, time to talk about the real heart of this episode. There are two love plotlines running here. The first is the more humorous one- the awkward fumblings of inexperience mixed with 20 years of repressed desire. From Jamie asking Claire to look away when he changes his pants to the slapstick routine when they are finally alone together, there are so many little moments that deviate from the normal formula of a series of love scenes. Add in the always-funny moments of Claire explaining future technology, like photographs, zippers, and a bicycle, and the final result is a wonderful display of real life love and the occasional clumsiness that comes with it.
The other plotline is far more serious- a look at how true love can endure across the centuries. Like it’s sister, it too is made up of little moments. There’s Jamie running his fingers over the wedding band he made Claire all those years ago, to the look on his face when he first sees Brianna’s photographs, even to the conversations in which he and Claire discuss all that life has brought them in their time apart. However, it’s Jamie’s physical inability to be apart from Claire that speaks the loudest. From the first moment he comes to on the floor of the print shop, he refuses to let her out of his sight. He’s spent two decades imagining her with him, and it’s not until she is finally in his arms in his bed that he loses his last bit of doubt. The moment that he never thought would come has finally arrived- Claire has come home to him. Unfortunately for these two, the path of true love never did run smooth. Here’s hoping they enjoyed their time together, because now it’s right back into their usual pattern of rescuing each other.
Outlander airs on Starz on Sunday nights at 8 pm. Viewers can catch up anytime on Starz.com or the Starz mobile app. Check back here to FanFest.com for weekly episode previews and full episode recaps.
Kade is often described as, “here just a minute ago” and can often be found just around the corner from where you’d expect. Approaching is not encouraged, unless you come with a strong wifi connection and a nice charcuterie board with gluten-free breads.