The Wedding episode 107 written by Anne Kenney and directed by Anna Foerster opened, ran and closed in a very unexpected manner.
We see Claire and Frank walking together. Frank stops them in front of the register office. Happy conversation turns to marry me right now, right here. After seeing them kiss then Jamie and Claire kiss at their wedding, cut to Frank and Claire skipping into the register office assuming on the viewer’s part they are going to be married. This strayed so heavily from my reader’s expectation that I exclaimed out loud something like “What the hell? What is happening?”
So Claire is remembering her wedding day to Frank, an elopement in Westminster or it is a red herring and they were actually married in a kirk in Scotland. Regardless of location, we have groom one, Frank crashing into the groom two reality of Jamie.
Truth be told I was reeling in the first few minutes from flash forward, the wedding kiss with no build up, voice over and then immediately arriving at the inn room post wedding.
Claire and Jamie are in their room while the crowd downstairs awaits the consummation to take place. She is agitated and uncomfortable knowing they need witnesses. She in no way is ready to rush into things. Jamie is uncomfortable but using his wisdom of Claire hands her whisky and makes a toast to her.
Claire is conflicted. She knows she is attracted to Jamie, is now married to him and has a official duty to do, but loves Frank. He is in the honeymoon suite as it were. So she drinks, and has another drink and a sip. Jamie is clearly expecting her to toast him back.
He thinks she fears him. No not that. She asks him why he married her because she had no real choice in it, but he did. To keep her safe he explained. He had no choice either in his mind. “You have my name, my clan, my family, and if necessary the protection of my body as well.” Jamie in this one sentence beyond “I do”, gave Claire a community and a place of absolute belonging. He gave her home.
Slowly Frank is leaving the space after that statement and Claire warms up to Jamie.
Almost kissing, she blurts out “tell me about your family.”. He laughs and they talk, share, drink, get to know each other better. Jamie is pulling clear into her view. Only shadows of Frank remain.
Hours pass and after a check in visit by Angus and Rupert, Claire declares it to be late and is time for bed. The letter of the law shall come to pass. He offers to help her with her corset. Away we go.
This kiss, their first real kiss. Simply wonderful. Claire is ready and in it. Jamie throws all in.
Afterglow. She asks if it was what he expected? Mostly. She finds out he thought it was like horses from behind. Laughter of course ensues.
Did she like it he asks. She pauses too long. Frank is back in spades. He misreads her. Tells her Murtagh, Rupert, and Ned said in general most women don’t like it. She then tells him she liked it.
This poses a huge problem for Claire Randall. “There it was. Not only was I a bigamist and adulteress, BUT I’D ENJOYED IT.” She is quite flustered and says she needs food and bolts for the door. He tries to stop her. Opening to the landing cheers and jeers. Mortified into reality, Jamie sends her back into the room. He will get the food.
Sharing food they laugh and talk. Yet she sits troubled. Frank at her left hand. She reacts negatively to Jamie touching her neck. Immediately apologizing she attempts to vanish Frank and be in the present.
Again he touches her, Mo Nighean Donn he whispers (My brown haired lass). This time she seems to melt and fire.
Resisting the heat, she asks about the new kilt… Jamie tells her of his threes conditions to marrying her with flashbacks and stories. Number one, a proper wedding in a church with a priest. Number two, a ring to be made from a key in his sporran. Number three, a proper dress procured for her by Ned. (There will be a post with details about the conditions).
Frank is disappearing into the vapors again….as Jamie asks what did she do all day. She picks up the whisky bottle. This she says.
We flashback to Murtagh and the inn lady getting hungover Claire up and dressed.
Quickly flashing to outside the church where we see Jamie then Claire. He talks about how he remembers every moment. Seeing her was like sunshine on a cloudy day. She looked distressed and sad. Frank no doubt heavy upon her. She says the line. He tells her his full name. Ready for the ceremony. Claire removes her gold band and drops it in her bodice. She is trying to put Frank away.
They say their vows. His ring is placed upon her right hand, not left as she expected.
The blood vow shocks her, wrists freshly cut, tied together by Dougal. The words she must repeat in gaelic mean: “You are blood of my blood. And bone of my bone. I give you my body that we two may be one. I give you my spirit til our life shall be done.” The kiss. They are married.
Back to true time, he says when she kissed him like that (at the altar) that maybe she wasn’t so sorry to be marrying him after all. Yes Jamie it seems thus.
Claire has banished Frank. She asks to see Jamie naked. A slow inspection around him. She likes what she sees. Frank is gone baby gone. She is right here with Jamie.
Fair is fair. His turn. He has never seen a naked woman up close or one that is his.
More hot sex with a lesson involved ensues. How many times now?
He falls asleep and wakes to find her by the fire. The sporran gifts a set of pearls. His mother’s pearls. Claire is precious to him he says like the pearls one of the last remaining things of his mother’s he has. And cue more sex. Yea they are in it to win it.
The day breaks. Jamie is out for food. Claire is in blissful Frank free glow. Until she decides to tidy the room. Her wedding dress she picks up from the floor and shaking it out, the gold ring falls to the floor, clinking, careening across the room. He is back. Frank crashes through the looking glass.
Now Claire sits. A ring on her left. A ring on her right. A 20th century husband. An 18th century husband. The stones lie between.
Fade to credits.
I liked it. I found though the jumps in current time a little troublesome and the strays from the book a bit too far leaving me wanting for a few things we did not get. Exciting, hot and the story was moved forward very well overall. I am happy with the end result that keeps our known Jamie and Claire on track while showing her conflict toward Frank alive and well.
Addendum: after reading some negative comments about Claire going back for more sex after what made the marriage official my thoughts began to form. It struck me that she is a vital sex positive woman who has been not only through hell, but without touch for months. Sex is a love language of sorts for her. It was a way to reconnection with Frank after much time apart during their marriage. Now it is connecting her to Jamie. Floodgates open. For the needing to be held, to feel safe, to feel desired, to feel pleasure, to feel a sense of belonging to something or someone. The sex, hot as it is, is more than the physical. A touchstone. A marker of balance and rightness to connect. Here in her now, Jamie is becoming her place, her home, eventually her deepest love.
3 thoughts on “2 Grooms 2 Rings 1 Claire”
Thank you for so beautifully reminding me of Claire’s inner struggle between her love & loyalty to Frank and the attraction she feels for Jamie. I was never a friend of book Frank so I wrote him off a little too easily when she meets Jamie. Claire (& Frank) deserves more respect than that. Jamie’s charm & talent at gentling animals helps him woo a skittish Claire who is haunted by Frank’s ghost as you point out. Claire’s in real trouble because we the rabid book readers know she’s met her soul mate. She just doesn’t know it yet.
Thank you for your sensitive review!
I am so glad it resonated with you!
What we did not get we could still get. Apparently it ain’t over till it’s over. So very sad this week is the last one for who knows how long. And when does Season 2 roll? Questions, we all have questions! But I have no doubt it will be grand! I found the beginning frightening, thought they left stuff out. Then I remembered who we were dealing with and relaxed. Be calm and trust Ron. Jamie/Sam was so sweet. And Ron put the part in about the sun came out when I saw you as a tribute to Terry and that was so romantic and sweet . How can we not trust him?