THE REUNION IS ALMOST HERE!
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The highly anticipated Outlander episode 306, “A. Malcolm,” will air Sunday night 10/22 at 6pm PT/8pm ET. After 20 years apart, Jamie and Claire will finally be reunited. And all the fans do an exuberant dance while letting out a squeal. It’s more than sex. It’s the promise of brokenness repaired. It’s the fragile vulnerability displayed. It’s being fully seen and accepted. It’s nakedness of soul. It’s two halves coming back together. It’s love reborn.
Jamie and Claire have both experienced great loss and life since they parted company at the onset of the Battle of Culloden. They never stopped loving each other, we know that for certain. Yet I wonder, how have the years apart shaped and changed them? How will the twenty years of living behind walls of self-preservation be slowly shed and peeled away? What secrets or stumbling blocks might exist to hamper their reconnection?
Claire is many things, a trailblazing physician, mother, and friend. She’s also a wildly passionate and physical woman when she’s with a man she loves. She’s lived without sex and emotional intimacy from the time Brianna was very young. When Frank challenged her for being only physically present in their marriage and their bed, the fragile link between them broke. Though she followed the letter of her agreement with Frank to leave the past behind, but couldn’t let go of Jamie in her mind and heart. Ultimately, she put her energies and efforts into her work, motherhood, and keeping up the Randall family facade. After Frank died, the world re-opened to her, yet she was hesitant. Roger found Jamie working as a printer in Edinburgh in the precise timeframe traveling through the stones would land her. It took much cajoling and prompting from Brianna for Claire to agree to leave the 20th century behind. With quick preparations, she went back through the stones. The hope, worry, and excitement cling to Claire as she opened the print shop door. She took an incredible risk for the sake of love reborn. For the sake of being whole and truly herself.
Jamie had everything stripped away after he sent Claire through the stones back to Frank. He meant to die on the field of Culloden, but didn’t. He survived as a prisoner on his own land, a prisoner of the Crown, and a parolee at Helwater before being freed to return home. The men of Ardsmuir, including his Godfather Murtagh, were lost to him when they were relocated to the Colonies for 15 years indenture. His losses continued to grow as he left his biological son, William by Lady Geneva, behind to be raised by Lord John Grey and Lady Isobel Dunsany. Years of pain, separation, and living behind walls of self-protection. Jamie is a shell of a man. He’s a ghost of himself. We don’t know what he has done in the years after leaving Helwater and Roger finding him as A. Malcolm in Edinburgh. Is he married? Does he have other children? We have no idea what he’s up to, except surely not only the mild life of a printer.
I expect to see tender, humorous, and awkward moments as Claire and Jamie start to connect. I imagine the episode unfolding as a slow burn toward their physical reunion, with plenty of interruptions along the way. It’s going to be a tasty extended episode treat.
I don’t know who we’ll meet in the episode, but my best guesses are Madame Jeanne, adult Fergus, teenage Young Ian, Old Ian, Mr. Willoughby, several working women, and Geordie. Claire will likely be mistake for a whore once again.
This season has given non-book readers ample reasons to love these characters, as much as book readers do.
Let me know what you expect, are pondering, or what you hope to see in this upcoming episode. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719-425-9444.
What’s Coming up? Episode 306 A. Malcolm.
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