Outlander’s A. Malcolm breathes new life into the series and sets it up for a long and dazzling run. Episodes one through five were remarkably well done, but they canna hold a candle to seeing Claire and Jamie embrace after 20 years of separation. For Outlander fans the period between seasons, or what is fondly referred to as #Droughtlander, has been long and filled with anticipation for the reunion between Claire and Jamie. And Episode 6, A. Malcolm, doesna disappoint! It is filled with a satisfying mix of heartwarming dialogue, humorous circumstances, and passionate encounters between the pair.
Claire may be the star and narrator of the Outlander saga, but it is Jamie who shines in Season 3. Sam Heughan must be lauded for the way he completely disappears into the role of a tortured Jamie who is but a shell of the robust and canty character we knew in Seasons 1 and 2. Heughan portrays the transformation of Jamie’s character from the shell-shocked and broken “dunnbonnet” hiding in a hole to avoid capture to the strong, capable, and wise printer of seditious pamphlets with delicacy, nuance, and care. He is a master at capturing the subtleties of his character, allowing the weight of the character’s experiences to shape the way he embodies an older, wiser Jamie.
Feminists may ridicule this episode for Claire’s return to a time when women were not considered equal. They may argue that the show is regressive, portraying an educated woman choosing to give it all up for love. Progressives may mock the commitment Claire and Jamie share and the value they place on their vows. They may argue that such values are archaic and out of touch. I say, “Political correctness be damned!” Too many television shows hover on the periphery of true romance. They portray the poor man’s version of “love” as the characters fumble through a string of meaningless relationships and sexual encounters. Few artistic endeavors capture the true essence of love. It is this emphasis that sets apart what would otherwise be just another fantastical romance-novel plot line.
In a society where so many people engage in casual sex with partners whose names they barely know, where divorce is the cure-all for even the most minor marital problems, and where women regularly allow men who do not respect them the privilege of enjoying their bodies, this show boldly honors marriage, commitment, and authentic love. Outlander portrays the institution of marriage honestly. It highlights the peaks and valleys while couching the valleys in the understanding that what Claire and Jamie share is forever because they choose for it to be so. Their love story is profound because it is the story of two people choosing each other over and over again. They respect the person the other has become and love them in spite of their flaws and transgressions.
“Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone. I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One. I give ye my Spirit, ’til our Life shall be Done.”
– Outlander wedding vow (Season 1, Episode 7)
THIS is the magic that draws women the world over to the show! I believe that female viewers are not so much in love with Jamie as they are with the way he cherishes Claire. Men and women alike would do well to hold these characters and their relationship as a model for their own romantic endeavors. I urge you to shirk the confines of feminism and progressive ideology! Marriage does not have to be a power struggle or a surrendering of the self. Find that person that will choose you over all others every time, that will cherish your hopes and dreams. Don’t settle until you meet the person who will walk beside you through the valleys and celebrate with you on the peaks.
Now that Claire and Jamie are reunited, viewers will watch with anticipation for where their journey will take them next. As someone who has read ahead, let me tell you that they are in for the adventure of a lifetime! It’s clear that Jamie is holding something back and it could be a devastating secret.
Cheers to the Outlander team for crafting a remarkable work of living art!
For more on why I believe Outlander is fantastic, check out my earlier article here.