Feminine hands reach up to tidy the stock at Jamie’s neck… a French accented voice is heard. This is definitely not Claire. She suggests a woman’s touch is needed to do things properly. Jamie dons his mega scarf and his tricorn hat as he exits the door, entering the street.
He walks as a man full of confidence, without a care in the world, acknowledging passers by, as he strolls to the printshop to start his day. Not knowing this day will change his life once more. He pauses by the sign, taking care to clean a mark off it, proudly steadying the sign before he goes up the steps.
Jamie looks around, pausing to look at a ledger and checking printed papers hung to dry. He hears a noise and is instantly on guard, drawing his knife before he realises the nose is coming from his two men, who smell of seaweed and whisky. Thus we are introduced to Hayes and Leslie, Jamie’s smuggling associates. He assigns them a task of moving treasonous pamphlets to Arbroath. Geordie arrives, the men tease him over a growth on his neck. Jamie asks Geordie to go out and bring back more soda ash for the presses. Geordie is full of righteous snark on so many levels! We hear the ting of the doorbell as Geordie leaves.
Jamie gets about his work, prepping the press to print… and studying the result. He is wearing glasses for close up work. It’s quite a normal day for our seditious printer, Mr Alexander Malcolm, until…
Queue doorbell, Jamie thinks it’s Geordie returning. Jamie takes a drink of ale as we hear Claire’s voice “It isn’t Geordie. It’s me… Claire.” He turns to look up. Claire’s face is glowing and ever so adorable! Overwhelmed, Jamie drops the papers he is holding and faints… start credits… billow and breeze… the credits include us seeing Jamie print pages saying “Written for television by Matthew B. Roberts” and “Directed by Norma Bailey”.
Claire’s blurred face appears, she is hovering over Jamie, fretful about his fainting, fearing the shock has killed him. Jamie wakes and looks into her face. The worry on her face turns into a smile, as Jamie says “You’re real.” And she replies “So are you.”
Jamie feels his pants, thinking he has totally lost it and wet himself, but the damp is from the alepot. He stands and starts to remove his breeks, pausing to ask Claire if she minds… pausing slightly herself, she says “It’s alright. We are married. Or at least I suppose we are.” Jamie takes a moment, frowning slightly, to say “Aye. We are.” (1) He does not take his eyes off Claire as he takes off the wet breeks. Pantsless, he approaches her, his face almost unbelieving, taking her hand and looking at the wedding ring he gave her… “I never took it off.” Claire says, her eyes sparkling with unshed tears. Jamie approaches closer, hesitant, saying he very much wants to kiss her, asking her permission to do so, she nods and says “Yes.” They are very close, as Jamie whispers “I havna done this in a very long time.” They kiss, the magic is still there. Queue a break for me as I cannot type and watch at the same time through a veil of my tears…
I’m back, and so is Geordie! His Free Church mentality is shocked at the sight of “orgies in the shop” “God’s tooth! It’s not even noon!”, he leaves. Both Jamie and Claire look slightly embarrassed then break out smiling. Claire is concerned she has caused Jamie trouble. Jamie figures he’ll find a way to explain to Geordie “God knows how.” Claire asks Jamie if her another pair of trousers, yes, in the back… “Come wi’ me.” “If you dinna think it immoral.” He takes Claire by the hand and leads her to the back of the printshop. Jamie pulls on fresh breeks, telling Claire how fine it is to see her again. Then he stops dead, asking her about their child… Claire brings out the packet of photographs of their daughter. Claire explains a wee bit about how a camera works.
Now Jamie is fearful of looking old as he tells Claire he needs to wear glasses. Claire tells him he looks as dashing as ever. She confesses that she has some grey in her hair, but dyed it to look the same as hen he last saw her. Then Jamie says a marvellous line… “Time doesna matter, Sassenach. Ye will always be beautiful to me.” Claire shows Jamie the photographs of his daughter, overcome, he sits down and begins to look through them. Claire tells him she named Brianna after his father, Brian, as promised. He asks what her first words were… “dog” and “no”. Jamie says “Aye. They learn that one fast.” (2)
The pictures fascinate and horrify Jamie, who’s rather shocked to see Brianna in a bikini. Claire tells Jamie Bree has red hair and smiles in her sleep, like him. He looks serious, recalling their other daughter, Faith, stillborn while they were in Paris. Claire looks worried when Jamie rises, thinking the bikini has offended him, however Jamie has his own picture to reveal. He says he has something he needs to tell her, he has a son, Willie. Briefly explaining he can never call the boy his own, he gives Claire the painted miniature. She asks if he loved the mother. Jamie says no… she died in childbirth and he feels guilty “before God”, both for her death and that he did not love her. Claire asks what Jamie’s son is like… spoilt, stubborn, ill-mannered, loud, with a wicked temper. And braw, bonny, canty and strong. Claire finishes off by saying “And yours.”
Claire says that she knew, before she decided to come back, Jamie would have had a life. Jamie does not speak, but stands as if the say something important, (3) then asks Claire if she left Frank to come back. She says no, Frank had died a few years ago. Jamie asks if he took her back, and still loved her. Claire answers yes. Jamie asks what she told him, Claire says she told him everything and never spoke of it again. It was hard for Frank, but he loved Brianna as his own and they made it work. The question of whether Claire was happy with him is next, she tells Jamie she was happy raising Brianna with him. A bell tolling in the background serves as a reminder for Jamie. He’s forgotten the tavern, he asks Claire to come with him. Claire responds “Wild horses couldn’t keep me away.”
On the stroll to the tavern Claire gives Jamie a brief history of what happened to the Bonnie Prince, on their way Jamie sees Fergus and points him out to Claire. Both Claire and Fergus are delighted to see each other, with Fergus declaring it a miracle. Claire sees his wooden hand and asks what happened. The Redcoats, he explains. Where has she been all these years? They thought her dead. She looks awkwardly at Jamie and quickly comes up with a version of the truth.
Fergus needs to speak with Jamie about Mr Willoughby, and they excuse themselves to talk in private. Fergus asks if Milady is staying with Jamie who admits he doesn’t know. Fergus starts to speak, saying “What about…?”, with Jamie simply answering “Aye.” (4) “with Claire back I’m not sure it’s even a concern…” He needs to speak with Ned Gowan for advice on the law. More immediately Mr Willoughby has been drinking again.
Jamie goes back to Claire and he takes her to The World’s End tavern. Mr Willoughby is involved in an alteration and Jamie drags him away, while a whore demands additional payment. Jamie pays her and Claire introduces herself, she starts to say Claire Randall, but Jamie interrupts, saying Claire Malcolm, his wife. (5) Jamie must attend to business, and asks Mr Willoughby to sit and accompany Claire. They sit and Claire asks about his real name. He tells her Yi Tien Cho, meaning Leans Against Heaven. Jamie changed his name as it sounded like a coarse Gaelic word. Jamie enters a room below the tavern. A man with a posh English accent speaks insultingly. Jamie tosses a bag of money towards him, the man picks it up complaining it seems light. It seems Jamie has been spreading his smuggling wings. The man wants more money.
Mr Willoughby tells Claire he is grateful Jamie is a true friend, he has told her his story of how he came from China. Jamie returns to get Claire and they leave the tavern, but not before Mr Willoughby and Jamie exchange somewhat shamefaced glances (6). It’s very dark outside as Jamie and Claire approach a door which Jamie opens. Inside there are, people cavorting is various stages of undress. It is obvious that this is a brothel.
Jamie is warmly welcomed by Madame Jean, a tad too warmly for Claire. Madame Jean stares at Claire, asking Jamie for a private word, but Jamie stops her in her tracks by saying “But first, allow me to introduce my wife”. Madame Jean is quite shocked. It is obvious she has a touch of jealousy. Maybe even more than a touch! Jamie asks if his room is ready as they will be spending the night. Jamie and Claire go upstairs.
As they enter Jamie’s room, Claire is expressionless and silent. She looks around, taking off her cloak at Jamie’s request. Somewhat taken aback by this development she asks Jamie why he has a room in a brothel. Is he such a good customer? No, Madame Jean is a customer of his, who keeps a room for him. Claire replies “Sounds reasonable enough.”
Jamie, looking grim, asks Claire why she has come back. To be his wife again, or only to bring word of their daughter? Claire tells Jamie she has come back now as earlier she thought he was dead. He says he meant to die. Claire explains how she came to know he was still alive. He persists in asking why she returned. Claire looks confused, asking if he’s trying to tell her something. Claire gives him opportunity to speak of “other ties” in his new life. (7) Jamie tells her he’s no longer the man she once knew, they know each other less than when they were first wed. She asks if he wants her to go, no he does not! He asks is she wants him… Claire responds, “Whoever you are James Fraser… Yes… I do want you.” They begin to kiss but are interrupted by the arrival of food and drink.
Sitting across a table, their meal set out in front of them, Jamie and Claire drink and talk, slowly, reminiscing… can they be one again? Then Jamie says what they have both been thinking. “Will ye… come to bed wi’ me then?” Claire answers a breathless “Yes.” They stand and Jamie leads her towards the bed, they begin to undress each other. Claire unties the stock which Madame Jean had tied earlier in the day, as they look into each other’s eyes. Jamie returns the favour, and unties the scarf around Claire’s neck. Slowly, and somewhat awkwardly, they peel off their clothes, and Claire lets her hair loose.
Claire tells Jamie how to undo the zipper. Finally Claire stands in only her shift, which Jamie unties. The shift slides off Claire’s shoulders… to the floor. She stands, naked, nervous as Jamie looks at her body. Self-consciously she crosses her arms about her. She implores Jamie to say something! He does! “Christ. Claire… you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
Now she wants to see him… he removes his shirt. They both stand there naked, scared, beautiful… they reminisce about their wedding night. Claire asks, “Do you want me now?” Jamie replies “Oh God, Yes!” They touch, kiss and embrace each other.
As they lie upon the bed, Jamie cracks Claire’s nose with his head! Awkward!
They laugh and begin to make love, a sense of desperation comes over them… Claire says “Do it now. And don’t be gentle.” He does, and he isn’t, he insists on kissing her while doing it. Moaning ensues! They may be lacking in practice but, they have good memories! That’s all I’m saying here!
Claire tries to figure out what disreputable occupation Jamie has been undertaking. Highway robbery? Kidnaping for ransom? Petty thievery? Piracy is out due to Jamie’s seasickness! A traitor? Well, that’s not very profitable! Jamie says he’s still a traitor, though he hasna been convicted of it lately. He tells Claire he spent several years in prison, for the Rising… she says she knows. Finally she flat out asks what he does for a living these days… he is a printer… used as a weapon for purposes of sedition. He’s been arrested six times in the past two years, though the courts could not prove anything. He risks hanging if such charges are proven. He did warn Claire, does she want to leave? Claire tells him she didn’t come back to make love once, she came back to be with him. Jamie tells Claire what it was like to touch her this day… to find her again. She says he won’t lose her. Unless he does something immoral. He pauses, she asks what is it? He says… “It’s just that…” (8) Claire asks is there is something he hasn’t told her. Then he reveals is also a smuggler, of whisky.
They make love again, slowly, sideways, looking into each other’s eyes and touching each other all over. This shows how people deeply in love have sex. It’s one of the sexiest scenes I’ve ever seen on TV! Jamie didn’t need to instruct Claire to move with him…
Claire touches the scar on Jamie’s thigh and asks “How?”, Jamie replies with one word “Culloden.” Jamie exhales sharply. Claire moves closer to him and tells him she will never leave him again. Jamie tells Claire she was right to leave, to raise their child – they will live forever through Brianna. The magic they felt, in the past, though touching each other is unchanged. Once more Jamie almost says something (9). Claire sensing his discomfort tells him they don’t have to rush it. Claire only has one question. Did Jamie ever fall in love with anyone else? The answer is a definite no. They begin to make love again, as a knock at their door and a voice interrupts, does he want to eat? Jamie asks the person to come back later, but says to Claire “Aye” as he moves down her body. Later… Claire wakes up sleepily and sees Jamie dressed and lacing his boots. He encourages her to go back to sleep while he takes care of some business. He doesn’t want to leave her, but he must. Before he leaves, he reminds her that in Edinburgh she is Mrs. Malcolm, not Fraser and implores her to stay there until he returns. She says she’s unlikely to go anywhere as her legs are like Jello! He kisses her goodbye. Claire says “Hurry back soldier.” She smiles as he leaves and curls up contentedly in the bed they have just shared, her legs are like Jello
We see a quick view of a busy Edinburgh street scene, then back to Claire, still smiling and snacking as the door opened after a quick knock. She calls out “Jamie?” as a youth asks if she is Mr Malcolm’s woman. Claire says “I suppose I am.” She asks who he is… Young Ian Murray, looking for Mr Malcolm. After a wee bit of confusion about who she is, Claire introduces herself as his Aunt, Claire. He says “But… You’re dead.” He speaks of the Lallybroch folks having stories about Claire being a wise woman, a white lady, maybe a fairy. Claire needs make up a story about where she has been and tells him she was in the Colonies, where she went when she thought Jamie had died.
Still hungry, she goes downstairs and joins the whores for breakfast. They tease her about marks on her body. After some banter, Madame Jean enters and is shocked to find Claire there. Claire’s food is to sent up to her, and she must go now.
Entering the room upstairs Claire is confronted by a man searching the room. He is looking for Jamie’s ledgers. He threatens her… For once Claire did do what Jamie said, but trouble still found her!
So, what are the numbers in brackets? They are the times Jamie could have mentioned he is married to another woman, but out of fear of losing her again he did not. I counted nine, did you see more?