There is quite a lot to jam into this episode, and the entrance of a rather controversial character, Mr Willoughby, however given future storylines I don’t think he can be omitted.
EPISODE 5 – The Joy Of Photography
Twenty years of longing erupts in tears as they reacquaint themselves. They are disconcerted and shy from the passage of time, Jamie recounts the times he dreamed of this moment still marveling that Claire is real. They kiss, Jamie reassures Claire, telling her not to be afraid, “There’s the two of us now.”
Jamie’s breeches are wet, at first he thinks he’s pissed himself, then realises he’s sat down on the ale pot. Jamie removes his breeches and they continue to stand in the printshop entranced. They are interrupted by the entrance of Geordie, Jamie’s assistant, who disapproves of what he is seeing. To forestall any other interruptions Jamie places a “Gone Out” sign on the door. Then comes a moment we have been aching to see… Jamie asks Claire if he may kiss her! We all melt!
Jamie is standing without his breeks on and invites Claire upstairs, unless she thinks it immoral. He must get his spare pair of breeches. She laughs, responding, “We’re married, aren’t we?”. His room is spartan, like a monks cell. Claire notes the absence of anything feminine.
Jamie asks after their baby. Claire shows Jamie the photos she carefully selected to bring with her, despite fear of accusations of witchcraft, if they were found. Jamie looks at them amazed. Claire delivers a kiss from their daughter. Jamie says “She… knows?”, Claire tells him she does. Jamie is overcome and shaking with emotion. He dissolves into tears and is comforted by Claire, herself crying. (At this point I’m certain I have dissolved as well!)
Jamie asks the name of his daughter, and is rather surprised to learn Claire named her Brianna. Jamie corrects her pronunciation of Bree’s name! Jamie admits he is in shock. In the awkwardness of 20 years apart Claire fears he wants her to leave. Jamie is very definite that he does not want her to go away.
The afternoon light is fading and hunger pangs bring to their attention the passage of time. Jamie says they must go to the tavern. With shock, Jamie realises he has forgotten Mr Willoughby, his associate.
They hurriedly leave the printshop for the World’s End Tavern where Mr Willoughby is found, causing quite a lot of trouble. Still unfed, with a drunken Mr Willoughby in tow, Jamie takes Claire to Madame Jeanne’s establishment. Both women are unsettled by their meeting. Claire realising this a brothel, and the Madame realising Jamie has a wife. Jamie asks is is room is ready, as they shall be staying the night. Claire is taken aback by Jamie’s familiarity with the brothel, as Jamie asks the Madame to bring a new gown for Claire her “old” one having been torn in an altercation in the tavern. Claire asks why Jamie has a regular room in a brothel. It’s part of his business dealings with Madame Jeanne, but not related to printing.
Unsure of each other, Jamie questions why Claire has come back, will she accept him, the man he is now? Claire fears he has other “ties”, he says he has burned for her for twenty years. She tells him she thought he was dead until recently, she has risked everything to come back And yes, she does want him. They shyly, at first, begin exploring each other, until interrupted by the arrival of their meal. As they eat, Claire tells Jamie of her arrival and journey to Edinburgh. Separation of twenty years brings forth deep feelings of passion and longing as they look at each other, then again fear sets in. At last, Jamie asks Claire to come to bed with him. He begins to undress, then realises Claire must need help with her laces. Claire must explain a zipper to him. The dress falls to the floor, Claire, naked except for stockings and shoes, turns to face Jamie. She is still uncertain of his response as he is silent. Jamie begins caressing her body, noting the marks of motherhood. Claire sees the wretched scar on Jamie’s thigh, a legacy of the wound which almost claimed his life at Culloden. Their uncertainty dissolves in familiarity and desire for each other as they make love. Afterwards they talk, Claire admits she was more afraid than on their Wedding night, as then she thought she meant to leave and go back. Jamie responds saying ““It has always been forever, for me, Sassenach,”.
Jamie explains to Claire how he earns a living. They fall into fitful sleep, curling against each other, almost afraid the other will disappear. In the depths of the dark they wordlessly make love once again. Claire touches his deeply scarred thigh, she asks “How?” He replies with one word “Culloden”. Claire tells him she’ll never leave him again.
They awaken before dawn, she tells him about Brianna, describing her similarities to both Jamie and herself. Jamie is grateful Claire has given him a child, part of him will live on…
Later, they awaken comparing themselves to their memories. They talk. Jamie tells of Jenny’s almost shocking determination that he survive his injuries. Claire tells Jamie he is a legend, that she knows of the cave, the Dunbonnet story and his heroic act to save his kin and tenants.
They are interrupted by a knock on the door, it is Ian come from Lallybroch, looking for Young Ian who has run away from home. Ian is surprised to find Jamie in a brothel, then Jamie introduces Ian to his wife. Ian thinks Jamie has married a whore. He sees Claire and his hair stands on end in shock.
Jamie leaves with Ian to search Edinburgh for Young Ian. As Claire has no dress she must stay behind. Jamie undertakes to remind Madame Jeanne that Claire needs a dress. Claire takes the time alone to ponder Jamie’s life and more particularly what he had told his family about her being gone.
Another knock on the door. Claire expects it is the chambermaid with her breakfast, however a shaggy head peeps around the door. It is Young Ian. He does not understand who Claire is and knowing this is a brothel, thinks she must be a whore. Claire correct him and he bolts out again.
A further knock on the door reveals Mr Willoughby. He acknowledges Claire as Jamie’s wife and tells her part of his story, demonstrating some of his knowledge of Chinese Medicine. Tired of waiting, Claire, naked under a quilt, goes down to find some breakfast. Entering the breakfast room she finds the whores who assess her physical attributes as they think she is the new whore. She begins to eat and they comment on visible marks of her body. There is chat about their profession and offer sage advice on how to deal with the clients as Madame Jeanne enters. She is horrified to find Claire amongst her whores and begins apologising profusely for leaving her naked and starving. They pause in the sewing room as Claire finds a shift to wear and Madame Jeanne gossips with her doorman about the latest murder, presumed to be the work of a serial killer named the Edinburgh Fiend. There had been eight killings over the course of two years.
Claire is back in Jamie’s room, after a further hammering on the door a man enters. The man is speaking French, he stares at Claire and turns pale recognising her. He rushes to embraces her, she is shocked then recognises Fergus. He is a grown man. Jamie returns and immediately drags Fergus away to attend to a delivery. Curious about the activities, Claire goes back down to the sewing room to find more substantial clothing and runs into a man who threatens her. Mr Willoughby’s protective instincts kick in and he shoots the man.
The extent of Jamie’s smuggling operation is revealed.