Monday, September 22, 2014

OUTLANDER: Season 1 Episode 7: The Wedding


Has everyone’s breathing returned to normal?

The Wedding episode was everything I could have hoped for: romantic, sensual, emotional, dramatic, even humorous at times…it had it all! Though book purists may not have been completely happy, due to some changes that were made from book to screen, (okay, I’m one of those dreaded people), I have to say those changes didn’t ruin the experience. And this is an experience for which I’ve been waiting for nearly twenty years!

I think this particular episode lends itself to lists—of the highs and lows as I see them.

·      The wedding. It was lush, and romantic with the hundreds of candles and gorgeous, rich cinematography. Exactly what this scene required. YAY!! The exchange of vows and blood vow, and the kiss were absolutely perfect. I admit to a few tears.

·      The wedding night nerves. Poor, virginal Jamie. Poor morally conflicted but lusting Claire. Both enter that chamber knowing what needs to transpire, and both are terrified in their own ways. 

·      Jamie telling Claire that he remembers every moment, every second of the wedding ceremony. That isn’t something a man being forced into a loveless marriage says. 
·      Claire is charmed by Jamie as he tells his stories of his family, and as the night progresses she’s surprised by how much she enjoys him and his stories. Leading to…

·      Claire’s suggestion that they go to bed, but not to sleep. Which brings us to…

·      The undressing. How sexy and sensual was that?! My favorite part of the undressing was when he gently untied the ribbon at her neck and his fingers softly brushed her skin. Ahhhh…

·      Claire’s breathing as they approached the moment wasn’t fear, but full on desire. She’s deeply concerned that she’s cheating on Frank, but at the same time knows that this must happen. And she's experiencing stirrings of true affection for Jamie.

·      Jamie’s confusion as to how humans do it. Poor Jamie. He was going to consummate his marriage the way ‘horses’ do it, and after the quickly over coupling his ‘huh?’s and ‘hmmm’s were verra endearing. 

·      Afterwards, when Jamie asks if she liked it. Her initial reaction saddens Jamie, but moments later in a moment of uncomfortable self-awareness, she tells him, “I did enjoy it, Jamie.”

·      Their subsequent lovemaking. When Claire is clearly enjoying herself, Jamie is surprised. Pleasantly surprised. I could see the beginnings of a true and enduring love in these moments when she introduces him to all the joys of the marriage bed.

·      The comedy relief. As Rupert and Angus and Ned were all going about their assigned tasks to get the wedding together, we were treated to some very humorous moments, the best of which was, hands down, Ned in the brothel!! A favorite scene!

THINGS I DIDN’T LOVE, BUT COULD LIVE WITH: (all because I’m a bit of a book purist, don’t you ken)
·      Claire’s and Frank’s wedding. They were NOT married at a registrar’s office! They were married in the same ‘kirk’ that Claire and Jamie celebrate their wedding. Claire faints when she sees the church she’s led to for her marriage to Jamie Fraser, because she recognizes it as the very place where she exchanged vows with Frank, thus increasing her guilt over cheating on him. I loved this in the book, and found it verra moving. So of course I missed it in the screen version.

·      There was no need for the banns. Dougal took care of getting a special license for their wedding to avoid the need to wait three weeks for the banns to be read. (Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are married by a special license in Pride and Prejudice as well, so there is a literary precedence here.)

·      The ring! The ring is supposed to come quite a while later, and the manner in which it happens is lovely and special and now it won’t happen!
·      The pearls!! Ugh. First, that type of long strand of pearls wasn’t in vogue until the 1920’s. He gives her his mother’s treasured choker of Scottish freshwater pearls BEFORE THE WEDDING, as a tribute to his mother and her memory. Not a long strand during sex like some sex prop! NO NO NO!

·      Dougal’s suggestion. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this. A purist will tell you his suggestion that she now sample some other pleasures never happened. But, I think by this point in the book, readers have an idea that Dougal is a bit jealous of Jamie as he fancies Claire himself, and this scene is a device to let the viewers in on that. It felt right to me, but I know there are a lot of book readers who are verra unhappy with this scene. And by the way, I loved the way he came in to the inn and told Claire he had ALREADY visited Randall and told him of the wedding. Very chivalrous, so it kind of offsets his lewd suggestion that follows it.

All in all a wonderful episode! I’ve watched it twice, so far, and loved it more the second time than the first. It’s a keeper. And I look forward to the last episode before the midseason break. I just hope we get more of the honeymooners!

Slàinte mhath!

1 comment:

  1. This hits the many high points and few frustrating lows perfectly. I'm so glad the series has reached this point in the story so the magic of the relationship between Jamie and Claire can begin to unfold!