Starz “Outlander” has done nothing if not inject some romance—thanks Claire and Jamie—into a TV landscape that often seems overstuffed with murder, monsters and other mayhem.
Based on the book series from Diana Gabaldan, “Outlander” focuses on the epic love story between a British World War II nurse, Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), who travels back to 1743 Scotland where she meets kilted hunk Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Over the course of the first season’s 15 episodes so far, the Sassenach and everyone’s favorite clansman have faced many foes and dangerous situations. But Claire and Jamie have proven their love for each other time and again.
They just might be TV’s most romantic couple. Here are five reasons why. If you can think of more, please share in the comments.
CLAIRE IS A PATIENT WIFE
Jamie and Claire may have gotten married as a matter of necessity (although there was little doubt the spark was there), but “The Wedding” episode showed just how much they were falling for each other. If memory serves, the episode had three sex scenes that went from awkward first-date sex to the realization that they actually enjoy each other to a mutual curiosity about the other’s needs (not to mention each other’s bodies).
The episode wasn’t just about sex, but about the two of them getting to know and trust each other. And it flipped the traditional male-female roles slyly. Instead of the woman somehow being subservient to the man, it was Claire who took the lead, providing virgin Jamie’s sexual education.
Claire laughed when Jamie initially said he thought sex was done from behind like horses. (I did, too—laugh, that is!) But her patience—helped by the several shots she drank no doubt—led her new man down the road to bliss. And she happily provided him a surprise trick no horse has ever performed.
(What a beautiful, sweet mating dance it was. Kudos to the episode’s director, Anna Foerster, and writer, Anne Kenney, for presenting such an honest hour of TV and showing sex that was in no way degrading to women.)
CLAIRE & JAMIE UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER
Remember when Claire ran away only to get caught by the redcoats during the midseason finale? Jamie and his mates from Castle Leoch may have risked their lives to save her, but they were none too happy she created the crisis in the first place.
In “The Reckoning,” Jamie decided to do what apparently any 1742 Scottish husband would have—give her a few smacks across the bottom with his belt. How very Christian Grey of him. Despite the controversy of the punishment when viewed through a 21st century perspective, Jamie was pretty much following an 18th century code of honor—and it didn’t look like he was really happy about it.
On the other hand, Claire gave just as good as she got, then sexiled him for a bit. Thankfully for viewers, she forgave him after he said he’d stab himself in the heart if he ever laid a hand on her again. Claire must have been pleased with his growth (and yes, pun intended), because she jumped on top of Jamie, put the knife to his body and said, “If you ever raise a hand to me again, James Fraser, I will cut your heart out and have it for breakfast.”
If you recall the episode “Lallybroch,” Jamie basically asked with a “pretty please” that Claire act like his wife and hold her tongue every once and a while. See, they totally get each other.
CLAIRE & JAMIE TRUST EACH OTHER
After Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) cleared Claire of being a witch in “The Devil’s Mark,” Jamie whisked Claire away from the witch-burning masses. On the way to Lallybroch, Claire confessed everything to Jamie about her past—er, future. And he bought it! So yes, they trust each other completely.
He also proved his love by leaving her at Craigh na Dun so she could touch the stone and transport herself to 1945. Or maybe he just believes in the saying, “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” Because she came back!
True love if I ever.
As I mentioned earlier, Claire provided Jamie’s sexual education in the September episode “The Wedding.” He must have studied a lot leading up to the April episode, “By the Pricking of My Thumbs.”
When ever has an episode of TV opened with a man face-planting on his lover? Director Richard Clark and writer Ira Steven Behr really went for it. (As was Jamie, before muff blocker Murtagh busted down the door.) Was it just me, or did that scene last forever? Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, as Claire would say!
Anyway, back to our very “giving” lovebirds. The episode’s hot open so surprised me that I had to ask some women friends if a man diving into his lovemaking like that was a romantic thing or just, you know, general pigginess? (I was pretty much just scared by it.)
“It feels good to lie there and have him do all the work,” one friend told me. Another said, “If he does it right there’s nothing like it.” A third said, “Hell, yeah!” Which I can only guess means that it can be romantic?
No matter, Claire looked like she was having fun, so I have to believe his quid pro quo showed he’s learned what pleases his wife and is more than happy to comply.
THEY WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR EACH OTHER
How many times has Claire patched up Jamie? Of course, many of those wounds came from his efforts to save her life or her honor. Jamie may have been annoyed by his wife’s actions in the previously mentioned midseason finale, but that didn’t stop him from risking life and limbs to save her from the clutches of Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies). That’s just one of several occasions when Jamie saved her, before and after they were married.
Claire has risked her life for Jamie, too. Ever since he was captured by the redcoats in “The Watch” episode, she searched high and low for him. First she teamed up with his sister, Jenny Fraser (Laura Donnelly). When that duo didn’t get the job done, Claire wasn’t about to give up. Murtagh Fitzgibbons (Duncan Lacroix) stepped up as Jenny’s replacement. He and Claire became traveling minstrels to find her man.
When she finally found him in “Wentworth Prison,” she was undaunted by the difficulty presented in breaking him out. She was willing to face down Black Jack once again in her pursuit to save her hubby.
So far nothing has worked to save Jamie, and in fact, he sacrificed that limb—his hand anyway—so that the evil redcoat would let Claire go free.
Can Claire finally spring Jamie from prison? Will the lovers be reunited? Will Black Jack finally get his? Tune in to the “Outlander” Season 1 finale, “To Ransom a Man’s Soul,” at 8 p.m. May 30 on Starz. And if you need to catch up, an “Outlander” marathon of the entire first season begins at 1 p.m. May 23,
Related: Season 1 review Related: My Outlander previews
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