Last night’s episode of The Wedding was sumptuous and tender and sexy and, sometimes, a bit funny. The writer’s leveled and squared the groundwork with the previous episodes, so that last night it was seamless perfection to see Jamie and Claire exchanging their vows and consummating their marriage. So much was riding on this one episode, because everything that is to come between Claire and Jamie truly started that night.
Claire wasn’t happy about marrying Jamie, not that she doesn’t like him, but she is still desperate to get back to stones. She loves Frank. I didn’t understand how much until I watched this series. In the book, Frank is almost a ghost of a character, while Jamie is vibrant. We’re shown a flashback of Claire walking with Frank to meet his parents. He stops her in front of the courthouse and asks her to marry him. The way she says yes, filled with hope and excitement, made me sad. How would I feel torn from the one I love? Tossed into a world where I don’t fit. Where everyone thinks I’m lying about who and what I am.
Jamie has no qualms about his feelings towards Claire. He’s been entranced by her since she took charge and snapped his shoulder back into place. He’s never pushed his feelings upon her, but instead has come to her aid while keeping his attentions respectful. When he walks into the room and Claire, nervous and her heart torn, is waiting for him, I felt myself hold my breath. Her under gown – she is still bustled and skirted – is delicate, though it keeps her waist and breasts synched. Jamie is ready for the bedding business, and yet, he’s extremely patient with Claire. She is not ready. She wants to talk. To hear about his family. To learn more about this “boy” she has been forced to marry.
On more than one occasion, Claire has called Jamie a boy. She hasn’t let herself think of him as a man. Dougal she thinks of as an equal. She even told us as much when she thought he was the one she would marry. I’m not sure why Dougal didn’t marry her. He must have his reasons. Jamie…was the boy who was whipped, the one she mended, the one who recaptured her on the road to Castle Leoch, but not the one that she thought she’d be marrying.
After a lot of talking and laughing and quite a bit of whisky, the moment finally arrives. There is nothing gratuitous or salacious in this scene of two people who really don’t know each other well, anxious and nervous, coming together. The tenderness of Jamie turned me to goo. Truly, his expressions and the way he would touch Claire was lovely. And Claire, she is a truly beautiful woman with the most amazing skin, returns his tenderness.
He knew where to put things, but had a bit of trouble when he tried to take Claire from behind. What could have been extremely awkward was deftly handled by Claire, who turned to face him and they tumbled into the bed. The coupling didn’t take long, and Jamie was crushing her for a bit, but he quickly rectified that. Afterwards, he asked if she enjoyed it. When she hesitates, he says that he heard women don’t enjoy it like men do. Apparently the men gave him all sorts of pre-wedding advice. Claire, who we know to be very sexual from her time with Frank, smiles and says she enjoyed it very much.
There is more talking and sharing and feeling each other out until Claire rises from the bed pulling Jamie with him and asks to see him. Their first time he wore his long shirt and she was still wearing her shift. She runs her hand along his shoulder, down his legs and across his backside, and stands before him, looking him up and down. It’s a hot scene. He unties her shift and runs his hands over her skin. She asks if he’s seen a naked woman before. “Not one that is mine.” Oh… the way he delivered that line makes all the years of waiting to see this on the screen worth it! The sex this time is mutually satisfactory, and Claire gives him a taste of her knowledge by using her mouth on sweet Jamie.
With Jamie asleep, Claire wraps his tartan around her to go downstairs for some food. Dougal comes in and tells her that he’s just delivered the news to Black Jack Randall. He can’t touch her now. Dougal also declares how enthralled he is by Claire. That this marriage shouldn’t keep her from having a taste of other men….Dougal. Why didn’t Dougal marry her, if he felt this way? Why would he think that on her wedding night to Jamie, she’d even want to hear this? She puts him in his place and returns upstairs.
Through this episode we’re given scenes leading up the marriage. Of Ned, the attorney, in a whore house finding a dress for Claire. Rupert and Angus getting the blacksmith to convert Jamie’s key into a wedding ring for Claire. Not sure what the key goes to. How Claire had a hangover and didn’t remember much of the wedding. The priest being coerced to perform the ceremony, partly because Willie had a Bible verse joust with him, and partly because there was the promise stained glass windows . Jamie demanding that the ceremony be in a church and performed by a priest. Murtagh, Jamie’s godfather, saying that Claire’s smile reminded him of Jamie’s mother. Jamie placing his mother’s pearls around Claire’s neck.
The next day Jamie is dressed and going downstairs for breakfast. The two are relaxed in each other’s presence. They are like any young couple after a night of love making. As she’s picking up her gown from the floor, the wedding ring Frank placed on her finger rolls out. She’d taken if off to marry Jamie. All the heartache and memories flood back at once as she slips it on.
Claire’s wedding dress.
Jamie’s wedding attire:
Bravo! I don’t think this could have been done better. I’ll probably wear out my remote replaying this episode.
Claire is a deeply loyal person. When she married Frank it was for life. Now her loyalties are torn. How can she left herself love Jamie when all she wants to do is escape back to her time. No matter what happens now, Claire’s heart will be broken. It’s a terrible situation to be in. She might never be able to make it back to the stones. Even if she does, it might not work. Or, perhaps, she will decide to stay, with Jamie.
The mid season finale Both Sides Now.