Episode 107 begins with a flashback to Claire’s and Frank’s wedding day.
The spontaneity of his proposal on front of the office of the registrar and suggestion to get married right then, and her immediate decision to marry him, reveal the adventurous, risk-taking of Claire that we as viewers have come to know and love. Oddly enough, it mirrors the quickness of her agreement to marry Jamie in 1743, even though that wasn’t a decision made out of love and desire. As she and Frank kiss to celebrate their decision, the scene changes to show Claire and Jamie kissing at their wedding.
Both marriages serve the purpose of protecting Claire from the dangers of being alone, although the risks of solitude are very different in the two time periods.
Following the flashback, the wedding episode begins with Claire is sitting in her bridal chamber in her undergarments and waiting tensely for the wedding night’s “main event” that will finalize Dougal’s plan of protection… The consummation. The importance of this consummation is emphasized repeatedly by Dougal and Ned Gowan, as it’s the component of the marital contract that will formally turn Claire into a Scot, thereby protecting her from the compulsion of English law and from being taken to Black Jack Randall. In this Jamie tells Claire that she, now that they are married, has the protection of his family name, his clan and his body, if necessary. The formal uniting of their bodies through consummation therefore is not only a bodily one, but one of their lives. Claire is willing to accept the bodily union in order to protect herself from harm, but she underestimates the spiritual union that will also take place. While it’s not a wedding night that culminates an impassioned courtship, their affections for one another as friends and Jamie’s romantic and honorable nature prevent it from being a clinical situation of coerced rape.
In the episode we see three separate lovemaking unions between Claire and Jamie, and each one of them bonds their marital union in different ways. The first physical union occurs after they have gotten to know each other through presumed hours of discussing each other’s familial background… It’s like the 18th century form of speed-dating. The awkwardness is palpable, and they consume Whisky to loosen things up. They toast to formal, canned-sounding ideals as Claire chugs her drams.
She asks why he agreed to marry her, and the show cuts to an earlier scene with Ned, Dougal and Jamie talking in the stables.
Jamie agrees to marry her to keep her safe from the hands of Black Jack Randall, and disgustedly demands that the other men cease talking crudely about “his wife”, and that’s she’s not some common whore.
Just as it appears that their nerves are steeled, Claire halts Jamie’s kiss in a heightened moment of tension by asking about his family. He laughs, stunned by the thwarted moment of passion, but complies. Her desire to connect with him emotionally before they consummate the marriage shows her acceptance of the situation and shouldn’t be seen as a mere stalling tactic. As Jamie launches into the lengthy descriptions of his geological records, Claire’s mental voiceover remarks admiringly about his charming nature and storytelling ability. Although they’ve both been forced into the marriage, their amiable participation here shows that they aren’t dreading the events to come. Suddenly Rupert and Angus obnoxiously burst in to check on the “progress” of the wedding night and Jamie angrily ushers them out. Claire laughs and playfully suggests that they “go to bed” instead of “going to sleep”.
Jamie offers to undo her corsets for her, and he gently touches her skin, heightening the tension. She undoes his kilt for him and their hastened coupling begins. Jamie reveals his inexperience when Claire has to instruct him to stop crushing her, and by confiding that he thought people did the deed like animals, not face-to-face.
This scene shows a teacher-student dynamic, that’s borne out of responsibility, but the results produce more than that. Claire initially seems to be holding back… Merely fulfilling her “marital requirement” by bravely and confidently complying… But she never expected to “like” it and feel the pull of attraction. Admitting that she enjoyed it to Jamie (and herself) is pivotal, as she begins to view her new marriage in a different light.
Claire, seeking to clear her head, steps out of the bridal chamber to get some food before Jamie can stop her. The wedding party downstairs cheers and ribs the new couple about their activities. Jamie goes downstairs to retrieve food for them and Dougal makes it known to him that Jamie should be thanking him, and that he shouldn’t appear too eager to please Claire.
In recounting this incident to Claire upstairs, Jamie says that he told Dougal he was “completely under her power and happy to be so”.
We see more a romantic bond between them here, as Jamie admires the beautiful colors of her hair and calls her “mo nighean Donne”, my brown-haired lass.
She asks him where he got the new kilt that he wore to the wedding, and he reveals it’s origins as well as the conditions he gave Dougal for agreeing to marry Claire, because he says he only intends to marry once. This statement shows both his devotion to the sacredness of marriage as well as his deep affections for Claire. He required that they be married properly in a church, which Dougal handles in a side-scene by browbeating a priest into agreeing. The second condition was that Claire have a proper wedding ring, made from a key he kept in his sporran, and he sends Rupert and Angus to the blacksmith to handle this for him. The final condition that Jamie sets is that Claire be given a proper wedding gown, which Ned Gowan procures from a bordello. These demands reveal Jamie’s sense of honor and the respect that he holds for Claire, and the thoughtful gestures visibly move her deeply. Subscribe to the Entertainment email.Don’t miss a beat. Your culture and entertainment cheat-sheet.
When Claire confesses that she doesn’t remember much about the wedding due to her monstrous hangover from drinking herself sideways the night before it, Jamie says that he remembers every second of it. It is here that the reason for the in media res structure of the episode becomes apparent, because it perpetuates Ron D. Moore’s brilliant vision of the continuity of Claire’s bond with the audience… What she remember, we remembers… Knowledge that she lacks, we lack also. He fondly recounts it to her, which lets the audience witness the wedding through his eyes, as he supplies her with memories from their wedding day. His romantic descriptions of her “shining like the sun” indicate the affections he has held for her long before their wedding night. As this remark is made, her exquisite wedding gown, created by Terry Dresbach, is revealed onscreen, and it appears to shine forth, just as Jamie describes, while he is dressed in his full Highland regalia. The traditional structure and vows of their beautiful Catholic wedding is followed by a blood-binding and an oath to one another in Gaelic that Claire doesn’t understand but repeats anyways. The combination of the religious and pagan marriage rites here mirrors their unconventional marriage, and that one school of thought cannot fully explain the time-shattering bond that will take place between them.
When she asks him to translate the oath for her in the bridal chamber, we learn that it means:
‘Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, ‘til our Life shall be Done.’
This illustrates the complete seriousness with which Jamie views their union, and Claire is visibly intoxicated by his devotion.
The second lovemaking session is sparked by intense physical desire for one another. After undressing one another, visually studying each other, uninhibited, they leave nothing between them. We see the beginning of their complete surrender to each other as well as an attempt to completely possess one another through impassioned attack. Claire asks Jamie playfully if he’d never seen a naked woman before, and he responds, “never one that was mine”. Instinct takes over, leaving them both sated, dumbfounded and in awe of the experience. While this could be seen as the most physically-driven sequence, their chemistry visibly goes beyond a primal need for a physical tryst… It appears that they truly seek to become one as their passion consumes them. The desire for possession of one another is seen as they take turns serving each other and enjoying the gifts that are given to them by their partner. Claire’s act of rolling on top of Jamie illustrates her role as a willing and active participant in this marriage, and also her desire to claim or possess him as her own. This returns Jamie’s physical and verbal attempts to claim her as his own… Seen as frequently in his usage of my and mine when referring to her. Jamie is also pleasantly surprised that Claire is able to enjoy their lovemaking as much as he can, not previously knowing that women could respond in such a way. Claire both verbally and physically accepts and celebrates his ability to fulfill her by surrendering to his multiple-faceted efforts.
Following this session, while Jamie is sleeping, Claire creeps downstairs, covered in Jamie’s plaid, to find more food. While she’s there, Dougal comes in and propositions her to couple with him. She defensively responds that she is Jamie’s wife and goes back upstairs. In unapologetically and proudly describing herself as such, and covering herself protectively with his tartan (symbolic of his family as well as Jamie, himself) we see that mentally and emotionally she has accepted their union and now clings to him.
After going back to the bridal chamber she drops the plaid and leaves herself vulnerable to Jamie. He walks up to her as she sits at her vanity, then lovingly places a string of “scotch pearls“ around her neck. Jamie tenderly tells her that they used to belong to his mother, and now they belong to his wife. This can be viewed as Jamie’s way of introducing the two women and as a supernatural blessing from Jamie’s deceased mother, as he described the pearls as being very precious to him, just as she, Claire, is also precious to him. This gift also effective,y shows Jamie’s willingness to be vulnerable emotionally to Claire… They are beginning to trust each other completely. Claire’s heart is being successfully won by Jamie’s pure, all-consuming love, and they begin the third lovemaking session here, with them sitting upright, her seated on his lap, facing him in a lovers embrace. The pearls around Claire’s neck are a symbol of their love, which like a pearl, takes time to grow larger and stronger, but are beautiful and timeless.
The next morning, the couple acts playfully and comfortably enamored with one another. After Jamie gets dressed and hurries downstairs to get breakfast for them, Claire picks up then shakes out her wedding dress to put it away. Her wedding ring from Frank falls loose from its folds, where she had stowed it during her wedding to Jamie, and rolls away to rest in a crack on the floor. She walks over to it, picks it up, and places it on the ring finger of her other hand.
Claire looks at her hands and ponders her situation… of being in love with two men from two different time periods… and a ring on each hand symbolizes her being torn in two between the sides of this irreconcilable situation. She will have to choose… what will be her choice?