As we eagerly await the premiere of season 3 I can’t help but fantasize about the most anticipated scene of Outlander Season 3, The Print Shop. This is the scene in which Claire and Jamie reunite after 20 long years of separation. It will be interesting to see how the episodes are split up surrounding this scene and thrilling to watch our beloved Cait and Sam brilliantly act it out. Let’s dig into the recap shall we?
Claire and Jamie said goodbye on April 16th 1746 the day of The Battle of Culloden. We cried as we watched Jamie gently lead Claire to the stones and place her hand upon it and then they were separated. This can’t be happening, we think. They are meant to be together….how will we even live!
Jamie and Claire were certain that Jamie was destined to die on Culloden Moor and that there would be no life left in 1746 for Claire and her unborn child if she stayed. Really? Are you absolutely certain?
There are many tragic moments in the Outlander series but this one perhaps is the most difficult. The stripping apart of the two that became one, is utterly heart wrenching. Together they knew they could face anything but now they must face the world alone.
Frank wants to be a father and knows that it is not possible naturally for him to become so. Frank falls in love with Brianna very quickly after she is born and remains a dedicated father until he dies in a car accident nearly 20 years later.
Claire made a promise to Frank that she would not tell Brianna about her real father while Frank is alive. Claire takes a trip to Scotland with Brianna to visit Roger Wakefield, the adopted son of Frank’s very good friend, Reverend Wakefield, who has since also died.
Roger is a historian and will be able to fill in the blanks of what may have possibly happened to Jamie. When Claire shares the truth of how Bree came into existence, it doesn’t go over very well. Roger and Bree assume Claire has basically gone a wee bit loony. Roger is less of a skeptic than Brianna but all skepticism fades away when they watch Geilis Duncan disappear through the standing stones before their very eyes.
Now the game is on: Operation What in the Actual Heck Happened to James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. As the three unlikely musketeers, Claire, Roger and Bree begin the research, they discover that Jamie did indeed survive on Culloden Moor.
The paper trail leads them to Ardsmuir Prison and then a parole in Helwater to work as a groom for the Dunsany Family. What Claire doesn’t discover, because there is no paper trail, is that during this time Jamie fathers a child. Geneva Dunsany, a spoilt little trollup, wants a piece (literally) of Jamie and blackmails him into sleeping with her days before her wedding to Lord Ellesmere (a rich old fart who lives down the road). As nature would have it, Geneva gives birth to a son, who is of course Jamie’s, and she dies the next day. Lord Ellesmere may be a rich old fart but he’s not stupid and he is pissed. An intense altercation leads to Jamie shooting Lord Ellesmere (dead) and saving the baby’s life. The Dunsany family is grateful for Jamie’s quick thinking and offers him his freedom. Our poor King of Men is torn between his freedom and watching his son grow up. Jamie stays for a number of years, until the resemblance between him and his son, William, become evident and then he departs for Scotland.
The next piece of information Claire, Roger and Bree come upon is an article printed in 1765 by a one A. Malcolm printer. They are pretty darn sure this is Jamie. Claire makes the decision to travel through the stones once more to find her man. Claire gets to prepare for her journey this time. She has months to think about it, take care of her responsibilities, and tie up loose ends. Brianna is an adult now and even though Claire is torn about leaving her, she takes solace in the fact that Bree and Roger have a budding romance. I am very looking forward to watching the scene when Claire goes to a dress shop that sells 18th century style dresses by a designer, Jessica Gutenberg, and chooses a deep gold colored dress in heavy silk.
Halloween rolls around and everything for Claire’s journey is set and ready to go. Roger makes sure that Claire has the correct type of money, enough to get Claire on her way once she arrives in the 18th century. Roger, Bree and Claire have dinner at a pub that night and Roger asks Claire to go outside and tell him the first thing she sees. On Halloween, there are customs and superstations that have the ability to tell the future. Claire obliges and walks outside; a policeman walks right into her. Roger tells Claire that this is a good omen and that it means Claire will find what she is looking for, oh thank goodness, we think. Jamie here we come.
Here we are at chapter 23 in Voyager, it’s early morning and Claire is at Craig Na Dun. She took a car early to get there because she couldn’t bear to say goodbye to Brianna in person. Claire left a note for Bree with Roger and explained to him her dilemma; he understood and reassured Claire that he would take care of Bree. As Claire walks up the hill she is experiencing inner turmoil, the stones begin to scream.
When Claire gets to the top, Brianna and Roger are there and Claire is flabbergasted, they came to see her off. Bree encourages Claire to go through with it; and says something so precious. “He gave you to me,” she said so low I could hardly hear her, “now I have to give you back to him Mama.” And just as Jamie guided Claire to the stone to leave him, Bree guided Claire to the stone to return to him.
Now we are to chapter 24, A. Malcolm, Printer. The chapter title alone tells us that, we will find Jamie by the time we reach the end of it and our hearts are in our throats. By now it has felt like a very long time that Jamie and Claire have been apart and Claire still has a few days journey ahead of her.
Claire comes to consciousness and gets her bearings, she is thankful to not be dead and summons Jamie’s face in her mind so has not to have a complete and utter full blown freak out. She actually did it, she is in the past or rather, in her future. The ride Claire takes by coach from Inverness to Edinburgh is not drawn out painstakingly so.
Finally, Claire faces the white sign that was hanging above the door, A. Malcolm, Printer and Bookseller. She experiences one more bout of nervousness and then enters the shop. Claire surveys the shop and she can she through to the back door of the shop that stood open. Standing over a printing press is none other than, Jamie.
Claire takes in the sight of him, and he immediately addresses her, not knowing it is she of course. “Is that, you Geordie?” Jamie says not turning around; he grumbles something to the effect of Geordie taking quite a long time to return. This is where it happens, they are no longer separate, and their lives will once again be intertwined. Claire replies, “It isn’t Geordie, it’s me, Claire.”
Claire is drinking in every move Jamie makes; he stands up slowly, his long hair bound with a green ribbon. Jamie is very much in shock when he turns around to face his beloved, and he just stares at Claire without speaking. Claire is once again studying his face, the face that she dreamt about constantly for the past twenty years, and the face that felt like home. Claire, the physician that she is, notices that Jamie’s nose had been broken quite a while ago.
Claire approaches the still silent and unblinking Jamie and asks him, “When did you break your nose?” to which Jamie replies, “About three minutes after I last saw ye, Sassenach.” Our hearts are fluttering out of control because the sound of Jamie calling Claire sassenach feels so right! Claire reaches out and touches Jamie’s nose where it had once been broken.
Jamie flinches and steps back at her touch and says, “You’re real!” It is in this moment our beloved King of Men faints and falls gracefully to the floor. Their first moment of real intimacy comes next as Claire kneels to the floor and gently places Jamie’s head in her lap. Jamie comes to and Claire smiles and says to him “That bad is it?”
Claire cries into Jamie’s shoulder after telling him she thought he was dead, Jamie cries too and they share in this beautiful moment of grief and relief. Diana so simply and beautifully wrote, “…the longing of twenty years spilling down our faces.” There are tears of desperation, happiness and disbelief. Jamie and Claire cling to each other for fear that the other may evaporate before their very eyes. After they blow their runny noses respectively, Claire lunges into Jamie’s arms and hugs him as tightly as she can. Jamie reciprocates the action. We begin feeling all the feels.
An ale pot spills on the ground and soils Jamie’s breeks. They stand up quickly to avoid further damage and Jamie shyly removes his pants. I love this next part when Claire states their relationship status, “It’s alright,” I said, feeling a rich blush stain my own cheeks, “We’re married.” And then Jamie affirms Claire’s statement and says, “Aye, we are.” Their desire to be close mixed with shyness from being apart for twenty years, creates this sweet and gentle dance of emotions throughout this scene. Which leads to the words we’ve been dying to hear Jamie say, “I want very much to kiss you…may I do that?” Then we all faint, of course you can! “Yes,” Claire whispers.
And then perhaps the most endearing, gentle and satisfying kiss in the history of literary prose takes place (I’m verra biased ye ken). A kiss that builds a small bridge back to each other and makes them a little more than strangers. “Love glowing strong in the dark blue eyes, ‘Dinna be afraid, there’s the two of us now,” Jamie says. We breathe the biggest sigh of relief for in this moment, all is right with the world.
Geordie finally makes an entrance only to find Jamie half dressed and Claire in his arms. Geordie makes the assumption that there was most certainly fornication (or the like) taking place in the place of his employment and he promptly resigns his employ and leaves.
This provides a bit of comic relief for the newly reunited soul mates and they have a good laugh. They head upstairs so Jamie can put on clean pants and Claire is feeling giddy. When they reach, the bedroom upstairs Claire quickly observes that Jamie lives there alone, meaning no woman lives there. We are ALL relieved.
Jamie asks about their child, of course we almost forgot! Claire sweetly answers and asks Jamie to sit next to her on the cot. I can’t wait to watch the incredible acting of Sam Heughan in this scene and the look of complete stupefaction that a man from the 18th might have when given a pile of photographs from the 20th century. One by one Jamie looks through the pictures of Brianna, chronologically ordered for him to have a literal snapshot of her life thus far.
Jamie gets to a color picture and sees Bree’s brilliant red hair, he is overcome with emotion and can’t hold the pictures anymore so Claire takes over. “He went very quietly and thouroughly to pieces.” Our hearts weep with this precious man.
Their little tiff over Brianna’s name is a little funny and we feel they are falling into familiarity with one another again. I love how Claire can get irritated with Jamie in one moment and then adore him the next minute.
“Do you want me to go?” Claire asks him. Jamie gives her a very certain NO. We sigh…of thank goodness. They go on to talk about their daughter a little while longer until Claire’s stomach growls. Jamie decides to head to the tavern and then realizes he missed an appointment with Mr. Willoughby. Jamie asks if Claire will join him and our beloved Claire says, “Wild horses couldn’t stop me.”
“She felt reckless and indestructible”
So do we Claire, so do we.