Outlander S03 E06: ‘A. Malcolm’
At the end of last week’s episode of Outlander, it looked like Jamie and Claire would finally be together for the first time this season. It was a long wait, but audiences were treated to an extended episode with “A. Malcolm.” So what happened when Jamie recovered from fainting after seeing Claire after a couple decades? There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the episode yet.
In this installment, we see what led up to Claire walking into Jamie’s place of business. At the print shop, he sends men out on a delivery, a job which he cautions them could result in their hanging for treason if they are caught. Another man, Geordie, is exasperated to come to work only to immediately be sent out on an errand. Jamie is alone, and this is where Claire makes her entrance, causing Jamie to faint.
When he comes to, he is in disbelief that Claire has come back, yet she reminds him that they are still married. They share their first kiss together after twenty long years.
Claire tells Jamie that they have a daughter named Brianna, named after Jamie’s father Brian. She shows Jamie photos of Brianna, and tells him all about her as a child. When Jamie asks, Claire tells him that Brianna does know that he is her real father. Claire mentions that she graduated from medical school and worked as a surgeon before returning to Scotland.
Both acknowledge aging in the last twenty years. Jamie now relies on eyeglasses to aid his vision, while Claire admits to dying the gray out of her hair, so that she could look as close to what she did when they last saw each other.
Jamie tells Claire about Willie, the son he fathered during their long time apart. He shows her a portrait of the boy he no longer sees, and offers little detail on how he and his child’s now deceased mother got together.
When the subject of Frank comes up, Claire tells Jamie that he died a few years back. She admits that he was a good father to Brianna, and that they made the best of their marriage for her sake.
Jamie leaves the print shop for a meeting at a tavern, and brings Claire along. She has a surprise encounter with a grown up Fergus, now using a prosthetic hand after losing it fighting the redcoats. To explain her absence, she tells him that she went to America after she feared everyone died at Culloden. Fergus tells Jamie that Mr. Willoughby has gotten himself into a jam, and Jamie brings Claire with him to help his associate.
Jamie and Claire go to a brothel, where it seems that Mr. Willoughby took indulgences with one of the working girls and failed to pay her for her services. Jamie pays her fee on his behalf, before entering the back room to do business. Introduced as Jamie’s wife, Claire is left to chat with Mr. Willoughby.
Jamie meets with a man who attempts to shake him down for more money after Jamie pays the agreed amount. Jamie denies that his enterprise has expanded, telling the man that he will not be getting an amount above what they have agreed on.
Jamie takes Claire upstairs to what constitutes his home. Claire seems a bit unnerved to find that he has taken residence in a room above the brothel. She asks if he was given accommodation because he is a good customer of Madame Jeanne, the owner of the establishment. In fact, the opposite is true. The madame is a good customer of Jamie’s, and because of that, he has a place to stay that suits his needs.
Jamie wants to know why Claire came back. She tells him that she thought he was dead, but she explains that she had a historian attempt to locate him. When she believed he found Jamie, she took the chance on returning. He tells her that he is not the same man that she knew, but she wants to be with him.
The couple spend time catching up over dinner, followed by steamy scenes of rekindled romance. Jamie admits that in addition to running the print shop, he is smuggling alcohol.
After Jamie leaves due to business, Claire is alone in the room when a teenage Ian Murray, son of Jenny and Ian Murray, comes calling for Jamie. She tells her nephew that she is his Aunt Claire, wife of his Uncle Jamie, explaining that she went to the colonies when she thought Jamie died at Culloden, dispelling the rumors of her whereabouts.
After her nephew leaves, Claire goes downstairs and sits at the table of the prostitutes, who believe she is a new girl hired by Madame Jeanne. Of course, they are mistaken, and the madame is not happy to find Jamie’s wife seated with her employees. Claire turns down an offer of food delivered to her room, and she excuses herself. Once again upstairs, she confronts an intruder in their room and it looks like Claire has found trouble already.
This was another episode well worth the wait. I’m wondering how long it will take for Claire to really miss Brianna. Also, what sort of trouble will Jamie’s disreputable venture bring? I guess we will have to wait another week to see what happens.