Last week Claire — and the audience — were subjected to a harrowing experience. We got up close and personal with an honest-to-God psychopath wrapped in a shell of gentility. Black Jack Randall is welcome to die in a fire.
But with the help of Scottish Santa, Claire escaped…and was immediately betrothed to Jamie to save her from falling back into the British army’s clutches. So without further ado, on to “The Wedding!”
Full disclosure: By the end of this episode, I am still solidly Team Frank.
Instead of opening at the wedding, or with a flurry of wedding preparation spearheaded by Mrs. Fitz (because she’s back at Castle Leoch), we open at another wedding. Claire and Frank’s to be precise. Just grind that salt into the wound harder, Starz.
Frank and Claire are holding hands and walking past the courthouse when Frank stops. Claire is puzzled but she looks so sharp in that off-white ensemble that I’m momentarily distracted. Why is 1940s fashion so pretty!? But it’s a good thing Claire is wearing a wedding appropriate outfit because her beau just proposed. Why wait to get married?
We just learned a few interesting things. Whenever this is taking place, Claire has not yet met her future in-laws. Frank is far more spontaneous than I would’ve pegged him for. And he’s also romantic and cares not for convention. He just wants to spend the rest of his life with his lady love, the societal pressures of his family be damned! He pops the question on the spot and Claire kisses him…
…but we are never to know if they went into the courthouse before heading to dinner as the new christened Mr. and Mrs. Randall. Claire was having a flashback to a happier moment while kissing Jamie. At THEIR wedding. Awkward.
During some voice-over narration, our heroine tries to explain her current mindset. She compares her situation to broken string of pearls, with each pearl being a memory of her life with Frank. Slowly, each one is rolling away from her and into the darkness, and one day she might not remember it at all. As a happily married woman, this analogy terrifies me. Someone is getting a super long hug later.
While Claire voices one my literal worst nightmares, we transition to the honeymoon suite. Jamie enters and looks uncomfortable as hell. Whether this is because his wife has been on the verge of tears all day, because he has no idea what he’s supposed to be doing, or because all the boys downstairs won’t leave until the marriage is consummated, is left up to viewer discretion. I’m going with “all of the above.”
Trying to diffuse the mood, Jamie quips that only Tweedle Hagrid and Tweedle Dumb have to watch the consummation. In a delightful moment of time-forgetfulness, Claire sarcastically calls him a “regular Bob Hope.” Jamie — and any audience members under the age of twenty-five — are confused. Who?
Speaking Claire’s language, Jamie hands his new wife a decanter of wine. It’s not Rhenish, so she tucks in fast to get drunk enough to handle what is about to happen. Three glasses disappear in quick succession. Poor Jamie tries to save the moment by giving a lovely speech about their new life together but Claire just pours herself another glass, while maintaining a look that screams she’s either about to pass out or throw up.
Damn girl, you and Cersei Lannister are lush sisters separated at birth. Slow down!
Awww. Jamie thinks she’s knocking back enough fermented grapes to kill a small horse because she’s afraid he’s going to force himself on her. Claire is like, “Hahaha! I would never have thought that. Excuse me while I get another bottle,” before distracting her new husband from any thoughts of sexytimes with an impromptu Q&A session.
We are thrust into our second flashback of the episode as Jamie explains why he would even agree to this. Budget Ben and Dougal have cornered our lad in the stables. You can tell this is serious because BB has a huge book of law. If Jamie hadn’t agreed, my money is on they were going to beat him with the letter of the law until he relented. They let Jamie know that if he doesn’t agree to this, Claire is going right back into the tender care of Black Jack and nobody wants that, DO THEY?? When Jamie asks why Dougal even cares what happens to Claire, it boils down to she didn’t rat them out to the British and one good turn deserves another.
After laying on the guilt nice and thick, Dougal is forced to reveal the kicker. For the law to stick, it has to be a proper wedding. Jamie will actually have to sex Claire up…because just lying about it or making it look like they had sex is too complicated for these masters of law manipulation. I mean, she’s not a virgin. How would they even prove it? If Jamie came out and was all “Yep, it’s done,” who’s going to argue with him? Hell, pull an “Easy A” and have the two of them jump on the bed and moan to make it convincing!
I am so disappointed in their lack of commitment to Sparkle Motion. Even Jamie’s Fairy Godfather is all “Dougal, you are supposed to be anti-rape. man!” But Dougal would rather split hairs about “persuasion.” And just like that he is back on my shit list. I’m getting whiplash from his numerous conflicts of personality. Dude, just be good or evil. Stop acting like a three-dimensional person! God!
Back in the present, we’re all distracted by Claire’s cleavage. And if you claim otherwise, you are a liar. She is one deep breath away from a wardrobe malfunction.
Jamie makes another attempt to get the conversation back around to wooing his new bride. He says now that they’re married, she is safe. Claire has his name, his clan, and his protections. “AND MY AXE!” yells Gimli, wandering in from the wrong universe.
It seems to be working, they go in for a kiss and…”TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAMILY!” Super subtle, Claire. But it works. Somehow she manages to keep her husband’s mind off sex for hours as they swap stories about their families and lives, all while going through enough wine to put Dionysus to shame. So long in fact, they end up having to light candles. Maybe even too long, because suddenly Tweedle Hagrid and Tweedle Dumb! They burst in hoping to find the couple In flagrante delicto, but alas they’re just boring old talking. In their clothes still. The boys are disappointed but beat a hasty retreat before they are struck down where they stand.
So, did Jamie seriously not lock the door? If not, rookie move man. You’ve clearly never had college roommates.