I’m writing this from beyond the grave because yes, like most of you predicted, Outlander‘s Print Shop episode killed me. The 20 year reunion between Jamie and Claire was everything I could’ve hoped for as a book reader, as a TV fan, and as a shipper. This episode was three seasons in the making and was executed perfectly with writing from Matthew B. Roberts and direction by Norma Bailey.
What makes this episode one of the best is the structure. Instead of jumping right into the steamy sex scenes, the episode builds and builds. We feel Jamie and Claire as they cautiously touch each other for the first time. We ache as they realize they aren’t the same people that left each other at Craigh Na Dun all those years ago. While Jamie and Claire’s romance is epic and dream like, the stumbles they face this week make the episode all thee better. The episode is crafted as eloquently as one of the Jamie’s hand-printed books.
“Time doesn’t matter Sassenach, you will always be beautiful to me.” – Jamie
I’m going to run out of adjectives to describe Sam Heughan and Caitriona Bafle’s performances in this episode. So, let’s just get the list out of the way up front: amazing, incredible, tear-inducing, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, heartwarming, gentle, stunning, brilliant, awe-inducing, striking, poignant, vulnerable and emotional. Just to name a few.
Heughan and Balfe continuously set the bar higher for themselves. They treat this episode with such care, knowing how important it is, not just for the series but for book readers. In each scene, Heughan and Balfe make you realize how much we’ve missed having them in every single scene together in these first five episodes. Between Jamie and Claire’s tender touches as they take in each other to the melodic-like conversations they have. Heughan and Balfe are an unstoppable force in “A. Malcolm.”
There are several moments that had me crying this week. Heck, let’s be honest, I cried from start to finish. But, lets breakdown some of the biggest moments in “A. Malcolm.” After Jamie wakes up from fainting and realizes Claire is truly back, the emotions start flowing. From their first kiss and embrace, the tears are FLOWING. The true moment that had me crying is when Claire shows Jamie pictures of Brianna. He wants to know everything he can about his daughter and it’s so heartwarming. Then of course, Jamie tells Claire about his own son, Willie. It’s an important moment for the two of them as they share parts of their past.
Heughan and Balfe give some of their best performances in this scene. The tears welling in Heughan’s eyes and Jamie thumbs through photographs of Brianna, to Balfe’s stillness as Claire listens to Jamie talk about Willie. Like always, sometimes the wordless moments in Outlander speak louder than the words. Heughan and Balfe are just a force to be reckoned with.
Then, there’s the scene that almost ripped us into a million pieces. Jamie asks Claire why she’s come back and if she thinks they can indeed still be married. It’s heartbreaking seeing Jamie wonder if he’ll lose Claire again, because you know he couldn’t bare it. Tears begin to fall, especially when they realize that even after all this time they still want to be with each other. Cue the water works.
Alright, so this is Outlander after all and we HAVE TO talk about that steamy sex scene. It’s just what we imagined it would be and more. Outlander takes things slow with this one. When Jamie and Claire finally decide to go to bed together, they disrobe each other piece by piece. They savor seeing each other again and man, is it the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen. When Claire is completely naked, she feels a self-conscious being in front of Jamie again. Of course, Jamie says something to make everyone swoon and we can’t help but fan ourselves a little bit.
Then, when they finally lie together they bang heads and Claire’s head smacks on the mattress. And yet, it’s somehow the most perfect moment these two characters have shared. Jamie and Claire are back together and we’re so god damn happy. What makes this scene even better is watching the parallels between this moment and their wedding night in season one.
“It has always been forever, for me, Sassenach.” – Jamie
Outlander print shop episode did not disappoint for this loyal Sassenach. Heughan and Balfe bring the important episode to life effortlessly as our favorite OTP is back together. From the tear jerking moments to the moments of pure elation, Outlander delivers one of its best episode to date. Bring on the rest of season three, because our hearts are full now that Jamie and Claire are together once again!