The old-fashioned description of a wedding service above is appropriate for this very romantic and beautifully played episode of the series, primarily by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan. Last time, we had a powerful two-hander (to all intents and purposes) examining the power of hatred; it’s counterpointed by a celebration of love. Starting with Claire’s own wedding in “contemporary” times – which, interestingly, seems to be as much a case of force majeure as her nuptials with Jamie – it starts with the pair married, and both nervous about having to consummate the marriage.
Yes, of course, there are “sex scenes”, but they’re down to earth. Jamie’s a virgin, so he doesn’t last too long the first time; he also has some ideas about sex that Claire tries (unsuccessfully) not to find too funny. As the episode progresses, you see the two becoming increasingly comfortable with each other, not just because they’ve become intimate sexually, but because they talk of their pasts, and how they prepared for the wedding, allows them to open up emotionally to the other. I’d have liked there to be a bit more of Claire telling Jamie things from her past – if for no other reason than to see how Balfe played the combination of truth-telling and inevitable lying involved.
It is certainly going to be interesting to see how the relationship between Dougal, Jamie and Claire goes forward, in light of Dougal’s professed desire for Claire – and indeed, how others in the clan will view him if he acts upon it.
Verdict: A well-acted and directed episode. 8/10