By Chloe Gilke, Daily TV/New Media Editor
Published September 22, 2014
“The Wedding” is an episode certainly worth the wait. After six episodes of contemplative and insightful (yet frustratingly chaste) television, “Outlander” has finally given viewers what they’ve been waiting for: Jamie and Claire’s first romantic encounter (and a glimpse at what’s under Jamie Fraser’s kilt). Respectful and consensual sex scenes are a rare occurrence on cable television, and sex scenes that are directed toward female viewers even more elusive. The steamy scenes are hardly gratuitous, and beautifully depict the intimacy and growing bond between Claire and Jamie on their wedding day.
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Well, for Claire, her second wedding day. The episode opens with a poignant reminder of Claire’s affections for her husband back in the 20th century, and her pre-wedding activities are troubling. While Jamie defends Claire’s honor to his scrappy friends, Claire’s bachelorette party involves getting blackout drunk, alone. Rightfully, Claire is upset that she’s tossed around like an object and married off at someone else’s convenience. But as she learns more about Jamie — his protective nature and humble confidence, his scars and smiles, the electric chemistry they share — Claire falls in love bit by bit, minute by minute.
Claire’s falling for Jamie was inevitable. But the episode wasn’t afraid to let Claire shed her hesitance as slowly as she wanted, to let her go from blocking Jamie’s kiss to initiating relations herself. “The Wedding” depicts sex, intimacy and love from the woman’s perspective, and it’s top-notch television that a viewer of any gender can appreciate.