Reworking my way back from the beginning, waiting for this episode, as I just watched Jamie, “apparently betrayed by his sister Jenny” being hauled off in a wagon by the Redcoats, for his time in Arsdmuir Prison….
I’ll force myself to wait, as I’ve done so often before….making myself endure the pain of separation, because THEY had to….so, I must suffer with them.
A Malcom has some awkward moments when my inner critic was screaming “EDIT,” that simply didn’t work, and then there are other moments as Jamie and Claire rediscover their passion, their original bond, where I am held speechless, with the daring beauty of their joining….the two, now one.
The above was a scene of such tenderness, almost painful lovemaking (Jamie’s face, reveals all the agony and tumult of those lost years…passion, possessiveness…..jealousy)…..”You’re mine” etched into every line of his beautiful face. And she, Claire, open, vulnerable, holding him….knowing what he’s feeling.
These are the OUTLANDER moments, where I cannot look away, yet feel I should quietly turn, step aside, and close the door. Caitriona and Sam have disappeared…..Claire and Jamie are alone, utterly embraced in their private cocoon of sexual joining, of coming home to each other. Cameramen, Directors, Makeup and everyone else crowding that room, including millions of viewers, are gone….irrelevant, unheeded, forgotten.
THIS, IS THE MAGIC OF OUTLANDER.
Like an incurable addiction…….There will never be enough.
Season 1 seemed for so long like the pinnacle of Outlander, with whatever followed, no matter how brilliant, never quite reaching that first extraordinary peak.
But Season 5, has ventured further than I could have possibly expected.
Having waited SO long for the DVD release, I have watched it countless times….finally deciding to go right back to the earliest beginnings.
The start of everything…..the reason we all reach out to each other across the planet, to say “Oh yes !!! Me too !!!
And wonder at the people we know who don’t get it.
YET SEASON 5, goes where others fear to tread. Breaks down our culture’s dreary stereotypes, and shows us the Frasers in their 50’s, now Grandparents, and still holding that great passion for each other…..
Still very much in love.
These scenes I’ve chosen are deeply affecting…..visually beautiful with that perfectly soft lighting that so often makes Outlander’s indoor scenes resemble Old Master’s Paintings. I am so touched by the fact, that after all these years together, Jamie still wakes up if Claire leaves their bed.
“I guess I feel lonely wi’out y’, Sassenach.”
From the Wedding night, and all the time since….this is how it is.
We see him, having fallen asleep while reading, fully dressed on top of the bed….we watch Claire applying her special perfume, unaware that he has fallen asleep…..she turns towards him, but there’s no resentment, just acceptance…..and later, she wakes, hot and sweating, going to the open window to lean out and breathe in the cold night air.
We see Jamie, stirring….his hand reaching out into the empty space beside him. We see him swing his legs off the bed and go to her, embrace her.
Inhale her scent…..the beauty and shared humour of them holding each other, inhaling each other’s scents.
But it’s these simple few words that pierced my heart with longing, for such a man ….
“Ohhhh, y’re wearing your special perfume….you wanted me, and I fell asleep, I’m sorry,“ and Claire’s soft response….”You were tired.”
And then, of course, all that follows.
The depth of understanding, their ongoing passion for each other.
We watch, we yearn, we laugh, we burn with them.
Blazing like twin stars through the open window out into the night.
I look into his face So well loved I can trace every line Every scar And know the time that caused it Know every tiny detail The familiarity A daily blessing For despite the dread-full past He still lives And knowing what I know of him The more beloved he is Age and time ….our life A strange unexpected dream To be here now…. To be his wife
He sees me smiling Knows my thinking Remembering another Wedding Day I was reluctant then to say The words that bound me to him He pauses, looks down Collecting his emotions Then turns, faces me With a look of such intensity Remembering his promises He’s kept them Every one
SO MANY LAYERS TO THIS POWERFUL FINALE…. I see more, feel more, hurt more with each viewing, but there is beauty within the terrible….and terrible beauty.
NEVER MY LOVE….Plays on endless repeat, as I watch again and again.
So many evocative, traumatic, fierce, passionate, murderous, human, loving moments….the deep connection of family, whoever they may be.
“There’s been an attack on the ridge”, Jamie says. “They’ve taken Claire. We’re gonna get her back.”
He’s cold and methodical, preparing himself for war. Dressed in Tartan, he leaves the homestead as clouds of black birds fly from their night roosts, filling the skies with their cries. Tears leak,and chills creep up and down my spine as he runs to the highest point on the ridge, to light the fiery cross. The young men and the old gather….to go to war for him, for their Healer, Mistress Claire.
All is cruel brutality, as she and we escape to a refuge far away, where Jamie wraps her in his Tartan Plaid, says those very familiar words…. “Y’re shakin so hard it’s making my teeth rattle.” Never My Love a soothing respite in the background.
His shocked face, seeing her….bound, gagged, brutally beaten. But he knows….he of all people knows how this feels…..he can’t break down, instead he cuts her ties, holds her by the shoulders, tells her “You are whole…..you are alive.” Then with the greatest care, he wraps her gently in his plaid, lifts her up, carries her….and those powerful words echo in my mind…..
“A Bloodsoaked Adam, A Battered Eve.” DG
I cannot let go of this season, this episode…..So loving in its final moments, So deeply steeped in the strength of Family…..Who would not wish for the Warriors of Old. For their Strength and Courage in Battle. For their Honour, their Loyalty.
He sat there, an expression of fierce intensity on his beautiful face…. Waiting, waiting for an answer, as cigar smoke filled the air. Surrounded by the scent of finest Whisky and Leather….he waited, YES,” I said…..Whatever the question, the answer is “YES.”
Surrendering himself to his new bride’s touch He stands, his entire body yearning Almost melting into her But giving in, allowing As she slowly explores His strong, beautiful young body…..
And she…..glides slender fingers Across his skin, so slowly Delaying, extending her pleasure And his…. Until she turns, faces him Looks down, then up into his face His slanted dark blue eyes Her wanting matching his Sees him quivering with desire
She loosens the ties of her shift And he moves quickly Wraps strong arms around and lifts Carries her willing To their marriage bed Enters her then, pleasures her Until their voices cry out together On that night when first they wed.
He stood before me At the old church door A vision of such splendour I forgot every promise I’d made before This moment
Strength, beauty, kindness, grace All made clear On his beautiful face In this moment….I forgot my fear My misgivings The husband I’d left only weeks before I forgot my past life Walked up to the door And as he took my arm As he led me inside All I wanted in this moment Was to be his bride
The cuts were deep The blood flowed free The ties that bound us Soaked and bloody I looked up into his clear blue eyes Down at the linen binding ties And cared not for what may come Or what was left behind In this moment I am his He is mine
In this moment Before the Altar Of the new Gods and the Auld I surrendered the past Knew In my soul I was bound to him This would be my last My one, my only love My kin
In this moment In this Sacred place In the eyes looking back at me In his beautiful face
Mine, His There is only this Unexpected Unwanted Unwilling Back then Yet, here, opening up to him There is only this This Holy tie that binds As the Priest intones You my kiss your bride In this moment
I give myself to you now As bloods drips from the ties That bind our vow He is my husband I his wife Bound body and soul Bound for life
Nothing exists Between us now But this This Endless Moment
Denial Recognition Heat Her thoughts of a frantic husband His memory of the warmth of her body On that long, long ride On that dark, wet night Forced back into some strange normality They are separate, yet linked The bindings of twin souls He knows it, and so does she They are children of the stars From now, for all Eternity
I FELL IN LOVE WITH JAMES FRASER through Claire’s eyes; as the main narrator she describes him in such fine detail, I know the essence of the man….through Diana’s descriptive prose and my very keen sense of smell, I too could pick him out of a crowded room of men, simply by his smell……a mixture of coffee, whisky, gunpowder, horses and manure, his sweat…..the deep male smell of him. His long graceful bones, the way his mane of copper russet bronze and auburn hair, lifts in stray wisps about his face, because he is either fiercely animated, or like a lions mane, falling around his shoulders in the frenzied passion of love making. The quirk of his mouth, his wry humour, courage, honour and accomplishments. A unique talent for absorbing both people, learning and languages into his life. A man of big passions, ferocious loyalties and all encompassing generosity.
I FELL IN LOVE WITH JAMIE through Claire’s eyes, until so deeply absorbed in the “more real than life” story, Claire fell away. I was Claire…..living, loving, breathing him in, waiting for him to return from battle, from hunting, from visits with neighbouring Cherokee or working alongside him, and healing him.
AND THEN I FELL IN LOVE AGAIN, through Roger’s eyes. Roger knows Jamie when he arrives at Frasers Ridge….Roger, the “dog with a bone” Historian, has been hearing Claire’s story, researching Jamie’s History…..Culloden, Ardsmuir, Helwater. He has already developed a relationship with Jamie, two hundred years before he meets him (Yes my mind gets tied in knots too)!!! Before Claire leaves Inverness for the second time, Roger finds her fast asleep in the Reverend Wakefield’s Study, clutching the Ardsmuir Prison Records to her breast, her heart….he has a deep affection for Claire, and says to her sleeping figure, and to the long dead Jamie, “I don’t know who you were mate”, he whispered to the unseen Scot, “but you must have been something, to deserve her.”
And then there follows the catastrophic mess, through Lizzie’s mistaking Roger for the monster who has violated Brianna…..we know what follows, and once the two men have come to terms with each other, something beautiful happens.
ROGER AS NARRATOR won me over in a completely new way. He sees Jamie from a very different perspective. There’s understandingly, in the beginning, lingering resentment, but that changes subtly to begin with, as the two men take the measure of each other. I’m often brought to unexpected tears, by Roger’s reference to Jamie as “the big Scot.” Why should that make me cry??? I think it’s the knowledge of how much suffering that big body has gone through….and, for some reason those words are a trigger for tears. Roger refers to Jamie’s “panther like grace”, he wants his approval, and can’t help the jealousy he experiences around Jamie. One vivid description is of Jamie standing back, eyeing Roger dispassionately, as though he were buying a bullock at the saleyards. This comes about when Roger asks him “Teach me to fight.” There’s some brilliantly witty dialogue that follows with Jamie telling Roger he had his first sword at five…..Roger had a toy train with a red engine at the same age. But Roger is equally stubborn, also a man of learning and finally a deal is made. He describes his first experience with “the art of the sword, with Jamie Fraser as his opponent, as like fighting a cloud.” But Jamie develops a strong affection and respect for Roger, and during the Ritualised Ceremony of The Fiery Cross, when Jamie calls out to him, “Come stand by me, Roger Jeremiah, son of my house”, there is a fierce pride and a belonging, a love for his Warrior Father-in-Law.
There is too much to include here. Roger as Narrator, brings James Fraser to life, in vivid detail that naturally is completely different to Claire’s. A man’s observation that also at times is unemotionally clinical in his Historian’s viewpoint of Jamie.
I LOVED JAMIE FRASER EVEN MORE, viewing him through Roger’s descriptive narration.