Entertainment

Absence makes the heart grow fainter in Outlander: Schneller

After decades apart, Jamie has a peculiar reaction when he encounters Claire in 1765 Edinburgh.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) tracks down her beloved Jamie in the latest episode of Outlander.

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) tracks down her beloved Jamie in the latest episode of Outlander.

The Show: Outlander, Season 3, Episode 5 (W)

The Moment: The reunion

After 20 years apart, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has travelled back in time to 1765 Edinburgh, where Jamie (Sam Heughan) is now a printer.

She finds his shop. She strokes his sign. She mounts his stairs. She enters. “It’s me,” she coos.

Slowly, he turns. Their eyes lock. He faints.

This is not the steamy reunion moment I was hoping for. Swooning when your beloved pulls you into his arms is sexy. Fainting from surprise, not so much.

Keeping the lovebirds apart for 20 years was a risk. Either they’re unfaithful to one another, or they’re sexless. Neither is a turn-on. (The show’s solution: Claire’s husband rebuffed her advances, and Jamie had two encounters — one sad sex, one hate sex.)

On the other hand, fast-forwarding over the domestic years — two decades of teacher conferences, career commitments and “Sorry-I’m-exhausted” — was a clever stroke. No one wants to see Claire and Jamie argue over whose turn it is to gather moss for the diapers.

Really, two decades in straw huts would wear away any romance. On the rare occasions you’d heat water for a bath, it would just be mud and blood. Maybe a dirty weekend on clean sheets in a mid-priced Edinburgh hotel is just the ticket (once Jamie comes to, that is).

Still, it’s a far cry from Jamie’s fantasy of three episodes ago, when, returning from a hunt, he imagined Claire seeing him, shaggy-haired and grime-streaked in his kilt, a stag slung over his shoulder. Fainting-City-Jamie is going to have to step it up.

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