Claire may have been haunted by Jamie’s memory for 20 years, but going back in time 200 years to reunite, proves to be far harder than she ever imagined.
Poor Jamie. He despairs when Claire threatens to leave after she discovers that he’s married to her old nemesis, Laoghaire. He hadn’t told Claire yet that he was actually married, when she shockingly found out in the worst way possible. Two young girls barge into the room he’s sharing with Claire at Lallybroch, calling him “daddy.” He and Claire had just returned to the family homestead, from Edinburgh and his sister Jenny hadn’t exactly given Claire a warm welcome. Much more like a very cold shoulder.
Claire couldn’t figure out why Jenny referred to her as a “stray” and a “stranger,” but when she sees those girls, and then, the furious Laoghaire, it all makes sense. And Laoghaire is vicious. “I thought you were dead…Have you no shame you adulterous bitch! Go back to the hell you came from,” she screams at Claire. No wonder Claire packs up her clothes pronto and heads for the door. She’s convinced Jamie has fathered two children that he’s not told her about. But Jamie is NOT having it. He struggles to explain what happened. “She was a widow with two bairns!” In other words, the adorable little one with red hair is not his biological daughter. “I’m a coward, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you again,” Jamie pleads, as he tries to get Claire to understand why he had kept his marriage secret until then. He wanted to get legal advice first. Legal advice?
Yes, that does make sense in the real world, but it doesn’t beat honesty according to Claire and she is having a full-scale meltdown. “You forced me to go back( to the 20th century). I would gladly have died with you at Culloden.” She’s furious that on top of Jamie hiding a wife #2, that the wife is the woman who tried to get her burned alive as a witch. Yes, that feels like a whole lot of disloyalty. But, this wild confrontation with Laoghaire and Claire unleashes all of Jamie’s crazy from the past 20 years. “Sometimes I could see you with Frank. With him taking your body and holding my bairn… God, I could kill you for it,” he explodes.
Then, wow, all that pent up, 20 years of longing for Claire erupts and Jamie grabs her, kisses her, she slaps him, he kisses her again and, this being Outlander, they are down on the floor and suddenly it’s a hot sex-a-thon…until…thank you Jenny! I love her in this moment. She’s so Jenny. She throws a pail of cold water over the pair: “Stop it, both of you fighting and rutting like wild beasts and not caring if the whole house hears you.” It works. Claire gathers what dignity she has left and flees.
But, you have to feel for her. Not only has she just had the shock of discovering that Jamie is a polygamist, but she quickly learns that Jenny is the one that alerted the loathsome Laoghaire. In this moment, I’m hating Jenny. I mean, what the?! Well, that’s exactly what Claire was wondering, too. She has to know. She confronts Jenny and thankfully, Jenny is forthright. “Why did it take you 20 years to come back? A family writes letters telling them you’re alive.” Of course, this is a situation Claire can’t win, not being able to send letters back 200 years through the wall. She can only be as honest as she can be. “It was a matter of survival. I married in the colonies and in order to make that marriage work, I had to put my past behind me. But, I never forgot Jamie and when my husband died, I came back to visit his grave and I found him alive,” she explains. It doesn’t account for the lack of letter writing, but it does seem to move Jenny… a little.And Jenny’s husband, Ian, starts working on his stubborn wife, to. “Every night you’ve prayed for Jamie’s happiness and now that he has it, you can’t let him have it,” he reminds her. These Frasers sure are stubborn. Of course, having Jamie almost shot to death by Laoghaire puts some added spin on the situation.
Just as Claire is preparing to walk out of Lallybroch and walk her way back to the stones, Laoghaire comes after her with a gun. “I will not sit at home and have her steal what’s mine,” she threatens Claire. Naturally, she fires in panic, hits Jamie, and Claire isn’t quite ready to let him bleed to death. Thank the Lord she’s brought her surgical tools and some penicillin back in time, to give some very necessary 20th century medical treatment to her 18th century husband.
It’s only after Jamie’s ‘surgery’ that she’s finally calm enough to hear out Jamie’s heartrending story of loneliness after years in prison and then living as a groom at Helwatter, where he could only have a hand in raising his ‘secret’ son. Finally released, he returned to Lallybroch and realized “I wanted to be a father and a husband. All of the things I thought the future held when I was with you and had to give up when you went through the stones,” he shared. He met Laoghaire’s sweet daughters at a party, and then the widowed Laoghaire. Jenny was all for making the match which she thought could make her brother happy. No wonder she was giving Claire the evil eye and alerting Laoghaire to Claire’s presence.
As it turned out, the less than 2 year marriage was an emotional and sexual disaster. But Jamie did fall in love with his step-daughters. And now, he’s determined to provide for them and do right by their murderous mother. Fortunately, it turns out that it’s the Claire and Jamie marriage that remains legally valid. But, it’s Jamie’s plan to recover a chest of treasure he once found on an island off the Scottish coast, that leads to a new disaster. Young Ian, who has swum to the island to fetch it, ends up being captured by what appear to be pirates, while Jamie and Claire watch helplessly.
Oh no! Jenny will be destroyed. Welcome back to the 18th century, Claire.