*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***
There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.
Watching the opening scene with Frank and Claire, my first reaction was, "WTF??" Frank seems in an awfully big hurry to get married, and this isn't at all the way it happened in the book, not even close. But I liked Frank's line, "The only family I care about is you, and the family we will make, together." I think he really meant that.
The scene seems almost shot in black and white -- like parts of the opening scenes in Episode 101 ("Sassenach"), only more washed out, drained of color. I'm sure that's deliberate.
And when they showed a brief clip of Jamie and Claire -- "You may kiss the bride" -- I said, "Hey, wait a minute!!"
Claire's voice-over about the metaphorical string of pearls "rolling into dark corners, never to be found again" is clearly meant as foreshadowing of the very end of the episode.
You can't help but notice that Claire is drinking an awful lot already. <g>
They didn't promise honesty to one another (and yes, I miss that bit!), but Jamie is giving her honesty anyway. I wonder if they left that out because of all the emphasis in last week's episode about truth vs. lies, and the uncertainty about who Claire really is.
I thought the use of flashbacks throughout this episode to show events from Jamie's and the clansmen's point of view was very effective. I really enjoyed the scene with Ned, Dougal, Jamie, and Murtagh.
"If Claire does become my wife, I'll thank ye to stop talking and thinking of her like some common whore." - good line! And Dougal's reaction was just right.
"You have my name, my clan, my family, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well." - Jamie looks so earnest, dead serious, and so young, looking up at her like that.
I like that they started off very slowly, just holding hands. Jamie wants so badly to kiss her, but instead it's "Tell me about your family". LOL!
The "montage" effect was well done, IMHO. There's a lot of talk in this part of the book, a lot of back story to cover, but no need to go into the details here. (Just as an aside, Jamie referring to Brian as a "younger half-brother" of Young Simon is incorrect -- Brian is considerably older -- but don't blame the scriptwriters; this is taken straight from the book.)
I love the look on Jamie's face when he tells Brian and Ellen's story. <g>
Angus and Rupert barging in -- once again, they're comic relief, but it's fine, it helps to break the tension between Jamie and Claire. And the two of them are hilarious and always fun to watch.
I just LOVED the undressing scene!! The gown is lovely, especially the bodice. Magnificent. And the way Jamie touches her -- gentle, tentative at first -- seems just right. I'm not sure if his hands actually trembled when he touched her, but it's not hard to imagine that they did. Very sensual scene!
The kiss, and Jamie's line, "I said I was a virgin, not a monk", was just right, every bit as I have always imagined it. <g> And you can see at first that he's going to take her from behind, "like horses", but she turns around just in time.
The awkwardness of that first sex scene seems just right, and very much as described in the book. Claire's "Jamie, you're crushing me!" is not a direct quote from the book, but it totally fits. (I miss Jamie's "Holy God!", but I'm sure he was thinking it.)
I love Claire's reaction to Jamie telling her he thought it would be "like horses". (Have we seen her laugh before in the series? I can't remember, but I hope she does it more often in future episodes. <g>) Her hesitation when Jamie asked if she liked it was a little unexpected -- I was taken aback a little to think that Jamie actually believed for an instant that she hadn't enjoyed it -- but I see now that she hesitated out of guilt over betraying Frank (totally understandable), and I like the way they made that clear with the voice-over: "Not only was I a bigamist and an adulteress, but I'd enjoyed it."
The scene with the lads is pretty much as I'd always imagined. Very funny! I like the way Murtagh punches Jamie casually on the shoulder, in an avuncular gesture of congratulations and, maybe, pride in the way his godson is growing up. <g>
"I said I was completely under your power and happy to be there." -- Good line!
Once again he tries to touch her and she shies away. Then he finds the right words -- "mo nighean donn" (awwwwww, I just LOVE the way he says that!) but she still doesn't want to be touched. He's so gentle with her, so tender. Just perfect!
I like the colors of the Fraser tartan. (No, it's not scarlet and black. That's a modern invention. Look here for an article Diana Gabaldon wrote in 2009 about the history of clan tartans.) And I really enjoyed Murtagh's explanation of how he got the kilt, along with the reminder that Jamie is still very much a wanted man, and Randall is not far away. Gotta love Murtagh, who always has Jamie's best interests at heart. <g>
"I plan to be wed but one time, Murtagh. So I'll do so in a way that would make my mother proud." - good line.
"Your mother had the sweetest smile. It would warm a man to the backbone just to see it." I was startled to hear this line here, rather than at the Abbey much, much later, but I like the next bit: "Claire's smile is just as sweet." Murtagh is not nearly as dour as he appeared in the book. He's turning into a very likeable character!
I loved Dougal's reaction to Jamie's three conditions: "Christ, it would be easier to kill ye both." "But much harder to explain." LOL!
I liked the added scene with the priest. He's a stubborn man, every bit as much as they are! And it's good to see young Willie again, taking a more active role this time. "If you'd learnt your catechism from Father Bain, you'd ken your Bible verses, too." - this line made me laugh.
(Just a side note: That candelabra on the mantel in Jamie and Claire's room is lovely.)
Now, to this business about the ring. This is the one part of this episode that I didn't really care for. So the blacksmith offers to make them a silver ring, but Rupert says no, it has to be made from this (iron) key - but he doesn't want to give up the part that goes in the lock. The clear implication being that he still needs that key.
"This is what Jamie wants." Assuming he's telling the truth about that -- WHY??
"Just...something I had in my sporran." I'm thinking that it's the key to the front door of Lallybroch. I could certainly be wrong, but it's the only explanation I can think of that makes sense.
I am not unduly worried about the ring. It seems pretty clear to me that this is a "placeholder" ring, just something temporary that she can wear until Jamie manages to buy her something better. They must have decided that TV viewers needed a visual reminder of Claire's divided loyalties, and it's going to be a while yet before they get back to Leoch and Jamie can buy her a decent ring with his own money. I am confident that he WILL do that, when the time comes. Claire isn't going to go through the whole series, multiple seasons, wearing a crude iron ring fashioned from an old key. <g> Don't worry. The people in charge of this show are fans (this episode made that abundantly clear!); they know very well how important that silver ring is going to be, and they won't forget it. We will just have to wait and see.
[UPDATE 9/23/2014 6:21 am: Unfortunately, it turns out I was completely wrong about this. See my post about the ring here.]
Moving on.... I liked the scene with Ned Gowan in the whorehouse. Very cute! I loved the explanation of how the madam acquired the gown, and I agree completely that it's much better for Claire to have a dress for her wedding that's never been worn before.
I love the way Claire wakes up with a massive hangover. "Ye hardly want to get married looking like a melted candle" (Murtagh) - good line.
Not surprising at all that Jamie remembers every second of the wedding. So do many of us fans! <g>
That gown is magnificent!! Terry Dresbach did a superb job with it. The stomacher (the triangular piece in front) is particularly gorgeous, as is the embroidery on the petticoat. Wow!
"And suddenly the sun came out" - nice twist on the line from the book, in that we are seeing all this from Jamie's point of view. I love the bit where Jamie bows formally to Claire. He looks so young! "A Highlander in full regalia", indeed. He looks every bit as splendid as Claire, in his own way. I like his coat very much, and the colors of the Fraser tartan.
I love the way he says "James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser", slowly, just as described in the book. And the way Claire responds is also just like the book.
I didn't care for the way Claire took Frank's ring off and tucked it into her stays. It seemed like she was trying to deny his existence, as though that was the only way she would be able to get through the ceremony.
The blood vow is done EXACTLY as described in the book -- just wonderful!!
Right before Jamie kisses her, Claire looks utterly miserable. "And when you kissed me like that, well, maybe you weren't so sorry to be marrying me after all." - good line.
Seeing Jamie naked for the first time, my reaction was, "My God, Claire was right, he IS beautifully made!"
The sex scene was very well done. Almost dreamlike, in places. But tasteful, if you know what I mean -- not overdone. (And very hot. Oh, yes. <g>)
I liked that Claire went downstairs wrapped in the Fraser plaid. I didn't care for Dougal making advances toward her, though. Still, it's her first opportunity to say clearly, "I'm Jamie's wife." When Rupert says, "Young Jamie may not have much experience, but that one looks well-ridden", why did Dougal hit him? Was Dougal defending Claire's honor, or only jealous that he wasn't the one who got to bed her? Maybe both, I'm not sure.
I was wondering if they'd forgotten about the pearls. I like the idea that Jamie gave her the pearls in private, even though it doesn't happen that way in the book. (The look of the necklace is different from what I always imagined, but that's a minor point.)
"Very precious to me. As are you, Claire." - good line!
I like this exchange:
"If I don't get something to eat soon, I might have to take a bite out of you."
"I believe you've already done that."
"And I look forward to doing it again soon."
And just when I'd managed to forget all about Frank (Frank who??), we get a very vivid reminder in the final scene. I liked seeing Claire's reflection in the gold ring - nice touch! And the expression on Claire's face at the end, staring at the rings on her hands, is eloquent. To me, it says very clearly, "Frank! Oh, God, what have I done!"
To summarize my reaction to Episode 107: I thought it was WONDERFUL!!! Sam and Caitriona were both AMAZING. <g> The writing was terrific, and I'm delighted that they included so many of the best lines from this part of the book.
Clearly they knew the fans would be watching this episode very, very closely, and with so much riding on it, IMHO, they knocked it out of the park! (That's my own personal opinion. The rest of you are certainly free to disagree.)
I think they did exactly what a good adaptation is supposed to do: they captured the spirit of the book, even if many of the scenes are rearranged or presented differently from the way they are in the book, and some of the details have been omitted or changed.
I couldn't be happier with the way this episode turned out. Kudos to the whole cast and crew!
I hope you enjoyed this recap. You can see my comments on the previous episodes here:
Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 108!