The sex was great, but being together is harder.
That's the lesson Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) had to face in Sunday's episode of Outlander, "Creme de Menthe." It was amazing for them to see each other again, and to reunite under the sheets in Jamie's brothel room, but once breakfast was done our star-crossed lovers had to start doing some logistical thinking about their lives together, and that's when things got complicated.
Dropping back 200 years in the past after 20 years apart means that a lot of things have changed for Jamie and Claire, not just in their personalities, but in their lives. Specifically, Jamie has set up a smuggling business that not only supports him but everyone back at Lallybroch. While Claire gave up her modern conveniences to return to the past, she didn't give up her resolution to heal people and her need to make an independent living.
Those two separate lives and ideals came crashing into each other this week as Claire took a little too long to realize she couldn't just show up and start a healing practice without consequence. Jamie's business depends on stealth and manipulation. Claire's arrival led to a dead goon in Jamie's bed, which led to more goons attempting to uncover his illegal trades and a fire that burned down the entire printshop. It took less than an entire day for everything that Jamie had managed to build since Claire left to go up in flames.
Now they must return to Lallybroch where Jamie and Claire will have to explain their reunion to the entire family — which we imagine can't go that smoothly. It also means they have to reconcile the fact that they can't just pick up where they left off. They are different people now, and at the very least Jamie leads a very different life that will have to be rearranged to fit Claire into it. Considering how stubborn they both are, are they willing to make the necessary changes to be able to make this work?
For one thing, Jamie is going to have to be completely honest with Claire. We know he's still keeping secrets about his life since she returned. Claire is going to have to get over the initial excitement of being back and be more flexible in relearning the man she loves and the way he operates in this new world. Claire left Scotland before the British had officially taken over and so much has changed not only about Jamie, but the time that he's living in since she's been gone.
This is Outlander so we have every bit of faith that these two will eventually figure it out, but Sunday's episode proved that it may be a while yet before they make it back to their happy status of marriage. We should buckle up.
Outlander continues Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.