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'Outlander's' Wedding Episode Delivered the Goods, but Shirked On the Plot (NSFW)

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 22, 2014 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 22, 2014 |


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(Warning: There are NSFW GIFs below because that’s where we are now in Outlander).

After complaining for a few weeks that Outlander had failed to deliver on the “pleasure” aspect of the guilty pleasure drama, the wedding episode of Outlander brought everything we’d hoped for in the sextyimes department. The lovemaking scenes were lovely, intimate, and sexy, but not sleazy. It was a tastefully done episode, and there were a few undeniably tender moments that made it impossible not to root for these Jamie and Claire, even if she is a bigamist across two centuries.

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The lovemaking sequence — the second one, anyway — was sweet. And passionate. And, combined with Jamie’s recounting of the wedding, it was a romantic, sensual episode.

But there’s something still lacking on Outlander. Last week’s episode was gripping and violent, while this week’s episode was sexy as hell, but with a weekly, 55-minute television show, it’s hard to sustain the drama when there aren’t really any B-plots. This is a story about Claire Randall, and most of what we see if from her perspective. So far, it’s not a universe populated with a lot of interesting side characters. There’s Jamie. There’s Claire. There’s the minor villain in Dougal MacKenzie, and there’s the scene-stealing villain, Captain Black Randall, and then there’s Frank Randall, who we seldom see. Last night, aside from the wedding, the only real advancement in the plot came in better understanding what we already knew: That Dougal Mackenzie is also smitten with Claire.

Maybe it’s actually a strength of Outlander, in that it can be as compelling as it is despite the lack of storylines, and despite the relative lack of movement. We’re so accustomed to shows like Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones or The Leftovers, or even The Good Wife — which always has an A, B, and C-plot — that it’s hard to adjust to the fact that the majority of last night’s episode took place in one room between two people, or that last week’s episode had a nearly 30 minute sequence that — again — took place in one room between two people.

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It’s not a dense television drama, and the old-school pace can be challenging, although there is something to be said for a show that takes its sweet time, that takes pains to develop the relationships between the characters.

On the other hand, there’s still some slack it needs to reel in. I can only watch two people give each other f*ck me eyes for so long before I find myself screaming, “JUST TAKE OFF YOUR GODDAMN CLOTHES ALREADY.” There’s a fine line between anticipation and frustration. Seven episodes in and Outlander is still figuring it out.

It was a hell of a dress, though.

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