Jamie’s Top 30 Moments from Outlander Ep308: FIRST WIFE

Outlander Episode 308: FIRST WIFE aired on Sunday, 5 November and the first thing I have to say is … oh, the hair. Jamie’s lustrous hair. It’s back. I know aesthetics like hair should not be important, but Jamie’s red mane is a defining element (as Diana Gabaldon writes about so much in the novels) of the man over whom we love to obsess. Both Claire and Lord John Grey make a big deal about it, so why can’t I? What follows is one of Diana’s passages describing a vivid moment on the trip from Ardsmuire Prison to Helwater.

At the crest of the next hill, the track split, going off in two directions. Fraser, some distance ahead, pulled his horse to a stop and waited for direction, the wind ruffling his hair. He had not plaited it that morning, and it blew free, the flaming strands lifting wild about his head.

Squelching his way up the slope, John William Grey looked up at the man above him, still as a bronze statue on his mount, save for the rippling mane. The breath dried up in his throat, and he licked his lips.

“O Lucifer, thou son of the morning,” he murmured to himself, but forebode to add the rest of the quotation.

– from Voyager, Part Four: The Lake District, Chapter 14: Geneva by Diana Gabaldon

Love the ‘squelching’ part but enough about mud and hair – for now – let’s talk about the episode. The lovely Nell Hudson as Laoghaire MacKimmie (neé MacKenzie or should we say Fraser? It’s hard to keep track around here.) is back and seems to be over her puritanical repentance. Maybe it died with Colum. She’s one of those moms who has no qualms about badmouthing others in front of her children. I do believe the expletives flying out of her mouth are the worse we’ve heard on the show. She’s no lady. But then … we’ve always known that.

As if John Bell as Young Ian doesn’t add enough sparkle and shine to the series, two more adorable kiddies join the cast. Layla Burns is cute as a pixie as Joan MacKimmie with eyes bright as a penny and hair red as … hey, wait a minute. Red hair? What exactly has Jamie been doing the past 20 years? Guess we’ll let him ‘splain himself later. Meanwhile, beauty Lauren Lyle plays little Layla’s big sister Marsali and is moony-eyed over … well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Both girls are sweet and polite, amazing considering their mother has probably done nothing but rant and rave about Jamie for the past few months. No doubt, Claire’s name came up more than a few times over the years as well. The c-word? Really? What is this – Game of Thrones? Come to think of it. Our Jamie could have used their Jaime’s Bronn (too cool to have a last name) as his wingman in the reunion scene. Not that one, this one. Bronn would not have stood for Laoghaire’s behavior or her potty mouth. Or maybe it would have turned him on.

Back from the dead, er never-dead, is Ned Gowan. Bill Paterson is a pleasure to see in this episode although I actually expected him to show up with a young, pretty (perhaps former hooker) wife. Alas, he never wed, he tells Claire when she gawks at his agelessness. Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.

The best parts of the show (besides Jamie and Claire, of course, and Young Ian and Joan and Ned and Bronn (I wish!)) are Jenny and Ian’s biting remarks. Laura Donnelly as Jenny is not as happy to see her brother as she was all the other times he dragged himself through the gates of Lallybroch – this time with a “stray.” She has a burr up her skirt and almost more bairns than she can handle. How many bedrooms are in this place? Ian is as-ever the soft voice of reason but does show a bit more grit in this episode. Steven Cree is as splendid in this role as Tobias Menzies is/was as both Randalls. (Gosh. I miss that guy.) Laura and Steven together – perfection. Skinny and one-legged, Ian still stands up to Jenny when she crosses the line although she refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Is she right, or is she wrong to send word to Laoghaire? It’s not like Jenny doesn’t know the girl is crazy as a bag of cats. What could possibly go wrong, eh?

Seeing as the episode is called FIRST WIFE, it makes sense the story is central around Claire. Poor Claire. She was so sure everything would work out. She planned to find Jamie waiting for her, somehow re-virginated, with a steady printer’s paycheck. Instead, he’s got a shady business on the side, hoors for roommates, kids running amok and a spare wife. Good thing he hasn’t told her about John Grey. Caitriona Balfe puts out an extraordinary performance in this episode. She’s an estranged wife, sister wannabe, life-saving surgeon and a woman unsure of her choices. Don’t you hate it when you travel back through time and everything is harder than you thought it would be? I know I do.

Sam Heughan finds himself in hot water with three and a half different women in this episode. As Jamie, he has words with Jenny, manhandles Laoghaire (although not hard enough), shares a hug with Joan, and wrestles with Claire (which is just about to get interesting before Jenny ruins it). For much of this episode, the women are in a tizzy, but Jamie doesn’t seem to get it. Ian gets it. Too bad no one listens to him. Like most men, Jamie does not understand why you cannot have too many hens in the house. And these are three of the bossiest hens in 33 counties. What has Jamie gotten himself into? Let’s find out, in this week’s episode of …

Jamie’s Top 30 How To Moments for Episode 308: FIRST WIFE.

#30: Jamie’s How To Kill Time Moment: This would have been a great time to tell Claire about his other wife … instead of 15 minutes later.

#29: Jamie’s How To Look Like A Pirate On A Horse Moment: A little prep work there, maybe?

#28: Jamie’s How To Talk His Way Out Of That One Moment: Where are all these other red-headed men? No, really.

#27: Jamie’s How To Talk With Your Eyes Moment: And they’re saying, “keep your mouth closed.”

#26: Jamie’s How To Break The Bad News Moment: Too little, too late?

#25: Jenny’s How To Clout Your Son On The Head Moment: Geez. Think I would have run away, too.

#24: Jamie’s How To Be A Male Chauvinist Pig Moment: Aw. I’m just kidding, but not really.

#23: Jamie’s How To Read A Woman’s Mind Moment: Yep. No matter what. When there’s another woman involved, the man is screwed either way.

#22: Jamie’s How To Build Trust Moment: Says the man with two wives.

#21: Jamie’s How To Look Cool Looking Through A Telescope Moment: Didn’t think it was possible, did you?

#20: Ian’s How To Lay Down The Law Moment: I’m with Jenny.

#19: Jamie’s How Not To Tell The Truth Moment: He’s had a lot of practice at that.

#18: Jamie’s How Not To Be A Heartless Bastard Moment: He’s had a lot of practice at that, too.

#17: Jamie’s How To Act When You’ve Forgotten Your Line Moment: Come on. You all thought the same thing.

#16: Jamie and Claire’s How To Rut Like Wild Beasts Moment: Jenny simply does not want Jamie to be happy.

#15: Jamie’s How To Get Out Of The Doghouse Moment: Politicians could learn a thing or two from Jamie.

#14: Jamie’s How To Flirt With The Psychopath Who Tried To Have Your Wife Killed Moment: Just like that.

#13: Jamie’s How To Be An Adorable Drunk Moment: Is he ever anything but?

#12: Jamie’s How To Make Your Sister Stop Asking Awkward Questions Moment: Warning. This only works once.

#11: Young Ian’s How To Make His Mum Hate His Aunt and Uncle Even More Moment: Good thing Young Ian doesn’t mention Mademoiselle Brighid.

#10: Jamie’s How To Tell Joan Her Mother Was Not His First Choice Moment: Best to leave out the crazy parts.

#9: Jamie and Ian’s How To Reminisce Moment: All those times Brian took a strap to them … good times.

#8: Jamie’s How To Prepare Yourself For Emergency Surgery Moment: There’s an awful lot of emergency surgery going on in Scotland.

#7: Jamie’s How To Look Good During A Fireside Chat Moment: He pretty much has this down pat.

#6: Jamie’s How To Make Claire Feel Really Sh*tty About Leaving Moment: Eh. She gave it a week.

#5: Jamie’s How To Kiss Twice, Smack Once Moment: Wait a minute. We’re all feminists here. We don’t want to be thrown down onto the bed … do we?

#4: Jamie’s How To Be A Great Dad Moment: Some men have a woman in every port. Jamie seems to have children in every century.

#3: Jamie and Claire’s How To Do A Big Finale Moment: Add one big ship et Voila!

#2: Jamie’s How To Be Happy Moment: Where’s Mr. Fezziwig?

#1: Jamie’s How To Put It All On The Line Moment: I’d say yes. But then, I’ve read all the books.

All images used above are property of Sony Pictures and Starz, Inc.

Outlander Episode 309: THE DOLDRUMS premieres on Starz this Sunday, 12 November 2017 in the U.S.

“Claire and Jamie leave Scotland, sailing to the West Indies on an urgent quest. But when the superstitious crew looks for someone to blame after a string of bad luck, rescue comes from an unlikely source.”

Directed by David Moore and Written by Shannon Goss.

If you missed the other fun looks from Outlander Season 3, you can find them here:

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep301: THE BATTLE JOINED

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep302: SURRENDER

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep303: ALL DEBTS PAID

Lord John Grey’s Top 20 Looks from Outlander Ep303: ALL DEBTS PAID

Jamie’s Top 30 Moments from Outlander Ep304: OF LOST THINGS

Top 30 Moments of Outlander Ep305: FREEDOM & WHISKY

Jamie’s Top 30 Moments from Outlander Ep306: A. MALCOLM

Top 30 Moments from Outlander Ep307: CRÈME DE MENTHE


  1. Barbara Lee Cromwell

    I LOVE reading your Top 30 Moments! I always laugh out loud and also marvel at the joy that is Outlander the Series. I have read all the books too (many times)! I love both.

    1. Thank you so much, Barbara! I’m glad my little blog adds to your enjoyment of the show. I like to add a few punches and gags comparing the books and show, but only for fun. They are two entirely different forms of entertainment. I enjoy them both immensely in different ways, like you; I’m sure.

      1. Loved it! I think you accurately nailed ALL 30 in 30!!

        1. Thanks, Jenny! I appreciate that. It’s been a loooong week.

  2. Outlander S3 has been sooo incredibly good, the sets, acting & production is superb, so thank you Ron, Meril, Sam, Cait & Diana for allowing us to share these moments! Bravo

    1. This season has such terrific casting. I can’t wait to watch Young Ian and Fergus’ stories unfold. And can’t wait to meet older Willie!

  3. Wanda Radford

    I’m pretty much disappointed with this season.
    I expected the earth to move…. but not even a tremor.

    1. Sorry you’re not enjoying the season, Wanda. Are you a book reader or show watcher only?

    2. I might (and I say that half heartedly) be able to reason with your opinion after the first few episodes. Respectfully however, after watching A. Malcolm and First Wife, if you can truthfully say that not even one scene involving Jamie didn’t give you, at the least a tremor, perhaps your television is working properly or the channel was too fuzzy due to not having the network. Otherwise, the only answer I can think of is to check your pulse, find a cardiologist or gynecologist to see if there’s a “pill for that”.
      (I say all of the above with the same jest as the blog is written with.)

  4. Just got done reading. Amazing-like watching another episode but from a character forensics point of view. Your pov, superfragilisticespialidocious(sp). Your book comes our when? 🙄

    1. Ha ha! Thanks, Mary. My book? Hm. Have to finish rewriting it, then you all will be the first to hear me squeal! At some point, I’d like to start sharing excerpts like Diana does. Not ready for that yet. My beta readers loved the original manuscript, but we all agreed it could be better!

  5. I really enjoyed this episode (hallelujah!) Jamie & Claire seemed themselves again (after being massively mis-written and mis-directed in the last episode)
    Both the writing, and the direction, were way better in this episode than in the past 2 episodes. Yes the writing was better, but the direction was also better– it had zing and momentum– the intensity of all the scenes and close-ups, the pace of speaking of the actors, the choreography of their movements, the camera angles, everything about it was just better and more intense.
    I wish they had used this director for the episode 6 reunion episode, which I thought was a bit flat. In the hands of a better director, the reunion probably would have been more intense than it was (and looked less choreographed).

    Regarding Jamie’s hair– YES. I find it distracting that in some episodes it looks lovely, and in some episodes it looks like a hobbit. Given that he apparently has the same hairdresser all the way through, it’s perplexing. Better if they had just given him a full flowing wig from the beginning, like Tobias (rather than torturing Sam’s own hair, and giving him wigs with frizzy bangs. JMHO).

    Addendum– Love John Bell as Young Ian. He’s totally fun to watch, a really charismatic actor and a lovely surprise. Very talented.

    Addendum 2- Just an odd thought. I recently heard that the producers had tested Rick Rankin (Roger MacKenzie) and Laura Donnelly (Jenny) to play Jamie & Claire. Although Rick and Laura are attractive people- I can’t begin to imagine them as Jamie & Claire…that would have been really awful. We fans are SOOOO lucky to have Sam & Cait as Jamie and Claire. They are amazing.

    1. Yes, the I liked the camera set ups much better in this episode than in previous ones. They sometimes leave me scratching my head, wonder why they chose that or this angle over a better or different one. Creative choices!

  6. In my first correspondence with you (Lallybroch, season 1) you had made a good point regarding camera angles durning the “I love you” scene at Lallybroch. Rather than close-up, the camera was at a distance, showing much of the room and busy wallpaper – reducing the intensity of the scene. A very odd creative choice (an obvious error in my view).
    I love the show and don’t mean to be overly critical– but– sometimes it’s inconsistent and uneven in pacing and tone and direction. Perhaps the whole show would benefit from fewer writers, fewer directors, and fewer cinematographers. (or perhaps tighter oversight on the ones they do use)

    1. I remember. Sometimes I really want to see an actor’s face when they speak a certain line. Alas, the camera is on the other person’s face to capture their reaction (which I do not usually think is as interesting as the character speaking the line). But the angles are personal storytelling choices. We all have our own ideas and ways to communicate the picture in our heads. I’ve also been a little bit confused with some of the editorial choices made this season. Same thing. Creative choices.

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