World War II is over, they’re finally reunited on a Scottish vacation, and it’s time to reconnect. Claire, without having bared her body, thoroughly enjoys herself.She sits on a dusty table and hikes up her skirt suggestively, showing her garters. “She was the one asking for it, she was the one directing him what to do,” says Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire.“In any other show, he would be the bimbo,” says Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie.“The strapping, hulking hero.” He is, in some ways.“We’re so used to seeing women being objectified, as objects of desire of men, but it’s rare when you see a woman owning her sexuality, directing it, orchestrating the sequence of events.” That first episode may have set the show’s tone, but the moment that turned it into both a feminist and a television darling happened about halfway through the season, on Claire’s wedding night. “One of the few sex scenes I’ve ever seen that felt like it wasn’t written explicitly for men. The feminist writer Roxane Gay was even more blunt in her Vulture recap: “This episode was perfect, poignant, and perfect.” Viewers agreed; 5.2 million have watched the wedding-night episode, according to Starz.“It’s one of the most blatant manifestations of the female gaze,” the A. Fans of Diana Gabaldon's best-selling book series of the same name, on which the show is based, had spent many a message-board thread debating whether the television adaptation would be as emotional and erotic as was the version on the page.Foerster added choreography not in the script, where Claire tells Jamie to take off his shirt because she wants to look at him and walks around his muscular form as he undresses, a moment fans loved. (She is.) For a series ostensibly about time travel, politics, and being a stranger in a strange land, this relationship, and this night, is the true beating heart of the show, showrunner Ronald D. “I think couples enjoy it because it’s neither a male fantasy nor is it a gauzy boudoir bodice ripper.” As much as it’s a fantasy-adventure story, Outlander, which returned for its second season on April 9, is a fantasy about how sex can be between two passionate people and, even more fantastically, how that sex can possibly even change the world.Jamie’s expressions were priceless — delight, confusion, wonder, delirium — as the much-passed-around GIFs of his orgasm face attest. Other shows might have more explicit sex (see Game of Thrones), but more often than not, such encounters are brief, dangerous, and relatively degrading. Instead, the show uses sex as a way of understanding marriage, intimacy, and female agency.
But he’s also intelligent, with a fine wit, sensitive, romantic, and, up until this point, a virgin.
The episode, which was written by a woman (Anne Kenney) and directed by a woman (Anna Foerster), was all about watching Jamie. But you’re seeing through Claire’s eyes.”) And there’s equal opportunity here, because while Jamie’s caught up in experiencing his first, second, and third time, there’s a distinct focus on Claire’s pleasure, too, starting with his concern whether or not she’s enjoying it.