Outlander season 3 episode 6 review: The power of the Print Shop

Print ShopOutlander season 3 episode 6 was very much a thing of beauty, and as a whole, we do think all Print Shop expectations were met.

We know that there is going to be a lot made of this episode in terms of the romance of it all, and we of course understand every bit of that. There were many beautiful scenes, and the entire second half of the extended episode (which ran for almost 75 minutes) was especially a treat for those of you who were especially curious to see the reconstruction of Jamie and Claire Fraser / Jamie and Claire Malcolm’s physical relationship.

Beyond that, though, there was a lot of comedy that came out of the two being together again and awkwardly trying to reestablish their parameters. Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe effectively had to change gears midway into love-scene mode on several different occasions into physical comedy and that’s not always easy to do. They handled it with grace and more than that, all of these scenes felt natural and real. It was love similar to how most people love in life — with an array of imperfections.

The emotional connections were implanted once more, and we also appreciated how writer and executive producer Matthew B. Roberts, using the material from Diana Gabaldon as a guide, established the trust that was there with these characters. There are so many TV shows out there that feature characters who lie for the sake of lying. It was a relief for Claire and Jamie to be so upfront about everything from Frank to Helwater to William to anything and everything in between. They were real about their feelings and willing to accept things beyond their first impression — take, for example, Claire realizing that Jamie was living in a brothel.

If there is one thing that Jamie perhaps failed at, it was establishing the severity of his situation in terms of people wanting his head. Our cliffhanger ending with Claire being attacked within her room is a prime example of that. As a printer he’s running some delicate operations — he’s clearly good at his job, but at the same time there is a covertness to his spirit and his occupation. He is, after all, still living under a fake name and living at a place that is not exactly suited for most people. This plus his past is a recipe for trouble.

Meet some old / new faces

This episode, fittingly titled “A. Malcolm,” brought you a first look at Cesar Domboy as the older version of Fergus, a young man who is in some ways a surrogate child to Jamie and Claire. You could see just from the look on his face that he was overjoyed to see Claire again; you could also see just how loyal he remained to Jamie, even after all this time and everything that the two parties have gone through. Jamie very much has fulfilled some of his promises to him.

Meanwhile, this episode also brought you a first glimpse of John Bell is young Ian, a character who will be very significant as time goes by. Clearly, Jamie’s nephew has also gotten himself mixed in with his business, and his arrival tonight produced a very funny moment as Ian described what some of his family thought about Claire after she went away. (She’s got a good cover story about going back to America presuming that Jamie was dead — no lies detected here. We’re interested to see more reactions to Claire’s arrival if we see more familiar faces over time.)

A story of feeling

The biggest thing that we can say about “A. Malcolm” and what transpired is that this was an episode so much more about emotion than one necessarily about pushing the story forward a thousand miles an hour. While there were certainly some developments and a big cliffhanger ending in the closing minutes, there were also along the way a number of moments where the show just took its time and threw us right into the middle of Claire and Jamie’s reunion. Credit to Starz for allowing us the opportunity to experience the journey of these two characters finding each other in the time that was necessary.

Now that they are dedicated to each other once more, the Outlander voyage — and it will be very much a voyage as the show goes on — can press on. What an exceptional episode this was to get us there.

Before you go…

There are some other Outlander-related stories from tonight you should check out.

1. A preview for what lies ahead on Outlander season 3 episode 7.

2. The latest awards-show discussion when it comes to the performances in this episode.

3. Our CarterMatt Facebook page for some additional news regarding Outlander and other shows we cover here at the site. (Photo: Starz.)

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