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Warning: spoilers lie ahead for the sixth episode of Outlander Season 4, "A. Malcolm."
The majority of Outlander Season 3 so far has passed with Jamie and Claire many miles and centuries apart, believing that they would never meet again. While it was sad to see the two lovebirds pining and being forced to move on with their lives, it was also fascinating to see them go on complex solo journeys. That said, most fans are probably pretty excited that Claire finally made her journey back to the past to reunite with Jamie, and "A. Malcolm" gave us the chance to finally see them back together and set the stage for the next arc of Season 4.
Technically, Claire and Jamie did reunite prior to the super-sized "A. Malcolm," as Claire turned up in Jamie's print shop at the end of the previous episode. His response was to faint dead away at the sight of the wife who was supposed to be gone to another century forever, so the scene was more funny than poignant and/or steamy. In "A. Malcolm," they got the reunion they deserved. They did end up hitting (and staying in) the sheets for a lot of those extra episode minutes, but not right off the bat.
The two had gone through so much separately that they needed to reacquaint with each other. Claire brought a batch of photographs of Brianna for Jamie to see their daughter in a scene that was both funny and heartbreaking. Then Jamie told Claire about his son, which means that we don't have to worry about that particular bombshell coming out at an inopportune moment later on. We don't need to spend the rest of the season anxiously wondering how Claire will react if Jamie has been hiding a secret kid from her.
Jamie does seem to be keeping at least one big secret from her, however, and it's one that Fergus knows. After joyously greeting "mildady" (who was surprised to see that he had a wooden hand), Fergus pulled Jamie aside to ask if Claire would be staying, which led Jamie to realize that he needed to consult with the lawyer Ned Gowan about the law. With Claire back, Jamie wasn't sure that this mysterious issue would even be an issue, but... well, it's bound to come back later in the season. Book readers likely know what's on Jamie's mind. We'll have to wait and see where the show goes.
Claire will need to remember the change in Jamie's circumstances now that she's with him. He's no longer Jamie Fraser and she's no longer Mrs. Fraser; he is Alexander Malcolm and she is Mrs. Malcolm. Given how much attention from the authorities Jamie seems to get, he'll need Claire to keep her wits about her with regard to their new aliases moving forward. A lot could go very wrong very quickly.
One character who doesn't seem to be operating under an alias is none other than Young Ian Murray, last seen as a baby back at Lallybroch. Now a lad of 16, he visited Jamie's room in the brothel and gave his real name to Claire. He apparently has nothing to fear by using his real name. We'll undoubtedly get to see much more of Young Ian, as he was a major character in the book and a big deal was made of John Bell's casting in the role. The stage is set for Young Ian to have a big part to play.
Then we have Mr. Willoughby, who also made his first appearance in "A. Malcolm." Willoughby didn't actually have a whole lot to do other than show up and drop some exposition on Claire, but we do know that he has some connections to Jamie that aren't 100% clear to Claire or the audience just yet. We'll see more of Mr. Willoughby moving forward, and he's already unlike any other character to debut on the series to date.
All things considered, we're in for an exciting rest of Season 3. We have Jamie, living under an alias and making a living as a smuggler and a printer of seditious material. We have Claire, lying about where she has been for the past 20 years. We have Young Ian under his own name, and Fergus evidently mixed up in whatever Jamie is mixed up in. Mr. Willoughby has a part to play and there are some big mysteries to be solved. I'm definitely looking forward to the next arc of the third season.
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