In Defense Of Separating Love Interests On TV (Cough, Claire & Jamie)

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Guys, I know the picture above is disturbing and should be killed with fire, but we need to discuss the fact that we're two episodes down on season 3 of Outlander, and Jamie and Claire are still leading their separate lives roughly 200 years apart. For some, I'm sure this is frustrating. What is Outlander without torrid Jamie and Claire romance? Where is the sex we've craved for an entire Droughtlander off-season? When can we see Jamie naked? (I would personally settle for a non-caveman version.) These are all valid questions, but actually, I think the show is stronger for keeping these two apart.
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Travel with me through the metaphorical stones of time back to season 2, where, despite an entire 13 episodes together, Claire and Jamie seemed kind of stuck. Sure, they were in Paris and had fabulous clothes, but it all felt stale. Gone was the magic generated by that amazing first night together (which, incidentally, took 8 episodes to get to). This is a show that thrives on buildup. Last season proved that without that, these are just two people been brought together by circumstance, and struggling with the everyday problems of any couple, albeit one living in the 18th century court of Louis XIV. I admit, even I, a die-hard fan from the start, found it really hard to care about Claire's newfound interest in Master Raymond and his creepy herbs, or her and Jamie's quest to thwart the inevitable Stuart uprising of 1745. The most impactful moments of the season arguably took place when the characters were on the outs, with Claire suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage while volunteering at L'Hôpital des Anges, without Jamie by her side.
I've so far been enjoying getting to know Jamie and Claire on their own terms. Voyager, the book in the Diana Gabaldon series season 3 is based on, is actually the first to have chapters solely from Jamie's point-of-view. It's refreshing, after two seasons of seeing him through Claire's gaze, to finally get a chance to connect with our Highlander hottie on a more personal level. Same goes for Claire's relationship with Frank, which until now, only existed in her rose-colored memories. And I'm definitely looking forward to seeing much more of badass Dr. Claire Randall taking on 1950s misogynists.
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Basically, I'm far more invested in the characters' backstories than I was when they were a unit, which in turn makes me yearn even more for a reunion. Because so much time has passed, the stakes are higher than they were last season: How will they reconcile the people they have become in the last 20 years? Will they be disappointed not to pick up exactly where they left off? And most importantly, will the sex be as good? All these questions make for great TV tension, and one that the show could, and should, easily sustain for a couple more episodes.
Let's be real: I know these two will reunite. I know it will be steamy. (Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan told me so!) So why not enjoy the chase? You know what they say: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." And for Claire's sake, let's give Jamie time to get reacquainted with the modern invention known as the razor.
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