We’re here to discuss the men of Outlander, or the OutMANders, as you might call them. I’ve heard “Outmanders” is actually used to encourage men to watch Outlander, but I’d like to think it’s a reminder for me focus on the real issue at hand while watching the show: the two main men, a.k.a. Jamie Fraser and Frank Randall. Who is the best for our heroine, Claire Beauchamp? Whom should she choose? (Who would you like to see in more sex scenes?) To all you spoilsports, we’re coming from the no-book outlook, seven episodes into the first season — so we are so far unprejudiced by whatever it is to come that you book-readers might already be aware of.
If you've read the book, please don't spoil in the comments. Thank you.
Lindsey: Welcome, Tara. I hear you are Team Jamie, which I feel like is the obvious choice here.
Tara: Yes, I am Team Jamie. There is no other possible team, as far as I’m concerned. The solution is as simple as creating a bandage from a really hot man’s ripped shirt. Jamie all the way!
Lindsey: I don't know! I think Frank is still who she really wants. I can’t say I wasn’t "moved" by Jamie and Claire's wedding night (or by his backside), but Claire’s indecisiveness made me extremely uncomfortable. She literally holds up to her hands to look sadly at her two wedding rings! And I don’t think her new, sexy relationship with Jamie in any way diminishes her feelings for Frank. Jamie is the fantasy — the man on the cover of the romance novel. (Ha!) But don’t forget: She lies to Jamie at the end of "Both Sides Now" to run off when she sees Craigh na Dun in the distance.
Tara: Of course she’s conflicted — both men have been good to her in different ways. But in the long run, Jamie is the better match for Claire because their personalities are better suited to each other. In all of those 1940s scenes where Frank is taking Claire to libraries and archives managed by priests, you can just tell she’s bored and itching to get out. She wants to ride a horse through the Scottish countryside! The woman spent five years on battlefields, for Pete’s sake: She needs action.
Lindsey: In our recaps, the wonderful Roxane Gay repeatedly skewers poor Frank for being “boring,” and from the looks of his choice of vacation (History! Fun!), he definitely is. On the other hand: Can I remind you of the scene where they hang out in a dark cave and he goes down on her? It’s the most wonderfully feminist and sexy lead-off for a show that will drag out the next sex scene for seven long episodes. Frank is a good husband, and Claire gives no reason to be unsatisfied other than perhaps being a bit bored. Someone frame this for me:
Tara: The act of castle cunnilingus will go down in history as one of the greatest sex acts ever performed on television. And this is honestly one of Jamie’s main faults: He knows nothing about sex. Like, less than Jon Snow, who turned out to be very good at oral sex. (Maybe this is the only thing they teach British guys?) So I will concede this point. But Claire, being the modern feminist she is, can teach Jamie everything she wants about sex. It’s a blank slate. She can now mold him into being whatever kind of lover she wants him to be.
Lindsey: Okay, but I'm worried about how he’s going to react when he finds out that she lied to him and ran off to “see about a Frank.”
Tara: Yeah, that could be a problem. But as we’ve seen before, Jamie trusts Claire’s instincts. (Don’t forget that he already caught her trying to escape once.) He knows that it’s been hard for her to adapt to this new life, and that she has a past that he knows nothing about. From what he’s shown us so far, Jamie tends to be more understanding than judgmental. And he's a natural-born protector, don't forget! Those scars are a reminder.
Lindsey: True, maybe at this point, he'll do whatever she wants. Jamie is certainly a sensitive man.
Tara: Lindsey, how can you deny that wedding night? They had sex three times! Also, and I'm sorry, but we need to talk about that bod. Jamie is steel wrapped in flesh. I only moved my gaze slightly upward to marvel at his glorious, glistening ginger locks. That hair is perfect for pulling.
Lindsey: That GIF! Fine, I'll give you the redhead advantage. Even my practical nature can't fight the fact that Outlander's writers clearly want us (and our raging hormones) pushing for Jamie. But I can only sign on if they agree not to hold off on the good stuff anymore. Forcing us to wait that long for sex is unacceptable. Hear my cry, Outlander!