Fifty Shades of Jamie
(Major Spoiler Alert)
We finally get a sneak peak of the opening to the second part of Season 1, and learn that it will be from Jamie’s POV (point of view). There were several key scenes that I am anticipating. Ok. Let’s talk about the Spanking
On Valentine’s Day, 50 Shades of Grey opens in theaters. I thought showing the spanking scene so close to the premiere of 50 Shades, would be tricky. Liberated women the world over cringe at the thought of a man beating his wife because she disobeyed him. Jamie is being hung in effigy at every Bed, Bath & Beyond in the country .
They’re appalled, incensed, insulted – all the while rushing to the bookstore to get the 50 Shades Trilogy. Now, I’m not here to write a critical evaluation of the 50 Shades books (I‘m leaving that for another post). However, Ladies are we not speaking out of both sides of our collective mouth ?
The sexual titillation of 50 Shades of Grey’s poorly conceived Dom/Sub culture cannot be compared to a young husband becoming a man. After careful consideration of his options, in a time where spanking was a relatively benign punishment option for women and children, Jamie is compelled to show Claire the error of her ways. Punishments were much worse in those days (think about the flogging scene in episode 6 or the boy with his ear nailed to the post).
Jamie (Fraser not Dornan) is a moral, considerate, educated man ahead of his time. But he is a man of his time. Diana Gabaldon has talked about what the spanking means in the Frasers’ marriage. Jamie asserts himself as the head of household. It does not mean that Claire is not respected, heard and considered by him, but the final decisions must be his. The spanking is not comparable to the salacious sexual activity demonstrated in the Red Room of Pain. In the end, Jamie vows never to do that to Claire again (unless she wants him to!)
The Master/Soul Perpetual Fornication Scene
Unlike the Dominant/Submissive culture of sexual game playing, this scene in Outlander is no game. Gird your loins, ladies, and get ready for Mr. Fraser’s wild ride! I used my inhaler at least 10 times during this scene in the book. Let’s examine some of the components affecting the intensity of passion in this scene.
- The Frasers have been traveling for 2 days nonstop to escape the British Soldiers following them after Jamie’s rescue of Claire from BJR. Claire is so exhausted, her legs won’t hold her up when she dismounts Thistle.
- Claire has had the only beating of her life, administered by her own husband!
- Jamie wants to get his marriage money from Colum so he can buy Claire a ring (how they will handle that given the key ring he gave her on TV is yet to be discovered.) She thinks he only married her to get the money.
- Claire has seen the look on Leghair’s face when she sees Jamie carrying his new wife. Claire is suspicious that there is more between Jamie and Leghair than he told her. The green eyed monster has been aroused for both women.
- Claire is still trying to get back to her time, but has ambivalent feelings about Jamie.
- Jamie is exhausted, but apparently not so exhausted he can’t lay (no pun intended) claim to what is his.
This and other factors spark the longest, hardest screw I have ever imagined.
Strangely a picture of Betty White came to mind. Betty talks about the strength of women in her own inimitable way (I am paraphrasing, here). We sometimes say to a weak person, “Grow some balls!” Betty says “Balls are weak and easily hurt. Grow a vagina, it’s tough and can take a real pounding.”
Again this scene is not just about screwing, owning, losing, loving, hating, mistrusting, or feelings that are not firmly established in this marriage. Jamie gives Claire the chance to stay or go. When she says she will stay, the scene becomes a study in learning a precious lesson.
(where’s my inhaler).
Return to the Stones
Despite the title, this scene has nothing to do with the the longest, hardest screw I have ever imagined. Jamie has to leave Claire at Castle Leoch while he attempts to get a pardon for his criminal charges. While he is gone, Leghair fools Claire into going to town to help Gellis Duncan. When Claire arrives, she is arrested along with Gellis, for (can you believe) witchcraft. After a two day trial, legal defense by Ned Gowan and a rescue (AGAIN) by Jamie, the truth finally comes out.
Jamie asks her if she is a witch. Claire is hysterical after her ordeal, and screams the true story of how she came to be in 18th century Scotland. Jamie decides she must go back to her time and takes her to the Stones on Craigh na Dun. Once again, Jamie does the right thing and insists Claire return to her time. This is coming from a man who truly loves Claire and feels like his heart is being ripped out of his body. This is not the spoiled, rich Christian Grey who controls his business, car, and women no matter the cost . Jamie’s 50 shades are about morally appropriate, intelligent and compassionate decisions that only the King of Men could make, even though it will destroy his happiness.
Claire’s dilemma comes to a head.
Who would you pick? Given the fact that there are 8 more books about the Frasers’ life and love, the decision is patently obvious.
This section of the book and TV series is about Jamie going back to his property and showing his leadership as Laird and his knowledge as a farmer. Claire learns about Jamie’s relationship to his family and how a woman’s role in the 18th century is life and death important to her family. The best part of Lallybrook is when Jamie tells Claire about why he really married her.
When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, ‘Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman.’ ” I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. “I said to myself, ‘She’s mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.’ And I said to myself, ‘Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down …’ ” He dodged around a chair. “Of course, I thought it might ha’ just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together”— he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve— “with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs”— he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us— “and that rock- solid head thumping me in the chest”— a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor— “I said to myself …” He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. “Jamie … I said … for all she’s a Sassenach bitch … with a tongue like an adder’s … with a bum like that … what does it matter if she’s a f- face like a sh- sh- sheep?” I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house. “You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?” I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath. “Have I not … just been … saying so?”
The difference between Jamie and Christian is Jamie’s commitment to his obligations. Christian is committed to control. Jamie is committed to the people he is responsible for. Unlike Christian, Jamie is a man who can express his love to everyone, especially Claire.
Wentworth and Jamie’s Torture
I can hardly think about the horrible things that are done to Jamie at the hands of BJR in this scene. Suffice it to say that if Christian Grey had experienced the two floggings in the past and torture at Wentworth, he would have needed permanent admission to a mental health facility and a team of psychiatrists, rather than just one. There is no pity party for Jamie however. He promises BJR that he will not resist, if BJR releases Claire. He keeps his promise at a great expense to his mind and body.
The Abbey and Jamie’s Healing
After Jamie is freed from capture, the Frasers have to leave Scotland and travel to France to stay at the Abbey. Severely injured and stripped of who he always thought he was as a man, Jamie’s suffering is life threatening. Claire tries a risky but ultimately effective treatment to restore him body and soul. It is a tribute to their combined strength that Jamie is able to overcome his demons.
Christian is healed by the love of a woman in 50 Shades, but there is a touch of high school angst about their love (should I love him even though I know he does those awful things in the Red Room of Pain that I secretly like, but his pants hang so sexy on his hips and on and on).
Jamie and Claire have a mature commitment to each other that will eventually overcome all odds.
Jamie has 50 Shades, and we have only begun to see them. The second half of Season 1, will reveal more of his secrets. Having only experienced these scenes through Claire’s eyes and words, I relish hearing Jamie’s version. After reading this post, all of us should be able to explain the difference between 50 Shades of Grey and 50 Shades of Jamie to the foolish people who think they are the same.