Outlander: Jamie’s secret from Claire reminds us of 5 other TV couples


Jamie’s pointless secret from Claire keeps with a long-held TV tradition: inventing stupid obstacles to separate couples and create drama.

**Warning: This post contains spoilers from season 3 of Outlander, including Sunday night’s “Creme De Menthe.”**

Well, Sassenachs, I guess renewed love isn’t going to come easy for Claire and Jamie. The two managed to overcome a 20-year separation and different time periods to reunite in “Freedom & Whisky” and “A. Malcolm”. And yet for some reason Jamie is willing to risk his relationship by keeping a really dumb secret.

As Sunday’s “Creme De Menthe” revealed, Jamie apparently married again. And, despite several chances to do so, neglected to tell Claire. This is so obviously a ploy to create tension and a sense of Oh no! Maybe they won’t end up together after all? that it’s laughable.

First, Claire is technically a polygamist herself. She was already married to Poor Frank when she wed Jamie. Second, I repeat: they’ve been apart for two decades and never expected to see each other again. It’s totally understandable if Jamie married again, whether it’s a romantic or platonic arrangement. Third, considering the other crazy things their relationship has weathered (murder, revolution, sexual assault, run-of-the-mill time travel issues), Jamie having another wife is small potatoes.

And yet Outlander is apparently pursuing this storyline. In honor of this annoying development, we decided to pay tribute to five other TV couples and the ridiculous lengths the shows went to to keep them apart.

Luke & Lorelai, Gilmore Girls

For my money these two are basically the alpha and omega of Stupid Ways to Break Up a Couple. After four seasons of flirting and basically having an emotional affair with each other, Lorelai and Luke got together. They were fairly solid for a season and a half (apart from a breakup orchestrated by Emily). Then, in mid-season 6, along came April, the daughter Luke never knew he had from a relationship that was never mentioned before. He and Lorelai split in the finale and didn’t reunite until the original series’ last episode.

As someone who actually watched this while it aired, let me assure you: the April storyline/device is just as moronic as it sounds.

Jane & Rafael, Jane the Virgin

File this under “flawed man,” “noble sacrifice,” and “martyr complex”. Despite being rich and gorgeous, Rafael is fairly tortured because apparently that happens when you get everything you want. This broodiness inspired him to dump Jane towards the end of season 1, as she was nearing the end of her pregnancy (it’s a long story).

Rafael convinced himself he was unworthy of Jane, broke up with her, and almost immediately regretted it. Jane and Rafael have had romantic feelings for each other on and off ever since, but their love is always the victim of bad timing and crossed signals.

Mindy & Danny, The Mindy Project

Mindy and Danny seemed to be all in in season 4. They had a baby son, Leo, and were engaged when Danny apparently suffered the sort of brain injury that turns you into a jerk. Out of nowhere he decided that traditional gender roles are the only way to go, and kept pressuring Mindy to give up her job and stay at home with Leo and their future children.

Danny transforming into a chauvinist pig probably had something to do with Chris Messina’s exit as a series regular, but it’s still a mind-boggling move, even two years later. Mindy has been able to do some really interesting things in the wake of the Mindy-Danny breakup–such as having Mindy wonder whether romance even is even worth pursuing — but the way the show went about it was just insane.

Cosima & Delphine, Orphan Black

The twist-heavy, plot-burning nature of Orphan Black is to blame here. From episode to episode, it was nearly impossible to remember where the relationship between Cosima and her handler Delphine stood. Sometimes Delphine was part of Clone Club. Others she was actively working against them. Sometimes Delphine was warm and loving, other times she was cold as ice to everyone, including Cosima. It was pretty much five full seasons of this until this spring’s series finale, which saw the two together and treating Ledas all over of the world.

But, honestly, Cosima and Delphine’s love was always so tenuous that it’s a mystery to me why fans shipped them so hard.

Miranda & Steve, Sex and the City

This couple is a case of a series trying to have their cake and eat it, too. The show wanted Miranda to settle down and keep having Fling of the Week storylines, Sex and the City‘s bread and butter. So Miranda and Steve got together, were obviously perfect for each other, but broke up because Steve was insecure about making less money than Miranda. They got back together and broke up again. Then they slept together as friends and Miranda got pregnant. Eventually, Miranda realized that she was in love with the father of her son only for Steve to reveal he was seeing someone else. Then she started seeing someone else… Get the picture?

Eventually the two did end up together but once they did, you couldn’t help but wonder why they couldn’t make a go of it in the first place.

Next: Outlander S3E7 recap and review: Creme De Menthe

These examples are obviously just the tip of the iceberg. Tell us your favorite eye-roll inducing will they/won’t they TV couples in the comments!