as much as i hated seeing claire having sex with frank and jamie with mary i have to admit that these scenes served a purpose. we needed to see both jamie and claire being with other people in order to see how their lives without each other truly are. they’re both broken and devastated.
claire has her daughter and a supposedly loving husband but it’s not what she really wants. she wanted to have a baby with jamie not frank. she’s unable to raise her daughter with her real father, not to mention that she has to lie about it. and she’s missing her husband, as she said. she’s trying to fill the void any way she can and get a part of herself back but she’s failing. the only time she manages to get close to what she used to have is when she gets into med school.
as for jamie, he might be alive but he’s not truly living. he’s a ghost of himself. as jenny said jamie fraser is gone. he doesn’t have a reason to be alive, he lost everything that mattered. his wife and his baby. he not only has to literally hide in order not to get caught but he also has to hide his feelings. he can’t tell anyone about how he lost claire because they won’t understand him. he slept with mary not because he just wanted to fuck someone. she offered him comfort and he accepted it. that’s what he needed, someone to comfort him and hold him close. claire is still the only woman he loves. she will always be the only woman he will ever love. no matter what.