Previously on Outlander: The Battle of Culloden looms as Jamie and Claire fail to change the future.
Wow. I have wavered on whether I liked Season Two of Outlander as much as the first, but after this brilliant finale, I am back on board, one hundred percent. Finally, the epic romance and tragedy of time travel is back in the forefront, and the narrative structure of this episode (hearkening back to the first episode of the season) was a very smart choice in telling the story.
With the Battle of Culloden looming large over the whole season, the episodes have been bleak as each character has been tested to the limits of human endurance. Jamie and Claire’s marriage has gone through major trials, they’ve witnessed the deaths, rapes, and punishments of friends, and have been subject to the whims of kings. It’s been enough to wonder if the show had forgotten that their love for each other is the entire reason Claire stayed in the first place. (Besides that whole freaking hot Highlander thing, anyway.)
Being an hour and a half long, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover!
In 1746, Claire and Jamie are desperate to save the lives of their countrymen and stop the battle from happening, but Bonnie Prince Charlie isn’t having any of that (mark me). He swans around like Jesus in a powdered wig, leaving Claire and Jamie to consider poisoning him to spare the lives of thousands. The only trouble is, Dougal overhears and flies into a rage, attempting to kill Jamie. With Claire’s help, it’s Dougal who dies instead. Rupert walks in on the aftermath, surmises what has happened, and finally acquiesces to Jamie’s request for just two hours before he turns himself in.
Jamie knows he’s about to die—and he also knows that Claire is three months pregnant, so it is imperative that he get her to the stones before he goes back to die at Culloden. But first, he signs a deed of sasine to his nephew James, held by Jenny and Ian until he comes of age. Claire and Murtagh witness it, and Fergus is charged with getting it to Jenny and Ian. This way, Jamie’s land won’t be forfeited as the property of a traitor.
Finally, Jamie gets Claire to the stones, and their goodbye is everything that felt like it was missing from the trials of this season: passionate and heartfelt. They kiss one last time, have sex one last time, and then Jamie sends Claire through the stones with a family ring and her promise to name their baby after his father Brian. SIGH.
In 1968, Dr. Claire, surgeon, and her grown daughter, Brianna (did anyone else feel like she was a TERRIBLE actress? Next to Not-So-Wee-Anymore Roger and Claire, she stuck out in a bad way) have come to Scotland for Roger Wakefield’s funeral. Roger and Brianna hit it off immediately, while Claire walks around, haunted by her past. At Roger’s bidding, they stay the night at the Wakefield home, and Roger takes Brianna out the next day.
On their trips to the local sights, who do they encounter but GEILLIS, who is giving an impassioned speech at a college about Scotland and needing their own Bonnie Prince Charlie. Oh Geillis, I mean Gillian Edgars, if only you knew.
Meanwhile, Claire goes off on a Greatest Hits tour of her life with Jamie, while Brianna and Roger start digging into any “incident” between Claire and Frank that would indicate why Claire was acting so strangely.
Claire’s tour of the countryside is haunted by echoes of conversations and images of Jamie. Their wedding gift (the dragonfly in amber) is on display at a museum, and the deed of sasine is at a local library. It’s incredibly eerie and nostalgic, especially the scenes at Lallybroch and Culloden moor. Claire finally says a true goodbye to Jamie at the moor, and comes home to deal with her daughter.
Unfortunately for Claire, Roger and Brianna have discovered articles about Claire’s disappearance—and Brianna does the math to figure out that Frank is not her real father. She demands answers, and of course is shocked when Claire tells her the real truth…her mother surely must be out of her mind. Brianna is snotty, petulant, and cruel to her mother, but once Claire realizes they’ve met Geillis, she has a new mission.
Claire noses around Geillis’ home, meeting her broken-hearted drunk husband and stealing Geillis’ time travel journals. Turns out she thinks that time travel requires a human sacrifice…uh oh. Claire puts the pieces together and realizes that Geillis is prepared to time travel tonight—but if she stops her, that would also stop Roger, her and Dougal’s descendant, from being born. Claire begs Roger and Brianna to take her to at least warn Geillis, but they arrive just as she disappears through the stones, and as the poor husband’s body burns.
“It smells like a fuckin’ barbecue,” Roger exclaims, which is exactly what Geillis said when convicted of witchcraft. (Did she hear that just before she time traveled?)
Stunned to learn that Claire isn’t full of shit (at least in regards to time travel), Brianna and Roger tell her one last piece of information they found—Jamie didn’t die in the Battle of Culloden.
“I have to go back,” Claire says.
And that’s all, folks!
Kilt Drops: 1
That might have been the fastest sex ever in this show, but it sure was hot.
- Again, Brianna’s acting. SO BAD.
- Why is her American accent so flat? She had two British parents who presumably taught her how to speak, despite living in America. You’d think she would have at least a HINT of an accent.
- Claire’s “aging” amused me—a few streaks of grey and a 1968 outfit make up 20 years of aging? Sign me up for that plan.
- Claire did seem more mature, however. And her clothing remains on point.
- Geillis seemed oddly skeletal in this episode, kind of like a grinning skull. It made her extra creepy.
- I’m not sure why Jamie and Claire didn’t explain that Dougal attacked them first. They could have lied about why. In the grand scheme of things, lying is less awful than murder. Probably.
So, what did you think? Are you in for next season? Hit us up in the comments!