Now that is how you end a season.
A lot has gone down in season two of Outlander. Some of it was fun to watch, some of it was not. Some of it wasn’t necessarily fun to watch, but it was moving, beautiful, and necessary to watch. Tonight’s finale was damn near perfect, and made all the hardships of this season more than worth it.
It was an hour and a half of all the original reasons I fell in love with this series: time travel, adventure, history, and of course, the tragic but incomparably beautiful relationship between Claire and Jamie (along with great acting and beautiful scenery and all that inherent jazz).
I was not expecting the majority of the finale to take place in the ‘60s, but could not have been more delighted that that’s exactly what it did. It also managed to cover a whole lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time, to the point where that was basically an Outlander movie, and it was so worth the wait.
After so much time spent in the 1700s, it was sort of jarring to start the episode with a TV screen, and to pull away to see a man in a suit and tie. That man turned out to be Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin), who was mourning the loss of his father, Reverend Wakefield.
Two of the attendees at the wake were a young Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton) and an older Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe). Claire had come to pay her respects to the reverend and revisit the place that changed her life, and Brianna was just tagging along. Little did she know, her entire world was about to fall apart, and we arrived just in time to see it happen.
While Roger fell in love with Brianna almost immediately, she got close to him pretty quickly as well, especially when it seemed to her like he was currently the only person she knew in Scotland who wasn’t insane.
After uncovering some stories about her mother being kidnapped by fairies just around the time she would have been pregnant, Bree confronted Claire about the guy she had an affair with, and got a story she definitely wasn’t expecting about a 6’3″ redheaded soldier in a kilt from the 1800s. There was no way Brianna was believing that nonsense, so she and Roger took refuge with some whiskey in a pub.
Claire, meanwhile, took a little tour of places like the now abandoned Lallybroch, and a war museum, where she found the dragonfly in amber that Hugh Munro had given her as a wedding gift.
As Claire reminisced, we learned exactly what happened at Culloden that brought Claire back to her own time.
The Frasers had determined that their only last-ditch chance of stopping everyone dying at Culloden was to kill Charles Stuart. Without the guy to lead them (however ridiculous he was), the battle wouldn’t even occur, and thus Jamie and his men would be saved.
However, Dougal overheard this plan, and totally lost it. He went after Jamie and Claire with a sword, and it turned into a huge fight. Once Jamie finally had the pointy end pointed in Dougal’s direction, Claire helped him finish the job, leaving Dougal to die on the floor.
When it became clear that there was no chance of stopping the battle, Jamie told Claire he was sending her home so that their second child could have a chance at survival. Apparently, Jamie had been tracking his wife’s periods, and had figured out that she must be pregnant. He didn’t want both his wife and his kid to die at Culloden, even if that meant sending Claire back to Frank.
Claire tried to refuse, but Jamie had his mind made up, and both Balfe and Heughan acted their faces off as they said goodbye. Jamie’s speech about how even if he had to endure 200 years of purgatory, he would still find his way back to Claire was just the kind of speech this genre is made to give, and it was perfect.
They made love one last time, and slowly slow danced one last time, kissed one last time, and exchanged tokens—Claire gave Jamie the dragonfly in amber, and Jamie gave Claire his father’s ring—before they parted for what they thought was forever.
Back in 1968, Bree and Roger had met up with a woman named Gillian Edgars, who was traipsing around Inverness preaching about Scottish nationalism and the need for a new Bonnie Prince Charlie. Claire took one look at a picture of Gillian and knew immediately that it was actually Geillis Duncan, just before she went through the stones on her way to her apparent death on the stake.
After Claire explained what was going to eventually happen to Gillian, Roger suggested trying to save her (secretly thinking that Gillian could either prove or disprove the whole insane time travel thing), but Claire said they couldn’t, because of course, Roger’s a direct descendant of Geillis and Dougal.
Claire, Roger, and the still disbelieving Brianna headed to Craigh Na Dun thinking they could at least warn Gillian/Geillis. They were just in time to see Gillian disappear through the stones, leaving behind the burning corpse of her husband, since she believed she needed a human sacrifice to make the time travel work.
After witnessing that show, Brianna finally admitted she believed everything her mother told her, and told Roger to reveal the discovery he had made: Jamie Fraser didn’t die at Culloden.
As the sun rose over the stones, Claire declared that she had to go back to her husband, and we’re on our way to season three with basically an all new cast of characters to get to know, either because they’re actually new or because 20 years have gone by.
It’s going to be interesting, to say the least, and we can’t wait.
What did you think of the finale? Sound off in the comments!