As someone who hasn’t read the books, going to 1968 in the episode was a surprise. I had heard the novel started 20 years after Claire’s return, but I expected they would leave that until the beginning of season 3. However it was a great surprise, I really didn’t think I’d prefer the episode spending so long in 1968 rather than the Battle of Culloden, but I did. The audience knowing this entire season that Jamie and Claire’s mission would fail meant that it didn’t need to spend ages dragging the events out in the finale. It focused on where it should have, on Jamie and Claire and their relationships with the other characters in Scotland.
That being said, I do hope we see in flashbacks next season what happened with Jamie and Murtagh, not to mention Randall’s death. It was the right call not to stuff the episode with the battle and the aftermath when they wanted to introduce Bree and Roger, helping them fully focus on Claire and how she’s changed since her time in Scotland.
Douglas’s death I had been spoiled about, but it was still painful to watch Jamie kill his Uncle and a character that was truly devoted to the Jacobite cause. I understand that he was furious hearing about Jamie and Claire killing Prince Charlie, but his reaction just sealed his fate.
I was surprised Jamie and Claire never seriously discussed killing Charles before, I know they dismissed it earlier in the season but I thought they could have had this discussion a few episodes ago.
I really hope we see Fergus again, Jamie and Claire acknowledging that they love him like a son was so sad, when Claire goes back I hope he’s still there.
Murtagh was probably one of my favorite characters this season, his loyalty to Jamie is perfect. “I’ll be dying with you” when he insists on fighting at Culloden with Jamie stabbed me in the heart. I know it’s unlikely but please say the writers keep him alive. His relationship with Jamie is one of the best.
Claire and Jamie’s goodbye was everything I wanted it to be. I know they stuck closely to the book in terms of dialogue, and I’m glad they did. I know Diana Gabaldon wrote a post mentioning how Claire’s gift of the Dragonfly in Amber to Jamie wasn’t as emotional as Jamie and Claire cutting their initials into each other. I have to agree, I can understand why the writers wanted to show the importance of the title of the novel and episode in their goodbye, but I would have preferred the book version.
The transition from Brianna sleeping to Jamie back in 1745 was stunning.
Caitriona Balfe never fails to amaze, but her work in this episode was incredible. Having to play Claire 20 years older couldn’t have been easy, and yet she manages to show all the pain Claire’s been carrying, while still keeping the spirit and determination the audience loves. I loved some of the little moments in this episode, such as when Claire was looking round at the funeral and she reached up to touch something, we got a shot of her wedding ring to Jamie, telling us straight away the love and devotion Claire still feels after all the years.
The scene of Claire talking to Jamie at Culloden Moor was heartbreaking, “Rest easy soldier” broke me.
I like how there was little narration this episode, we didn’t need to know how Claire was feeling as Catriona’s acting said it all. The most beautiful and heartbreaking scene was when Claire went to visit Lallybroch, and all the memories came flooding back..
I can’t compare to how his character is portrayed in the books, but I loved who they casted for Roger, straight away he’s a character you just like and his attempts at flirting with Brianna were sweet. The scene between the two of them discussing history was adorable. I look forward to seeing more of his character hopefully.
I liked Brianna, she was a great combination of the two main characters though I preferred Roger from this episode. I’d like to know more about her, flashbacks from her time growing up and a chance to explore her relationship with Claire and Roger more.
GELLIS. I was so happy to see her, I loved her character so much last season. It was interesting to find out more about her life before she travelled back in time, though killing her husband was extreme. Roger’s “It smells like a fucking barbecue!” was a great callback to Gellis before the witch trial last season.
Jamie not being able to hear the stones but Bree and Roger being able to was an exciting piece of information, will they travel back with Claire at all?
Claire finding out Jamie survived Culloden was perfection, the focus on the joy in her face and she looked at the sun rising on the stones was simply beautiful and the best way to end the season.
On another note, the Emmy awards were announced and Outlander was robbed. It got nominated for best scenic and costume design which it deserves, but no acting nominations. The cast were superb this season, all I know the acting categories are always competitive but at least Caitriona Balfe deserved one. Or they could have swapped Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones, who really didn’t deserve one this season to Tobias Menzies instead.
This season has been a dark one for Outlander. It’s truly tested the strength of Jamie and Claire’s relationship. I personally found the move to Paris a welcome one, but after all the heartbreak a return to Scotland was much-needed for the main part of Claire and Jamie’s story. They’ve tackled a lot this year, and they handled the trauma from last season with Randall well, truly showing how it impacted Jamie and his relationships. Claire losing her baby was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve watched on television and Caitriona Balfe can really do anything. (Seriously, now I’m annoyed again that she didn’t get an Emmy nomination, like she is utterly incredible). The addition of Bree and Roger will make next season better, further developing Bree and her handling the fact that Jame is her father, and her relationship with Roger, who I love already.
By next season I’ve decided I would like to have read the first three books at least, as I’ve enjoyed this show so much and definitely want to read and compare how the show has adapted it. I’ve really enjoyed starting to write reviews, and will continue to review Outlander when season 3 comes out.
Sorry for the late review, I’ve had a busy week and didn’t want to rush writing about the episode and looking back on Season 2.
Until next season,
(Credit to Outlander Online for the screencaps I’ve used for this episode)