The second season of Outlander has come to a conclusion. Fear not fans, it’s been renewed for two more seasons. This year has been a long buildup to the Battle of Culloden. Did we finally see the historical fight, or was it an epic letdown?
The finale begins in Scotland in 1968. It is the Reverend Wakefield’s funeral, hosted by his adopted son, Roger Wakefield. He was predeceased by Mrs. Graham. Claire Randall is in attendance, along with her daughter Brianna. They are visiting from America. Claire’s husband Frank has died, and Claire is no longer a nurse. Instead, she works as a surgeon. The pair are traveling to London, but hospitable Roger insists that they stay at his house rather than continue on to find a place to stay along their journey.
A thought about the new character of Brianna: she’s unlikeable. She’s a twenty-something Harvard know-it-all, to put it mildly. She’s horrible toward her mother and her overall attitude stinks. I would expect more from the product of Claire and Jamie. Good luck to Roger Wakefield with their budding romance; he’s going to need it.
When we finally catch up with Jamie, it’s the day of the Battle of Culloden. He makes one final attempt to talk Prince Charles Stuart out of going into battle, but he again refuses to listen. He says Jamie will be a believer at the conclusion of the squabble. The prince doesn’t realize that Jamie knows the outcome through Claire, and it isn’t good for the Scots. Jamie tells his wife that the battle will go on as history dictates, but she has one last trick up her sleeve to prevent it from happening. She suggests poisoning the prince with yellow jasmine, the same herb given to Colum to end his suffering, if he chose to use it. If Prince Charles Stuart is out of the picture, his cause will die with him, and the bloodbath at Culloden will be avoided.
Unfortunately for the conspirators, Dougal Mackenzie overhears the Frasers’ plot to kill the prince and thwart the cause. He feels betrayed by both his nephew and Claire. He attacks Jamie, and a struggle ensues. Realizing his uncle cannot live to tell anyone about their plot, in the end it is Jamie who is still standing, as together he and Claire plunged a knife into Dougal’s chest.
Back in 1968, Claire finds the stone representing Clan Fraser. Culloden marked the end of the clans and the end of highland life as they knew it. She speaks to the stone, addressing Jamie. She tells him that he had a daughter called Brianna, and kept her promise of naming her after his father Brian. She tells him that she was angry with him for making her go back through the stones to return to Frank. She finally said her last goodbye to Jamie.
Roger and Brianna are touring Scotland together, busy with genealogy and historical research. They find a newspaper clipping about Claire going missing, and her return to Frank. Bree confronts Claire about her “affair” of three years. Claire tells her daughter that Jamie Fraser is her real father, not Frank Randall. She goes on to tell the young woman everything, but Bree believes her mother suffers from delusions. Just as Bree learned about her history, it’s revealed that Roger Wakefield is a Mackenzie, the child born to Geillis Duncan and Dougal Mackenzie.
Incidentally, Geillis Duncan returns in the form of Scottish nationalist Gillian Edgars. She tells Bree that she intends to leave to further the cause. Claire catches wind of this, and knows she is planning to go through the stones. Bree witnesses Gillian’s time travel through the stones at Craigh na Dun, and only then does she believe her mother’s wild tale.
Jamie knows Claire is pregnant with Brianna before the battle. She didn’t need to tell him, as he had been keeping track of her courses all along. Knowing their disastrous fate, he sends his wife and unborn child back through the stones to be cared for by the man that will love Claire and the baby, Frank Randall. Watching the loving couple separate was heartbreaking. Poor Jamie and Claire.
In the end, we learn that Jamie survived Culloden. Claire is relieved, and wants to go back to him through the stones. She had told her daughter that Jamie was the love of her life, and it looks like next season we will see them reunited. I wonder if Claire will bring Bree along to meet her father. She heard the buzzing of the stones, so does this mean both mother and daughter have the ability to time travel? For that matter, Roger heard the sound as well, and he is related to Geillis, so maybe he will be doing some of his own traveling.
The 90-minute finale wasn’t what I expected. I thought the actual Battle of Culloden would be shown. Instead it was a back and forth between two different time periods. It was long on history, and short on action. It looks like we’ll see a return of Jamie Fraser, which is reason enough to have a third and fourth season. Maybe the next season will pick up at Culloden, to see just how Jamie survived its grim outcome. No word yet on when season three premieres, we’ll just have to watch the first two seasons over again.