Main Features No 56
Are You Ready for Some Wee Spoilers?
Outlander Season 2, took Claire through the stones back to Frank then… back to Jamie…then..
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So a wee while ago, Finland joined the rest of you in Droughtlanderland. Outlander Season 2 (2014-) ended and so with the rest of the world we wait, until Season 3 starts… CLICK HERE for season one’s review, if you need that wee catch up. In season 2, we found Claire (Caitriona Balfe) next to the standing stones. She is in despair having returned to 1948, with no Jamie and finding out Culloden was lost by the Scots. Reuniting with other husband Frank (Tobias Menzies), he’s as happy to see Claire as he is upset to learn her time travelling story. She tells him of subsequent marriage and pregnancy to Jamie (Sam Heughan), her kilted husband from the 18th century. This time Frank’s a wee trusting – albeit angry – lamb, believing the time travelling tale and allowing her to don both wedding rings. He even wants to bring up the child as his own (he’s infertile). This couple is last seen together moving to Boston for a new life. Then his work done, Menzies plodded off – I assume – to appear in the Night Manager (2016) with Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Claire then recalls life with Jamie in France. where they are accepted in the French court and society as wine merchants filling in a role conveniently vacated by a cousin. However on their arrival in France, with Murtagh, Jamie’s trusty Godfather in tow, Claire immediately turns full on nursy mode being able to help a man with smallpox in his hour of need, but makes a new enemy in the process. Later in the series, Claire continues to save the sick as she helps at a charity hospital, tends to those with war injuries, consults with a herbalist on a number of occasions – making a new friend – and generally assesses and treats anyone who even just coughs in her presence. Jamie meanwhile hopes to gain the trust of Prince Charles Stuart in whorehouses, fights the dastardly Jacobites in both duels and in battle and catches Claire if she collapses in a heap.
New friends in France include a wee pickpocket kid named Fergus and some
irritating and pointless French ladies of the court. One of whom, the least pointless of them all, Mary Hawkins is recalled by Claire “coincidentally” to be Frank’s direct relative as she had a child with Black Jack Randall. Small world isn’t it eh? Mary is seeing Randall’s little brother Alex. In between tending to the sick and needy, Claire tries to ensure Frank’s later birth by ensuring that Jack Randall lives despite his dastardly ways. Understandably this led to Jamie (and us for that matter) – still coming to terms with being raped by Randall – in season one – getting more than a bit pissed off with her. Especially he has to promise to put off killing Randall for a year. Claire insists once he has conceived a child with Mary – something she didn’t think of in series one as Randall was left for dead was trampled by cows – Frank’s birth is assured. So guess we talking kill the nemesis in Season 3 unless he’s dies in Culloden ie Menzies gets more job offers or doesn’t want to be typecast as a sadistic rapist. We find out Black Jack Randall is still alive leading to Jamie and Claire facing their demons. He is continuing his abusing and wicked ways, raping young Fergus and showing no remorse for this or previous actions. This leads to a duel between Randall and Jamie despite his promise to Claire. Sadly Claire and Jamie lose their baby as a consequence of this, but Claire falls pregnant before her return to Frank at the beginning of the series. And we return to Scotland.
On return to Scotland, Jamie starts his own group of merry men to fight against the Jacobites, and in command trains them for battle alongside Dougal McKenzie. The battle of Prestonpans is fought and leads to success for the Scots with a wee bit of insider time travel knowledge from Claire. New Scottish characters include Ross (Scott Kyle) – with no beard – and Kincaid (Gregor Firth) – with beard – whose wee story inspired many as a wee kilted bromance. And Claire is told her fellow time traveller, Geillis had not been killed immediately but had first given birth to a son before her death. It also reintroduces us to Jamie’s family with touching and not so touching scenes. Claire bumps into Mary Hawkins at the shops and then helps nurse her sick lover, Alex Randall leading to meeting with… you guessed it Jack Randall – his stint with Loki over.
The final episode almost threw a curve fast forwarding to 1968, yes you did read that right! We meet Claire again at the vicar’s funeral and now she’s a 50-year-old widow, but Balfe’s just looking as young as she ever was with a few wee highlights, which tbh is a relief as bringing in a new Claire would be far too much. So feeling more that a bit cheated as Frank has been killed off – after all that fuss she made to make sure he lived – and we’ve missed shed loads of storylines in Boston. Possibly. We do meet her daughter a stunning redhead Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and we meet Roger (Richard Rankin) the vicar’s adopted son . And it transpires as Claire tells her time travelling tale to daughter and her possible future love interest – unless she too meets another Highlander by skipping through the stones, – she’s Jamie’s daughter, the baby Claire announced way back to Frank on her return to 1948. Both Brianna and Roger are studying history, which will know doubt prove as useful – as will Claire’s new career as a surgeon – in future storylines. And it turns out Roger’s a MacKenzie. So the first episode of the series is all making sense now as we return to the 18th century where Claire leaves Jamie to bring up their baby safely with Frank (yes, I sobbed), as Jamie informs her that he’s done the maths and she’s pregnant.
Fast forwarding back to the future, Brianna finds out her parentage after finding out through a newspaper cutting she can’t possibly be Frank’s child. Claire tells all, and she isn’t believed. Claire heads for Culloden and says goodbye to her memories of Jamie. In another twist, Brianna meets another more familiar flamed haired lady, Gillian who looks remarkably like Geillis. Claire does some Maths of her own, remembering Geillis was from 1968 and runs to save Gillian from going through the stones to her fate with Brianna and Roger in tow. As they arrive, Gillian is seen rushing through the stones. Claire reports that it turns out this is for the best as Roger wouldn’t exist. This she learned after he said his ancestors fought at Culloden – it transpires Geillis is an ancestor of his. The threesome then discuss their research findings and it transpires that Jamie is alive!!!! And Claire gazes wistfully at the stones – as we do – looking all glowy and sparkly and then says she must return. And the bloody credits roll.
This series was both good and bad. In relation to the performances, there was also lots of intimate scenes, for those of you who just watch Heughan for his Tartan totty appeal. But he does some Emmy deserving acting too. Balfe likewise must be commended for her performance, showing her acting range to the hilt. As for Menzies, as Frank he got my sympathies and I loved it when he camped up his reappearance as Black John Randall like a pantomime villain. The latter was fun to watch but led to more sinister scenes. However, it would have been nice to see more of Frank and his story with Claire in Boston, and more of nemesis Randall instead of some of the other less important French characters. Although at times the story set in France bored me, despite the amazing sets and costumes there, I did enjoy the return to Scotland. its scenery, accents and new characters a welcoming sight. So, now what to do after that belter of a finale. I await like the rest of you, colouring in that Outlander colouring book…now what colours are the Fraser tartan again?
Weeper Rating: 😦 😦 😦😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 /10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 /10
Hulk Rating: /10
Bonus Trailer: Yes
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