OUTLANDER S2 Ep13 "Dragonfly in Amber" Season FINALE
It’s the last epic episode of the season. Insert uncontrollable sobbing here_______. It is an extended one people, so if you don’t like lengthy recaps / reviews stop reading. Otherwise, buckle down and hold on tight, because here we go….
The opening scene is obviously in the future, 1968 to be exact. It opens with a close up of a TV screen in black and white playing the Season 4 premiere of the British hit The Avengers. There is a hidden meaning in this episode. Diana Rigg who played Emma Peel was an extremely hard role to cast. This is true for both Roger and Brianna’s roles in Outlander.
The room is filled with children, mostly teens all glued to the TV and the camera pans out to show us our first glimpse of full grown Roger Wakefield standing in the back of the room, also watching the show, but with a somber expression. We soon find out why, as he is beckoned to attend to his guests.
He leaves the room and we find out why there are guests there at the manse. The Reverend Wakefield has passed away and it is a gathering for him. Roger thanks everyone for coming and jokes a little of how his overly organized father even planned his own toast for his wake.
We see our first glimpse of 1960s Claire now, as she is amongst the people in the room and toasts to the Reverend. She looks somber and distant. She hasn’t stepped foot in Scotland in 20 years. Roger makes his rounds as people approach him to give their condolences and he notices a tall redhead that catches his eye. He is unable to approach her as he is still detained by guests, but lucky for him, she hears someone call his name and follows him into the library and asks if he is Roger Wakefield.
Roger is first stunned, speechless at first, then confident endearing responses that made me smile. Claire catches up with her daughter and introduces the both of them and we get a super quick synopsis of life after Claire returned in the first episode. Claire shows some surprise when she realizes it is little Roger and muses at the fact that the last time she saw him he had to be seven or eight years old. Frank has passed away, but Roger remembers Frank Randall because he and the Reverend continually wrote to each other. Claire has also gone on to medical school and became a doctor.
Brianna scoffs at the last remark and tells Roger her mother is being modest. She isn’t just a doctor, she is a surgeon. Brianna herself is a history major at Harvard University to which Roger is happy to hear, as he responds that he is currently on leave from the history department at Oxford. Brianna is impressed to hear this.
Claire asks after Mrs. Graham, but it seems that she too has passed away in the 20 years Claire has been gone. Roger says that Fiona, Mrs. Graham’s granddaughter has taken her place. “So many things are the same, and yet things are so different.” Claire says ever so politely with an undercurrent of sadness that makes me want to start to cry.
When Claire goes to look around, Roger and Brianna are left alone. Awkward silence dominates for a bit, before Roger digs deep into his armory of pick-up lines and blurts out “First time in Scotland then?” If nothing else, it breaks the silence and it turns out that Scotland was only a day trip and Brianna and Claire are due to return to London that night. “It’s a shame” Roger replies “Beautiful, wild country.” Brianna confesses that she has been curious about it, as it had meaning to her parents. Before Roger can reply, Fiona, comes to fetch Roger to say goodbye to his guests. Fiona gives Brianna a great little side eye and seems to be figuring out if this tall pretty redhead is a threat.
Meanwhile, Claire is walking around the house and everything seems to remind her of the past. Her voice over reminds us that she promised Mrs. Graham to not “chase ghosts”, which she kept, but since returning to Scotland, even for a day, the ghosts are seeking her out in force. She returns to Roger and Brianna and they begin to say their own goodbyes, when Roger offers them a room there for the night. Brianna graciously accepts saying that it “would beat driving on the wrong side of the road in the dark” and, turning to her mother, it would give her some time to take in the sights. “I hear it’s a beautiful, wild country.” Oh, snap!
That night, unable to sleep, Claire is having some good Scottish whiskey in the library. Roger comes in and asks to join her. He confesses that it is “unbearable” to part with his father’s things and it will take years to go through and clean up everything. The college in Inverness wants him to donate the entire library to their archives, but Roger feels he may have to hold on to a few things, like a book about Culloden that the Reverend was very fond of. Roger says that he had ancestors that fought and died there and tells Claire that his last name is actually Mackenzie by birth. He was adopted by the Reverend after his parents died in WWII. Claire recollects that she once knew a lot of Mackenzies. There is a brief pause and quiet and Roger decides to ask Claire a personal question. He wonders how she finally said goodbye “to that one person [she] loved most in the world?”
We know Roger is thinking Frank, but Claire is most likely thinking of Jamie. She is very composed, which is a little unnerving considering. She tells Roger that they were never good at saying goodbye, but “whether you want to say goodbye or not, they’re gone and you have to go on living without them.”
This does not seem to comfort Roger and he turns away. “…Because that is what they would want,” Claire tries to add some hope Roger’s way. Claire is detached and somber. This is not the Claire we have gotten to know over two seasons and it is jarring. She has modeled herself to a life that she never chose to have.
Back upstairs, Claire readies herself for bed and as she looks toward the bed, she looks at a sleeping Brianna and marvels at the likeness she has of Jamie. The side and back of Brianna’s head morphs to Jamie and we are once again at the morning of April 16th, 1746.
Jamie is trying to convince Charles that a retreat would be advised, to which Charles simply calls him his “doubting Thomas” and dismisses him. Charles begins to leave and then turns back promising to make a believer out of Jamie before the end of the day, but Jamie knows that is impossible given the knowledge he possesses. Where Charles has become disappointed in him, Jamie has lost all faith in Charles’ ability for anything. He meets up with Claire and angrily tells her that Culloden is going to happen as planned. Murtagh arrives to inform Jamie that Cumberland’s army has broken camp and are headed towards Culloden Moor. Claire tells Jamie she has a last ditch idea, but they should not speak about it outside where others can hear.
Back in 1968, Roger and Bree are suddenly off alone taking a drive while “Baby Come on Home” plays which tells of a woman who left and refuses to return. They arrive at a sight to see indeed! Roger opens a gate and tells Brianna as they start to walk through that it is what is left of Fort William, which ironically for us viewers, inherited the nickname “The Black Garrison”. I am sure that had nothing to do with a previous and most notorious Captain by a similar name.
Roger, a historian always, lectures Brianna all about the history of the prison. Brianna claims to have no interest in military history, unlike her father. Roger makes the mistake of mentioning bits about the Revolutionary War (may I suggest they BOTH study that period extensively!) to which Brianna goes off that the Revolutionary War “is practically a religious text” in Boston. She then goes on to defend Benedict Arnold as a complicated figure (I wonder if her mother would argue about that years from now). Roger is reminded to never argue American History with an American. He then jokes that he thought she didn’t like military history, to which Brianna says in a poor broad Scottish accent that the Randalls are a very complicated clan. Yeah.
Bree asks if Roger remembers her father. Roger remembers Frank Randall as a snappy dresser, very dashing with a touch of kindness. Brianna agrees right away that her father was “the kindest man in the world”, but when Roger brings up the same for Claire, Brianna’s demeanor changes and she says that Claire “lives in another world”. Ouch. Bree is looking at the whipping post that we all know Jamie was flogged on more than once and standing on the same ground her grandfather whom she is named after stood and died, all she has to say is that the place gives her chills. Roger agrees saying “With good reason” as many a Scottish prisoner was flogged here and “A lot of blood was spilled on this ground.”
Far from that hellish place, is Claire, complete with a pair of glasses. She has driven home. Home to Lallybroch that is. She arrives and stares out the window at first. The house has been abandoned and left to fall to pieces for years. We hear voices she hears in her head. Jamie telling her the history of the building; Jenny introducing Wee Jamie; Claire herself helping bring Maggie into the world; Rabbie McNabb excited about the first potatoes being ready; and the night she finally told Jamie she loved him and how she felt like she belonged there at Lallybroch. She sits down hard on the steps to the house and quietly recites the beginning of Da Basia Mille by Catallus, which remembers lines from the paper that Hugh Monroe wrapped that dragonfly in amber in for the wedding present. Her voice changes to Jamie’s and we see a reflection of him standing at the entrance to the estate back when they were first at Lallybroch. Claire’s hand comes up to cover her mouth and she begins to crumble. She closes her eyes and opens them to see no one at the entrance gate, so she gets up and into the car and drives away.
Back in 1746, Jamie and Claire are inside Culloden House in one of the unused rooms. Claire tells Jamie that everything that is about to go down now all relies on one person – Charles Stuart. She paces and is frantic in her talking as she tells Jamie her idea. If Charles Stuart died NOW, the entire “bloody rebellion would die with him”. Jamie doesn’t condemn the idea, but it does make him pause and think about it. “Christ” is all he is able to say at the moment as he raises his eyebrow looking at his wife.
Claire goes to her trusty bag and pulls out the yellow jessamine, and informs Jamie that this is the same stuff Colum took the previous night. Jamie is shocked and reprimands Claire for such a mortal sin, but Claire counters that she was only giving him what he wanted which was a slow but painless and peaceful death. Claire is quick to remind Jamie that she has been treating their future would be victim for scurvy and she could just, oh….just drop some into his tea. “Kill Charles Stuart.” Jamie replies, heavy with the thought of it. Claire tells him what the benefit of using the yellow jessamine would be. It would be drifting off into a deep sleep. Jamie still seems unable to compromise the guilt and the need of the situation and asks if Charles will ever know. “No one will ever know” Claire replies. We all know that means, EVERYONE will know. Hmmmm…..wishing you would have taken Murtagh up on that offer back in Paris to cut the bastard’s throat yet, Jamie?
And….we are back in 1968. Brianna and Roger have stopped to sit overlooking one of the many lochs. Maybe Lochness, as that is one they visited in the book. Brianna asks Roger if he remembers “an incident” with her parents from his childhood. The only thing Roger is able to remember is Mrs. Graham crying after Frank destroyed the tool shed. Bree does not disagree that her father had a temper, but “he kept it tightly under wraps.” They figure that it must have been 1947 or 1948 based on Claire’s account of the last time she saw Roger. Bree recollects to Roger a time where she found a lockbox of her fathers and broke into it to see what was inside. She found letters from the Reverend and they mentioned an incident that seemed huge and possibly terrible and it scared her. She re-locked the box and never looked at them again. Roger remembers the Reverend keeping a journal and perhaps it would be mentioned in there and if she wouldn’t mind getting a little dirty in the storage room she could help go through the many boxes of journals in the storage room.
Back in town, at what looks to be a registrar’s office to check the title of Lallybroch. The woman there, tells Claire that the earliest document they have is a 1745 Deed of Sasine transferring the property from one, James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser to a James Jacob Fraser Murray. It was witnessed by Murtagh Fitzgibbons and Claire Beauchamp…. The clerk says the last name there is a bit smudged, but assumes it is another Fraser. “Yes, it was” Claire says quietly. The property it seems, according to the clerk, stayed in the Murray family for many generations. Before Claire leaves, the clerk hands her a folder with a copy of the deed and Claire decided to ask if she can do genealogical research there. The clerk says yes and Claire says she is looking for a family tree for Roger Mackenzie.
Back at the manse, Claire asks Brianna how her date was. Brianna denies that it was a date, but Claire goes on about how handsome and intelligent Roger is and that he has a rather lovely physique. Brianna, defensive now, says “Who says physique?!” and urges her mother to stop. Claire pops in one more about Rogers beautiful blue eyes and Brianna says that maybe Claire should date him. Claire snickers in amusement, but drops the subject and asks instead where they went that day. When she discovers one place was Fort William, she simply tells her daughter that she didn’t really care for the place when she went either. Bree asks about where Claire went that day, and Claire merely responds that she “puttered about the village”. Bree brings up visiting places with Frank and when she doesn’t get an answer, she says directly to her mother that it doesn’t seem she misses “daddy” or that she ever loved him.
Claire looks up rather shocked and replies in her best Mother knows best voice “What a thing to say”. “Well, did you? Love him?” Brianna asks, prying into her mother’s business. Claire nods nervously and decides to turn and go through her medical bag …..end of discussion.
Back in 1746, Jamie tells Claire that it would be “cold-blooded murder” that they are plotting. What they didn’t know is that lurking behind a partially open door is Dougal. Seriously……how hard is it to make sure ALL doors in the room you are plotting murder in is closed? Claire looks at her husband and says they would “take one life to save thousands”. They are interrupted by Ross, coming to inform Jamie that Lord George Murray is calling for Jamie and asking the men to form lines. Jamie tells him to tell Murray he is on his way. When Ross leaves, Jamie holds up the vial of poison and tells Claire they need to move quickly. Claire and Jamie are so involved in the planning of putting it in Charles’ tea right away, that neither notice Dougal enter the room. “You ungrateful bastard!” he whispers at his nephew then looks at Claire and says “You filthy, whoring witch!” Well, now, good thing she never married you, eh, Dougal! I truly believe Dougal could have all the proof in the world that Culloden meant the end of the clans and almost the end of the heritage and he would still believe it a good idea to fight the battle!
1968….again. Now I am truly feeling like I am inside the book. Roger has a curator meeting to attend and brings Brianna along. I am assuming it is part of a college. Perhaps the one in Inverness? Doubt it would be Oxford. Bree wanders around with music from the Four Tops playing overhead. She walks upstairs and hears a woman vehemently spewing Scottish politics and Bonnie Prince Charlie and all that stuff to a growing crowd of young people. It is a compelling speech and as the camera goes upward from the talking red tights, we see a face we thought we never would see again…..Gellis Duncan. Behind her a banner of the White Roses of Scotland and she is asking for the return of the rulers of old. “Arthur of Wales, Richard the Lionheart, Prince Charles Edward Stuart”. Somewhere, Eric the Bruce is rolling over and over in his grave. How the hell did Charles Stuart beat him out? Gellis asks the crowd to imagine how different things would be if there was a leader like Prince Charles Stuart. She claims she is Bonnie Prince Charlie. They all are Bonnie Prince Charlie.
The crowd cheers with chants of “Scotland, Scotland!” Bree congratulates her on the speech afterwards, but points out the accuracy of the historical details. Gellis sticks up for her hero, Charles Stuart and then questions why Brianna is even there, as she is clearly American and not a student. Bree simply comes back with she is a student of history and that she enjoys watching it being made. Oh…if you only knew. Just then, Roger shows up and introduces himself to his “x” times great grandmother. She introduces herself with her actual name – Gillian Edgars. She gives them a pamphlet and tells them there is going to be a grand rally nearby that evening and that they will “be making history”.
Elsewhere, Claire is visiting the Culloden Visitor Center and Museum. We see a small flash of the old Claire here. She sees a mannequin of Charles Stuart and it sets her off on his character flaws, his shortness of height and all the men he let down. “They’ve taken a fool and turned him into a hero.” I know the feeling Claire. America has done the same with Christopher Columbus! She stops when she overhears a couple nearby describing an item in a case. When she goes to look, she finds it is the dragonfly in amber that Hugh Monroe had given her for a wedding gift. There is a label that reads “Items found on Culloden Battlefield”.
Back to 1746 and Jamie and Claire facing a very angry Dougal Mackenzie. Jamie knows that Dougal is not done grieving for his brother who died just the night before. Jamie tries to calm him, but any good feelings and respect he may have had for Jamie or Claire evaporated in light of what he considers total betrayal. He tries to speak to Jamie, his voice tortured and torn. He turns to Claire, but his voice turns to venom “You’re nothing but a lying slut who would lead a man by his co*k to his doom, with your claws sunk deep into his balls.”
Jamie reminds Dougal that Claire is his wife and he will not speak ill of her, even in anger. That means nothing to Dougal. He draws his sword and Jamie appeals to his uncle once more, but Dougal lunges at him and Jamie protectively pushes Claire aside. Dougal takes a swipe at Jamie and Jamie punches him. He is trying to avoid seriously hurting his uncle, but Dougal has the upper hand here in that he is well beyond anger and reason and seriously hurting and possibly killing Jamie is the only alternative.
Dougal manages to get his fingers in Jamie’s eyes and renders Jamie useless to fight. Claire steps in and does what she did to Dougal in the past, break a wooden object over his head. The last time was chair, this time a wooden crate. This helps by throwing Dougal off, which allows Jamie to roll him over and get the upper hand. Dougal still has that sneaky Scottish weapon, the dirk. He pushes it towards Jamie’s heart. Dougal had hurt Jamie’s hand in the fight and it hurts even more now as he uses the same hand to painfully turn the knife towards his uncle. The knife is over Dougal’s heart and my heart breaks to watch the facial expressions on Jamie. He realizes his only option and wishes it wasn’t so as this was one of the men that helped raise him. Dougal is still fighting, pushing with all his might against Jamie and trying to reverse the situation.
Claire takes in the situation and realizes that Jamie’s hand is weakened and this could be a problem. She quickly comes to the aid of her husband and puts her hand on his on the knife and positions herself behind Jamie’s shoulder. Claire’s body weight helps slowly push the knife into Dougal’s heart. It is so slow and agonizing, I can barely watch. The knife finally pushes through to the end and the force and weight push Jamie to land on his uncle’s chest, face to face. Dougal dies with a surprised look on his face and Jamie is overcome with emotion. Claire stands behind horrified by the event. “I am sorry uncle.” Jamie says and lays his head on Dougal’s shoulder, voice filled with tears.
Back in 1968, Roger and Bree are in the storage room to search for the Reverend’s journals. There is much flirting to be done. They are at easy with one another and have an instant connection. They come upon a box with some of the journals and Brianna jumps as a rat makes his presence known. Roger offers to sing a “rat satire”. Bree asks what exactly is a rat satire and Roger says it is an old Scottish custom that when rats are found in the home, you sing to them of how terrible it is to live there and they will leave. Roger sees her doubt and goes off into a song into how the rat must go and not “gnaw on his wellies”. Brianna accuses him of making it up. Roger chuckles and says “Obviously. Any good rat satire must be original”.
Roger looks and sees a toy plane from his childhood and becomes distracted. Brianna looks in a different direction and finds a box with the name “Randall” on it. She opens it and discovers all kinds of photos of her parents and numerous newspaper articles and other various documents. Roger finds the commission for Black Jack Randall in 1735 and a letter from Frank to the Reverend where he asks him to abandon any research into this particular ancestor and states “He is not the man I thought”. Roger and Brianna decide to take the box back down to look through it more closely.
Back in 1746, Rupert enters the room and has a totally stunned look on his face. He states that he would have given his good eye to not have seen what he has seen. Jamie understands what he is saying and knows that he must face justice for what he has done. He states it to Rupert and pleads for two hours and he will return on his word to face justice. Claire stands behind stunned and in shock. Rupert agrees to the terms, but says that after two hours he will damn Jamie’s soul “to the fiery pit”. Somehow, I think two hours most people will be dead anyway.
Back in 1968, Claire walks the battlefield of Culloden and remembers her visit there with Frank and his lecture about it. She stops at the Fraser clan stone where there is another woman. She hesitates for a minute when asked if she too was a Fraser, to which she finally concurs. Jamie has been a secret for so long, it feels odd to acknowledge anything about him out loud to another. She has kept him locked up and guarded in her heart. Once alone with the stone, Claire begins to talk to Jamie through the rock. “I swore I’d never step foot in this horrible place, but here I am….and you are here, too.” She talks for what seems like forever, pouring her heart and soul to this stone where she thinks Jamie is buried. She tells him how she was very angry with him for a long time. “You made me live a life that I didn’t want to live. But you were right, damn you.” Jamie was right. He wanted the child and Claire safe and sound and for the baby to be raised well and be loved. Claire tells Jamie that Brianna was named after his father, Brian, like he had asked. She continues with how Brianna reminds her so much of him, with her red hair and how she smiles in her sleep that “it takes [her] breath away.”
Claire sits by this stone and tells Brianna’s entire life story up to the present and then boasts how she has not cried yet the entire time talking. “Bet you didn’t think I could do that, could you?” she says with a small smile and then tears sneak up on her.
She ends the conversation on a heartbreaking note for us viewers. Claire says that there was one thing she didn’t say, she couldn’t say, but should have said and she has never said in 20 years. “But I’m here, and now it’s time. Goodbye, Jamie Fraser, my love.” She tenderly touches the stone and bids him goodbye with “Rest easy soldier.” and leaves.
Back at the manse, Brianna finally starts to discover the “incident” that her parents were hiding from her all these years. It seems her mother disappeared without a trace and reappeared in the same area 3 years later. She wants to look into it further, but Roger cautions her to be very careful, for there is a chance she will not like what she finds. Bree seems worried, but determined, and we see some of her father in her with the Fraser stubbornness and the furrowed brow. “I want the truth. No matter what.” She tells Roger.
A little while later, a determined Brianna confronts her mother demanding to know what she has been doing for the last two days. “Did you see him? My father?” she blurts out and tells her mother that she did the math and that she was conceived while Claire was still missing. Claire is in shock, this is not how she wanted to tell her daughter and tries to give her the same explanation she said to Mary Hawkins. “It’s complicated.” Brianna doesn’t care for such a lame explanation and throws down a clipped pile of the newspaper clippings in front of her mother. She yells at her mom that she was already three months pregnant “when the fairies brought [her] back to daddy.” Roger comes in reading from a letter he found and looks up to realize now is not a good time and excuses himself. Brianna demands he stay. They all sit down and Claire takes a deep breath and admits there was another man that she loved very much. “Yes, he was your real father.” she tells Brianna.
Poor Roger. I find myself saying that a lot while reading the books (I swear Diana likes to pick on him). Here, he is forced to sit and listen to these two argue. He is visibly very uncomfortable and fidgets and looks down quite a bit. Claire is trying to speak through tears and Brianna is hurt by being lied to all her life and snaps back. Claire tells Bree that Frank did not want her to know and wanted to raise her as his own and she agreed to it. It was the reason they moved to America. Brianna snaps at Claire to not try to blame “Daddy” for this. Personally, I don’t think Claire had much choice about the decision. I totally see Frank using the whole time travel thing as a mental illness to get custody of Brianna anyway. Claire should have mentioned that Frank was sterile and couldn’t have any children and of their arguments before he died, where he wanted to take Brianna away. If they choose to keep it in next season, we will get a flashback of that last conversation.
Brianna accuses her mother of the “real” reason they came to Scotland was for Claire to see her lover and then to give her “a surprise introduction” to her real father. Claire looks at her daughter and says no, that is impossible because he’s dead and she hasn’t said his name out loud for twenty years. At that last moment, Claire realized that she can now speak freely about Jamie to Brianna, but of course, Brianna wants nothing of it and cuts her mother off and gets up to leave. Roger grabs her hand and stops her. He simply reminds her that she had wanted to know the truth no matter what and “this is it.” His fingers move on her hand once and she sits down. That is one of Roger’s many lovely qualities. He is always the liaison between the Fraser temper and reason. Claire continues and tells Bree that what matters most is that Jamie loved her with all his heart and soul even though he never met her and would have raised her if it wasn’t for the battle of Culloden.
Back in 1746, Jamie admits to Murtagh that he killed Dougal. Murtagh is freaking awesome with his reaction as usual. He tells Jamie that he is not really surprised that he killed him, but that it took him so long to do it. “What’s to do, then?” he asks Jamie. Jamie whips out the Deed of Sasine to Lallybroch, which shows him giving it to his nephew. It is pre-dated to a year prior so that it was before Jamie was a traitor to the crown and therefore, the English cannot take the property.
Back in a stressful 1968, Brianna is looking at her mother like she is totally insane. Poor Roger is avoiding eye contact and trying to become one with the couch. Brianna tells her mother she doesn’t believe her, that her mom must think she is still a child to believe in such fairytales. She actually “fell” through a stone and time travelled? The women continue to argue and Roger takes refuge in a glass of whiskey like a good Scot would. Claire admits to Brianna that Frank was her father “in all the ways that matter” except he didn’t make her. Now it would have been okay to admit that Frank was sterile, that is another reason he couldn’t “make her”. Claire goes on to tell Brianna that her hair and many mannerisms are just like Jamie’s and he would have raised her if not – “For the battle of Culloden Moor?” Brianna sarcastically snaps at her mother. “Oh my God. STOP!”
Roger moves on to trying to become one with a bookshelf as this argument is getting more and more heated. Claire tries to prove that she is telling the truth by showing the copy of the Deed of Sasine with her signature. Brianna is too pissed off to listen and just wants her mother to admit that she “f*cked someone else while married to [Frank] just like a million other bored housewives.” Claire finally lets that temper of hers show. She shouts back at Brianna that she wasn’t bored. “And what Jamie and I had was a hell of a lot more that f*cking! He was the love of my life!” Yeah, to all those fans who want nothing but sex………..
No girl, no matter what age, and no matter how angry, has no right to talk to their mother the way Brianna has above and especially for what comes next. Bree asks her mom why she is doing this. Claire explains because it is the truth, but Brianna says that only two people know the truth and one of them is dead. “Too bad it wasn’t you.” Claire and Brianna are both about to cry and don’t say a word. Brianna leaves and Roger waits just a moment before following her out. I’m sorry, but I sort of miss how it really went down in the book.
Returning to 1746, Jamie has Claire and Murtagh sign the Deed of Sasine as witnesses. Jamie entrusts Fergus with taking it to Lallybroch to Jenny and Claire sheds some tears and one falls onto the paper, smudging part of her signature. Jamie tells Fergus he is a soldier nowand gives him some advice for the road. He tells Fergus that he loves him like a son. “Like our own son” Claire repeats and comes over to give him a huge hug and kisses his head. She and Jamie put their arms around each other as they watch him leave.
Back in 1968, Bree is reading the letter Roger had with him when he came into the library. She says it is nothing, useless, because her mother is insane. Roger asks for Bree not to lash out at him, but that the copy of the Deed of Sasine looked authentic, but Bree throws it out, saying that it is merely coincidence, that it was just some other woman with her mother’s name. Roger reminds Bree that she had said she could never get close to her mom because she lived in another world and that maybe she is trying to show her that world now. Brianna asks Roger if he truly believes that she travelled through some stones to the past. “It’s not important if I believe it. She believes it.” Roger tells her and says that maybe they just need to keep an open mind.
Back at the house, Claire is looking through the newspaper clippings of her disappearance and notices something that doesn’t belong. The White Roses pamphlet given to Brianna from Gillian Edgars. When Claire turns it over, she immediately recognizes a face she hasn’t seen since the witch trial – Gellis Duncan. She remembers that Gellis whispered the year 1968 to her before they took her away. She drives to the Edgar’s home and finds only the husband at home. Greg Edgar’s is obviously drunk, but allows Claire to come in and tells her that Gillian is most like “with her roses”, the nationalist movement where she spends all her time. He points to notebooks that belong to his wife and tells Claire that Gillian had left them there weeks ago. He passes out in his chair, and Claire quickly, but quietly takes the notebooks and promptly leaves.
Back at the pub, Bree and Roger are interrupted by the elusive Gillian Edgars herself. She tells them that they missed a fantastic rally, to which Bree and Roger say that it has been one hell of a day, but they will catch the next one. Gillian admits that she is leaving that night “to further the cause”. She advises Bree and Roger to never stop asking the hard questions because “that’s the way the world changes”. She seems almost, normal, so we have to wonder was she always a little crazy, or was there a turning point?
FYI: This is one thing that I do not see why it was added…..just like the whole stupid Leoghaire thing. The ONLY time Gillian Edgars sees Roger or Brianna is as she turns to look at Claire yelling before she disappears through the stones. This might have repercussions down the road next season. Ugh.
Claire is examining the journals and sees the seeds of crazy are definitely there for this one. The notes can be a little confusing, as Claire sees. She tries to piece things together and there are things like gemstones are needed for protection and guidance (like a GPS), all kinds of formulas for time travel, taking apart the fairy stories and even, to Claire’s horror, needing a human sacrifice before travelling. She sees that Gillian plans on travelling soon and Claire is prepared to stop her to prevent her from being burned at the stake.
Back to 1746, where Jamie instructs Murtagh to gather the men of Lallybroch and take advantage of the chaos of the movement of the camp as they assemble and lead the men away from the moor and towards home. They tried everything they could, but this battle is lost, he tells Murtagh, and he will not have his men die for nothing. When Murtagh asks Jamie what he will do, Jamie tells him he will see Claire to safety and then turn back to Culloden “to fight till it’s done”. Murtagh promises to lead the men away, but that he will return to fight by his side. Jamie repeats to him that he will not have him die for nothing. “I won’t be” Murtagh tells him “I’ll be dying with you.” No! #SaveMurtagh!!! I won’t be mad if he lives! I swear!!
Back in 1968, Brianna arrives in the bedroom she has shared with her mom. She tells Claire that she has no desire to discuss the “time travel delusion” but she does want to know more about Jamie Fraser. Claire is happy and starts with the basics. He’s tall, red hair, and the promise to name their child after his father. He loved to play chess and spoke fluent French. He also had a sister, Jenny, Bree’s aunt. Claire reaches and holds her daughter’s hand and says that there is so much to tell about him and it would take a long time, but she promises she will tell Brianna all. Claire makes the mistake of telling Brianna about visiting the Fraser stone at Culloden, and Brianna breaks away, saying that this is where her mother loses her. Claire holds on tight and says to her daughter, “I didn’t mean to fall in love. It was the most powerful thing I’ve felt in my life.” Her eyes are wide and she tells Bree that she did try to fight it at first, but it was impossible.
Downstairs, Roger is reading some papers, when the girls come in. Claire interrupts him and asks him if he knows Gillian Edgars. She is surprised to hear that both Roger and Brianna have met her. When asked where she is right now, they don’t know. Brianna speaks up and says that she mentioned she was going away “to further the cause” that night. Claire knows where she is going. To Craigh Na Dun, to go back in time. Bree starts protesting when Claire tries to tell them that Gillian Edgars is Gellis Duncan who saved her life 200 years ago. Claire says that since Gellis saved her life, maybe she can return the favor, but then she realizes that maybe she can’t. Her gaze falls on Roger, “Because of you.” she says. She says she looked up his family tree and that his seven times great grandparents, William and Sara were given Gellis Duncan and Dougal Mackenzie’s child to raise. Bree is not happy to have Roger dragged into her mother’s delusions, but Claire speaks up and tells her that he has a right to know where he came from.
Roger agrees that they should stop Gillian, but Claire wonders of the consequences. If they do, he may never be born. Roger jokes that it probably not true, since he is already there and “can’t just evaporate”. Claire says she doesn’t know how it works or the rules. Roger says they should find Gillian and warn her, and Claire agrees, but Bree, totally frustrated with her mother’s delusions, snaps at Roger and accuses him of “feeding her delusions.” He follows Brianna out and says that he might be, but it might be their only chance for her to come face to face with it. They will find Gillian and see how it plays out. Brianna agrees, if only to see Gillian “slam her head into a five-ton block of granite”.
Back in 1746, Jamie hurries Claire out of the camp and tells her the “Red Jamie” might not get far, but he can and will save her. Claire wants them both to leave and sail somewhere (be careful what you wish for), but Jamie says the ports are closed due to the rising. She doesn’t understand just yet, that he means to separate them, but that soon changes. He tells her that he is not afraid to die, that “a musket ball, maybe a blade is better than a hangman’s noose or the wrath of the Mackenzies.” Jamie tells her. “I am a dead man already. I will choose the battlefield.” He continues. Claire begins to panic and reminds him of when she was being tried at the stake and asks if he would have left her there. Jamie comes over to her quickly and tells her that he would have gone to the stake with her and “to hell and beyond if it had come to that. But I wasna carrying your child.”
Claire is taken aback and amazed that Jamie could even know. Jamie had been keeping track of her courses and could even tell in the middle of a war. He is thrilled, even knowing he will never see his wife or child again. Her hand is over her belly and his hand touches it tenderly. He tells her that the child is all that will be left of him and begs her to go. His hand starts to shake as he speaks and shows that he is not as composed and together as he seems. She refuses to leave him, but Jamie reminds her that she made a promise when he spared Randall’s life that if it came to this, she would go back home to the future.
“But YOU are my home!” Claire tells him frantically, beginning to cry. This is a replica of what Jamie said to her on their wedding night. If you are watching this and not crying like I was by now, something is wrong. Jamie answers her with a tear my heart out and kill me answer, “And you are mine. But this home is lost. And now you and the bairn, you must go to a safe place, to a man who can care for you both.” The truth is, losing Faith gives great motivation, because Claire is a high risk when it comes to pregnancies. What we don’t know yet, because it is in Voyager in flashbacks to raising Bree, is that the pregnancy and birth of Brianna was very difficult and might have killed Claire in the past. There is way too much emotion here. I simply have a difficult time. I can’t see the TV through the tears. Jamie mounts his horse and holds out his hand, but Claire is still wanting to refuse and cry. “Claire, there’s no time.” Jamie tells her.
Back in 1968 we are already at Craigh na Dun. At the top, with the stones there is a man’s body (hopefully dead) being doused with gasoline. Claire, Roger and Brianna arrive at the bottom and Claire recognizes Greg Edgars’ car. Back at the top, a lighter is lit and dropped onto the body and it goes up in flames. The three at the bottom get out of the car and rush up the hill. Bree comments on the smell to which Roger concurs, saying “It smells like a f*cking barbeque!” At the top, we see Gillian Edgars in an eerily familiar costume. It is one she wore when she first met Claire in the gardens at Leoch. She turns from watching her husband burn when she hears people approaching. Claire pauses just a second when she sees her and yells “Gellis, noooo!” just as Gillian Edgars runs straight into the largest stone and disappears.
Roger and Brianna wonder where she disappeared to and come closer to have a look, but suddenly get bombarded by the overwhelming buzzing sound. Claire sees Greg Edgars’ body and tells Roger to go get help, but he turns to the stones and Bree stares at her mother, knowing now that what Claire has said is true.
1746 Craigh na Dun, Jamie and Claire arrive. Claire pauses at the circle and wonders how she will explain where she has been, but Jamie says it is up to her. There is a possibility that Frank won’t listen, but if he does, Jamie tells her, “Tell him I’m grateful. Tell him I trust him. And tell him I hate him to the very marrow of my bones.” It is heartfelt, but the last is said sarcastically with a smile. Jamie knows what he is giving up and he knows Claire and the baby will be safe if they make it back to Frank. Claire takes his hand, but Jamie is still resisting. She wants him to come with her through the stones, but he says that he can’t. “You could try.” Claire tells him and asks if she can hear the loud buzzing. “Even if I could go back through the stones, it’s not my place. My destiny lies on Culloden Moor.” Jamie tells her, placing his hand on the stone to prove that he can’t follow her. In that lies a clue that it seems to be in the blood…..hereditary.
If he doesn’t die at Culloden, Jamie promises to find her (can we say Jamie’s ghost?) even if he has to endure agonizing torture for 200 years in purgatory for his crimes. He tenderly touches her faith and lists his sins that he has done, especially since being married to her, for them both. “For I have lied, killed, stolen, betrayed…..and broken trust.” On the last part, his fingers gently brush her belly, to quietly remind them of Faith. He takes both her hands and pulls her passionately to him and says, “But when I stand before God, I’ll have one thing to say to weigh against all the rest….” He gives her a brief hard kiss then continues, “Lord, you gave me a rare woman….” Another even more passionate kiss as they realize it is getting closer to saying goodbye forever. They break and Jamie, breathless, finishes with, “andGod I loved her well.” They fall to the ground entwined and frantically make love one last time, always staring into each other’s eyes.
As they finish, Jamie is surprised to hear cannon fire in the distance. The battle has started. The moment is over and the reality sets in. There is no escaping what must be done now. Claire takes the dragonfly in amber and wraps it in her scarf and gives it to Jamie, telling him to keep it with him. “Blood of my blood,” she whispers tearfully and Jamie quietly looks at her and continues with “And bone of my bone.” Claire finishes the reaffirmation of their wedding vows with “As long as we both shall live” and they seal it with a kiss. Claire is not just crying now, but weeping. The cannon and gunfire is getting louder, so Jamie pulls Claire to her feet and gives her a present of his own, his father’s ruby ring. This is a gift for the baby who Claire promises to name after Jamie’s father.
Jamie holds Claire tight and in a sort of lovely, yet extremely sad dance, they move toward the stones. Claire has her back to the stone and refuse to look anywhere else, but at Jamie and he with her. She tells him she loves him, but he is so intent on looking at her, studying her face and trying not to cry, he doesn’t answer right away. She says it again, more desperately and he smiles slightly and answers with tears in his voice “And I, you.” Claire smiles to hear his answer and they kiss one last time.
She turns in his arms and his hand over hers, guides her fingers to the stone. He helps her complete something that she could not do alone, just as she helped him with Dougal earlier. “Goodbye, Claire” Jamie whispers, voice tearing apart. Just before her hand touches the stone, Jamie bows his head and his face wrought with pain, a tear escapes to run down his cheek. Okay….I am crying even as I write this! Too much….just too much!
Back in 1968, Brianna in total awe at the possibility of time travel quickly moves down the hill with her mother. She asks if people really need to die to be able to travel through the stones. Claire says that Gellis believed it, but that she herself travelled twice now and no one died. Bree stops Claire and asks if this is the last place she saw her father. Claire looks towards the stones, sadness in her eyes and confirms that it is. “I believe you.” Brianna tells her. She doesn’t understand any of it, but she believes her now. Yep, seeing is truly believing!
“No more lies” Brianna urges. “From now on I want only the truth between you and me, all right?” Claire smiles and remembers where she heard that before. Jamie asked the same of her in the beginning of their marriage. Claire looks at her daughter with a smile and tells her, again that she is so much like her father and agrees to telling the truth from now on. For the first time since we saw them, mother and daughter hug, and as dawn approaches, they are sitting close together, a symbol of closing the gap of distance between the two.
Roger, returning after getting help, treks back up the hill and says that he placed an anonymous call and the police are on their way, but not sure how long that might be. Bree, looking deep in thought, speaks up and tells Roger to show her mother what he had found. Roger pulls out the research the Reverend had done at Frank’s request and holds it out to Claire. He tells her that he isn’t certain it was even sent to Boston. Claire asks Roger to read it and tell her what it says. It seems that after the battle of Culloden, a few Jacobite soldiers took refuge for two days in a house near the moor. They were found and shot, Roger tells her, “but one of them, a Fraser of the Master of Lovat’s regiment escaped execution.”
Claire tells Roger that there were quite a few Fraser on that field that day. “But only five Fraser officers.” Roger replies. Four of who have their names inscribed on plaques in a church in Beauly, so they know for certain they were killed there. Claire asks who the fifth man was and Brianna answers instead. “James Fraser. My father.” Claire’s smile is contagious. She whispers his name and you see a happiness, relief and a range of emotions come over her. “He meant to die, but he didn’t.” Roger tells her. She is beyond happy and turns toward the stones, the sun of the morning cresting behind them. Claire tells Roger and Brianna that if it is true then “I have to go back.” The music increases and the camera heads toward and into the stone. Until season 3………..
This was a long ass episode, with so much back and forth and details galore, that I have to apologize for the lateness of me getting this together. I decided to just do a recap and I plan on a review of this episode and then the entire season before season three starts. It’s going to be another long Droughtlander……