Well, it finally happened: the season finale aired. It’s officially #Droughtlander, and what a drought it will be. Episode 13 is a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. It’s not a true cliffhanger, but the last scene may just give viewers the term “hopehanger.” Outlander is all about the love story between Claire and Jamie, and that story is definitely not over yet. Here’s the breakdown of skin vs sword for the season 2 finale.
Sword score: 3/10. Considering that the entire season has been about preventing the Battle of Culloden, it’s a bit of a shock that there are zero battle scenes in the episode. Instead, the focus is on the preparation and aftermath of the decisive British victory. In 1746, Claire and Jamie hatch one last desperate plan to prevent the battle from occurring. Claire offers to put Yellow Jasmine into Charles’s tea, killing him in the kindest manner possible before he can order his troops to battle. It just may have worked too, if not for Dougal. Jamie’s uncle overhears the plan, and as he isn’t privy to the “Claire is from the future” secret, he naturally assumes Jamie is a traitor to his cause. A duel ensures, and Dougal ends up on the wrong end of his own sword. To further complicate matters, Rupert walks in at exactly the wrong moment and sees everything with his one remaining eye. Despite vowing to avenge Dougal, Rupert grants Jamie two hours to tend to his affairs first. Jamie promises to return to face his crime, and that’s just about the last that’s seen of him in the entire 90 minute episode.
Skin score: 10/10. Hold on viewers, there’s a lot to get through here in one paragraph. First off, most of the action takes place in 1968, 20 years after Claire returns through the stones. Jamie is the one to send her back, by making her uphold her promise in Paris to return to Frank if Jamie should die. Claire is pregnant again, and Jamie is insistent that this child should survive. Survive she does, and viewers get to meet Brianna- the 20-year-old red-headed American with a temper to match. She and Claire are visiting London, but go to Scotland when they hear that the Reverend Wakefield has passed away. Viewers are reintroduced to Roger, who is all grown up now and making eyes at Brianna. The duo share a love of history, and explore the countryside while Claire searches for information on Jamie’s fate. When Brianna and Roger discover the story of Claire’s disappearance and reappearance three years later, the truth of Brianna’s parentage comes out. At first, she doesn’t believe a word that Claire says. However, a trip to Craig Na Dun to watch Gillian Edgars disappear through the stones to become Geillis Duncan cannot be denied, and Brianna finally understands her mother’s struggle over the past two decades. Roger, who turns out to be the descendant of Geillis & Dougal’s son, unearths a piece of evidence that proves that Jamie did not die on the battlefield. Claire vows to return to him just as final curtain falls on the episode.
Final score: 8/10. Here’s the deal- while there’s next to no swordfights in the episode, the battles between the characters more than make up for it. Watching Claire and Jamie say goodbye for what they believe to be the last time is heart-rending. Watching Claire and Brianna work through 20 years of misunderstandings and omissions is reminiscent of some of Claire and Jamie’s best battles, and proves that genetics are a powerful thing indeed. There’s so much potential here for growth for each character, and so much hope for love to continue. If only the writers had seen fit to answer a few lingering questions, like JUST WHAT HAPPENS TO FERGUS?! It’s going to be a long year until that question is answered. For those who just have to know- there’s an 8-book series waiting at your local bookstore.
Kade is often described as, “here just a minute ago” and can often be found just around the corner from where you’d expect. Approaching is not encouraged, unless you come with a strong wifi connection and a nice charcuterie board with gluten-free breads.