If you have not seen season 3, episode 1 of Outlander, please do not continue reading.
As the episode opens we see the results of the Battle of Culloden strewn about. Piles and piles of dead Scots men are everywhere. We see the British soldiers moving amongst the living and dead. They kill the living and steal valuables from the dead. Slowly the camera pans to Jamie laying on a pile of dead bodies. We see a dead British soldier laying on top of him but cannot tell who it is. He is severely injured and is hovering in and out of consciousness. He looks up and sees one of his men still alive and reaching for him. A British soldier comes and stabs the man with his bayonet, twisting and shoving it in to make sure it does the worst damage. Jamie plays dead: staring eyes, no movement and not breathing. He watches as his man slowly bleeds to death. Jamie then starts to have flashbacks as he lays among the dead. He flashes back to earlier in the day. We see him talking to Bonnie Prince Charlie (who I want to point out is still dressed in head to toe plaid!) Suddenly we flash to the charge. We hear the Scots war cry. It’s night again and snowing, as we are back on the battle field with Jamie. The living are beginning to gather their dead for a burial. We flash back to the charge. There is a massive amount of cannon fire. Dirt is flying up, men are engaging in hand to hand combat. Jamie uses a wad of sod as a weapon (that is one I have never seen before). We flash back to Jamie on the moor wounded. The anticipation is killing me! Are we ever going to find out who is on top of Jamie, dead? (If you read the books then we already know who it is!) Suddenly, we are back in the past. From across the moor, Jamie has spotted Black Jack and vice vera. They race across the battlefield to get to each other, desperate to kill one another. We are back to a wounded Jamie. Finally, we see the dead man on top of him is none other than Black Jack himself. Back to the past. Black Jack makes a nasty gash up Jamie’s thigh. Jamie stabs Black Jack in the side. They are both half-assed fighting each other, at this stage they are both weak from blood loss. As we flash to the present we see Jamie clutching the Dragonfly in Amber that Claire gave him before she went through the stones. Jamie starts to hallucinate. He sees Claire walking among the dead, looking for him. He hears her ask: “Jamie are ye dead?” Suddenly, Claire’s face is replaced by Rupert.
We are now with Claire in Boston. Together, she and Frank are looking for a home to buy to start a family and settle down. Claire is barely showing as we see them buy the house. Next, we see her angry at the stove and unable to light it. She chucks a lighter at it and storms off. We are back with Jamie. Rupert and the other less wounded men have rescued Jamie and others that are still alive and managed to get away. They are nursing them as best they can in a small shack on the edge of the moor. Now we are with a heavily pregnant Claire as she gets ready for a work dinner with Frank and his boss and the other professors. The Dean of the school is ranting and raving about politics and how a women’s place is in the home raising the children and keeping house. This really gets Clairs dander up and we see her go to a quiet angry place. Back with Jamie, British soldiers have found and raided the shack. They ask the men if any of them are innocent of treason. No one speaks up. They give the men an hour to write their loved ones and say a prayer. Back with Claire, we see her cooking breakfast for Frank. She tells him that she would like to apply for American Citizenship. He promptly refuses her. They have a screaming match and it ends as Claire throws a vase at his head. He seems honestly shocked, gathers his coat and briefcase and leaves. We are back with Jamie in the shack. He is having to listen as they take each of his kinsman outside, tie them to a pole and shoot them point blank. Rupert tries to get two of the lads out of it. Tells the soldiers they are just lads and that they have their whole life ahead of them. The British refuse and shoot them anyway. Rupert talks to Jamie and tells him goodbye, tells him how happy he is to be reunited with Angus once again. Back with Claire and Frank, Claire has made Frank sleep on the couch. Frank is unable to sleep due to all the loud dripping from the faucet, ticking of the clock and whirring of the heater. Frank decides to get up and starts to write a letter to the Rev. The one that Roger finds among his belongings as he sorts out the stuff. Suddenly, Claire comes in and tells Frank that her water has broken and its time for the baby to arrive! Back to Jamie, he has volunteered to be the next victim. That is until they learn his name. The leading officer realizes who he is and asks if the name John Grey means anything to Jamie. Jamie sort of remembers. The man gives him a pass from the death squad as repayment for letting his little brother, John Grey, live. They pack him up in a wagon and send him home under the cover of darkness. Claire is progressing nicely with labor. The doctor asks a few questions about her pregnancy. That is when he asks about prior pregnancies. Claire has to tell him that she has had one and it resulted in a stillborn child. They take Claire to the theater. She refuses the drugs to have her baby but they do it anyway. We quickly flash to Jamie being woke at his home in the back of the wagon by his sister Jenny and her husband Ian. They are so happy to see him alive, albeit very sick from his injury. Back to the present with Claire. She wakes up and starts to panic like she is back in France again. She is saying “where is my baby, where is my baby”. Frank walks in carrying a perfectly adorable cooing bundle of joy. Things seem better with Frank and Claire until the nurse walks in and asks where the baby got her red hair from……
This episode was ok. It did feel somewhat sluggish. Which is fine since they are setting up for what’s to come. I just hope that they hit all the high points from the 3rd book and don’t miss any of the biggies. What I don’t know is exactly what was up with Claire’s hair through most of the episode. I understand that she is pregnant and tired but that was a bit crazy even for a fellow curly haired person such as myself. I am really glad that they brought Rupert back, no matter how briefly, even if it was just to kill him off. It gave him more closure. I was kind of bummed that we didn’t see more of Murtagh aside from a brief ‘how do you do, let me kill this guy’ moment. I loved how they tied in Jamie dropping the Dragonfly in Amber to the earlier season when Claire saw it in the museum as an artifact found on the battlefield. It really tied up loose ends and brought that around full circle. I am super excited for the next episode. I just want Jamie and Claire to be reunited!