You can’t change the past.
If we’ve learned anything from Outlander’s epic second season it’s that history does repeat itself, no matter how hard a certain time travelling nurse tries to stop it. Season two of Outlander has taken us from the muddy shores of Scotland to the couture-wearing courts of France and back again and the show’s 90 minute finale is promising fans a satisfying payoff to a storyline first introduced all the way back in season one.
That’s right. The Battle of Culloden is here, and with the British army bearing down on the Highlander rebels, things aren’t looking good for Lord and Lady Broch Tuarach. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) have been scheming all season to thwart Bonnie Prince Charlie’s (Andrew Gower) plans for a Jacobite Rebellion on Scottish soil but despite their best efforts, that confrontation seems almost destined at this point.
With war (and probably a few character deaths) looming, we’re looking back at some of season two’s biggest storylines and how they should be wrapped up before the credits roll and talk turns to dream castings for season three. Here are some things we hope to see when season two of Outlander ends.
That Pregnancy Reveal
This seems to be the metaphorical elephant in the room, at least when it comes to the last half of season two. One of the most heartbreaking scenes this season was when Claire lost her baby and both she and Jamie have been grieving the child ever since returning to Scotland. There’s also been a suspicious lack of sex scenes for the show that’s built its reputation on steamy romps and bodice-ripping action. Here’s what we do know: Jamie and Claire have another child. Her name is Brianna and we’ve been promised a meeting with her in the season two finale. She also plays a large role in the books which means her conception, or at least the reveal of it — perhaps in a heartfelt scene between our favorite married pair before they’re separated at Craigh na Dun — is in order.
Claire’s Time Jump
Claire pulled a Marty McFly and Back to the Future-d herself in this season’s premiere episode. Book readers know why and when exactly that happens but now, with the finale upon us, fans of the show should be clued in as well. The synopsis for “Dragon Fly in Amber” hints that the episode will begin with Claire living in the future (possibly with a grown Brianna) and the two may travel to Scotland for the funeral of Reverend Wakefield (the man Claire and Frank met all the way back in season one). Handling the time travel element of Diana Gabaldon’s story has been tricky but the show’s done a good job of it so far. Here’s hoping the finale’s no different.
A Fraser Introduction
Showrunner Ronald D. Moore has felt the pressure all season to effectively bridge the gap between the page and the screen. Even more so than in season one, Outlander‘s second season carried greater stakes, introduced important characters and storylines and contained some of the most memorable scenes of Gabaldon’s nine-book series. The show handled court intrigue and high fashion in Paris well enough but the real test this season will be how it sets up the future of the series. While we’ll be hearing plenty more casting news for season three, arguably the biggest roles to fill were that of Jamie and Claire’s redheaded offspring, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin), adopted son of Reverend Wakefield and Brianna’s future beau. We’ll be getting a glimpse of both characters before the season ends but it’s Brianna that fans probably care about most and for good reason. Moore’s been open about how difficult casting the newest Fraser was and rumors have it that Brianna will play a central role in the series finale. We’ll see if Skelton can fill those fictional shoes.
Black Jack Randall Must Die
There hasn’t been a character more hated on Outlander than Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies). The British officer is the definition of evil, something he proved when he imprisoned Jamie, beat him, tortured him and raped him repeatedly before Claire came to the rescue. Jamie spent most of the first half of this season recovering from that trauma and trying to repair his marriage – which suffered as he spiraled into depression and dealt with feelings of shame and self-hate after the attack. One of the most shocking moments of season two came when Randall, who was sadly not as dead as fans had hoped, reemerged in Paris. An all-out duel between the redheaded Scotsman and the psychotic sleezeball took place on the freshly manicured lawns of Versailles but somehow Randall still made it out alive. Now that Randall’s tied the knot with Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day) in order to ensure her survival and the continuation of the Randall family line (you’re welcome Frank) it’s time for Black Jack to meet the bloodiest of ends. We’re talking Ramsay Bolton bloody.
The Battle Of Culloden
Not since Game of Thrones’ Battle of the Bastards has a fictional take on a historical war been so hyped by a show. All of season two has been dedicated to preventing the massacre that was/will be the Battle of Culloden. Claire, Jamie and now Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) know how the confrontation between the Highlanders and the British Army will end but they’ve had a rough time convincing those in power – mainly Bonny Prince Charlie – that the odds aren’t in Scotland’s favor. We know that the fight will happen sometime during the season finale and for it to be a satisfying payoff for the weeks of plot development that have been dedicated to it, the battle needs to be spectacular. We’re talking Jon Snow, surrounded by CGI horses and digging his way out from under thousands of corpses spectacular. The real war was a gory, gruesome, horrific affair and it would do a disservice to Jamie and Claire, not to mention Scottish history, if the battle isn’t the same on-screen.
Tying Up Bonny Ends
Bonnie Prince Charlie has spent much of this season hatching half-hazard plots in brothels and sniveling in his handkerchief over knocked-up mistresses. He’s not fit to command an army, especially one as rugged and in need of strong leadership like the unruly Highlander outfit. What’s even more concerning about his bid for the throne is that he’s too naïve to understand what taking independence back from the British might mean for the men willing to die for that freedom. Hopefully he gets what’s coming to him in season two’s final episode but before he does, his biggest fan boy will be defending his honor one last time. That’s right, Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish), is still here and he’s still backing Charles’ claim to the throne – despite being sold down the river by the man just a few episodes ago. A recent preview for the season finale seems to show Claire and Jamie making one last desperate attempt to save their countrymen by plotting to poison the prince before Dougal overhears their scheming and crosses steel with his young nephew. It wouldn’t surprise us if Dougal died in service of the crown and what he believes to be Scotland’s best chance for freedom, but it would be a terrible twist if Jamie was the man to deal the deathly blow.
Sam Heughan is one half of why this show is so good and, if we’re being honest, his shirtless scenes are probably partly responsible for the series’ dedicated (dare we say rabid) female fan base. Starz has already renewed Outlander for two more seasons and we can’t imagine the show doing as well in the ratings department without the brawny, kilt-wearing Highlander around to make hearts swoon and inspire hundreds of internet memes. Book readers may already know Jamie’s fate but the show would do well to give viewers at least a glimpse of what life was like for the Scot after Claire returns to her own time.
“Dragonfly in Amber,” Outlander‘s season two finale, airs Saturday, July 9 on Starz at 9 p.m. ET.