Our resident Outlander fanatic Tara Ward shares her thoughts from the much-anticipated return of time-travel romance series. Contains spoilers. And smoulders.
Sons and daughters, love and laughter, tears of sadness and happiness. You might recognize that as the theme tune from the timeless Australian soap Sons and Daughters, but to me, it sums up my Outlander season two journey like no Australian ever could.
Welcome to episode 13, the dessert wine of the Outlander degustation feast. We’ve sat through several dicey courses: the undercooked Bastille beard, the limp Bon Jovi wig, pretty much all of Paris. Now we’re filled to the brim, we can put on our elasticated pants and drink in the ginger goodness of the season finale until we are bloated and unconscious.
We begin ahead of where we started, because that’s how Claire Fraser rolls. Claire is in 1968 Scotland, a strange land where everything is tweed coloured. How many shades of brown are there? The answer: a shitload.
1968 bought us the next generation of ginger love machines, Brianna (Jamie’s daughter) and Roger (not Jamie’s daughter). Old mate Geillis Duncan incited political revolution without a single hashtag (#missedopportunity), and a rat ran over Brianna’s foot. Alas, there was no ginger beer, ginger crunch, or gingivitis. Maybe season three?
While Future Claire got sozzled on the Rev’s Drambuie, Past Claire was living a life of hell in 1746, a time of more mud and wet tents than the last day at Glastonbury. Claire and Jamie had run out of everything: time, tricks and worst of all, soap. It was a depressing realization. If ‘Preventing the Jacobite Rebellion’ was a National Standard, Jamie and Claire would get a ‘did not achieve’.
The finale was ninety glorious minutes of Outlander. I’m ready to lay down someone else’s sporran and say it was the Best Episode Yet. With more tension than a tartan bungy cord, Claire’s journey was both heartbreaking and hopeful. You kept us waiting, Outlander, but you did us proud.
In other news, my heat pump makes the same buzzing sound as the stones do for Claire. Don’t be alarmed if I disappear into a vortex of time and space once it hits 21C. The buzzing’s getting louder. It’s time to go in.
1) We’ve fallen into a Big Roger-sized hole of 100% sustainable materials and it feels terrific
Check out these miserable lummoxes, trapped in a tan-toned tomb of leather and wood. Who died? Oh, the Reverend. Big Roger’s loss is our gain, because underneath his roll neck jersey is a heart of gold brown that serenades rats and encourages Claire to drink whisky in her pyjamas. What’s not to love?
2) I want to be Claire Randall when I grow up and travel through time
I’ve seen the future, and it is spectacular. 1968 Claire is a giddy mix of Burberry trench coats, Jackie O hair and Deidre Barlow glasses. If that backcombed bouffant wasn’t news enough, Claire is now a surgeon who regales her patients with tales of “that time in Scotland when I amputated a leg using only a pair of nail clippers and my husband’s cheekbones”.
3) First stop on our fun trip down memory lane: the Good Ship Lallybroch
Claire’s return to Lallybroch bought back golden memories. Life with the Fraser in-laws was a non-stop funfest – Jenny calling her a ‘trollop’, Jamie being captured by the Redcoats, Mrs Crook making too-hot bannocks. Good times.
Did someone mention hot bannocks? Oh Lallybroch, how we’ve missed you.
4) I’ll climb on that horse myself if Claire doesn’t hurry up
All aboard the Fraser express, next stop: PARADISE.
5) It’s knees out at Culloden
Next stop on the Tour of Tragedy was Culloden Moor, where Claire made a final goodbye to Jamie. It was atmospheric and somber, and Claire showed her respect by wearing her shiniest gumboots.
Jamie had 220 years to catch up on, so Claire started with Brianna’s birth and finished up four seconds later with “well, that’s everything”. She covered the important stuff, like how she lied about loving Jamie’s facial hair and how science will one day realize ginger is the dominant gene. That’s my kind of history lecture – take note, freshly-dead Frank.
6) This POV shot has me pretending I’m holding hands with Jamie Fraser and we’re walking together discussing war tactics and how fine his hair is and stuff
7) Yes, but which one of you is Bonnie Prince Charlie?
Geillis rallied the most apathetic bunch of students I’ve ever seen to revolt in the name of Scotland and Bonnie Prince Charlie. It was like Oprah giving away cars – she’s Bonnie Prince Charlie, you’re Bonnie Prince Charlie, we’re all Bonnie Prince f*cking Charlie!
Then she made like a 1968 Boris Johnson and said, “soz loves, I’m out of here, but you carry on with the cause”. Later, haters.
8) Pretty sure he’s Bonnie Prince Charlie
9) Dougal dies in a filthy torrent of vitriolic abuse and it is spectacular
“You ungrateful son of a bastard,” Dougal spewed, after overhearing Claire’s plan to poison Charles Stuart. “You filthy, whoring witch. You’re nothing but a lying slut who would lead a man by his cock to his doom, with your claws stuck deep into his bollocks.”
Dougal, tell us how you really feel. Quickly, because that dagger is about to pierce your… too late.
10) Is everyone ugly-crying, or is it just me?
What Claire was really thinking: how can I leave Jamie when he’s finally sorted his hair out?
No wonder Claire was upset. Frank’s hair is nothing in comparison, NOTHING I TELL YOU. A sneaky bit of afternoon delight amid the standing stones couldn’t stop the bawling, both hers and mine. Even Jamie permitted a solitary tear to slide down his sunken cheekbones. Was he thinking about Frank’s hair, too?
11) Of course it’s a ridiculous story, Brianna
But so is the one about Charles Stuart escaping Scotland by rowboat, dressed as a lady’s maid. People do weird stuff under pressure, so STFU.
12) Praise everything smouldering and curly – JAMIE DIDN’T DIE AT CULLODEN
Ginger kisses for everyone! See you in 2017 or 1768, whichever happens first.
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