‘Outlander’ Season 3 Premiere Recap: Claire Unhappy In 1940s, While Jamie Survives Battle
The much-anticipated season three of Outlander has finally begun, ending the so-called “Droughtlander.”
Season two ended with Jamie sending Claire and their unborn child back multiple centuries through the stones at Craigh na Dun in order to keep them safe from the Battle of Culloden. Season three begins in the battle’s aftermath, with Highlander bodies strewn around. Jamie is one of them, but he’s still fighting for his life. Scavenging soldiers pass by his body but leave him be.
We flashback to the battle, and see Bonnie Prince Charlie assembled among the Scots. Then the ill-prepared clansmen enter the scene and charge, but are severely outmatched. Through the smoke, Jamie spots Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, the man to whom Jamie owes his revenge. They lock eyes and engage. At first things look pretty bad for Jamie, but he gets a few good hits, and stabs Black Jack in the side.
Now, it appears a cherubic Claire has come to Jamie and he fears the worst, but it turns out to be Rupert, who drags Jamie to the site where other surviving Highlanders are recovering. The dragonfly in amber gifted to him by Claire unceremoniously falls to the ground on the trek.
Things get worse for the other Highlanders, but Jamie’s luck has not run out. An army of English ascends upon them, headed up by Lord Melton, giving them all an hour to prepare to be executed. Rupert goes first and we hear the gunshot. Jamie volunteers to be next, but Lord Melton has other plans when he hears Jamie’s name, asking if he’s “Red Jamie.”
“I’ve been called that by my enemies,” he replies. But Lord Melton asks if the name John Grey means anything to him. Faithful viewers, and those who didn’t fast-forward through the ‘Previously On’ opening, will recall that Jamie saved John Grey back in season two. It turns out that John Grey was Lord Melton’s brother, and the Lord now spares Jamie’s life because of his past actions. He is sent back to Lallybroch, despite protests, to stay with his sister.
Then, we skip ahead to 1948 Boston where Claire and her first husband Frank are settling into their new home. Claire is having a tough time adjusting to her new subdued life after years of adventuring with Jamie. While Frank is a progressive man for the time, Claire meets many men who belittle and talk down to her. She gets laughed at for reading The Globe by Frank’s sexist boss. “Professor Randall, you’re going to have to pay closer attention to your wife’s reading habits,” he says. “She keeps reading The Globe, the next thing you know she’ll be trying to get women in Harvard Law.”
Claire follows up that women have already been admitted to Harvard medical school, a comment met with disdain. Frank tries to stick up for her, but to no avail. She’s missing the respect she had in the 18th century as a healer.
Claire tells Frank that she wants to get American citizenship, because she’s never felt a “strong attachment to England, and I want our child to have a real home.” The conversation leads to an argument, ending with Claire throwing an ash tray at Frank. And a few hours later, her water breaks. Even during labor, Claire has no autonomy, as the doctors only address Frank, and don’t take her desires into account. At the end of the episode, Frank waltzes in carrying a little baby girl, only to have a nurse blurt out, “Where’d she get the red hair?”
Outlander airs Sunday nights on Starz.
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