Reunited and it feels so good…
Outlander season 3 explores some serious themes: Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is trying to make it as a doctor in 1960s Boston where… Who are we kidding?
Yes, Outlander may be a “historical romance”, but we don’t come for the accuracy of the history, do we? The series was, is, and always will be about Claire and Jamie (Sam Heughan). The biggest question we were left with after season two was “when, oh when, oh when, oh when, oh when, oh when, oh when are they going to get back together?"
(Okay, perhaps the biggest question was really “Will Jamie survive the Battle of Culloden?”, but given the main attraction of the show, it’s not a huge spoiler to say that Jamie’s alive and will eventually be reunited with Claire.)
We may have to wait a few episodes, but seeing as poor Claire has had to wait 20 years, it doesn’t seem too much of an ask. And delayed gratification just makes their eventual… ahem… coming together all the sweeter.
But, you may well ask, if they’re 20 years older, doesn’t that make Claire – gulp – 50 years old and Jamie around 46? Will he want to hook up with an older woman? Claire’s worried about this because, since she last saw him, her body has changed - but not in any way that’s, you know, visible to the naked eye.
Aside from a grey streak in her immaculate 1960s ‘do’ (which she covers up with Clairol), Claire looks exactly the same. Or at least she does to Jamie, who very quickly discards his old-man spectacles like they’re a Superman disguise. For his part, Jamie, despite working as a printer for a number of years, has clearly not been skipping abs day either. Plus, everyone looks good by candlelight…
In short: she’s still hot, he’s still hot, they’re still hot together. So steamy, in fact, that, almost as soon as Claire shows up, Jamie’s printing shop burns down. But that’s a whole other story…
Once again, Jamie’s hotness saves the day...
But before we delve too deeply into season 3, let’s have a quick refresher on what some of our fave characters are up to:
Well, mostly they’re dead. Which, given they were about to run into one of the bloodiest, most losingest battles in history, isn’t much of a surprise. Thankfully, not everybody dies. But in a Scotland being run mostly by English, uppercrusty types with a “We won, you lost, nyah, nyah, nyah” attitude, it’s not a fun place to be for Scots.
Jamie & Co land in a particularly nasty prison. (Although, in a twist that will surprise exactly no-one, the prison governor takes a shine to Jamie and, well, we all know how that turned out last time…)
Doing somewhat better since the battle are Jamie’s sharp-tongued sister (who needs her own show) and her husband, who are raising their own passel of brats, plus the one Jamie brought home from France.
Over in ‘Bahston’, Claire is raising Jamie’s daughter Brianna with blanks-shooting husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). Poor Frank. Because we’ve watched so many scenes of his lookalike ancestor Black Jack Randall raping and pillaging his way around 18th century Scotland and France, it’s easy to forget that Frank is a very decent man who was in love with Claire and was devastated when she went missing.
Then he had to cope with her returning and announcing she’d travelled through time, married another man, and was pregnant with his baby (Ha! That old one!). To top it all off, once in Boston, Claire, still pining for Jamie, comes down with a bad case of “yuck, don’t touch me” and Frank is a very frustrated man.
Given that Frank’s own death was revealed in the season two finale, we know he’s not long for this world. Will he find some modicum of happiness before his untimely demise?
Brianna (Sophie Skelton), meanwhile, has grown into a red-headed beauty. (Dear old Dad is shocked by a photo of her in a bikini, which is a bit rich considering his own fondness for skinny-dipping…)
Brianna and wannabe boyfriend Roger (Richard Rankin) actually aid and abet Claire in her mission to track down Jamie. They encourage her when she decides to head back in time again to find him. Claire hesitates for roughly two seconds about leaving her daughter behind, until she remembers this:
So what can we expect from season three?
Well, this is Outlander, so expect lots of murders, fires, plotting against the Sassenachs, attempted executions of Jamie by said Sassenachs, kidnapping and attempted seductions of Jamie by infatuated men.
Add a shipwreck, a search for buried treasure and a missing nephew, weddings, parties, the world’s worst dinner party with a crazy ex-priest and snakes and a couple of witchy women from the past and we’re in for a rollicking good season!
Outlander season three starts Thursday 27 September at 10:20pm on SBS.