Requested by Elena

THOUGHTS ON THE OUTLANDER S2 FINALE

Thanks for the request @serenity5x5 ! Naturally, in preparation, I hand wrote four pages of notes and watched the episode as many times. I hope you like it! I whole-assed this thing, so it is very much TL:DR.
  1. β€’
    Theme song starts playing: 🎢 All that was good/All that was fair/All that was me is gone 🎢
    πŸ‘†πŸ½me, when this show goes back on hiatus
  2. β€’
    Open in the 1960s. Roger Wakefield is hiding from a wake for his late adoptive father, the reverend. Roger was perfectly cast imho - very charming and natural. Wears tweed magnificently.
    I'm the girl in the corner. Into it.
  3. β€’
    Claire's '60s hair sometimes looks a little Bride of Frankenstein. She's only in her 40s, why the giant streaks of gray? Otherwise she looks fabulous tho, natch.
  4. β€’
    Brianna, on the other hand, is not quite right. I don't HATE her casting, but she's just not how she was described in the book.
    Okay I hate her casting a little. In the book she is 6'0 w/ blue eyes and curly red hair, all things she inherited from Jamie. This actress is 5'8 w/ brown eyes and straight hair. As a 6'0 woman, I am annoyed that a better/taller actress lost out on this role. And it would be biologically impossible for her to have brown eyes when J/C both have blue. Why did production ignore this? UGH it offends my pedantry.
  5. β€’
    Caitriona Balfe is the most magnificent woman ever to grace the screen. She is my absolute idol. Pls address any contrary opinions to the trash where they belong.
  6. β€’
    Claire asking after Mrs. Graham is a tiny moment of tragedy; the only person she could ever talk to about Jamie is dead. Now she can't even take thin comfort in saying his name out loud.
  7. β€’
    The match cut between Brianna sleeping and the back of Jamie's head while walking really makes you appreciate Jamie's hair in this episode. This kind of dishevelment is a gift from God.
    And so is that profile.
  8. β€’
    Bonnie Prince Charlie is one of the most irritating TV characters ever. Kudos to this actor, but your face is infuriating and not in a good way.
  9. β€’
    A structural note on this episode: I wish there hadn't been so many cuts between past and present day. They undermine the emotional impact of the things happening in the past, especially Dougal's death. If that and the goodbye sequence at the end could have happened in larger, continuous chunks, it would have been more powerful I think.
    It makes sense to want to cut away more often from the occasionally clunky scenes between Roger and Brianna. They aight but I am here for Jamie and Claire, thx.
  10. β€’
    Claire in glasses is peak glasses. Congratulations, glasses, you will never look better than this.
  11. β€’
    Claire visits a dilapidated Lallybroch in the future. Usually I might find the vocal overlay ("I knew you belonged here with me from the first time I set eyes on you") a little heavy handed, but this time it was very effective, mainly bc Caitriona Balfe is such a powerful anchor for the scene. She is so wonderfully transparent.
    Hair looks a little BoF-y in this scene, but she's still killing it and me.
  12. β€’
    Back in the past, Jamie and Claire take too long discussing whether or not to kill the prince. Time's a-wastin' y'all! You should have done this when Murtagh suggested it way back in ep2! What's your hang up? He's the worst!
  13. β€’
    1960s again! Claire steps out in a trench coat and brown leather gloves, looking perfectly fabulous. All hail. She's on a genealogical hunt which yields results laughably quickly considering it's pre-Internet and she's asking about 18th century names. Oh well, this is hardly the place where my suspension of reality hits a snag.
  14. β€’
    Back in their guest room, Brianna cuts STRAIGHT to the point. "What did you do today?" becomes "Did you even love my dead father?" VERY fast. Brianna does not beat around the bush. Claire says she did, but it's not at all convincing, and when we cut back to the past we remember why.
  15. β€’
    Excuse me? I would forget my first husband's face, name, and everything about him if I married this man. "Did you ever love my fath-" "NO, BRIANNA. I DID NOT. Your real father had sapphires for eyes and a handful of perfect curls across his forehead. Don't be ridiculous."
  16. β€’
    Anyway, back in the past, Dougal is creepily eavesdropping on Jamie and Claire, who have spent 15 minutes debating whether or not to kill the prince, and they're still only JUST establishing that it would be cold-blooded murder. Yeah but remember he sucks? He's incompetent, has a delusional god complex, and doesn't care that you'll all die for it!
  17. β€’
    They don't explain very thoroughly on the show how Dougal was a foster father to Jamie for several years, or that Dougal sort of tried to kill Jamie a few years earlier. Theirs is a very complicated father-son type relationship. It's especially difficult to watch Jamie, who so clearly values his filial relationships, apologize to Dougal as he dies.
    He clearly regretted the necessity of that action. He couldn't even do it without Claire's help. Jamie's vulnerability consistently makes me weep. Sam Heughan is excellentttt.
  18. β€’
    Flash forward. Brianna is at a meeting of a Scottish nationalist group run by *surprise* Geillis Duncan. Brianna struts over to her and starts spouting factoids of Scottish history, I guess to prove that she's smart?? I studied history at an elite institution too, but I don't walk around reciting facts to prove it. Weak character choice.
    Hidden humble brag in the paragraph above.
  19. β€’
    "We are Bonnie Prince Charlie!" πŸ™„
    Cheesy.
  20. β€’
    Claire visits an exhibit on Culloden. Somebody makes a benign comment to her about a wax figure of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and she basically responds, "Yeah but he sucked in real life tho." Lol. Nearby, an old couple sees the dragonfly in amber in a display case of things found on the battlefield. Idk why they would put that in the exhibit but sure.
    Seeing the physical dragonfly in amber again makes me EXTRA livid that they made Claire say "dragonfly in amber" as a metaphor for feeling helpless a few episodes ago. We get it! That's the name of the book. Please stop clobbering us over the head with the dragonfly in amber.
  21. β€’
    Flashback. Rupert walks in on Jamie and Claire hovering over a dead Dougal. My first reaction would have been something like, "Oh my god! What happened? Why did you kill him? Did he try to assault Claire again? He was a real creep, huh?" But that's just me. Rupert went for blind loyalty to a known asshole. Boys will be boys.
  22. β€’
    Flash forward. Brianna may as well be a tree, the actress who plays her is so wooden. Beautiful, but rigid and hollow. It's hard to watch her in scenes opposite Caitriona bc Caitriona is exquisite.
  23. β€’
    Claire goes to Culloden Moor to say goodbye to Jamie once and for all. Sorry, I can't stop talking about how good Caitriona Balfe is, but she is EXCELLENT! She is totally believable. She's like a song; she communicates emotions so effortlessly. Even when the writing does not do her justice, she elevates it to a higher plane.
    NOMINATE HER. GIVE HER THE STATUES.
  24. β€’
    "Goodbye Jamie Fraser, my love."
    And goodbye me.
  25. β€’
    "Rest easy, soldier."
    Spoiler alert, Claire, but he's not dead and his bones aren't there and you're going to kick yourself later for saying goodbye and acting like you were going to let him go!!! As if, girl.
  26. β€’
    Dig Roger in this black cable turtleneck. Handsome mid century academic is a look.
  27. β€’
    Brianna confronts Claire about her "affair." Why does Brianna invite Roger to stay in this conversation? Seems v inconsiderate of both Claire and Roger. He hasn't even known them more than a few days.
    Also Frank sucks btw.
  28. β€’
    "I was not bored, and what Jamie and I had was a hell of a lot more than fucking! He was the love of my life!"
    Tell her, Claire! But at the same time, we def should have seen more fucking this season just to prove that point.
  29. β€’
    Flashback. Jamie and Claire send Fergus away to Lallybroch. The goodbyes are heart wrenching, but it's some sort of balm to see them call Fergus their son when you think about the fact that Jamie never gets to be a father to either of his two daughters. And he was so excited to be a father earlier in the season! Don't mind me, I'll just be crying.
  30. β€’
    Flash forward. Geillis's husband invites Claire, a perfect stranger, into his house, unloads about his personal problems, and drops into an armchair nap. This is also how *I* approach an unexpected guest situation. Pls don't visit me. I'm very sleepy. Claire, a thief with no compunction or obstacles, absconds with Geillis's time travel notebooks.
    Lol Nagina Stones
  31. β€’
    Flashback. Jamie tells Murtagh he plans to die on the battlefield, and Murtagh says, "You jump, I jump, Jack." I am drowning in my own tears.
    Outlander is full of complicated father-son relationships. This one is the best. Murtagh would sacrifice anything to protect and support Jamie. His love is unconditional, as a father's should be. Compare to Jamie/Dougal, Jamie/Fergus (or in future books, Lord John/William, Jamie/William, Jamie/Young Ian, etc etc.)
  32. β€’
    Flash forward. Brianna swallows her pride and asks Claire about Jamie. Claire tells her that loving Jamie was the most powerful thing she's ever felt. Is that unfeeling of her to say? Can we interpret that to mean, "I loved him more than I love you?" Is it fair to hold all mothers to the idea that motherhood is the best thing in their lives?
  33. β€’
    Geillis is about to travel back through the stones, and she's burning her sadsack husband as a blood sacrifice on the way out. Geillis has killed two husbands so far in this series to try to save Scotland. She's kind of...a legendary patriot. Ice cold water runs through her veins.
  34. β€’
    Flashback. Jamie is trying to convince Claire to go back to her own time. This entire goodbye sequence is superb. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are without equal. I can barely even write this.
  35. β€’
    Jamie tells Claire he knows that she's pregnant. It's not weird bc, apart from being a soldier, he's also a farmer and animal husbandry expert who knows all about the menstrual cycle, so don't make it weird, jerks. In the book he also points out how her body has begun to change with the pregnancy, so like. He's just being observant. Lay off him.
  36. β€’
    "But you are my home!" "And you are mine. But this home is lost."
    *I* AM LOST.
  37. β€’
    There is not one line delivery from Caitriona in this entire sequence that does not make emotional.
  38. β€’
    I'm pretty sure I requested a 30 min farewell love scene from this 90 min finale to make up for the lack of them all season, so this short one seemed VERY short indeed.
    Still beautiful but like. Why so quick?
  39. β€’
    Sam Heughan delivers all of the important book lines SO PERFECTLY. Particularly this whole thing:
    Gif credit for all these to tumblr user uptownhags
  40. β€’
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  44. β€’
    When *I* stand before God, I will probably still be weeping about this.
  45. β€’
    The writers don't give him as much to work with as they do Caitriona, but I wish they would bc he really is wonderful. He brings such nuance to the role! Let him have noms and statues, too! He's more than just a pretty face, guys.
  46. β€’
    I usually find it a little much when Jamie and Claire exchange "blood of my blood" type vows post-wedding in the book, but for some reason it never rings false when Sam and Cait say the words onscreen.
    Maybe bc they're really in love IRL?? πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ•΅πŸ½πŸ•΅πŸ½πŸ•΅πŸ½ I'll see myself out.
  47. β€’
    Jamie dances Claire backward to the stones, keeping eye contact the entire time as she tearfully repeats that she loves him and he stolidly refuses to cry. Only when he turns her, and she can no longer see his face, does he lose composure, a single tear coursing down his perfect cheek. This moment could have been the entire episode, tbh.
    Sam Heughan is the absolute gold standard for the single tear. I bet that tear has healing properties. I bet it could cure the world's ills.
  48. β€’
    Flash forward. Claire finds out Jamie didn't die. The timeline on this is iffy for me bc they already established that Culloden only really lasted about 15 minutes, but it started right when Jamie and Claire "finished", if you will. Jamie wouldn't have made it back in time to fight, but like. Sure. I'll keep my reality suspended.
  49. β€’
    True to form, the actors are the only thing about this show with any subtlety (and they're not even all masters yet. πŸ‘€ Sophie Skelton), so when Claire discovers that Jamie isn't dead, the music swells, the sun comes up, and the colors reach a crescendo of saturation. Zoom in on Claire's smiling face, on her eyes, sparkling with long dormant hope.
  50. β€’
    "I have to go back."
    YEAH YOU DO! GET YOUR KNOBBY KNEES UP THAT HILL, LEAP OVER THE CHARRED BODY THERE, AND πŸ‘πŸ½ GO πŸ‘πŸ½ GET πŸ‘πŸ½ YOUR πŸ‘πŸ½ MAN πŸ‘πŸ½
  51. β€’
    In conclusion, this episode was everything to me.
  52. β€’
  53. β€’
    Now to go into emotional hibernation for a year until s3 comes back. See you all on the other side.