We are only five episodes away from the season finale of Outlander, and it's been a rollercoaster of a third season. Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) started off in their own times, and suffered years apart while Jamie was in prison and Claire was raising their child. Finally, Claire learned that Jamie had actually survived Culloden, and headed back through the stones once more in search of the man that she loves.
After an intense reunion in Edinburgh in 'A Malcolm', Claire and Jamie weren't out of the woods yet. Last week in 'First Wife', the lovers traveled back to Lallybroch, where Claire learned that although Jamie hadn't loved anyone else, he had married someone: Laoghaire (Nell Hudson). Predictably, neither woman was thrilled about the situation, and Jamie's sister Jenny (Laura Donnelly) was also furious that Claire had just disappeared for so long. By the end of 'First Wife', though, it seemed that things were finally about to settle down for the Frasers. Claire and Jenny had made a kind of peace, and Laoghaire was willing to let Jamie go for an extortionate alimony. They planned to go collect the jewels that Jamie had found on an island, take them to France to be exchanged for Sterling, and start to rebuild their lives. This being Outlander, though, that is absolutely not going to happen...
Young Ian's Loss In First Wife
The brilliant plan concocted by Jamie to get Laoghaire her alimony needed Young Ian (John Bell), as Jamie's injured arm meant that he couldn't swim out to the island to collect the treasure. They couldn't wait for the arm to heal, of course, as that would take too long, so Ian volunteered to do the work. Once Ian had scooped up the box of jewels for them, he was planning to head to France with his uncle and Claire in order to start learning a bit more of the world; something that Jenny only said that she would allow if Jamie promised to take good care of him.
Unfortunately for Jamie (and Young Ian himself, of course), he wasn't the only one headed to the island that day. As Claire and Jamie watched helplessly from the shore, a pirate ship pulled up, and when Ian was discovered by the men aboard, they trussed him up and kidnapped him before heading back out to sea. Clearly, being kidnapped by pirates would not be considered to be 'kept safe', so Jamie and Claire are going to have to face an absolutely furious Jenny next week. They're also going to have to go after him, which may be difficult, given that they don't know exactly who took the boy, or where the ship is going.
Outlander In The West Indies
The change of scenery should be no big surprise to Outlander fans, of course. Filming locations and behind the scenes photos revealed that the pair would be traveling across the sea months ago (and of course, it's in the books!). However, this marks a major change for Outlander, as the shift away from Scotland is going to be a big one. It's not the first time that Claire and Jamie have traveled, of course, as they went to France early on to try and prevent the Jacobite rebellion that caused the deaths of so many. However, the French scenes included a lot of similar scenery and costuming to the Scottish ones. The bleak moors may have been replaced by manicured gardens, and the necklines plunged more than a little, but the same beautiful dresses and old world charm remained in both.
With Claire and Jamie heading to the West Indies this season, though, there is going to be a very different feel to the rest of the season. The temperature and location alone will be a big change, and at least three full episodes will be on a ship, which means a new style of storytelling to deal with the cramped quarters and limited cast of characters. In addition, this move will introduce slavery to Outlander in a big way; and this is a delicate topic that cannot be shied away from. Outlander has never been squeamish about violence and horror up till now, so there are sure to be some graphic and incredibly difficult to watch scenes coming up as well.
Voyager: Claire And Jamie's Journey In The Books
With the loss of Young Ian and the move to the West Indies, Outlander continues to closely follow the book series. As a whole, Outlander has managed to stay true to its inspiration, and there is no reason to think that the Frasers' journey to rescue Ian is going to be any different. Fans will be looking forward to seeing the lavish ball scene when Jamie and Claire arrive in Jamaica, as well as the return of more than one familiar face. One major deviation from the books, though, will be the scene where Claire discovers that Jamie has a son. In the original novels, Claire only discovers this in Jamaica, when an old friend mentions it to her. In Outlander, however, Claire has already been told about her husband's son, so this won't be shocking news to be revealed on the island.
Of course, as Outlander continues, the books become progressively longer, so it may be difficult to continue to tell an entire novel in only one season. For now, though, it seems that the end of 'Voyager' will be (mostly) faithfully reproduced on the small screen.
Will Claire And Jamie Return To Scotland?
For fans who love Outlander's Scottish feel, the move from the Highlands to the West Indies might be a bit of a jarring change, and Claire and Jamie will not be returning to Lallybroch any time soon. Assuming that Outlander continues to follow the plot of the books, Claire and Jamie will travel on from Jamaica to the colonies, where they will stay for quite some time.
That doesn't mean that fans of the celtic feel of Outlander will be entirely out of luck, though. While Jamie and Claire are done with the Highlands for a time, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) aren't. It's likely that we won't be seeing much more of Claire's daughter in season 3, of course, but season 4 (inspired by 'The Drums of Autumn') gives Brianna and Roger a very large part to play; much of which happens in Scotland. Eventually, the entire series shifts to the colonies, but that's all on the way... and for now, fans can enjoy the final scenes of Britain before the Frasers head aboard ship, and set out in search of Jamie's young nephew.
Outlander returns Sunday, Nov 12th with 'Doldrums'