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OUTLANDER Season 2 Premiere Recap: Through a Glass, Darkly

We’ll sing you a song of a lass that is bold, sassenachs, but know it’ll be partly in French and chockablock with spoilers! Meaning: if you haven’t seen the season two premiere of Outlander, turn away from this post now or you’ll see the future before you’d like!

We’re back! At long last, your Droughtlander has ended, Outlander fans. Season two is here and when the creators said they were, essentially, creating a brand new show? They weren’t kidding. There’s a lot of meaty business to slog through on this one. So where did we leave off last season? Well, Claire was pregnant with emotion — and a real, live baby! — as she boarded a ship to France with Jamie, fleeing Scotland and the memories of that season-ending run-in with Black Jack Randall. So naturally we’re hopping back to the future at the top of season two …but not so fast!

Book readers will no doubt be surprised to see that Claire finds herself in 1948, a scant few years after her initial disappearance, still pregnant (though barely noticeably, we might add — which feels odd considering all that’s still to come), and very upset. It doesn’t seem as though she returned of her own will: perhaps Jamie forced her through the stones to protect their unborn child? Mysteries for another day!


Frank, ever the Most Perfect of Dudes (fight me on this!!!), welcomed Claire back with incredibly open—but cautious—arms. His compassion for her situation and acceptance of her disappearance is downright saintly, made all the more so once she finally revealed the truth about where she’d been. His love for her is true and pure …even if the events of season one have undoubtedly changed that in Claire’s heart. Damn you, Black Jack Randall! Still: we’re glad that Claire didn’t have to keep all of this to herself. We were far from happy when, last season, Mrs. Graham told Frank about mysterious disappearances through the stones—that probably helped Frank to believe Claire once she finally told him the stone-cold-crazy truth.

We’re going to call foul on his burning all her old clothes though. They were worth so much money! Imagine the chill fablife you could’ve had in Boston on those duds, you fools! But I suppose that’s coming from a very poor 30-year-old perspective, and not someone who’s trying to, y’know, let go of the past.

Also that full circle/deja vu moment with the Fraser wedding ring: flashback to “The Wedding” episode and her Randall ring, anyone?


Outside of all of that, this was by and large a framing mechanism to show where we’re going to land at the end of this season. And in so many ways, it’s already proving wildly different from the last. Not only is the location weird, new, and different, so are the players involved. And it’s interesting to juxtapose 1745 Scottish Highlands life with that of Paris, France. There are still schemes to be planned, and a future to be changed, but the ways of life are so diametrically opposed, making the duo’s ability to survive and thrive in both, impressive.

But let’s be real: if the Jacobites knew the sort of people they were truly holding up as their governmental lord and saviors (meaning Bonny Prince Charles and his father), they’d probably not be so keen to have them retake the throne. No doubt that’ll be a struggle point for Jamie this season as he gets even more into the game, because it really does seem as though the roles will be reversed this season. The student will have to become the master when it comes to manipulation, deceit, and staying alive to get what you want. Jamie’s going to have to play the game instead of Claire this go-around, thanks to his lordship and general dudeness. Politics, man.

Without Black Jack around to amplify the tension there needed to be a new menacing thorn in the Fraser’s side, and this episode proved it to be none other than the Comte de Saint Germain (a.k.a. the Count of Saint Germain. French’s gonna be a big thing this season), an angry, posturing fella whose entire ship—and all the goods held within it!—was burned to ashes when a case of smallpox is confirmed in a passenger who was aboard it.

He threatened Claire for her actions and we have no doubt he will deliver on his promise. Damn it, Claire! Enemies abound when you’re a smart broad not of this time.

What did you think of the season premiere? Excited to return to Diana Gabaldon’s world? Happy that Murtagh’s back for more? Let us know in the comments below.

But before you comment, watch Sam and Cait and Ron and Diana explain what part of the future they’d change from SDCC:

Image Credit: Starz

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist and co-host of the unofficial Outlander podcast, Outlandish. Find her on Twitter, too, if that’s your bag (@alicialutes).

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