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‘Outlander’ midseason finale recap: Jamie and Claire return home



It’s good that Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is a physician, unbothered by blood and missing appendages. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to scour through acres and acres of dead bodies looking for Jamie (Sam Heughan) after a battle. She’s also pretty good at waving a sword while threatening to kill someone. That woman picking through Jamie’s pockets didn’t stand a chance.

Claire comes undone when Jamie whispers, “That tickles,” as she inspects his listless bloody body for injuries. Why is he passed out on the front lines? How come he can’t get over his stupid hero complex? He could have been killed, and she is furious.

Jamie eventually allows her to vent as she cleans his hand. He learns that Ian (John Bell) is alive (good) and that we won the battle. Jamie’s mood is somber, which makes perfect sense. He’s worried about William (Charles Vandervaart). A victory for him could be the death of his son.

The rebels are causing quite a stir. Jamie receives praise for breaking the British line, scattering their soldiers, and saving 50 men in the process. Jamie waves off the compliment. He would do it again to save 10 men. Or five. Or even one. Claire silently cries as she realizes this stupid hero complex isn’t going anywhere soon.

Sam Heughan.
Starz Entertainment, LLC

Fast forward two weeks, and Jamie’s hand is looking pretty good. Way to go, Dr. Claire! Ian notices his aunty’s lack of enthusiasm at this encouraging news and presses her to spill the beans. A healthy hand means Jamie will be going back to war. How will she manage?

Speaking of managing, how is Rollo still alive after eating an entire canister of goose grease? Join me as I skip right over the disturbing details of the advantages of goose grease when used in digestive distress situations and instead rejoice over Ian throwing all caution to the wind by kissing Rachel (Izzy Meikle Small).

Sure, she slapped his face for such shenanigans. But she did lean back in when he boldly proclaimed that she loved him and needed to step away, or he would take her right there. Ian is not playing around. And it sounds like Rachel might be interested in following in the wayward footsteps of her brother. Asking him to pray about Ian meant there were definite vibes. Her heavy breathing was also a dead giveaway.

Izzy Meikle-Small and John Bell on ‘Outlander’.
Starz Entertainment, LLC

Meanwhile, a man visits Claire’s tent to inquire about a trade. He’s willing to give her a bottle of painkiller in exchange for some cinchona bark, which he needs to treat a soldier with malaria.

Then they debate back and forth over the importance of knowing one’s limits as Jamie walks up to join the conversation. When asked his philosophical take, Jamie quotes, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

The man is delighted by Jamie’s line and insists on learning the poet’s name who penned this intriguing take on life. Neither Jamie nor Claire mentions the name Robert Browning since he hasn’t been born yet.

The trio exchange goodbyes, and that’s when Claire realizes she doesn’t even know the man’s name. He laughs, appalled that he just snagged some much-needed bark without introducing himself. Everyone, say hello to Benedict Arnold.

Jamie wonders why Claire looks shocked. The men will follow General Arnold anywhere. He’s beloved. Didn’t she enjoy his company? He’s so fun and charming!

Claire wastes no time spilling the tea. This guy becomes disillusioned, switches sides, and goes down in history as nothing more than a traitor. Jamie wonders if they should let it happen, but Claire quickly reminds him that he is a turncoat in her timeline, and America wins. What if they stop him? Will America lose?

Suddenly, the scene switches to the second battle of Saratoga. Daniel Morgan is shouting for his gunmen to put a bullet through General Simon Fraser (Angus Macfadyen). Jamie can’t seem to pull the trigger that will result in his cousin’s death, so he jerks his rifle slightly at the last second. This results in the hat blowing off a stunned soldier’s head. That soldier is William.

Charles Vandevaart on ‘Outlander’.
Starz Entertainment, LLC

Obviously, this rattles Jamie for a few seconds. A rebel in a tree lands the money shot, and General Fraser slumps over his horse, with William at his side rushing him to safety. The Brits become confused as their leader is whisked away, and they begin to retreat. The rebels run after them in full force, following Benedict Arnold’s lead.

Jamie manages to make it all the way to the fort. Then he CrossFits his way right up that fort, taking down as many red coats as possible in the process. Everything seems to be in slow motion as he searches frantically for his son. Ian saves Jamie once or twice with a tomahawk because that’s what Ian does. Then Jamie spies General Arnold, injured.

It’s unclear if Jamie saves Benedict, but we find Claire at his side, nursing his wounded leg. Benedict is livid. He should have died on the battlefield. Then he launches a defensive rant about how he has constantly been robbed of honor and promotion. He hates the leadership who is in charge of his fate and wonders out loud if he will ever be remembered.

Claire assures him he will be.

Later that night, a soldier bearing a flag of truce asks Jamie to accompany him to the British camp. His cousin Simon is about to die and has requested Jamie’s presence. Jamie makes his way with Claire to Simon’s tent, and the cousins share a sweet moment before the general passes away.

Claire leaves Jamie to say his peace and runs into William outside. When a British soldier relays the news to William that Simon has died, he inquires about William’s missing hat and is disappointed to hear that a rebel shot it off his head.

Claire steals away to inform Jamie that William is right there. With boldness and teary eyes, Jamie marches up to William and says, “I believe I owe you a hat, sir.” Then he walks away without another word. He finally spoke to his son as a man. That’s all Jamie needed.

Once back at the camp, General Gates (Ged Simmons) asks for a private audience with Jamie, and we all assume he will be promoted to an essential military person who rides a horse. Instead, according to the terms of the surrender, General Fraser asked for someone to take his body back to Scotland to bury it properly. That someone is James Fraser. Sign Claire up!

Poor Ian has to leave his dog and his heart with Rachel. Rachel meets Mr. Bug (Hugh Ross) on the road, who recognizes Rollo and will probably do something heinous to him, but we can’t worry about that right now. Thanks to a ride on one of His Majesty’s ships, the Frasers are back in Scotland!

This is super handy since that horrible man Rob Cameron (Chris Fulton) has stolen little Jemmy, forcing Roger (Richard Rankin) and Buck (Diarmaid Murtagh) to go through the stones after them. If you can’t depend on family to help you find your kid (who is the only one who knows where hidden Jacobite gold is located), who can you trust?

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