Outlander Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Claire returns to Frank

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

The Outlander season 2 premiere shocked many with the opening, as Claire found herself back in the future where nothing had changed.

After months of anticipation, Outlander fans tune in for the Season 2 premiere and were instantly shocked. Book and show fans alike were confused. While book fans expected some time travel, they expected it to start in the 1960s. Those who hadn’t read the books suddenly went from Claire and Jamie setting sail to Paris to Claire back in 1940s Scotland at the stones. Just how did that happen? Well, it was all slowly told, making it clear that there was plenty of exciting in the coming episodes.

Frank invites Claire back into his life

After two years in the past, Claire returns to the future in her 18th century frocks malnourished, dehydrated and confused. As a man drives up to her, all she wants to know is the year and the end to the Battle of Culloden. Is there any chance that the battle ended in favor of the Jacobites?

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When she realizes that it’s 1948 and the future is still the same, she collapses. The man gets her to the hospital, where Frank is called. He’s extremely happy that Claire has returned to him. It’s clear that despite believing she had left him for someone else, he still holds a torch for her. However, Claire isn’t quite there.

The sounds outside are too loud and there’s too much happening around her. On top of that, the man she’s looking at reminds her of Black Jack Randall, who we last saw torture and rape Jamie.

Frank isn’t about to just let Claire go. He wants Claire to open up and explain where she’s been and how the hell she’s dressed in authentic 18th century clothing. The only person Claire will talk to though is Mrs. Graham, who accepts everything she says about the stones and the past. She does have some advice for young Claire; don’t live your life chasing a ghost. Considering there’s a man who loves her in arms reach, it should be good advice and Claire knows that.

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Claire tells Frank the truth

Claire could have told Frank any story, but she opts for the respectful truth. Yes, the “I went to the past, got stuck and now I’m back” story. All she asks is that he keeps all questions to the end. Yes, she even goes into detail about her marriage to Jamie, the Battle of Culloden and the witch trials. And he believes her. No questions at all. He just accepts it all as true. Either he just really loves her, he really does trust her, or he just doesn’t want to believe that she could have ran off. We know the time travel is the truth, but realism would have said Frank wouldn’t just believe this story.

Regardless, it all seems to go well, until Claire tells Frank she’s pregnant. He’s initially happy, until he realizes that Claire has been gone two years. This can’t be his child. It’s the man she married in the past. Claire even confirms that.


Understandably Frank is angry. Rather than lash out at Claire, he takes it out on all Reverend Wakefield’s boxes in his shed. RIP boxes!

Reverend Wakefield doesn’t get angry, but offers his own advice. After all, he’s raising his nephew Roger as his own son. It’s sweet advice, but Frank admit that he’s sterile. How can he raise another man’s child when he knows he can’t have one of his own?

In the end, Frank offers Claire a deal: they can be a family but Claire must leave the past in the past. That means giving him everything that she owns from the past and not researching anything about Jamie again. They’ll move to Boston, since Frank has conveniently been offered a job at Harvard, and they can start afresh where nobody knows them.

Claire and Jamie make it to France

Meanwhile, back in the 1740s, Jamie, Claire and Murtagh finally get to France. It’s time to start telling the story of just how Claire ends up in 1948. What takes her away from Jamie? Why do they end up at Culloden?

Well, as Murtagh disgustedly comments about France reeking of frogs, the newly pregnant couple start their plans to prevent the Jacobites from rising. Jamie wonders if working on Culloden being a success is better, but they might be able to stop it at all. Bonnie Prince Charlie is in Paris. Now they’ll just need a way into the Jacobites planning. Jamie’s cousin, Jared, is the perfect way to do that.

Jared isn’t initially sure, since Jamie has never shown as interest in politics before. However, Claire uses Dougal’s tactics from the first season, showing Jared the scars on his back. Surely just seeing the damage to his hand would have been enough, but Jamie isn’t ready to talk about that right now.

Jamie and Claire’s timing is just right. Jared wants to get to the West Indies, but didn’t have anyone he trusted to run his business. Jamie is the right man for that. The deal is on and it’s time to prevent Culloden.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Outlander without a dangerous foe. When Claire realizes that an incoming boat has sick men with smallpox, she makes sure the authorities are alerted. That means the boat and everything on it has to be burned. The boat belonged to Comte St. Germain, who is definitely not impressed with the loss of stock and money.

Next: Ranking the Outlander season 2 episodes

Were you confused at the opening of the episode? Did it intrigue you for the rest of the season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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