Outlander Season 2 finale recap: The Battle of Culloden

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Jamie and Claire faced the realities that the Battle of Culloden would happen in the Outlander Season 2 finale. Because of that, Jamie made sacrifices many others wouldn’t be able to.

It seems fitting that the recap for the Outlander Season 2 finale is being written today. It’s the last Thursday before the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, which took place on April 16, 1746. This was the battle that would see the demise of the Scottish clans and highland ways. For Claire and Jamie, it was the moment that would see the two separated for 20 years.

We knew this was going to happen. The Outlander Season 2 premiere told us that Claire would find herself back in the 1940s, dehydrated, dressed in authentic Scottish clothing, and confused and shocked of everything around her. After three years of being missing, it was time for Frank to see her again, but would he be able to accept her back? The finale told us the aftermath of the move to America.

There were many jumps to the past and present (well, the past and further back in the past) during this episode. It’s easier to do the recap in two parts on two slides. This first slide will be a look at the events of the past and the next slide will be a recap of all the 1960s moments.

Culloden: April 16, 1746

It was finally time to face reality. After attempting to stop the battle and then attempting to win it, Jame and Claire knew that they weren’t going to change history. They had no choice but to go through with the mass slaughter that would happen since nobody was listening that it would be an ill-fated decision.

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Before Jamie even considered battle, he was going to make sure things were in order. The first item of business was Lallybroch. There was no way he wanted that to fall into the Crown’s hands, which would happen if he was taken down as a traitor. So, he signed a deed to pass it onto Jenny’s eldest son, Young Jamie. The date was set a year before Culloden, before Jamie officially became a traitor in the eyes of the Crown, ensuring the land’s safety.

Young Fergus is given the deed to Lallybroch and told to ride off. That keeps Fergus out of the battle, at least.

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

And before that could take place, Claire got an idea. What if they killed Bonnie Prince Charlie? Without him, there would be nobody to follow into battle (not that BCP did anything useful!) so the rebellion would be over. They could kill him with the same poison used to kill Colum MacKenzie (under Colum’s request, remember).

Of course, Dougal MacKenzie hears this plan and attacks Claire and Jamie to ensure they can’t kill Charles. That leads to the two of them having to kill Dougal together. Farewell, Dougal. As much as you could be a jerk at times, you were a strong, willful, and consistent character!

Who saw the murder of Dougal? Rupert. Well, he sees the aftermath and is shocked at Jamie’s actions. Off Rupert goes, ready to fight at Culloden and die for his cause.

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

After all this happens, Jamie tells Murtagh to get the Lallybroch men back home. Of course, Murtagh makes it clear that he’s staying at Culloden to fight by Jamie’s side. Did we think he would do anything differently?

Before they can go to fight, Jamie has one last task. He needs to get Claire safely through the stones and back to the 1940s. After all, she’s pregnant with his child. Yes, Jamie had kept track of her menstrual cycle and knew she hadn’t bled for two months. Even before Claire knew, Jamie was certain he was going to be a father and he was going to make this sacrifice to ensure Claire had someone to care for her and the bairn. There’s a hot and beautiful moment between them at the stones, before Claire leaves and Jamie goes off to die.

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