Like the Outlander episode with the silent movie flashbacks, the fantasy world in the finale has been met with mixed reviews. Here's why it's so important.
The Outlander Season 5 finale opted for a stylized approach. Like the silent movie flashbacks, the fantasy world moments have been met with mixed reviews. This isn't all that surprising, but it was certainly an important part of the episode.
Claire needed to separate herself from the events happening at the time. It was the only way she knew she could survive, which meant creating a fantasy world that included Jamie, Murtagh, Jocasta, and others in her own time. It's set around the last 1960s, with the majority of the characters in the modern-day. The only one who isn't is Jamie, who is an earlier version of himself.
Apart from the kilt, Jamie looks everything like the first season character Claire met. This is important in itself, as it's the version of Jamie that immediately made her feel safe when she found herself in the past. While the other men made her feel a little frightened, Jamie immediately made it clear that he would protect her, wrapping her in his kilt to keep her warm. It was only natural this version of Jamie would be the one she'd think of to feel safer than she was.
She never spoke in this fantasy world. Speaking would break it. Instead, she just took in the laughter from everyone else around her. The focus was on enjoying the holiday meal, which saw her family around her.
Finding it hard to fight
However, there were people missing. Brianna, Roger, and Jemmy weren't there. This was part of her current situation seeping in. It showed her fear of never seeing Bree, Roger, and Jemmy again. She was sure they were gone through the stones to their own time, so in this fantasy world, they had died in a car crash (connecting to Frank's death).
This was more than just the current events seeping in. It was the sign of Claire starting to give up. She'd said to Bree that losing her and Jamie would mean she couldn't survive. The loss of Bree in this fantasy world was the first sign of Claire giving up. She didn't know how much more of the abuse and torture she could take. Remember this came after Wendigo Donner said that he couldn't help her right at that moment—he needed to wait for the others to fall asleep.
There were other elements of the current time that would creep in. Lionel Brown and Hodgepile were the two cops to break the news about the car crash. Lionel kept showing up in the shadows or at the table. The drip on the ceiling would have connected her back to the wet ground. It got harder for her to keep fighting
Yet, Jamie was always there. He was the one to help her cling onto survival. And she knew Jamie was coming for her. Everyone would have known Jamie would come for her.
The fantasy world was a way for Claire to fight. She took herself out of the situation and surrounded herself with memories of the past and those who she loved. Her idea was to keep herself safe while she waited for Jamie, but it certainly wasn't easy.
What did you think of the use of the fantasy world on the Outlander Season 5 finale? How many connections to the past did you see? Share your thoughts in the comments below.