On the fourth day of Claire-mas, I’m defending Claire for asking for one year in Outlander Season 2. There’s a lot to go into with this one.
During Outlander Season 2, Jamie and Claire believe that Black Jack Randall is dead. When he turns up in Paris, Jamie immediately wants to kill the man. That’s fair considering everything that Black Jack did to him, but it’s also fair that Claire requested Jamie wait one year.
She wasn’t saying don’t kill Black Jack at all. She just wanted Jamie to wait one year to do it to make sure Mary Hawkins ended up married to him and pregnant.
Claire-mas: Claire may not have ended up in the past
At this point in time, Claire has no idea how time travel works. She still doesn’t know the full details, and neither do we. We only know from Diana Gabaldon that time travel isn’t a loop. Without Gabaldon saying something, there are all sorts of questions about how things in the future could change.
Claire and Jamie find out that Jack is alive. That could explain to Claire how she is still in the past after that. He didn’t die after all, so there is still a chance that the Randall line can continue. She needs it to continue.
Something I wish was actually mentioned is Claire’s fear of what would happen if Black Jack Randall dies too early. I would love for her to tell Jamie that if he dies then it could mean Frank isn’t born. Without Frank being around, Claire wouldn’t be at the stones in Scotland. She might not have made it to the past after all. Not all time travelers do end up going through the stones because they never end up near them.
That might have helped Jamie understand why it was so important for Frank to be born. Instead, Claire focused on just wanting Frank to be alive because there was still a part of her that loved him—not in the same way as she loved Jamie, but she still loved him.
Claire didn’t know Jonathan wasn’t the father in Outlander Season 2
I know a lot of people say that Black Jack Randall wasn’t Frank’s direct ancestor, but that doesn’t matter here. Claire didn’t know that it was actually Alex Randall who is Frank’s direct ancestor.
Even then, without BJR, Frank wouldn’t have had the life he did have. If Mary and Alex had married before he died, Mary would have been left in a life of poverty. That would have changed everything. Again, it could have changed whether Frank and Claire met as Frank wouldn’t have come from money.
What we learn at the end of Outlander Season 2 has no weight in decisions and requests made while in Paris.
In the end, without knowing exactly how time travel works—we’re working with the theories from characters—we have no idea what changing the past could actually do. I don’t blame Claire for asking for a year just to make sure Mary ends up pregnant.