What year is Outlander Season 2 set in?

Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

Outlander Season 2 doesn’t just take place in one year. It covers three separate years and introduces us to new characters.

Most TV shows only take place in one year. Or they cover multiple years but in chronological order for the characters. Outlander is very different. We know that the first season takes place in two separate years: 1945 and 1743. The end of the first season also runs into 1744 for Claire and Jamie.

The second season takes place in three different time periods. One of those timelines is just a normal continuation for characters in the 18th century, but the other two time periods are all about Claire and introducing us to new characters.

The start of Outlander Season 2

The Outlander Season 2 premiere can be confusing for those watching it the first time. After all, we left Claire and Jamie sailing to France in 1744 at the end of the first season. So, when we pick up the story in 1948, there are a lot of concerns that there is an episode missing.

There isn’t an episode missing at all. Instead, the story simply picks up where the 18th century storyline ends. We see Claire as she comes through the stones from the 18th century back into the 20th century.

She arrives in 1948, which tells us that she leaves 1746—202 years of time travel. Frank has to make a decision as to whether he will take Claire back and raise another man’s child. It’s not easy to do, especially when he realizes that Claire is deeply in love with this Highlander who potentially died at the Battle of Culloden.

The timeline in the 18th century

After the first half of the season, we pick back up with the storyline in the 18th century. We see Claire and Jamie disembark the boat in France, and we’re back in 1744.

This storyline takes place over the course of two years. We see Claire and Jamie attempt to prevent the Jacobite rebellion, knowing how it will end for the Scots. When that doesn’t work, they have to join the cause and hope that they can change history.

Jamie doesn’t want to take the chance, though. It’s clear that Culloden won’t be a success, and so he sends Claire back (with unborn Bree) to the 20th century, to Frank who he is sure will take her back.

The Outlander Season 2 finale timeline

At the very end of the second season, we spend some time in the 20th century, but it’s not 1948. Instead, we see Claire and an almost-20-year-old Brianna in Scotland. They meet an adult Roger, who we saw as a child at the start of the season. This is in 1968.

This finale is important. Bree and Roger end up becoming major players in the story, with their own little love story told over the course of the next few books. This chapter also brings us back to Geillis’s storyline, who traveled to the 1730s in 1968, something we got a hint of in the first season.

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