Outlander Season 2, Episode 13 Recap: Back To The Future

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) and Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton).
Warning: This article contains spoilers from tonight's season 2 finale of Outlander. Read at your own risk.

Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

The season 2 finale kicks off in Scotland circa 1968, where a now-grown (and rather dishy) Roger Wakefield is hosting Reverend Wakefield's funeral. A quick primer on Roger: He's got a beard. He really likes brown, wool, and brown wool. And, as Claire notes, he's got a "lovely physique." He's like Jamie Fraser mated with Tom Hiddleston.

Speaking of Claire, she's now a 50-year-old Jackie O. look-alike who has swapped her corsets and tartan prints for Burberry and Twiggy-style shadow. We approve. She greets Roger at the funeral and we get a quick update: Frank has died, Claire is now a surgeon living in Boston, and her daughter Bri (short for Brianna) is a 20-year-old flame-haired beauty studying history at Harvard. Roger is also studying history, at Oxford, and the pair make an instant connection.

A smitten Roger offers to let the women stay in his late adopted father's home. Over a nightcap, he tells Claire that his real name is Roger MacKenzie (ring a bell?), whose ancestors fought at Culloden. Roger's parents were killed in World War II, and thus he was adopted and raised by the reverend.

The extended stay gives both mother and daughter the opportunity to do a little a historical sleuthing. Bri sets off to the gloomy Fort William with Roger while Claire travels to her old home at Lallybroch, now abandoned and lifeless. A visit with the world's most helpful clerk confirms that the estate's title was passed from Jamie to his nephew, thanks to a document bearing Claire's smudged signature. Claire also asks for a genealogical search on Roger MacKenzie.
Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).
And what is 18th-century Claire up to? The action cuts back and forth between past and "present." The morning of April 16, 1746, sees Jamie making yet another last-ditch attempt to steer Charles away from marching into battle. The prince is still an idiot, so Claire comes up with a better idea: kill him. Didn't Murtaugh suggest that months ago?

Unfortunately, Dougal happens to be listening as Claire describes how she could eliminate Charles with a cup of her lethal yellow jasmine tea. Outraged and betrayed, he leaps out and calls her a "filthy whoring witch" and some other things we shouldn't repeat. He then attacks Jamie, does some serious damage to his nephew's already-mangled fingers, and ends up in a wrestling match on the floor with a dagger between them. Claire steps up and helps Jamie push the knife through Dougal's chest and, just like that, she's offed two MacKenzies in less than 24 hours.

It's a bad time for Rupert to walk in. He's disgusted that Jamie has killed his clansman, but agrees to give him two hours before sounding the alarm. Murtaugh and Fergus are informed of Dougal's death and everyone leaps into action. First, everyone signs the pre-dated transfer of property, which Fergus must take to Jenny's for safekeeping. A tear blots Claire's signature and they all bid an emotional farewell to our little French scamp.

Jamie then tells Murtaugh to take the Lallybroch Frasers away and lead them to safety. Jamie will escort Claire to Craigh na Dun, then return to fight at Culloden. He and Murtaugh have a beautiful bromance moment and if Murtaugh doesn't survive this all, Starz will be hearing from our therapists.

Claire is not happy about being banished, but she doesn't have much choice. It seems Jamie is something of a period whisperer and has figured out that Claire is pregnant. "This child is all that will be left of me, ever," he tells his protesting wife. She must raise the baby with Frank, as she promised.

He also declines to come through the stones with her, arguing that his "destiny lies in Culloden Moor." Also, he'd probably have to stop wearing kilts — what's the fun in that? The two have a perfunctory shag by the stones, then a little gift exchange. She hands him the dragonfly in amber Hugh Munro gave them as a wedding gift; he gives her his father's ring to give the baby, which will be named Brian, after his father. They do a little dance, utter declarations of love, have a kiss, and then it's time to touch the stone. And no, we're not crying. Someone must be cutting onions.
Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Bri and Roger head to Craigh na Dun.
Let's pop back to 1968, shall we? Claire, who has been fielding some snide remarks from Bri about her love for Frank, discovers that very same dragonfly in amber at a local museum. She then visits the Clan Fraser marker at Culloden to fill Jamie in about her life, their daughter, and her need to say goodbye. Ugh, those damn onions again.

Meanwhile, Bri and her new bestie, Roger, head off to the university. Who do they discover there, banging on about Scottish independence and the greatness of bonnie Prince Charlie? None other than Geillis Duncan, though she introduces herself as Gillian Edgars, spokesperson for a group called the White Roses of Scotland. What a wee little world.

Back at the house, Bri and Roger do some snooping through Reverend Wakefield's journals. It seems that Frank distanced himself from his ancestor, Jack Randall, after learning of his misdeeds. The shit really hits the fan after Bri discovers a newspaper clipping about Claire's three-year disappearance. She may be a history major, but it's not hard to do the math. There's no way Frank can be her biological father — Claire's got some explaining to do.

"It's complicated," Claire offers, in the biggest fucking understatement of all time. She tries to explain about the whole time-traveling, marrying a second Scottish husband thing, but Bri isn't buying it. After telling her mother she wishes she'd been the one to die, Bri stomps off to the pub with Roger. That went well!

They run into Gillian/Geillis at the pub, who happens to mention that she's leaving that night to "further the cause," which is shorthand for shagging Dougal MacKenzie and getting burned for witchcraft.

Claire happens to find Gillian's flyer at the house and recognizes her former friend. Geillis told her once that she came through the stones in 1968, so Claire rushes to her house. All she finds is Gillian's ne'er-do-well husband, Greg, a drunk Will Forte look-alike who moans about his wife's obsession with Scottish history. He conveniently passes out, allowing Claire to pocket some notebooks filled with sketches of Craigh na Dun. Upon further inspection, it appears that Gillian believed that time travel through the stones required a human sacrifice.

Bri and Roger return home. Together, they all piece together their findings. Gillian is clearly planning to go through the stones tonight, but warning her off comes with a complication: Roger, you see, is a descendent of Geillis and Dougal. Stopping her from traveling back in time and then having her baby would theoretically make Roger nonexistent. In the end, they decide to at least warn Gillian about the whole being-burned-at-the-stake thing.

Claire rushes off to Craigh na Dun with Bri and Roger, who are mostly there just to humor her. In true black-widow style, Gillian has offed Greg as her human sacrifice, gliding through the stones as they watch. The truth suddenly dawns on Bri, while Roger is sent to alert the police. Dawn is breaking when he returns. Bri urges him to tell Claire about the research Frank had commissioned. Long story short, James Fraser escaped execution at Culloden. He survived.

Claire is stunned.

"He survived, he survived," she says, turning to look at the stones. "If that's true, then I have to go back."

And that's a wrap on season 2. Will Claire ditch her daughter to track down Jamie? Will Jamie still be hot? And for the love of god, what happened to Murtaugh?

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