"When Jamie survives the battle of Culloden he has a great sense of loss because he was expecting to die," Sam Heughan explains in the new Outlander season 3 video, titled "Parallel Lives," released by Starz on Friday, July 28. In case you were wondering, this season is all about suffering — at least at first.
It's clear the Highlander will spend much of the time struggling with PTSD, survivor's guilt, and heartbreak. He's also got to live in hiding from the British, which explains the disheveled, dirty and long-haired Jamie we've seen in stills from the season.
The scene of Jamie waking up in a field of corpses is a stark contrast to those of Claire's (Caitriona Balfe) life in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. Despite her shiny life as a doctor and mother in Boston, we learn that she is grieving too.
"We see Claire in the 1940s having lost the love of her life, and having lost an important part of herself," Balfe says. "We see how she survives and how she builds a life after that."
One more person suffering from the aftermath of war and time travel is Claire's 20th-century husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies), who in one scene laments, "Claire, when I'm with you, I'm with you, but you're with him."
That is the power of Outlander, the Diana Gabaldon novels it's based on, and its stars: In the two-plus minutes of season 3 footage, you might find yourself swinging between tears and lust dozens of times. Maybe lust is wrong, given that most of the characters are totally devastated by loss, but sorry: it can't be helped.
The footage is the latest in a series of teasers for season 3. Footage released previously spoiled the fact that Claire and Jamie reunite by the middle of the season, and they eventually make their way to Jamaica. At the Outlander panel for the Television Critics' Association summer press tour on Friday, Balfe revealed a disgusting bit of trivia for fans who know how tough that trans-Atlantic voyage must be on seasick-prone Jamie.
“Somebody made the decision to make [fake vomit] with milk,” Balfe said, according to Variety. “The smell was rather pungent. It was challenging.”
Maybe thinking about that will help us stand the wait until the series returns on September 10.