Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen the Season 2 Outlander finale, “Dragonfly in Amber.”
I know I’ve complained heavily this season about the lack of tension and stakes given the flash forward that began this season, but… I’m gonna have to complain a little more.
While I love being thrust into 1968, meeting Brianna, seeing Gellis again and getting a glimpse into what next season has in store, it still all felt a little expected. So Claire lived her entire life, apparently never really loving Frank again or having the manners to pretend to, raised a beautiful and smart daughter, only to find out that Jamie didn’t die in Battle of Culloden and immediately she is prepared to leave her entire life and go back through the stones to be with “the love of her life”
Yes, I understand that this is a love story and Claire and Jamie’s love is meant to be more powerful than any other ever imagined, but it all rang a little too melodramatic. She’s just going to leave her daughter and her career as a surgeon to wear corsets and be threatened with rape every other day? Sure, she may try to convince Brianna to come with her, but 1968 is a pretty rad year and the aforementioned hardships of the 1740s would be a hard sell for a girl of the future.
But those complaints are better suited for next season, when we actually see what Claire, and Brianna, decide. And while I did feel like a lot of this finale episode was expected (I mean, it’s a time travel tale, obviously she can continue hopping back and forth until she lands on the life she likes best), there was still a lot to enjoy.
One, for all the talk about the Battle of Culloden, we didn’t actually have to see any of the doomed fight. After so many war heavy episodes, I was glad to see Outlander return to what it does best for the finale: love. And while I may roll my eyes a little at the idea of Claire abandoning her entire life on the chance she can land back in a time where she and Jamie will be together, I won’t pretend there weren’t tears in my eyes as they said goodbye at the stones.
But then there’s Dougal’s death. It felt so unnecessary and rushed. I assume that it happens that way in the book and must be important later on in the series, but unfortunately that’s exactly what it felt like; one last bit of housekeeping that had to be shoehorned in so that something else will make sense further down the road. The character deserved better.
This entire season has been a mixed bag. There have been some truly great moments and some moments that felt forced. There have been great bits of character building and heartstring tugging, but there was also a significant lack of tension. It only makes sense that the finale would fit that description as well. Of course I’m still looking forward to next season because no matter how much I may nitpick over the plot structure, the characters are still beautifully created and their lives will continue to interest me. As long as there’s no more war talk.
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