Recap 'Outlander' Season 1 Before Claire & Jamie's Journey Begins Again
It's time to go back in time to the Scottish Highlands of the 1700s and reunite with Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall — the two characters at the center of Starz's time travel drama Outlander. Of course, the series has been on hiatus for a while, so I wouldn't blame you if you were a little hazy on the details from Season 1. Don't worry, I've got you covered with an Outlander Season 1 recap to get you back up to speed on the goings on of Jamie and Claire before Season 2 premieres.
First off, let's start with the broad strokes of the show's premise — which I'm sure you remember, of course, but humor me here. Claire is a former World War II combat nurse who, on her second honeymoon, is transported back in time 300 years where she meets the strapping young clansman Jamie. However, being an outlander — or Sassenach, as Jamie fondly refers to her — in a strange country and time isn't just about romance, there's also plenty of politics and violence involved. Is it all coming back to you now? If not, here are the highlights from the Highlands in Season 1 of Outlander that will prepare you for Season 2.
Meeting Black Jack Randall
One of the first people Claire meets in 1743 is the Redcoat Black Jack Randall, the forefather of her husband Frank and an enemy to Jamie because of their previous meetings. Black Jack is the Redcoat who dealt Jamie two serious floggings, leaving Jamie nearly dead. (This becomes super important later on when it's revealed that Jack has a fascination with Jamie.)
The Healer of Castle Leoch
After being rescued by Jamie and the other clansmen, Claire is taken to Castle Leoch. But, since the laird thinks Claire could be an English spy, she's forced to remain at the castle as their healer rather than travel back to the standing stones near Inverness. She attempts to plot an escape during a larger gathering of the clansmen, but is stopped by Jamie.
After earning the trust of Dougal, the brother of the laird, he takes Claire with him to collect the rents from their people. During this time, it's revealed that Dougal is also raising money for the Jacobite Army, a rebellious effort against the English crown. Additionally, when it seems Claire has finally earned the respect of the Scottish men, she is "rescued" by a Redcoat and brought to Black Jack. Jamie rescues Claire from Jack — who has figured out that she's lying about where she came from — and in order to save her from further questioning, Jamie and Claire get married. Understandably, Claire is torn between her husband Frank and her feelings for Jamie.
When Claire is taken again by Jack's men (during her attempt to return to her own time and husband), Jamie rescues her again. The event tests their marriage, ultimately making it stronger. However, it causes problems with Dougal and the laird of Castle Leoch. Then, when Jamie leaves to help a Duke who would clear Jamie's name of his crimes alleged by the Redcoats, Claire runs into trouble with the local townspeople. They accuse her of witchcraft and hold her prisoner with her friend Geillis. Although Geillis is killed for her crimes, Claire is rescued by Jamie — but not before noticing a smallpox vaccine scar on Geillis, proving she was from the future as well. As a result, Claire comes clean to Jamie about how she wound up in 1743. He offers to help her get home, but she chooses to stay with him. (Seriously, these two are the greatest.)
Unable to return to Castle Leoch, Jamie brings Claire to his home of Lallybroch to meet his sister Jenny. The estranged siblings reconcile just in time for Jenny to give birth to Jamie's niece. At this time, Claire also reveals she has been unable to get pregnant and fears she won't be able to give Jamie children. However, that set of worries go out the door when Jamie is captured and Claire learns he has been taken to Wentworth Prison to await execution.
Claire Rescues Jamie This Time
In an effort to save Jamie, Claire makes a deal with Dougal and his men to rescue her husband. Meanwhile, Jack has arrived at the prison and tortures Jamie in an attempt to gain his submission. When Claire attempts to save Jamie but is caught by Jack, Jamie offers his submission to Jack in exchange for Claire's freedom. Now here's where the season gets dark: Jack rapes Jamie. However, Claire and Jamie's friend Murtagh are able to come up with a new plan to save Jamie, and they succeed in rescuing him from the prison.
The psychological trauma from Jamie's torture at the hands of Jack leaves him feeling suicidal while he and Claire recuperate in a refuge. Eventually, Claire is able to break through to Jamie and the two reconcile. They decide to set sail to France in an effort to save the Scotsmen from a disastrous battle. Plus, Claire reveals to Jamie that she's pregnant as they sail off into the (metaphorical) sunset.
OK, that was a lot to take in — it was a lot to cram into the 16-episode season, as well. Now that we're all caught up on Outlander, who's ready for Season 2? I know I am.
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