(Spoiler warning: Do not read on if you have not watched Sunday’s huge episode of Outlander. Plot details will be discussed in detail.)
Well, that’s it, the wait is over. OUTLANDER finally reunited Jamie and Claire, and it was a reunion hard-won and long-awaited, forth both fans and characters alike.
Fans of the book should be delighted to have been able to finally see the famous print shop scene play out on screen and executive producer Maril l Davis broke down what went into writing that scene.
“We did follow the book fairly closely for that scene,” Davis told Tracking Board. “We knew fans were so excited about it and we were excited about it. That’s really similar to the book where they see each other, it’s been 20 years and Jamie ends up fainting. There’s also something to be said for this moment of anticipation, this foreplay. These two are seeing each other and there’s this building of, oh my god, what are we going to do? Are we going to kiss? How’s it going to be? So we wanted to follow that and revel in the moment.”
While the reunion caps off five episodes of longing and anticipation for Jamie and Claire fans, it does leave some baggage behind for Claire, namely, the fact that she has to leave her daughter Brianna behind in the 20th Century.
“Obviously, Claire is a mother,” Davis said. “There was a lot of discussion in the room about what it would be like, to leave a daughter behind, to make that decision to go back. At any point in your life, when you see your children grown, do you get to have your own life? You’re always going to be a mother, but do you put yourself first? There were so many interesting discussions surrounding that. Ultimately, we felt the only way to pull that off was to have Brianna make the decision, that Claire needed to go back… For Brianna, to allow her mom to make that decision to go back and to be okay with it, it shows her progression, her maturity. She’s obviously still struggling with who she is as well. Even though she doesn’t need her mom like when she did when she was younger, you always need your mom. So that’s a hard choice to make. But we needed to see that Claire is fighting both the excitement of this idea that Jamie’s back but also fighting this feeling that she’s abandoning her daughter and she’s had a life here, and what happens if she goes back and things aren’t the way they were 20 years ago? Because a lot happens in that time. So it’s such an interesting episode for Claire and for Brianna, both their challenges and their emotional arcs.”
It begs the question: Couldn’t Brianna just go with her mother? Sure, that’s not what happens in Diana Gabaldon’s book Voyager and the Starz series has stuck pretty close to the source material, but that potential deviation was never seriously entertained.
“Even though we’ve laid some groundwork at the end of Season 2 that Brianna can hear the stones, there’s really no guarantees that she can go back and would be safe,” said Davis. “And also, life back in the 1700s is not an easy life. As Claire has seen, it entails a lot of sacrifice, especially with Roger in this life. I don’t think Brianna is thinking about going back. That’s Claire’s life, not hers at this point. She has her own life, she’s in school, and I don’t think, even from us, we really considered deviating from the book in that way. Brianna has a life in Boston and to give that up to go back to a time she doesn’t know, things would be so different and her opportunities would be so different. No, we didn’t consider that.”
Of course, book fans know what happens to Roger and Brianna after they are left behind in the 20th Century. Suffice to say this is not the last time
“We haven’t seen the last of those two crazy kids,” Davis said. “We will see them again, but not necessarily this season.”
Outlander airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Starz. And don’t worry, we will have much more on Jamie and Claire’s reunion… after next week’s episode.