We Outlander fans have spent the first part of Season 3 watching Claire and Jamie's long, frustrating journey back to each other, wondering when exactly we're going to get to the good stuff. But once we get to the good stuff, what happens then? What happens after Claire and Jamie reunite on Outlander? If you've been reading the books, you'll know that they've got a lot more adventure left in store for them even after they find their way back to each other's waiting arms. Hint: it involves pirates. Warning: book spoilers ahead!
The finale of Season 2 showed eager viewers a little bit of what Claire's life looked like 20 years post-Jamie. If any of you cynics thought that maybe she'd forgotten him or moved on in really any way, well then you'd be dead wrong. It turns out that 50-year-old Claire is just as in love with her hunky Scottish husband as 30-year-old Claire was. When her strong-willed daughter and said daughter's very own Scottish hunk named Roger discover that Jamie did not, in fact, die at Culloden as he had every intention of doing, Claire decides then and there to go back to him. But Season 3 does not start with Claire rejoining Jamie right away. The season backtracks a bit to watch Claire and Jamie try to get on with their lives without each other.
As a result of this narrative backpedaling, the first part of the season got off to a pretty slow start. Claire is in the 20th century battling sexism as she studies to become a surgeon, raising Brianna, and trying not to resent her husband for resenting her. In the 18th century, Jamie is doing typical Jamie things — befriending people in prison and getting blackmailed into sex. After all this pining and slow-going, I think that the show owes it to the fans to really ramp up the action in the second part of the season. If the books are anything to go by, this wish will most certainly be fulfilled.
The third book of the series, Voyager, introduces a few new characters to the action, many of whom will go on to become bona fide fan favorites very soon. One of the most notable new characters is Jamie's youngest nephew, Ian, who was born in the second episode of the season. By the time Claire and Jamie reunite, Ian is a gangly teenager with a yen for adventure that simply will not be denied. Due to a series of mishaps and hijinks involving hidden treasure and a very salty ex-wife, Young Ian gets himself captured by pirates and Jamie and Claire must go off to save him. Seriously, only Diana Gabaldon can make this stuff up. You may have heard that a large part of Season 3 was filmed in South Africa and that the action would take them to Jamaica. This is why.
Along with the requisite physical adventure, Jamie and Claire must attempt to find their way back to each other emotionally now that they've found their way back to each other physically. The relationship between Jamie and Claire has always been the heart of the series, and that is no different now.
A gulf of 20 years and two centuries stands between them now. They may love each other just as much as ever, but things cannot simply go back to being hunky dory just like that. Jamie has had another child. He's gotten remarried. Claire has cut herself off from emotional intimacy altogether. Though I am all for pirate ships and treasure and swashbuckling, I think that the struggle for Jamie and Claire to bring their relationship back to what it once was will be the most interesting part of the season.
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