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Previously on Outlander: Claire and Jamie tried really, really hard to avoid the Battle of Culloden, but alas, ‘twas not to be.
1746: The battle is nigh. The very morning of, Jamie is still begging Charles to call the whole thing off, reminding this idiot that his entire army is cold, hungry, and seriously ill-prepared. Charles is basically all, ‘Whatever, doubter. Let me drop some more religion on you, because that often serves one well in circumstance such as these.’ Culloden is on.
Claire decides the only thing to do is to assassinate Charles, which is precisely what Murtaugh has been telling them to do since Paris day one, right? And they told him that wouldn’t work because…reasons. But now that it’s Claire’s idea, it’s totally cool. What Claire wants, Claire gets, and she’s not going to let a little thing like an actual human life stand in her way. And yes, you could make the argument that she’s hoping to save many lives here, but let’s not kid ourselves: she’s only doing this because she’s worried about Jamie. If it were just a bunch of Highlanders marching off to their doom, she’s probably just shrug and mutter, ‘War really is hell, in any century.’ And maybe patch up the survivors.
Previously on Outlander: Claire and Jamie decided to try and derail the Jacobite rebellion, which means subtly trying to cut off its funding via the finance minister. Claire managed to upset a nobleman and found out that Jack Randall isn’t dead.
Claire wakes very early in the morning and meets Jamie just as he’s returning from another evening of enforced partying with Charles Stuart at a whorehouse. Jamie tells her Charles is demanding a meeting with Duverney, which they’ve been putting off for as long as possible. Jamie’s got to rush off to take care of some business, then meet Duverney at Versailles for chess, then meet Charles again. Poor guy must be exhausted. When does he get to sleep? Claire worries a little bit about his lack of rest but he promises to get some shut-eye on the way to the palace. He urges her to go back to bed before she has to meet Louise and other ladies for tea. Claire rolls her eyes at the tedium of these girly get-togethers but Jamie brightsides that she might pick up something useful—you never know! Also, the French aristocracy were some of the most cultured and accomplished people in the world at that time, so although they’re made to seem really boring on this show, hanging out with some of them would probably be fascinating. Hell, they’d be fascinating purely from an anthropological point of view.
On his way out the door, Jamie notices that the little carved snake he’s had since he was a kid is missing. Claire impatiently promises to look for it. You can tell that these domestic matters drive her a little crazy. She watches him go, frowning.
Previously on Outlander: Claire Randall touched some very old stones in the Middle of Nowhere, Scotland and was hurled back to the 18th century where, for somewhat insane and complicated reasons, she had to marry the hunkiest man available. Poor girl. There were some adventures and shenanigans and sex, and then things got truly horrifying when the ultimate Big Bad, Captain Jack Randall (an ancestor of Claire’s 20th century husband!) took a shine to Jamie and raped and tortured him while he was in prison. Claire was able to spring Jamie from the horrorshow and slapped him out of being suicidal, and then the two of them and their unborn child hopped on a ship for France to maybe try to prevent the Jacobite Rebellion.
Claire wakes in the middle of the standing stones, seeming confused, and realises she’s lost something. She searches desperately for it, finds an old ring, then begins to wail. She VOs that ‘he’ was gone—and so was everyone else. The world she’d just left was now dust. So, looks like she’s back in the 20th century.
She makes her way to the road and a car comes upon her. She seems startled and uncertain at the sound of the horn. The driver steps out and asks if she’s ok, because she looks a bit bewildered and like she’s on her way to the Renaissance fair or something. Claire just looks at him blankly, then asks him what year it is, while advancing on the poor guy with some seriously crazy eyes. He tells her it’s 1948. She then asks who won the Battle of Cullodon, completely flipping out on the poor man, who tells her the British won, of course. She collapses into the road, weeping.