Let me just start by saying: Mr. Ronald D. Moore, you're a genius!
When the interviews concerning the Season 2 of Outlander came out and producer Ronald D. Moore said author Diana Gabaldon had approved of the book changes he'd made, I had my doubts. I mean, Dragonfly in Amber is a great book, but the time shifts in it can get a bit confusing at times, so it was going to be a challenge to transfer all of them onto the screen. But the Season 2 finale perfectly knitted together all of the flashbacks in a single episode, without any confusion whatsoever. Outlander's 'Dragonfly in Amber' is, truly, a masterpiece.
Needless to say the following top moments from the #OutlanderSeason2 finale will contain spoilers - for the episode and the book alike — so take care of watching it before you scroll further down.
Roger and Brianna Bring It Home
When Sophie Skelton was cast, book readers weren't much enthused because she didn't look the part. Brianna (Fraser) Randall is supposed to be this red-headed fury of a woman, taller than a regular 20 year-old from the '60s and with fierce blue eyes just like Jamie Fraser's. Well, to put it simply, Sophie made her even better. She delivers all the necessary fury in her conversation with Claire, when her mother tells her about time-traveling and Jamie Fraser — in which Brianna, of course, doesn't believe.
Brianna has many of Jamie's attributes, regardless of not looking exactly like him - which makes her character all the more realistic. Her interactions with Roger (MacKenzie) Wakefield are straight from the book pages, and their chemistry is seriously undeniable. They are the next power couple in Outlander, and seeing them tour around the Highlands made me eager to see more of them in Season 3. Their Fort Williams visit was particularly emotional, since her father Jamie was flogged there back in Season 1 by 'Black Jack' Randall.
"Goodbye Jamie Fraser, My Love"
Claire made her own little trip down memory lane in the season finale of Outlander. As this is the first time she's returned to Scotland after leaving to America with Frank Randall in 1948, Claire takes the time to visit her Scottish home of Lallybroch and the infamous Culloden Moor — where she believes Jamie died in 1748. It's really worth mentioning that Claire's memories were interwoven with present day images in the form of background dialogue, which works much better than taking us back further in time. Claire finds out that Lallybroch remained in the Murray family for generations after Culloden, exactly the way Jamie planned, even though at present Lallybroch is in ruins.
Culloden battlefield serves as a connection point between Claire and her beloved Jamie, and she tells him all about their daughter Brianna as she kneels by the Fraser memorial stone. It's one of those scenes that you know will stay with you for a long time, because of Claire's emotional farewell to her Jamie and the significance of the Battle of Culloden itself. Claire got back to her own time 20 years prior, so she's aged slightly — with some grey hair to show for it — but not so much as to make it hard to view her as the woman Jamie fell in love with.
Gillian Edgards Becomes Geillis Duncan
Back in Season 1, Geillis was one of Claire's only friends upon her arrival in 1745, but Geillis was tried in Cranesmuir as a witch (alongside Claire), and was burned at the stake. In the previous episode, 'The Hail Mary', Claire found out that Geillis and Duncan's child was saved by Collum MacKenzie and given to a clan family to be raised. In this week's Outlander finale, Claire also discovers that Roger Wakefield is a descendant of Duncan and Geillis' child, and that Geillis is actually Gillian Edgards in 1968.
Gillian is a student in the University of Inverness, and she's a Jacobite fanatic who is researching how to go back through the Craigh na Dun stones. In order to repay Gillian (then Geillis) for saving her life back in the 18th century, Claire decides to prevent her from traveling through the stones. Doing so could lead to a change in Roger's future - since he's Gillian's descendant - but Claire was too late to stop her friend. Gillian sacrifices her husband to help her go through the stones and back in time, which eventually makes Brianna and Roger believe in Claire's story.
"I'll Find You. I Promise."
When Sam Heughan said that the Season 2 finale of Outlander would be "very emotional", he couldn't possibly prepare us for his loving words to Claire when she went back through the stones. Since Claire started the season back in 1968, it was clear she'd eventually travel in time, but Claire and Jamies' last words to one another made their whole story come full circle. They repeated their wedding vows and exchanged heirlooms, one of which a ring for their unborn child. They shed some many tears and — to give each other something to remember — made love for the last time. Finally, before he led Claire through the stones - Jamie voiced the best love note of the century:
"I'll find you. I promise. If I have to endure 200 years of purgatory, 200 years without you, then that's my punishment for my crimes. But when I stand before God, I'll have one thing to say to weigh against all the rest: 'God, you gave me a rare woman and, God, I've loved her well'".
A Fond Kiss
Dougal MacKenzie may not have been everyone's cup o' tea, but what he lacked in humanity, Graham McTavish made up for with his fantastic performance. In the finale, Dougal overhears Claire and Jamie plotting to assassinate Prince Charles Stuart and, hot-headed as he is, comes after Jamie with a vengeance. A fierce Jacobite supporter, Dougal sees their plan for the treason that it is and decides that killing Jamie will save the Prince.
It was a tad sad when Jamie — with Claire's aid — gets the best of his uncle, and eventually drives a blade through his heart. As self-centered and impulsive as he was, Dougal MacKenzie was also a warrior at heart and a great war-chief, and Mr. McTavish made us love to hate him like no one else. R.I.P. Dougal MacKenzie.
Since the Outlander drought has officially begun with the Season 2 finale, we're left to content ourselves with reading in preparation for the seasons to come. Officially renewed for two more seasons last month, Outlander will now focus on the stories from 'Voyager' and 'Drums of Autumn'. The finale did give us some things to look forward to, though.
Culloden Battle and Aftermath
Since 'Dragonfly in Amber' focused more on the flashbacks (or flashforwards, if you will) to 1968, much of what happened on the battlefield of Culloden Moor was left unseen. We didn't see the battle, hence there's no telling what happened to Murtagh and Jack Randall (yes, he's supposed to be there too).
Claire and Co. Go Through the Stones
There's also the matter of Claire's newly found mission to go back through the stones to her Jamie, after she found out he didn't die at Culloden. She'll have some preparation to do, and it may involve finding his tombstone somewhere in Scotland, if only to find out if he's alive in 1768. She'll also do some research about his life in order to find his whereabouts, and that will cause more people to go through the stones.
Brianna hinted at her expertise in the American Revolutionary War in the Season 2 finale, which will come in handy when she too travels through time. She and Roger both heard the noise coming from the stone circle in Craigh na Dun, which means they're able to cross just like Claire and Gillian. Speaking of Gillian, there was another hint in her notebook for Season 3 as well, in the mention of a "Bhamas" stone circle, similar to Craigh na Dun.
Outlander delivered an amazing ride in Season 2, and it ended on an extremely high note. Ever faithful to Diana Gabaldon's books' storyline, it still managed to surprise with some twists and turns along the way. Outlander's strength also relies on its cast who, from wee Fergus to brute Murtagh, all gave outstanding performances. With the wrap of Season 2, we'll probably not get more of Tobias Menzies, but Outlander has in Sam Heughan a talented - and ever developing - leading man.