Two lives, separated by time. A journey to reunite them. And the adventure of their love for one another. Yes, season 3 of Starz’s Outlander was indeed an interesting and entertaining season, further continuing the episodic drama odyssey of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser. It was a season of love and loss, of happiness and sadness, of new friends and old enemies, and of shocking moments and passionate romance. Season 3’s drama was indeed palpable and did have plenty to like and to examine.
The biggest change in the TV show’s overall narrative was the spilt timeline arc that played out for several episodes in the beginning of the season. While this tactic is pretty normal for telling story, it was pretty interesting to see it play out in Outlander. Yes, the show uses this during the final episode in season 2 (switching back from two-time periods throughout the episode), but season 3 used this narrative platform for multiple episodes, shifting between the different timelines in showing the personal struggles of Claire and Jamie in their respective time periods (i.e. Claire’s story in Boston during the late 1940s, 50s and 60s and Jamie’s story in Scotland during the late 1740s, 50s and 60s). As to be expected, the pair of their own trials and tribulations to face as well as facing their longing separation from each other, not knowing if they are still alive or when they will ever see each other again. During this time, Jamie, surviving the battle of Culloden, face many hardships of the battle’s aftermath as well as British rule over the Scottish lands. Likewise, Claire, faces her own trials, living in a new land (Boston, Mass) and dealing with her slow estrangement with her husband Frank Randall and the birth of their daughter Brianna, which Jamie is the true father. Additionally, Claire deals with the death of Frank, who she is conflicted about as, while they eventually started to drift apart, she still loved him.
This narrative was done for the first part of the season, leading to the big reunion between Claire and Jamie, with Claire traveling back into time (via the stones) to the 1760s. Both had suffered and been through so much that it felt like a joyous and romantic reunion between these two star-crossed lovers. The acting between Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan was stronger than ever and it definitely showed this season. From here, the story this season shows how Claire and Jamie try to resume their relationship, but are met with shocking revelations like Jamie learning about Brianna and Claire learning that Jamie has remarried (and to Laoghaire no less). It also was interesting to see the story’s setting change as well as Claire and Jamie leave Scotland behind and venture across the Atlantic Ocean to Jamaica in order to save Jamie’s nephew (Young Ian). So, a nice change of scenery was in order and seeing Claire and Jamie in the Caribbean was pretty cool. Additionally, this season ends with Claire and Jamie washing on the shores of Georgia, so the series (presumably) will continue within the Colonies and possible tackling the events that lead up to the American Revolution that will be exciting to see!
This season featured several new characters, including Lord John Grey (David Berry), who first plays as Jamie’s ward officer while he’s in prison but becomes a close friend to the traitorous Scotsman, Young Ian Murray (John Bell) who is Jamie’s kidnapped nephew, and Jamie’s Asian associate Mr. Willoughby (Gary Young). There were a few returning characters with more screen time, including Claire’s daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) who get close to one another. While their storyline is mostly in the first half of the season, it will surely play an important in future seasons.
All in all, season 3 of Outlander was very good, showcasing the acting talents of Balfe and Heughan as Claire and Jamie. It continued their tale, offering the spilt timeline narrative for the first half and then their big reunion before taking the story into a whole new direction. While pretty good. it wasn’t as good as season two which was probably due to the story written by Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber is better than Voyager). Still, season 3 of Outlander was a great continuation to this sweeping drama tale of love, fantasy, adventure, and historical. With season 4 already being confirmed (already filming and set to be released in late 2018), it looks like Starz’s Outlander is gonna continue Claire and Jamie’s adventure and I personally can’t wait what’s in store for them.
8.5 Out of 10
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