'Outlander' season 3 premiere episode recap and review: 'The Battle Joined'

By @sachintrivedig on
Sam Heughan
a still from "Outlander" season 3 os Starz starring Sam Heughan as Jamie. Facebook/ Starz

“Outlander” season 3 finally aired on TV after the longest Droughtlander fans had to endure. There is a new opening video but with the same “Skye Boat” song; however, there are no French words this time. Here’s a recap of the episode with all the major events and highlights. The following article contains spoilers.

The opening scene focuses on the conclusion of the Battle of Culloden. The Highlanders have lost, and their bodies lay scattered all over the field. Every time there’s a shot of a bearded Scotsman, the audience is left to wonder: is that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix)? No, it’s not. In fact, the whole episode left the fate of the character as some sort of a mystery.

After seeing a good deal of dead bodies, fans finally get to see Jamie (Sam Heughan). Lying on top of him is the lifeless body of Black Jack (Tobias Menzies). The highlander himself is barely alive, but he has to play dead as the British soldiers are killing off all survivors.

Lying in pain, Jamie gets flashes of memories of what happened during the battle. Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Andrew Gover) is seen from the time before the battle began, delivering his last “mark me” dialogue. With swords, axes and farming equipment, the Scotsmen charge the better equipped and a more modern British army. Then it’s back to Jamie lying on the field.

The constant shifting between Jamie on the battlefield and his flashbacks can be nauseating to watch. The pain of the character lasts the entire episode, and the audience only gets flashes of the most important battle. Yet this should come as a treat to book fans, since not much is revealed during the battle in “Voyager” by Diana Gabaldon.

The biggest death in the Battle of Culloden is that of Black Jack. This is an emotional scene in which the villain reaches out to Jamie before his death. The audience can almost feel sorry for the character. Black Jack may be a twisted little creep, but there’s no denying that he loved Jamie.

As far as Jamie is concerned, he’s rescued from the battlefield. But he can’t escape the British soldiers who are under orders to kill everyone involved. Lord Melton (Sam Hoare) marches his troops to the place where the wounded Highlanders are being cared for. One by one, the “traitors” are executed, including Rupert MacKenzie (Grant O’Rourke), a character who may have charmed his way into the hearts of fans with his wit, sense of humour and most importantly, courage.

When it’s Jamie’s turn, the execution is delayed. Lord Melton is the brother of William Grey (Oscar Kennedy), a young man whose life Jamie spared on a previous occasion. Lord Melton is honour-bound to help the Highlander, so he secretly sends his prisoner to Lallybroch.

In the flashforward, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is adjusting to her life with Frank, at the same time figuring out her place in the new world. The Sassenach is strong-willed and progressive, but her era demands her to be subservient to her husband.

Claire feels anger, frustration and pain. She hasn’t even allowed Frank to touch her fondly, creating a rift between husband and wife.

Towards the end of the episode, Claire delivers her baby. When she wakes up, she’s terrified that her baby is dead, but Frank walks in with little Brianna in his hands. The couple share a tender moment together thanks to “their” child. But that happiness doesn’t last long when the nurse asks about the baby’s red hair.

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