Outlander fans know all this. It’s been teased since the Season Two premiere. What they might not know yet is that tomorrow night’s supersized 90-minute long episode might be one of the most emotional, most romantic, and most, well, fun in the series’ whole run.
Season Two of Outlander had a lot to recommend it. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and Tobias Menzies all brought their A game as they each tore into some of the most emotionally challenging material on television. The trio kept everything emotionally grounded even as the show sometimes spiraled even further away from straight-forward logic. Likewise, the set and costume design were stellar. Claire’s gowns were worthy of a Fashion Week runway. The story itself reached delirious new dramatic heights.
Still, not all of it worked 100% of the time. The first half of the season sometimes felt like a sorry slog through unthinkable tragedies. We saw lovable characters raped and Claire lost her baby. Not to mention the fact that Claire and Jamie were often on the outs with one another. Overall, the whole Paris part of this season was not a lot of fun. Things finally perked up once the show went back to its roots in Scotland, as the story hurtled towards destiny, and as Claire and Jamie solidified their commitment to one another.
It’s not that the show shouldn’t court tragedy and discord, but Outlander works best when Claire and Jamie are a solid, supportive team and when it’s dealing with the emotional fallout of trauma. While many dramas lean on thrilling moments and shocking twists, Outlander actually soars highest when it’s showing its characters ruefully picking up the pieces of the tragedies that have occurred. It’s a show about the beauty of surviving, about looking at all the horrors you’ve seen and declaring that you won’t give up. Something is worth fighting for — and that something is usually love.
That’s why tomorrow night’s season works so well. It not only ties up numerous story threads from the first two seasons, but it opens the door for more adventure. The entire 90-minute episode is split between narratives about our heroes coping with an oncoming tragedy and trying to make sense out of the fallout. Oh, and those new kids hyped in Entertainment Weekly? (Click here to be spoiled.) They’re both pretty swell and give the show a breath of fresh air. The finale is going to tug at fans’ heartstrings just as it declares that there’s going to be a new energy and swagger next season.
Needless to say, it’s worth the wait.
The Season Two finale of Outlander airs Saturday, July 9th at 9 PM on Starz.