'Outlander' Season 3: What's in store for Claire and Jamie Fraser?

'Outlander' Season 3: What's in store for Claire and Jamie Fraser?Entertainment

It’s almost here: Starz’s ‘Outlander,’ returns Sept. 10. The new season finds Jamie and Claire separated by 200 years and trying to find their way back to each other again following the Battle of Culloden.

Outlander fans have waited 14 long months for a new episode of the hit Starz show — a period lovingly referred to as Droughtlander by die-hards. 

The wait officially ends Sunday with the Season 3 premiere (8 ET/PT).

But with so much time having passed, and no standing stones to jump back into 2016, plenty of questions linger about the fates of Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe), who were torn apart in Season 2’s finale.

Here’s a look at what went unanswered, and what may be in store for the time-traveling lovers.

Did Jamie survive Culloden unscathed?

In the final, emotional scenes of Season 2, Claire learns from Rev. Wakefield’s handsome adopted son Roger (Richard Rankin) that Jamie managed to survive the Battle of Culloden.

The premiere kicks off as Jamie awakes and the scenes of war come rushing back.

Though he’s alive, he’s not out of the woods yet. 

It’s not safe in Scotland for Jacobites in the years following the battle. And in addition to physical threats, Jamie has to face the trauma of losing Claire and nearly all of his clansmen. 

As Heughan told USA TODAY: “He’s lost everything he loves: his unborn child, family, close friends and allies.” 

“He really changes his personality this season, becomes many different people,” Heughan says. “He doesn’t really want to be Jamie Fraser anymore. (He) essentially wants to die, and takes many things to realize it’s not worth it. It’s very epic.”

Can Claire keep her bargain with Frank?

After disappearing for three years, Claire returns to 1948 — and her husband Frank — in a flashback at the beginning of Season 2, pregnant and with an unbelievable story about time travel. Frank agrees to raise the baby as his own with the stipulation that he won’t share Claire with another man. 

As Season 3 begins, Claire agrees and moves with Frank to Boston for a new job and new start. But leaving Jamie in the past proves torturous. Claire finds herself no longer a war nurse or healer, but a housewife in the 1950s. Postpartum depression doesn’t fully capture the depths of her despair. 

Does it really take 20 years for Claire and Jamie to reunite?

Claire still knows little about the forces that transported her through the stones —  though it’s safe to say Geillis Duncan’s theory that time travel requires a human sacrifice doesn’t hold up.

But they do find each other 20 years later, “as if by magic,” Heughan says. 

Where does the voyage take them?

The season is based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, titled Voyager, giving readers another hint at what’s in store for Claire and Jamie. 

During filming last spring in South Africa, the show’s social media accounts shared exotic on-set scenes. But the ships and coastal scenes are a stand-in for Jamaica.  

“Who would have thought we’d end up on ships and in Jamaica this season?” Balfe said last month. “The story can go anywhere, and very frequently does.”

 

usatoday.com