In the Starz historical drama Outlander, characters tend to skip haphazardly through time and space, so it can be hard to remember where everyone is and what they’re trying to do. If you lose track, you’re quickly flooded with questions: Wasn’t there supposed to be a big battle? Wasn’t that person stuck in the past? Why am I seeing a lot of miniskirts in the future timeline? After the dramatic events of the season-two finale, here’s a complete guide to where and when every character landed ahead of Outlander’s third season, which premieres on September 10.
When we left her, Claire had returned to the 20th century after failing to prevent the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Although she dearly wanted to stay on the front lines with Jamie, where she and he assumed they’d both die, Claire travels back to modernity after realizing she is pregnant. But that wasn’t the only time jump: The finale leapt forward another 20 years, as Claire and her daughter Brianna travel back to Scotland. Claire is now 50, and she visits what she assumes is the site of Jamie’s death on Culloden Moor to finally say good-bye to her past. That sad sense of closure is thrown into disarray at the very end of season two, when Roger Wakefield tells Claire he has evidence Jamie didn’t die at Culloden after all. The finale cuts off at that big cliff-hanger, with the distinct possibility that Claire will attempt to do her best impression of Jack from Lost.
The last we saw Jamie, he and Claire were engaged in some very sad farewell sex in the middle of the Craigh na Dun stone circle. (Not especially comfortable, but needs must be met.) Claire left him there, assuming he’d ride back to the Culloden battlefield and get slaughtered along with the majority of the Scottish highlanders that day. At the end of season two, however, Claire learns that her assumption was wrong: Roger found evidence that Jamie was still alive a few days after the battle. Like Claire, Outlander viewers (who haven’t read Diana Gabaldon’s books) know little about what happened to him afterward, but the season-three promo and the general history of the Scottish clans suggests things aren’t going to be particularly easy for him.
Jamie and Claire’s daughter, 20-year-old Brianna, has spent the majority of her life in America, where Claire and Frank Randall relocated after her mysterious return from the 18th century. Brianna arrives in Scotland in 1968 utterly in the dark about her real father and mother’s unusual jaunts through history. But after Brianna and Roger do a little digging through the late Reverend Wakefield’s records, she realizes that Randall was her adoptive father, not her genetic one, and presses Claire for the truth.
After Claire’s whole impossible story spills out, Brianna refuses to believe it until they watch Geillis Duncan actually disappear through the stone circle. We left Brianna at the end of season two on the verge of believing her mother is right: that time travel is possible and her father is actually a Scottish highlander who somehow survived Culloden. Where this leaves her relationship with Claire and Roger, and what Brianna will do with this information, remains to be seen in season three.
Claire’s first husband and Brianna’s adoptive father passed away some time between Brianna’s birth and the events of the season-two finale. But fear not, Tobias Menzies fans! He’s credited in at least one episode for season three, which will likely be a flashback to the intervening time between 1948 and Claire’s return to Scotland in the ’60s.
A new character introduced at the end of the second season, Roger is the adopted son of the late Reverend Wakefield, whom Outlander viewers know as a ’40s-era friend of Frank Randall and a history buff. Roger has picked up the reverend’s love of history, and helps Brianna uncover what might have happened during her mother’s unexplained disappearance in the ’40s. He and Brianna also seem get on quite well before things get derailed by the whole time-traveler–Culloden Moor–human-sacrifice thing. Speaking of human sacrifices …
Geillis Duncan (a.k.a. Gillian Edgars)
Before the season-two finale, our last sight of Geillis was at her witch trial, where she was dragged away naked, pregnant, and screaming. (Oof.) Somehow, Brianna stumbles on her in Scotland in 1968, where she’s leading a group of Scottish nationalists and privately plotting her own trip back in time to change history. In the 20th century, her name is Gillian Edgars and she’s worked up her own theory of how to travel through Craigh na Dun. Alas for her poor husband, it involves a human sacrifice. Claire, Brianna, and Roger arrive at the stones moments too late to prevent his death, and just in time to see Gillian embrace the buzzing rocks and disappear into history.
Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall
Much of season two was devoted to a convoluted effort on Claire’s part to make sure that Frank Randall’s family tree stays intact, so that he’ll still exist in the 20th century. (There’s a lot to love about Outlander, but precise theories about time travel and causality are not its strengths.) The finale seemed to resolve this question when Claire discovers that Mary Hawkins is pregnant with Alex Randall’s child, and then witnesses the marriage of Mary to Alex’s brother, the dreaded Black Jack. Like Jamie, Claire assumes that her husband’s dastardly predecessor dies in the Battle of Culloden, but as of the end of season two, that had yet to be confirmed.
Season two’s episode “Je Suis Prest” introduced a new character, heavily suggested we’d see him again, and then let that idea go quiet for a while. In the run-up to the major conflict with the British army, Jamie and Claire capture a young British spy and trick him into revealing information about the location of a British encampment. In thanks, Jamie lets the boy live rather than killing him. The spy, William Grey, vows that he’s both in Jamie’s debt and that he hopes to one day fulfill that debt so he can kill Jamie. Chances are quite good that the whole complicated “debt of honor, but then I’m going to kill you” thing will pop up again.
Jenny and Ian Murray
Bolstered by illicit time-traveler information, Jamie’s sister Jenny and her husband Ian are left to hunker down in Lallybroch, the Fraser family estate, and hope they can survive the post-Culloden British occupation.
At the end of season two, the young French pickpocket Fergus nearly becomes an adoptive child to Jamie and Claire, and they worry about his survival during the Scottish Rising. In the last moments before the Battle of Culloden, Jamie puts Fergus on a horse and sends him back to his sister at Lallybroch with a deed that transfers ownership of the estate to Jenny and Ian.
Colum Mackenzie, Dougal Mackenzie, Angus Mhor
It’s a pretty grim end for these three: Colum is killed by Claire in an act of assisted suicide, Dougal is killed by Jamie in a last-ditch effort to change history, and Angus is killed by a cannon blast. They’ll be missed, but Outlander has to make way for the next generation of time-hopping Scottish lovebirds and their various allies and enemies. Je suis prest!