Spoiler alert: This recap contains plot details for Outlander Season 3, episode 13, titled “The Eye of the Storm.” To refresh your memory of where we left off, check out our episode 12 recap.
Outlander Season 3 has taken Claire and Jamie Fraser on a truly epic voyage — from Scotland to Jamaica, and now to America, as the last moments of the finale revealed.
The two have faced impossible odds — from murderous excisemen and jealous wives to kidnappings and arrests, not to mention a separation of 20 years (on top of a separation of 200 years) — but Season 3 still ends on a hopeful note. After surviving a devastating storm, Claire and Jamie have inadvertently washed up on the shores of America, leaving the baggage of the past behind them.
“Obviously, America to Claire is something very different than it is to Jamie,” Caitriona Balfe tells Mashable. “Their intention was to get back to Scotland — and at this point maybe their intention is to still try and do that — but for Claire, America is really home, and that’s been her home for 20 years. But this time it’s with the man that she loves and it’s in a different time and it’s at a different historical point.”
Balfe admits that for Claire, the chance at a new life in the New World is “a hopeful moment. I’m not sure what Jamie thinks, maybe he’s like, ‘Oh, shit.’”
Heughan says that for Jamie, it’s less about where he is, and more about who he’s with — especially after discovering that there are survivors from the shipwrecked Artemis, which hopefully means that Young Ian, Fergus and Marsali are also safe.
“It’s just relief for Jamie. And, to be in America, I think it’s something he’s never really thought about,” he admits. “He had no intention of going there, but he’s got her and I think that’s all, at the moment, that he can really rely on.”
And while the happy couple’s moment of realization about where in the world they are is fairly brief, composer Bear McCreary tells Mashable that he found a fitting way to preview Claire and Jamie’s Season 4 journey in the closing credits, as you may have noticed.
“The final shot, what the music is saying is… It’s triumphant and epic, but it is a conclusion of this story that you’ve seen. It’s playing themes that are associated with Jamie and Claire. It’s very much rooted in the familiar. When we cut to the end credits, it’s completely new sounds: It’s fife and a drum marching ensemble, just doing a Revolutionary War sound,” he explains. “We get that satisfying conclusion of Season 3 and then over the end credits, you get your, ‘Next year, on Outlander, we’re going to do this.’ Which is really cool, I’m super excited about it.”
But while Claire and Jamie will stay in America, the Outlander production is heading back to Scotland for Season 4, after spending the back half of Season 3 filming in South Africa. Showrunner Ron Moore reveals that the producers did initially investigate shooting the new season in the United States as many other TV shows do, but ultimately decided against it.
“We looked into it, and it just didn’t make sense to us for a lot of reasons, both financial and also we have this enormous infrastructure and this amazing team of artisans and craftspeople and crew in Scotland, and ultimately we just didn’t really want to let go of and start all over again,” Moore says. “So we will shoot Scotland for America. We will also travel to eastern Europe to do some exterior work to sort of sell the mountains of North Carolina the rivers and things like that.”
And filming is already underway — in fact, the writing staff was already breaking the story for Season 4 when Mashable visited the set for the Season 3 finale back in June.
“It’s a year-round machine at this point. I think [the fans] do wonder why we’re not on sooner, but I don’t think we could churn them out any faster,” says executive producer Maril Davis. “I think it surprises people that… the end of March, beginning of April was the first time we had a completed episode done, which was Episode 1, and we started shooting that in August of last year. So it’s crazy when you think [how long the production is] — just because the post process and visual effects and pickup shots, that can take a little longer than people realize.”
Luckily, the new season has been filming in Scotland since October, which means we now have a sneak peek at the first footage from Season 4, courtesy of Starz.
As for what Claire and Jamie’s version of the American Dream entails, we’ll have to wait until 2018 to find out.
Stay tuned to Mashable this week for our exclusive report from the South African set of Outlander, to discover everything that went into making the finale — from script to screen.