This review might contain spoilers for those who have not seen the first part of season 1. Therefore I advise not to read this review if you haven’t seen the first eight episodes!
After I finished the first part of this historical drama called Outlander, I couldn’t wait to see the next part of the season. I was therefore very happy when I received the second Blu-ray box of Undercover-Network.com.
The second part of the first season of Outlander starts where the eighth episode ended: Jamie’s attempt to save Claire out of Jack Randall’s hands. After this it’s up to Jamie get his price on his head removed. Claire and Jamie’s relationship is tested more than once. They have to deal with a with trial, jealousy, volatile clan politics and ruthless redcoats. When Claire and Jamie think they are save at last in their new home, Jack Randall is there to stir things up cruelly. At the same time Jamie is once again drawn into Captain Randall’s darkness, Claire sets out a rescue mission to save her beloved husband. It’s no surprise Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are back in the roles of Claire and Jamie Fraser, who both made a great performance. Balfe shows once again very well how strong and independent Claire is, who also sets out a rescue mission. However, because of her strength she comes across as insensitive. Even more when you compare her performance with her co-star Sam Heughan. Heughan’s character goes through a lot this second part and really steals the show in the field of drama. The scenes between Jamie and Jack Randall – played by Tobias Menzies – are well put together, despite of the dramatic and cruel nature which wants you to look the other way. These scenes really grabs you and makes you feel and see all kind of emotions: fear, pain, anger and sadness. Besides these two, the character Geillis Duncan is more deepened, who is played by the Dutch Lotte Verbeek. Geillis is a good friend of Claire and for is a very interesting character for more than one reason. Therefore it’s a pity she didn’t get a lot screen time.
Other familiar faces are those of the MacKenzie clan, who we have to miss for a couple of episode. This gives room for some new characters. We finally meet Jamie’s sister Jenny Fraser, who is played by Laura Donnelly. We learned about her past in the first part of the season through flashbacks, but now her character is more deepened. Just like Claire, Jenny is a strong and independent woman who takes care of her crippled husband. Even just after giving birth, she’s able to help Claire in her search for Jamie. When Claire gets help from Murtagh Fraser (Duncan Lacroix) the series gets a more lighter tone. Their way to get attention, in the hope to find Jamie, is not a really interesting storyline. Luckily their mission ends before it really got annoying. The moment when Murtagh appeared, was the moment you hoped to see more characters of the MacKenzie clan. But regarding to Murtagh’s knowledge of Jamie’s mother, he could be an interesting character and more of value in the next season. Claire and Murtagh’s quest eventually leads to more of the clan, whereof Angus Mhor en Rupert MacKenzie might put a smile on your face, despite of the dramatic events.
Where the first part consisted of, among many other things, the bonding between Claire and Jamie and their growing love, the romance in this second part is less present. Claire and Jamie are married now and have to adjust to this married life. During these eight episodes the couple is often separated from each other and there are also some threats they need to deal with: Dougal MacKenzie’s exile – which gives him unfortunately less screen time – , Scottish watchers who Jamie pull into their adventure, and jealousy, which leads to a witch trial. The views the common people had on witches are well exposed, which might give you the creeps. Seriously, why did people thought the way they did? They really had some strange ideas about witches, that’s a whole other topic though. Claire is at least one person who has her doubts about the mindset of the people in 1743.
The first two episodes of this second part still mentions Claire’s life from 1945, but this matter doesn’t get a lot of mentioning after she made her choice and because of the storyline. This is only logic, but on the other hand I really missed Frank Randall’s story. At the end of volume one he stopped looking for his wife, but he must still miss her right and want to have her back? If necessary on his own. It’s clear Tobias Menzies doesn’t play a two roles this time. The character he plays is of the cruel Jack Randall and Menzies truly gives away a show. We might not see him often, but the impact is huge when Jack Randall appears. Unlike the first part, there are a few episodes that didn’t got my full attention, not did it grasp me. This is partly due to the absence of Dougal and his Jacobites. However, the two final episodes make up for it. Claire and Jamie are finally arrived at Jamie’s house, where we meet his sister Jenny and her family. The newlyweds need to adjust to their new lives and in the meantime keep the watchers satisfied. Eventually Jamie joins this crew which ultimately leads a dramatic finale. The redcoat Captain Jack Randall gives Jamie a visit he will never forget. The interplay between these two men is very unnerving and brings up various emotions. Despite this dramatic and horrifying event, the series has a beautiful and promising ending. It is not a real cliffhanger, but it gives you an idea of what season two will be about. Unfortunately, we still have to wait some months before season 2 airs.
The second part of the first season of the historical drama series Outlander, is less vivacious than the previous part. However, the two final and dramatic episodes truly make up for it! The dramatic climax arouses different emotions and not only among the characters. Even as a viewer various emotions entered my mind. Sam Heughan steals the show with his role of Jamie Fraser and especially those last two episodes are memorable. The romance is less present and there are characters we have to miss some time, which is a pity for the story. Nevertheless, we met some new and interesting characters and I hope to see at least one of them return in season two! Season one ends nice for the two main characters and it provides us with some details regarding what to expect to see next!