Outlander Dragonfly in Amber Review
Starz’s Outlander: Season 2, Episode 13: Dragonfly in Amber presented a season ending far more satisfying than the ending to Season One. Season Two’s finale, however, was far less jarring because of its lack of visceral, sexual content. In its place was drama, relationships, and situations cultivated over two seasons colliding. The natural consequence of these collisions were that some people and situations continued, some ended, and new ones began.
The major death in the episode was not a surprise. The Scots were going to war at Culloden against the British thus protagonists were destined to die. It was the manner of Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish)’s death that was gleefully out of left field. For all of his bluster, the viewer knew that Dougal was a good warrior. The viewer knew the same about Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). With all of that in mind, I never thought that I would see the two of them fighting sine missione. In the end, Jamie was not quite strong enough to defeat Dougal in honorable combat. That was the best moment of the duel. Jamie is a man of honor so it was a surprise that he did not fling Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) away when she began helping him. Perhaps Jamie knew that he couldn’t successfully finish the duel without her. Perhaps Jamie knew that the greater good was being served by breaking the rules of a duel. As I watched, I couldn’t help but think that Dougal deserved better than to be ganged up on at the climax of the duel. Dougal was trying to stop two people from assassinating an innocent person after all (nincompoop though Prince Charles Edward Stuart was), one Jamie and Dougal had sworn to protect, serve, and obey.
When Claire went back to the future, she stayed there because she thought Jamie was dead and she had no protection in the past. The British, after the battle of Culldon, were destined to destroy the clans and their way of life. Now that she knew Jaime survived the battle of Culldon, her decision to go back in time to him was no surprise. As she said in Dragonfly in Amber, Jamie Fraser was the love of her life. My guess: Claire tidies up her affairs with her lawyer for her daughter’s sake and then goes back in time. I can also see Brianna wanting to go back in time with Claire to meet the father that she had never met. Since Claire was able to go back in time and then forward again, Brianna will believe that she can do the same. With her stubborn streak, I doubt Brianna will allow the opportunity to meet her dead father slip through her fingers. Brianna will brow-beat Claire until she consents to the both of them going back together.
I can only imagine what the meeting between Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, if he is still alive, and Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton) would entail (I haven’t read the books yet), but I have a dark imagination. So do the writers of Outlander and the writer of the original book series on which this TV show is based. Brianna will be staring into her father’s face, hearing his voice, but will be standing in front of a monster.
It was hilarious, touching, and unusual when Jamie revealed that he had been keeping track on Claire’s menstrual cycle. That proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how much Jamie cared about and wanted a child. I don’t know of any other fictional characters (or real-world people for that matter) that were that vigilant and attentive when it came to procreation. Claire’s shock at Jamie’s menstrual attentiveness mirrored the viewer’s shock.
Unshocking was the farewell coitus that ensued at Craigh na Dun. Jamie Fraser “taking” Claire before they said goodbye forever was an act most wish they could indulge in before saying goodbye to a loved one forever.
Jamie and Murtagh Fraser (Duncan Lacroix)’s resignation to die together on the Culldon battlefield in Dragonfly in Amber was touching as was the pseudo-date Brianna and Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) ended up on during the episode.
The younger version of Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) deciding to go back in time presented a conundrum that I hope is addressed next season on Outlander. Gillian / Geillis was able to pin-point a specific year in which to enter the past i.e. before Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed in Scotland. How did she do that? How did she manipulate the stones to achieve that goal? I assume that the answers to these questions lay within Gillian’s notebooks. At what point will Claire choose to go back in time? She is now twenty plus years older than when she came back through stones to the modern age. She was already ten years older than Jamie (give or take) previously. Claire will want the same parity or an exact match when she goes back in time again.
The standing stones at Craigh na Dun became a character in the Outlander during Dragonfly in Amber‘s final moments, like the the Wirewood tree beyond The Wall did in Game of Thrones‘ Season 4 final The Children. Both were beautifully lit, showing the majesty of their centerpieces, the sun back-lighting both of them.
It was the most cinematic moment of Dragonfly in Amber and I hope similar moments occur in future episodes.
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