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‘Outlander’ Season 3 Premiere Recap: Wounded Jamie on the Battlefield and 1940s Pregnant Claire

SPOILER ALERTDo not read if you have not watched “The Battle Joined,” the third season premiere of “Outlander.” 

Season three of “Outlander” finds beloved couple Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) separated, as she has time-traveled to 1940s Boston, and he is still on the battlefield in 1746. In the show’s usual fashion, we jump back and forth in time as the separated lovers are coping with new realities and even bigger dangers that seasons prior.

In the aftermath of the 1746 Battle of Culloden, bodies lie strewn on the ground. Among them, still hanging onto life, is James Fraser. As Cumberland’s men pilfer weapons from the dead, Jamie has flashbacks to the gruesome and bloody battle, in hand to hand combat with Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies). Jamie is seriously wounded and from the looks of it, Black Jack meets his maker, but confirmation of his demise does not come immediately. Jamie also has a vision of Claire walking toward him, but unfortunately for him (and for some of the audience) it’s not really her; it’s some of his men who carry him off the battlefield, dropping Jamie’s dragonfly in amber as they cart him away.

Meanwhile, in 1940s Boston, Claire is pregnant with Jamie’s child and trying to adjust to life with husband Frank (Menzies). Her survival skills come in handy when the stove won’t light and she cooks dinner over a fire in the fireplace. Later, Claire and Frank attend a university reception where Frank’s sexist boss makes his political views known, and when Claire makes a few points of her own, the men’s eyebrows raise, clear they’d rather the women be seen and not heard. As they leave, Frank asks Claire if she’s alright, and she replies she’s fine, but it’s clear she’s not; she’s struggling to adapt to this new time and undoubtedly missing Jamie.

The next morning, Claire makes breakfast for Frank, and when he declares his disdain for teabags and America’s obsession with the new, Claire tells him that’s exactly what she loves about Americans: they’re always looking to the future. Claire wants to apply for U.S. citizenship, but Frank is against it, citing indefinite residency due to his job. It is clear they are not connecting, and when Frank goes to reach for her growing stomach, she pulls away, and they fight over their relationship agreement. Claire reminds him they agreed not to talk about the past, while Frank says they agreed to raise the baby together. As things heat up, Frank lashes out and points out he’s not the one sleeping with other people, while Claire throws an ash tray at him. “I didn’t force you to come to Boston. I’m not forcing you to stay,” Frank says as he leaves.

That night, Claire’s water breaks jut as Frank is writing a letter to the Reverend asking about James Fraser. At the hospital, the doctor of course speaks to Frank instead of Claire, but he doesn’t know her medical history, and she has to point out that she had a miscarriage a year earlier. Frank tells Claire he loves her before being ushered out of the room for her sedation and the birth. Though Claire doesn’t want the sedation, the doctors ignore her wishes. Eventually, though, she wakes and Frank returns, this time with her (and Jamie’s) daughter in his arms. They get teary-eyed looking at the beautiful baby girl and kiss, and Claire declares that it “can be a new beginning for us.” The nurse does ask where the baby got her red hair, though.

Back in Jamie’s timeline, Cumberland’s redcoats hold a seriously wounded Jamie and his fellow Scotsmen as traitors, preparing to execute them. Rupert MacKenzie (Grant O’Rourke) tries to buck up a couple of the younger men before they go to their death, and then he follows them. But when Jamie declares his full name to a redcoat, the soldier realizes Jamie once saved his brother, who promised Jamie a debt of honor so the redcoat can’t kill him. Instead, he sneaks Jamie out in a wagon full of hay and sends him away. Jamie wakes up at home, in Lallybroch!

“Outlander” season 3 airs on Starz Sundays at 8 p.m.

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