‘Outlander’ (Season 1): Closing a Chapter

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The first season of the Starz period drama Outlander came to a close last night with an extremely climatic ending in more ways than one.

Anyone who has read the best-selling novel by Diana Gabaldon knows all too well just how dense the book is, spanning 850 pages and 41 chapters, chronicling the life of Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser from her second honeymoon in Scotland in 1946 with her husband Frank to her inexplicable trip through time to 1743 where she ended up as the wife of young Highlander James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.

Over the course of the show’s run, which debuted on August 9 last fall, running the first eight episodes through September 27 before taking a long, nearly seven month break, returning on April 4 and airing the remaining eight episodes through yesterday, May 30, viewers experienced all the trials and tribulations laid before both Claire and Jamie as well as all the others who have crossed their paths.

From being branded as a spy by your “hosts” at Castle Leoch to being tried as a witch alongside Geillis Duncan, who turned out to be a time traveler herself; from being a widowed English woman of noble birth found in the forests of the Highlands to being a new, albeit reluctant, bride of the strapping young Jamie; from being a forced “guest” of Colum MacKenzie to being Lady Broch Tuarach; from being a travelling minstrel [in an attempt to find her missing husband Jamie] to being the strong and brave nurse (aka healer) that she has always been, Claire has gone through more in eight months (approximately that amount of time) than most women in her own time could ever imagine.

Through it all, Claire has been strong, uncompromising (well, mostly), brave and smart. She has stood tall (literally and figuratively) alongside Jamie and on her own; not backing down from her beliefs and using the 200 years of advanced knowledge to her advantage where most advantageous to do so.

In the beginning half of the season, Claire did all she could to return to Craigh Na Dun, the standing stones that somehow sent her back in time; but when Jamie deliberately took her there after saving her from the witch trial, giving her the opportunity to finally return to her time, her home – and most of all to Frank – she made the choose to stay in 1743 with him. Eventually she came to feel as if she belonged there, happy with her life with Jamie and more in love with him than she could have ever imagined possible (and he with her).

And even with all that transpired at Wentworth Prison; all the hideous things Jamie endured at the hands of the sadistic Randall, Claire never gave up on him, even when Jamie gave up (albeit temporarily) on himself. Most of all, they ended this long, hard-fought “chapter” in their lives within the arms of the other, setting sail for France and a new future, one that will hopefully be different than the history books.

What are your thoughts on the first season of ‘Outlander’? Has it been what you hoped it would be? Are there any moments that stand-out most to you? Please share your thoughts below. And remember ‘Outlander’ will return for a second season on Starz sometime in 2016.