Starz released its official Outlander teaser (not to be confused with a trailer, which would be longer and perhaps really tell us something) right before its new show, The White Princess. What did we learn in those 40 seconds about the upcoming Season 3? That we’re going to need a lot of patience and hankies before we get what we all want—to see Jamie and Claire reunited.
The 40-second teaser, released appropriately (and I hope deliberately) on the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden suggests that at least the opening of Season 3 is going to be Jamie’s story—at least until he and Claire are reunited. And that we’re going to have a whole lot of sadness before that happens.
First, to recap for those of you who don’t have Starz on your TV (although let’s be real, it appeared on the internet in minutes. Thank you, Tumblr.) The teaser opens with that heartbreaking scene from Season 2 where Jamie is holding Claire’s hand and pushing her toward the stones that will part them, potentially forever. “Good bye, Claire.”
Fast forward to Culloden Moor, where it seems to be snowing (in April? Well, it is Scotland) and strewn with bodies. Jamie’s voiceover begins. “I have lied, killed and broken trust.” Jamie’s face appears, clearly not dead.
“But when I stand before God, I’ll have one thing to say, to weigh against all the rest.” The shots of Culloden fade to Claire and Brianna at graduation, Claire holding some pearls and looking upset (the ones Jamie gave her?).
“You gave me a rare woman,” the Jamie voiceover continues, “and God I loved her well.” Fade to a quick shot of Brianna at a younger birthday, to Jamie looking confused but hugging a woman that’s likely Mary McNab to Jamie shooting someone (book lovers know who).
“I’ll find you,” Jamie says. Fade to an image of Jamie in a ruin of some sort. “Claire” he yells, heartbreakingly. “I promise,” the voice over concludes.
Oh. Dear. God. Why isn’t it September???????????????????
So what do we know from this little snippet? Well, the critical point is this: while we all want the Jamie and Claire reunion to happen within seconds of the opening shots of Season 3, that ain’t gonna happen people. No, because as my colleague, Holly Richter-White, suggested, it’s going to be at least episode 6—maybe 7?—before Jamie and Claire are reunited.
We’re probably going to have an episode all about Culloden. Ron D. Moore has already said in a Twitter Q&A that his favorite part of Season 3 so far is Culloden, and fans know he played up the war intrigue in Season 2 (some might argue to the detriment of some other story lines). He also told Entertainment Weekly that he thought explaining what happened on that day was important to the storyline.
@AmyElyseBunce Culloden is pretty great
— Ronald D. Moore (@RonDMoore) April 14, 2017
So all arrows point to at least an episode on Culloden. (***Oh, here come the spoilers, so jump out now if you haven’t read the books.***) Then we will probably have at least one on Claire and Frank’s relationship. They have to have that baby, after all. And we need to see Claire in medical school and her relationship with Joe Abernathy. (Please have the skull part, please have the skull part, please have the skull part!) And of course, we need to see Frank the Philanderer and the Big Argument. And then Jamie is in the cave of solitude and Fergus has to lose his hand and Jamie has to go to prison with the whole Lord John Grey development….Oh, and Hellwater. And I haven’t even mentioned Leghair.
But what the teaser really reminds us is how utterly sad it will all be. Both Claire and Jamie are going to be living lives of loss and quiet desperation. We’re going to get to the happy, but by way of a long (likely, half a season) road of what will feel like utter despair. That’s just a fact. And we all need to get used to it.