Obsessenachs love a good Easter egg and Outlander Season 5 did not disappoint. Here’s a look at the 30+ Outlander Easter eggs in the Season 5 finale.
Near the beginning of the Outlander TV series, heroine Claire Fraser sees a vase in an Inverness store window in the 1940s and passes it by. She later muses what might have changed about her life had she actually “bought that vase and made a home for it.” Instead, she ended up traveling back in time to the 1700s. In the Outlander Season 5 Finale, Claire finally did buy that vase. Well, sort of.
The extraordinary collaboration between the actors, writers, director, producers, consultant Diana Gabaldon and the entire Outlander team yielded a finale filled with amazingly rich detail like that vase. So many details, in fact, it seemed as if each change of scene held an Outlander Easter egg. (An Outlander Easter egg is an artifact, message, dialogue, etc. that links to something earlier.)
Thought I’d share the Outlander Easter eggs I’ve found after watching seven times. Maybe you can add some too in the comments.
First, a quick recap might help, and a *warning* that I will touch on the shockingly horrific aspects of the finale, “Never My Love.”
The finale was a testament to resilience and to the power of love — between a husband and wife, and within a family and community — and how it can take us through times we don’t think we can endure and out the other side to move forward. In her heart and her subconscious, Claire knew her husband would come for her after she was kidnapped. We all prayed that he would find her in time and he eventually did.
They made their way home and we see the aftermath, or as Diana Gabaldon phrased it on her Facebook page, the condensed TV series version of “And then what happened.” Following a scene showing the two of them at the Big House on an ordinary day, looking out at their family and an approaching storm, the episode ends with the two of them in bed, Jamie holding Claire in his arms, listening to the sounds of the storm. She is safe, for now.
The thunder and rain continue as Raya Yarbrough begins the most plaintive version yet of the series theme, “The Skye Boat Song.” The credits start to roll then the phone number and web address for the National Sexual Assault Hotline, RAINN, appears. The storm sounds remain in the background until Raya finishes her haunting rendition and the credits roll to the end. That’s the quick overview.
Now, take a deep breath, Obsessenachs. It will be a verra long Droughtlander until we see them again in Outlander Season 6. And our quest for finding the Easter Eggs left for us in this finale won’t be an easy one.
Looking back at my first finale watch, the cold open recap with its unsettling music and absolutely no dialogue, transitioning into a woman operating a 1960s turntable with a 33 1/3 LP spinning totally threw me. FTR, we still have working turntables and a nice collection of LPs. Yes, we’re those people.
It took a few minutes for me to realize I was seeing a stylized presentation depicting an alternate future where Claire’s subconscious had retreated during her ordeal, a “dream-escape” as described by Executive Producer Matthew B. Roberts. With the benefit of hindsight, I’ve dubbed it her Safe House.
I was quite surprised to find that Claire was actually still in the 1700s, in a dissociative state playing a record from 1967, “Never My Love,” by a group called the Association. It was an interesting dichotomy and a nice touch to use the song as the episode title. The “Never My Love” lyrics evoked the scene in Outlander Season 3, episode 8 when Jamie and Claire are watching Ian from a cliff as he is off to recover hidden treasure from a nearby island. They’ve had that terrible row and are now deciding if their second honeymoon was a bust and if it was all over for them. Maybe this is the first Easter Egg but I’m not sure so I’ll call it Egg #0.
Maybe you have a better understanding but a nagging question for me is, “Who does Claire think is singing “Never My Love?” Is it a song from her to Jamie or vice versa?”
”You ask me if there’ll come a time
When I grow tired of you
Never my love
Never my love
You wonder if this heart of mine
Will lose its desire for you
Never my love
Never my love
What makes you think love will end
When you know that my whole life depends
On you (on you)
Never my love
Never my love
You say you fear I’ll change my mind
And I won’t require you
Never my love
Never my love
How can you think love will end
When I’ve asked you to spend your whole life
With me (with me, with me)”
Either way, as we listen to the song and make our way through Claire’s Safe House, we begin to notice actual artifacts and connect the dots. Outlander Easter Egg #1 is the house itself. It was planted in Claire’s subconscious earlier this season, in Outlander Episode 5. We confirm it as we make our way down the open hallway along the open expanse of glass shown on the magazine cover.
Next, there on the desk to the right, we see Outlander Easter Egg #2. It’s the wee egg of Claire’s microscope.
[In an amusing aside, my husband and I recognized the straw wastebasket, but not from Outlander. We have one almost exactly like it in our bedroom, one we acquired in the ’80s. And I like to think it’s sweet that we still have it, not sad, so no judging, please.]
The camera progresses to the end of the hall and briefly reveals, from behind, a woman sitting on a sofa looking at an abstract painting, before we see Outlander Egg #3 — ironically, this egg is an orange — placed on a table. It’s visible just long enough to make the connection to Claire’s visit with King Louis in Outlander Season 2 Episode 207, “Faith,” before, there it is, Outlander Easter Egg #4, the vase on what must be the then-popular liquor cabinet.
The camera hard cuts to confirm it is Claire on the sofa. She’s in a red dress reminiscent of THE Red Dress from Outlander Season 2, with her nails painted red as well, giving us Outlander Easter Egg #5. Stay with me to see the full effect of her matchy-matchy red ensemble .
Next, a better look at that painting, Outlander Easter Egg #6. Did you have to pause your device as I did to figure out if it is an abstract of her home, the Big House on Fraser’s Ridge? And to see there’s a lot of red in it where no red should be, hmm. Could that be a fire??
From Days of Future Passed to Reality
Here’s where reality sets in. We see a glimpse of Claire in the moonlight, gagged and bound, before we are taken back to the Safe House and its “Never My Love” soundtrack. Now I’m beginning to understand this alternate reality of a future Safe House.
Someone in a leather jacket walks down that hallway towards Claire in the living room, past the large dining table set for a meal, to Claire still sitting on the sofa. As that someone removes his jacket, she turns to see it’s Jamie.
But, it’s Jamie in what I’ll call a congruent costume. (It wasn’t my favorite costume, Trisha Biggar, sorry.) Outlander Easter Egg #7 is Jamie who can’t time travel, but yet here he is in Claire’s 1960s Safe House, hence the unusual ensemble.
The back to the future to the past to the future continues (was your head spinning, too?) and we are back again with Claire in the moonlight, this time reliving her kidnapping. Her captors reveal their motives before it’s back to the painting and Claire in the Safe House and Jamie answering the doorbell. We get glimpses of Young Ian in a military uniform — Outlander Easter Egg #8 — and a sense of other people in the house before a cut back to Claire’s reality.
As she continues to relive moments from the day, her future and past swirl together with talk of conjure women and Kelpies and the stars and a man on the moon. She discovers they’re heading to Brownsville, tries to escape, seizes moments to seek help — but it’s all in vain. There she lies, tied to a tree.
Her fear takes her in and out of her Safe House, away from what may lay ahead at the hands of her captors, to Jamie enfolding her in a blanket, saying that iconic line, “You’re shaking so hard, it’s making my teeth rattle” — Outlander Easter Egg #9. The time jumps become more frequent and we see her and Jamie again, except this time he’s wrapping her in his plaid — Outlander Easter Egg #10 — as he did when they first met.
Back in the Safe House we see Jocasta with her eyesight restored – Outlander Easter Egg #11 — and Murtagh back from the dead — Outlander Easter Egg #12. He’s playing with Germain — Outlander Easter Egg #13 — who is followed by his parents and siblings.
Then, with the children out of sight, the rest are all gathered round the table with Ian, pregnant Marsali in her go-go boots (yeah, I wore those, but I wasn’t nearly the badass she is). Then, ahhh, there’s Fergus with both hands. I give you the sweetest ones — Outlander Easter Eggs #14 and #15. There’s food and drink on the table. Bet I missed some eggs there!
Now back to reality, we are shown how Claire’s predicament escalated to the current dangerous situation — the gag and the rope around her neck reminiscent of Roger’s hanging — Outlander Easter Egg #16. It’s looking really bad for her so back her mind goes to the Safe House.
There’s talk around the table of a name for the baby and Ringo, as in Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, is bandied about — Outlander Easter Egg # 17.
The time jumps are happening so frequent now it’s hard to catch the fine details. Oh, there’s an obvious egg, Outlander Easter Egg #18, a bunny on the Safe House carpet. No, wait, he’s there on the ground beside Claire, now — poof — he’s gone. Remember Jamie seeing the bunny at Culloden and Baby Bree’s toy bunny? And Elias Pound’s rabbit foot, too? Maybe we should count that particular egg more than once. Nope, I’m having enough trouble keeping count as it is.
Back to Claire’s waking nightmare, she’s having trouble breathing. Someone rushes in to help, it’s the moon and stars fan, Wendigo Donner, asking her if she recognizes the name Ringo Starr. OK, Ringo gets counted twice for sure — Outlander Easter Egg #19. And, guess what, Donner’s a time traveler, too, a friend of long-dead Otter Tooth, aka Bob and Outlander Easter Egg #20, whose ghost appeared to Claire when she was lost in a storm a few years ago. And, again, he doesn’t help her escape. The best he could muster was to advise her to be more afraid of men, like other women of that time. I see a bad moon a-risin’ in your future, Donner, and think you’re the one who should be afraid of one man in particular. No way do you get your own egg!
With that hope dashed, Claire retreats back to Jamie in the Safe House, wrapped in the plaid, but now reality creeps into the Safe House. One of her captors is peering in the window — Lionel Brown — as he approaches her in reality. As she is sexually abused by him and others, her mind recounts her Safe House touchstones — her family, the vase, Jamie and his plaid and their Thanksgiving preparations.
At this point in watch 2 I realize two things: the celebration is Thanksgiving and Claire hasn’t spoken in the Safe House. There must be a tie to silence, maybe Roger “losing” his voice after the hanging? Maybe something else I’m missing? I think this silence theme deserves Outlander Easter Egg #21. And this point in watch 4, I realize there’s a lot of food and drink on the counter behind Jamie and I’ve probably missed more eggs there, maybe some real ones even, deviled for Thanksgiving.
Reality creeps in again as Claire discovers a leak in the ceiling – Outlander Easter Egg #22. It’s a call back to the leaky roof in their first cabin on the Ridge, the one Jamie got up in the middle of the night to fix, and to that ghastly putrid drip from the Beardsley’s cabin loft. It could even be a call back to how water has simply played such a major role in their lives, as in Season 3, “Voyager.”
In quick succession we get Outlander Easter Egg #23, Germaine playing with a dragonfly, and Outlander Easter Egg #24, a closeup of Ian’s uniform with an Indian patch on the sleeve.
And because I just discovered that we see both the dragonfly and a bison/buffalo like the one Claire shot a few episodes back, sitting on that sideboard behind Jocasta, I’m adding it in out of order. That’s Outlander Easter Egg #25.
Back to the future, they’re all sitting down at the table again. Now my head really hurts. Well, almost all of them are there. Daughter Bree and husband Roger’s chairs are empty plus the roof keeps dripping. That can’t be good. Jamie focuses on his Thanksgiving toast to Claire and drops another iconic line, one from their wedding vows — “blood of my blood, bone of my bone,” — Outlander Easter Egg #26.
The lights dim, colors fade and creepy Brown reappears, also toasting Claire, as he takes his leave from abusing her in reality, inviting others to follow.
This return to the Safe House is a replay of her family’s arrival and their festivities that is interrupted by the doorbell. As she walks to the door, we get a glimpse of wallpaper like that at their Scottish home of Lallybroch, Outlander Easter Egg #27. Claire opens the door to two police officers who inform them of a car accident, Outlander Easter Egg #28, a call back to so many moments — her parents’ and Frank’s deaths, her description of her first trip through the stones, and thinking she’ll never see her beloved time travelers, Bree, Roger and son Jemmy, now that they’ve traveled through the stones. Reality has crossed more solidly into her Safe House with Outlander Easter Egg #29 — the policemen bearing this tragic news are two of her rapists, Brown and Hodgepile.
Wow. I’ve had to take a break at this point on each watch and remember these are actors in a TV series. Despite the surreal circumstances in this episode, these actors are most convincing.
I’ll say it again, this episode was an incredible collaborative effort. How difficult it must have been to portray these characters through those violent scenes, in the dead of night, out in the Scottish woods. Bravo!
The Trip that Never Was
OK, I can press Play now. As we moved through the episode, I was beginning to think we weren’t going to find out when and where Bree, Roger and Jemmy landed on their trip through the stones and was very relieved to see their faces after my break on my watch 1. (I had suspected that they didn’t go far because of Jemmy’s reaction in Episode 11 and, frankly, am not sure exactly what the point was in them attempting the trip. If any of you understand, please share in the comments.)
It took the sixth watch for me to see the phases of the moon, illustrating the length of their journey home. I’ll give that moon montage Outlander EasterEgg #30. Given the turbulent situation, thank goodness they’re back and Roger’s manning up. (Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” momentarily replaces “Never My Love” on repeat in my brain.)
Red Jamie in his kilt — Outlander Easter Egg #31 — is going to need all the help he can get to rescue Claire. Bree you stay here and protect the Ridge with your excellent marksman skills.
Pausing for a time check — we’re only 20 minutes in and I’ve already counted over 30 Outlander Easter Eggs. Maybe my definition is too broad. Do you think so? Moving forward.
Now Claire’s at the Safe House again, reliving Jamie’s arrival in his beautiful leather coat and waltzing into the most comforting slow dance of all time. If there’s a dance egg, maybe it’s callback to Claire and Murtagh’s song and dance journey across Scotland to find Jamie. Or maybe it’s Jamie’s recent Highland Fling in Brownsville? It’s legit so that’s Outlander Easter Egg #32.
Back to reality, it seems that Claire realizes Jamie and the Fraser Cavalry have arrived to her rescue but she retreats from the ensuing fight to the Safe House to give us Outlander Easter Egg #33. Jamie delivers another iconic line, “Dinna be afraid. There’s the two of us now.”
When Jamie frees her and she seems unaware she’s really safe, Jamie says (most of) the same words to her that he did to Roger after Roger was rescued from hanging in this season’s Episode 7, “You are Alive. You are Whole.” That’s Outlander Easter Egg #34.
After all is said and done to avenge Claire, Jamie wraps her in his plaid and picks her up to carry her as Murtagh carried him to safety from his own sexual assault by Black Jack Randall at Wentworth Prison, Outlander Easter Egg #35. On their way home, we get Outlander Easter Egg #36 when they stop by the stream and talk of home as they did after the witch trial, except this time they both meant the same home.
Outlander Easter Egg #37 appears when Bree is comforting Claire by helping her bathe after she arrives home. As Bree leaves the room, she says the same words to Claire that her friend Lizzie said to her after she had been raped by Stephen Bonnet. They must have helped her for her to repeat them now. “You have my hand, Mama, and my ear, if you need it.” Jamie, Claire and Bree are due a break, don’t you think?
We are closing in on the episode’s end with a bruised and battered Dr. Claire entering her home surgery in an attempt to treat the lone survivor of the Fraser Calvary rescue, the kidnapping ring leader, Lionel Brown. She has to fight the urge to break her “do no harm” oath and slit his throat. Remember badass Marsali? She took care of Lionel Brown.
One more time, at least for this season, she retreats to her Safe House. Giving us our final Outlander Easter Egg #38, she takes the orange from the table, as she did at Versailles with King Louis, and leaves the living room with her dignity, having followed her oath to Do No Harm.
And back in reality she leaves the surgery, taking the high road up the stairs to release her pain in private and be comforted by Jamie.
Claire is safe. For now.
What Did I Miss?
Given that I just caught that bison as I was looking again at photo I’ve examined before, I imagine you saw things I missed either while viewing these photos or on your own watches. Please add anything you found in the comments? I’d also like to hear if you take issue with any of my selections.
I caught some iconic lines from the TV series and I know that there was dialogue brought directly from the books in this episode as well, like Jamie’s voice over as he delivers Brown’s body to his brother. Maybe book readers would be willing to share any dialogue we heard that came directly from Diana Gabaldon’s wonderful books in the comments as well?
Job Well Done, Outlander
Such an amazing ending to an excellent season, especially the second half IMHO. I hope Diana Gabaldon is proud of the effort to bring this particular part of her story to life in a respectful way. A round of applause to this Outlander team who can still amaze and delight me five seasons in. The thought you put in to crafting all those small details is appreciated! Thank you!!
How many times have you watched and how many Outlander Easter Eggs have you found?
What was your favorite?
Obsessenach Karen K Rutledge found Outlander through the STARZ TV series in 2016 after living under a graduate school rock during Season 1 and most of 2. She binged then began making her way through Diana Gabaldon’s captivating book series. The rest is history. Interested in following Karen? Twitter: @KarenABQNM, Facebook: Karen K Rutledge, Instagram: karen_k_rutledge
Note: Credit for all photos to STARZ.