Claire’s dreams came true. Not only is Jamie alive, but he’s living in Inverness and Claire discovers she CAN time travel. They come face to face, but it’s not quite everything she expected.
Yay, Claire. Her research with Roger and Brianna has paid off better than she could ever have expected — Roger makes the earth shaking discoverery that Jamie is alive and well and living as a printer in Scotland in the 1760s. Claire is a free woman now that Frank has died and Brianna is studying, though not exactly excelling, at Harvard. Speaking of excelling, Claire is clearly at the top of her game as a surgeon, saving the life of a patient by being willing to push the limits during an operation to finish the job, while her attending surgeon urges her to stop.
It’s such a shame that the talented Claire will soon have to give up her opportunity to do highly skilled surgery when she travels back in time. But, there’s a far, far more important thing that Claire will have to give up — her daughter Brianna. Once Claire knows that Jamie is alive, she is faced with a terrible choice — stay with the daughter she loves or go to the husband she loves. “I can’t abandon Brianna, not with everything she’s going through,” Claire cries to Roger, after he presents her with the evidence that proves Jamie is alive… 200 years in the past. Meanwhile, Brianna is going through an identity crisis. She doesn’t know whose daughter she really is. Frank’s — the father she knows, loves and misses — or Jamie’s — her biological father and the man that her mother still loves. It’s Brianna’s identity struggle that has derailed her studies at Harvard. She is questioning everything and is completely unable to concentrate.
Now, it could also be that Brianna is not really and arts an history girl. She tells Roger that she’s fascinated by how a cloistered walkway at Harvard was built. We see her sketching it in class. Maybe Brianna should be studying engineering. Her talents actually lie in other places and for those of us who have read The Outlander books, we know that this is another hint at the skills that Brianna has and will later display.
There is another scene at the beginning of the episode which will be especially interesting to those who have read the Outlander series. Claire’s friend and fellow surgeon, Joe Abernathy, shows her a box of bones which were discovered in a cave on a Caribbean island. Mysteriously, it appears that they are the bones of a white woman who was violently murdered. Spoiler alert… us Outlander aficionados have chills knowing that they no doubt belong to Geillis Duncan.
It is Joe Abernathy who unwittingly also urges Claire to travel back in time. He tells her that she has been half alive for long enough and that she deserves to find love again. Then, there is a bitter encounter that she has with Frank’s lover, Sandy — the woman he was going to marry before he was tragically killed in a car crash. “You should have let him go,” Sandy admonishes Claire, “You never wanted him. He stayed with you because of Brianna, but I know part of him was still in love with you and always would be no matter how much you broke his heart. I had to live with that because he was the love of my life and I wanted him even if it meant I had to share him with you. I could have made him happy. You were selfish. You wanted it all. You lived a lie and you made he and Brianna live a lie. You threw away 20 years with him. I would give anything to have just one more day,” she tells off Claire. So intense. Sad. Claire and Frank had made that pact together to live as a family and raise Brianna. It wasn’t just Claire’s decision. Sorry Sandy.