Hey all, thanks for the well-wishes, and here’s payback in the form of an unnecessarily long promo recap.
The title of this promo is more than a righteous Magic:The Gathering card. It’s also the nickname for Plutarch’sLives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, a series of biographies of famous men that highlighted their similar virtues and failings, and a fascinating study of morality and choices. It’s an apt lens through which to view this season of Outlander, in which Claire and Jamie struggle to make the most of their choice to separate, consequently exposing the best and worst of themselves (and those closest to them). It’s a reminder that our heroes are no more human than any of us: sometimes disturbingly fallible, others heartrendingly persistent. Plus I hear there’s a lot of sex.
Let’s dig in.
The promo opens on Claire and Bree, presumably on a plane back to Boston after their visit to Scotland. Caitriona Balfe narrates, letting us know that when we last saw the character it was 1968, right after her character discovers Jamie didn’t die at Culloden. Both Randall ladies seem immersed in thought.
Information like that has a way of jump-starting one’s fantasy life, and Claire gazes out of her plane window while Bree reassures her that they “will find him.” Don’t pat yourself on the back, kid. Everyone finds Jamie eventually. He’s pretty noteworthy.
Cut to Bree and Claire researching at what looks like a library with Roger. This promo needs more Roger. If this keeps up I am just going to start Photoshopping his face onto vases and stuff. Here he is, color-coordinating not only with the rich wood paneling but also Bree’s vest. I assume he’s the head researcher because he’s the only one who can read fluent Scottish noises.
Have you been too happy lately? Face hurt from smiling? Did you find that the Droughtlander was finally long enough that you remembered your kids, started reading books other than Voyager and finally quit re-watching Outlander S2? Are you feeling like maybe your kids aren’t as fascinating as wondering about the print shop scene?
Starz has the cure. A new teaser trailer for Season 3 dropped a week ago, and with it, an opportunity for me to procrastinate indulge in shenanigans.
Let’s get to it.
We begin by briefly revisiting Jamie and Claire’s angst-ridden goodbye from the S2 finale, just in case you didn’t remember how sh*tty that was. This also serves as foreshadowing so you know in advance that it doesn’t take a great production an hour to make you into a sobbing pile of used tissues and turn your previous playful humor dark as the Batcave. We’re getting it done in under 30 seconds.
The next image flashes by, but is a gut-punch all the same: the aftermath of the battle of Culloden. A literal and figurative dark night of the soul, and a reminder of just how awful we can be to each other in the name of a principle.
At its center, Jamie. Sad, blue, and probably suffering hypothermia and raging blood poisoning.
Jamie’s voice-over, which runs the entire length of the clip, is this pared-down and restructured novel quote from e213:
“I have lied, killed, and broken trust. But when I stand before God, I’ll have one thing to say to weigh against all the rest. Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”
This is followed by two brief glimpses. One of Lallybroch in what looks like summer…
…and one of a serious, pale Jamie, dressed in breeches, riding a horse through the woods. He looks ghostlike in the mist, his features sharp and drawn.
And last in this series, the Selznick-technicolor-like shot of Jamie in the thick of battle at Culloden field, his attention caught by something we can’t yet see. Despite his obvious exhaustion and what is going on around him, he is as brilliantly rendered as a medieval saint, beautiful and stoic as any martyr.
Hopping forward to the 1960s, Claire is sitting in perhaps a doctor’s lounge with what looks like a poinsettia pin on, seemingly staring at something on maybe a television along with her fellow staff.
Depending on the month and year (Claire’s hair doesn’t show the grey streak but is already in the 1968 pompadour), it could be this, this or heck, maybe the grey is just hard to see and it’s maybe even this.
Then some more flashes of Claire’s life sans Jamie. The happy parts, like Bree graduating high school…
…and the sad parts, like forgetting that she no longer has an all-access pass to the Ginger Roller Coaster at FraserWorld.
Back to post-Culloden Jamie, who is also Very Sad and is wandering around the countryside, petting Scotland like it’s a giant cat and looking like Highland Kurt Cobain.
Then, a brief flash of the [OMG BOOK SPOILER] Fraser kids, 16-year old Bree with Frank and Claire at the world’s saddest teen birthday…
…and what I am assuming is little William Ransom, launching himself at Mac the stable groom (aka JAMMF).
UGH THE HEARTBREAK. If there is anything Heughan excels at, it’s letting his face crumple from neutral to devastated, and I look forward to feeling my own face fall in helpless sympathy.
As we draw to the end, a frightened Claire runs down a hospital hallway in her scrubs…
…and a determined Jamie, shooting a man point-blank.
Finally, as the final two lines of Jamie’s voiceover play (”I’ll find you. I promise.”), a bedraggled, wild-eyed Jamie stumbles through some ruins while looking for the Frenchman’s gold and a white witch, shouting Claire’s name.