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WTF Just Happened in Outlander? S7, E2, “The Happiest Place on Earth”

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Lizabeth Phoenix
| July 2, 2023
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Last week, Jamie and Claire reunited as Tom Christie took the blame for his daughter Malva’s murder, clearing Claire’s name and saving her life in one sweep. However, the Frasers weren’t convinced he did it, and Jamie paid Richard Brown a little visit. The teaser for this week’s episode showed John Grey asking Jamie if he thought the rebels could fight the Crown and win. Let’s see what Jamie answered. 

Content Warnings: Mentions of sexual assault, murder, attempted suicide, and more.

Spoiler Alert: We are recapping the episode, so there will be spoilers past this point. You’ve been warned! Turn back now if you wish to stay unspoiled. 

Allan confesses to Malva’s murder.


Claire opens with a monologue reflecting on how Christie’s sacrifice reminded her to make an effort to truly live, counting her life in moments of value rather than the number of days that pass. She finds Allan, Malva’s (terrible) brother, beside Malva’s grave, and when Claire checks on him, he makes a dark confession. Allan sexually abused his sister, and when he found out she was sleeping with others to cover for her pregnancy, Allan put her up to say the baby was Jamie’s. However, Malva cared about Claire and couldn’t go through with it, so Allan killed her. After confessing, he tries to kill himself. Claire stops him just in time and furiously tells him to leave the Ridge . . . and then Ian shoots him in the back with an arrow, saying Malva’s baby deserved to live. I cheered. Put him six feet deep, Ian.

Amanda joins the family.

Later in the episode, Bree gives birth to her new daughter Amanda. Jamie and Claire both spend time with the baby, and Claire discovers there’s a problem with Amanda’s heart. Jamie asks what to do, and Claire explains she can’t operate with what she has to work with at that time. Roger and Bree will have to travel back to their time. Jamie and Claire share a prayer for the baby, and the next day they confirm all of Roger and Bree’s family can hear the stones–and thus, can time travel. They go to Wilmington to find more gems, and while there, Bree runs into John Grey, who introduces her to her half-brother William Ransom. Bree knows he’s her half-brother, but she’s discreet. Jamie sees his son across the street, and William is on the opposite side of the revolution, so it’s a gut punch. Jamie and John exchange a nod of understanding, and Bree later suggests John should tell William his true parentage, with Bree maintaining the information won’t make William love John any less.

Jamie sees his children together for the first time.

Afterward, Jamie visits John, and John observes they’re on opposing sides of history. Jamie is glad to have seen his kids together, even if William is determined to fight for the Crown. Despite John’s concerns, Jamie hasn’t changed his mind; he’s still associated with the Sons of Liberty, squarely on the revolutionary side. John asks him if anyone could oppose the Crown and win, and Jamie answers that it doesn’t matter what he thinks, but their association is a danger to them both. They must sever connections. NOOOOOOO. Jamie tells John that even in silence, he will remain his friend, and John gives him the gemstone he’s kept for Jamie for 20 years for Bree, thus unknowingly giving her passage back through the stones. This is breaking my heart, you guys.

Jamie and Bree talk about the future.

With the addition of John’s gemstone, they have enough “time travel currency” for Roger and Bree’s family to go home. Jamie and Bree go for a walk, chancing across some fireflies–one of which Jamie catches and lets go (*cough cough* for the theme nod)–and Bree tells him about Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. She says they call it the “happiest place on earth.” Jamie asks if his time is disappointing to her, ’cause like, ouch! Hearing her talk about her first home like that’s gotta make you feel some kind of way. But Bree is thoughtful with her words and tells Jamie that knowing him has been magical for her. In a serious moment, Jamie asks if the price soon to be paid for America’s freedom would be worth it. Bree answers that nothing’s worth losing him, but maybe freedom comes close. 

Jamie offers Claire a gemstone.

Back at the Ridge, Jamie tells Claire he’s been having interesting dreams, recounting one he had about her surrounded by electric light. He saw her at a desk, writing or something . . . Hold up. Is this the first time we see him see her? In the pilot episode? When he’s standing outside the building in the street? WHAT! I have so many questions.

These dreams just started recently, so maybe they’re a gift in some way. He shows Claire a gemstone he’s been saving for her, thinking should he be killed, Claire could take it and go home. He offers it to her in case she wants to go with Bree and Roger and their family, and Claire promptly throws it out the window. Yes, girl. She loves him, and she’s staying. Cue the second cheer of the episode!

Back to the stones.

At the stones, Claire and Jamie say heartfelt goodbyes to Bree, Roger, and their grandchildren. Each time they said goodbye, it wasn’t forever. Who knows where the story will take them? Here’s where Jamie tells Roger what we heard in the episode two teaser, noting that he traveled 200 years to be with Bree. It wasn’t the life he chose, but he didn’t let it stop him from becoming a husband, soldier, father, a man of God. A man of honor. Jamie’s proud of him, which is pretty full circle for these two; they didn’t exactly start out cool. They joke about the stories Roger will tell his kids about Jamie, and Claire tells Roger to look after their girl. Jamie’s goodbye to Bree is probably the most difficult, considering the last time they parted was before the Battle of Culloden–before she was born–and another war is coming. He doesn’t have the words. When she told him, “Dinna fash,” I heard the whole fandom scream through the screen. Bree recalls when Jamie said goodbye to Claire before, telling her Bree was all that would ever be left of him, and she reminds Jamie he’s more than that. She’ll carry him in her heart always, and he will always have her as well. Nothing is lost, only changed.

Saying goodbye.

When the MacKenzies disappear through the stones, Jamie experiences extreme grief. He expresses that, for Claire’s sake, he will continue on with life. For his alone, he would not. We then see Roger, Bree, Jem, and Amanda together and safe in their own time. Who was worried they’d get split up? Psssh. 

Jamie and Claire go back to the Ridge, and together, they grieve the loss of their family. Jamie sometimes thinks of his godfather Murtagh, his family, and their first daughter. (Ahem, is anyone else a little worried about all the Murtagh mentions in this episode?) He comforts Claire as she cries, reminding her he’s there, and we see them coming to terms with the new changes and making peace with the new order of things. They count their blessings, reminding themselves Roger and Bree are alive and, for a while, it is the happiest place on earth.

And then . . . 

Donner lights a match.

Claire comes home to find the door ajar. Donner sits at their table, holding the matches Bree made. He wants answers. After trying unsuccessfully to travel home, he wants Claire to tell him more about how the stones work. Claire explains he has to think of someone or someplace to “steer.” As with most things in life, it’s to be done with a clear head and sharp focus. But Donner brought some friends. They rob the Frasers for gemstones and search through Claire’s workspace, breaking her ether bottles across the floor. The fumes go into the air, Donner lights a match, and the episode ends with an explosion. 

Claire stifles her rage as Allan confesses.


Okay, let’s get into it. Most important things first: 

– Allan is horrible, and I hate him. I’ve also adjusted my opinion on Malva. While this new revelation doesn’t necessarily absolve her of possibly trying to poison Claire and Christie, it does shed new light on her situation, reframing a lot of my previous assumptions about her. Allan’s the villain, here, and I’m glad he’s gone.

– Jamie and John Grey’s goodbyes got me in my feelings. He’s been a good friend, a valuable character, and I’m sad they’re on opposite sides of the war. I hope they don’t meet down the barrel . . . 

– Assuming the explosion is the house fire the show foreshadowed, does that mean Bree and Roger had to leave wondering if Claire and Jamie were about to die in said fire? Because if so, that makes those goodbyes a lot more painful. 

– This episode pulled our heartstrings on purpose. But I’m glad the MacKenzies made it; they’re together, and despite the years between the characters, they’re never far away. Life goes on until they meet again!

The Frasers watch their family go.


All the emotions! This was a character-building episode . . . and you know what that usually means. The next episode will probably be a kicker. We knew the fire would happen eventually, plus the next episode preview tells you all the usual faves are still alive, so the biggest focus of this episode is the Frasers’ family and their love for each other. But, um . . . has anyone else heard that bookish joke about when a side character gets a lot of page time before the final battle? And then they get the metaphorical ax? What if that’s what’s happening? Who are we about to say “bye” to, if anyone? I’m not ready.

Back home?


The next episode preview shows Jamie dreaming about Bree’s time. She and Roger drive up to what looks to be Lallybroch, Jamie’s family estate! Meanwhile, Ian walks across the ashes of the Frasers’ house on the Ridge. Claire tells him to put on a brave face, be strong, and keep breathing–that’s all he has to do for now. And Jamie drops the title of the next episode, “Death Be Not Proud.”

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