The Time-Hopping ‘Outlander’ Season 7 Midseason Finale, Explained

The Time-Hopping ‘Outlander’ Season 7 Midseason Finale, Explained

We’re going to need more than A Practical Guide for Time-Travelers to get out of the mess that the Fraser and MacKenzie families have found themselves in on Outlander season 7. The midseason finale of Outlander was ultimately uplifting for Claire and Jamie (so you know something bad is about to happen) and a little more stressful and ominous for Roger and Brianna. It is, granted, a little more exciting if you’ve read the books and know what’s coming. Let’s break down what happened before season 7 returns in… 2024? Hopefully? Warning: I will get into book spoilers a teeny tiny bit at the end of the article, so tread carefully.

This season, Claire and Jamie got more involved with the Revolutionary War than ever before, and Roger and Brianna found themselves navigating an all-new time period: the 1980s. There, Brianna gets a job in a male-dominated field, Roger starts researching time travel, and mysterious things start happening around them. In the 18th century, Young Ian meets some Quakers and Claire and Jamie are reunited with Jamie and Lord John Grey’s son William, a British soldier. This all leads up to the Second Battle of Saratoga, which really happened in our world and ended in a British surrender. It’s considered a major turning point in the war, and whaddya know: the eighth episode of the season is titled “Turning Points.” Here’s how that and other things played out in the Outlander season 7 midseason finale.

Claire met an infamous historical figure.

One of the things I like best about Claire as a time traveler is that she’s honest about what history she does and does not remember. That’s so relatable. She’s even less versed in American history. So when she meets Benedict Arnold himself in the midseason finale, all she’s able to discreetly tell Jamie is that he’s an infamous turncoat whose treachery ultimately leads to the end of the war. She just doesn’t know exactly when or why it happens. That helps the Outlander writers, because there would be no conflict if she knew everything, and it’s also realistic. Claire doesn’t have a photographic memory or encyclopedic knowledge of history. Imagine having to remember your APUSH notes with such high stakes!

Jamie almost shoots his son William.

We knew it was coming. Lord John Grey’s son, who Jamie fathered many seasons ago, has been on the other side of the war this whole season. Jamie is ordered to fire on his uncle, Simon Fraser, but refuses and accidentally hits his son’s hat instead. After the battle, he returns the hat and exchanges a few words with William for the first time as an adult. (But, of course, William is completely unaware of their biological connection.)

A new couple has (finally) emerged.

Not-so-Young Ian tells Rachel how he feels after kissing her. It would still be majorly frowned upon if they got married because she’s a Quaker, but the two crazy kids seem to really dig each other.

Then, Ian leaves with Claire and Jamie after the British surrender. (It’s Outlander. The second something good happens romantically, the characters are ripped apart by time and/or ocean.) Rachel agrees to look after Ian’s dog while he’s gone and runs into Arch Bug, who’s out to get Ian. His late wife was accidentally killed by him. The last time Claire and Jamie’s nephew saw the old man, he swore vengeance on him and said, “When you’ve something worth taking, you’ll see me again.” So it’s not great that he’s just discovered Ian has a new woman, and a dog, in his life.

Claire and Jamie are on a journey to Scotland.

Along with Ian, they are tasked with taking Simon’s body home to be buried. Thank goodness. The stress of the American Revolution has really been the last thing the star-crossed couple has needed.

Roger’s on a journey… to the past.

In the penultimate episode, Rob Cameron kidnaps Roger and Brianna’s son Jemmy. Bree’s coworker was already suss. He was a little too flirtatious with her and Roger TBH. But instead of trying to start a 1980s throuple, he apparently decided to go after the Fraser gold. Because of Mandy’s psychic connection with her brother, they think Rob took Jemmy through the stones. So off Roger goes with William Buchleigh Mackenzie, the time-traveler who was poking around.

What spoilers can we get from the books?

Buy the book

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander)

Buy the book

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander)

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Shield your eyes if you don’t want to find out what could potentially happen next when season 7 returns. This is your last chance! Look away! Most of this season has drawn from An Echo in the Bone, the seventh novel in the series. But the 1980 storyline has already reached the beginning of the eighth book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

In that book, we quickly learn that Rob didn’t actually take Jemmy back through the stones. He tricked them, and confronts Briana when she’s alone. This creates a complicated time travel adventure for the younger generations. Not only is Roger looking for his son in the wrong time and place, but he also traveled back way further than he meant–to 1739, before Claire and Jamie ever met.

The complications don’t end there. Back to the events of An Echo in the Bone. After a brief stay in Scotland, Claire and Jamie return to the United States… separately. That’s right, another infamous “Droughtlander” could be on the way. I won’t tell you what happens to either of them, but it does involve the return of some familiar faces. Can season 7 come back now so we can, like, get it over with?

Headshot of Leah Marilla Thomas

Leah Marilla Thomas is an entertainment writer, UNC alum, and former Hasbro Toy Tester (yes, that’s a real thing) who loves The Good Place and Love Island equally. In her alleged spare time, she’s probably either at the theater, in a park, or watching basketball. 

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