[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of Outlander, "Freedom and Whisky." Read at your own risk!]
We've arrived at the print shop, Outlander fans!
Sunday's episode of Outlander capped off with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) finally coming face to face after 20 years apart in the print shop Jamie owns in the 18th century. The reunion was cut off when Jamie fainted to the floor and will be resumed in two weeks time, so the Droughtlander will be back on for a little while.
However, as happy as Claire and Jamie's reunion was, it came at the price of a heavy goodbye for Claire and their daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton). Once Claire, Brianna and Roger (Richard Rankin) were able to confirm that Jamie was still alive, Brianna urged Claire to return to the past and reunite with her lost love, despite knowing that travel could mean that Claire and Brianna never see each other again.
TV Guide talked to Skelton about crafting that goodbye with Claire, what it really means for Brianna going forward and if a trip through the stones of her own is really out of the question.
Brianna makes the really tough decision to let Claire go in this episode. What was filming that like?
Sophie Skelton: You see it all in the scene where you see Brianna at the window and she's putting on such a brave face for Claire, which is something Bree is very good at. That's basically all we've seen of Bree, this stoic strong Fraser face she has. She's very Jamie like in that. She hides a lot internally and calculates a lot internally. There's a really nice moment at the window where we really see that break down. She's there and she has this brave face. She's almost being the mother. There's this beautiful role reversal where Bree is saying to Claire, "I have to be selfless here and I have to let you go." There's a beautiful parallel there that he did the same for Bree. As soon as Claire is out of sight, Bree just completely breaks down.
I think it's really nice moment because Claire has made this sacrifice for Brianna for 20 years and now Brianna makes this sacrifice too. There's also the scene where Claire says she's worried about going back because maybe Jamie won't feel the same. It's almost a teenage love fear. There's a lot of pressure there. They've had 20 years apart and she's got all of this built up in her head about how wonderful this relationship it is — because it was — so that's a really nice scene as well.
She does seem to handle it really well, but it can't be as easy as it seems.
Skelton: For Bree, it's really difficult because she's been able to bury her head in the whole adventure of finding Jamie, all the research and the history everything. But once they've gone and found Jamie and that means Claire can go back, everything sort of crumbles for her. [Brianna] has to start dealing with the realism of it all. She has to start finding who she is. She has to start dealing with Frank not being her real father and everything. Letting Claire go is really difficult because that 20 year tension they had between them has finally been bandaged up. They've finally grown closer as mother and daughter and, ironically, the one thing that brought them together, Jamie, is going to tear them apart. Fore Bree, it's really difficult, but she has Roger now to fall back on.
Does Brianna fully understand what she's giving up when she tells Claire to go back or is it something that's going to dawn on her off screen while we follow Claire? She's technically an orphan now.
Skelton: That's the ironic thing. She technically has three parents and she kind of ends up with none for a while. At the end of Season 2 when Roger comes up and says that Jamie is still alive and Claire turns to the stones and goes, "I have to go back." We were actually going to give Brianna that line. We did a few takes of that to see what worked best. In the end it worked best with Claire saying that line. It is that thing where for Bree says, "Yes, you love him. You have to go back." But once all the research is done and they actually find Jamie and it's time for Claire to go back, for Bree it's that thing of, "I'm going to be on my own. I finally have my mother back. We finally have this relationship," and now it really hits that [Claire] has to go back. At the same time, Bree knows that she's making such a sacrifice... It does lay on far more heavily when it actually happens because then she has to deal with it.
It's understandable why a 20-year-old wouldn't want to go 200 years in the past because her adult life just started in Boston, but do you think there's a part of Brianna that thought, "What if I came with you?"
Skelton: Yeah, definitely! In the book you get the scene where Brianna goes to the stones and waits for Claire and says, "If you don't go back, I will." She's dressed in the 17th century gown. We didn't do that. We made it almost a more intimate scene. For Bree, the 1960s is a lively, bubbly place. Like Claire, Bree is a very modern woman. She's studying at one of the best universities in the country. She's a really good academic, especially for a woman in those times and the big goals of that.
I think going back — so much of it is Jamie. Her mom has just told her about this whole other world. Even though Bree is this very logical person, there is such a curiosity about that. Jamie has been put up on such a pedestal. She's only seen him through Claire's eyes as this wonderful man, lover and father. She's only seen him through history's eyes where he's such a wonderful warrior. There is this curiosity that she needs to go see who she is and he is half of who she is. For Bree, going back is sort of that historical adventure for her.
Outlander returns Sunday, Oct. 22 at 8/7c on Starz.