[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Sunday's Season 3 premiere of Outlander!Read at your own risk.]
Outlander returned Sunday night, and while it was a relief to know that Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) survived their respective journeys — it's obvious there is a long road back to seeing them in each other's arms.
We already knew that Jamie survived the Battle of Culloden. But the premiere episode answered how he did it. The episode opened with a barely conscious Jamie coming to beneath a deceased Jack Black Randall (Tobias Menzies) on the frosty moor of Culloden. Flashbacks revealed how the two entered a grueling duel to the death, with Jamie coming out victorious.
Between visions of the fight and narrowly escaping patrolling British soldiers, Jamie was rescued by a Rupert (Grant O'Rourke) and sheltered in a small farmhouse with other injured Scotsmen. It didn't take long before the Englishmen found the squatters though and began to execute them one by one for treason. Jamie had to watch all of his friends, including Rupert, be killed by firing squad before Commander Grey — the man heading up the executions — recognized Jamie as the man who saved his younger brother from a similar fate during the battle of Prestonpans.
Grey can't in good conscience kill Jamie because he's the man who saved his brother, so he arranged for a wagon to take Jamie back to his family — where he arrived safely at the end of the episode.
Meanwhile, in the 20th century, Claire attempted to settle into her life with Frank in Boston. The grief of losing Jamie was still fresh, though, and caused a lot of difficulties between the couple. Claire's pregnancy was fraught with fights as they tried to figure out what they meant to each other in a life after Jamie.
"I think Claire, as hard as it was, did make a promise to Frank to shut the door on Jamie in the past. She really was going to try and make it work," executive producer Maril Davis explained to TV Guide. "By the end of that episode I think Claire is really like, 'I'm going to try and make this work.'"
Claire did try to make it work, and for a brief moment we thought that she and Frank could actually learn to be happy together. Unfortunately, as they held Brianna in their arms for the first time, a nurse asked, "Where does the red hair come from?" and just like that the hope disappears.
Now Claire and Frank must find out how to coexist in a marriage where Jamie's ghost will always be present and Jamie must find a way to survive a life in hiding while pining for the love of his life 200 years and an ocean away.
Outlander continues Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.