Episode 308

FIRST WIFE

Dive deeper into this episode with exclusive sketches, production designs, and fun facts delivered directly from the Outlander crew.

INSIDE THE SCRIPT:
First wife

See what the crew says about your favorite scenes.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

We talked a lot in the writer’s room about how to stage Claire’s reappearance at Lallybroch and how she’d be received by Jenny and family. It was important that Jenny not just embrace her right away with open arms. In the book, Jenny has a similar reaction to Claire when she first arrives—Jenny is cold to Claire and makes herself scarce. Though Jenny in the book does believe Claire’s cover story, our Jenny’s a bit more suspicious. She doesn’t understand where Claire’s been and why she stayed away for so long. She watched her brother go through a great deal of pain over this woman, so like a protective sister, she is going to want answers.

Though the script starts with Claire and Jenny’s reunion, which we thought would be a dramatic opening, when filming, we added a piece which is the ride up to Lallybroch. We were split on this—some of us thought it was a little too jarring to go straight from the print shop fire in Ep. 307 to here…so we built in the ride up, which is also nice because you get to see Claire’s first glimpse of the manor house in the distance, and see on her face how much she’s missed it, yet a twinge of her nervousness at re-entry.

There was a lot of debate as well whether Jenny would greet Claire first or her son Young Ian, who’s been missing and whom she’s been worried about. In the end, Claire won out! After all, she’s been missing for twenty years. Jenny could see that Young Ian was at least home safe, so she dealt with him after she was done with her interaction with Claire.

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This is a nice scene of conflict for sister and brother as Jenny confronts Jamie for not being forthcoming about Young Ian staying with him, and also for involving her son in criminal activity. There’s also a nice bit of tension as Jenny prods Jamie about his big secret and he sidesteps by saying he hasn’t had time to talk with Claire about that yet. It sets up what’s coming later in the episode when his secret literally walks through the door.

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Jenny and Ian’s big idea was that since Jamie was treating Young Ian like a son, then he can punish him as his own. But Jamie comes up with a different lesson than the lash. This was a wee departure from the book where Jamie does beat Young Ian and then has Young Ian also whip him. We wanted to show Claire’s influence on Jamie—he beat her in Season 1 and she opened his eyes to the fact that this isn’t always an effective way to handle things. Jamie comes up with a creative way to discipline the kid—make him do the most loathed chore on the farm. We researched this and came up with the making of “dall” which was a real thing Scottish families did to make fuel during hard times. And seeing Young Ian suffer through making patties from dung all day did the trick.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

Jenny and Ian’s big idea was that since Jamie was treating Young Ian like a son, then he can punish him as his own. But Jamie comes up with a different lesson than the lash. This was a wee departure from the book where Jamie does beat Young Ian and then has Young Ian also whip him. We wanted to show Claire’s influence on Jamie—he beat her in Season 1 and she opened his eyes to the fact that this isn’t always an effective way to handle things. Jamie comes up with a creative way to discipline the kid—make him do the most loathed chore on the farm. We researched this and came up with the making of “dall” which was a real thing Scottish families did to make fuel during hard times. And seeing Young Ian suffer through making patties from dung all day did the trick.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

Jamie gives Jenny a piece of wisdom: give the lad his freedom while it’s still yours to give. The words stick with Jenny who later realizes the truth of them. Jenny also confronts Jamie with why he never told her about where Claire had gone. Any scene with Jamie and Jenny is gold. These actors have a natural chemistry and it’s easy to believe they are brother and sister who love each other though they are each hard-headed and tend to fight a lot.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

We had many discussions, too, in the writer’s room about whether Jamie should just tell Jenny the truth. Our arguments there became fodder for this scene as Jamie and Claire have the same discussion we did in the room. After all, they told Murtagh. But Jenny is a different case and we hear why in this scene…

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

The fans will be happy to see this scene! Jamie searching for Claire on Silkie Island was shown in the previews and everyone was eager to see it. When it didn’t happen in 303 during his stay at Ardsmuir, book readers missed it. But we held it back because we had saved it to show as a flashback when Jamie relays the story to Claire. We always urge the audience to be patient—often if we leave something out, there’s a reason and you’ll see it later. It’s nice here to witness Claire’s reaction to the fact that Jamie missed her so much and was looking for her. In a network TV show, they might have shown this scene in both places…first in 303 and then flashing back to it. But it would not have been as effective if the audience wasn’t seeing it for the first time here.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

Jamie’s speech about the greylag goose is one of our favorites from the book, so we used that here. It’s a perfect metaphor for their relationship. And of course, we see Jamie trying to ‘fess up to the big secret. He’s been looking for the right time to do this ever since Claire came back in 306. There were those in our writers’ room who felt he should have come clean earlier. After all, Jamie is a very honorable and principled guy and it’s hard to imagine him lying—even a lie of omission. But ultimately, we agreed that he wouldn’t risk losing the love of his life after 20 years apart. That is not dishonorable, just human. In the books, we are in Claire’s inner monologue, but here we see Jamie’s face on the screen. So, we had to play that something is weighing on his mind. We planted little breadcrumbs in the scripts for the audience. The mention of Ned Gowan in 306 was one of those breadcrumbs. Jamie wanted a read on the legal situation—is his other marriage even valid now that Claire is back? Of course, Jamie would have told Claire in time, but unfortunately his time runs out when Laoghaire bursts into their bedroom—one of the most shocking moments in the book AND on screen. Claire is shocked beyond belief and also meeting his “daughters” for the first time.

Because of a scheduling issue, this episode was shot out of order and filmed in Block 2 along with Episode 302 near the beginning of the season—even before 306 filmed! It messed a bit with the actors’ heads to have to play these scenes when they hadn’t even reunited yet. So the actors deserve a giant round of applause for pulling this off. It takes a great deal of concentration to perform these scenes out of context.

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We got a kick out of writing Laoghaire swearing like a sailor. We figured she was so upset, she wouldn’t hold back. But tell us Laoghaire, how do you really feel? 😀

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One of our favorite scenes was Jamie talking to Joanie…the little actress was so wonderful here. You feel so much for her and also for Jamie who must explain this delicate situation. In the book, Jamie had little interaction with his “daughters” but we wanted to show more of how much he cares for them, since this is the reason he married Laoghaire to begin with.

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This is probably one of the most anticipated scenes of the season, so there was a lot of pressure to get it right. It was reminiscent of Claire and Jamie’s fight about the attempted rape of Claire by redcoats in the glade in Episode 109, The Reckoning. This couple loves hard, but fights hard too and their passion is at full force gale here. We loved Jenny coming in and throwing water on them, as she does in the book.

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Jenny finally confronting Claire: Family writes letters! We worked to craft this scene so it was believable. Claire had to have a good cover story. In the book, Claire tells the Murrays that she escaped to France, but we decided that sticking as close to the truth as possible is always best so we had Claire tell Jenny as much as she could, basically just leaving out the time travel part.

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We rarely get to see a scene of just Jenny and Ian together and get a glimpse of their relationship. Obviously, Jenny is the firebrand and Ian the calmer, more pragmatic one. But he is strong and stands up to her. They are an amazing pair and it’s a nice glimpse into how their relationship works.

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An exciting scene where Laoghaire tries to shoot Claire and hits Jamie. In the book, Claire isn’t present when Laoghaire shoots him—but we thought it’d be cool if she meant to shoot Claire and Jamie stepped between them. The first gun we tried was too heavy for Nell to hold and shoot over and over for the many takes which are required. So, we got her a smaller weapon which she could hold more comfortably. There was a lot of discussion about just how much Claire and Laoghaire would fight—whether Claire would wrestle Laoghaire for the gun or rush to tend Jamie. In the end, we did what felt right on set, but we left the action line kicking her ass because it was fun and we loved the girl fight. 😀

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Loved Joy Blake’s line here where Young Ian calls Claire “Auntie” and she’s touched by it, realizing he’s the only one who calls her that. This is the beginning of a really beautiful relationship.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

The Swiss cheese line’s a funny one. Something we like to do is keep Jamie’s sense of humor, even during tense times. These two love each other and no matter how bad things get, they connect.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

This is probably the most important scene in the script. We really took great care with portraying Hogmanay. As Jamie relays his recollection, it was imperative that Claire (along with the audience) understands how he could have possibly made a decision to marry Laoghaire. We structured it so that it’s clear that Jamie is entranced by these two sweet and lovely young girls who reach out to him. They sense his loneliness and one of our favorite moments is when Joan simply asks, “Would you like some figs?” When Jamie finally dances, we see him smiling and at ease—Jenny sees it too and wants so badly for her brother to come back to life. It’s easy to see now why he would consider Laoghaire—he wants to be part of a family, and he wants to be the father he could never be to Brianna and Willie. He was caught up in the warmth of the holiday. And of course, he thought he’d never again in his life see Claire…

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Put these two ladies together and whatever you write never disappoints. We purposely set this on the front steps—where Claire and Jenny sat once before and had a heart-to-heart back in Episode 113, The Watch. Jenny has always sensed that there’s something odd about Claire. We learn that Jenny has “the sight” as she (and others) do in the book. She “saw” Claire’s fetch at Jamie and Laoghaire’s wedding. Lallybroch is a magical place—Jamie has “seen” Claire there and even Claire “saw” Jamie back in Episode 213 under the Lallybroch arch. But Jenny finally comes to terms with the fact that she may never really know Claire’s whole story. Claire can’t come clean, but says she loves Jenny and she hopes that’s enough. They were once like sisters…

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

Who doesn't want to see Ned Gowan again, right? It was a joy to bring him back! In the book, he represents Laoghaire in the divorce, but we switched it and had him help Jamie and Claire. Much research was done on how exactly a case like this would go—it was all pretty interesting. Claire wants Laoghaire punished for the shooting, but Jamie doesn’t want to punish the girls by taking away their mother, no matter how angry he is at her.

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This is where Jenny decides to let Young Ian go with Jamie, using a callback to his advice to her to “give him his freedom while it’s still ours to give.” Jamie makes a promise to her, that he’ll soon have to make good on—after Young Ian is kidnapped.

Toni Graphia & Matt Roberts Annotation

A bit of debate in writers’ room here…but given the rift caused by the emergence of the secret wife, it seemed like some conflict was in order. Claire and Jamie wrestle with the fact that getting back together after 20 years is harder than they both thought. They love each other deeply but there’s no denying that their life together is full of adventure and a wee bit of chaos! Claire feels bad that so much strife has happened since she’s arrived, but Jamie doesn’t want to give up. Here, he finally asks her “Will ye risk the man that I am for the sake of the man ye knew?” The audience has been waiting for this favorite line and this seemed a good place to put it—after the reveal of Jamie’s marriage to Laoghaire.

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Jamie and Claire’s talk is interrupted by Ian’s kidnapping…so we’ll soon see if Claire decides to take that risk… 😀

VISUAL EFFECTS:
SILKIE ISLAND

“The principal challenge for visual effects was to create an island when we didn’t have one; an island that would appear a fair distance off-shore and yet one which we could also stage scenes on.

The simple (in principle) solution was to use a headland with suitable building on it and remove the main coast alongside, creating the rest of the island as a matte-painting and then setting it out to sea in seascape plates shot for the purpose. It needed to feel desolate and hard to reach, battered by the seas and a place that would take a heroic effort to reach, with only one safe route through perilous rocks to sheer cliffs nearly all around.

The second main challenge was adding the “Bruja”—a substantial pirate or buccaneer's 18th century tallship. With it being far from practicable to bring such a ship to the location, or indeed to film one elsewhere at sea, the solution was to create an entirely CG ship. A longboat travelling to and from the Bruja was filmed practically at the location.

The final significant component to these scenes was to transform the modern landscape seen in a wide drone shot looking back from the sea into a wild highlands shore of the 18th century, replacing and extending the shoreline, cliffs and hills beyond. Derived from multiple reference photos taken at the location, this was a series of matte-painted elements projected onto simple geometry to create sufficient parallax for the camera movement.”

SKETCHES:
COSTUME DESIGN

CLOSER LOOK:
HOGMANY AT LALLYBROCH

PHOTOGRAPHY:
MATTHEW B. ROBERTS

“Jamie’s view of Silkie Island as he came out of the sea (although on a much nicer day).”

“We used Dunure Castle as the ruins on Silkie Island.”

“Welcome home…Lallybroch’s front door.”

EXPLORE
  • INTRO
    FIRST WIFE
  • INSIDE
    THE SCRIPT
  • VISUAL EFFECTS:
    SILKIE ISLAND
  • SKETCHES:
    COSTUME DESIGN
  • CLOSER LOOK:
    HOGMANY AT LALLYBROCH
  • PHOTOGRAPHY:
    MATTHEW B. ROBERTS

WHICH JAMIE IS YOUR SOULMATE?

COULD YOU FIND JAMIE FRASER?

THE ULTIMATE OUTLANDER QUIZ

BACK TO QUIZZES

QUESTION 1 OF 10

What is Jamie’s full name?

  • James Andrew Malcolm Michael Fraser
  • James Andrew Murray Monroe Fraser
  • James Alexander Malcolm Murray Fraser
  • James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser

THE ULTIMATE OUTLANDER QUIZ

Season 3 of Outlander premieres September 10 on STARZ, but the big question is, how big a fan of the series are you? Here are 10 questions that will put your love of Outlander on the line. Are you a super fan? Or do you need to go back and catch up on a few episodes before the new season begins? Let’s find out.

BEGIN
TRY AGAIN

BACK TO QUIZZES

QUESTION 1 OF 10

What gift did Jamie give to Claire before they parted?

  • An amber ring
  • A dragonfly in amber
  • A piece of polished amber
  • A butterfly in amber

Could You Find Jamie Fraser?

If you were separated from Jamie Fraser, your one true love, could you find him again? He is centuries in the past. He may not even have survived the Battle of Culloden. What will you do to track him down? And will your knowledge of the past, and his future, help you reunite with him…or keep you searching forever?

BEGIN
TRY AGAIN

BACK TO QUIZZES

QUESTION 1 OF 10

Where would you love to spend your honeymoon?

  • Somewhere lavish and indulgent, with every whim catered for
  • Back to nature, with trees, streams, and clean air
  • Anywhere that’s warm, safe, and has plenty of food
  • It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re with the love of your life

WHICH JAMIE IS YOUR SOULMATE?

Throughout Outlander, Jamie has been through several changes. He’s the gallant and sensitive Highlander. The suave and secretive French society man. A fearless leader in the Jacobite troops. And now, in Outlander 3, we’ll see the outlaw Red Jamie…a brooding, solemn man in hiding. But which version do you truly belong with? Answer these questions and all will be revealed.

BEGIN
TRY AGAIN

FAN POLL

IN AN EPISODE FULL OF DRAMA, WHAT MOMENT HAD YOU MOST NERVOUS?

  • Claire trapped on a ship of sick men
  • Jamie being imprisoned
  • Claire jumping overboard
  • Finding out Jamie will be turned in

POLL RESULT

  • 100%

    Claire trapped on a ship of sick men

  • 100%

    Jamie being imprisoned

  • 100%

    Claire jumping overboard

  • 100%

    Finding out Jamie will be turned in