‘Outlander’ season 1 finale review: Did Claire and Jamie escape from Black Jack Randall?

The “Outlander” finale on Starz Saturday night was almost a year in the making, but was it worth it? That’s something that may be a debate for much of the next several days.

For the time being, though, we can at least say that this was an intense, possibly-traumatizing episode to some viewers given that there was violence, rape, intensity, and then maybe a little bit of peace at the very end as Claire and Jamie Fraser decided to leave Scotland for France, a decision we definitely understand given everything that befell the two there. Not only that, but Claire is expecting a child with Jamie! There were changes in here from the books, but Claire being pregnant is something that will likely shift and alter everything moving into the future.

Black Jack does seem to now be wiped away, and that is a victory in many ways. But if there is one word ultimately we would use to describe the end of season 1, it is “conclusive.” This is clearly not a show interested in going back and doing the same exact thing in the second season that they did in the first. We are now navigating to a very different part of the world, and one where Jamie and Claire will face new obstacles.

If this a world where there is less brutal rape? That is something we can only hope, given that while it is a part of this story, these scenes on the show remain one of the few things as a critic that we find ourselves uncomfortable to watch.

Everything from the rescue mission to the closing minutes was done in outstanding fashion, though, and despite at times our own personal discomfort, we can admire the series on its merits and for what was a daring, bold achievement. Grade: A-.

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