Barney Stinson, thank you. Thank you for the gags, for being an amazing friend, for being smart, funny, for the catchphrases, for the legend- wait for it- dary, for the laser tag, thank you for the jokes, for the jokes about Canada, for the naked man, the lemon law, the possimpible, the plabook, the suits, the dance numbers, brover, the ducky tie, the slaps (well, I have to thank Marshall), the bro code, the rehearsal dinner, for desperation day, for haaaave you met Ted?, for “challenge accepted”, but most of all…thank you for THE ROBIN.
I think the show’s gotten better and better the more we’ve focused in on and doubled down on the characters. The thing I’m most proud about in the finale is that it’s really a character piece. So many finales, especially the genre shows, are just about people running around and fighting, and ours really digs down to the thematics and the character issues that our people have been facing all year. It’s a uniquely thoughtful and emotional finale, and I’m really proud of it because of that.
The episode opened with a flash-forward to 1954: Claire tending to her perfectly healthy and adorable flame-haired muffin, which, looking back, was maybe the writers’ way of giving those fans who had not read the novels a small shred of hope to focus on once the bloodletting started. The beloved heroine had been rushed to the hospital after witnessing her husband’s betrayal (Jamie had sworn to leave Black Jack alone, but instead was found in the forest engaged in a duel with the man Claire still believed to be her future husband Frank’s ancestor) and lost the baby. Delirious with fever, forever damaged by the loss of a child, and apoplectic and let down by her soulmate’s broken promise, this could have easily veered into Lifetime movie territory. Instead, Caitriona Balfe rose to the occasion and churned out what should be an Emmy-winning performance, and the show presented one of the most honest looks at grief to ever grace a TV. They stuck with her through her pain, which she was forced to deal with solo, given that Jamie had gotten himself thrown in the Bastille, and eventually made her get back up again and carry on because there was still history-changing work to be done and a husband to save … again. In a brief break from the brutality, La Dame Blanche is asked by the King to preside over a secret backroom inquisition of Master Raymond, who quickly became our favorite French character, and St. Germain, which highlighted many of the other things Outlander does well, like set design, costumes, secondary character casting, and dabbling in mysticism. But the break was brief, and when Jamie returned home, there was more meaty dialogue to chew up. —Carrie Bell Caitriona Balfe discusses the episode.