At the Starz TCA panel for Outlander, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, author Diana Gabaldon and producer Ronald D. Moore were all on hand to field journalists’ questions about Season 2, and in particular, what Heughan and Balfe think about Claire and Jamie’s personal changes. And yes, there are going to be huge changes, as the show shifts locales from Scotland to France. Also, as was revealed in the Season 1 finale, Claire is pregnant with Jamie’s child, which will be a catalyst for Season 2’s drama (Moore said, “Claire’s pregnancy is a threat.”) Jamie also grew up a lot in Season 1, and Heughan spoke to some of the changes, and what he admires about him:
I’ve been very surprised by Season 2. Season 1 was about discovery and about a young man sort of growing up and finding his place in the world and in a relationship. And Season 2 has been about discovering a side of the character that I didn’t know was there, that he’s playing someone else. He’s being quite deceptive. He’s learning to be deceitful, and he does it very well. Jamie is very capable and good at most things. But there’s a side to him that I didn’t know existed. [I admire] his humor and his buoyancy. His natural ability to keep going no matter what’s wrong. And I guess, also, his just absolute dedication to Claire is admirable and inspiring.
But Season 1 also left off with a series of brutal episodes where Jamie was sexually assaulted and mentally tormented by Captain Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), and that shadow will continue to haunt Claire and Jamie on their journey. Heughan continued,
We go to Paris on this mission, and we’re there for a reason. But Jamie’s definitely still affected by the trauma. I think time is a great healer, but ultimately, he puts his whole body and soul into this mission about changing history, and then there is a great revelation that kind of cures him or brings him out of himself, which I can’t really tell you what that is, but it certainly brings back the old Jamie.
There are big changes in store for Claire as well, who will be returning to 1948 for some time, and Caitriona Balfe spoke about how that will affect her relationship with Frank. Just like how she saw shades of Frank in Captain Randall, she’ll she Randall in Frank and that connection there. “There are many layers of why that relationship is difficult when she goes back.”
But, Claire is also perhaps a lot stronger and more grounded than in Season 1, with Balfe saying:
Last season, she was in survival mode, reacting from one thing to the next. The difference with this season is that there’s been time to be in one place and contemplate, and things are sitting with her a lot more. She has time to consider her place and how she feels, and it’s been a really amazing discovery in that way. I feel that in a lot of respects I’ve gotten to know her a lot more. But we’ve such, hopefully, a long journey to go with these characters in that I’m really looking forward to playing the next phases.
As far as what she might ask Claire, if she should could meet her:
I really admire her resilience and her intelligence, and I would love to just ask her about what her thoughts are being in all these different places and times and how she sees humanity and having that conversation with her and about her drive for her career and all those things. I think it would be a very interesting dinner, I think. It would be a very drunk dinner, possibly.
Heughan’s response to what he would ask Jamie: “Is he a natural ginger?”
Outlander returns to Starz this April.