Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is back in Scotland with her grown-up daughter Brianna ( Sophie Skelton) and it’s 1968. Frank is dead and Claire is on the hunt for what happened to Jamie. She is desperate to find out whether Jamie did in fact die at Culloden, or did he, by some miracle, survive. Claire has settled in, working with Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) , the adopted son of the Reverend Wakefield, a good friend from her former life in Scotland, with Frank. And it’s there that Claire makes a life-changing discovery — a record of a “James Fraser,” who was incarcerated in Ardsmuir Prison in Scotland for several years. He was alive! And it isn’t just Claire who is experiencing romantic feelings…There are intense glances being shot between Brianna and Roger. Yup, sparks are flying and Brianna is also good at getting sparks out of dying engines. When Roger’s car breaks down on the side of the road, she’s under the hood and fixes it, one, two presto. This is the first hint of her top notch ‘engineering’ skills.
Then, we’re back in 1756 and life is finally looking up for Jamie who is freed from Ardsmuir prison and is settling into his new life as a groom, known as ‘Mackenzie’, in the stables of the Helwater estate. He’s clean, decently dressed, and “hot” as hell again. He’s even earning a small salary. His status as a Scottish prisoner who fought at Culloden is known to the Lord of the estate, Lord Dunsany, but is being kept secret from his wife. The family lost their only son, also at the Battle of Culloden, and while the Lord is ready to put the ‘quarrel’ between England and Scotland behind him, not so much, his wife. But don’t forget, you are a prisoner, Dunsany warns Jamie. In other words- stay in your lane.
There are two “fillies” living at Helwater, besides the horses. The Lord’s two fetching daughters — Geneva, a dark-haired beauty who’s a stuck-up snob who calls Jamie a “useless Scotchman” .The other is Isobel, who is friendly, with a sense of humor and as it turns out, has an eye for Lord John Grey. Hmm! “His dedication to king and country” is one of the things she admires most about him. She thinks he’ll make a “fine husband.” Clearly she has no clue about his sexual preference. Sadly for the snob sis, Geneva, she’s about to be married to the much, much older and creepy Earl of Ellesmere. His most attractive quality is his wealth, she points out to Jamie, after insisting that he accompany her on a horse ride.
Lord John, in the meantime, has kept his word and visits Jamie, much to the surprise of his older brother Hal – Colonel Metdon – who discovers them playing chess. The Colonel fears his brother is too attentive to Jamie. This is the same brother, who dragged Lord John away from the dead body of his male lover, at Culloden. He knows what’s up. But Lord John isn’t the only one attracted to Jamie. Lady Geneva is seriously not feeling her marriage to Lord Ellesmere, and it’s now just three days away. She seeks out Jamie who is literally “shoveling shit,” horse shit, that is, in the stables and complains that it’s a “vile agreement” that she must be married to a man old enough to be her grandsire.
Geneva full-on propositions Jamie — “You’ll come to my bed,” she commands. “I am damned if my maidenhead will be given to a depraved old goat like Ellesmere.” “You’ve lost your mind,” Jamie tells her. But Geneva hasn’t. She’s quite ready to blackmail Jamie into bed. She knows who he is and “red Jamie” is definitely a turn-on for her. Hmm. So Jamie has a choice: sex with Geneva or back to prison. Geneva is waiting, and it kind of seems like Jamie is turned on by the idea of being ordered to “bed” with her.
He’s naked… bare butt naked in their heated sex scene. Whoa! And Geneva is suddenly nervous — “I don’t know what to do,” she admits, but is still game. “I want my first time to be with someone like you,” she explains. It’s a pretty, pretty intense scene. Bare breasts, moans and an intensely good time had by all. Poor Geneva. She feels like she loves Jamie. But Jamie sets her straight. “Love is when you give your heart and soul to another and they give theirs,” he explains. We know Claire is in his heart.
The next time we see her, Geneva is hugely pregnant! Visiting, she gives Jamie a very meaningful look, then tragedy strikes! Geneva dies after a difficult childbirth and Lord Ellesmere calls his dead wife “a whore,” in front of her shocked and grieving parents. He has never slept with her. He threatens to “kill the bastard” and holds a knife to the baby’s throat. It’s only though Jamie’s quick thinking and expertise at shooting Ellesmere, right through the head, that the baby is saved. The Dunsany’s are so grateful that they offer to give Jamie his “parole” and allow him to go home to Scotland. But now, Jamie is determined not to leave his new baby son, William. He stays and helps “raise” the boy. Fortunately, the investigation into Ellemere’s death, determines that the shooting was an accident and Jamie is off the hook.
Fast forward a few years and the Dunsany’s joke that William spends so much time with their groom, “Mackenzie,” that he’s starting to look like him. Uh oh. Jamie knows that William does resemble him and it’s time for him to leave. He can’t risk raising suspicions. Adorable little Willie is as heartbroken as Jamie. He begs “Mac” not to go. Lord John, though, reassures Jamie that ‘s doing the right thing. “We all have our secrets and yours is walking around. Anyone with half an eye can see it… the boy has your eyes.” Jamie asks Lord Grey to serve as his father and spend time with him. He even offers to sleep with John, in payment for caring for him. Lord John, however, is flabbergasted — though he is hugely attracted to Jamie, he won’t take him up on his offer.
Instead, Lord John is planning to marry Lady Isobel — he is truly fond of her and then, he can care for Willie as his father. Their friendship is cemented forever. Before he leaves, Jamie has one special last visit with William and christens him, “William James,” so that he’s a “stinking Papist,” too. “I want to be like you,” William tells Jamie. Ironic. It’s a heartbreaking moment for both Jamie and William when he has to finally ride away. Lady Isabel knows her late sister’s secret and she promises Jamie that “we’ll take good care of your son.”
Back in 1968, a frustrated Claire and Brianna pack up and get ready to leave Scotland. They have hit a dead-end in their search to find Jamie.When will they ever get a new break in their search? We have to stay tuned.