“You cannot save a man that doesn’t want saving,” Jamie said to Claire after being brutally crippled and raped by Capt. Black Jack Randall, as we learned in the season finale of the Starz hit Outlander. Jamie was convinced he’d never be happy again, but Claire wasn’t willing to live without him. Their overwhelming love and the hope of changing Highlander history gave promise to a new future and a new season, as the couple fled Scotland for Paris. With a new world and a baby on the way, happier times surely await the soulmates, right? To help provide more details, we sat down with the stars — Caitriona Balfe (Claire) and Sam Heughan (Jamie) — who share their insights on the new season, which begins on Starz Saturday, April 9.
How refreshing was it to change everything — new set, new location, just starting over?
Caitriona Balfe: It was really exciting. It also can be a little daunting, as well, because you get so comfortable in one place and you get so comfortable in this sort of Scottish story, and Scotland very much felt like a character in the show. To depart so strongly from that was kind of strange in the beginning, but it also kept everything so fresh because we got this whole influx of amazing characters and fantastically talented actors. It mirrored the journey of Claire and Jamie because they are out of place in Paris, and they are trying on a new guise, in a sense. It was funny — I think we both felt quite a bit of relief, though, once we got back to Scotland, in a sense.
Sam Heughan: I think so. It’s an alien world for them, and they are having to adjust and be different people in France. It is a very beautiful world that we’ve created. It looks spectacular and the costumes are amazing. However, going back to Scotland was almost a relief. It’s a bit more free and it’s a bit more comfortable, and it was a world that we already know. It’s familiar. It’s like going back to an old friend.
How does the pregnancy change Claire and Jamie’s relationship?
Balfe: I think when a woman becomes pregnant, it does change everything about you in a certain way. This is something that she didn’t know that would be ever possible, and she always felt that she couldn’t have children, and now here the man that she loves so much and her have created this life and it’s a very hopeful time for them.
Also it comes at a period where she knows that Jamie still has a long way to go in healing and getting over what happened to him, and they also have this big decision where they’ve decided that they’re going to try and change the course of history, so there’s many things going on.
In a certain respect, she has to put the pregnancy aside a little bit, or I’ve always felt it’s something that in a way she goes through quite privately because she wants Jamie to have this mission, so that he can feel like a man again and feel whole again. It also is something that brings them together and it helps their bond, because they’re going through such tough times.
Heughan: They both get delighted … I want to say they both want to be parents. She’s probably freaking out about it a bit, and I’m sure he is in his own way, but he’s also extremely delighted that he’s going to be a father. I think the addition to the family of Fergus [played by Romann Berrux], this young French boy that comes on, shows how well that they can be parents, sort of adopted parents at least. They take to it very well and it’s a nice dynamic.
Season 2 is based on Diana Gabaldon’s second book, Dragonfly in Amber. What do you think the title means?
Balfe: The whole thing with insects or objects getting petrified in amber is they’re getting locked in time and time is unchanging — whether or not that’s an [indication] of maybe the storyline in book two. Because here you have the central characters trying to change time and I guess it’s whether or not that is a possibility. Maybe the image or the symbol of a dragonfly in amber is a clue, or maybe it’s an argument. I don’t know.
Heughan: It’s such a fragile thing, a dragonfly, as well. In fact, it is yet frozen in time and it can go through time. You find these fossils from hundreds, thousands of years ago and I think that’s exactly what it is. It passes through time, not changing. It’s quite interesting. The dragonfly that you get [referencing the wedding pin Hugh Monro gave Claire], I think that comes back, doesn’t it? Quite a powerful way.