Outlander concluded its fifth season earlier this week, and we’re facing a long Droughtlander ahead of us. Fans of the series will have to stick together more than ever to get through it.
Happily, season 5 was phenomenal and should keep us talking for a while. There was a lot of richness to the season, as for example in the scene from the finale, “Never My Love,” where Claire imagined she was back in the 1960s, but with many of her friends and family from the 18th century alongside her.
In Claire’s dream, she and her family were having Thanksgiving dinner in a home that she had once seen in a magazine (seen in the beginning credits of this season). If you were paying close attention every time the episode switched back to this sequence, you may have noticed lots of Easter Eggs scattered throughout it. This scene was full of callbacks and little details there to delight the fans, and I was so here for it.
Now that we’re a little ways out from the finale, let’s break down these hidden throwbacks to seasons past. If you have not seen the Outlander season 5 finale, please be wary of SPOILERS ahead; we don’t want to ruin this incredible episode for you!
Ah, yes, the orange. At first glance, you may have missed the orange or not even given it much thought. But for Outlander fans, that sweet little vibrant fruit is packed with meaning. Back in the season 2 episode “Faith,” Claire went through a tragic ordeal and lost her and Jamie’s first-born baby Faith while the couple was in France.
Unfortunately, the grieving process was muddled by the pressing matter of assuring Jamie’s freedom. In order to accomplish this, Claire allowed the King of France to have his way with her. When she left Versailles, she took an orange with her.
Thinking back to that scene still gives me chills because Claire had already lost so much at that point, and this just felt like the knife being dug further into our fragile hearts.
In the season 5 finale dream sequence, we see the orange placed on the table next to Claire, which serves as a throwback to that moment in France. Speaking with Elle, executive producer Tonia Graphia breaks down its significance:
After Claire sleeps with the King of France to save Jamie’s life, when she leaves Versailles Palace, the last thing she does is pick up the orange and take it with her. It was a small gesture by Claire, a choice that symbolizes that she’s leaving with her dignity. Matt and I included it on purpose in Claire’s dream-escapes in 612: The orange being visible in the opening shot in her living room, then, when faced with the choice of whether to kill Lionel in revenge, Claire flashes on the orange—and then her walking out with it—a symbol that she takes the high road. She’s got a piece of herself that no one can ever take from her. We’re hoping the fans who remember the episode in Season 2 will get it!
So the orange represents a part of Claire that has stayed intact despite the trials she’s had to endured. It makes a lot of sense that it would turn up in her dreamscape, since she went there to escape the horrors she was enduring at the hands of Lionel and his men. She’s a strong woman, and always will be, no matter what she goes through.
Claire’s red dress
The red dress Claire is wearing in the dream sequence is another throwback to season 2. I remember seeing Caitriona Balfe for the first time in that red dress during Claire, Jamie, and Murtagh’s time in Paris, and being blown away.
In the season 5 finale, Claire is wearing a red dress in the dream. Perhaps it represents a time in Jamie and Claire’s life that was happier. Claire imagines herself wearing it because it brings her joy when everything has seemingly gone to s**t.
This was perhaps my favorite Easter Egg because it symbolizes the early days of Claire and Jamie’s relationship. When the series began, the looming threat was the Battle of Culloden, which is ultimately what led Jamie to insist that Claire return to her time. His demise was certain, and he felt no need for her to suffer alone after his death.
But prior to leaving, Claire hands him a solidified piece of amber with a dragonfly inside of it. It was a present they got from Jamie’s friend, and it’s what she chose to leave behind with him before returning to the future. Claire later finds the dragonfly in amber in the future while visiting Scotland with Brianna. And the rest, as we say, is history.
Needless to say, the dragonfly is a big part of their relationship so it made perfect sense that it made an appearance during the dream sequence. They threw it in there as a dragonfly toy that Fergus and Marsali’s son Germain was playing with.
I believe the dragonfly is Claire’s way of staying connected to Jamie through everything she is experiencing in the finale. He has always been her anchor, and she has always been his. The dragonfly being in her dream feels very powerful and necessary.
Much like the dragonfly in amber, the rabbit is also a representation of Jamie and Claire’s relationship. Following the Battle of Culloden, Jamie wakes up to find himself buried within a sea of corpses, somehow having survived.
So, what does this have to do with a rabbit? Well, after waking up, Jamie sees a rabbit in the distance moments before he imagines Claire walking towards him through the fog.
In the season 5 finale, Claire was going through a very traumatic experience, and dissociating and thinking of her family was basically her way through it. When you see the rabbit pop up in the sequence, it was easy to draw the connection. Much like Jamie saw Claire, I think at that moment, it was Claire’s metaphorical way of seeing Jamie.
Outlander is as poetic as it gets, folks.
The blue vase
The vase takes it all the way back to the Outlander season 1 premiere. Back in its very first season, Claire looks at a vase through a store window while in Inverness with Frank. “I wanted nothing so much in all the world as to have a vase of my very own,” we hear in voiceover.
Seeing the blue vase in the season 5 finale felt very fitting because Claire had finally bought what she wanted. I believe the vase represents the comfort she feels in the life she and Jamie have built together.
There are more Easter eggs to be uncovered in the finale, but these are the ones that stood out to me the most. Claire’s connection to Jamie was at the forefront of her mind during her ordeal, and she was clinging to things that reminded her of what really mattered to her After all, as far as she knew, Brianna had gone back to the future, so the only person she could hope to see if she survived was Jamie. That explains why Brianna and Roger didn’t show up in her dream sequence, although she couldn’t keep reality out forever.
The Outlander season 5 finale did a marvelous job with all of these references, giving fans a pleasant trip down memory lane while reminding us of the strong connection Jamie and Claire share, and how their love is one for the ages.