‘Outlander’: Ranking 10 of Claire Fraser’s Best Episodes So Far

Outlander Best Claire Fraser TV episodes Caitriona Balfe
Starz

Outlander‘s Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) has been leading viewers on adventures since the series debuted on Starz in 2014 and even before that in Diana Gabaldon’s books.

A fearless and confident character, Claire’s role in the series has been nothing short of impressive throughout Outlander‘s run, but there’s definitely a few episodes that stand out in the crowd. Whether its her early Season 1 work or the Season 5’s capper and most recent installment, “Never My Love,” Balfe’s always at the top of her game.

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From Season 1's memorable 'The Wedding' to Season 3's many winning installments.

Below, we’re ranking 10 of Claire’s best episodes from Seasons 1 through 5. Let us know which is your favorite in the reader poll and sound off in the comments section.

Outlander, Season 6, Early 2022, Starz

Outlander Season 3 Caitriona Balfe as Claire
Starz

10. "Uncharted," (Season 3, Episode 11)

After finding herself marooned on an unknown land, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is forced to contend with the tropical conditions and creatures, none of which are as whacky as Father Fogden (Nick Fletcher). Not many people can pull off talking to a coconut quite like Claire, but then again she’s proven her resiliency in the face of unforeseen circumstances many times. This episode spends the bulk of its time focused on Claire’s situation which is masterfully delivered by Balfe.

Outlander Season 4 Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe as Jamie and Claire
Starz

9. "Do No Harm," (Season 4, Episode 2)

Shortly after meeting Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Claire’s feelings about her plantation lifestyle quickly become clear. Despite going against the social norms of the time, Claire can’t help but push against the institution of slavery. Her conflict over the situation at River Run is also magnified by the decisions she makes as a medical professional. The inner struggles Claire goes through comes out in Balfe’s strong performance.

Outlander Season 1 Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall
Starz

8. "Sassenach," (Season 1, Episode 1)

Outlander wouldn’t be the show it is today if Claire hadn’t traveled through the standing stones at Craigh Na Dun transporting from 1940s Scotland to the age of 18th-century Highlanders. Claire’s confusion over her unexpected time-traveling is exemplified by Balfe’s handling of the character which is strong right out of the gate.

Outlander Season 2 Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan as Claire and Jamie
Starz

7. "Je Suis Prest," (Season 2, Episode 9)

As Jamie prepares his men for the battles ahead, including Culloden, Claire can’t help but remember her own time on the World War II battlefield. Seeing her post-traumatic stress come out in this installment adds a layer to Claire’s view of the events coming her and Jamie’s way.

Outlander Season 3 Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser
Starz

6. "A. Malcolm," (Season 3, Episode 6)

After spending about 20 years apart from her true love, Claire is finally reunited with Jamie in this pivotal installment. Despite the joy of seeing her long-lost husband, Balfe’s portrayal of Claire’s cautious optimism that they’ll be able to reconnect despite all of the events that have happened in each others’ absences is definitely something worth watching.

Outlander Season 1 Lotte Verbeek and Caitriona Balfe as Geillis and Claire
Neil Davidson / ©Starz / courtesy Everett Collection

5. "The Devil's Mark," (Season 1, Episode 11)

Claire finds herself at the center of a witch trial alongside Lotte Verbeek’s Geillis Duncan after their actions cause a stir among the locals. Balfe explores a range of emotions as Claire in this installment which also sees her reveal the truth about her time-traveling to her new husband Jamie.

Outlander Season 3 Caitriona Balfe as Claire
Starz

4. "Freedom & Whisky," (Season 3, Episode 5)

Prior to returning to the past, Claire remembers some of her last years with her first husband Frank (Tobias Menzies) and some of their tiffs leading up to his untimely death. This is juxtaposed with her bidding daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) farewell for possibly the last time as she takes the leap in order to find Jamie after 20 years of separation through space and time. Watching her hug Brianna goodbye is utterly heartbreaking.

Outlander Season 2 Episode 13 Richard Rankin Caitriona Balfe Sophie Skelton
Starz

3. "Dragonfly in Amber," (Season 2, Episode 13)

This episode jumps back and forth through time tracking Claire’s parting from Jamie ahead of the Battle of Culloden in the 1760s and her return to Scotland in the 1960s with grown daughter Brianna. Together, Claire and Brianna attend the funeral of Reverend Wakefield (James Fleet) where they encounter Roger (Richard Rankin). Their meeting brings up old memories for Claire and she is finally forced to reveal the truth to Brianna that Frank’s not her biological father, but Jamie is. The revelation leads to some strong moments for Balfe’s Claire.

Outlander Season 5 Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser
Starz

2. "Never My Love," (Season 5, Episode 12)

Season 5’s finale was Balfe’s hour as Claire goes in and out of consciousness under the imprisonment of Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy) and his crew of men. As she’s abused by the men, Claire visits a dream-like world seemingly set in the late 1960s where most of her family are present for a special celebration. But just as tragedy takes place in the real world, it also does in this fantasy world of Claire’s. Balfe’s powerhouse performance is among her best work in the series to date.

Outlander Season 2 Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser
Starz

1. "Faith," (Season 2, Episode 7)

While it’s easy to love Claire and Jamie when they’re in love, it’s another thing to see Balfe’s character reveal she “hated” Jamie for the events leading up to her tragic miscarriage of their first daughter. Along with grieving alone as Jamie is imprisoned, she’s forced to take extreme measures in order to have him released. Balfe’s restrained anguish in this episode is among some of her most memorable acting in the show.