[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 12 of Outlander, "Never My Love."]
Outlander delivered one of its most brutal episodes to date with the Season 5 finale installment, "Never My Love."
After being captured by Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy), Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is subjected to rape and other forms of physical assault as well as verbal abuse and more. Angered over her medical advice penned under the name Dr. Rawlings, the man carries a personal vendetta against the Fraser matriarch for giving his wife the idea that she could refuse him in bed.
Plus, Roger and Bree's destination is unveiled and more in the Season 5 closer.
Throughout the ordeal Claire fades in and out of the present real-world and drifts into a '60s era dreamscape that includes Jamie (Sam Heughan) and many of her beloved family members. The intermittent sequences also include some major Easter eggs for fans that they may have missed in the chaos of the heavy episode.
Below, we're breaking down all of the key callbacks in the twisty fantasy world Claire conjured.
Outlander, Season 6, TBA, Starz
One familiar image from the dream sequence included Jamie (Sam Heughan) wrapping Claire (Caitriona Balfe) up in his tartan. Throughout the series this gesture has symbolized safety for Claire and considering the reality she’s facing in the real world, it’s understandable that she would conjure such comforting images as this.
The last time fans saw an orange was during Season 2’s time spent in France. When Claire tried bargaining with King Louis XV (Lionel Lingelser) for the release of her imprisoned husband Jamie, she lets him sexually assault her. Taking her power back in that awful moment, she doesn’t leave the exchange empty handed and takes one of the king’s oranges with her.
The Red Dress
Claire famously wore a red dress in Season 2 that had a lot of heads turning. We’re sure her bright ensemble in the dream sequence is no coincidence and is a blatant callback to the memorable wardrobe piece she wore during her visit to Versailles with Jamie and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix).
All of Claire’s family from the 18th century, both alive and dead, were at the dinner table except for Bree (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) who supposedly die in a car crash in this twisted dream. Perhaps it represents the fact that no matter what Claire does, her family can never be whole with people on different sides of time, illustrating the dark side of choosing her life with Jamie at Fraser’s Ridge over staying in the future with her daughter.
Early on in Jamie and Claire’s marriage, his friend Hugh (Simon Meacock) gives them a chunk of amber that contains a dragonfly. As the battle of Culloden is about to begin in Season 2, Claire leaves the keepsake with him as she returns to the future. Later on we see Claire discover the item in a historical collection during her trip to Scotland with Brianna for Reverend Wakefield’s (James Fleet) funeral. Needless to say, the dragonfly plays a symbolic role in her and Jamie’s relationship which would explain its presence in her dream.
When Jamie awakes on the Culloden battlefield after the fight has ended, he spots a rabbit wandering among the corpses before he imagines Claire walking towards him. In Claire’s dream, she also visualizes a rabbit which in this case could symbolize Jamie in the same way it was a symbol of her for him.
The Blue Vase
In the series premiere of Outlander, Claire admires vases through a shop window in Inverness, Scotland and her narration reveals, “I wanted nothing so much in all the world as to have a vase of my very own,” implying that buying one symbolized the beginning of a long and settled life. Her dream is fulfilled in this sequence as we see the item placed among the belongings in the ’60s era home.
Ian's Mohawk Roots
Ian’s (John Bell) connection to the Mohawk are symbolized in a patch on his soldier’s uniform, which in a way parallels his war gear in the real world.