DISCLAIMER: This recap of Outlander Season 7 Episode 8, “Turning Points,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, time travelers. It’s midseason finale time, y’all. “Turning Points” is packed to the brim with action, drama and steaminess. Ian and Rachel kiss! Jamie and Claire return to Scotland! Roger and Bree are separated … again! It’s easily the season’s strongest episode thus far, boasting gorgeous, compelling performances and a narrative that never loses momentum.
Ready to delve into “Turning Points”? Let’s get to it.
We open with a woman and her son stealing possessions from the fallen soldiers on the battlefield. They try to steal from Jamie (Sam Heughan); however, he’s very much alive. The mom orders her son to slit Jamie’s throat. Claire (Caitríona Balfe) seizes the boy and threatens to kill him if he and the woman don’t leave Jamie alone. She brandishes a sword in the woman’s direction. Thankfully, they leave. Claire tends to Jamie’s wounds and chastises him for nearly getting himself killed. Before they depart the battlefield, Claire retrieves Jamie’s picture of young William.
Next, Claire dresses Jamie’s wound at the Continental Army camp. His hand is all kinds of messed up. Props to the makeup department for making his hand look gory. She wants to give him laudanum for the pain, but he’s hesitant to take it. After ensuring Jamie’s hand is healing, Claire steps outside for some air. Denzell (Joey Phillips) discloses how distraught he is to Claire. He’s lost more patients post-battle than he cares to admit. His sister Rachel, however, is handling it better than him. Then, we return to Jamie, who eventually takes the laudanum and falls asleep.
Meanwhile, in 1980, Roger (Richard Rankin) and Buck (Diarmaid Murtagh) return from the stones with troubling news. They inform Brianna (Sophie Skelton) that Rob Cameron took Jemmy through said stones. She tells Roger the golden musket ball is missing from their 1770s collection. Rob knows about the Jacobite gold and is undoubtedly making a beeline for North Carolina. Unfortunately, Jemmy knows where the gold is because he was with Jamie when he hid it.
Roger realizes he must go through the stones himself to rescue Jemmy. Buck offers to accompany him. He understands his time might be up, but there’s no better way to go out than to help family. Bree gives them gems so they can travel through the stones. Back at the camp in 1777, Claire examines Jamie’s hand, which has healed remarkably well over the past two weeks. She tells Ian (John Bell) she’s afraid Jamie will hurt himself again on the battlefield or worse. Sweet Rollo eats up Claire’s goose grease (dogs are gonna dog), so Ian vows to retrieve some for her. She reveals it’s for Denzell. Ian offers to deliver it to him.
Ian drops the goose grease off with Rachel (Izzy Meikle-Small) … and a little of something else. He kisses her, which she reciprocates. However, she slaps him post-kiss, claiming it’s dangerous for them to go further. Conflicted, she touches him and leans in again. Admittedly, they’ve got sizzling chemistry. That’s a prerequisite for everyone on Outlander. He suggests she keep her distance; otherwise, he’ll take her right then and there. Ah, the Scottish.
Meanwhile, a man (Rod Hallett) brings over supplies for Claire in exchange for something valuable she has. He gives her extra laudanum. Their conversation turns philosophical, with Jamie reciting a line from a poem that hasn’t yet been written (“Andrea del Sarto” by Robert Browning). Before the man departs, he introduces himself as Major General Benedict Arnold. Naturally, Claire is shocked. She knows who he is and what he’ll do.
Later, Rachel asks her brother Denzell to pray for her. She tells Denzell that Ian believes she loves him. Well, does she? She admits that marrying him would be frowned upon by the Quaker community. He agrees. Still, it’s best if she sorts out her feelings for our Ian. That evening, Jamie, Claire and Denzell join Daniel Morgan (Barry O’Connor) and the troops in celebration. The Continental Army believes they won that battle, while the British attribute the victory to themselves despite having more casualties. Daniel removes his shirt to show them the various lashings he received while held captive by the British. Claire wonders if Daniel knows about Jamie’s connection to Simon Fraser.
Next, it’s the second Battle of Saratoga — October 7, 1777. Jamie, Daniel, Benedict and the other shooters fire on the British. Simon Fraser (Angus Macfadyen) sits astride his horse, riding up and down the line while barking orders. Daniel wants his crew to focus on taking out Simon. Obviously, Simon is Jamie’s cousin. He’s conflicted. Jamie pretends to aim at Simon while firing at something else. Unfortunately, he takes off William’s (Charles Vandervaart) hat. Shocked, Jamie realizes this is the second time he has almost killed his son. Another soldier shoots Simon in the gut. William orders the men to fall back while he tends to Simon.
Then, the rebels square off against the British once they reach the fort. Jamie thinks he spots the back of William’s head. He lurches forward when it looks like someone stabs William. Thankfully, it’s not. Ian hops into the fight to assist the rebels. Later, Claire tends to Benedict Arnold, who was shot in the same leg where he had a previous injury. She tells him he’s to be transported to a hospital. She tries to give him laudanum, but he rejects it.
That night, a British soldier enters Jamie and Claire’s tent. He informs them he’s there under a truce and that Simon Fraser is on his deathbed. He’s learned of Jamie’s proximity and would like to see him. Jamie obliges. Jamie and Claire arrive at the British camp. He reunites with Simon, and the pair reminisce about their childhood in Scotland. Simon is happy that he can at least die near his kin. They exchange words in Gaelic. Claire heads outside, where she chats with William. She offers her condolences and some words of wisdom about war. It never feels good no matter what side you’re on, regardless of whether you win or lose.
Next, Jamie emerges from the tent. Simon has passed away. He opens the tent wide. Before leaving, he overhears William telling his superior officer that someone shot off his hat during the battle. Jamie admits he did it and gives his son his hat. As he and Claire depart, he confesses that this is the second time he put his son’s life in danger. Meanwhile, William learns he’s now a captain, a move Simon Fraser approved before his death.
Later, Jamie receives another visitor. Both sides are working through their peace terms. Jamie hopes this prevents William from stepping onto the battlefield again. Said visitor asks Jamie to deliver Simon’s body to Scotland so that he can rest there for eternity. That’s one of the British army’s stipulations, making them more inclined to keep the peace. Jamie accepts the task.
He eagerly informs Claire that they’re finally heading to Scotland — a year later. They’ll travel on a British ship as they transport Simon Fraser back to his homeland. Our fave couple embraces. That evening, Ian imparts the news to Rachel. She doesn’t look too happy. Ian asks Rachel to watch over Rollo, which brightens her mood. She believes this means Ian will return someday. Girl, you got it bad.
In 1980, Roger, Bree, Buck and Mandy arrive at the stones. We can hear them buzz; poor Mandy covers her ears at the resonance. Roger and Bree kiss each other goodbye. Rog also embraces his daughter. Then, he and Buck step through the stones to save Jemmy. Bree sobs in their wake. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, right?
Later, Rachel notices Rollo run up to a strange man. It’s none other than Arch Bug (Hugh Ross), who doesn’t introduce himself by name. Rachel reveals she’s watching the dog for a friend. Oh, girl. No. Also, Arch better steer clear of my doggo. Meanwhile, Claire, Jamie and Ian learn they’ve arrived in Scotland. Jamie and Claire stand on the ship’s deck as the coastline meets them. Jamie’s eyes are filled with tears. Oof. What a tender moment, beautifully performed by Sam Heughan.
Will Jamie and Claire deliver Simon’s body in Scotland without a hitch? Will Arch leave Rachel and Rollo alone (hopefully)? How long until Roger and Jemmy reunite with their family in the right timeline? Only time (and more episodes) will tell.
Outlander Season 7 Part 1 is now streaming on STARZ.