Party on the ridge!
When Outlander returns for season 5, fans will see Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) gather all the people who’ve made Fraser’s Ridge their home for a grand wedding — and EW has the exclusive first look! Everyone who’s anyone attends the outdoor celebration, including Lord John Grey (David Berry) and Royal Gov. William Tryon (Tim Downie), the latter ready to collect on Jamie’s promise to hunt the Scottish regulators who oppose British taxation. But Jamie is in no hurry to capture his godfather, Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), the leader of the local resistance who’s developed a secret romance with Jamie’s aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy).
“Jamie’s actually in a really difficult situation this season,” Heughan says tells EW, which was on the drama’s Scotland set earlier this year. “He’s done a deal with the British, but he’s working for two different camps. He’s trying to protect his people, and he’s trying to protect Fraser’s Ridge. To be honest, we all know Jamie’s heart. His line of thinking is more in the direction of the regulators than the Brits.”
And that’s just scratching the surface of the drama unfolding at the wedding: Roger (Richard Rankin) laments his inability to provide for Brianna (Sophie Skelton) because he can’t farm, ride a horse, or even “wield a sword,” while Bree learns that her rapist, Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers), is still running around North Carolina.
“There’s kind of a two-prong thing of Bree. She’s just in a lot of pain emotionally and physically,” explains Skelton. “That’s one thing that I really wanted to keep going with this season. I wanted to make sure the post-traumatic stress syndrome—from the rape—is a tether for Bree. Being intimate and physically close to Roger is going to be a lot more difficult than it was [before the assault].”
At least they won’t have to share that small cabin with her parents. Jamie’s built his wife a fancy, two-story house that not only serves as the Fraser’s Ridge headquarters but features a surgery where Claire can concoct her own medicine and even perform a tonsillectomy. “Fans of the book will know this sort of stuff is coming up,” teases Balfe. “Claire makes her own medicine. It’s been really interesting having her find ways of being able to perform certain surgeries that would have been so commonplace in the 1960s.”
Here’s a sneak peek of Jon Gary Steele’s phenomenal production design below.
Look out for another addition to the Fraser household: Jamie rustles up a new pet for Claire, a cat they dub Adso, which comes with its own set of off-camera challenges. [See below]. “I mean, if Rollo was uncooperative, I can only imagine what a cat’s going to do on camera,” says Balfe, in reference to the pet pooch that was introduced last season.
And what’s that on Heughan’s head in the wedding photo above? Did the hair and makeup department finally outfit the Highlander with a more attractive wig? “He finally stopped cutting his bangs,” Heughan says slyly about his new ’do while acknowledging viewer feedback about his previous coif.
“There are always some fans who appreciate something while others don’t. You can’t please everyone all the time. But I’m pleased with the look this season. He’s older. He’s mature.” But no less handsome.
The fifth season of Outlander kicks off Feb. 16 on Starz.