Outlander is moving to America in Season 4, which means a lot of very big changes for the previously Scotland-set romance drama.
The last we saw of Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) they crash landed in Georgia after a hurricane threw them overboard from their ship. Luckily, their crew, including Jamie’s nephew Ian (John Bell) and the couple’s surrogate son Fergus (Cesar Domboy), also landed just a little ways away.
However, Georgia is a long way away from home. In the first teaser of the season, shown above, Claire seems to have convinced Jamie to settle down in the colonies. They’ve arrived just in time for the Revolutionary War to begin, but first they must make a home for themselves and their kin in North Carolina. And that’s just the beginning.
Here’s everything we know about their Season 4 journey so far:
The challenges for Jamie and Claire will be different in America: Jamie and Claire are used to challenges and different locations, but now they are settling on an entirely different continent, looking toward the future. It’s going to be a different kind of adventure for them in Season 4.
“They don’t expect to show up in this place,” executive producer Maril Davis tells TV Guide. “The key here is that they are back together. No matter what comes up they are going to face it together. In past seasons it’s been a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ ever be reunited? Now, no matter what happens, we’ll be doing it as a team. That is so exciting for them, but also a challenge. It’s like, ‘Okay, now that we’re here and we don’t have any more of those external issues we had before, let’s just move forward together.'”
It will be new terrain for the couple in more than just a physical sense.
“It’s very different from everything we’ve done so far,” writer and executive producer Toni Graphia adds. “We’re going to some places we’ve never been before emotionally, and physically…We are putting them in situations that are new for them and reinventing some things.”
The American Dream is more of a nightmare for the couple: “They are definitely going to have some challenges right away,” show creator Ron Moore informs us. “The American dream is not always what it’s cracked up to be to everybody. We’re going to play a lot of the complexity of that in all different situations and the status of society that is there.”
Per usual, Claire is going to have a hard time with seeing society as it is in the late 18th century versus how she knows it to be in the future, which will cause a lot of friction for her in the new land.
“She has a very emotional connection with America and she raised her daughter and she lived there for 20 years, but its a very different time that she’s in now,” Caitriona Balfe explains. “America has a very troubled history, especially in the infancy of this republic as we know it. Claire knows about that but when you read about things and then when you come face to them it’s very different. I don’t think everything is easy and rosy in America.”
Jamie will be more focused on the practical things, like making a living and making sure that his family is safe.
“To be honest, he’s actually completely lost,” Sam Heughan says. “He has very little money and no property. He wants to provide for his family and his extended family, which he does. It’s about laying foundations and building a home. He has to make some deals with the devil, the so-called enemies, the British red coats.”
So the theme of the season is…: “Season 4 is a little bit of Little House on the Prairie,” Moore says. “Our characters are going out literally into the wilderness, starting over and building a home for the first time and building a settlement. It’s that classic kind of American story of what that frontier life was like with the heartbreaks, and the morality of what it meant to be in the colonies at that time knowing the Revolution was just over the horizon. It’s really exciting. If Season 3 was a transitional season, then this is the season where you try to build a home and settle in.”
There will be some new characters that make a big impact this season: Ed Speleers joins the Season 4 cast as Stephen Bonnet, a formidable Irish pirate. Considering Jamie and Claire’s luck with pirates thus far, we wouldn’t count on him being a friend.
Jamie will hopefully get some comfort from having his maternal Aunt Jacosta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) nearby, though. Toni Graphia teased what we could expect from that family reunion in the upcoming season. “Jamie’s aunt, she’s a MacKenzie,” she says. “We can remember that she’s Dougal’s sister so we can say that you’ll see that MacKenzie personality there,” which means be ready for a woman who doesn’t take any crap from anyone.