WHO’S SHE? A 20th-century British combat nurse who accidentally fell through time and wound up in 18th-century Scotland, where a confluence of events found her married to, and falling for (in that order) Jamie Fraser, a hot, penniless Highlander with a price on his head
PLAYED BY: Caitriona Balfe
LAST SEEN: Stripped to the waist and held at knifepoint by the sadistic British Army officer who has it out for her, her husband Jamie Fraser and pretty much anyone who is good and/or decent
WHAT’S AHEAD: A scene book fans have been anticipating for a while: Thoroughly modern Claire is shocked and incensed when old-school Jamie wants to punish her for disobedience with a spanking. “What we have to remember is in that time, that was acceptable, and it’s not that Jamie is a horrible person,” Balfe says. Plus, the actress adds with a laugh, Claire gets the final word. “She always does.”
JAMES ALEXANDER MALCOLM MAKENZIE FRASER
WHO’S HE? The newly de-virginized husband of Claire who has been hiding out at his Uncle Colum’s castle in order to escape the notice of British forces
PLAYED BY: Sam Heughan
LAST SEEN: Busting through a window and angrily informing Capt. Jack Randall, “I’ll thank you to take your hands off my wife”
WHAT’S AHEAD: Forget about Claire’s fate, Heughan says: Jamie spends a lot of time in the upcoming episodes questioning his. (A visit back to his childhood home helps spur things along.) “Does he want to be married, have a family, be [head of his family’s estate] and have responsibility?” he says, teasing that all of the soul searching is good for the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Fraser. “I think it brings them closer.”
JONATHAN “BLACK JACK” RANDALL
WHO’S HE? The violent, vengeful, twisted British Army captain whose obsession with Jamie becomes a life-or-death matter in the second half of the season — and whose resemblance to Claire’s husband (Jack’s descendant) she finds quite unsettling
PLAYED BY: Tobias Menzies
LAST SEEN: Attempting to use Claire’s collarbone as a whetstone
WHAT’S AHEAD: Black Jack’s terrible infatuation with Jamie will build to a harrowing group of scenes at season’s end; even before then, though, he’s no one to be trifled with. What about Frank, the husband (also played by Menzies) Claire left behind in the 1940s? “Frank has left Scotland, and the show, for the time being,” Menzies says.
WHO’S HE? Clan MacKenzie’s chief, brother to Dougal, uncle to Jamie, sufferer of Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome
PLAYED BY: Gary Lewis
LAST SEEN: Accepting oaths of loyalty from all the men of his clan
WHAT’S AHEAD: An action taken by Dougal takes creates a great headache for his crippled brother, and Colum swiftly makes sure that nothing of the sort will happen again.
WHO’S HE? Clan MacKenzie’s war chief, brother to Colum, uncle to Jamie
PLAYED BY: Graham MacTavish
LAST SEEN: Helping Jamie investigate Horrocks, a British Army deserter who claims to have information that exonerates him
WHAT’S AHEAD: Though Dougal is his clan’s muscle, his brother is its brain — and nothing escapes him. Once Dougal’s back at Castle Leoch, Colum may not approve of the rebel-supporting fundraising his brother has been up on the road.
WHO’S SHE? Jamie’s sister, who has been running the family home in his absence
PLAYED BY: Laura Donnelly
LAST SEEN: Via flashback, getting beaten, threatened and otherwise humiliated by Black Jack Randall while a helpless Jamie watched
WHAT’S AHEAD: When the Fraser siblings cross paths again later this season — in real time — we’ll see just how strongly the hard-headed trait runs in their family (and how rare it was that a Scot like Jamie so quickly embraced the British Claire).
WHO’S SHE? Claire’s only female friend at Castle Leoch; an enchanting, mysterious odd duck who has a way with potions and herbs
PLAYED BY: Lotte Verbeek
LAST SEEN: Subtly inferring that Claire’s intentions to escape Castle Leoch during a clan gathering were ill-conceived
WHAT’S AHEAD: Geillis figures heavily in the second half of the season, and a choice she makes at a crucial juncture has a lasting impact of Claire and Jamie’s future.
WHO’S SHE? A young woman at Castle Leoch with a longstanding crush on Jamie
PLAYED BY: Nell Hudson
LAST SEEN: Asking Claire — then single — for a potion to capture Jamie’s heart and mind
WHAT’S AHEAD: Laoghaire (pronounced “L’heery”) may seem like an innocent girl with a harmless crush, but she is not pleased at all to learn of Jamie’s recent nuptials.