Outlander wrapped up its fourth season on Starz Sunday night and the beloved fantasy series ended with a pretty big twist. In a surprising move, the show moved in a different direction than fans expected, introducing a storyline that isn’t found in Diana Gabaldon’s original book series.
WARNING: This article contains major spoilers from the Outlander Season 4 finale! Continue reading at your own risk…
At the end of the episode, Jamie, Claire, Roger, and Brianna were all back at River Run with the new baby. The seemingly happy ending saw a twist when British soldiers arrived, not to arrest Murtagh, but to tell Jamie he’d been ordered by the king to form an army and go after Murtagh himself. Of course, this presents a pretty substantial issue considering Murtagh is Jamie’s godfather.
Considering Murtagh is dead at this point in the story in the books, this is completely uncharted territory for fans of the franchise. The show was recently renewed for at least two more seasons by Starz, so the producers have some freedom to try and play for the longer story, which apparently includes breaking from the original timeline set in the novels.
Executive producer Maril Davis spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the events of the episode, and what the cliffhanger means for the show going forward.
“Just when we think the Frasers are going to be happy and content and everyone’s back together again, au contraire – things are just ratcheted up even more,” Davis said. “We’re always thinking ahead, and knowing that we already have seasons five and six picked up, it does sometimes change how you plan a season. If you plan a season and you don’t know if you’re getting another one, you try to do as much as possible, sometimes to the detriment of the story, because you’re trying to shove too much into one season. Knowing we have two more gave us the ability to tell a different type of story and save certain things and set some things up for the next season.”
This also provides an opportunity for the series to look into a different side of Jamie and Murtagh’s relationship.
“Certainly next season we’ll get to explore more of Jamie and Murtagh potentially being on different sides of the line of this conflict and what will happen to them,” Davis added. “They’re family, godson and godfather, and for Jamie to be put in this predicament, he made a deal with the devil, and we wanted to end the season on a cliffhanger. This starts to set the table for the next season in wondering what Jamie’s going to do.”