At the end of Outlander‘s most recent episode, titled “The Bakra,” there’s an interesting change made from the books in regards to Jamie. We have an idea of why it was made, so read on to see if you agree with our theory. Book and TV show spoilers follow!
After Jamie and Claire figure out that Geillis Duncan is the “bruja” who has been kidnapping young boys, they flee the governor’s mansion both to rescue young Ian and to get away from Captain Leonard, the officer from the Porpoise who was told about Jamie being a smuggler and publisher of seditious material. The captain and his men give chase, coming upon Jamie and Claire’s carriage after it stops to set free the man they purchased at a slave auction (they were trying to save him, not trying to buy a slave).
Anyway, despite Claire’s protests about how neither Captain Leonard nor any of his men would be alive if it weren’t for her, the captain hauls Jamie away to answer for his crimes of murder of Exciseman Barton (whom Claire has actually killed) and high treason for the seditious pamphlets. Before he is taken into custody, Jamie hastily shoves the photographs of Brianna and Willie into Claire’s hands, and then he is taken away.
In the books, Captain Leonard never catches up with Jamie and Claire. After they rescue Ian, they escape in a little schooner procured from the governor (who is Lord John, remember). The Porpoise spots them and gives chase, but the two ships sail straight into a hurricane’s path and a massive wave sinks the Porpoise and all the men aboard.
Jamie, Claire, Ian, and their companions manage to weather the hurricane and end up coming ashore in the American colony of Georgia.
But between the governor’s party and the end of the book, quite a lot happens. I think the show writers have had to condense a lot of that into the party and the ensuing rescue of Ian. A lot of what happens during Ian’s rescue doesn’t involve Jamie, so I think this was the show’s way of getting him off screen for a bit. Now Claire is going to Rose Hall to confront Geillis and the Campbells. They may get into the voodoo ceremony involving Margaret, but the show may also choose to omit that – it’s hard to say. But I think Claire will track Geillis to the cave, save Ian, and then the two of them will have to go rescue Jamie.
They’ll probably enlist Lord John to help them and that’s how everyone (minus Lord John) will end up fleeing on Lord John’s boat. Perhaps the Porpoise will not even be chasing them at this point, since filming a hurricane with one small boat is probably hard enough, let alone filming one with a British Man o’ War.
I could be wrong about the order of events. Perhaps Claire will try to rescue Jamie before they go get young Ian, or perhaps while Claire is rescuing young Ian, Captain Leonard will take Jamie to the governor, not knowing they’re friends, and then Lord John will give Jamie the boat and help him get back to Claire and Ian at Rose Hall.
Either way, Jamie’s arrest seems to be a quick way to pare down a fairly lengthy section of book and also provide a way for Lord John to help them all escape into the open sea in order to meet the hurricane that sweeps them away to America.