Dragonfly in Amber begins in 1968 at the wake of Rev. Reginald Wakefield. Roger is watching the Avengers with a group of children in a daze when Fiona comes and tells him he should really get back to his guests. Roger goes out and toasts his “father” [Rev. Wakefield was his Great Uncle but his adoptive father after the death of Roger’s parents].
Roger sees a red haired girl and goes looking for her. Getting distracted by those paying their respect he thinks he’s missed her when she finds him, asking if he’s Roger Wakefield. An older Claire appears reminiscing about how young Roger was the last time she saw him and him meeting her daughter but Roger says he’s not had the pleasure (boys got it so bad). Bree introduces herself. Then Claire explains she’s an old friend of his father’s and that her husband was also. Roger finally realizes Claire is Frank Randall’s wife. He mentions her being a nurse and she tells him she’s now a doctor but Brianna comments her mother is being modest because she’s actually a surgeon. Claire asks after Mrs. Graham and we learn she died a few years back. (So is that three deaths in the 1960s? Frank, Rev. Wakefield and Mrs. Graham.)
Claire goes to look around and remember her time at the Manse while Roger asks Brianna if it is her first time in Scotland. Brianna has always been interested but they don’t have time to take in the sites which Roger thinks is a shame as it is a “beautiful, wild country.” Fiona appears and drags Roger off to say goodbye to his guests.
Claire looks around and realizes the ghosts of her past are coming back. Claire and Brianna are about to leave when Roger offers to put them up at the Manse, saying there is plenty of room. Brianna agrees because she’d like to see some of the sites (and I think more of Roger) as she’s heard it’s a “beautiful, wild country.” (Roger seems so delighted she quoted him.)
That night, Claire is in the sitting room drinking whisky when Roger comes in and she tells him she helped herself to a dram because she couldn’t sleep. Clearly Roger is having the same problem. He can’t part with his father’s things and there is an extensive collection on the Battle of Culloden that the College in Inverness wants him to donate. Roger’s ancestors fought and died there and his true name is Roger MacKenzie. Claire says she knew quite a few MacKenzie’s but Roger says it is a common name.
Roger then goes on to ask her how she said goodbye to the person she loved the most. He means Frank for her but himself is talking about his father. Claire says that is the problem. She says you want to say goodbye but the problem is they are gone and they’d want you to go on.
Upstairs Claire looks at a sleeping Brianna and marvels at how much she’s like Jamie.
In 1746, Jamie walks with Prince Charles and tries to convince him they aren’t ready for battle and should the engage they will be destroyed. Charles calls Jamie his Doubting Thomas. Charles is sure today is the day but Jamie knows better. Jamie tells Claire it is a blessing Colum didn’t live to see this day and Murtagh tells Jamie Cumberland is marching toward them. They are only hours away from the fateful battle.
Claire believes there is still one thing they can do but she doesn’t want to discuss it in the open.
Back in 1968, Brianna and Roger off on a site seeing trip. They go to Fort William, where Roger gives her the history of the place. Brianna’s specialty isn’t military history though it was Franks and Brianna remembers dropping an ice cream cone of the ramparts of Ticonderoga while Frank talked about Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. Roger mistakenly thinks Ethan Allen was the one who said, “I regret that I have but one life to give for me country,” but Brianna informs him that is Nathan Hale which is a common mistake. Never quote American History to an American.
Brianna tells him the Revolutionary War is like a religious text in Boston but Roger thought she wasn’t interested in military history. She uses a terrible Scottish accent to tell him her family is complicated and they both have a good laugh.
Brianna wonders if Roger remembers her father but Roger doesn’t remember much except he was a snappy dresser and was kind. Roger thinks Claire is also kind but Brianna thinks her mother lives in a different world.
They end up in the courtyard where they see the whipping post Jamie was bound to though Brianna can’t know that. Brianna has a physical reaction to it saying it gives her the chills. (I’m wondering now if Jamie’s ghost is around and we just don’t see it.)
Meanwhile, Claire drives to Lallybroch which is run down and abandon. She looks around the dooryard and hears the voices from her past in Jenny, Ian, Rabbie and most importantly Jamie. She remembers quoting Da Mi Basia Mille and she sees Jamie in he archway to Lallybroch. Claire wipes her tears and then heads into Inverness.
In 1746, Claire shares her recent assisted death actions with Jamie and tells him if Charles were to die the whole rebellion would fall apart. Jamie is stunned Colum took the poison as suicide is a mortal sin. She tells Jamie Colum begged because he wanted a quick and painless death. She helped him. Claire believes she can slip the jasmine into Charles’s tea and he would just fall asleep and no one would know.
In 1968, Brianna and Roger are stopped on the side of the road and Brianna asks if Roger remembers an incident from when her parents were there before her birth. He was so young he can’t remember the details but he remembers Mrs. Graham crying in the tool shed after Frank smashed it up. Brianna is surprised her father would lose control of his temper like that as he always controlled it to her knowledge.
Brianna remembers going through her father’s lockbox and finding a letter from the Reverend which alluded to some big incident between her mother and father but at the time it scared her so she didn’t look into it further.
Roger says his father kept a journal and they could go through the storage room if she doesn’t mind getting grubby.
Meanwhile, Claire drives into Inverness and goes to the records office to find the chain of title for Lallybroch and the researcher finds the Deed of Sasine which left Lallybroch to Young Jamie, Jenny and Ian’s son, by Jamie in July of 1745. We see Murtagh and Claire’s signatures on the deed as witnesses. According to the researcher the property stayed in the Murray family for generations, meaning Jamie did save Lallybroch from being taken by the English. Claire then asks if she can look into the genealogical search for Roger MacKenzie.
Later that night at the Manse, Claire asks Brianna about her date with Roger and Brianna says it wasn’t a date. Claire teases Brianna a bit saying Roger is handsome, intelligent and has a lovely physique. She even mentions Roger’s lovely blue eyes and Brianna says they went to Fort William and asks if Claire’s been there before. Claire has and didn’t like it much.
Brianna asks what her mother did all day and Claire says she just puttered around the village. Brianna asks if they were places she and Frank went too and Claire says some. Brianna wants to know if her mother misses Frank or loved him at all. Claire says she does and did though it seems clear that everything she’s doing now excludes Frank and involves Jamie.
In 1746, Jamie tells Claire if they go through with poisoning Charles it is murder but Claire reminds him thousands will die if they don’t do something. Ross comes in and tells Jamie they are forming lines and he’s being called upon and we see Dougal listening in on their conversation.
Jamie tells Claire they have to move fast and Claire can put it in Charles’s tea. But Dougal makes himself known calling them a traitorous son of a bastard and a whoring witch.
In 1968, Roger has a meeting and Brianna tags along. While she waits she hears a woman speaking about Scottish Independence. We see Geillis Duncan is trying to inspire the masses to stand up and declare their independence. She’s part of a group called White Roses of Scotland. Brianna approaches her and starts asking questions about Scottish history and Geillis asks if Brianna is going to school in Inverness. Roger appears and they introduce themselves to Geillis who tells them her name is Gillian Edgars. Gillian invites them to another event later.
Meanwhile, Claire goes to Culloden. In the museum she’s not impressed by the representation of Prince Charles. She hears a couple talking about a piece in the museum and when she investigates it is the dragonfly in amber Hugh Munro gave to her.
In 1746, Dougal is angry and hurt that Jamie would betray them and Scotland. Dougal pulls his sword and goes for Claire but Jamie gets in the way and a fight ensues. Jamie and Dougal exchange blows and Jamie takes a few cuts though in the end Dougal ends up on the floor after Claire breaks a small crate over his head. Dougal is trying to drive his dirk into Jamie but Jamie turns the weapon and Claire helps Jamie drive the dirk into Dougal, killing him. Both Jamie and Claire seems stunned by these turn of events.
In 1968, Brianna and Roger go into the storage space and start searching though the Reverend’s journals when a rat appears and startles Brianna. Roger gives her a flashlight which she seems skeptical about and he offers a rat satire:
Ye rate, ya are too many,
If ye would dine aplenty,
Ye must go, ye must go.
Go and fill your bellies,
Dinna stay and gnaw my wellies –
Go, ye rats, go!
Roger tells us any rat satire must be original for it to be effective. Brianna notices a box with Randall on the side and they find a royal commission for Black Jack Randall. Roger finds a letter from Frank which tells the Reverend to stop researching Jack Randall because he’s not the man he thought.
In 1746, Rupert enters the attic where Jamie has just killed Dougal and Jamie asks for a couple hours to basically see Claire safe and Rupert agrees saying after than he will condemn Jamie’s soul to the fiery pit.
In 1968, Claire goes out to Culloden Field and we hear Frank telling her about the strategic disadvantage of Culloden Moore. Claire goes to the to pay her respects at the Clan Fraser stone and tell Jamie about his daughter despite swearing she’d not set foot on that field. Claire tells Jamie she was mad at him for a long time because he made her go live a life she didn’t want. Claire proceeds to tell Jamie everything she can about Brianna and then tells him goodbye something she couldn’t tell him at the time she left him. Then she says, “Rest easy soldier.”
Back at the Manse, Brianna and Roger are going through their finds and Brianna finds the article about Claire’s disappearance and reappearance.
Claire is in the living room when Bree comes down to confront her asking if Claire has only been puttering around town or if she’s been seeing HIM. Brianna wants to know if she was with the man she was with for three years and then returned to Frank pregnant.
Roger appears with something else he’s found and finds himself in the middle of a family matter. Claire thinks they can talk alone but Brianna wants him there. She has Brianna sit and Roger sits next to her. Claire confesses there was another man she loved and he was Bree’s father. Brianna is understandably upset about being lied to but Claire tells her Frank wanted to raise her as his own and she agreed with him.
Bree wants to know if the reason they are in Scotland is because Claire wants some kind of surprise introduction for Bree and Claire tells her it isn’t possible because her father is dead. She then hopefully tells her she promised Frank she wouldn’t utter his name but now she can tell Bree about Jamie Fraser.
Bree isn’t interested but Roger reminds her she wanted the truth no matter what.
Claire tells Bree that the most important thing was Jamie loved her with all his heart and would have raised Bree if it wasn’t for the Battel of Culloden.
In 1746, Jamie informs Murtagh he killed Dougal and then pulls out the Deed of Sasine and Murtagh has Fergus fetch a quill. They all sign it which is pre-dated for the previous year, before the rebellion. Jamie tells Fergus he wants him to take the deed to Madame Murray straight away and it is more important that both their lives. Fergus wishes to stay with Jamie but Jamie tells him it is important someone remembers. Fergus’s promises not to fail.
In 1968, Bree is disgusted with her mother’s delusions and Roger is a bit stunned. Brianna can’t believe her mother would think she’d believe such a fairy tale and Claire tries to show her proof with the deed of sasine but Brianna thinks it is one more lie her mother has cooked up. Brianna wants Claire to own up to the fact that she was a bored housewife that fucked someone else and Claire tells her what she and Jamie had was more than fucking. Jamie was the love of her life. Bree essentially tells her mother she wishes she were dead.
In 1746, Jamie tells Fergus to hide himself well and then tells Fergus he loves him like a son. Claire adds, like their own son, embracing Fergus before sending him off.
In 1968, Roger and Bree are in a pub and Bree doesn’t believe the papers he found mean something but he doesn’t know what. He also believes the deed of sasine looked authentic. But Bree believes Claire found the name and dreamed up it was her life. Roger reminds Bree that she’s never been able to get close to her mother because Claire is in her own world but maybe now she’s trying to share that world with Bree.
Bree wants to know if Roger believes her mother traveled back 200 years through stone. Roger doesn’t think it matters if Claire believes it.
Back at the Manse, Claire looks at the papers Bree confronted her with and underneath was the White Roses of Scotland pamphlet Gillian gave Bree. Claire goes to Gillian’s home in search of her but meets Gillian’s husband Edgar who tells her Gillian left him when he suggested she get a job. Now it appears Greg Edgars just drinks himself into a stupor in his grief. He comments about Gillian’s notebooks and when Greg passes out, Claire takes Gillian’s notebooks and leaves.
At the pub, Gillian tells Bree and Roger they missed a great rally. Bree offers her mother is insane and hopes to see Gillian at the next rally though Gillian says it won’t be possible because she’s leaving but she encourages Bree to keep asking the hard questions to help the world change.
Back at the Manse, Claire is studying Geillis/Gillian’s journals and is stunned to realize Geillis believes you need a human sacrifice to go through the stones and gem stones to guide and protect you. Claire is determined to try to stop Geillis from going through to eventually die as a witch.
In 1746, Jamie tells Murtagh to gather the men of Lallybroch together and get them out of there. Jamie wants the men to go home. Murtagh wants to know what Jamie plans to do and he says he’s going to take Claire to safety and then come back to fight and die. Murtagh tells Jamie he will send Jamie’s men on a path home but he will return to the battle to fight by Jamie’s side. Jamie doesn’t want Murtagh to die for nothing but Murtagh tells him he won’t be, he’ll be dying with Jamie.
In 1968, Bree goes into the guest room to talk to Claire. She doesn’t want to talk about the time travel delusion but she wants to know more about Jamie. Claire tells Bree Jamie was tall and had hair like her and his father’s name was Brian which is where her name comes from. She tells Bree that Jamie’s sister’s name is Jenny who is her aunt but there is so much to tell she can’t do it now but she will. She starts to say she went to Culloden to his grave to tell him about Bree but this upsets Bree.
Claire grabs Bree’s hand and tells her she didn’t intend to fall in love with Jamie. She fought against it but she couldn’t deny it and it was the most powerful thing she ever felt in her life.
Downstairs, Roger is looking at some things when Claire comes in and asks if he knows Gillian Edgars. Claire realizes Brianna meet Gillian and Bree comes in to tell Claire she liked Gillian even though she’s a bit crazy on the whole Scottish Nationalist thing.
Claire asks if Bree knows where Gillian is now and Bree says she doesn’t. Roger tells Claire Gillian mention going away to further the cause but doesn’t think she’s planning on returning. Claire realizes this is when Gillian intends to go through the stones. Claire wants to stop her because she knows Geillis’s fate but realizes she can’t because of Roger.
Claire tells Roger she looked into his ancestry and his seven times great grandparents were William and Sara MacKenzie who couldn’t have a child and were give one to raise. That child was the product of Dougal and Geillis’s affair. Roger seems stunned to be connected to a War Chief and a Witch and Bree is annoyed Claire is bringing Roger into her delusion. Roger thinks they need to warn her.
Claire wonders what will happen if they stop Gillian and she never goes back. Roger wouldn’t be born but Roger says he’s there so he will be. Roger seems not to buy into it but he’s willing to warn Gillian. Bree tells Roger he is feeding Claire’s delusions and walks out.
Roger goes after her and says this could make Claire face Gillian and maybe put a stop to the whole thing.
In 1746, Jamie tells Claire he’s taking her to the stones and she refuses to go but Jamie forces the issue. Claire wants to die with him just like he was ready to die with her at the witch trial but Jamie tells her the difference is he wasn’t carrying her child. Claire is stunned that he knows she’s pregnant but he tells her she’s not been a day late in her courses since they wed and it has been two months. She can’t believe he kept track and he tells her this child may be the only thing left of him, ever.
Jamie tells Claire they have to go but she doesn’t want to leave him. Jamie reminds her she promised to go home through the stones but she says he is her home and he tells her the same. Jamie mounts his horse and tells her there is no time.
In 1968, we see a body being drenched in gasoline and another car approaching a parked car. We see Claire in the approaching car and she says the other car is Greg Edgars. Roger says the smell in the air is like a barbeque but it is Gillian/Geillis burning her husband’s dead body.
Gillian turns and moves towards the center stone as Claire screams, “Geillis no!” Gillian touches the center stone and disappears to the stunned amazement of Roger and Bree. Both Roger and Bree here a buzzing sound as they investigate the burning body. Claire has Roger go for help.
In 1746, Jamie takes Claire to Craig na duhn but she doesn’t want to go through and stops at the edge of the stones. She wants to know how she can explain everything. Jamie leaves that to her and says to tell Frank he’s grateful, trust him and hates him to the marrow of his bones. Claire hears the buzzing but isn’t ready to leave him. Claire wants him to go with her, to try but he doesn’t hear the buzzing and when he touches the center stone nothing happens.
Jamie tells her even if he could go with her it isn’t his place and then promises to find her even if he has to spend 200 years in purgatory. Jamie says when he stands before God he’ll say, “Lord you gave me a rare woman. God I loved her well.”
Jamie and Claire make love amongst the stones and then hear cannon fire. The battle has begun. Claire gives the dragonfly in amber to Jamie to keep with him on the field. She says, “Blood of my blood.” And Jamie says, “And bone of my bone,” and Claire finishes it with, “As long as we both shall live.”
Jamie gives Claire his father’s ring for their child and Claire promises to name him Brian after his father. Jamie walks them backwards towards the stones and Claire tells him she loves him and he says, “And I you.” They kiss one last time before Jamie turns her and places her hand on the center stone telling her goodbye.
In 1968, Brianna and Claire are walking out of the circle of stones and Bree is stunned that it is true. She wonders if someone has to die for someone to go through but Claire says no one died when she went though.
Bree asks if this was the last place Claire saw her father and Claire confirms it. Bree doesn’t understand any of it but she believes Claire which makes Claire come alive.
Bree then tells Claire, “No more lies. From now on, I only want the truth between you and me.” (So much like Jamie!) Claire agrees and mother and daughter hug.
Roger pulls up, after running off to get the authorities, and tells them he called anonymously. Bree tells Roger to tell Claire what they found. Roger says it was research the Reverend did for Frank but doesn’t know if Frank ever got the information. Claire asks what it was and Roger says there were some Jacobite officers that took refuge in a church. One by one these men were taken out and shot but one, a Fraser of the Master of Lovat’s regiment survived. Claire tells Roger there were a lot of Frasers on the field that day but Roger reminds her there were only five officers and four are known to have died as their names are on a plaque in the village.
Claire asks who the fifth was and Bree says, “James Fraser, my father.” Claire is stunned Jamie didn’t die. She turns to look at the stones and says if he survived she needs to go back.