The Battle Joined opens on the battlefield of Culloden Moor where we see Jacobites and English bodies strewn all over. We come to Jamie who is barely alive with a dead Black Jack Randall sprawled on top of him. Jamie recalls the battle in flashes of memory and remembers coming face to face with Randall on the battlefield where he killed him (victory!). Jamie looks out over the moor and sees a ghostly figure of Claire moving towards him. She kneels beside him and Jamie comes back to himself to discover Rupert checking on him.
Meanwhile, in the 20th century Claire and Frank are looking at a Back Bay house where Frank is trying to make things comfortable between them with jokes and all the conveniences he can give her. Claire is impressed and putting in a small amount of effort. Flash forward and Claire is considerably more pregnant and trying to light the stove with no luck. She has an epiphany and goes out to buy wood to light a fire in the hearth. A neighbor woman helps her bring in the wood and talks with her about her husband telling Claire she is lucky to have Frank. Claire later goes to meet Frank's boss who is totally sexist and believes a woman's place is in the home with babies. Frank tries impressing everyone with Claire's service but the boss down plays it. Flash forward a bit more and Claire is preparing breakfast when a jovial Frank comes in and makes light conversation with her. Claire tells Frank she wants to become an American citizen to make a real home for their child. Frank is bolstered by her use of "our child," but when he tries to touch her she flinches away from him. A fight ensues which culminates in Frank accusing her of adultery and her throwing an ashtray at his head (he ducked).
Back in the 18th century, Jamie wakes in a barn with Rupert and some other Jacobites who hope to escape notice of the English who are out killing off survivors. It isn't long before the English find them and Lord Melton (put a pin in that name) announce they will all be executed by being shot which is a relief to Rupert who expected to be hanged. One by one the men go to their deaths. Gordon says his goodbyes to Jamie and before go out to be executed and then Rupert follows suit. He tells Jamie he will make his peace with Jamie over the killing Dougal thing. Rupert is happy to go be with Angus and says his goodbye to Jamie. (I'm so sad Rupert is dead!!)
In Boston circa 1950s, Frank is trying to sleep on the couch with little luck. He gets up and goes to his desk where he pulls out a paper and begins writing Rev. Reginald Wakefield (Roger's adoptive father/ great uncle) a letter asking him to look into a Scottish warrior named Jamie.... Frank is interrupted when Claire comes in telling him her waters broke. Frank rushes to warm the car while Claire waits.
Back in 18th century Scotland, the English have executed all the able body men and are going to work on the prone traitors. Jamie volunteers out of bodily and emotional pain. When he gives his full name to the clerk Lord Melton stops and comes to Jamie’s side asking if he remembers John William Grey from Carryarick. At first, Jamie is too out of it to know what Melton is speaking of but then starts recalling the boy who came after him and breaking his arm. Melton had a problem. He tells Jamie and his clerk officer his brother owes a debt of honor. He has the officer get a wagon and send Jamie home to Lallybroch where Ian and Jenny receive him with stunned happiness.
Back in the 20th century, Claire and Frank are waiting on the doctor who begins asking questions about how far apart her contractions are but Frank has no idea. Claire tells the doctor everything he needs to know including that she had a miscarriage a year prior. Frank is stunned but is sent off to the Father’s waiting room.
Claire ends up in a delivery room where they put her under despite her protests. She wakes later confused and panics when her new baby is nowhere in sight. She asks the nurse if her baby is dead but Frank comes in holding a squirming little girl and everything is forgotten as they beam over a tiny Brianna. Claire tells Frank she’s been horrid to him and they pledge to have a new beginning as a family. Claire and Frank kiss and cue over the baby when the nurse asks where the baby got her red hair. Frank and Claire clam up as the episode ends.
This episode is "In Memory of Andy Thomson 'Art Director To the Stars'".
“Having set the scene for Outlander’s Culloden so convincingly in Season 1, I received a call from National Trust for Scotland after it aired to check that we hadn’t filmed at the real Culloden site without permission. Season 3’s Culloden was filmed on the edge of the same moor that we used in Season 1—in a field that was roughly 7 acres as opposed to the real battlefield which is an area of approximately 80 acres.”
-Hugh Gourlay, Supervising Location Manager
"The Art Department made this for the scene in Episode 301 when Frank buys the Boston townhouse. I actually didn’t know about it—the Art Department did it as a surprise. The bigger surprise was…we cut the scene in post for length. But I still have the sign hanging in my office in Scotland.”
-Matthew B. Roberts, Executive Producer/Writer
Battle of Culloden
"We undertook a great deal of historical research for Culloden, covering weapons and tactics, as well as the disposition of combatants and later bodies on the ground. We also looked at many other films and shows to examine how they told the story of large scale battles and brought the audience into it—what we could learn, and what we could improve or do differently.
Ultimately it was felt far more compelling and poignant to put the audience in amongst the carnage and chaos, right with Jamie, and not to try to convey the whole historical event from some imagined overall vantage point; an individual experience reflecting the limited visibility and sense of the overall that any one person amongst it all would have. The visceral hand-to-hand impact of only what can be seen in the immediate surroundings; the confusion, the passion, the fury, fear and desperation. Moving backwards and forwards in the loose chronology of events; further serving to put the audience in that unreal, confusing world.
From a Visual Effects perspective, the key challenge was to help seamlessly create the feel of the large numbers of fighters on both sides, with only somewhat limited numbers of actual artists practicable to film. This was in part a collaboration between Camera, Special Effects and Stunts departments using well planned camera angles, staging and smoke, but of course also involved adding many more fighting figures, or indeed ‘carpets' of bodies, into the shots, during post production. While some additional material was shot at the location, these were mainly shot separately on a couple of special days of filming set aside for the purpose. Filmed against green screen we could then position as required to better populate many shots and ‘dress’ the scenes. Various enhancements and additions to smoke & snow levels and blood were also added.”
–Richard Briscoe, VFX Supervisor
From Matthew B. Roberts
There were two exterior locations used for Culloden – Torbrex farm (Culloden Moor) and Craggan Farm (Culloden Moor cottage). Indeed, there were 9 locations in all featured in Block One; 4 locations for Block Two; 7 locations for Block Three; 6 locations for Block four; 2 locations for Block Five – a total of 28 locations in Scotland (not including the stages at the studio).
On average, there were 160 supporting artists per day during the shooting of Culloden, with 184 on the biggest day. The total number for the entire Culloden shoot, including our 2nd Unit was around 1,100.
-Matthew B. Roberts, Executive Producer/Writer