Blu-ray Review Drama

Blu-ray Review: From the Scottish Highlands to the High Seas, Season Three of 'Outlander' Still Sizzles

April 16, 2018Ben MK

Few shows have attained the level of popularity of STARZ's Outlander. But then again, few shows have the benefit of Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan as the leads. Together, the pair and their sizzling on-screen chemistry have helped make Ronald D. Moore's adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's bestselling book series one of the hottest series on television. Now, after being separated in season two, Balfe's Claire Randall and Heughan's Jamie Fraser are finally being reunited in season three, as the show voyages from the Highlands of Scotland to the seas of the Caribbean.

Synopsis: The third season of Outlander picks up right after Claire travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank. Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. As the years pass, Jamie and Claire attempt to make lives apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other. As always, adversity, mystery and adventure await them, and the question remains: When they find each other, will they be the same people who parted at the standing stones all those years ago? [Sony Pictures Home Entertainment]

For the full breakdown of all of season three's thirteen episodes, see below:

  • The Battle Joined - As Jamie (Sam Heughan) is captured in 1746 following a devastating defeat at Culloden Moor, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is in the 20th century struggling with her grief as she prepares to give birth to their child.
  • Surrender - After returning to Lallybroch, Jamie is forced into hiding when the British Army arrives. Over the years, Claire and Frank (Tobias Menzies) both put their best foot forward to share a harmonious marriage, but an uninvited guest shatters this illusion, bringing their differences to light.
  • All Debts Paid - As Jamie finds a surprising ally at Ardsmuir Prison, Claire's medical school graduation accelerates her crisis with Frank.
  • Of Lost Things - While serving as a groomsman at the aristocratic estate of Helwater, Jamie is reluctantly pulled into the intrigue of a noble British family. In 1968 Scotland, Claire, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) struggle to trace Jamie's whereabouts in history, leaving Claire to wonder if they will ever find him again.
  • Freedom & Whisky - As Brianna grapples with the life-changing revelations of the past summer, Claire must help her come to terms with the fact that she is truly her fathers daughter — her 18th century Highlander father. To complicate matters further, Roger brings news that forces Claire and Brianna to face an impossible choice.
  • A. Malcolm - After decades apart, Jamie and Claire finally reunite and rekindle their emotional and physical bonds. But Jamie's new business dealings jeopardize the couple's hopes for a simple life together.
  • Crème de Menthe - In the aftermath of a violent confrontation, Claire follows her conscience as a surgeon, even though it could put her and Jamie's lives at risk. At the same time, Jamie attempts to evade the reach of the Crown as its representative closes in on his illegal dealings.
  • First Wife - Claire returns to Lallybroch with Jamie where she does not receive quite the reception she was expecting. Unbeknownst to her, Jamie's made some choices in their time apart which come back to haunt them with a vengeance.
  • The Doldrums - Claire and Jamie leave Scotland, sailing to the West Indies on an urgent quest. But when the superstitious crew looks for someone to blame after a string of bad luck, rescue comes from an unlikely source.
  • Heaven and Earth - Claire races to discover the source of an epidemic aboard a disease-stricken ship before hundreds of sailors die. And as Jamie locks horns with Captain Raines (Richard Dillane), Fergus (César Domboy) finds himself torn between loyalty and love.
  • Uncharted - After making a leap of faith, Claire washes up on a seemingly deserted island where survival is her only option. Navigating treacherous waters has crippled the Artemis, so Jamie devises a joyful moment for his crew in the midst of devastating setbacks.
  • The Bakra - The Artemis finally reaches Jamaica, bringing Jamie and Claire that much closer to their goal. During a lavish ball on the island, the Frasers encounter old allies, as well as former adversaries who threaten to derail their mission.
  • Eye of the Storm - Claire is forced to play a game of cat and mouse with an old adversary as she searches for Young Ian (John Bell). The Frasers race through the jungles of Jamaica to prevent the unthinkable.

Season three of Outlander debuts on Blu-ray touting a pristine 1080p encode, and like the previous seasons, the results are on point. Whether it's 1746 Scotland, 1948 Boston or the open waters of the Caribbean Sea, the period production and costume design are a treat to behold, thanks to a high degree of fine detail and excellent color saturation, and the set features another superb DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix that delivers an engrossing listening experience, from the sound of musket and cannon fire to the sound of stormy seas and strong winds.

Sony's five-disc Blu-ray release is available in both a regular edition and an attractive Collector's Edition that comes packaged in special digibook packaging with a 28-page photo booklet titled "Season Three's Voyage to New Worlds." Both versions includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras (including several Blu-ray exclusives, as denoted below):

  • Saying Goodbye to Frank & Jonathan Randall * BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE (10:23) - A look at Tobias Menzies' portrayal of the dual roles and the characters' exits from the show.
  • Jamie's Revolution * BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE (7:48) - A look at the journey of Sam Heughan's character through season three.
  • Claire: Through Time * BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE (6:37) - A look at Caitriona Balfe's portrayal of Claire through the trials and tribulations of season three.
  • Gag Reel (9:17)
  • Claire & Jamie: Together Again * BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE (9:45) - Heughan, Balfe and the show's creators speak about reuniting Jamie and Claire after keeping them separated for so long.
  • Original Chemistry Test with Caitriona & Sam With Introduction by Ronald D. Moore * BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE (7:03)
  • A Traveling Show Takes Sail (8:49) - The cast and crew talk about leaving Scotland in the middle of winter to film in Cape Town, Jamaica in the middle of summer.
  • The Transformation of Geillis Duncan (5:30) - A look at the return of Lotte Verbeek's character.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes with Introductions by Ronald D. Moore (1:31:55) - Twenty-seven scenes ("A Real Home," "Dead Nor Alive," "Tell Me Why You Escaped," "I Lost a Particular Friend," "Keep Claire Safe," "Let's Get Started," "What Are You Doing Lady Jane?," "Walk to the Printshop," "I Did Not Love Her," "Remember the Last Time," "Question For Mr. Malcolm," "Healing by Means of a Knife," "Is That Brandy?," "Different Shades of Lies," "A Taste of Adventure," "I Was Trying to Help," "Keep Your Hands Off Me Knives," "The Days Started Blending," "Think We'll Get Wind Today?," "Do You Miss Her?," "I Will Stay," "Welcome to Jamaica," "Bring Me That Boy," "She's a Wicked Soul," "We're Friends," "Our Paths Keep Crossing" and "The Prophecy - Director's Cut").
  • Additional Scenes * BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE (6:28) - One scene from "Of Lost Things" ("Additional Scene with Lord John Grey & Lady Isobel Dunsany").
  • Podcasts * BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE - Audio commentaries for each episode of season three from Ronald D. Moore, Maril Davis, Toni Graphia & Matthew B. Roberts.

Outlander: Season Two is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of April 10th, 2018. Episode synopses above provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, Arabic, Danish, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish subtitles. The total runtime is 12 hrs. 25 min.

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