Spoilers under for Outlander season 7, episode 3.
A part of what makes Outlander so addictive is its capability to endlessly reinvent itself, due to the time-traveling skill shared by most (however crucially, not all) of its core solid. Regardless of being fish out of water within the 18th century, Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Brianna (Sophie Skelton), and Roger (Richard Rankin) have now spent a number of seasons seemingly settling into life previously—however the seventh season has already upended all of that in spectacular vogue.
In final week’s episode, Brianna and Roger made the agonizing determination to journey again by the stones in an effort to save their daughter Mandy from a coronary heart defect that has no remedy within the 18th century. For all intents and functions, it’s a one-way journey, which Brianna makes figuring out that she could properly by no means see her dad and mom once more. And as wrenching as that selection is, it offers Brianna and Roger an opportunity to reestablish themselves within the fashionable period they thought they’d left behind perpetually.
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However they don’t decide up precisely the place they left off. As an alternative, this week’s third episode “Loss of life Be Not Proud” finds the couple making a life for themselves and their kids within the Eighties, having traveled from Boston to Brianna’s ancestral residence within the Scottish Highlands. It’s been a minute since Outlander spent any important time within the twentieth century, and for showrunner Maril Davis, it was vital to withstand the urge to lean too arduous into the Eighties of all of it.
“I believe lots of people will say, ‘Oh, that’s not the ’80s I do know,’” says Davis, acknowledging that followers anticipating to see shoulder pads, large hair, and neon garments could also be disillusioned by the present’s naturalistic method. “Individuals have to recollect, this was the Eighties within the Highlands, which goes to be a bit totally different from the Eighties in, say, Los Angeles. However we did push the envelope somewhat bit with hairstyles and clothes, as a result of we wished that to pop.”
To that finish, costume designer Trisha Biggar put Sophie Skelton’s Brianna in a daring jewel-tone to kick off the Eighties storyline—a teal wrap cardigan that instantly feels distinct from any of the present’s earlier eras, as do Bree’s new blowout and bangs. “They’ve come from Boston, a metropolitan metropolis within the U.S., to a really rural a part of Scotland, so it was fascinating to consider their journey to get there, what garments they’ve picked up alongside the way in which, after which the distinction between them and their neighbors in rural Scotland, the place persons are not very updated with vogue,” Biggar explains. The clearest instance of this comes early on when Bree and Roger pay a go to to his buddy Fiona, whose conventional wardrobe cuts a pointy distinction to Bree’s daring colors and extra fitted silhouette. “Though Fiona’s younger, realistically she wouldn’t be eye-catching by way of vogue, so we’ve got her in native knitwear with a print shirt.”
For Skelton, Brianna’s return to her twentieth century origins was an opportunity to find new dimensions to a personality she now is aware of inside out. “She left [the 20th century] within the Sixties, as a teen, so coming again lat a matured lady and mom was like discovering her identification trough garments over again, which was tremendous enjoyable for us to do,” she displays, including that she and Biggar took time to search out the best steadiness between character progress and consistency. “I actually fought to maintain her tomboy-ish components, and Trisha was a fan of among the extra female and floral facets peeping by as properly. I believe that ended up being the proper concoction, and we discovered a method for either side of Brianna to shine by.”
Moreover that daring but cozy teal cardigan, Bree’s different signature look in episode 3 is a navy Pendleton wool jacket with a multicolored striped yoke—a distinctly American model which helped to bridge the hole between Boston and the Highlands. “I discovered that coat in a classic place in Scotland, surprisingly, and simply fell in love with it,” Biggar says of this second of costume scouting kismet.
Skelton was particularly enthusiastic concerning the bangs, as a result of a dramatic hair change felt like a pure step for Bree in a second of common transformation (as anyone who minimize their very own quarantine bangs can attest). “This season is Brianna’s world taking a 180 flip, so she’s certain to have spent a while recalibrating herself over again and experimenting. It’s such a human factor to wish to change your entire ‘vibe’ and look when there’s an enormous shift in your life.”
All through the present, Brianna has usually known as out the bodily discomfort inflicted on girls by their corseted clothes in the course of the 1700s, and Skelton relished the possibility to focus on the excellence as soon as once more now that she’s again sooner or later. “I’ve all the time wished to re-draw consideration to the constraints of the clothes, partly to understand girls of that period who needed to put on it day in and time out,” Skelton says, “but in addition to remind the viewers that Brianna isn’t an actress, she’s a fish out of water, and her entire demeanor would change by being in this sort of bodily cage.” Now that Brianna is again in her pure environment, there’s a deliberate shift in the way in which she carries herself. “Her stroll is totally different, her posture is totally different, her voice is even totally different, as a result of you’ll be able to breathe somewhat higher. A few of that modified naturally, however I additionally positively laid some on somewhat thicker for the sake of the storyline. Bree was forward of her time for the Sixties, so I positively really feel the ’80s is extra the place she feels at residence in her personal physique, and garments, and environment.”
Trend apart, this season’s accelerated timeline-hopping posed a novel manufacturing design problem, since a lot of the twentieth century storyline takes place on the Fraser property of Lallybroch. “I do know individuals get uninterested in us saying ‘that is the largest season ever,’ however this season actually does really feel prefer it,” says Davis. She notes that the bumper-sized seventh season will incorporate “2.8 books,” of Diana Gabaldon’s supply materials, and several other totally different time durations, of which the Eighties is simply the primary. So slightly than attempting to revamp the inside of Lallybroch a number of instances throughout the season, manufacturing designer Mike Gunn and his group got here up with a artistic resolution. “We thought, what if we’ve got Bree and Roger and the children residing on this trailer exterior Lallybroch, as a result of the method of redoing it takes years?” Davis recollects. “At first, I’ll be sincere, I used to be undecided how it will look, however then I actually got here to like the concept. Typically these difficult manufacturing issues find yourself busting every part open by way of the larger imaginative and prescient.”
Juggling a number of eras has all the time been a part of the Outlander remit, however with out stepping into any particular spoilers, it appears protected to say that season 7 is pushing that to the restrict. “It’s a extremely fascinating side of the job, the power to leap into fully surprising locations, and the analysis side of that,” Biggar displays. “Each episode appears to have a special analysis want—this season alone, you’ve received naval uniforms, British military uniforms, revolutionary navy uniforms, Quakers, after which additionally actual individuals. That’s the opposite factor with this season, due to the Revolutionary Warfare, so many well-known historic figures will likely be passing by the story.”
Episode 3 makes it clear that Brianna and Roger’s ties to Claire and Jamie aren’t solely severed—however how their tales will intersect once more is anyone’s guess. For now, given how lengthy they’re about to spend renovating Lallybroch, it appears protected to imagine that the couple and their younger kids are again within the twentieth century for the lengthy haul. “They’ve settled, they’ve discovered Lallybroch once more, they’ve redone it, and I believe there’s a way that they’re settled of their residence,” Davis says. However this being Outlander, the second they let their guard down is correct when the waters get uneven. “There are guests they don’t count on, there may be office drama they don’t count on, and all these components will contribute to a really rocky street forward.”
Emma Dibdin is a contract author based mostly in Los Angeles who writes about tradition, psychological well being, and true crime. She loves owls, hates cilantro, and may discover the queer subtext in actually something.