Jamie Fraser spent the majority of Outlander’s first two seasons fighting against the English army, which culminated in the failed Battle of Culloden between the Scottish Jacobites and the redcoats. Later, Jamie reluctantly pledged his allegiance to Governor Tryon and the English crown in Season 4 to save his family in the new world. Unfortunately, Jamie will again find himself on the “wrong side” of history in Outlander Season 5, and series star Sam Heughan says that’s not about to change anytime soon.
Even though they’re in the New World now, the Fraser clan has found themselves in the line of fire once again. Season 4 left off on a major cliffhanger that saw Jamie put in charge of a militia to kill his godfather, Regulators leader Murtagh. Having accepted 10,000 acres of land from North Carolina's Governor Tryon, Jamie’s loyalties lie with the redcoats now. While this puts him in a tough position, he also can’t refuse Tryon’s order without endangering his entire family.
With the American Revolution looming around the corner, the Fraser patriarch is conflicted about being on the losing side of history and fighting alongside the army he previously battled against. While Season 5 will explore this internal conflict, don’t expect the resolution to happen by season’s end.
Speaking with The Oprah Magazine, Heughan teased that Jamie’s turmoil over the coming war will carry into Season 6.
“There are episodes that are kind of individual, and they have other storylines, but the greater objective of the season is that they know this war is coming, and Jamie's on the wrong side. He's doing it because he needs to provide for people. So he's really stuck between a rock and a historic hard place. I think that's going to probably culminate not this season, but in the next season."
It’s possible Jamie will have to reckon with the consequences in a major way in Season 5. However, it’s no longer so cut and dry now that Jamie’s primary obligation is protecting his growing family. It’s unclear whether the Frasers will find themselves in the throes of war in Season 5, or if Jamie will simply have to contend with his orders to kill Murtagh before dealing with the rest. After all, the American Revolution didn’t start until 1765 and the timeline of Outlander is still a few years away. Still, that doesn't mean Jamie won't have to choose sides eventually, though Season 5 trailer hinted that he might be donning a redcoat sooner rather than later.
Hueghan admits that fighting history is what “really comes back to bite them in the ass,” but that Claire’s knowledge of the future will certainly play a role in Jamie’s decision-making. With that in mind, it’s possible the Season 5 finale will end with Jamie having made his choice about whether to join the “wrong side” of the American Revolution and the outcome of that decision won’t be explored until Season 6. Either way, it’s a safe bet that the next “Droughtlander” will feel even longer than before.
Outlander Season 5 premieres February 16.