Outlander: Where Do Brianna and Roger End Up?

We look to the events of the book to find out what might happen next in Outlander Season 5 and beyond.

Outlander Season 5 Episode 11
Photo: Starz

Warning: This Outlander review contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 5 finale.

In the penultimate episode of Outlander Season 5, Brianna and Roger take their kid, head through the stones, and seemingly disappear from the 18th century. This was not only a shocking moment for fans of the TV series, but no doubt for fans of the book series as well. After all, the event in question doesn’t happen in The Fiery Cross, the fifth book in the Outlander series on which Season 5 is based, but rather A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth book in the series.

But Outlander reversed course in the Season 5 finale, revealing that Brianna, Roger, and Jemmy hadn’t actually traveled through time, as the previous episode had led us to believe. They actually stayed right where they were in 18th century Colonial America. We get to see who Roger and Bree were looking at off-screen in Episode 11, and it is Ian, just as confused as the Mackenzies that they are all still together. The group then heads back to Fraser Ridge.

So, what happened? It’s not totally confirmed, but Roger and Bree discuss how, when they touched the stone and thought of “home,” it wasn’t the 20th century they held in their heads (and hearts) but rather Fraser’s Ridge. This caused the stone to spit them back out in the same time they left.

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While I understand the temptation to give the book readers a surprise they weren’t expecting, this plot twist felt like a gimmick more than an earned narrative movement—a decision to get people talking rather than a choice that serves the characters or the story, most especially because the suggestion that the stones take into account your own wishes calls into question why Claire was pulled through the stones in the first place.

Where Do Brianna and Roger End Up?

This section contains spoilers for the Outlander book series, including A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone.

Now that we’ve seen the Outlander Season 5 finale it seems like the TV series will continue to follow the book plot. In the books, Roger and Bree decide to travel back through the stones not for a better chance at a life for Jemmy, but because their daughter—Amanda Claire Hope MacKenzie, born in A Breath of Snow and Ashes—has a heart murmur that Claire is unable to safely repair using what she has at her disposal in the 18th century. This prompts the MacKenzies to use the gemstone to travel forward in time, which will presumably happen in Season 6.

As Roger, Bree, Jem, and Mandy don’t leave the 18th century until near the end of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, we don’t properly find out where they end up until the seventh book in the Outlander series: An Echo in the Bone. They settle in 20th century Lallybroch, following along somewhat with what Claire and Jamie are up to in the 18th century by reading a series of letters from Claire to Jamie. And of course they also get caught up in a dangerous search for hidden gold that involves one of Roger’s ancestors who accidentally traveled through time to 1980.

What did you think of the Roger and Bree time travel fake out? Let us know in the comments below.