‘Outlander’: The best episodes as chosen by its fans

We asked our readers to weigh in on the best “Outlander” episodes so far. We started by asking for your favorite episode of season one and season two. Then we held a run-off between the biggest vote-getters from each season to determine the top four. Now you can click through our photo gallery above for the top 18 episodes of Starz’s “Outlander” as decided by you. Can you guess what’s number-one?  We’ll be back to poll our readers and update this gallery at the end of season three, which premieres this September after a long hiatus.

Season one of the series, based on the novels of Diana Gabaldon, introduced us to Claire (Caitriona Balfe) a nurse during World War II who reunites with her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). They take a second honeymoon to Craigh na Dun, but while there she’s transported back in time to the 18th century. While trying to figure out what happened and find a way to return to the 1940s Claire meets Jamie (Sam Heughan). Circumstances force them to marry, but they fall in love. All the while they’re in danger from Captain Black Jack Randall (also, Menzies), an ancestor of Claire’s 20th century husband, and the season ends with Jamie and Claire expecting a child and fleeing Scotland for Paris.

Season two saw Claire and Jamie integrate themselves into Parisian society. They try to thwart the efforts of Prince Charles (Andrew Gower) while he tries to raise funds for an army in Scotland to overthrow the King of England. Along the way Claire and Jamie lose their unborn child, and their efforts to change Scottish history fail. The season ends with Claire and Jamie’s heartbreaking separation for the sake of their child. But there’s hope of a reunion as Claire decides to return, possibly with their grown daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton).

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No Emmys for ‘Outlander’: Season 3 of Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan series won’t return until fall

Despite its obsessively loyal fan base, “Outlander” hasn’t received much love from the Emmys. For its first season (2015) it received one nomination for Bet Original Dramatic Score (Bear McCreary, for the episode “Sassenach”). For its second season (2016) it received two Emmy bids: Best Costumes and Best Production Design. It lost all three.

The Golden Globes have been more welcoming to “Outlander,” nominating the show in 2016 for Best TV Drama Series, Best TV Drama Actress (Balfe) and Best TV Supporting Actor (Menzies). The Critics’ Choice Awards honored the show in 2014 as one of seven Most Exciting New Series winners, and then nominated Balfe and Heughan for their lead performances in 2016.

While the “Droughtlander” between seasons two and three will have kept fans waiting 14 months for new episodes, a possible benefit of airing in the fall is it moves the show closer to voting for the next Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards, potentially giving the show a leg up. The Globes again nominated Balfe earlier this year for TV Drama Actress, and the series won Most Bingeworthy Show at the most recent Critics’ Choice Awards, so we know it’s still on the radar of both awards groups.

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