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Laura Hurley

Following Outlander's Huge Jump For Young Ian And Rachel, I'm Flashing Back To One Star's Comments

Rachel Hunter and Young Ian in Outlander Season 7

Warning: spoilers are ahead for the “Turning Points” midseason finale of Outlander Season 7.

Outlander wrapped the first half of the super-sized Season 7 in the 2023 TV season with a very eventful midseason finale that ended with Claire, Jamie, and Young Ian arriving back on the shores of Scotland while the Revolutionary War continued back in America. Somewhat surprisingly, the episode didn’t end on a life-and-death cliffhanger to leave fans dying for resolution over the Droughtlander hiatus, but I know I’m hooked on seeing what’s next for Young Ian and Rachel Hunter after a huge development. In fact, what happened had me flashing back to what actress Izzy Meikle-Small told CinemaBlend about Season 7!

What Happened With Young Ian And Rachel

First things first! It was no surprise that Outlander’s newest love triangle was heating up in the midseason finale after a promo tease and reveal from William, but I wasn’t expecting as much as we got in “Turning Points.” The flirtation that has been increasing ever since Rachel and Young Ian crossed paths again turned into a kiss when Ian planted one on her, and she didn’t seem to mind at all until she remembered herself. The young man was quite bold in telling her what he wanted to do with her, and Rachel was flustered enough to feel in need of prayer. 

Nothing ultimately came of Ian kissing her and the two clearly wanting each other, as he returned to Scotland and entrusted Rollo into her care, but their story clearly isn’t over. After spotting Rachel with Rollo, Arch Bug seemingly realized that she could be the perfect target for his vengeance against Young Ian. Ian is bound to return at some point, at the very least for Rollo. His last line of the midseason finale was about missing his dog, after all! 

Why I'm Flashing Back To Izzy Meikle-Small's Comments

Although Ian kissing Rachel initially struck me as a massive leap from what their relationship had been like in their last interaction, I could buy it in light of the time jumps and the fact that emotions were heightened (and matters urgent) in light of war. Plus, stars Izzy Meikle-Small and John Bell – who shared how he feels about his character still being known as “Young Ian” after five seasons – have great chemistry, and a love connection has seemed inevitable ever since their first meeting.

While Izzy Meikle-Small initially shared that Rachel’s top priority was helping Denny, that changed after she met Young Ian. When I spoke with the actress prior to the SAG-AFTRA actors strike as part of the Outlander Season 7 press junket, I mentioned the very sweet scene from their very first episode together between the two characters when Ian showed appreciation for strong-willed and forward women. The actress shared her thoughts on what that meant to Rachel, who wouldn’t have heard such things in her community:

I think she's been told that she maybe [does not] mince her words... She's very strong minded, and I think that's not necessarily always gone down so well. I think having somebody who really sees her – and doesn't just see, they appreciate that about her – I think is really touching because she just feels fundamentally understood. And I think that's why when she thinks she will never see him again, that's why she's so sad, because she really sees the potential with this person who fully understands her in a way that maybe a lot of people haven't previously.

When Young Ian initially left the Hunters behind with William in their care, Rachel had no way of knowing whether she’d see him ever again. Four episodes later, and the two characters are locking lips in a tent in a Revolutionary War camp! Can you blame me for thinking back to where they started after seeing where they ended up after the events of the midseason finale? 

It remains to be seen what’s next for the two characters, and Rachel may be in serious danger from Arch Bug once Ian presumably returns to America. Unfortunately, it will be a while before we get to see it for ourselves. Outlander will not return for the second half of Season 7 until 2024, and Starz has not yet announced when the next episode will air. 

You can always revisit the early days of the show to pass the time, with the first several seasons streaming via a Netflix subscription, and check out our breakdown of what we know for what’s next for Claire and Jamie

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