Spoilers for Outlander Season 5 follow in this post.
It feels like just yesterday that Outlander fan-favorite Lord John Grey finally entered the series and Jamie and Claire’s radius. David Berry has been a part of Starz’s Outlander since 2016, but unfortunately his time has ended on the series, at least for now.
Actor David Berry confirmed his exit from Outlander in a post that featured no frills or frippery this week. In it, the actor said he doesn’t like “goodbyes,” also sharing a look at himself and Jamie Fraser actor Sam Heughan during this last weekend's episode and perhaps his final episode on the series.
At first it seemed as if perhaps David Berry was simply saying goodbye to the recent season of the series, particularly since his character is leaving on the show to head back to England. (More on that later). However, in the post, the actor also responded to some fan questions about his exit, seemingly confirming a more long-term goodbye for the character. In fact, when a fan asked if he meant “goodbye for this season” he elaborated, noting:
Final ep on show. But 'life is long. Perhaps someday.
I’m not really sure how this whole thing works out. While Outlander has made plenty of notable changes from the series before, there are still a few large plots Lord John Grey is a part of in Diana Gabaldon’s books and book spoilers follow here. The main one is that 2014 Written in My Own Heart’s Blood has Claire marry Lord John Grey when Jamie is presumed to be lost at sea. The previous book An Echo in the Bone also features John Grey and a plot with Jamie’s son William.
Some of these plots could be easily worked around, particularly the relationship stuff between William and Jamie. In fact, during what now looks to be Lord John Grey’s final episode, the character spoke with Jamie about leaving for England, which would be an easy way for a character to exit. Yet, the show set things up so there was a possibility of returning to Virginia one day. Per Lord John:
I believe in time we will. I cannot imagine William never seeing you again. But it is evident the mood in the American colonies grows darker by the day. I hope I’m wrong.
Honestly, it never read to me as an official exit watching the episode, particularly given what I know about Lord John Grey from the books. Regardless, if he really is done with the series, over time there will be some more major changes to Outlander.
Lord John Grey’s a very popular character in the universe. He’s so popular with fans Diana Gabaldon wrote a whole series of spinoff novellas about the character. Over time, there have been rumors about a spinoff series and more. I can’t imagine the writers would simply want to cut out the character, but with no news about a scheduling or money dispute it’s hard to tell why this is happening now or if perhaps the character will actually be brought back down the line, but there are no plans yet.
David Berry has to know the character’s arc right? He also seems to be pretty chummy with his co-stars. Perhaps it was simply time for something new. Again, there are a lot of possibilities behind the exit at this point. What I am surprised about is how little fanfare has been behind David Berry's goodbye.