Hello again. I’m glad you’ve come back for some more uninsightful content. I know these posts have been very infrequent, they do take quite a while to produce but I’ve been loving Outlander so far and excited to continue so open up a new tab and watch along with us!
Let’s get started…
“Sing me a song of a lass that is gone say, could that lass be I”
“MERRY OF SOUL SHE SAILED ON A DAY OVER THE SEA TO SKYE”
I love the intro of Outlander, I feel it’s the first show I’ve watched in a while with actual words in the intro. It gives me something to sing to and I’m very good at singing. I have an A.S.B.O in it.
We open with Claire and Frank at a train station as Claire prepares to leave for the front. Claire doesn’t feel it’s right for Frank to use his connections to have a new set of orders issued.
“What of these men, they’ve no one to change their orders?”
“And if people use the system to their own benefit, then we might as well just give up the ship and start speaking German.”
When I did my English dissertation on war, one of the books I read either Birdsong or All Quiet on The Western Front, referenced something along these lines where people in positions of power protect themselves (and those they love) by sending everyone else to the front to die while they stay behind a desk or at least in relative safety, ready to pick up the glory and rewards for the service. I’m proud of you Claire.
“Woe betide the man that stands between you and what you set your mind upon.”
“And damned if that stubbornness, isn’t what I find so attractive about you.”
The world: “Stop eating.”
Fat me: “No.”
Am I attractive enough for you Frank, HUH?
“Claire Beauchamp Randall, promise that you’ll return to me.”
“I will, Frank Randall. I promise.”
Just what people say before they don’t make it back. TV promises are symbols people! Either someone’s dying or when she does ‘return’ she doesn’t really want to be back.
We return to 1743 and Mrs Fitz is helping to wash and dress Claire.
“Oh, I don’t mind helping you.”
“Such beautiful skin you have.”
“Mrs Fitz, can I tell you something?”
“Of course you can.”
“It’s about my husband. He’s not dead.”
Yes! Finally. I love these moments in tv shows where the secret is revealed and what better person to tell…
“It’s just, well he hasn’t been born yet.”
Um Claire, sweetie, we need to talk. You want allies not a white buckled jacket. Okay, I get it, this time period is religious and very touchy when it comes to witches, demons etc. but surely people used some logic. I mean, at least hear me out before trying to burn me.
“You’re fair of eye and honeyed of tongue, but I see you now for what you are … Be gone, evil demon. I abjure thee!”
That didn’t go as planned. Haha! “Can I tell you something?” “Course you can … WITCH!”
Look at how she’s edging away from Claire towards the door because she’s shit feart. I’m feeling frustrated at the belief in Highland myths, faeries, knowledge of stones and the rejection of when it is reality in favour of religion and death sentences.
I’m disappointed in you Mrs Fitz. Claire thought she could trust you. We all thought we could trust you.
Mrs Fitz tells Claire about The Gathering where all the Mackenzie men throughout the Highlands come and pledge their oath to the clan.
“You do well with that. Dougal and himself will not forget it. You’ll be in their good graces, make no mistake.”
If I could get in Colum and Dougal’s good graces, perhaps I could win my release and begin to make my way back to Frank.
Naw, you do good and they will extend your sentence without parole. Why would they give that up? It is nice to see interactions between Mrs Fitz and Claire. It certainly shows that things were not all black and white with the Scottish and English even if Claire is judged for being a sassenach. I guess in all conflict there are people who would rather keep to peace and civility instead of engaging in judgement and fighting.
Claire notices that her guards are spending their time in the kitchen and hopes they share this trust with Dougal. Claire is informed about Colum’s chambermaid whose son died after visiting the old ruins of the Benedictine Monastery, the Black Kirk.
“Poor wee soul.”
“No match for old nick.”
“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a killer Santa in a monasteryyy.”
Samhain’s over, bitches.
Mrs Fitz’s nephew Tammas enters the kitchen and tells Claire that Colum wishes to see her. Claire reports to Colum, who is being fitted for a coat.
Claire: I wished I had the ability to treat Colum.
Me: Aw what a kind heart
Claire: It would alleviate what I knew was a great deal of pain … and it would certainly make Colum see me in a more favorable light.
“It’ll be a trifle longer than your standard frock coat.”
“Well, you’re hardly standard, now, are you, my Laird? A one-of-a-kind coat for a one-of-a-kind man.”
Uh oh, flattery will get you absolutely nowhere. Especially with an angry man, insecure about his disability, who is in a position that is supposed to represent strength and power.
“Did your wife’s people encourage you to mock your Laird?” I’m dying. The way his smug faced dropped. He should meed Old nick … toldoff the brown nosed tailor.
“Does not a man’s coat usually fall just to the knee?”
*Takes out knife*
“My Laird please.”
“You make me a standard frock coat and have it back to me by tomorrow.”
To Colum’s face (and knife) he’s probably like ‘yes me lord, three bags full me lord’ but by himself he’s probably making it like “yeh make meh a standard coat … ya bow legged bastard”.
Colum tells Claire the old healer used to massage his legs as it made movement easier. Claire believes it would be more beneficial if, rather than Colum’s legs, she massaged the base of his spine.
Toot toot erse oot. Legs like cocktail sticks = Buns of steel.
Claire asks if there is any water for boiling or some clean cloth but Colum replies that there isn’t as it was his Chambermaid that lost her son and hasn’t been in this morning.
“Sometimes I wonder what I did to make the devil punish me like this.”
“What, you don’t have demons in Oxfordshire, mistress?”
“We do, but we call them Scots.”
This sassenach’s got gid patter hen.
For her good work, Claire is invited as Colum’s guest to see Gwyllyn the Bard, who’ll be singing in the hall before the gathering. Laoghaire sits down next to Claire and has her eye on Jamie.
“Cuts quite the fine figure, Mr. MacTavish.”
“Aye. But it’s not me he fancies.”
“Well, men rarely know what’s best for them.”
Claire’s is so sweet and Laoghaire is so cute. It’s too bad Jamie is interested in Claire…
Claire asks if Gwylln has been at the castle long. Jamie says he spent a year at Leoch when he was 16 or so and Gwyllyn was here then.
“I remember when you were here before.”
“Well, I do remember, though … do you not remember me from then?”
Ha! Sorry girl…
Even your wing woman thinks this is awkward as fuck.
I know Lee (Laoghaire is too long to type and I don’t even know if I’m spelling it correctly) fancies Jamie but if he said “snot nose bairns” about me I’d be straight off the c*nt.
Haha Lee’s like “what are you talking about!? You’re supposed to be talking to meeee … Claire what are you doing?”
Claire: “ClAiRe WhUt R u DoIn? I tried, he’s mine now.”
Jamie tells Claire the dressing’s been chafing and asks if she would mind helping him with it.
“Take that back, will you, lass?”
Lee can’t catch a break and I’m DYING!
She’s thinking, where the fuck are you going alone with my crush. Get back here. *starts following them* “What are you doing in there? I think you might want some help, let me in”.
Lee reminds me of the gay cat from Movie 43 who isn’t happy with his owner having a girlfriend.
Back in the surgery, Jamie reveals that he doesn’t actually need her help, he just thought he should see her back while she could still walk upright.
“Anyway I should go.”
“Wait. Let me have a look at that.”
“As you say.”
“Good night, Mr. Mactavish.”
“Good night, Mistress Beauchamp.”
*prolonged eye contact*
“Claire Beauchamp Randall, promise that you’ll return to me.”
“I will, Frank Randall. I promise.”
Jamie’s inner monologue: “I’m (s)creaming!”
The next day, while in the castle gardens, Claire encounters Geillis who tells her Father Bain is planning to perform an exorcism on Tammas Baxter.
“Do you not believe in demonic possession, Claire? … Have you never found yourself in a situation that has no earthly explanation?”
Um … does she know something? Girl getting real pacific.
“People believe the boy is possessed, Claire. You challenge that at your peril. I’ll not go near him, and neither should you.”
Geillis is a savage. Oh a boy is dying and I may be able to help? And he’s related to Mrs Fitz? Mrs Fitz?
Smart move though, this is still a time of ‘witches’. She should approach Mrs Fitz alone and make the offer to help in secret at an unsociable hour.
Claire visits the Baxters to find Tammas bound and sees Mrs Fitz. who says her sister has gone to fetch Father Bain.
“Are his symptoms similar to that of the other boy?”
“Aye, much the same. Wee Lindsay was weak to begin with, so the devil took him much faster.”
“His heart rate was slow and pupils pinpoints, a sign of poisoning.”
Can you imagine living in a time where you have been poisoned and people refuse to help because they think you’re possessed!? How infuriating and how heartbroken will the other mother whose child died feel if Tammas can be brought back to health and her child was let go because of ‘demons’.
“I believe I can ease his suffering. Just give me a chance.”
“Best make way now, lass. Let the father do his work.”
You can see Mrs Fitz considering the offer of help which means there must be some part of her which believes this is all bull. Or maybe she is protecting Claire, because she knows Father Bain is an absolute arsehole.
*sprinkles water* yes daddy, I mean father.
Claire returns to the castle and from the corner of her eye spots Laoghaire leading Jamie to a secret place where they kiss. Claire turns her head when Jamie see her looking but he smirks and continues.
Oh you want to ignore Laoghaire and pay attention to me, talk about your bandages to get away from her, look me in the eye, talk about smacking your arse with a couple of awkward silences thrown in and then kiss her cause you couldnae get yer hole fae me? And then smirk about it? Just you wait 30 seconds in TV time…
Claire sits in the hall across from Murtagh and Jamie and begins to tease Jamie about his time with Laoghaire.
“If her father or Colum comes to know about it, young Jamie could get more than a bloodied nose.”
“Like a wife?”
Me-ow! *purrs in agreement*
“That’s not the wife he should have.”
“He needs a woman, not a lassie. I’ve been around long enough to ken the difference very well, and so do you, mistress.”
Ooh, you almost had him Claire, walk it off.
Tbh I’m just voting for the winning side.
Claire is in the castle garden, crying from her embarrassing burn and admits to herself she teased Jamie because she was jealous of their intimacy and she missed her husband.
Oh that’s why you teased him?
Claire is accompanied by Dougal into the village to visit Geillis and restock her shelves before the gathering.
Galloping in there like ‘yeah, I’m the shit, I’m the what? Yeah I’m the shit, you villagers smell like what?’
“So is this your doing, my sudden but very welcome visit here?”
“As I told you, there’s many things in this world we can’t explain.”
“Sometimes I feel very much the stranger in a strange land.”
“It can’t be easy being a Sassenach in the Highlands assuming that’s what you mean.“
Okay, I’m convinced Geillis knows Claire’s secret. This questioning and prolonged eye contact is more than just Geillis needing glasses.
Claire and Geillis watch from the window as a boy is led through the village by Father Bain. He is being taken to Geillis’ husband Arthur to dispense justice.
“I need some peppermint, my dearest. I canna render judgment with a roiling gut.”
Eugh! I can’t STAND loud noises. Any kind of loud noise: sniffing, loud sipping or slurping, yawning, coughing, farting.
“He’s confessed, actually. Stole two bannocks from his employer. Father Bain is arguing for taking his hand. Says it’s the only way to save his immortal soul.”
Geillis said it best. “There’s no mercy in his bible or his heart.” Sometimes, people really do fit the stereotype and in a time where religion was power it’s only natural you would attract evil people who want a platform to hurt others.
“Can you not find it in your heart to be merciful, and you the soul of justice? Oh, my sweet, tender heart.”
“Since he’s confessed, I canna let him go, but perhaps one hour in the pillory and one year nailed.”
Ew, Geillis deserves all the awards for making him believe she’s into him. I’d use my herbs to kill him and take his money. This is the epitome of:
Is she putting herself at risk by living with all that fart near her experiments?
“You do puzzle me, Claire. One would think you don’t have pillories or punishment where you come from.”
“It’s different there.”
“Where, Oxfordshire? Wouldn’t think things were so different.”
“Then we can go downstairs and have a nice glass of port and tell each other all our secrets.”
Uh huh what secrets have you got Geillis, that you’re so interested in where Claire comes from? I see your red shoes, Dorothy.
“What is it?”
This is so me. Just when you think you’re settled, someone comes along to disturb you.
Jamie shows up to escort Claire home and tells Claire that the boy can leave anytime he wants. It’s just the lad’s not got up the courage to tear his ear from the nail.
Finally a TV character will know how we feel when it comes to cliffhangers. Sorry Geillis.
“Mr. Mactavish, your fingers, they’re quite strong, I suppose.”
Claire pretends to faint as Jamie tears the nail from the boy’s ear and sends him on his way. Geillis smiles from her window as she watches them.
Look at Jamie and Claire working as a team! I really hope they cross paths with the boy again some time in the future.
Aww Geillis is smiling!
I like how Geillis has befriended Claire and I feel it’s safe to say that she knows Claire has a good heart. And Jamie’s.
Jamie takes Claire to the Black Kirk and says that you might be lucky and find some berries or wood garlic to eat, which Claire finds out is actually poisonous lily of the valley. Claire informs Mrs Fitz and Mrs Baxter, telling them she can give Tammas something to counteract the poison.
“I am the lord’s disciple! You are not ordained to drive away the demon.”
Oh here we go. Get tae fuck. He looks like a demon himself. Claire is a professional while he plays at being one with his “holy water” (tap water). Using his power to play God. Picking and choosing the Lord’s ‘word’. That’s evil. But isn’t that what a lot of religious people do? Pick and choose?
“Let her pass, father.”
“I will not be ordered about by a woman.”
“This is my sister’s house, and my father’s before that, and we’ll decide what is done under its roof.”
YAS MRS FITZ. Kick that fucker out.
“I smell the vapours of hell on you.”
The vapours singed your hair off too. How many people died because of religion? Satan has claimed a body and we only have to look at the depth of your dark circles to figure out who.
Claire gives Tammas a decoction of belladonna, which would normalize his heart rate, lower his blood pressure and bring him back to consciousness within moments if it worked. If she was wrong about the dosage or the original poison, it would cause convulsions and kill the boy almost as quickly.
*kills him* oh it was the demons, the demons.
How must the first family and all the other families who lost children feel that their son(s) died while Claire was able to save Tammas? Would they hear that it was specifically poison? Surely it would make them question their beliefs to a degree.
“Satan may like to make a fool of God, but God will have the last word. I promise you that.”
Oh, I don’t like that. Geillis, I think Father Bain is hungry can you make him something to eat? I’ve just heard of this wonderful herb, wood garlic?
Claire is in the stables with Jamie who tells her that Mrs Fitz now calls her The Miracle Worker.
“At the very least, I hope I’ve earned a measure of trust from Colum.”
“He’s taking credit for bringing you on as healer to the Mackenzies. I doubt he’ll want to see you leave anytime soon.”
Imagine dedicating so much time to something just to see it fail. Wait. I just shaded my entire existence.
That night, Claire deliberates watching Gwyllyn the bard in the hall. Jamie invites Claire to sit with him.
“I almost stayed in my room. I had no desire to see that mixture of awe and suspicion that seemed to follow me everywhere now.”
“I almost stayed in my room.” Me when relatives try to be nice and visit the family. Claire sounds like an angry child.
I’d walk into the hall pretending to be humble while internally basking in the attention and my glory.
“Now this one is about a man out late on a fairy hill on the eve of Samhain who hears the sound of a woman singing sad and plaintive from the very rocks of the hill.”
“I am a woman of Balnain.
I stood upon the hill, and wind did rise, and the sound of thunder rolled across the land.
I placed my hands upon the tallest stone and travelled to a far, distant land where I lived for a time among strangers who became lovers and friends.
But one day, I saw the moon came out and the wind rose once more so I touched the stones and travelled back to my own land and took up again with the man I had left behind.”
WHO IS SHE. WHO IS THE WOMAN OF BALNAIN? I though for a second it could be about Claire and maybe it was a past that is in her future?
“My heart suddenly lightened, and I knew in that moment I could no longer wait for permission or assistance. I must escape Castle Leoch and get back to the stones as soon as possible or die trying.”
Claire I have too many questions! What time did the woman of Balnain come from? Did she hear stories about others? Did anyone help her? Did she ever want to go back to the past? Did she miss her friends? Did she find her own Jamie? Did she prefer his skills?
Claire is noticeably acting weird, surely Jamie would pick up on that. Maybe it was because I was brought up on Charmed that my first instinct would be ‘omg she’s asking questions about the song and acting weird … she’s from the future’.
*everyone starts clapping as they wait for the Bard’s beat drop*
I freaking love this show and I’ve had the Season One soundtrack on repeat. Bear McCreary is a genius.
But no I haven’t been listening to it and constructing scenarios in my head that match the tone of the song. Totally not.
I hope you enjoyed our reaction to this episode, this one seemed longer than the others but I’m too lazy to check so let’s run with it. I can imagine these would be boring as hell to read on their own which is why we prefer you read them along with the show to make you feel as if you have someone to watch it with. Anyway, on to the next episode…
See you then!
Season 1, Episode 1: Sassenach
Season 1, Episode 2: Castle Leoch