Episode 44 – Outlander!
A little background for those of you who don’t know, the show is based on a book (or series of books) by Diana Galbadon, click here for more info.
So the story centers around Claire Beauchamp Randall (Fraser) and begins just after WWII. She and her husband Frank Randall have spent the last 5 years of the war apart, and the story begins with Frank and Claire going on a second honeymoon in Scotland to try to reconnect. I love that it starts off with a healthy dose of the getting-to-know-you awkwardness. Frank worked in intelligence and so his whole life during the war was keeping secrets, while Claire was a infantry nurse, and you kind of see at the beginning how closed off she is. Even when they announce the end of the war she doesn’t join in the celebrations with the other people, she drinks alone, still covered in blood from her last patient. So it’s good to see them trying to deconstruct what the war has made them as individuals and build something new together as a unit.
So you have Claire and Frank trying to rebuild something, and getting to know each other again, and doing a splendid job of it when one day after witnessing what looks like a pagan rite, Claire touches a stone in a ring of standing stones, or henge if you prefer, and wakes up to find herself in the middle of a battle between English redcoats and Scottish Highlanders.
That’s the first shock…the second shock comes when she sees one of the redcoats is the spitting image of her husband Frank. And because Frank was such an avid ancestry hound, you realize this was his ancestor, the famous Black Jack Randall. Now, Frank Randall is a loving, calm, mild-mannered guy. Black Jack Randall is a monster who just happens to wear his face, and he wastes no time in assaulting Claire.
Claire is saved by the highlanders, and taken in after she is able to fix one of the men’s dislocated shoulders. (Jamie) She’s taken back to Castle Leoch and While at the castle (Clan MacKenzie) she’s grilled by the Laird (Colum Mackenzie) and his brother Dougal and suspected of being an english spy. the basic premise of the show is her trying to get back to the stones and back to her own time without getting herself killed in the meantime.
Part of this means protection. In those days, protection meant marriage. A husband, a clan. So Claire is married off to young Jamie, who we are supposed to believe is still a virgin despite looking like this.
Through a bit of uncomfortable circumstance, the midseason point finds Claire this close to getting back to Frank, only to wind up in the none-too-gentle care of Black Jack, who flies his Psychopath flag loud and proud.
Everything came together brilliantly. I read the books so I knew what was going to happen, but I was still on the edge of my seat saying “oh shit, oh shit!”
The biggest challenge for me, going forward, is to not SPOIL EVERYONE on how this season will end.
What did all of you think?