Outlander Recap S01E01 Sassenach

People disappear all of the time. Some runaway, most are found, usually. Claire has never lived in one place long enough to own such a simple thing as a vase, and she could not think of anything she wanted more. It’s six months after the end of the war now, but then, Claire performs some emergency surgery on a soldier, until the doctors can take over. There’s celebrations erupting all around her. The war is finally over. She drinks deeply from the champagne bottle that she’s holding. In her mind VE day grows fainter, but the day she saw that vase does not. She remembers it clearly, and she knows even with the heartache that follows she wouldn’t change a thing. It’s a beautiful beginning to the beloved Diana Gabaldon series, let’s just hope that they get this one right.

Claire and Frank were in Scotland on their second honeymoon. They needed a holiday to get to know the people they’ve become after the days apart. The houses have blood smeared on the door, some sort of pagan ritual surely. Still they enter the bed and breakfast. The blood is a tradition of sacrifice to a saint. The Samhain holiday that is about to begin, so it’ll be a festive time.

Before the war Claire and Frank were inseparable, and when the war ended they thought things would get back to normal, but they hadn’t. Frank bounces on the bed, trying to settle in as they wonder if the sound carries. Claire jumps on the bed, trying for a bit of fun and gets Frank to join her. The lady of the house, can indeed hear the sounds downstairs. They’ve both missed eachother, it’s clear. Frank use to sketch the lines of her hands when they were apart. They kiss, and the bouncing starts in a different way.

The pair go driving through the highlands, as Frank gives her a little bit of a history lesson. Claire doesn’t mind though having been raised by an archeologist. She was accustomed to many things not suitable for a lady of gentle birth.

Frank’s new passion was genealogy, his in particular, and while hers was botany. Burying himself if the distant past helped him escaped his memories of the war. They wander the ruins of a castle. Frank send dozens of men behind enemy lines, many who never returned. Deeper into the castle they go. They ponder the use of one of the rooms, and Claire has an idea what should be done in that room. Claire’s left her undergarments at home to make things a little easier, and Frank drops to his knees to make good use of the table.

Frank has found an ancestry link he’s been looking for. Black Jack spent some time harassing the Scotsman. Claire sips some tea in the kitchen, and the lady of the house talks about tea readings. Claire drinks her down, and waits for her reading. The leaves are all contradicaory. There’s a journey, but also staying put. There are men, and her husband. The woman asks to see her hand. Most hands have a likeness, a pattern, but Claire’s is unusual, no pattern. She’s strong willed. She has a large sexual appetite. There are bits and pieces. Her marriage line is divided, but not broken. It’s forked. Frank and the Reverend talk more history, and Claire goes to take a bath. The Reverend invites her to a pagan festival, which surprises her. On the way home she couldn’t shake the odd feelings from her reading.

The rain pours down as Frank finally makes his way back to the bed and breakfast. There’s a man outside waiting, and when Frank approaches him he disappears. Frank is disturbed, and he’s unsure if he saw a ghost. He tells her of his experience and asks if she had any Scots under her care in the war. She did, and he hated needles. She asks what he’s actually asking. He thought the ghost outside was staring up at her, and he wonders if he was someone looking to reconnect. He tells her that he loves her no matter what, and if she was unfaithful he would love her still. He asks her forgiveness, and she gives it. The two get naked and make up. Sex was their bridge back to each other. Claire had faith that as long as they had that, everything would work out. After as they lay together, Frank wants to set an alarm. He wants to check out some druids.

The pair walk together to observe the ritual. They hide out of sight as the druids come with their lanterns. It’s eerie and beautiful as they walk about the stones. Claire cannot take her eyes off of them. They should have been ridiculous, but they were not. Some voice in her head told her that she wasn’t supposed to be there, she could almost feel the power as the druids danced about. As the sun rises, they remain watching the ceremony. The ceremony comes to an end. Claire and Frank get a closer look at the stones now that the druids have left. Claire takes an interest in the plants at the foot of one. Someone approaches and Claire and Frank hide. They sneak off as the girl sits on a fallen tree.

Claire spends her morning reading about the flower she spotted. She wishes to go back for a sample. Frank has a different agenda though, and the pair make dinner plans. Alone, Claire heads back to the stones, and her flower. She walks among the great boulders. She picks one of the flowers, and a great wind rolls in. One of the rocks almost calls to her, and she lays her hands on it.

Once she fell asleep in a car, and she woke to a highspeed car accident. That’s kind of what she felt. She awakes in the grass, and staggers away from the rock. She runs towards her car, but it’s not there, nor is the road. Claire searches, but nothing looks familiar. Gunfire sounds in the distant. She sees soldiers run by. Her brain tries to make sense of the uniforms that she sees, thinking perhaps she stumbled into a costumed set, but there was no reason for actors to fire live ammunition. Claire runs from both the English and the kilted Scotsmen.

She happens on a man who looks like her husband Frank. He doesn’t recognize her, and she asks who he is. He’s Captain Jonathan. She runs from him, and he catches her easily. He questions who she is, and doesn’t believe words. She spits at him, and he takes her for a whore to be raped. A Scotsman saves her, and knocks her out. He takes her via his horse back to his clan. They look her over, and she continues to use her maiden name to protect Frank. The Scotsman tells them where he found her, and with whom. They ask her if she is a whore, and she tells them that she is not. One of their men, Jamie, is injured Claire notices. The wise thing would have been to keep her head down and wait for rescue she reasons. She sees three of them preparing to incorrectly set the arm of another, and she stops them. She sets the arm correctly, and tells him that it’ll be tender for a week. She has the men fetch her supplies to make a sling, and gives further instruction for the car of the joint. All fixed, the man can ride. He thanks her for what she’s done. The group sets out, and Claire notices that she cannot see the city. There were no electrical lights anywhere. Claire is put onto the horse with Jamie to ride. He covers them both with his plaids. They have some long, wet riding ahead of them. Through the evening and into morning they ride, and on and on. The men and their mounts look exhausted. Claire recognizes the rock from Frank’s little history lesson. She warns that the English use one of the rocks for ambush. Jamie takes her warning to heart and warns the others. Dougal asks how she knows the English use it for ambush. Claire tells him that she heard so in the village. They hear a noise, and Jamie dumps her from his horse. The English were hiding. Claire runs deeper into the forest, but she doesn’t get far before Jamie finds her. She sees that he’s hurt, but he tells her that most of it isn’t his blood. He tells her that they should go, but she doesn’t want to go with him. He warns that she doesn’t look too heavy, and he’s prepared to throw her over his shoulder. She doesn’t want him to do that, so she makes the good choice to go with him. His shoulder hurts, but he didn’t have much of a choice. She’s feeling less than festive, and Dougal doesn’t look pleased with her either.

Night falls, and Jamie begins to fade. Claire calls out as Jamie falls from his horse. She finds that he’s been shot. The idiot never said anything. The bullet went clean through by the looks of it, but he’s lost some blood, and his wound needs to be treated. She cleans it with some alcohol. The men look at her like she’s crazy. She rips some fabric from her dress to bandage his wounds. Her words shock the men, they think that her husband should throttle her, but she has words for pretty much everyone. Jamie needs rest, but there is no time for that. Black Jack Randall is coming after them, and he’s the unsavory type. All fixed up, Jamie thanks her for all that she did, and its back onto the horse.

The clan rides through the night again, and they finally make it to the castle that she visited with Frank. They’ve finally arrived but Claire’s journey has just begun.

So what did you guys think? Did Outlander live up to expectations? So far, I have to say most certainly. The casting is so fantastic, and the pace perfect. Good job Starz, you didn’t ruin one of my favorite books.


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