Title: Outlander S1.E01 “Sassenach”
Released: 2014
Series:  Outlander

Kilt Drops: 3

It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! Has there ever been a more hyped book-to-television event? Jennie and I will be taking turns recapping the show. Full disclosure: I first read Outlander when I was 14 years-old. And have reread the books a hundred times since then. I can’t wait to share this with y’all and please excuse all of the feelings I’m about to have in your face.

You guys? One of my all-time favorite novels has a theme song and a title sequence. This is surreal. Now I know how those Game of Thrones freaks feel. I kid! Arya Stark is everything. Don’t hurt me.

Claire voice-overs that people disappear all the time, and that many of the lost will be found, eventually. “Disappearances, after all, have explanations. Usually.”

Celebrating the end of the war like any FYA girl would.

The first flashback shows us that Claire was a badass combat nurse during World War II, but now she and her husband, Frank, are on a second honeymoon in Scotland, after five years of being separated by the war. They observe some blood over the doors of multiple houses before checking in to their Inverness inn. The innkeeper regals them with the charming local custom of making sacrifices to St. Orin and warns of the wandering ghosts proceeding the Samhain festival.

Another flashback shows us that Claire was raised by her bachelor uncle on archaeology digs, and between that and the war, has never had much of a real home. She’s never even owned a vase. Girl, I have a dozen of them, and they just collect dust. Don’t even bother. Claire and Frank are traipsing around the Scottish countryside while he indulges in his current fascination with genealogy and she with botany. They end up visiting the ruins of Castle Leoch. Can you just wander around castle ruins in Scotland? Field trip! Something about the dirty, musty, and surely dank ruins, appeals to Claire. She lures Frank over to where she’s sitting and in her direct fashion, she pushes him down to his knees in front of her, where he’s expected to get to work. Turns out, Claire doesn’t always wear undergarments.

Sorry Frank. Ain’t nobody shipping this.

While visiting boring old history buff, Reverend Wakefield, Claire is treated to a tea leaves reading by his housekeeper, Mrs. Graves. Apparently, Claire speaks her mind and has a contradictory future. Her palm is equally confusing. Two husbands, and a forked life line. I’d be all “Yeah, yeah, yeah. But do I win the lotto?”

That night, while fighting with her frizzy hair (this will likely be a reoccurring theme), a man watches her through the windows, from the shadows below. Frank spots him, but the man disappears suddenly. Frank wonders if it was someone that Claire had an affair with during the war, who was seeking her out. Claire reassures him with more sexy times. And Starz trots out the nudity in true premium cable fashion.

They awake at dawn to go see a haunting ceremony of dancing “druids” celebrating Samhain at the nearby standing stones. When Claire returns later, to seek out out a plant, the stones are growling, and she goes closer to investigate, and touches them. She wakes on the ground to find the usual Inverness landmarks are missing. Musket fire and red-coated soldiers running about have her speculating that she must have stumbled upon a costume drama filming. She finds a man by a stream, that appears to be Frank, in a red uniform. But he introduces himself as Captain Jonathan Randall (an ancestor that Frank had been researching). He then chases her down, and holds her at knife-point before attempting to rape her. Captain Jonathan Randall, ESQUIRE, ladies and gentlemen. She’s rescued by a dirty, bearded man, who quickly knocks her unconscious to get her to stop screaming. When she awakes (again), he’s taking her by horseback, to a thatched cottage, full of kilted, and Gaelic speaking Scotsmen. He explains to their leader that he found her in the woods, having words with Captain Randall, and that “There seemed to be some question as to whether the lady was or was not a whore.” This is direct from the book, and also, when I became Team Murtagh forever.

Claire interrupts the men to tell them that they’re resetting a dislocated shoulder all wrong, and ends up doing it herself. The recipient of her ministrations is an extremely good-looking young man we’ll call Jamie. Just before being plopped up on the horse with the hot guy, and threatened by Dougal with throat slitting, should she try to escape, Claire comes to the conclusion that she’s not in Kansas anymore. Or, you know, the 20th century.

Feel free to rhapsodize about the casting in the comments.

The injured Jamie attempts to wrap his tartan around Claire, because he can tell she’s shivering. And because he’s the swooniest. Claire warns him that they’re near an area frequently ambushed by Redcoats, intel she has from one of Frank’s history lessons. Jamie tosses her off the horse, before heading into battle with more British troops. Claire tries to make a run for it in the forest, but he’s back to get her before she gets very far.

By nightfall, Jamie passes out and falls off the horse. Claire bosses people around like she’s in a combat hospital, but all they can offer her is booze for disinfecting. The burly Scotsmen are all scandalized by her frustrated cursing. I heart Claire’s foul mouth. Claire gets hot young Jamie all patched up and ready to keep riding. “Thank you, Sassenach.” I’ve only waited 22 years to hear Jamie Frasier say that. Flirting over gunshot wounds is how it all begins.

Kilt Drops: 3 (although no actual kilts at this time, mostly just Claire’s dresses)

  • Claire and Frank test out the bed, after checking into their Inn.

  • Claire gets surprisingly randy when surrounded by dusty ruins, and gets straight to the point.

  • Back at the Inn, Claire soothes Frank’s jealousy.


  • Claire and Frank jumping up and down on the bed is some super weird foreplay.

  • What’s with the 18th century practice of raping first and asking questions later? As Claire would say, Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.

  • “How could I remember something that hadn’t happened yet?” I have a feeling that Claire will be asking herself this one a lot.

Well?! Was it everything you hoped for and more? Superfans and new converts: let’s talk!

Next: Claire meets more MacKenzies, is suspected of being a spy, and gets Jamie in a mess of trouble.

Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.