Title: Outlander S1.E02 “Castle Leoch”
Released: 2014
Series:  Outlander

Kilt Drops: 0

Previously on Outlander: Claire falls into the 18th century while on her honeymoon.

Welcome back to the land of hot Scots and fragile-looking 40s proto-feminists! In case you’re just joining us, Kandis and I are switching off recapping duties each week.

This week, upon request by Facebook commenter Lauren, we are instituting a drinking game. Grab those brunchtime bottomless mimosas (or whisky, if you aim for authenticity) and join us. Here are the rules so far.

The Official FYA Outlander Season 1 Drinking Game

Take a sip when:

  • Claire uses her knowledge of the 20th century to help her in 1743
  • Someone adjusts their kilt
  • Someone explains a highland custom or translates for Claire
  • Someone gives Claire a look to imply they know she’s full of it

Take a shot when:

  • Claire fights with her hair
  • Jamie refers to Claire as “Sassenach”
  • Claire verbally dresses someone down

Chug your entire drink when:

  • it gets rapey

Ready the drinks and let’s get to it!

After Claire’s traumatic apparition in the 18th century, escape from attempted rape by her contemporary husband’s lookalike ancestor, and capture by Jamie, she is brought to Castle Leoch. Greeted by the exuberant Mrs. Fitzgibbons, who eyes her warily, Claire immediately wants to go tend to Jamie’s bandages rather than put on something a little less see-through. “We’ll get you something to wear,” Mrs. Fitzgibbons says, “something a bit more…more.”

But the call of the fireside wound-tending proves persuasive to Mrs. Fitz, too. As they walk through the hallways of the castle, the scene flickers to when Claire and Frank walked the halls in the twentieth century. It’s an effective tool, and rather haunting. (Perhaps it’s the history major in me, but I love imagining what ruins looked like in their heyday.)

Claire tends to Jamie’s wounds, revealing a back that looks like a scored Christmas ham (and a front that looks like a Greek god, but I digress). Randall is responsible for these wounds – in a flashback, they show Randall and his army approaching Jamie’s home. He was working in the fields when he heard his sister Jenny shouting. When Jamie comes to help, he finds two redcoats assaulting her. Randall, close by, has Jamie flogged for “obstruction,” and offers Jenny a deal: sleep with him or Jamie continues to be whipped. Against Jamie’s wishes, she does.

As Claire trusses Jamie’s arm up, he notes that her husband must be a lucky man, which gives her pause. What must Frank think? Does he think she’s dead, abducted, did she run off with another man? The thought is enough to make her burst into tears, and she tells Jamie that her husband is dead. (She says “not alive,” which is not a lie.) Jamie holds her, and there’s a palpable moment of attraction that I cannot imagine would be too difficult to act out. When she pulls away, he tells her that she’ll be safe with him – why? Because she’s English in a place where it’s not safe to be English.

After Mrs. Fitz gets Claire gussied up in a proper 18th century dress, she’s taken to meet the Laird of the castle, Colum McKenzie. Colum interrogates Claire about why she was in the woods in a state of undress (traveling to France to meet distant family, set upon by highway robbers, Randall attempted to rape her), and seems most interested in the attempted rape. After all, Randall is a redcoat, but an officer and a gentleman – what reason would he have to rape her? Claire snaps, “Is there ever a good reason for rape?”

Colum promises that he will arrange for Claire to be transported back to Inverness (close to where the stone circle is located) in five days’ time. Satisfied, Claire goes to dinner that night and is seated between Colum and Dougal – only to be interrogated again after several glasses of wine.

The next day, Claire goes out to tend Jamie’s wounds again; in the stable he offers more of his backstory. He has been on the run for four years, as he is wanted for murder (he didn’t kill anyone). Colum and Dougal have offered him protection, as they are his uncles.

Later, Claire meets Geillis Duncan as she’s gathering plants – a slyly charming woman whom I immediately like. It appears Claire does as well, despite Geillis warning Claire that people call her a witch – and Claire, an English spy.

Geillis accompanies Claire to the hall that evening where she explains that Jamie has offered to take a punishment for a young girl whose father accused her of “loose behavior.” He does it because while he will be further injured, he’ll heal; she would be humiliated. Claire is obviously moved by his display of gallantry, but since she’s leaving in a few days, might as well not go down that road.

Or is she? As Claire sets out (in a rather fabulous outfit, I might add), Dougal informs her that Colum wants her in the dungeon-like bowels of the castle (where she and Frank had their tryst). Colum informs her that she is to stay on as the castle’s healer. “You mean as your prisoner,” a visibly angry Claire spits. “Only if you try to leave,” Colum replies.

Kilt Drops: 0

But hey, at least Jamie takes his shirt off a few times. S is for shirtless and that’s good enough for me.


  • Oops, Claire mistakes Hamish, the young boy, for Dougal’s child, not Colum’s. Colum’s wife is quick to assert that that kid is DEFINITELY Colum’s, yes sir, nothing to see here.

  • Geillis points out abortifacients to Claire right away, apropos of nothing. Does she see Claire and Jamie’s certain sexy future?

  • Mrs. Fitz knows what’s up. 

So what did you think? Book fans, are you pleased? Newbies, are you intrigued? Drinkers, are you still alive? To the comments!

Next episode: Claire tries to escape.