I must begin this re-cap with a confession. For over 20 years, I’ve been reading and waiting and reading and longing to see Outlander with my very own blue eyes, so for the first 10 or 15 minutes, the voice in my head was shouting ‘Oh God, Oh God, there’s Claire. Oh God, Oh God, there’s Frank’, etc. It actually took several viewings for me to calm the heck down so I could process.
We open with Claire as she buckles in for her first flash back as she gazes into a shop window and thinks about getting that blue vase and not the other item in the window that MILLIONS of women wish they could possess.
We then flash back to assertive WWII Army Nurse Claire being sprayed with blood as she works inside a soldier’s leg which looks like a Halloween Gore Fest. Suddenly people are shouting the war’s over and someone hands Claire some booze, which she knocks back straight from the bottle. I immediately wonder if Milton Bradley’s still in business cuz I want an Outlander drinking game with a board and teeny little wine glasses, kilts and sporrans and I want it NOW.
Claire and Frank drive through the countryside in a car I lust for as I love all things 1940’s. And speaking of the 1940’s, the music is magical and Claire & Frank’s 1940’s costumes are making me want to time travel my ownself and I am entranced. They pull up in front of Mrs. Baird’s B&B and Frank asks Claire if that’s blood on the buildings (which book Frank would know perfectly well). #ImABookWhiner They check in with Mrs. Baird and Frank begins to wax on all things Scottish and historical (See, he knew about the blood!) and our couple heads up to the honeymoon suite where they can enjoy some Hawt Honeymoon Happenings! Frank approaches the bed (ooh tingles!), sits down and opens a book. ^insert sound of needle scratching across a record^ Say What? I’m no Dr. Ruth, but I’m pretty sure ‘reading’ isn’t in the top five Family Feud list of honeymoon activities. Claire has to LITERALLY jump up and down on the bed to get him to close the damn book and look at her so the festivities can begin.
Since they’re on their honeymoon, the first full day is spent visiting the remains of Castle Leoch, home of Clan MacKenzie as Frank reads from a guidebook and drones on about his dead ancestors. I realize we need to learn about Claire and Frank’s relationship, but I wish he was a little more exciting. Didn’t he used to be a spy? Shouldn’t he be all sexy and mysterious and clomp around with a folded London Times under his arm? Back in the castle dungeon, Claire has other ideas which culminate with Frank going ‘downtown’ which is Not. In. The. Book. #IKnowImBeingABookWhiner Later, in the dusty library of local historian and minister, Rev. Wakefield, they discuss Frank’s ancestor Black Jack Randall. (I pictured the Reverend as more professorial and less Mr. Bean but whatevs, I like him.) The Rev’s housekeeper, Mrs. Graham, offers Claire a cuppa Oolong in her huge kitchen (is that an Aga?!?!) and I immediately love Mrs. Graham. Can she be my friend? She offers to read Claire’s tea leaves and palm and announces that Claire’s ‘marriage line is divided’, ‘she’s going on a long trip and staying put’ and implies Claire likes to get jiggy with it and it dawns on Claire that the housekeeper may be a cuckoo bird and she tries to politely yank her hand away as the men walk into the room. I keep looking around for wee Roger Wakefield, but there’s no trace of the little fella, not a Tonka truck or plush Barney toy to be seen.
That evening, Frank walks home and sees a tall, loyal, funny, loving, sexy (oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself….pant pant) Highlander peeping into Claire’s room.
On a dime, his eyes transform from gentle Frank to angry Black Jack, he sets his shoulders and approaches the man who promptly disappears before his eyes. As one would logically do, #EyeRoll Frank then goes upstairs and accuses his wife of cheating on him. Digression alert! Claire’s diaphanous peignoir set is ‘spot on’ and I salute the costume designer. Eventually Frank remembers he’s on his honeymoon, he apologizes and they resume the festivities. Later, lying in the afterglow, Frank turns and asks her to set the ALARM so he can get up early to go see some witches dance. Oh….Frank.
They’re up before sunrise and go watch the dancing druids at Craigh Na Dun and the music, costumes, lanterns, sunrise and lighting are transcendent. Mrs. Graham is the Head Witch(!) and Frank and Claire are watching them in perfect Magic Hour light. Not since Grace Kelly or Ava Gardner has anyone rocked a head scarf like our Claire. Later back in their room, Frank’s all with the ‘I’m gonna go see the Rev today’, but Claire seems okay with it, so who am I to judge and she tells Frank she’s going back to the stones to pick flowers and pulls his tie, gives him a sweet kiss and says see ya later gator. She seems so content…rut roh.
Our girl hikes up the hill to gather flowers but she hears a sound coming from a tall stone, so she walks over and places her hands on it. Bam! She wakes up on the ground, confused and frightened…gets up and stumbles in the direction of her car which she can’t find. Suddenly, she hears a loud gun, shouting men and sees Red Coats chasing Highlanders. She falls ass over tea kettle, her white dress ripping and getting muddy and all I can think is that even with Stain Stick and Tide, she’s never gonna get that sucker clean again. Wait, is that Frank by the water? No, it appears to be the sadomasochistic, Black Jack Randall. She flees, he catches her and since he has a few free moments, decides to rape her until she is suddenly rescued by a stinky man with expressive eyebrows.
She wakes up on a horse approaching a cottage with the stinky man (hint: it’s Murtagh). They enter the cottage, there’s some debate about who she is, when our attention turns to a rugged, young Scotsman near the fire next to what appears to be a hunky, long-haired Scottish Santa sitting across from him. Our young hero’s shoulder bone is sticking out at an odd angle and MY shoulder begins to ache as I’m prone to sympathetic medical feelings or SMF. Claire can’t help herself, she won’t sit by and watch them hurt the dreamy dude, so she plops a white nurse hat on her head, marches over and shoves his shoulder back into place.
Her reward for repairing his shoulder is to get on the horse with the dreamboat (Hint: his name is Jamie) and ride for two days. He pulls her up onto the horse, and I just know this is the part where he’s supposed to swirl his plaid around them with one hand, but instead he just awkwardly yanks at it like a normal human. (I guess there wasn’t enough money in the budget for twirly kilt stuff which gives me a quick case of the sadz.) I recover quickly though as I’m still high from watching this!! So……they ride and ride and ride. Oh look, there’s the mountain that Frank told Claire about when he was yammering on about history instead of boinking his wife. Claire realizes this is the place where the Red Coats hide and ambush the good guys, so she turns into Chatty Cathy and tells them so Jamie dumps her off his horse with a quick ‘Hide yo wife, hide yo kids’ and they gallop off to fight the bad guys. “I’m free” thinks young ‘Mrs. Beauchamp’ and she makes a run for it.
‘Not so fast’ shouts our young hero, as he recaptures her without breaking a sweat although he is covered with some nasty blood. She stomps her foot and says she won’t go back, so Jamie asks if she wants him to pick her up, throw her over his shoulder and take her back. ‘Do you want me to do that?’ asks our hero ‘HELL YESSSSSS! scream thousands of women around the world. They hightail it back to the others and, not for nothin, but Dougal is Mr. Grumpypants tonight. The chick in the nightie just saved his life, he could be a tad grateful.
Our travelers are making their way slowly, through the woods at night, when Jamie does a sideways somersault off the horse and lands with a thud. (I sure hope a stunt person did that or they had magic puffy movie pillows to break his fall, cuz that looked painful.) Claire jumps off her horse, sees the gunshot wound in his shoulder, calls unconscious Jamie an idiot, gets frustrated, swears like a sailor and takes the Lord’s name in vain. The brave warriors are stunned by this foul mouthed female but Jamie wakes up as the whisky hits the wound, just in time to fall in love with the filthy, bellowing, profane chick sitting on his chest. (I may be getting a bit ahead of myself, but trust me…..I read the book a few hundred times!) It’s HAPPENING FOLKS, it’s HAPPENING!!!
Finally, the weary travelers are home….they’ve arrived back at Castle Leoch where Claire had been two days prior…or in the future…she’s so confused… I, however, am already yearning for the next episode like a pathetic crack addict looking for my next fix as this is the best television I’ve ever seen and I. Want. More.