Smart ladies love TV, Outlander recap, Sassenach


We gave you the five reasons to watch Outlander and now since your here we assume that you did and are about to read our recap –YAY and WELCOME!


We start Outlander with voice over from Claire Randall our heroine in a lovely English accent (which is how all heroines should sound) and are shown beautiful scenery of Scotland (I WANT TO GO TO THERE). I know most people are going to have issues with Claire’s voice over but I really like Caitrione Balfe’s voice (seriously it’s like butter) and the book is written from Claire’s POV so I think some of it is necessary, especially since this is the premiere. Claire stops in front of a shop window in gorgeous Inverness, Scotland and muses about buying a vase in the window and how if she bought it all might have been different (I have bought a lot of shit in my life thinking it will make it different so I totally understand Claire’s dilemma). While she muses (over the not-that-pretty vase) we flashback to Claire as a wartime nurse on VE-day. She pretty much saves a dude’s leg but gets like zero respect from the male doctor (which pretty much sums up the thesis of the show). Claire does celebrate VE-day by swigging champagne from a bottle . Claire is smart, competent, good under pressure AND likes booze–Claire and I are going to be fast friends.


I enjoy the opening credit sequence. I will probably go through a period where I hum it randomly during the day AND hate myself for loving it but I am a sucker for bagpipes and drums.

FORTIES MUSIC (also a fave)! Frank and Claire are on their second honeymoon in Scotland driving around in a gorgeous convertible. I really love Claire’s coat, hat, and scarf (be forewarned I will most likely gush over the clothes). All of the homes around their B&B have blood over the door. Frank, a historian, gets into a conversation with the middle-aged Scottish proprietor about the blood and pagan holidays –Frank is going to be a professor of history at Oxford (good for Frank) but does he have to educate all of us. The proprietor gives them a wry smile and warns them about ghosts.


In their room Frank and Claire are awkward about being alone together and about the creaks their bed makes (or rather Frank is awkward and Claire is randy). Claire informs us that during the war they only saw each other for ten days. When Frank seems reluctant to get busy, Claire bounces on the bed and teases him. After the frivolity of the bed-bouncing the two have a discussion about how they longed for each other while apart and then get down to the business of starting a family (Frank brings this up and they share a look like that hasn’t been going well).

More driving in Scotland (it’s so pretty!). Frank uses his time driving to tell Claire and US all of his fun facts about Scotland (you can’t knock a dude who knows fun facts). Claire uses this time to flashback to her youth as an assistant for her the archaeologist uncle who raised her. When they get to Castle Leoch, Frank gives us more fun facts AND we learn he is really into his Randall family genealogy. We also learn of Claire’s passion in herbology for medicinal purposes –oh Claire I fear you are going to really have to use this skill very soon. We also learn that during the war Frank was a spy and that he is kind of sad about this –poor sad Frank. Frank gets wistful going through the ruins AND Claire gets randy (yes I love the word randy). Claire seduces Frank into going down on her in the ruins by not wearing any knickers (add really into sex to the list of Claire’s awesomeness as the lead character of this show).


Frank and the local vicar are hanging out going through Frank’s genealogy, more specifically his ancestor Black Jack Randall. We also learn that “sassenach” means Outlander so episode one is self-titled only in Gaelic –so many FUN FACTS. Claire goes off with the vicar’s housekeeper to drink tea and get a reading (I want to get a palm reading by a middle-aged British lady in tweed). Claire’s tea leaves and palm are nothing but a bunch of contradictions, such as her forked marriage line (what can it mean?). We do learn, though, that Claire is strong-minded, willful, AND really into sex (go Claire). They are interrupted by Frank and the vicar who are still mulling over all that they have learned about Black Jack Randall (such as his probable Jacobite patron the Duke of Sandringham). Claire goes home to take a bath but leaves Frank with the vicar.

On his way home Frank spots a man in full kilt watching Claire brush her hair in the window. When Frank confronts him the man disappears and all of the lights go out –SPOOKY. Frank goes in and tells Claire he fears he just saw a ghost. He then asks Claire if she had an affair with one of the soldiers she nursed during the war possibly a Scot how looks fine in a kilt (I added that last bit). Claire gets upset but Frank assures her he would love her regardless of a wartime affair (that Frank is a keeper, he is into oral sex and historical fun facts ALSO does not care if you sleep around). They then have sex while Claire tells us all about their love-life via voice-over.


Frank makes them get up early on their trip (ugh) to see a group of witches/druids perform a ritual at a circle of stones called Craigh na Dun (a mini Stonehenge). This is beautifully filmed, which makes it feel way less hokey; well that, and Frank, who lends a level of authority to everything he does. Claire and Frank are nearly found snooping around by one of the witches/druids but they leave just in time. Before they leave Claire spots a flower she would have liked to have taken with her. Later that day Frank leaves to go through papers the vicar found on Black Jack Randall and Claire decides to go back to Craigh na Dun to pick the forget-me-nots she left behind.

Claire goes back wearing a gorgeous white dress, lovely tartan shawl, and brown leather oxfords with a modest heal (I WANT YOUR CLOTHES CLAIRE). While picking the flowers she hears weird noises coming from the center stone. When she goes to investigate the screen cuts to black and we flashback to Claire in a car crash which she describes as not nearly as bad as what she felt when she touched the rock. When she comes to she discovers her car is gone. She wonders around trying to find the road but finds British red coat soldiers/dragoons instead. At first Claire believes she has wandered into a movie set as that is logical but then realizes that the bullets are real –not logical. Claire loses her belt in her mad dash away from the fighting –ALSO BAGPIPES!


While running Claire comes upon a clearing and sees a red coat washing up who she at first mistakes as Frank (umm Frank likes history but the last time we saw him he was not going to a war reenactment; though in Claire’s defense, Black Jack is indeed played by the same actor as Frank and she has just had an incredibly weird experience). The man who is NOT Frank introduces himself and Jonathan Randall AKA Black Jack. Instead of Frank’s ancestor being a lovely chap who loves fun facts and tweed, Black Jack is instead a sadistic rapist who immediately attacks poor confused Claire when she has the audacity to call him a bastard. Claire tries to fight him off but just as it looks like she is about to be overpowered, a Highlander attacks Black Jack from behind. Claire’s rescue is short-lived because the Highlander knocks her out too. When Claire comes to, she is calm enough to tell us her captor smells terrible and that it is NOT a dream.

Her rescuer/abductor takes her to a cottage where she gives her name as Claire Beauchamp to the leader and tells them that she is NOT a whore.  In the cottage several other highlanders are hiding out, one is half-naked, extremely hot (I try to point out the most important things) and apparently injured. Claire, who is confused, cold, and lost (both in time and location) tries to keep her mouth shut but the medical professional in her will not let them put the injured mans shoulder back in the socket incorrectly. Claire stops them and fixes the young mans shoulder the correct way. She impresses the leader enough for him NOT to kill or rape her (good job Claire).  For her trouble she is forced on a horse with the hot dude AKA Jamie (the Internet’s newest boyfriend). Jamie points out Inverness and she is shocked that it is not lit up this is the first time she really thinks she might NOT be in the 20th century. Jamie also drapes her with his plaid because she is shivering so badly AND because he is a gentleman.

While riding through the woods Claire notices a mountain/rock formation that Frank had pointed out was a place that the redcoats hid to ambush traveling highlanders (FRANK’S FUN FACTS SAVE THE DAY). She warns Jamie, who alerts the leader of the group, a gentleman wearing a particularly jaunty Scottish beret (YAY HATS). Jamie pushes Claire off his horse and tells her to hide herself.  While Jamie and the men ride off to attack the British, Claire pauses and then runs off into the woods. She is almost immediately found by Jamie, who is now bloody. She berates him for misusing his shoulder. She refuses to go with him but he tells her to go with him and if she won’t walk he will pick her up and carry him. He is in a lot of pain and Claire tells him he deserves his pain.


While riding at night Claire realizes that Jamie is badly injured and he falls of his horse. She orders the men about AND uses a lot of 20th century medical terms which is confusing until she says alcohol and then everyone knows what she is saying. She asks for a bandage but they look at her like she is nuts so she uses the bottom of her dress. Poor Claire’s beautiful white dress is completely ruined. She then swears a lot and shocks them some more. The leader tells them they have to go and so Jamie lightly flirts with her as she quickly dresses his shoulder (this is the first time he adorably calls her Sassenach, swoon–What? I am only human, people). The men take her to Castle Leoch, which she helpfully reminds us she and Frank just visited two days prior.

Next week kids let’s hope we get MORE naked Jamie! [Next week I will be caught up, so I can add some assy comments! -M]

Gifs from ladyhawke81justoldlightsdreammetheworld, and mrsassenach.


  1. Pingback: Smart ladies love TV, Outlander recap, Castle Leoch | smart ladies love stuff

  2. I agree that this is compelling show, but it is not smart to not know that the end of World War 1 was not called VE Day. This is a term exclusively used over 20 years later to refer to the end of World War 2, meaning victory in Europe, to distinguish from VJ day, victory in Japan. The end of WW1 was a much more complicated affair. I don’t know if this was in the original book and/or in the screenplay, but in any case was overlooked by writers and editors that should have known better. It is historical fantasy, but is better if it bears some semblance of truth to the periods.

    • Hello Jaycee,

      Thanks for so much for reading!!!

      I think there is some confusion in the dates the show is set, Claire is a nurse in WWII and so she is there during VE Day. When she is on her second honeymoon it is 1946. I think the book makes this more clear because it doesn’t switch between the time periods as much as the show. I hope this clears up any confusion.

      Thank you again for reading and commenting 🙂

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