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Outlander -- Sassenach

Updated on July 7, 2015

I'm not in Kansas any longer...

The episode opens with a beautiful view of Scotland as Claire Randall talks of how some people just disappear without an explanation. Then we see her standing before a window shop gazing at a vase debating whether to buy it or not. This is a good episode to go back and watch after you've watched episode 11, because she says she would still make the same choice even after all the pain, heartbreak and tragedy that followed, and you have to wonder if she means not buying the vase or the choice she ultimately makes in episode 11. I tend to think she's speaking of the choice she makes in episode 11.

Then we go back to a flashback of Claire as a nurse during the war as news breaks the war is over. She doesn't seem very happy, as everyone celebrates the end of the war, while she takes a slug of a bottle of booze. Next we see her driving in a car with her husband, Frank, whose taken her to Scotland for a second honeymoon to help them reconnect. They've been apart for years because of the war and only saw each other ten days in that time, and things haven't gone back to what they were before the war caused their separation.

I have to admit I have a hard time getting the Frank and Claire relationship. For someone whose brought his wife for a second honeymoon to reconnect he doesn't seem to be all that into it. Claire is always the one who instigates them having sex, while he seems to be more interested in pursuing his own interests. There's also his strange reaction to seeing a strange man staring up at Claire from outside their hotel window. His first thought is it's an ex-lover of Claire's from the war. Seriously, would most husbands just jump to a conclusion like that? Of course, while Claire starts to get mad over this assumption, it quickly turns into another session of sex. It just seems that Claire feels sex is the answer to all the cracks in her marriage. Then it's back to Frank pursuing his own interests, again.

He and Claire secretly watch a pagan ceremony taking place at a circle of ancient stones at Craigh Na Dun. She later returns to collect a flower that drew her interest that was growing by one of the stones and hears strange noises coming from one of the stones and touches it and blacks out. When she wakes up she's not in Kansas any longer.

I don't know if this scene is supposed to be funny, but I can't stop laughing when Claire sees a highlander exchanging gunfire with a redcoat and then the redcoat starts shooting at her and she takes off running as a jaunty Scottish tune is played as background music.

Of course, it's anything but funny when Claire runs into a doppelganger of her husband Frank in a redcoat uniform who introduces himself as Captain Jack Randall. The name is not unfamiliar to her, as early Frank had been doing research on this ancestor. The first clue on just where she's landed herself. Since he considers her to be scantily clad in her modern day dress and sees it as being in her underwear, he considers her a woman of loose morals and decides he may as well plow her field.

Luckily for her she's rescued from Black Jack Randall, as he's called, by a highlander named Murtagh who knocks Black Jack out. Then her rescuer clouts Claire in the head and she wakes up on horseback as they approach a rustic cottage.

Inside is a group of Murtagh's kinsman lead by their leader Dougal Mackenzie. Murtagh and Dougal get into a debate on if she or isn't she a whore and Claire declares she is not. Then the attention turns to the youngest member of their ragtag group, red-haired Jamie. Claire steps in when his arm is about to be set wrong. His arm is out of joint and she snaps in back in place.

In perhaps another unintentionally funny moment Claire tells Jamie she's a nurse and he starts staring at her breasts. To that she informs him she isn't a wet nurse, as she goes about yanking his arm back in place. Unfortunately, she doesn't get any gratitude from them for that, as Dougal informs her she's coming with them.

As they leave the cottage it's grown dark outside and she noticed that there's no lights shining from Inverness. Yet another clue she isn't in Kansas, any longer. Then she's hoisted up to ride with Jamie on his horse. Showing her the first bit of kindness she's been shown since arriving in her strange surroundings he wraps her in his kilt because she's shivering.

The group rides through the night and into the morning when Claire notices a rock formation called Cocknammon Rock that Frank had told her was a place the British used to hide to ambush highlanders. She mentions that to Jamie, who quickly tells Dougal what she said and it's off to the races, as Jamie shoves Claire off his horse [he'll get a taste of his own medicine later] and the clansmen go into battle. While Claire takes this as her opportunity to finally get away from these men in plaid.

Unfortunately, she doesn't get very far. It must have been a quick battle as her patient [with blood dripping down his face] stands in her path demanding she come with him. When she refuses, he threatens to toss her over his shoulder and make her come. Having no choice but to obey, she accompanies him, bad-naturedly.

As they return to the Dougal and his men, Dougals's suspicions about her have grown. He thinks she must have had inside info to know the British were waiting at Cocknammon Rock to ambush them. Then they continue their ride into the night until Jamie falls off his horse [karmic payback for shoving Claire off his horse] and falls to the ground, unconscious.

Claire quickly discovers he was shot in the attack and decided not to mention it. The Scots are appalled when Claire turns the air blue around them with her cursing. They've never heard a woman speak so before. She rips a piece of her dress to wrap Jamie's latest injury as the party continues their ride to their destination.

As they arrive at Castle Leoch, a place Claire had visited recently with Frank, she finally faces the truth As crazy as it is, she was no longer in her own time. The castle she visited was crumbled and abandoned, while this castle is intact with people living there.

Thus ends the first episode as our heroine finally has to face facts that's she's somewhere in a time that isn't her own with a bunch of men who consider her the enemy cause she's a Sassenach.


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